ROC Spotlight Series - Charles Benoit

Kurt Brownell Photography

Kurt Brownell Photography

What are you reading?

How to Have a Good Day by Caroline Webb. She uses the latest insights from psychology, behavioral economics and neuroscience to explain how to get the most out of every day. At almost 400 pages it’s no quick-fix, but its interesting reading. Also on the nightstand is the spy thriller Shake Off by Mischa Hiller. Instead of the CIA or MI5, Hiller’s young, untested operative works for an unnamed Palestinian organization. It goes beyond the typical spy stuff with complex characters and original plot twists. And as of last night, I was reading a book that shall not be named. It looked good on the shelf of the bookstore, and after 60 pages, it looks even better in the library donation pile.    

What are you listening to?

I have an obsession—bordering on a mania—for ska, the infectious, upbeat and always danceable style of Jamaican music that started in the early 60s. People of a certain age will think of The Specials and Madness, a more recent vintage might think of the Bosstones, No Doubt and Reel Big Fish, but there are thousands of ska bands around the world today, including my own, the obviously named Some Ska Band. 

What is the last album or song that you downloaded?

Fighting on the Dance Floor, the four-song EP by Les SkartOi!, a ska band (surprise!) out of Greece. The country, not the town.

Do you have a favorite podcast(s)?

I’m a writer, so you know I’m going to be into podcasts about language. My two favorites are The Allusionist, hosted by Helen Zaltzman and Lexicon Valley, hosted by John McWhorter. And I never miss an episode of One More Thing, hosted by my co-workers Andrew Knoblauch and Mike McGinnis, who really should have me on to talk about ska.

How do you spend your Sundays?

I start off with 20 minutes of vigorous excuses on why I can’t go to the gym, then settle in for a morning of Premier League soccer, The New York Times and avoiding Sunday morning news programs. In the afternoon, Rose and I talk about home improvement projects we really should get to soon. After our traditional Sunday dinner of cold cereal, we spend a quiet evening scrolling through Netflix titles.