Rosie is a contributing London-based writer.

Podcast: The Missing Cryptoqueen by Jamie Bartlett
When there’s something strange… in your neighborhood… I suggest you call Jamie Bartlett and co. who are in the process of investigating, and thereby tearing down, a whole other level of ponzi scheme. If you thought Fyre Fest was bad - you've got another thing coming with the tale of Dr Ruja and her One Coin, filled with more twists and turns than an episode of the Rooney/Vardy Wag-atha Christie. 

Take a leap into the world of Bitcoins and Blockchains, where money is not real but is believed to be the same thing as money but that you can’t use in & Other Stories (because what else would you use it for?). But, for a podcast with its rooting in fintech, it is surprisingly thrilling. This is the story of Dr Ruja Ignatova, who started a financial revolution and enthralled a cult of millions to believe in it. And then, she disappears. Jamie Barlett and Georgia Catt find out why in this eight part series, and it’s quite the page-turner (to mix up my audio metaphors). 

From encounters with the Mafia, to a Tom Jones’ performance at Dr Ruja’s birthday party, to death threats to the whistleblower Jen McAdams; this podcast listens more like Liam Nesson’s wild goose chase through Europe with his very special set of skills. It is utterly gripping and thrillingly terrifying, with each astonishing discovery more baffling than the next. As I listened throughout, I asked myself what it is about the current climate that incites such a susceptibility to collusion and hoodwinking - and then, inevitably, such a fascination with its unraveling…? But then again, I also asked myself what the decline in Lilt sales means and whether it’s okay for men to wear gloves… 

Moral of the week: In the wake of all this insanity - sometimes it's good to return to a little frivolous poppycock. 

Click here to discover The Missing Cryptoqueen by Jamie Bartlett.

The Topeka School by Ben Lerner 
In the week when Hugh Grant was announced as being the 89th most popular contemporary actor, equally popular across the age groups, fairing slightly better with women than men (but only slightly mind, Hughy has a large male fan base too, I think it's the hair), I was tempted to recommend that we all re-read the forever-brilliant Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones’ Diary. However, Ladies and Gentleman, as ‘skirt is off sick’ and ‘mics not working’, I will refrain from reciting of all the best quotes from dear old Bridge, whom we love just as she is, and instead recommend you another portray of toxic masculinity but with a little less Mr Tits Pervert and eventual eating by alsatians and a little more penetrating social insight and deep psychological sensitivity.

Ben Lerner’s The Topeka School, released last month has been praised by Sally Rooney as being the future of the novel - is there any higher praise? I'm not joking when I say people are raving about this book; the Times say they expect to be recommending it for the rest of their lives and the Telegraph dubbed Lerner the Hottest American Writer of Our Time (hotter even that Daniel Cleaver!). The work of genius that is Lerner’s third novel centers around Adam Gordon, son of two psychologist parents, in his final year at the Topeka School. Set in Kansas, America at the close of the 20th century, Lerner holds up a mirror, reflecting our own troubled present in the world of Adam three decades earlier. In an age of mansplaining and white male rage - the novel opens with Adam, a successful debater, in a boat with his girlfriend monologuing, what he believes to be an affecting speech, only to conclude triumphant and realise his girlfriend is no longer in the boat, nor anywhere even close by. The irony and comedy of this scenario is a thread woven throughout the novel and through an obsession with language and an irascible narrator the crisis of identity for the white man is confronted.

A state-of-the-nation novel we should all imbibe!

Click here to discover The Topeka School by Ben Lerner.

Also on Because Magazine:

+ Scott Scuman a.k.a. The Sartorialist gives us his travel do's and don'ts.

+ Carina Jones of CiCi's Ayurveda shares her learnings and why we should all tune in.

+ The new collab between Current/Elliott x The Vampire’s Wife isn’t just for halloween.