This Week’s Readings: Personal Interest, Harper Lee, Podcasts and More

TThis Weeks Read Imagehis week, my reading was sporadic, and not on any particular topic or in any particular form. I also did some listening this week (in terms of podcasts) so I might highlight one of those (because rules are made to be broken).

So here we go, in no particular order:

  1. 52 Places to go in 2015– I am a sucker for the NYT list design and  always caught up by travel lists that indulge my secretly harbored wanderlust. Most of these will be unattainable for me personally in 2015, but I was excited to see a couple of U.S. spots that could be possible. The surprise of “moving pictures” (the NYT always gets me with this smoother- than-your-average-gif but more-integrated-than-your-average-video feature) and the choice of some unexpected spots make this quite an enjoyable read.
  2. She fought for patients’ rights, then she was put in a hospital against her will– This was a fascinating view into the life of an activist and sufferer of mental illness. I think of the strength of this piece is that it doesn’t offer clear answers, it merely explores the complexity of mental illness care.  It is a sad story, but it helps to put you in another person’s shoes for a second.
  3. On Looking for a Job and Remembering Who your Competition  Is– I just found “The Financial Diet” this week and I am quite enjoying this perspective of another young woman trying to be responsible in the “real world” which seems so confusing to recent grads. This post, in particularly, was a valuable reminder that we can’t get so wrapped up in the fear and anxiety of a job search that we start to believe that other women are our direct competition. Favorite quote: “There is a truth to the idea that, in addition to being in a playing field for your general industry, you are also in a narrower playing field for your gender. And that is something that we must fight together, and individually, in whatever way we can. But giving into the nagging fears that we have about what other women are ‘getting’ that we are not only makes it harder for all of us.”
  4. My Dad, the Pornographer– This NYT article is not my normal reading, but I found it fascinating, not because it is about porn, but because it explores a character you don’t expect and it explores that character very thoroughly without judgement or approval. I appreciates this son’s powerful story weaving telling a complicated story about the father he loved and the strange obsessions he developed.
  5. Once a Vaccine Skeptic, This Mom Changed Her Mind– This article, while it is a short piece, reminds us of one of the mindsets that cause vaccine skeptic. Science and recent events makes it seem like vaccinating your kids is an easy choice, but  there are so many factors that make it scary for some moms to jump on board without changing their whole identity. Do I think you should vaccinate your kids? Absolutely. Do I think over simplifying and villainizing the people who have chosen not to is not actually helping the cause? Also yes. Fear is behind both of these movements, and maybe instead of fear mongering, we could start having honest discussions based on real, supported facts.
  6. The Gang’s All Here: Friends Who Choose to Live in the Same Building– I’ve been watching a lot of FRIENDS since it was put on Netflix.  I am a little ashamed of my binge watching, but still, it made me interested in this article. Do people really live in situations like the fictional world of Rachel, Ross, Monica, Chandler, Joey and Phoebe?  It turns out they do and it’s kinda cool. This read was mostly just for fun, but it was an interesting cultural exploration.
  7. Harper Lee’s Editor on New Book, Which He Only Learned About ‘Yesterday’– News has been buzzing about Harper Lee’s Sequel to her classic “To Kill a Mockingbird.” I want to read “Go Set a Watchman” as much as anyone, but the news about this release has been nothing short of bizarre.  This interview with Lee’s publisher has been bringing up a lot of questions and bringing this ethical issues to the forefront of publishing news.
  8. Falling– I’ve been exploring various podcasts including “The Truth” which is a podcast of short compelling fictional stories. It’s like listening to a quick movie and I really enjoy it. This one is a romance story with a twist, but  there are all sorts of stories including suspense and even science fiction.

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