Consider this post a Curated Media Guide for Fall. Or, just consider it another list of Enjoyable Things to read, watch or listen to as the days get cooler, the leaves turn and you spend more time inside than out. Sound good? Here goes:
Watch: Senna This documentary about Ayrton Senna is getting rave reviews and winning awards at Sundance and other film festivals. You don’t have to be a Formula One fan (Or married to one, in my case. I remember vividly the day Senna was killed while we sat in our living room and watched the race live.) to appreciate this fascinating and exhilarating film about the Brazilian race car driver who died in an on track accident in 1994. My sister Monica emailed me after taking in the doc, raving, “He was like a real life Steve McQueen!” Indeed.
Read: Ten Thousand Saints by Eleanor Henderson This well-written novel is set in the New York area in the 1980′s, so many of the references were familiar to me have come of age at the same time and place, even though I did not participate as fully in the sex, drugs and rock n’ roll era as these characters. Okay, I didn’t participate at all– but I did have a subscription to Details Magazine as early as 1980 whn it was a ten-page publication printed on newsprint, so that should qualify me for something. I loved this book. At the heart of this novel, besides music and and generational differences, are family relationships, sharply rendered, heartbreaking and transformative. A terrific Fall read.
Listen: Freakonomics on Parenting Many in the Chaos Crew have sent me the link to this podcast, so it’s on my list, too! Click here to download the podcast, then we can discuss.
Listen: Laura Marling “A Creature I Don’t Know” Recently break up? Sorry to have celebrated another birthday with diminishing returns? Need a really contemplative cd to get you through a solo road trip across Wyoming or a plane flight to your grandmother’s funeral? Than look no further than this wistful, melodic, heartbreaking- in- a -good- way album by British Young Joni Mitchell Laura Marling. She can totally relate: her long-term relationship with one of the Mumford & Sons ended just before recording these tracts.
Read: The Broken Teaglass by Emily Arsenault I picked up this charming, best-selling novel on the Recent Paperbacks table and I’m glad I did. Sign me up for any piece of fiction that features a Lexicographical Romantic Comedy: Two geeks who write dictionaries meet cute and solve a literary mystery. Brilliant. Then, after I finished the book, I did a little research of my own because the author’s name sounded SO familiar, but not in a ‘Oh, I read about her in the New York Times’ kind of way, but in an actual acquaintance way. Then, it hit me: my sister Sheila used to BABYSIT for the author. A small world indeed. Way to go, Emily.
Watch: I can’t believe I’m writing the words Deadliest Warrior, but I am. If you haven’t taken in this military history/competition show, then you are missing one darned entertaining and informative showover there on Spike TV. The conceit of the show is that two historical warriors are pitted ‘against’ each other in terms of tactics, weaponry and other criteria and then face a final re-enacted battle to see who is the Deadliest Warrior. Think Joan of Arc vs. William the Conqueror or The Viet Cong vs. The Nazis. Or, most recently, Vampires vs. Zombies! Is it bloody? Yes. But is it a great and engaging way to learn history? Yes. Not just for teen boys, as my nieces love it, too.
Watch: Glee returns to tonight on Fox and I have high hopes that the series can rebound after a “haven’t we already seen this” Season Two. Why? Because the show’s co-creators have finally hired some WRITERS! What a concept. Ryan Murphy will not be writing every episode! Could new stories and fresh character arcs be in store? Let’s hope so, because this show is too much fun to get permanently stuck in story ruts.
Read: What if the Secret to Success is Failure? by Paul Trough of the New York Times. Click here to read this fascinating piece on character education-- and what that really means in terms of setting your child up for academic and life success. Here’s a hint: Let them fall, Helicopter Parents! A little Grit goes a long way. I’ll be talking about this piece this week on The Chaos Chronicles Podcast.
Read: The Teen Brain by David Dobbs in National Geographic Magazine. I’m saving this article for later, when Iam fully alert with all synapses firing! My teen son started to read it last night, after the magazine arrived in our mailbox, and said, “I got to the part where the big words started and then my teen brain couldn’t process.” hahaha. Frankly, I’m a little scared Do I actually want to know what goes on in a teen brain?
Read: Packing the Perfect Lunch Some tips and great recipes for packing a nutrious and satisfying lunch Thought the recipes are for kids, I’ve enjoyed them, too! Wrap it up, I say at lunch time. And these Apple “Bagels” with Peanut Butter and Dried fruit were a big hit at my house last week.
What are you reading, watching and listening to this Fall? Share your favorites with the Chaos Crew in the comments below.
Ten Things to like this Father’s Day
Books from the LA Times Books Festival
Embracing my chaos, Lian