Just in case you are not surrounded by enough distractions, here are a few more good ones:
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot is the story of the woman who gifted us, unknowingly, with HeLa cells. Part science, history, biography, social and ethical commentary, it is a very compelling read. I bought this book to keep me company when travelling for work last year – you know it’s good if you are a little disappointed by the brevity of the flight.
Currently reading: Trevor Noah is just a few years younger than me. Like Noah, I grew up in 80’s and 90’s South Africa and Born a Crime really hits home with me. His story is at turns funny and sad. If you are interested in South African history, particularly apartheid South Africa, but shy away from history texts – this is a great place to start. An astute and articulate writer, Noah weaves the absurdities of apartheid law into his engaging narrative.
Seth Godin’s blog – I am new to Godin’s work (via the Ctrl Alt Delete podcast – see below). From what I have read so far, the posts are to the point and provide some good food for thought. A little snippet:
How about, just bullets, just diseases, just starvation?
The whole “sticks and stones” canard is really dangerous. When a stone gives you a bruise, it’s entirely possible you will completely heal. But when a torrent of words undermine your view of what’s possible, you might never recover.
Words matter. They can open doors, light a way and make a difference.
(You might be able to get some stuff done while listening to these)
I am a reluctant gardener. Faced with a day of the best kind of gardening – weeding a large patch of hard dirt beneath a towering pine tree (we are not complete suckers for punishment – sod is in our future) – I bought Tina Fey’s Bossypants audiobook. It is as sharp and witty as you would expect. I’m sure I was an odd sight, squatting under a tree laughing out loud to myself but it was worth it and made the task at hand almost pleasurable.
Matthew Quick’s Silver Linings Playbook audiobook is a really good novel about healing, good intentions, second chances, and finding your way again.
In her Ctrl Alt Delete podcast, Emma Gannon speaks with a variety of interesting people. The common thread in these conversations is how the internet and social media have shaped their lives. She has obviously done her research and has an idea of what she wants to discuss but her strength as an “interviewer” lies in being a good a listener. The dialogue feels natural and organic.
You know those shows that you can put on while you do other stuff like make dinner or unload the dishwasher and just half-watch? The Americans is not one of them. You need to focus here. Great writing, story telling, acting, and if you grew up in the 80’s, nostalgia.
In this television era of drug dealers, zombies, murder, betrayal, and the darker side, Master of None is refreshing, smart, funny, and likeable. The way the stories are told is interesting too, every episode does not necessarily follow exactly the same formula. Season 1 is good but I think it really hits its stride in Season 2.
Band of Brothers is a miniseries (10 episodes) which tells the story of the men of Easy Company, a regiment of the 101st Airborne Division, U.S. Army in World War II from training to the end of the war. Yes, I know it’s from back in 2001 but I wanted to mention it here in the event you haven’t seen it because it is excellent.
What’s distracting you?