Reads and Listens September 15 – 20

Many people I know say they never have time to read anything for pleasure or general enrichment. I get it. It’s hard to give yourself over to a novel or even a long form magazine article when there’s the house, the work, the kids, the parents, the friends and… let’s face it the phone. My own habit is to read before bed and when I can’t sleep. Sometimes that makes for ten minutes a day, sometimes that means an hour or more. But it’s something, and just like putting pennies in a piggy bank, over a year, it adds up to a lot of books read, a lot of extra knowledge, and, at least for me, a richer life.

Podcasts are also a pleasure I love. I listen in the car, when I take a break for a 20 minute walk around campus, or sometimes while cooking dinner. So much better than TV news. More depth, no endless commercials.

Here’s what’s on tap this week.

The last time I made suggestions, I wrote about the 1619 project in the New York Times. Now, on their podcast, The Daily, they are dropping sections of 1619 every Saturday. Here’s the one I’m listening to now.

You can download it or listen to it now on your computer. Powerful stuff.

Next up is a book I’ve been revisiting that will feature prominently in my next blog. Mary Ann in Autumn by Amistead Maupin. This is part of the Tales of the City Series that started years ago – I read the series in my 20s – and happily, does not seem to want to end. Netflix recently made this one into series to stream which made me want to go back to it. It’s just a skim this time – but pleasurable none the less.

Of course there’s so much in the news, but I’m not going there in this post. Instead, I’ll send this out for all my fellow professors out there. An article I saw in the Chronicle of Higher Education details the impact of this simple teaching strategy – learning your students names. Although its not so hard this semester when I’m teaching a very small seminar, I’ve always felt better when I could quickly learn my students’ names. I knew it was important to me. This article says its important to them too.

Look for a longer post featuring Mary Ann in Autumn by the end of the weekend. And don’t forget to like the post and leave a comment about what you’ve been reading this week!

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