I have a guest post up at 28 Days of Play tomorrow, so I thought I’d post my Friday faves today instead….
1. Loving Day, by Mat Johnson. One of the cool things about being a writer is I get to read stuff that isn’t out yet. This book is remarkable. It’s funny and raw, somehow both real and surreal at the same time. It explores themes of race, family, belonging and real vs ideal worlds. Also, there are sexy ghosts! All the good stuff. It’s out in May, but you can and should pre-order now!
2. On Being with Krista Tippett podcast. We who live in LA get lots and lots of good weather… that we mostly get to experience by gazing out at it from the window of a (slowly) moving vehicle. As a result, I consider myself rather a connoisseur of podcasts. Tippett converses with some of the great spiritual, scientific and humanitarian leaders of our time. She explores the Big Questions with humor and complexity. If you happen to like thinking and feeling, you you will love this podcast. Start with Father James Martin, Brenè Brown, Reza Aslan, or anyone really. They’re all great
3. The Skimm is great for those of us who are a wee bit stressed and/or lazy and still want to keep abreast of what’s happening in our world. It’s a daily newsletter that offers a much more balanced, savvy, and intelligent perspective than a quick perusal of the Google news headlines. It’s my current obsession. Sign up! You’ll be smarter.
4. Ask An Autistic, with Amythest Schaber. A friend whose child also has Sensory Processing Disorder, like Tariku, turned me on to this video and I immediately fell in love with this neurowonderful (her awesome term) gal. This is the most clear and concise description of SPD I’ve ever seen, told from the inside. SPD is a complex thing to understand. It’s hard to wrap your head around. I need constant reminders that my son is processing sensory information in a different way than I am. The ways that this manifests in his behavior can be incredibly frustrating and I need all of the tools, understanding and empathy I can get. I think Amythest’s videos would be illuminating and inspiring for anyone, regardless of whether or not you’re parenting special needs. Her videos remind me that the ways we are “different” are so often the doorway to the ways we shine.
5. Dinner: A Love Story, by Jenny Rosenstrach. Rosenstrach has documented every single thing she and her family have eaten for dinner since 1998. If you’re not a compulsive documenter like me, that might sound a little bit scary (personally, I just feel beaten at my own game by a noble foe). I can assure you the book is anything but scary. It’s all about encouraging and supporting the family table, but not in a “every night you don’t cook seasonal organic meals from scratch you’re kid is losing IQ points” kind of way. This book manages to have a foot in the worlds of both the aspirational and the attainable. It has become my go-to for family-friendly meals. My picky eater wolfs down her salmon. And it’s so funny and engaging you can read it like a novel.