This Week’s Reads: You’ll cry, you’ll laugh and then you’ll cry again

This Weeks Read ImageIt took me a little longer to think of my list this week. I guess there was less that just stood out. However, I read some interesting things and I know I missed a lot of things I wanted to read. I’ll do better next week. Regardless, here it is.

1. My Own Life– Oliver Sacks was trending this week because of this heartfelt article. It was a short one, but you should read it if you haven’t. Thinking about death can be hard but it can also be beautiful and sweet. His closer was particularly inspiring: “Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure.”

2. Harris Wittels, Television Comedy Writer, Is Dead at 30– I’m going to get the sad ones out of the way at the beginning. Today I read about Harris Wittels, a person I didn’t know by name but has made me smile for years (I love Parks and Recreation). It’s important that we remember that there are a ton of people behind the works we love, whether its a book or t.v. show or piece of art. Wittels will be missed as a comedic writer for sure but he is also a reminder, at least to me, of the largely collaborative act of creating.

3. A Brother and Sister in Love– This is a beautiful piece combining pictures and narration in a lovely interface. I’m also a sucker for a love story; this one is well told and brought some tears to my eye. Obviously NPR knows how to do audio in the radio and/or podcast form, but this was a little bit of a different bit of storytelling. It wasn’t overly sophistication, just right and just beautiful. Get your tissues out.

4. Here’s how ‘American Sniper’ could have avoided its fake baby problem– So I haven’t seen the movie, but I’ve heard about this baby; it’s almost as controversial as the subject matter. I started reading this just as a joke sort of thing, but the life of newborn actors/actresses is actually kind of fascinating. I guess I’ve never really thought about how one gets a realistic looking baby for a T.V. show or movie, but this article goes through the ins and outs.

5. To shill a mockingbird: How a manuscript’s discovery became Harper Lee’s ‘new’ novel– After all the drama about Harper Lee and her new/old book, the story kinda fell off the map. This article, however, offered some interesting and, in my opinion, illuminating history/ information about this manuscript. I’m still undecided about the thing, but I’ll probably read it because who could resist?

6. Photoshop at 25: A Thriving Chameleon Adapts to a Instagram World–  Photoshop had a big birthday this week and on top of that is talking about some big choices. I love Photoshop as a tool and I hate how it is sometimes used. It’s stayed incredibly relevant, though, over the years, and it is trying to remain so. The new idea of several Photoshop style apps scares me because I don’t want to have a ton of apps to do what I used to be able to do in one program. Free options, however, are quite exciting. I guess I’ll have to wait and see.

7. Fifty Shades of Socialist Feminism– This was outrageous and laugh-out-loud funny. I like that I live in the world where this sort of satire thrives. All at once it mocks people’s view of feminists and a work of fiction that is super controversial and perpetuates some nasty things (although I haven’t read it, several passages about violence and control make me very unhappy).  Beware this one is a bit crude (though I think it works in context).

8. Strangers Podcast– I was listening to this throughout the week and greatly enjoyed it. I can’t pinpoint just one episode, but you should listen. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry and you’ll think about the nature of people and their relationships with one another. There are happy and sad stories but they all connect to the concept of Strangers and how we are and are not strangers with others in the world.

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