Consumer Report

Music 

This collection of mostly acoustic, guitar-driven songs is really nice in the morning. It is gentle yet cheery, and the lyrics look up and out rather than in and down. 

 

Josh Garrels won me over with his new album Chrysaline. Atmospheric, sincere, worshipful, sophisticated. 

 

Last week I recommended the Classics for Kids podcast. Well, I didn't want to listen to the episodes on John Philip Sousa. A victim of his own success, he wrote military marches that are almost cliché now. But I did listen, and somehow the smartness of his music shot through to me freshly. 

 

Books 

Working with Winston by Cita Stelzer profiles several of the personal secretaries who worked for Winston Churchill. Before, during, and after the war they worked their tails off according to his very particular and all-encompassing methods. They had plenty of pluck and intelligence, demonstrated by their Operation Desperate "war memo" commissioning persons to "command Special Mission to U.S.A. for the purpose of exploring the rich resources, believed to exist in the West, of certain vital commodities. These are:-- (i) Silk Stockings (ii) Chocolate (iii) Cosmetics." 

Movies 

A few personal favorites, chosen for relative obscurity: 

A Canterbury Tale 

Babette's Feast   

Temple Grandin   

The Secret World of Arrietty

Microcosmos (nature documentary. make sure squeamish family members are present for the kissing snails scene.)

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