Many moons ago, I vlogged weekly about my #bookdna recommendations. I am much more comfortable with the written word than video, so the series fizzled, but I continue to share my #bookdna recommendations on Instagram and Twitter. I read a lot, but it is more than just books. While I share quite a bit about what I am reading on my social networks, this selection does not capture the handful of items that capture my interest and cause me to pause and reflect for a longer time than it takes to hit publish.
This week, I have been bouncing between four countries in five days via planes, trains, and automobiles…and now, bikes. Unlike my friends and family in the USA, I did not celebrate the Fourth of July yesterday with the Boston Pops and fireworks, nor am I preparing to enjoy a long weekend. The separation from the spectacle, has given me space to consider what makes me proud about being an American and differentiate this interest from what I find particularly cringeworthy. I spend a lot of time thinking about these topics while trying to assimilate in two separate countries (UK for work and the Netherlands for new home life).
Here is my Friday Five selection of items to read, watch, and reflect:
- What doesn’t kill you: An interview with Sabrina Orah Mark This is a #bookdna selection – In her new book Wild Milk, Orah Mark challenges the reader to determine what is real what is described in the book or the environment in which one reads the book? The collection of fiction stories intermingled with poetry are meant to jar us from what we think is real and examine the qualities of what makes these environments real to us at various times in our lives. Through the process of creative destruction, Orah Mark dissembles her readers and builds them back up into more aware human beings.
- This America: The Case for a nation by Jill Lepore This is another #bookdna selection – Harvard historian and New Yorker staff writer, Jill Lepore gives the reader a crash course on nationalism – the good, the bad, and the ugly, and finds a way to transform our history into a manifesto for a better nation and develop an opportunity to reclaim our future by understanding and reclaiming our past. Forget the debauchery surrounding the upcoming primaries, and read this book to decide the type of candidate who can represent you, your dreams, and desires, and discover the type of leader who can work work with others to move this country forward in a productive way.
- Why is America so far behind Europe on Digital Privacy? This is a question I constantly field from my UK colleagues after the one year anniversary of GDPR. Ask an average worker what they know of FGPR or what has changed as a result of GDPR, and I am afraid you will be disappointed with the results. How might our countries work together to educate our publics of what they have access to, what they are giving away, and where it is most appropriate to push for regulation. We are stronger together.
- The West Wing Weekly: 365 Days – I may not have missed the hot afternoon of US celebrations from my London flat, and the crowded swarm of bodies in line to purchase a soft drink or queue for a toilet, but I did enjoy immersing myself in the rhetoric of West Wing dialogue and wonder – what if – what if there were not fiction? One of my favorite WW episodes is 365 days where the important ideas of the day and year are crowded out by the urgent. I see this vicious cycle happen in for and non-profit companies. How do we break out of this cycle and fight back to be on course? Watch the episode or listen to the delightful West Wing Weekly podcast break down this episode. What would you do if you were Leo or CJ or the President? How do you get back on track? How do you say yes to high level work without sacrificing all other forms of low level work? This is a delicate dance to be mastered.
- Kid’s author Mo Willems has a new challenge (and so should you) – It is not simply enough to explain to our children the need to be emotionally aware and the importance to build emotional intelligence prowess to navigate the school day and then, ultimately an illustrious career. Willems gets on kids’ level by using the characters we love as teachers and models a journey for kids and adults to learn from, and honestly depicts how this learning style and emotional growth fuels his own process as he is challenged with new creative challenges in his artist in residency program at the Kennedy Center.
Happy reading and reflecting!