This week, enjoy the fall (and the election season) with this series of diverse works. Revisit a Halloween classic, dive into magical realism, stay up to date on the latest news in the presidential race, and listen to a TED speaker's advice on improving your relationships at home and work.
On Your Kindle
Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley
If you haven't read Frankenstein since high school, this week is the perfect time to download the inexpensive and timely e-book version. Shelley's haunting take on science and the soul has much to say to modern audiences in the era of cloning, genetically modified foods, and other ethical questions about technology. (And if you’re really a Shelley fan, delve deeper with Susan Tyler Hitchcock's Frankenstein: A Cultural History, available in hardcover.)
On Your Smartphone
Amy Davidson, The New Yorker
Davidson's New Yorker column on politics and culture is subtler than the work of most opinion writers covering the 2012 election cycle. But she has a devastating way of building her argument to a simple and memorable last line about public figures or major events. Her final columns before November 6 are not to be missed.
On a Podcast
TED speaker Brene Brown's talk on vulnerability and living "wholeheartedly" has made her immensely popular in the blogosphere. Blending down-home Texas wit and research on what makes us able to connect with others, her recent NYT best-seller, Daring Greatly, asks readers to think about communicating authentically at work, in relationships, and at home. Supporting the book is a series of reader questions and reflections in the Daring Greatly read-along podcast that offer practical suggestions for communicating with others.
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, by Aimee Bender
Looking for an escape from the presidential news cycle? Try Bender's poignant and wistful novel of a young girl who discovers that she can taste the emotions of whomever prepares her food. From her parents' troubled marriage to the inner lives of anonymous restaurant cooks, the narrator is forced to confront the painful reality of knowing too much.