Top Picks: Putumayo World Music's 'Vintage Latino,' Michael Ian Black's podcast 'How to Be Amazing,' and more

Comedian Stephen Colbert returns for CBS's 'Late Show,' the app Life360 helps the whole family stay in touch during a busy school year, and more top picks.


Does the warming of US-Cuba relations have you imagining salsa classes closer to the equator? Now you can practice your steps at home before you pack your bags. Putumayo World Music has released Vintage Latino, a collection that evokes the nostalgic era of Mexican and Cuban boleros, son cubano and guajiras (Cuban styles of dance and music), Argentine tangos, Puerto Rican trios, and Venezuelan llaneras (folk music). Caribbean nights, here we come! 

Fascinating people

Comedian Michael Ian Black gets to the root of the creative process in his podcast How to Be Amazing, distributed by PRX. Author Elizabeth Gilbert, comedienne Amy Schumer, theoretical physicist Brian Greene, and others make up the eclectic but always interesting guest list. A new episode is released every two weeks. The free podcast is available on most podcast apps, such as iTunes, Audible, and SoundCloud. 

Colbert returns

On the Comedy Central programs “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report,” comedian Stephen Colbert expertly skewered American culture, poking fun at current events and making viewers simultaneously laugh and wince at his sharp jokes. Now he and his edgy humor are back for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, with Colbert taking over the program from David Letterman. His first episode airs Sept. 8 on CBS. 

Family manager

Kids running to and from school, clubs, and recitals? Life360 can help you keep tabs on each family member. The smartphone app tracks your location and shares that information with those in your “circle” of trusted friends and family. Parents can confirm that their little athletes made it to practice, and kids can know that their ride home is only 10 minutes away. The service requires a subscription: $5 a month or $50 a year. 

Good cooking

Both a visual delight and useful guide to cooking with unprocessed foods, At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen, by chef Amy Chaplin, is a worthy addition to your kitchen bookshelf. The book has been winning awards and praise since it was published last year, and its tips and creative recipes make this a must for cooking wholesome family suppers.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to Top Picks: Putumayo World Music's 'Vintage Latino,' Michael Ian Black's podcast 'How to Be Amazing,' and more
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today