Top Picks: The study app Brainscape, Patty Griffin's 'Servant of Love,' and more

Those who are missing the great Amy Winehouse will find a lot to like in Andra Day's 'Cheers to the Fall,' PBS's 'The Women's List' looks at the talents of 15 women who are important in American culture today, and more top picks.

Warner Bros.

Powerhouse of soul

Warner Bros.

Those who are missing the great Amy Winehouse will find a lot to like in Andra Day. The husky-voiced retro-soul singer channels Winehouse, Nina Simone, and even a little Shirley Bassey on her stunning debut album, Cheers to the Fall. The sensual first single, “Forever Mine,” is moving rapidly toward 2 million hits online, and “Rise Up” is an empowerment anthem that could move mountains.

Flashcard ace

The slick study app Brainscape lets students create digital flashcards. They can refine each deck to phase out questions they have already mastered. Study groups can share materials or receive new questions from their teachers. And everyone can access these digital cards on iPhones, iPads, and Web browsers. The app is free, with add-on packs – such as SAT vocabulary and geography – costing between $4 and $30.

Observant songs

Patty Griffin

Suit up for a deep dive. Patty Griffin’s latest album, Servant of Love, demands full immersion to fathom its depths of feeling. She explores the milieu behind a wrongful police shooting on “Good and Gone.” In “250,000 Miles,” an immigrant misses her family while painting the toes of strangers. “Shine a Different Way” offers a prayer for a brighter future. Griffin uses acoustic and electric guitars, piano, mbira, and trumpet to create a liquid ambiance. The plunge is rejuvenating.

Women of influence

The newest project from director Timothy Greenfield-Sanders (“The Boomer List,” “The Black List”) is The Women’s List airing on PBS’s “American Masters.” The documentary looks at the talents of 15 women who are important in American culture today, such as former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, scientist Elizabeth Holmes, and screenwriter/director Shonda Rhimes. “The Women’s List” airs Sept. 25 at 9 p.m.

Everest trivia

Everest, a new movie starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Keira Knightley, takes a fictionalized look at a tragedy that occurred on Mt. Everest in 1996, which was the basis for Jon Krakauer’s bestseller “Into Thin Air.” How much do you really know about the mountain and its history? Test your knowledge with this BuzzFeed video about the legendary summit – both the daring and the tragic aspects. Check it out at 

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

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

QR Code to Top Picks: The study app Brainscape, Patty Griffin's 'Servant of Love,' and more
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today