Top Picks: Cat Stevens' 'The Laughing Apple,' 'The Simple Faith of Franklin Delano Roosevelt,' and more top picks

A Broadway musical comes to TV with PBS’s broadcast of 'She Loves Me,' the Pocket Casts app gives you a new way to keep track of all the podcasts you love, and more top picks.

AP

Cat comes back

In 1978, singer/songwriter Cat Stevens changed his name to Yusuf Islam; he retired from a lucrative career as a multiplatinum-selling pop star to devote his life to Islamic philanthropy. In 2006, he reemerged with a new album of pop songs, some with theological themes. Now, Cat is back with his brand-new album, The Laughing Apple. He sounds just like the same singer who brought us “Morning Has Broken” and “Father and Son,” with appealing and only slightly less catchy songs this time around. Welcome back, Cat. We’ve missed you.

You’ll love it

A Broadway musical comes to TV with PBS’s broadcast of She Loves Me Oct. 20 at 9 p.m. The latest adaptation of the play “Parfumerie” (familiar to fans of the movie “You’ve Got Mail”) netted actors Zachary Levi, Laura Benanti, and Jane Krakowski Tony nominations for their roles as co-workers at Budapest’s Maraczek’s Parfumerie in the 1930s.

Religion and F.D.R.

F.D.R.: Man of faith? Religion journalist Christine Wicker makes a convincing and inspiring case in her examination of his deeply held and deeply influential beliefs in The Simple Faith of Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Religion’s Role in the FDR Presidency. As she puts it, “all the ways he failed to be a good Christian didn’t keep him from being an effective Christian” – a lesson for all of us about how we can be far from perfect yet still change the world.  

Podcast binging

Looking for a new way to keep track of all the podcasts you love? The Pocket Casts app lets you bypass episode introductions, cut out silence, and listen to podcast episodes in the car using CarPlay. Pocket Casts is $3.99 for iOS and Android.

Courtesyof Graeme Hunter Pictures

Cox as Churchill

Another actor takes on the role of British statesman Winston Churchill in Churchill, which is available on DVD and Blu-ray. This time, Brian Cox portrays the former prime minister, with the film focusing on Churchill’s personal struggles. 

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.