Top Picks: The Shelters' debut album, the Netflix documentary 'Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold,' and more top picks

Get a refresher on the time when Constantinople was the flagship city of the Roman Empire with the podcast The History of Byzantium, desserts become true works of art on the Instagram account of Karin Pfeiff Boschek, and more top picks.

Same restless heart

One of the projects Tom Petty was about to start before his death in early October was producing the second album by Los Angeles buzz band The Shelters. Petty co-produced their eponymous first album, which was released in 2016, then took them out on tour to open for his bands the Heartbreakers and Mudcrutch. So they must be pretty good, right? You bet! They share the same restless rebel heart of their mentor, rocking and riffing like their lives depended on it. If you like Petty, the Rolling Stones, and hook-laden, anthemic guitar rock, check out their sizzling debut. Then look forward to the sequel.

AP/File

Spotlight on Didion

One of America’s most acclaimed writers is the focus of the new Netflix documentary Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold. The film, which is directed by her nephew, Griffin Dunne, and is for adult viewers, includes archival clips and reminiscences from Didion. It’s now streaming.

Mysterious ‘cousin’

My Cousin Rachel stars Sam Claflin as a young man living in 1830s Britain who encounters Rachel (Rachel Weisz), the mysterious widow of his cousin. Monitor film critic Peter Rainer writes that Weisz “makes her character ... deliciously ambiguous.” The film is rated PG-13 for some sexuality and brief strong language; it’s available on DVD and Blu-ray.

Reuters/File

Byzantium recollection

Get a refresher on the time when Constantinople was the flagship city of the Roman Empire with the podcast The History of Byzantium, hosted by Robin Pierson. In addition to sharing history, Pierson includes intriguing analysis on how to read between the lines of sources. Find it at https://thehistoryofbyzantium.com.  

Dessert as art

Desserts become true works of art on the Instagram account of Karin Pfeiff Boschek. Boschek features her pies, which are bedecked with ornate designs. Check out the harvest time pie with eye-popping renderings of leaves and berries and her other creations.

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: The Shelters' debut album, the Netflix documentary 'Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold,' and more top picks
Read this article in
https://www.csmonitor.com/The-Culture/Arts/2017/1027/Top-Picks-The-Shelters-debut-album-the-Netflix-documentary-Joan-Didion-The-Center-Will-Not-Hold-and-more-top-picks
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today
https://www.csmonitor.com/subscribe