Top Picks: 'Both Sides Now,' 'To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before'

College students can get rewards for leaving their phones alone during class when they use the Pocket Points app, the documentary 'Won’t You Be My Neighbor?' looks at the career of Fred Rogers and his creation of the show 'Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,' and more top picks.

Friendly neighbors

The documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, which looks at the career of Fred Rogers and his creation of the show “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” is available on DVD and Blu-ray. Monitor film critic Peter Rainer writes of Morgan Neville’s documentary, “In some not-quite-definable way, the film itself is all of a piece with Rogers’s principled gentleness.... The simple fact is that Rogers ... is exactly as advertised: a genuinely caring man who can unabashedly say, ‘Love is at the root of everything.... Love or the lack of it.’ ”

Phone incentives

College students can get rewards for leaving their phones alone during class when they use the Pocket Points app. Online businesses and those that are near schools offer incentives. You can find it at

Science chats

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson brings together scientists, celebrities, and comedians to discuss a wide range of topics, from space exploration to music, on StarTalk Radio. You can find new installments at

Charming teen tale

The charming young adult novel To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before has been adapted into a film of the same name, which is now streaming on Netflix. High school student Lara Jean Covey (Lana Condor) finds her life thrown into chaos when letters she composed to boys she had crushes on are mailed to each of them. At the center of the story is Lara Jean’s family, which includes her widower father and two sisters. 

Tony Russell-Redferns/Courtesy of Getty Images

Woman of heart and mind

The 1970 Isle of Wight festival was England’s answer to Woodstock. But there wasn’t much peace, love, and understanding when Joni Mitchell played her afternoon set. The estimated 600,000-strong audience was riled up by a stage-crashing protester. The new documentary Both Sides Now chronicles how the folk singer, armed with just an acoustic guitar, eventually won over the crowd with classics such as “Big Yellow Taxi” and “Woodstock.” Come for the compelling concert; stay for a 2003 interview showing Mitchell’s keen intellect as she assesses the counterculture milieu and her performance.

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: 'Both Sides Now,' 'To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before'
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today