What's good out there? What have you read, heard or seen
in the last month
that really moved and informed you? Books, stories, movies, articles, TV, music, etc.? Send us your suggestions!
(See "To Reach Currents," C3; if e-mailing, put "Things We Like" in the subject field.)
Article/essay/speech: "Free will: Now you have it, now you don't," by Dennis Overbye in the Jan. 2 edition of the New York Times. Mostly, now you don't.
Book, fiction: "Persuasion," by Jane Austen. Terrific and penetrating - made into a fine, faithful 1995 movie (http://go.philly.com/persuasion) with one of the best screen kisses ever.
Book, nonfiction: "The Book of Tea," by Kazuko Okakura
bud/tea.htm). Chapter 6, "Flowers," especially. No one ever wrote this way about flowers - or told so many surprising truths.
Poem: "Preludes," by T.S. Eliot (http://www.bartleby.com/198/3.html). Lyrical, shocking - still.
Short story: "Shooting an Elephant," by George Orwell (http://go.philly.com/orwell). Of cruelty and culture clash.
Artwork: "Rain, Steam, and Speed," by J.M.W. Turner (http://go.philly.com/
rainsteamspeed). An amazing moment of vision - and, some think, the beginning of modern art.
TV: "Rome," on HBO (http://www.hbo.com/rome). Don't do as these Romans do. Great TV, though - and nice togas.
Movie: "Must Love Dogs" - A 2005 romantic comedy (http://go.philly.com/
mustlovedogs) about dating in the age of computers. Hard to see Diane Lane as lovelorn, but OK . . .
Web site/blog/video game: PointofLaw.com (http://www.pointoflaw.com) - Extremely intelligent, center-right discussion of how our legal institutions are operating.
Dance: "Begin the Beguine" (http://go.philly.com/beguine), with Fred Astaire and Eleanor Powell, from the movie "Broadway Melody of 1940." Among the finest of tap routines; a high point, and also the end, of the great dance movies.
Radio: "Quirks and Quarks," a science program on the Canadian Broadcast Company radio, with host Bob McDonald (http://www.cbc.ca/quirks). Always quirky. Perfect for downloading.
Song/album/musical/opera: "Dead Flowers," by Willie Nelson, with Keith Richards, Ryan Adams and Hank Williams III, live (http://go. philly.com/deadflowers). Very, very fine trigenerational, straight-ahead rocking. Great version of a great song by four great artists.
Quotation/Saying/Aphorism: "Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever." - Mohandas Gandhi.