April 2024 Favorites

I’ve had a chance to read and listen to lots of people. Here’s a hodgepodge of recommendations that includes 1 book, 2 podcasts, and 3 articles I’ve appreciated lately. I’d love to hear your recommendations too!

This Month’s Favorites

1 Book:

I have read a few novels of late that I did not love. I’m not going to tell you about them. Instead, I will tell you of a truly pleasurable, easy read called Once Upon a Wardrobe. It’s a fictionalized account of C.S. Lewis’ childhood that helps us imagine how Narnia came to be.

2 Podcasts:

Hidden Brain | What Is Normal?
It’s always hard to hear about the bias against people with Down syndrome from the past, but I am also fascinated to hear about how our understanding of the value of all humans has changed over time. So I appreciated this conversation with anthropologist Tom Pearson, who is also the parent of a child with Down syndrome.

Rebecca Solnit: Why Is Hope So Powerful?
I loved this conversation for so many reasons, including Rebecca Solnit’s point about how despair and optimism come from the same root—the idea that we already know what will happen in the future.

3 Articles:

NYT | One Thing Parents Can Control
I spent two separate spring break weeks with Marilee and then Penny this year. I was heartened by these words from Esau McCaulley:

“Parenting is always an exercise in hope, a gift given to a future we cannot see to the end. At some point, if God is merciful, our children will continue forward without us, left with the memory of love shared and received.

“We are entrusted with the awesome responsibility of introducing our children to the world and the world to our children. We cannot and should not shield them from all difficulty. But it’s also necessary, periodically, to be a bit irresponsible, to spend a little too much on a soccer game so they remember that alongside the darkness, sometimes there is light.”

The Atlantic | The True Cost of the Churchgoing Bust
Why one agnostic is mourning the loss of religion in America:
“Maybe religion, for all of its faults, works a bit like a retaining wall to hold back the destabilizing pressure of American hyper-individualism, which threatens to swell and spill over in its absence.”
Keep reading…

NYT | ‘A Chance to Live’: How 2 Families Faced a Catastrophic Birth Defect
The New York Times ran a story about two women who chose life for their babies with trisomy 18. Even there, as the Times points out, they made different choices. One chose for their son to enter into hospice care upon birth. Another chose for their little girl to receive multiple medical interventions to support life. Both loved their children well. And both said they would respect women who made different choices than they did. I’m a huge advocate for the inherent value and belovedness of every human being. And I’m a huge advocate for recognizing the hard choices women face when they encounter a prenatal diagnosis.

I’m grateful for the Times’ willingness to highlight these two different choices. More of my thoughts here…

Get my favorites delivered to your inbox each month!
Subscribe here!

More with Amy Julia:

Favorites and AJB Recommends
My Favorite Books of 2023

Let’s stay in touch. Subscribe to my newsletter to receive regular updates and reflections. Follow me on Facebook,  Instagram, and YouTube and subscribe to my Reimagining the Good Life podcast.

Share this post

Leave a Reply