I've stumbled upon a couple of things that I thought you might be interested to try this summer:
- A book: The Art of Learning. Josh Waitzkin is an exceptional guy. He's been a chess prodigy child; the film Searching for Bobby Fischer is actually based on him. In his twenties he then decides to switch to a completely different activity: martial arts (tai chi chuan, specifically), and becomes world champion. This book, written by Josh himself, mixes the narrative of his development in both disciplines and his deconstruction of his learning methods. It is fun and extremely insightful. Highly recommended.
- A podcast: Radiolab. Each episode is a different story with an interesting (and usually science related) angle to it. It is heavily produced and touches the widest imaginable range of topics: why Kenian runners dominate long distances, how to improve your brain's efficiency through electrical stimulation or the story behind a sunken nuclear submarine that gave birth to a famous phrase. Radiolab provides endless inspiration for intelligent conversation, so if you are hunting this summer, don't miss it.
- Another podcast: Hardcore History. I did not see this one coming. I'm not interested in history and I'm intimidated by podcasts longer than one hour. So when I checked this so praised show, actually about history and episodes running 4 hours long (!!!) I knew it was not for me. But reviews were soooo good that I decided to just have a taste of one episode anyway, if only to understand whether it's production was something remarkable and worth checking. I chose one of the last ones about World War I (a topic I know nothing about and I'm not really into it) and... well... I don't even want to give my opinion about it because after listening to it I don't even consider myself worth of reviewing something so outstanding.
I would have loved to recommend some movies too but my newborn is making it difficult to find 2 hours of focused and uninterrupted time in front of a TV (let alone a cinema). So I'm only consuming phone compatible content now. I did have the chance to watch Grand Budapest Hotel in a recent flight though and I thought it's well worth it. Beware of the Wes Andersonny of this film that can either seduce or repulse you.
Anyway, enjoy your summer. I'll be checking in soon over here.