September 2018 #GoodReads & #GoodListens

This month, I’m excited to share 13 #GoodReads & #GoodListens including why everything you “know” about obesity is wrong, podcasts about anti-government movements and prosecuting Nazis after WWII, and an oral history of the Washington Nationals’ Racing Presidents!

As is true every month, we aim to share some recommendations about building knowledge, process, strategy, and cultures for social change, others that are examples of anthropology in action, explorations of cultures and how they developed, and still others which we believe are fascinating notions from the adjacent possible, the potential and serendipity created when you notice and connect the unlikely.

Let us know what you think about them and share your own in the comments below or by tweeting us with the #GoodReads & #GoodListens. And check out previous #GoodReads & #GoodListens here.


Time and time again, effective social change work comes down to trust! Simple things, like scheduling meetings and sticking to those schedules matter for our credibility!


Optimistic Anthropology wouldn’t exist without a leap…


Bias and privilege exists in many forms, and this piece is important and painful to read, in part because obesity seems to be an area where discriminatory behavior, language, and thinking remain prevalent and quite accepted.


On a lighter note, I love a good sabbatical post, especially from someone I know and have been honored to work with! (By the way, Optimistic Anthropology offers Sabbatical Design Services if you’re interested.)


Everything that Curtis Ogden writes and shares is rife with wisdom and usefulness.



I just picked up Anand Giridharadas’s book Winners Take All, but for those who want to understand the core thinking, this is a great introduction.


I spent the first decade of my career as a know-it-all (and on bad days, I can hall back into that habit). And personally, nothing has been more powerful for breaking that bad habit than learning into my ability to ask open questions and “I don’t know.” Apparently there is research that backs this up!


Before listening to Bundyville, didn’t know much about the Bundy family, their ideology, and the anti-government movement they continue to catalyze. I am a big believer in the type of qualitative research this 7-part series reflects, research done with curiosity, empathy, and critical thought.


On a lighter note, I love the trend of oral histories of pop culture. As a baseball fan, and someone who considers the Washington Nationals my “second team” this was an utter delight.


This piece made the internet rounds on Labor Day, but if you missed it, I urge you to take the time to read it. I grew up going to Walker Brother Pancake House, and Mr. Loggan’s story is a fascinating and challenging one.


Criminal is one of my favorite podcasts, and this recent episode about 99-year old Benjamin Ferencz, who prosecuted Nazis responsible for the Holocaust is inspiring and depressing, and contains so much wisdom about accountability in systems and institutions that enact hate and oppression.


And finally, on a lighter note, I’ve shared my love of the musician David Byrne before, but this interview with him is an enjoyable and inspiring conversation about how he continues to explore possibility and make art.


LET US KNOW WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT THESE RESOURCES AND SHARE YOUR OWN IN THE COMMENTS BELOW OR BY TWEETING US WITH THE #GOODREADS & #GOODLISTENS.

LIKE THESE RECOMMENDATIONS, BUT PREFER TO FOLLOW ALONG IN REAL TIME? I INVITE YOU TO FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER, WITH THE CAVEAT THAT YOU’LL ALSO HAVE TO WADE THROUGH SOME TWEETS ON THE NEWS, POP CULTURE, TRAVEL, SPORTS, RANDOM THINGS THAT MAKE ME LAUGH, AND MESSAGES THAT INSPIRE.