Read. Watch. Listen. with John Paul Minda

Read. Watch. Listen. introduces you to the personal side of our faculty, staff and alumni. Participants are asked to answer three simple questions about their reading, viewing and listening habits – what one book or newspaper/magazine article is grabbing your attention; what one movie or television show has caught your eye; and what album/song, podcast or radio show are you lending an ear to.

Psychology professor John Paul Minda is a member of the Brain and Mind Institute.

Today, he takes a turn on Read. Watch. Listen.

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I can think of three standouts in 2019. First is Kurt Andersen’s Fantasyland: How America when Haywire, which traces the history of the American mindset and the tendency to engage in fantasy and conspiracy. Second, C. J. Chivers’ The Fighters which is about American soldiers in Afghanistan and featured a heartbreaking chapter on a cousin of mine.

What’s grabbing me now, though, is a fantasy novel by Brandon Sanderson, The Way of Kings. I expected a good fantasy epic – and that’s certainly true – but it’s also one of the best meditations on leadership I’ve ever read. It’s much deeper than I expected it to be and I’d say it’s the best book I’ve read in 2019.


I don’t watch as much as I used to and have not seen any of the really big streaming/cable shows lately. A few movies that grabbed my attention in 2019 were Dolemite Is My Name which was at Hyland Cinema and on Netflix. (I watched on Netflix). Very funny and great music, too. Also enjoyed an old DVD from the library over the winter break of a 1955 British movie called The Ladykillers and it was just so thoroughly enjoyable. Highly recommended.


I love jazz music and my favourites lately have been live recordings on YouTube and Spotify. One of my favourites is Joshua Redman Quartet’s Spirt of the Moment, Live at the Village Vanguard. It’s phenomenal energy and was engineered to let just enough of the audience be heard so that you can really feel their excitement, too. The standout track is My One and Only Love which is long, slow burn with an incredible finish beginning around the 10-minute mark.

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