What to read, watch, and listen to

What to Watch: “Something the Lord Made”

By Courtney Fraser

The hard-hitting film, “Something the Lord Made,” tells the true story of two medical pioneers, one celebrated and one overlooked, and their road to making medical history. Alfred Blalock, played by Alan Rickman, is chief surgeon at Johns Hopkins University during the 1930s when he meets the local carpenter Vivian Thomas, played by Mos Def, who expresses a strong passion for medicine. Despite facing harsh discrimination and the absence of enough money to afford college, Vivian works alongside Blalock as a lab assistant where they progressively develop a technique that allows them to correct a common congenital heart defect in children. The G-rated drama that was released in May of 2004 stresses the importance of determination and bravery as Vivian Thomas defies the norms in society by facing segregation head-on. The moving film strongly represents passion and drive as viewers watch Thomas refuse to accept defeat. Director Joseph Sargent powerfully highlights the struggles Vivian encounters and his charismatic character that evolves over time.


What to Listen to (Album): “Racine Carré”

By Courtney Fraser

Rising star Stromae is a Belgian vocalist, songwriter, and producer whose music intertwines hip-hop with the calm rhythms of house and several other variations of electronic music. In Aug. of 2010, Stromae’s popularity reached its peak when collaborations with Kanye West began with a remix to his popular song “Alors on Danse.” Released from his globally popular 2013 album “Racine Carré” was Stromae’s hit song “Papaoutai.” As the lead single from his second studio album, the song reached number one in Belgium and France following its release. The upbeat tune and steady beat keep listeners in tune as the song gradually explodes into a passionate and energetic rhythm. The French song speaks from the perspective of both a child and an adult as the child struggles to understand the responsibilities fathers have to their children.


What to Read: “Night Road” by Kristin Hannah

By Courtney Fraser

Night Road is an emotionally driven novel that draws readers to question their opinions on identity, love, and forgiveness. The brilliant, heartbreaking story discusses the impact the main character, Lexi Baill, a former foster child with a dark past, has on the Farraday family as she falls deeply in love with Zach Farraday, the family’s only son . One night, however, Lexi must make a decision that will change the course of her life and deeply affect those around her. In the years that follow Lexi’s decision, she struggles to face the extreme consequences of that one summer night and find a way to forget what happened. The novel drives home the pain of loss and the amazing power of hope as Lexi strives to find courage in facing her mistakes. Kristin Hannah does an amazing job luring readers into Lexi’s life, showing readers the strength of courage and resilience during hard times.