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Happy Winter Break! We hope your family is able to enjoy the time together, and we hope that your student has had a successful first half of the school year! Here at Galin, we’ve been cozying up with some good books and podcasts this winter, and we wanted to share them with you.


“I am a huge fan of the Hidden Brain podcast. Understanding how we think (and work) is fascinating. One episode I’d point out guest stars one of our favorite authors – Cal Newport. He talks about “Deep Work” and how distractions keep us from really engaging in meaningful and productive work. Cal also writes books on being a successful student, and I’ve been reading and giving out his books for years!” – Zach Galin, Founder

“I love listening to the Freakonomics podcast! Since I am a parent, I have particularly enjoyed the recent episodes about parenting, economist-style! (Though I think my own style is not at all data-driven!)” – Liz Jackson, Director of College Counseling

“Recently, I’ve been listening to a few different podcasts. Smartless– funny and light. Hosted by Will Arnett, Jason Bateman and Sean Hayes. They bring in a surprise celebrity each week. American Scandal– from Wondery, takes a look at big scandals from American history from the Pentagon Papers to Lance Armstrong, they cover everything. Reveal– from the Center for Investigative Reporting is a weekly podcast that exposes wrongs and holds the powerful accountable. One of the investigative reporters is a Memorial High School graduate and former Camp Shalom counselor.” – Ellen Weismer, Education Director

“My favorite podcast this year has been We Can Do Hard Things with Glennon Doyle, Amanda Doyle, and Abby Wambach. I love how the three of them tackle big things with such gentleness and compassion. This is my go-to for long runs because I get so invested in what they’re saying that the miles (almost) melt away.” – Hannah Blaser, Program Manager, Tutor, & Essay Coach


“I’m currently reading Three Girls from Bronzeville, which I picked up after hearing the author interviewed on NPR. So far, I am loving the book, its vivid descriptions of life growing up on Chicago’s South Side, and how it speaks to the ways people’s lives can converge and diverge by chance.” – Liz Jackson, Director of College Counseling

“I’ve tried to read a bit more these past two years as I’ve spent more time at home. Recently, I loved Anxious People — a fictional book set in Sweden with so many unpredictable moments. I also loved Intimations, a collection of essays by Zadie Smith written at the start of the pandemic. I’ve been trying to read more modern, midwest-focused poetry, and I especially loved Scared Violent Like Horses by John McCarthy.” – Hannah Blaser, Program Manager, Tutor, & Essay Coach


“I am looking forward to seeing the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra perform the music from The Princess Bride in a few weeks! That is one of my favorite movies from childhood, and I am excited to get to enjoy live music again.” – Liz Jackson, Director of College Counseling

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