The Five: Oksana Behave, an ancient tree and how to cool your home without air conditioning

Each week, senior producer Stephanie Curtis offers five suggestions to read, watch, listen to or experience. This week, she offers a delightful novel about an immigrant assimilating in America, an ancient tree you can visit only with the help of a guide, and the definitive answer about the best way to cool your home.

1) "Oksana Behave" is a delightful novel about a seriously flawed immigrant who moves as a child from Kiev to Florida. Oksana's life is told in vignettes, from childhood to young adulthood, as she and her family learn to survive in America.

2) Popular Science has tips on how to "Cool Your Home Without Air Conditioning."

Here's how to place fans:

To start, place electric fans in your windows (if they open). Try to set the blowers as high up as possible, ideally in the top sash. They should face outward to suck out hot air out of the room. If you have a two story house, concentrate your fans in the upper story's windows (or at least lower those windows' top sashes), where they can help convection pull hot air up and away.

Ceiling fans can also help. If you have them, then look up and ensure they're turning counterclockwise. That way, they pull hot air up and away from you.

3) Little Spirit Cedar Tree, or the Witch Tree, is a lone, gnarled tree growing from the edge of a rock along the shore of Lake Superior. It's hundreds of years old. It's not open to the public any more without an Ojibwe guide.

4) Malcolm Gladwell frames the episode of his Revisionist History podcast "The Imaginary Crimes of Margit Hamosh" as an examination of panics that sweep through a society. It is also a useful reminder to critique and think about a reporter's sources.

5) Anaïs Mitchell recorded an album of Child ballads, traditional songs that were gathered by Francis Child in the 1800s. This one is about a knight who promises to marry a woman if she can answer his riddles.

Before you go...

MPR News is dedicated to bringing you clarity in coverage from our reporters across the state, stories that connect us, and conversations that provide perspectives when we need it most. We rely on your help to do this. Your donation has the power to keep MPR News strong and accessible to all during this crisis and beyond.