Greetings couch explorers and book readers. What were your favorite books of 2018? The ones you hated, liked, or loved? Share them in the comments and let’s talk about it. I’m excited to hear what everyone has been reading!
For me, 2018 became the year of unfinished books. In The Book Whisperer, a teacher shares how she created a culture of literary obsession in a classroom. Want kids to love reading? Teach them it’s okay to drop books and start new ones. I took the lesson to heart. But the few books I did end up finishing this year were amazing. Here are my favorite books of 2018.
Continue reading “My Favorite Books of 2018”
“Do you want the rock or rubber band?”
On stage, three young people stood blinking in the bright lights. A lady on the older side of middle age presented them with the two objects. What did they choose? The rock with an engraved plaque, memorializing their years of active service in the community club? Or the rubber band, memorializing…well, an engineering wonder of looped elastic rubber?
Continue reading “Rocks vs Rubber Bands”
As the year comes to a close, I want to share my favorite books I read this year. In 2016, I read almost nothing. When 2017 rolled around, I was determined to do better. I set a goal for 30 books and then managed to read 42!
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I sense Last Jedi spoilers below • 2:35 min read
The Force Awakens closes with a spine-tingling moment: Rey handing the mythic lightsaber back to its original owner, Luke Skywalker. The Last Jedi picks up where Force Awakens ends, then tosses it all behind.
Continue reading “The Last Jedi Deconstructs Star Wars. And That’s a Good Thing.”
Lewis and Tolkien were both geniuses, but these two friends could not have approached their craft more differently • 3:00 min read
I love the podcast “Revisionist History” by Malcolm Gladwell. In Episode 7, Gladwell describes the creative processes of two artists: Pablo Picasso and Paul Cézanne. If you’re anything like me, those artists’ names don’t mean much, but Gladwell’s observations had me spellbound.
Continue reading “Lewis vs Tolkien: What Can Creators Learn?”
A tongue-and-cheek examination of America’s dreadful — and virtually non-existent — tea culture • 4 min read
Steam rises from a green mug of lemon ginger tea on a New Zealand morning. To my right, bumpy green feijoas, also known as pineapple guavas, fill my plate. To my left, ginger cookies wait to bathe in warm, gingery liquid. And it leaves me wondering: why do Americans not participate in this glorious routine known as tea time? Ask the average American if they know what an electric water kettle is and receive a blank stare in return. How did America fall to such a pitiful state of ignorance?
Continue reading “America, Let’s Make Tea Time Great Again”
That guy there is Faramir, Boromir’s brother and son of the Steward of Gondor. Remember, Boromir is the guy who got shot with all the arrows in the first movie?” A frozen frame from the final Lord of the Rings movie illuminated the room as I explained the history of Gondor to my dad.
Continue reading “Lord of the Rings and the Power of Storytelling”
I’m suffering from a condition called S.O.B. (SOcial media Burnout).
This condition is a result of my brain obsessing over “the next thing” to put out on social media. What is something funny and creative I can share on Instagram stories? A cool angle or intriguing shot to post to my Instagram feed? A witty snippet to tweet on Twitter?
And it has left me burned out. Sharing and scrolling are not fun anymore. Is it time for drastic measures?
Continue reading “A Rant About Social Media”
Kill the Beast!” cried the villagers. The mob brandished their torches into the hollow darkness, Gaston at the lead. In this scene, the Beauty and the Beast live-action remake captures a deeper darkness than its animated predecessor. Because this time, the provincial people are real people — an unsettling reminder that outrage is an everyday reality.
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In Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them, the runaway niffler creates some of the best scenes in the movie. Set in the expanded universe of Harry Potter, Newt Scamander is traveling with a suitcase of magical creatures to New York City. Seventy years later, Harry studies a textbook, Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them, by none other than Newt Scamander.
Continue reading “We’re All Nifflers”