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My Favorite Books of 2018

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 […]

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My Favorite Books of 2017

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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The Last Jedi Deconstructs Star Wars. And That’s a Good Thing.

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.

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Lewis vs Tolkien: What Can Creators Learn?

Lewis and Tolkien were both geniuses, but these two friends could not have approached their craft more differently  •  3:00 min read [dropcap]I[/dropcap] 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 […]

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The Portal to Creativity

I have lied about my creativity, inspiration, and originality. It’s all false, a pack of lies to hide a sinister truth. The truth — hiding behind a closet door — is something I’m not sure you’re ready to hear. But confess, I must. The moment you walk into my room, you might realize something is […]

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America, Let’s Make Tea Time Great Again

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 […]

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Lord of the Rings and the Power of Storytelling

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]hat 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.

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Outrage, Beauty, and the Beast

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 […]

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We’re All Nifflers

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, […]

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Into Kenya

Mystery murders stalk candidates.” I stared at the bold headlines of the Nairobi magazine, Saturday Standard. The murder story engrossed a woman waiting for the same flight to Kisumu as I was. After trying to disentangle meaning from the awkward phrase, my fogged brain gave up and appealed to my friend sitting next to me. […]