This essay was written by Amarie Fox. Upon hearing the news that my father would be working most of the day on Thanksgiving, I instinctively, walked over to my bookshelf and pulled Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” down from the shelf. I suppose I was trying to remind myself what this time of year is truly about. Although I am thankful that my father has work again, especially after losing his job earlier this year, it saddens me that at his age, the only type of job he was able to get was in sales. Where especially during these upcoming weeks, people will flood the store, shoving and screaming, looking for things,

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This essay was written by Amarie Fox. Upon hearing the news that my father would be working most of the day on Thanksgiving, I instinctively, walked over to my bookshelf and pulled Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” down from the shelf. I suppose I was trying to remind myself what this time of year is truly about. Although I am thankful that my father has work again, especially after losing his job earlier this year, it saddens me that at his age, the only type of job he was able to get was in sales. Where especially during these upcoming weeks, people will flood the store, shoving and screaming, looking for things,

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Posted in Books, Reading

This essay was written by T. Lloyd Reilly. A search for the realities of humanity or of humanness can steer one into strange places and reveal unexpected gems.  This happened to me a few months ago in a book.  For some reason or another I had escaped reading “All Quiet on the Western Front” by Erich Maria Remarque.  This probably should have been read when I was a teen, or perhaps as a part of a college lit course.  As an aficionado of classic film, I could not imagine how I skipped this story.  I found it at the bottom of a box at a garage sale.  I passed several of my

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This essay was written by T. Lloyd Reilly. A search for the realities of humanity or of humanness can steer one into strange places and reveal unexpected gems.  This happened to me a few months ago in a book.  For some reason or another I had escaped reading “All Quiet on the Western Front” by Erich Maria Remarque.  This probably should have been read when I was a teen, or perhaps as a part of a college lit course.  As an aficionado of classic film, I could not imagine how I skipped this story.  I found it at the bottom of a box at a garage sale.  I passed several of my

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Posted in Books, Reading

This is an essay by Brandon Monk. “I remembered that, and, remembering that, I remembered everything.” Neil Gaiman, The Ocean at the End of the Lane. I’ve written before about the idea that taking a trip down reading memory lane is a worthwhile way to re-kindle your reading interest. An old favorite–a book you read for pleasure as a child–can take you back to the days when reading was a care-free experience. Often, the mandatory reading school imposes robs us of the pleasure. Those who continue to read find ways to carve out time to read the things they like. But, what if you have no pleasant reading memory? I recently read

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This is an essay by Brandon Monk. “I remembered that, and, remembering that, I remembered everything.” Neil Gaiman, The Ocean at the End of the Lane. I’ve written before about the idea that taking a trip down reading memory lane is a worthwhile way to re-kindle your reading interest. An old favorite–a book you read for pleasure as a child–can take you back to the days when reading was a care-free experience. Often, the mandatory reading school imposes robs us of the pleasure. Those who continue to read find ways to carve out time to read the things they like. But, what if you have no pleasant reading memory? I recently read

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Posted in Books, Learning, Reading

This essay was written by Williesha Morris. “Ender, the enemy’s gate is down.” The double meaning wasn’t lost while reading “Ender’s Game” or watching the movie adaptation. “Ender’s Game” marks the first time I’ve ever purposefully read a book just before seeing a movie. I typically avoid watching movie versions of books for fear it would ruin my carefully, although not well-formed, visualizations of the story. Though I have a faulty memory, snippets of books like “The Secret Life of Bees,” “The Notebook” and “Cold Mountain” have not been tarnished by the dramatizations on the big screen, even though many of these movies have been critically acclaimed. I just can’t bear to

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This essay was written by Williesha Morris. “Ender, the enemy’s gate is down.” The double meaning wasn’t lost while reading “Ender’s Game” or watching the movie adaptation. “Ender’s Game” marks the first time I’ve ever purposefully read a book just before seeing a movie. I typically avoid watching movie versions of books for fear it would ruin my carefully, although not well-formed, visualizations of the story. Though I have a faulty memory, snippets of books like “The Secret Life of Bees,” “The Notebook” and “Cold Mountain” have not been tarnished by the dramatizations on the big screen, even though many of these movies have been critically acclaimed. I just can’t bear to

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Posted in Books, Reading

This essay was written by Chris Ciolli. Before I even begin, I have a little confession to make. Since the age of five or six or so, I’ve been as afraid of the dark, as I am enchanted by it. When the sun goes down, it seems anything can happen, but most often what happens is bad news. After reading Roald Dahl’s Witches and seeing the movie for reading class in elementary school, I had nightmares for months. The settling noises my parents’ log cabin made come evening had me skittish; jumping any time the floor creaked (which was often). In my 20s, I read Bram Stoker’s Dracula for the first

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This essay was written by Chris Ciolli. Before I even begin, I have a little confession to make. Since the age of five or six or so, I’ve been as afraid of the dark, as I am enchanted by it. When the sun goes down, it seems anything can happen, but most often what happens is bad news. After reading Roald Dahl’s Witches and seeing the movie for reading class in elementary school, I had nightmares for months. The settling noises my parents’ log cabin made come evening had me skittish; jumping any time the floor creaked (which was often). In my 20s, I read Bram Stoker’s Dracula for the first

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Posted in Books, Reading

This essay was written by Julie Bates. Why Share Reading? Reading is a one person activity – right? Well, that depends. Sometimes reading can be a wonderful escape from the real world and the tensions that send you seeking a universe far, far away. Other times nothing enriches the experience of a good read than sharing it with another.  Good shared reads allow you to share the wonder of exploring alien worlds, compare notes on exotic recipes or decide if the book the media suddenly adores is worth picking up or is exponentially overrated. It Builds Intimacy My husband and I read each other’s books. He’s learned to appreciate my eclectic

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This essay was written by Julie Bates. Why Share Reading? Reading is a one person activity – right? Well, that depends. Sometimes reading can be a wonderful escape from the real world and the tensions that send you seeking a universe far, far away. Other times nothing enriches the experience of a good read than sharing it with another.  Good shared reads allow you to share the wonder of exploring alien worlds, compare notes on exotic recipes or decide if the book the media suddenly adores is worth picking up or is exponentially overrated. It Builds Intimacy My husband and I read each other’s books. He’s learned to appreciate my eclectic

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Posted in Books, Reading

This essay was written by Chris Ciolli. Protagonists are fine and good. Protagonists are necessary. But what happens when, for whatever reason, they’re more than mildly disappointing, not to mention less-than-interesting? If we’re lucky, there’s a supporting character (or a few) around to pick up the slack and keep us interested. Sometimes, if we’re really lucky, the author comes to the same conclusion as the reader, and the said supporting character eventually moves to the forefront to claim his rightful place as a protagonist in future books. Of course even when these literary sidekicks don’t get their due, they manage to steal the show in a big way, helping heroes and

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This essay was written by Chris Ciolli. Protagonists are fine and good. Protagonists are necessary. But what happens when, for whatever reason, they’re more than mildly disappointing, not to mention less-than-interesting? If we’re lucky, there’s a supporting character (or a few) around to pick up the slack and keep us interested. Sometimes, if we’re really lucky, the author comes to the same conclusion as the reader, and the said supporting character eventually moves to the forefront to claim his rightful place as a protagonist in future books. Of course even when these literary sidekicks don’t get their due, they manage to steal the show in a big way, helping heroes and

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Posted in Books, Reading

This essay was written by Amarie Fox. As a millennial, I often hear from friends that they don’t feel as if they should be forced to pay for art. By art, let me be specific. I am encompassing everything from films, to music, to yes, even books. Perhaps, it is the false sense of entitlement in the digital age – where everything is free and instantly available for download – which allows for this kind of thought process to dominate. I grew up in an age where I actively witnessed the mentality shift and lose focus. Music and films became mere things, free domain, ripe for taking, simply because they were

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This essay was written by Amarie Fox. As a millennial, I often hear from friends that they don’t feel as if they should be forced to pay for art. By art, let me be specific. I am encompassing everything from films, to music, to yes, even books. Perhaps, it is the false sense of entitlement in the digital age – where everything is free and instantly available for download – which allows for this kind of thought process to dominate. I grew up in an age where I actively witnessed the mentality shift and lose focus. Music and films became mere things, free domain, ripe for taking, simply because they were

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Posted in Books, Reading

This essay was written by Chris Ciolli. Everyone loves a hero. Except when we don’t. Because let’s face it, sometimes heroes are hard to take. In a less-than-perfect world full of less-than-perfect people where right and wrong exist among so many shades of gray, sometimes traditionally heroic protagonists fall flat, even when they triumph against their “evil” foes. That’s where anti-heroes come in. With fewer redeeming attributes and more Achilles heels than your typical protagonist, anti-heroes show readers another side of human character, however disagreeable.  Inspiring reactions ranging from sympathy to disgust, literary anti-heroes figure among the world’s most famous literary icons. Who could forget the emotionally fragile but patently obnoxious

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This essay was written by Chris Ciolli. Everyone loves a hero. Except when we don’t. Because let’s face it, sometimes heroes are hard to take. In a less-than-perfect world full of less-than-perfect people where right and wrong exist among so many shades of gray, sometimes traditionally heroic protagonists fall flat, even when they triumph against their “evil” foes. That’s where anti-heroes come in. With fewer redeeming attributes and more Achilles heels than your typical protagonist, anti-heroes show readers another side of human character, however disagreeable.  Inspiring reactions ranging from sympathy to disgust, literary anti-heroes figure among the world’s most famous literary icons. Who could forget the emotionally fragile but patently obnoxious

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Posted in Books, Reading

This is an essay by Sarah Li Cain. Exhausted and lonely, I checked into my hostel in Malaysia. I had just gotten off a 10-hour bus ride and was looking forward to some decent rest. Not the one I just had while sitting in a broken chair in a squeaky bus. I opened the door to my room, threw my backpack on the floor and flopped on the bed. My back lands on something bumpy. No, it’s not the bed I thought. I could have slept on this foreign item I was that tired. Instead, curiosity got the better of me and I flicked on the lights. There it was, sitting

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This is an essay by Sarah Li Cain. Exhausted and lonely, I checked into my hostel in Malaysia. I had just gotten off a 10-hour bus ride and was looking forward to some decent rest. Not the one I just had while sitting in a broken chair in a squeaky bus. I opened the door to my room, threw my backpack on the floor and flopped on the bed. My back lands on something bumpy. No, it’s not the bed I thought. I could have slept on this foreign item I was that tired. Instead, curiosity got the better of me and I flicked on the lights. There it was, sitting

Read more

Posted in Books, Reading, Travel