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Your mega summer reading list: 200 books recommended by TEDsters

TED Blog

A look at the famous TED Bookstore at TED2013. Photo: Michael Brands A look at the famous TED Bookstore at TED2013. Photo: Michael Brands

Books can entertain, sucking you like a tornado into incredible new worlds. Books can teach, giving you a richer understanding of time periods, people and ideas you’ve never been exposed to. But books can do so much more.

[ted_talkteaser id=1755]In today’s talk, TED’s own Lisa Bu introduces us to the concept of “comparative reading,” the practice of reading books in pairs, to give deeper context and reveal new insights. Comparative reading not only helped Bu adjust to American culture after moving here from China for graduate school — it also helped her re-imagine her life and find new directions after her dream failed to come true. This personal, moving talk about the magic of books and resilience of the human spirit is a must-watch »

Every year at TED, we set up a bookstore filled with books…

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Holiday haters: 3 books to change your tune

The holidays can be a duplicitous bitch.

Either you’re adorning all your flat surfaces in twinkling lights and tinsel, or chugging down enough “adult beverages” to make all the family gatherings bearable.

Abhorring this ambivalence is totally natural, no worries.  We’ve all hated the holidays at some point.

So, next time you’re curled up with some Irish coffee, and attempting to avoid ABC family’s “25 days of Christmas” marathon, bury your nose in one of these books.

I’m not promising butterflies to warm your Grinchy soul, but these stories will remind you of something you’ve forgotten to be thankful for.

The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg 

Photo credit: Creative Commons

Awarded the Caldecott Medal for children’s literature in 1986, this wonderful picture book starts with the story of a boy losing faith in the meaning of Christmas.

Sound familiar?

So, Little Boy Blue is contemplating his existential Christmas crisis, and a magical, Hogwarts-style train shows up, complete with conductor.

The boy succumbs to the charms of the candy-filled train where he befriends other children his age and continues on a magical journey to meet Santa and watch the elves present the first gift of Christmas.

Photo credit: Creative Commons

Now, while the above summary sounds a lot like a “To Catch a Predator” plot line, the most important part of the book is the ending.

While our protagonist is visiting the North Pole, he asks for a single bell from a reindeer’s harness. And, on his way home, the bell mysteriously vanishes.

Will the bell return? Will the boy re-connect with his inner Christmas angel?

Check it out here on Amazon and Better World Books Continue reading Holiday haters: 3 books to change your tune

50 Shades of what am I getting into

Hello lovelies,

Photo credit: Creative Commons
Photo credit: Creative Commons

I will be reading the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy over the next few days for an upcoming post.

Since I have no experience with the series, other than passive media consumption, I am looking for any and all suggestions, opinions, feelings, rants etc. 

Please direct all commentary, gifs, haikus, personal essays etc. to my email account:

You da, you da best.


Write on!

How 3 books and my karate family changed my life

Check out this guest post I did for Calm Me Maybe!

Calm Me Maybe

By Karly Gombert, guest blogger (writewelldaily)

Hello, all. My name is Karly and I’m 21 years old. I’ve been practicing a Korean style of karate called “Chun Kuk Do” since I was 11.

Since beginning as a participant in one of Presti Karate Centers’ summer camp sessions, I earned my first and second-degree blackbelts, taught my own classes, started and coached a demonstration and competition team, competed in local and world tournaments and became part of a loving and supportive family.      

I have had the same instructor since I first started—a wonderful and insightful man who I credit with many of the reasons why I am the person I am today. He recommended most of these stories to me, and encouraged me to take their lessons to heart, saying they would help me through most of the problems I was facing then, and some…

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