Weekend Reading


  • Amazon just put out a list of 100 books to read in a lifetime. The list spans 200 years of literature and includes both fiction and nonfiction. It doesn’t rely on the antiquated “classics” that no one actually likes to read. CNN, for example, was lamenting how Moby Dick wasn’t on there. But really, no one likes to read Moby Dick. I don’t agree with all the selections – I mean, I liked Gone Girl but I don’t think it should be ranked as one of the best literary pieces of the last 200 years.
  • This very depressing statistic came out last month: nearly a quarter of Americans did not read a single book last year. Further, the number of non-readers in this country has nearly tripled since 1978. I blame the internet, a plethora of distracting gadgets, and our shrinking attention spans. BUT STILL. This article in The Atlantic laments this troubling trend but provides some insight and optimism for the future of readers in America.
  • “Stop thinking about nouns and adjectives when you’re creating characters…Think verbs.” This article in the New York Times by writing instructor Karen E. Bender explains how verbs, rather than adjectives, can make your characters jump off the page and breathe life into your story.
  • The Content Crafter from the website Buffer (wouldn’t you like that job title?) wrote a great post about how she improved her writing over the past 6 months. I agree with all of these!
  • Fun quiz from Buzzfeed – can you guess the classic novel by the first sentence?

 Life Advice

  • Profiled on Brainpickings, a 20-year-old Hunter S. Thompson reflects on the meaning of life and what it means to find your purpose.

The answer — and, in a sense, the tragedy of life — is that we seek to understand the goal and not the man. We set up a goal which demands of us certain things: and we do these things. We adjust to the demands of a concept which CANNOT be valid. When you were young, let us say that you wanted to be a fireman. I feel reasonably safe in saying that you no longer want to be a fireman. Why? Because your perspective has changed. It’s not the fireman who has changed, but you.

  • Paul Coelho, in this 1 minute reading of “What I have Learned,” explains how this list is often wrongly attributed to him but is too good not to share.

I’ve learned that you cannot make someone love you. All you can do is be someone who can be loved. The rest is up to them;
I’ve learned that no matter how much I care, some people just don’t care back;
I’ve learned that it takes years to build up trust, and only seconds to destroy it.
I’ve learned that you can get by on charm, for about fifteen minutes. After that, you’d better know something;
I’ve learned that either you control your attitude or it controls you.


  •  There are so many articles about how to search for air travel but I found this one particularly helpful. Seth Kugel from the Times breaks down how to choose an air travel search site by criteria: if cheap is all that matters, flexible date and location, complex routes, etc.


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