Summary of “Profile: Maira Kalman, Author and Illustrator”

Not all her fans think of Maira Kalman primarily as a writer, but that’s how she described herself to me when we met last month.
My excuse for writing about Kalman is the reissue of several stories for children that she published in the 1990s, starring a dog called Max.
In those texts, her other work for children, and her work for adults, Kalman is the remix artist she describes above, one for whom image and word are intertwined and of equal importance.
In her work for adults, Kalman is almost a diarist, which breeds a certain deceptive sense of familiarity.
The bare bones of her life, gleaned from our conversation and her books: Kalman was born in Israel, in 1949, and her family relocated to the States when she was still a toddler.
In Thomas Jefferson: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Everything, a children’s biography of the statesman, Kalman writes candidly about the man.
The book succeeds because Kalman is so forthright, the rare adult willing to admit to kids that scary things happen.
In My Favorite Things, Kalman writes, “The artist Charlotte Salomon lived in this room in Berlin in the 1930s. She painted and wrote about her family in a book called ‘Opera or Life.’ People were always coming and going and dying. She was killed in the Holocaust. Which brings us inevitably to sorrow.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “5 Books To Read When You’re Considering Making A Big Change”

Reading books helped me push past that fear, and also gave me some much needed perspective.
If you’re thinking about changing careers, here are a few books you might want to read to help you figure out what to do next.
If you have a crazy dream but don’t know how to start, this book can help you identify your next steps and the level of risk that’s appropriate for you based on your personal circumstances.
Making a career change involves making decisions when we don’t know what’s going to happen.
While Lewis’s book can help you outline and execute your next steps, Duke’s book can help you decide whether that next step is the right one to take in the first place.
Even if you’re not interested in being an entrepreneur, this book offers plenty of lessons on taking on “Risky” endeavors.
If nothing else, this book reinforces that the cliché, “Everything has a silver lining,” really does apply in life.
What if you don’t know what that work should be? This book is a great place to start.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Can’t sleep? Tell yourself it’s not a big deal”

Note to publishers: in my view, there’s an unfilled gap in the “Wellness” market for a book on how sleep isn’t really that important.
In contrast to the message relentlessly promoted by lifestyle gurus these days, this book would argue that four hours a night is probably fine, that caffeine before bed is no big deal, and that even severe sleep deprivation poses no real risk of poor performance, health troubles or early death.
Actually, the ironies of insomnia are even worse than that, because there’s growing evidence that thinking of yourself as an insomniac – having an “Insomnia identity”, in the coinage of the sleep researcher Kenneth Lichstein – is a major part of the problem.
It’s not just that such a self-image makes it harder to sleep, though doubtless that’s the case.
In a review of the research published last year, Lichstein concluded that “Non-complaining poor sleepers” – who sleep badly but don’t define themselves as insomniacs – don’t suffer the high blood pressure commonly associated with severe sleeplessness.
“Complaining good sleepers” – who get enough shut-eye, but are heavily invested in their alleged insomnia – were essentially as tired, anxious and depressed as those who genuinely didn’t sleep.
Drag your weary bones to the doctor and she may be willing to prescribe sleeping pills.
The root of the problem, as Sasha Stephens explains in her book The Effortless Sleep Method, is that any external crutch on which you lean – not just pills, but herbal remedies and elaborate bedtime rituals, too – risks further eroding your trust in your ability to fall asleep on your own, and it’s that lack of self-trust that is insomnia’s main cause.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Ready Player One is the roadmap to digital dystopia”

As the novel’s world descends into chaos and poverty, thanks to climate change and a fossil-fuel crisis, most of its citizens spend their days traversing the OASIS, a virtual reality world created by an “Eccentric” ’80s kid named James Halliday.
Ready Player One is also worse than that, in quietly unexamined ways that speak to the internet’s original sin.
The internet ethos of the ’80s and ’90s was rooted in an insidious brand of optimism best represented by the 1994 “Hacker” episode of Ghostwriter, in which a teenaged Julia Stiles lovingly caressed a computer monitor and declared the internet “a world where you’re judged by what you say and think, not by what you look like. A world where curiosity and imagination equals power.”
It has done so in part because of one of the internet’s core values, which also lies at the heart of Ready Player One: the belief that the right to anonymously do as you please is in fact a right, and one that is “De facto good” – at least for a certain class of people.
“Bullies couldn’t pelt me with spitballs, give me atomic wedgies, or pummel me by the bike rack after school. No one could even touch me. In here, I was safe.” The idea of the internet as a safe place – one where you can be untouchable, immune to abuse – is Ready Player One’s most anachronistic and privileged idea, one shared by many of the people who built its platforms.
There is no sign of these dangers in the text of Ready Player One; while the world outside of the OASIS is falling apart, the virtual world remains – yup – an oasis, a utopian expanse where anything is possible and everyone is emancipated by their online presence.
We don’t need to create fantasy worlds where nerds are some of the most powerful people in the world and their predilections are constantly catered to – they already are.
Their problem is the same problem that haunts Ready Player One from its first page to its last, like a vengeful poltergeist: the desire to indulge in playful, optimistic nostalgia about your favorite things while the world falls down around you.

The orginal article.

Summary of “21 books you should read this spring”

With so many great books coming out in 2018, it can be hard to figure out just which ones you should pick up.
This week on the MashReads Podcast, we are joined by Cristina Arreola, books editor at Bustle, to chat about spring reading.
Join us in the episode below as we talk about the books we’ve read recently, the books that’ve been on our spring reading wishlist, the classic books we’ve been revisiting, and the upcoming books you need to know about.
Here’s the podcast – read on for our list of 21 books you should check out this spring further down the page.
Be sure to check out more of Cristina’s work by checking out Bustle’s books coverage.
If you’re looking to revisit a book this spring, check out James Baldwin’s portrait of New Yorkers in the ’50s Another Country.
If you’re looking for a deep dive into love this spring, make sure to revisit Maggie Nelson’s 2015 book, The Argonauts.
Recommended by: MJ. “He has an essay called ‘After Peter,’ and it is easily one of the most affecting essays I’ve ever read in my life. I read this book a little while ago and I’ve just been waiting for it to come out so I can talk to people about it. It’s so good.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “J.R.R. Tolkien book The Fall of Gondolin coming in August”

J.R.R. Tolkien, author of The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings, died in 1973.
Fans will get the chance to read a new book by the author this August.
HarperCollins will publish The Fall of Gondolin on Aug. 30, the publishing company announced Tuesday.
The book was edited by Tolkien’s son Christopher, 93, and illustrated by Alan Lee.
The book tells of the founding of the Elven city of Gondolin, and is considered one of Tolkien’s Lost Tales.
“We never dared to dream that we would see this published,” said Shaun Gunner, chair of the Tolkien Society, on the group’s webpage.
“The Fall of Gondolin is, to many in the Tolkien community, the Holy Grail of Tolkien texts as one of Tolkien’s three Great Tales alongside The Children of Húrin and Beren and Lúthien. This beautiful story captures the rise and fall of a great Elven kingdom, taking place millennia before the events of The Lord of the Rings. This book brings all the existing work together in one place to present the story in full.”
Tolkien is believed to have started writing the story in 1917 while recovering from trench fever he contracted during World War I. It follows another posthumously published Lost Tale, The Tale of Beren and Lúthien, which came out in 2017.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The 50 Best Fantasy Books of the 21st Century :: Books :: Lists :: fantasy books :: Page 1 :: Paste”

The 21st century has been a particularly fruitful time of fantasy literature, with J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series ushering in an era of both publishers willing to take a chance on new fantasy writers and readers opening themselves up to worlds of magic.
Many readers have worked their way back from movies like the Lord of the Rings franchise or TV series like Game of Thrones to their fantasy novel origins, seeking out new authors after devouring J.R.R. Tolkien and G.R.R. Martin’s books.
We’ve gathered Paste editors and writers to compile a list of our favorite books in the genre, ranging from high fantasy worlds with distinct systems of magic to simple fantastical fables to urban fantasies filled with characters ripped right out of own realities.
Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett The Discworld books manage to satirize nearly every topic under the sun while also presenting a fully formed and innovative fantasy world la Middle Earth or Westeros.
“If one believes there is truth in art-and I do-then it’s troubling how similar the skill of performing is to lying. Maybe lying is itself a kind of art. I think about that more than I should.” Dragons are a mainstay of fantasy as a genre, but rarely as complex, thinking beings integral to a story’s interpersonal dramas, which is how Rachel Hartman frames her coolly calculating shape-shifting dragons in Seraphina and its companion books.
Want to read about a grand scheme, involving magic, fighting, and all the joys of fantasy? These books are for you.
Grace of Kings by Ken Liu Game of Thrones comparisons abound in epic fantasy, and are often more burden than boon, but Ken Liu’s Grace of Kings may be one of the few fantasy tomes to earn that comparison favorably.
Joe Abercrombie’s fantasy world may feel like an amalgamation of places you’ve visited in your reading before, but the characters feel fully realized and the storytelling is taut, avoiding an over-reliance on fantasy trappings and delivering a gritty, gripping tale.

The orginal article.

Summary of “I Read One Book 100 Times Over 10 Years Here Are 100 Life-Changing Lessons I Learned”

I would also become what Stephen Marche has referred to as a “Centireader,” reading Marcus Aurelius well over 100 times across multiple editions and copies.
In Book Four, Marcus reminds himself to think about all the doctors who “Died, after furrowing their brows over how many deathbeds, how many astrologers, after pompous forecasts about other’s ends.” In black pen - somewhat recently it looks like - I added “Or plotters, schemers and strategists, outsmarted, outmaneuvered and destroyed.” I suppose that was a dig at myself and other smart people.
In his excellent book The Inner Citadel about Marcus Aurelius and Stoicism, Hadot did original translations for the passages he quotes - but sadly he died without publishing a full translation of Marcus for wider consumption.
After I read Marcus, I immediately read Epictetus, then Seneca’s Letters from a Stoic, then back to the Penguin translation of Epictetus, then Seneca’s On The Shortness of Life.
Years later, one of my readers created and sent me two 3D printed busts of both Marcus and Seneca which sit in my library.
Explicitly setting standards for himself in Book 10, Marcus extolls himself to be: “Upright. Modest. Straightforward. Sane. Cooperative. Disinterested.” In a blog post in 2007, I added the following for myself: Empathetic.
In the first book of Meditations, Marcus thanks Rusticus for teaching him “To read carefully and not be satisfied with a rough understanding of the whole, and not to agree too quickly with those who have a lot to say about something.” It’s a reminder for us in this busy media world of liars and bullshit artists.
In Book Six we find one of the strongest encouragements that Marcus gives himself.

The orginal article.

Summary of “42 Books That Will Make You A Better Person”

The Power of No by James Altucher: Your life is defined by how good you get at saying no to the things you need to say no to.
The Black Swan by Nassim Taleb: The things you’re worried about happening are not the things you should be worried about happening.
Philosophy As a Way of Life by Pierre Hadot: If you think ancient philosophy was the academic pursuit of arcane knowledge, you’re totally missing the point.
The Memoirs of Ulysses S Grant by Ulysses S Grant: Just the idea that this man wrote this beautiful and incisive history of life and timesas he was painfully dying of cancer, trying to leave something to define his legacy and support his family after he was gone.
Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk: A guy is so unhappy with modern life that he invents an alter ego to destroy that life and himself.
How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life by Russ Roberts // The Theory of Moral Sentiments by Adam Smith: First that Adam Smith wasn’t some ruthless capitalist but and a thoughtful thinker and second, try to judge your own behavior and moral behavior using what he called the ‘indifferent spectator’.
On the Shortness of Life by Seneca: People only think life is short because they waste so damn much of it focused on things they can’t control and fears about things they refuse to question.
Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. by Ron Chernow: Discipline and rational thought is what allows one to take advantage of opportunities and crises-and also prevent wealth from changing one’s life.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Is Nature Deficit Disorder A Thing? Try Forest Bathing To Find Out”

In Japan, the country that has the highest population density in the world but also vast expanses of green forests, an ancient tradition tries to balance out the crush from urban living.
In a book hitting shelves this month, Forest Bathing: How Trees Can Help You Find Health And Happiness, Dr. Qing Li, the world’s foremost expert in forest medicine, introduces readers to the healing practice of forest bathing – and the art and science of how trees can enrich your life.
Here is the scoop: Forest bathing reduces stress, anxiety, depression, and anger.
Essential tree oils, such as phytoncides found in forest air, increase energy levels by more than 30 percent.
Aromatherapy enthusiasts know well that such tree oils conjure a general state of well-being, capturing the essence of forest bathing.
Lest urban-based readers feel discouraged, forest bathing doesn’t require huge expanses to be effective.
Who hasn’t felt an inner sense of well-being when walking along a forest trail, the sun filtering through the leaves to create a kaleidoscope of light and shadows on the ground? We take these walks to feel rejuvenated, more attuned to our bodies, to refresh our minds.
Stepping into a forest, or just into a small grove, is like pushing a life reset button, reestablishing a connection with our deepest needs.

The orginal article.