Summary of “‘The Care and Keeping of You,’ 20 Years Later”

“These are very difficult things for girls to talk about,” says Valorie Lee Schaefer, the book’s author, who had previously been a copywriter for the American Girl Doll catalog.
“We were thinking, ‘We can normalize this conversation. We can give girls words to use, we can tell them some of the things they’re thinking about are absolutely normal, all the things that make young girls feel like, I’m a freak.'”.
The company held focus groups, and found that tween girls were not only curious about their periods, but also about when they should start wearing a bra and how they should deal with pimples that popped up out of nowhere overnight.
Schaefer says the company took this feedback, as well as the letters, and used it to develop the book’s structure, targeting it explicitly toward younger girls about to experience puberty, not preteens already in its throes.
“A girl of 7 doesn’t wonder about the same things a girl of 12 or 14 does,” Schaefer says.
“So just meeting a girl right at that place-7, 8, 9-was what we tried to do.”
Jensen McRae, a 20-year-old student at the University of Southern California, first read the book as a 10-year-old, and, along with her friends, often flipped back to the breast-development page, which shows five illustrations of a topless girl standing in front of a sink.
In the first, the girl is flat-chested, and in the last, she has round, developed breasts.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Is social media influencing book cover design?”

The rules of book cover design change decade by decade.
Social media – specifically Instagram, which promotes the coveting of beautiful covers on hashtags such as #bookstagram – is putting a new emphasis on cover aesthetics.
“With social media, people display their books in more places than their personal libraries at home. They’ve almost become an accessory in some cases,” says Rachel Willey, a designer behind covers including Patricia Lockwood’s Priestdaddy and Melissa Broder’s merman-romance The Pisces.
Faber and Faber’s recent releases signify a new focus on design; the publisher is giving away free letterpress prints of the cover of Sally Rooney’s new book Normal People to those who pre-order.
Corral says social media directly affects his designs: “Our jacket art often has social media in mind, as we often create animated gifs, profile icons, and moving images that expand on the book jacket art and are designed to spread across the internet.”
Laing has described Crudo as the first book for which she knew exactly what the cover should be.
A cover can’t change the contents of its book, but it can be a reader’s first impression of the book’s identity, especially with social media; as Willey says: “People now see covers before they get released, before even going to a bookstore.”
Even the fashion world has caught on to the idea of the book as accessory: for their 2018 autumn/winter campaign, Loewe created a box set of literary classics, include Dracula and Don Quixote, with covers by photographer Steven Meisel.

The orginal article.

Summary of “100 Things I Learned Reading The Same Book 100 Times Over 10 Years”

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.
Marcus writes “Mastery of reading and writing requires a master. Still, more so life.” I wrote “Tucker, R.G” in the margins next to that passage.
Marcus reminded himself: “Don’t await the perfection of Plato’s Republic.” He wasn’t expecting the world to be exactly the way he wanted it to be, but Marcus knew instinctively, as the Catholic philosopher Josef Pieper would later write, that “He alone can do good who knows what things are like and what their situation is.”
One of the most practical things I’ve learned from the Stoics is an exercise I’ve come to call “Contemptuous expressions.” I love how Marcus would take fancy things and describe them in almost cynical, dismissive language - roasted meat is a dead animal and vintage wine is old, fermented grapes.
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.
Years later, one of my readers created and sent me two 3D printed busts of both Marcus and Seneca which sit in my library.
In Book Six we find one of the strongest encouragements that Marcus gives himself.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Stephen Hawking on What Makes a Good Theory and the Quest for a Theory of Everything – Brain Pickings”

Exactly eight years later, a mind far more scientifically formidable, if not as poetic, ignited in the popular imagination the idea that Sagan’s worldview might be wrong – that the universe might, after all, be fully knowable and fully describable in a single elegant theory.
One of the most abiding aspects of the book is Hawking’s succinct description of what makes a good theory.
No matter how many times the results of experiments agree with some theory, you can never be sure that the next time the result will not contradict the theory.
On the other hand, you can disprove a theory by finding even a single observation that disagrees with the predictions of the theory.
As philosopher of science Karl Popper has emphasized, a good theory is characterized by the fact that it makes a number of predictions that could in principle be disproved or falsified by observation.
Each time new experiments are observed to agree with the predictions the theory survives, and our confidence in it is increased; but if ever a new observation is found to disagree, we have to abandon or modify the theory.
The prospects for finding such a theory seem to be much better now because we know so much more about the universe.
Complement the timelessly fascinating Brief History of Time with poet Marie Howe’s stunning tribute to Hawking, Hawking himself on the meaning of the universe, his “Theory of everything” animated in 150 seconds, the story of how his mother shaped his genius, and the children’s book about time travel he co-wrote with his daughter, then revisit some of today’s leading thinkers on the most elegant theory of how the world works.

The orginal article.

Summary of “When did parenting become so fearful?”

Her new book – Small Animals: Parenthood in The Age of Fear – is the story of how Brooks came to regret that choice.
Small Animals, which was borne of a viral article she wrote for Salon in 2014, is about how Brooks copes with being formally charged as a Bad Mother in a society where that’s considered a serious crime.
In the author’s note Brooks tries to neutralize a line of criticism that she knows is coming: “They may argue that my experience of motherhood would not have been what it was if I had had more money or less, a more high-powered career or no career at all, a more supportive network of extended kin, a different group of friends and neighbors or if I were a single mother, a woman of color, an older or younger mother I’d like to concede the point from the start.” I can understand wanting one’s story to be judged on its own merits, but the intro reads like an attempt to bracket off critical questions about race and class to the moments when Brooks contemplates how much worse her situation would be if she weren’t insulated by privileges.
Brooks serves her 100 hours of community service at home: “I volunteered for the organizations from which my own kids benefitted – their soccer leagues and schools My lawyer assured me that these were perfectly acceptable activities for fulfilling my volunteer hours, since they involved giving time to nonprofit organizations.” Pled guilty to “Contributing to the delinquency of a minor”, Brooks is sentenced to domesticity.
Throughout the book, Brooks keeps asking the right question, but no one has an answer for her.
“There has to be something behind it. Some reason or cause.” “Maybe,” Skenazy answers, “If you figure out what it is, you’ll have to let me know. In the meantime, do you have a lawyer?” There are some digressions into behavioral psychology – a discipline that has fallen on hard times , epistemologically – but what Brooks and the larger critical parenting discourse seem to be missing is a theory of history.
The book gets closest to historical understanding when Skenazy explains the art of “Yuppie jujitsu” to Brooks: In order to win over her reticent peer-moms, she has to convince them “If you don’t send your kids to the park and they don’t break their foot and have to get home on their bike by themselves, they will never get into an Ivy League school; they’ll never run a corporation; they will never earn a Fulbright or find a cure for cancer or have their own hit series on HBO or run for Congress. They’ll be fat, they’ll be lonely, they’ll be sad, they’ll be depressed and anxious and lost” She continues.
Erin Anderson, an occupational therapist, tells Brooks that she sees more and more mothers who were in business applying their professional skills to childrearing: “What I see is many of them doing for their children as they might have done in their job,” Anderson tells her.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Chen Chen Aziza Barnes Layli Long Soldier Poetry”

One poem of Barnes’s that I keep returning to starts with a minor domestic scene: The speaker finds a centipede near her writing desk.
The opening poem of the book, it’s a wandering lament for a basic human failing.
Many of the poems in i be, but i ain’t beg to be experienced viva voce, and it’s easy to imagine them bellowed in front of the footlights, or slung coolly back and forth in front of the camera.
While performance seems to suit the strengths of Barnes’s work, Layli Long Soldier’s poetry is harder to separate from the page-which doesn’t mean that it rests there comfortably.
The vow to compose sentences with care comes from “38,” a five-page poem that acts as a fulcrum between the shorter poems in the book’s first section and the longer “Whereas Statements” of the book’s second and final section.
The poem builds force with stark, declarative sentences, each standing as a stanza or paragraph on its own.
“Real” poems do not “Really” require words.
Then she reconsiders: After all, the trader’s words initiate the poem, “Click the gears of the poem into place.” It’s telling that even in the most straightforward portion of the book, Long Soldier deploys language to mark its own limits, to probe its utility, to take its measure against concrete and tangible actions.

The orginal article.

Summary of “‘Lies My Teacher Told Me,’ And How American History Can Be Used As A Weapon”

Slim in contrast to our hulking required textbook, it was a funny, compelling, even shocking read. Lies My Teacher Told Me, by James Loewen, explained how history textbooks got the story of America wrong, usually by soft-pedaling, oversimplifying and burying the thorny drama and uncertainties of the past under a blanket of dull, voice-of-God narration.
Lies My Teacher Told Me overturned one assumption embedded in the history classes I’d been sitting through all my life: that the United States is constantly ascending from greatness to greatness.
The judge – who was an [older] white Mississippian, but a man of honor – took over the questioning, and he said, “But that happened, didn’t it? Didn’t Mississippi have more lynchings than any other state?” And Turnipseed said, and again I quote, “Well, yes, but that all happened so long ago. Why dwell on it now?” And the judge said, “Well, it is a history book.”
That’s what got me so interested in American history as a weapon.
The book is called Lies My Teacher Told Me – what’s the biggest lie in the book?
What I mean by that is the overall theme of American history is we started out great and we’ve been getting better ever since kind of automatically.
It’s so boring! If you think about it, the very first thing that happened in terms of American history is people came to the land that we now know as the United States.
Well, I think there’s one key question to be asked of any source, and that is “Why do you find it credible?” Now, a KKK site on American history is perfectly credible if you’re asking the question “What does the KKK believe about the Civil War?” OK. If, on the other hand, you’re asking, “Why did the Southern states secede?” Maybe you don’t want to cite a KKK site.

The orginal article.

Summary of “10 Practical Answers To 10 Powerful Questions”

The other day I received an email from a reader with 10 questions she wanted me to answer.
As I read the questions more carefully, I thought, “I can turn this into an article.” I was truly impressed by the quality of the questions of my reader, Mary.
What’s the one book you suggest everyone to read?
Preferably, you want to read it for at least two hours a day.
Don’t read anything else during the time you read this book.
You’ll never forget the period that you were reading it.
What’s one powerful piece of advice for living a fulfilling life?
Working out, reading, taking classes, spending time with people who matter to you-it’s all investing because these activities have a return.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why You Should Let Your Kid Be Annoyingly Repetitive”

Before my daughter learned to speak, she learned to sign, and the first sign she mastered was “More.” More meant more-as in, “Give me more milk before I scream-cry in 5-4-3-2-1 …”-but for her, it also meant “Again.” Sing that song again.
Most parents get that, but when you’ve been reading the same story for the past hundred days and that damn caterpillar is still hungry, you can’t help but think, “Come on, let’s diversify here.” You might even start to wonder if your kid is getting a little stuck.
“What adults don’t see is that each time a child does something, they see something differently. Why is it that when people travel, they go to the same place again and again? You see something new every time. That’s how you get a true understanding of something.”
When children do the same thing over and over-reread the same books, dump and refill the same bucket, ask the same question-connections being made in their brains that are critical for learning and development.
A study on language acquisition found that kids who were read the same book multiple times picked up new words faster and retained the meaning of those new words better than kids who were read different texts.
Look for sequels and books by the same author-kids build stronger connections when they have something familiar to grasp onto, like a character or style of writing.
After you’ve read a book for the umpteenth time, cover up some words and let your kid fill in the blanks.
In time, your kid will feel confident enough to ask, “Okay, what’s next?”.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Yuval Noah Harari: ‘The idea of free information is extremely dangerous'”

Just a few years ago I was an anonymous professor of history specialising in medieval history and my audience was about five people around the world who read my articles.
So it’s quite shocking to be now in a position that I write something and there is a potential of millions of people will read it.
Do you think people understand the implications of the bio- and infotech revolutions that are under way?Five years ago artificial intelligence sounded like science fiction.
Even though in the academic world and private business people were aware of the potential at least, in the political field and public discourse you hardly heard anything about it.
The more people believe in free will, that their feelings represent some mystical spiritual capacity, the easier it is to manipulate them, because they won’t think that their feelings are being produced and manipulated by some external system.
Is that wise?The idea of free information is extremely dangerous when it comes to the news industry.
If there’s so much free information out there, how do you get people’s attention? This becomes the real commodity.
We must invest more resources in the psychological resilience of people.

The orginal article.