Summary of “Why Donna Tartt’s The Secret History Never Became a Movie”

Set in the 1980s at a liberal arts college in New England that’s a thinly veiled version of Bennington, The Secret History is an ode to fatal flaws and the beauty that can be found in terror, in which intellectual pursuits feel as romantic as spiritual ones.
The Secret History is a novel of ideas with plenty of action-there’s sex, drugs, murder, and a Bacchanal gone horribly wrong, all of which are excellent ingredients for a blockbuster movie.
Around the time of its release, literary adaptations including The Silence of the Lambs and Fried Green Tomatoes were thriving at the box office, so The Secret History seemed like the perfect candidate for a screen treatment.
Director Alan J. Pakula snapped up film rights for Warner Brothers when The Secret History was published, with no less than Joan Didion and John Gregory Dunne signed on to write the screenplay and Scott Hicks set to direct.
Pakula died a few years later in a 1998 car crash, and his Secret History project never got off the ground.
In this case, Miramax let film rights for The Secret History revert back to Tartt.
Still, as recently as 2013, there had still been talk of adapting The Secret History.
Will the release of The Goldfinch prompt another attempt to bring The Secret History to the big screen? We can only hope.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Helpful advice for aspiring writers of all ages |”

That sentence is great advice for writers of any age.
Once upon a time, she was a girl with a passion for words – “From the gate, I was like, ‘I want to be a writer – I want to write everything: poetry and short stories and fiction and ‘” She’s gone on to write more than 30 books – including Miracle’s Boys, Brown Girl Dreaming and After Tupac and D Foster – that span all those categories and then some.
“You don’t need to have a great vocabulary. What you need to have is a creative way of using the words you have. I think sometimes it is detrimental to writers to have too much of a vocabulary because they just rely on the word that they know how to define and they end up breaking the first rule of writing: Show, don’t tell.”
“Young writers can learn so much from reading picture books and really engaging in the text and how the language is laid on the page. With picture books, [writers] are working with a reader who has a very short attention span and you have to get them from line one and hold them to page 32. That’s a challenge, but it’s also a challenge that’s not going to be intimidating for a young writer. It also allows them to experiment with tone and form, especially poetic form, because picture books are intentional, the line breaks are intentional, and each line is laying down an image.”
“As a kid, you have a right to be in the world fully and you have a right to see representations of yourself wherever you go. And if you don’t, write your way out. Figure out why that is so, and rather than fixating on the dilemma of it, challenge it. Write the challenge, and that’s where your writing’s going to break through and create something new.”
“Writing is a lot of work. When I look at Brown Girl Dreaming, I rewrote that book 33 times. When I look at Another Brooklyn, I rewrote that about 16 times. I think people like the idea of being writers; I don’t think they like being re-writers.”
“It’s going to be the difference between finishing something and having a whole bunch of half-finished things in your drawer. For people who are starting out writing, know that your piece of writing is going to fall apart and it’s going to get really hard. But it’s the best place to be, because now your work is ahead of you. And you know what you have to do to make it better.”
“Whenever kids start asking me about their stuff getting published, I’m like, ‘That’s not what you should worry about. You should worry about writing the best piece that you possibly can.’ Writing is such a process. It’s an ongoing process, and you don’t write something in September and have it published by December. It takes much longer. If you really want to invest in the world of writing, you have to invest time and labor and faith in it.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “What Happened When I Read 30 Books in 30 Days”

I read 12 books, which falls far short, but that number is more than the total of books I read in all of 2017 and 2016, and maybe even 2015, too.
“Twelve books [in a month] is 144 books a year, 25 times the average person,” he says.
On each episode, he speaks to inspiring individuals, such as Gretchen Rubin, Seth Godin, and Judy Blume, and asks them to share their three most formative books.
Twenty-seven percent of Americans haven’t read a single book in the last 12 months, according to Pew Research.
“Over 1,000 new books are published every day,” he says.
What I Learned At the end of my monthlong experiment, I decided that setting a goal of 30 books in 30 days was too aggressive and probably not the best way to rekindle a reading habit.
Part of the reason I read 12 books instead of 30 was that I felt an obligation to finish each one.
Pasricha quits three or four books for every one he reads to the end.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Going Broad-Not Narrow-is the Best Route to Lasting Success”

I get press releases about “Learning hacks” on a weekly basis, which tells me there’s obviously widespread hunger for learning how to learn.
There are a small number of learning techniques that have extremely robust evidence behind them, and that in large part apply to both physical and cognitive learning.
The people studying learning and the people training and teaching seem to be hermetically siloed from one another, so we haven’t implemented those techniques as we should.
There’s no room to go into them in detail here, but I’ll say that the single most surprising study in the book, to me, was conducted at the U.S. Air Force Academy: The Academy provided a unique environment for studying the impact of teaching quality on learning, because students have to take the same sequence of courses and the same tests, and they are randomized to professors, and then re-randomized for each subsequent course, so you can truly track the impact of teaching.
Second, one of my favorite phrases in the book is from Herminia Ibarra, who studied how people find careers that fit them: “We learn who we are in practice, not in theory.” What she means is that there is this cultural notion she calls the “True-self model,” this idea that we can simply introspect or take a personality quiz and learn who we are.
To better understand your strengths, weaknesses, and interests, you actually have to try stuff-in other words, learn who you are in practice.
We don’t take enough time to reflect on what we’ve just done, even though it is a staple habit of the best learners.
Kaggle is a really neat one, that looks for outside solvers for machine learning problems-truly cutting edge stuff where it’s fascinating to see how much outside solvers can add.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why Margaret Atwood Returned to ‘The Handmaid’s Tale'”

Though The Handmaid’s Tale has never been out of print, and though Atwood maintains that popular interest in it crests with every American election, it became even more of a phenomenon in late 2016, after the Donald Trump-Mike Pence ticket prevailed in the U.S. presidential election and only a few months before a television adaptation of the novel debuted on Hulu.
A back-and-forth about why she wanted to revisit The Handmaid’s Tale’s antagonist, Aunt Lydia, whose sense of humor and self-awareness is sharper in The Testaments than anyone might have imagined, led Atwood to say, “Of course, the question is, what do Mother Superiors think about in their spare time? What about Hildegard von Bingen? She certainly lived her life on the edge.”
About an hour in, after Atwood and I had discussed the children of the hippies, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s utopian romances, Madeleine Albright’s warnings against fascism, Morris dancing, and Margery Kempe, “a mystic who did quite a lot of crying,” I was beginning to understand that Atwood did not want to talk about The Testaments, really, and that the questions I was asking her were irritating because they kept demanding an interpretation of a book that she didn’t wish to interpret.
Over the years, people kept asking Atwood whether she would write a sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, and she kept saying no.
In jumping forward in time with The Testaments, Atwood is leaving Miller space to finish June’s story.
The TV people chose Agnes, which means “Holy,” or “Chaste.” She chose Nicole, which means “Victory of the people.” Atwood was meticulous in her efforts not to say anything evaluative about the Hulu series, although she did say that she loves Miller.
For the duration of her career, people have tried to put Atwood in boxes-Female Writer, Feminist Writer, Political Writer, Canadian Writer, Prophet.
In a blistering 1976 essay titled “On Being a Woman Writer,” Atwood rails against the people who’ve tried to claim her for various political causes, against what she sees as “The development of a one-dimensional Feminist Criticism,” and against interviewers who insist on “Trying to find out what sort of person you are.” The worst interviewer of all, she writes, is “Miss Message,” a person incapable of understanding her work for what it is, and hell-bent on trying to get her to say something about an issue that turns her into “An exponent, spokeswoman, or theorist.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Heart and the Bottle: A Tender Illustrated Fable of What Happens When We Deny Our Difficult Emotions”

“Children are the most attentive, curious, eager, observant, sensitive, quick, and generally congenial readers on earth,” E.B. White famously asserted in an interview, admonishing: “Anyone who writes down to children is simply wasting his time. You have to write up, not down.” And yet down we write still, deaf to White’s wisdom and to Tolkien’s insistence that there is no such thing as writing “For children” and to Gaiman’s crusade against the spiritual disservice of shielding children from difficult emotions.
Nowhere is there more heartening an antidote than in The Heart and the Bottle by the inimitable Oliver Jeffers.
Jeffers tells the story of a little girl, “Much like any other,” whose expansive and exuberant curiosity her father fuels by reading to her all sorts of fascinating books about the sea and the stars and the wonders of our world.
If grief is so disorienting and crushing an emotion for adults, how are unprepared little hearts expected to handle its weight? The little girl cannot, and so she doesn’t.
Feeling unsure, the girl thought the best thing was to put her heart in a safe place.
One day, while walking on the beach where she had once strolled blissfully with her father, the “Girl” – now a grown woman – encounters another girl still little and still filled with the boundless and buoyant curiosity that had once been hers.
The front set celebrates the bond between a little girl and her paternal figure in its various permutations – a father, a grandfather, perhaps a kindly uncle – and the back set tickles the science-lover’s curiosity with a minimalist illustrated anatomy of the human heart.
The Heart and the Bottle is an immeasurable delight from endpaper to endpaper.

The orginal article.

Summary of “”Find and Follow” Your Passion and Debunking Other Self-Help Myths”

Passion is far more nuanced than most people think, and a superficial understanding of passion all to often leads people to suffer unnecessarily.
For starters, very rarely do people just magically find their passion.
In the small but growing world of passion research, this is called a “Fit mind-set” of passion.
Individuals with a fit mind-set of passion believe happiness comes from finding an activity or job about which they are immediately passionate, something that feels intuitively right from the get‑go.
Better than a fit mind-set is a “Development mind-set” of passion.
The difference between a fit mind-set and development mind-set of passion is similar to the difference between a seeker and a practitioner.
In the psychological literature, there is a strong distinction between what researchers call harmonious passion and obsessive passion.
Far too many people start out with harmonious passion and, once they start achieving promising results in their chosen field, shift toward obsessive passion, often without even realizing it.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Book of Prince”

On January 29, 2016, Prince summoned me to his home, Paisley Park, to tell me about a book he wanted to write.
A member of Prince’s team later told me that, over the years, Prince had paid for enough rooms there to have bought the place four times over.
Prince’s team sent us an assignment: we were to submit personal statements to Prince about our relationship to his music and why we thought we could do the job.
In the early eighties, Prince and Matthews had fallen in love, and Prince had tapped her to front the group Vanity 6.
After his mother remarried, in 1967 or 1968, Prince went to live with his father, a day he described as the happiest of his life.
Prince wanted to reserve the right to pull the book from shelves, permanently, at any time in the future, should he ever feel that it no longer reflected who he was.
Prince had me scoot in beside him and cupped my ear.
One of the people closest to Prince told detectives that, after Prince’s first show in Atlanta, he’d said that he “Enjoyed sleeping more these days,” and that maybe it meant he’d done all he was supposed to do on Earth; waking life was “Incredibly boring.” I found those words wrenching when I read them, a disavowal of everything we’d talked about.

The orginal article.

Summary of “25 Of the Most Inspiring Books Everyone Should Read”

The Only Game in Town: Central Banks, Instability, and Avoiding the Next Collapse by Mohamed A. El-Erian “During my time on Wall Street, I witnessed both high and low times. If you want to understand the modern global economy, you should read this book. El-Erian is an incredibly clear thinker and explains complex ideas in an articulate way that is understandable to the financial novice while engaging to a seasoned industry veteran. Although no one can predict the future, this book comes close.”
A Tale of Three Kings by Gene Edwards “This masterfully written book highlights three leadership styles, culled from the lives of three kings mentioned in the Bible: Saul, David, and Absalom. Whether you are a seasoned business owner or a young entrepreneur, this book is a priceless treatise on the art of identifying and dealing with the good, the bad, and the ugly attitudes of those who sit in the big chair at the office.”
The Art of War by Sun Tzu “A very good friend of mine recently gave me a copy. It’s not a sit-down-and-read-it-in-one session type of book. But I was facing some challenging moments, and she left a copy on my desk with a note that said, ‘You need this.’ I opened a page randomly, and read, ‘Know yourself, and you will win all battles.’ It resonated immediately with me. Sometimes founding a company is like a war-you need discipline, a game plan, confidence, and to understand the enemy. I keep it on my desk for moments when I’m finding things tough. It’s not always relevant, but sometimes it’s a better pep talk than any inspirational Instagram post.”
The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement by Eliyahu Goldratt “This is a story about a business executive dealing with serious challenges at work and in his personal life. It is a good read as a novel, but more interestingly, it is a great business and leadership book. Its theme is that, in life and in business, you should constantly ask ‘What’s the goal?’ before taking any action when faced with a task or challenge. If you establish clear goals and a method of measurement, your action plan is more likely to line up with achieving the goal. The character, Herbie, becomes a metaphor for how to identify constraints and define processes based on these constraints.”
Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim “How to leverage, how to differentiate, and how to hedge-this classic business book inspires me on how to compete in the overcrowded optical and eyewear business. In today’s fast-changing environment, what used to be your strength and competitiveness can be your biggest obstacle in growth and change. One must constantly question, learn, and keep an open mind.”
American Icon: Alan Mulally and the Fight to Save Ford Motor Company by Bryce G. Hoffman “This book really resonated with me, because it’s almost a mirror image of what we did with the Sparkling Ice brand. Hoffman dives into how Alan Mulally went into Ford and took a look at the organization as a whole. He shifted the focus to the consumer and recognized the importance of delivering quality products and services. Mulally honored the heritage of the company and used Ford’s identity as a strength to reinvigorate a culture. If you need to enact change in your company without losing its values, this book will be perfect to pull inspiration and tactics from.”
Double Your Profits in 6 Months or Less by Bob Fifer “This book was the most impactful on my career. Other than a small section on technology, the book is a blueprint for how an effective and efficient business should be run. Fifer’s teachings are ingrained in nearly all of TransPerfect’s business systems, and he has personally come and participated in training conferences with our senior management team.”
Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey Moore “I read this book when it was first published and I was a first-time CEO at Cobalt Networks. The book, which focuses on how to bridge the chasms that occur in the transition from a market solely for innovators and early adopters to one that reaches a mainstream audience, proved to be my personal manual for building disruptive companies. For those in management, marketing, and sales at B2B tech companies, this book is a must-read.”.

The orginal article.

Summary of “25 Of the Most Inspiring Books Everyone Should Read”

The Only Game in Town: Central Banks, Instability, and Avoiding the Next Collapse by Mohamed A. El-Erian “During my time on Wall Street, I witnessed both high and low times. If you want to understand the modern global economy, you should read this book. El-Erian is an incredibly clear thinker and explains complex ideas in an articulate way that is understandable to the financial novice while engaging to a seasoned industry veteran. Although no one can predict the future, this book comes close.”
A Tale of Three Kings by Gene Edwards “This masterfully written book highlights three leadership styles, culled from the lives of three kings mentioned in the Bible: Saul, David, and Absalom. Whether you are a seasoned business owner or a young entrepreneur, this book is a priceless treatise on the art of identifying and dealing with the good, the bad, and the ugly attitudes of those who sit in the big chair at the office.”
The Art of War by Sun Tzu “A very good friend of mine recently gave me a copy. It’s not a sit-down-and-read-it-in-one session type of book. But I was facing some challenging moments, and she left a copy on my desk with a note that said, ‘You need this.’ I opened a page randomly, and read, ‘Know yourself, and you will win all battles.’ It resonated immediately with me. Sometimes founding a company is like a war-you need discipline, a game plan, confidence, and to understand the enemy. I keep it on my desk for moments when I’m finding things tough. It’s not always relevant, but sometimes it’s a better pep talk than any inspirational Instagram post.”
The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement by Eliyahu Goldratt “This is a story about a business executive dealing with serious challenges at work and in his personal life. It is a good read as a novel, but more interestingly, it is a great business and leadership book. Its theme is that, in life and in business, you should constantly ask ‘What’s the goal?’ before taking any action when faced with a task or challenge. If you establish clear goals and a method of measurement, your action plan is more likely to line up with achieving the goal. The character, Herbie, becomes a metaphor for how to identify constraints and define processes based on these constraints.”
Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim “How to leverage, how to differentiate, and how to hedge-this classic business book inspires me on how to compete in the overcrowded optical and eyewear business. In today’s fast-changing environment, what used to be your strength and competitiveness can be your biggest obstacle in growth and change. One must constantly question, learn, and keep an open mind.”
American Icon: Alan Mulally and the Fight to Save Ford Motor Company by Bryce G. Hoffman “This book really resonated with me, because it’s almost a mirror image of what we did with the Sparkling Ice brand. Hoffman dives into how Alan Mulally went into Ford and took a look at the organization as a whole. He shifted the focus to the consumer and recognized the importance of delivering quality products and services. Mulally honored the heritage of the company and used Ford’s identity as a strength to reinvigorate a culture. If you need to enact change in your company without losing its values, this book will be perfect to pull inspiration and tactics from.”
Double Your Profits in 6 Months or Less by Bob Fifer “This book was the most impactful on my career. Other than a small section on technology, the book is a blueprint for how an effective and efficient business should be run. Fifer’s teachings are ingrained in nearly all of TransPerfect’s business systems, and he has personally come and participated in training conferences with our senior management team.”
Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey Moore “I read this book when it was first published and I was a first-time CEO at Cobalt Networks. The book, which focuses on how to bridge the chasms that occur in the transition from a market solely for innovators and early adopters to one that reaches a mainstream audience, proved to be my personal manual for building disruptive companies. For those in management, marketing, and sales at B2B tech companies, this book is a must-read.”.

The orginal article.