The Kite Runner: Perspective of Afghanistan

Afghanistan is a place many of us talk about in relation to the world news, but not many know the sight and sounds of the land. I have never seen Afghanistan outside the images plastered on the TV. I can’t help but wonder how the land is like for the people you live or have lived. Someone recommended reading the Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. I remember this book being on the must read list several years ago but just now have finished reading it. And let me tell you…. IT WAS FANTASTIC!

W;t or Wit: Finding Empathy

I recently read for a literature class the play “W;t” by Margaret Edson.

And it was intense ….

The first time I read it, I remember chuckling at the sassy lines of Vivian as she dished out her annoyance onto the unwitting medical staff.

The second time I read it, I was shocked at how Vivian was treated by the medical staff. They called her research. Left her exposed. They refused to acknowledge her as a human being.

The Story of Tea: A Cultural History and Drinking Guide

The air has just turned crisp enough for my breathe to fog the air around me, and I crave the warmth of the gentle tones of a cup of tea. I live off the subtle taste of my winter tea. Any type of tea is ok with me, but I decided to take a second look at one of my favorite commodities.

Earlier this year, I had the joy of visiting a tea shop in San Francisco, which I featured in Vital Tea Leaf: A Story of Tea. It started my journey into learning more about this popular drink. I read a wonderful book called The Tea Book, which showed me that the tea leaf we enjoy is steeped in history and culture. I released part of this in the exposé called Tea: More Than Just A Leaf. However, I decided to take another dive into exploring the culture of tea and how it has shaped the world by reading the book called The Story of Tea by Mary Lou Heiss and Robert J. Heiss. 

The Italian Baker: Bringing A Little Piece of Italy into the Kitchen

This summer I got to spend a little time in the North of Italy in the cities: Venice, Florence, and Milan. I loved eating my way through the streets and finding the best eats. When I got back to the states, I decided to see if I could recreate a little piece of Italy into my kitchen. Thankfully after many afternoons in the local library, I found the recipe book that I was going to use to relive Italy with. It was called The Italian Baker by Carol Field. This book is jam pack full of recipes from every coast of Italy. These recipes were focused in on the wonderful breads, tarts, cakes, and other baked goodies. So who can resist trying a few?

NaNoWriMo: Writing Your Story!

Most high schoolers either dread English class or love it. I was part of the dreaded group and I know I was not alone. The funny thing was I loved to read books and write creative stories. I just needed … the right push. Thanks To Mr. K from my senior year at high school I got to participate in an amazing program that helps young writers. It is called NaNoWriMo.

Decoding Your Dog: Understanding Man’s Best Friend

Dog have grown beside man over a millennium. Our evolution and  their evolution are closely tied together. However, we lack some simple understanding. Now, I include myself in the circle of those that sometimes doesn’t understand what my dog is feeling or saying. I even volunteer with a humane society and still have the occasional misunderstanding between me and the dog I am working with. (It is easier to misunderstand a dog that you don’t know very well than one you do.) So how can man understand dog better?

TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking

Everyone has a story to tell or something to teach the world about, but to do that means having to address the public. However, public speaking is scary. If we could, many of us would try to avoid it at all cost. TED Talks have created an art form out of public speaking despite the challenges many have faced. The videos of the speeches are watched over and over again. Speeches that have inspired and motivated others to change the world or advance more into the field. So what is the secret of the success of TED? I would suggest reading TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking by Chris Anderson to discover that answer. 

Jumpstarting Creativity: What, Why, and How

If I say the word creativity what do you think it means? How does it apply to your life? Do you think that you have creativity? The dictionary says that creativity says “the use of the imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work”. I have worked in teaching, marketing, and other such profession that could be considered creative. I love books, drawing, and writing which are creative hobbies. However, I can not tap into my creative talents 24/7. I am only human. With my activities and some of my past jobs involving the need for creativity, I recognized the need for the immediate generation of creativity when you need it. So I had thought to myself, there had to be some way to trigger this power. I think I may have found the answer during my commute while I listened to the TED Radio Hour. They had an episode called Jumpstarting Creativity where people like Tim Harford spoke on how to rekindle and harness it.

Queen of the Flowers: Book vs. Show

Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries are one of my favorite television shows to watch. I have probably rewatched the show more times than I care to admit. I love all the characters and stories so much. I can recite the episodes from memory. However, I am not the only fan out there in the world. I have watched the fan base grow and grow as this show has reached the global audiences around the world thanks to streaming services like Netflix. However, many fans do not know that this beloved series started as a book series by Kerry Greenwood. 

I never thought I would have the opportunity to read one of the books in this series until I found Queen of the Flowers in my local library.  Miss Fisher must unwrap the mysterious disappearance of one of her flower maidens that she was in charge of while her daughter Ruth goes missing as well. This book is full of mystery and intrigue. The pages are filled with twist and turns. The unexpected and expected. Whatever is to come of the Honorable Miss Fisher and her household of misfits? Well, the only way to find out would be to read this tale wouldn’t it? 

The Cheat Sheet to Acing College or How To Become A Straight-A Student

The school year is just around the corner.  College is full of responsibilities. You will be asked to juggle class work, work, volunteering, club activities, and so much more while making the grades so the quest for success means mastering the art of optimizing studying. Those that left high school and are getting ready to start their college journey, I have one piece of advice for you. Read How to Become A Straight-A Student: The Unconventional Strategies Real College Students Use to Score High While Studying Less by Cal Newport.