First off: I have several good friends who've published books recently, and while I've mentioned them around the Internets in a piecemeal way, I wanted to make sure y'all knew about them. In most cases, I've read the book and can recommend it; in all cases, I can recommend the writer. These all came out in the last few months: Chasing the Divine in the Holy Land by Ruth Everhart
The Girl Got Up: A Cruciform Memoir by Rachel M. Srubas
Hopes and Fears: Everyday Theology for Parents and Other Tired, Anxious People by Bromleigh McCleneghan and Lee Hull Moses
Making Paper Cranes: Toward an Asian-American Feminist Theology by Mihee Kim-Kort
RIDE 2: More Short Fiction about Bicycles edited by Keith Snyder
And now... away we go:
Delightful. Makes mistakes fun!
Givers, Takers and Matchers: The Surprising Science of Success -- Brain Pickings
Last week I linked to an article about Adam Grant and was intrigued by what I called his radical generosity, even as I pointed out the stay-at-home wife who helps make such generosity happen. Here is an article that looks at the book's findings, apart from the personality of Grant. "If you’re a giver at work, you simply strive to be generous in sharing your time, energy, knowledge, skills, ideas, and connections with other people who can benefit from them." Takers, by contrast, get more than they give, always trying to find what's in it for them; matchers try to keep the ledger as even as possible.
It's not surprising that givers often end up on the bottom of the career ladder. But guess who rises to the top? Read the link to find out.
Mary Oliver Reading Four Poems -- Englewood Review of Books
Including "Wild Geese":
Happy National Poetry Month.
How to Talk to Kids About Healthy Eating -- Dinner, A Love Story
An excellent resource for those of us who are trying to equip our kids to make good food choices:
Focus on health not weight. And emphasize function over form. Remind your son that a healthy body is what allows you to do all that you do in the world. Think of something your child likes to do – whether that is a sport or otherwise – and point out how it’s his body that does that. If your child is an athlete, he or she probably gets a lot of reinforcement for this idea. But even if what your child most likes to do is to sit quietly and read or draw, you can reinforce the concept. You can say, “Your body is what allows you to do [fill in your child’s favorite activity]” to foster your child feeling good about his body’s capability.
And speaking of health and diet:
We Should Measure Our Food in Exercise, Not Calories -- Fast Company
A study by researchers at UNC’s medical school, published in the journal Appetite, showed the kind of choices people make when randomly presented with different types of menus with differing levels of nutritional information: one with no nutritional info, one with calorie info, one with calories plus the minutes of walking required to burn the calories, and a fourth with calories plus the distance required to burn off the calories.
"People who viewed the menu without nutritional information ordered a meal totaling 1,020 calories, on average, significantly more than the average 826 calories ordered by those who viewed menus that included information about walking-distance," writes Scientific American. People who saw the menu with walking-distance info also ordered less than people who just saw calorie info.
Way to hack the brain!
How Busy People Find Time to Think Deeply -- Ben Casnocha
I'm pretty good at the Sabbath thing---setting aside time for rest, play and puttering---but my problem is I absolutely jam-pack the rest of my life. I'm working on this lately. My current tweak is listening to music while running. (I'm usually a podcast runner.)
A New System for Reading -- Robert Estreitinho
30 pages is enough. Not enough to grasp the key message, but enough to understand if it’s worth grasping. If by page 30 of a book I’m not hooked, I stop reading. A writer has to hook our imaginations, and 30 pages should be enough to do just that. Need more pages? I say need more editing.
I read so many short things (articles, essays) that when I do pick up a book, I feel like abandoning it is a sign of failure. I stick with books to prove to myself that my attention span can hack it. So this system intrigues me... But I give it 50 pages. I recently abandoned The Casual Vacancy. Broke my heart to do it---I applaud J.K. Rowling for tackling something so radically different---but I just didn't care about the characters.
And speaking of J.K. Rowling... the girls and I just finished the Harry Potter series. As luck and timing would have it, I found this tumblr of facts that Rowling has let slip about what happened after the series ended. Please forgive the URL; I didn't come up with it. But there's some great stuff here:
~Neville Longbottom worked as an Auror before moving on as the Herbology professor at Hogwarts.
~The remaining Death Eaters were killed or imprisoned in Azkaban for their crimes, with the exception of the Malfoys.
~Luna Lovegood married the grandson of the Newt Scamander, author of ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’
~Firenze survived his wounds and was welcomed back into the Centaur herd.
~Harry will never become Headmaster of Hogwarts since an academic career just isn’t him.
~Hagrid was still working at Hogwarts by 2017, at 88 years old.