Something I Wish More People Would Do: Read

Something I Wish More People Would Do: Read

Come Read About, the Wonderful World of Reading...

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When you are in school, you are forced to read a huge number of books, and sometimes because the education system requires it, that is the very reason many children choose not to read. Yes, reading does help with your cognitive development and language skills, but sometimes schools don't choose novels that really appeal to the students. Which is terrible because then children don't always get to learn and see how amazing reading truly is.

Reading is truly a magnificent thing, your brain reads words off of a page and creates a virtual movie in your head! Reading can take you everywhere without you having to move an inch. I've backpacked all throughout Europe, went to space, visited mythical lands, and went back in time, while I was still nestled up on my couch.

Another truly wonderful thing about reading is that you can do it anywhere thanks to technological advancements, such as the Kindle, Nook and eBooks! You can read at home, on the bus, on a beach, during your lunch break, in a waiting room as well as many other places.

After a long day of school or work, I love nothing more than to curl up with a good book and a cup of tea, it's just so relaxing. When you need a break from the chaos known as life or the millions of thoughts racing through your brain, reading can help. Instead of dealing with your own things you become focused on the character's story, what they are doing, what they are thinking, who they are with. You can become completely immersed in their life, it truly is a beautiful thing. People write books about anything! There is something out there that you will enjoy, you just have to find it!

While I could sit here all day and rant about why reading is wonderful as well as why you should do it, I won't. So here is a list of books that I have created from recommendations made by me as well as my friends and family. I hope you find something to read.


1. Carry On By Rainbow Rowell (Young Adult, Fantasy, LGBTQ)

2. Stephanie Plum Series By Janet Evanovich (Adult, Action, Crime Solving)

3. Song of Achilles By Madeline Miller (Young Adult, Greek Mythology, LGBTQ, Romance)

4. Truly Devious By Maureen Johnson (Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller)

5. Percy Jackson Series By Rick Riordan (Young Adult, Adventure, Fantasy)

6. Ship It By Britta Lundin (Young Adult, Romance, Fiction)

7. We Were Liars By E. Lockhart (Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller)

8. Once and For All By Sarah Dessen (Young Adult, Romance)

9. The Hate U Give By Angie Thomas (Young Adult, Fiction)

10. The Maze Runner Series By James Dashner (Young Adult, Scientific Fiction)

11. Eleanor & Park By Rainbow Rowell (Young Adult, Romance)

12. Anna and The French Kiss By Stephanie Perkins (Young Adult, Romance)

13. To All The Boys I've Loved Before Series By Jenny Han (Young Adult, Romance, Fiction)

14. The Summer I Turned Pretty Series By Jenny Han (Young Adult, Fiction, Romance)

15. I'll Give You The Sun By Jandy Nelson (Young Adult, Fiction)

16. Love and Gelato By Jenna Evans Welch (Young Adult, Fiction, Romance)

17. Simon V.S. The Homosapien Agenda By Becky Albertalli (Young Adult, Coming of Age, Fiction, LGBTQ)

18. Stay Sweet By Siobhan Vivian (Young Adult, Romance, Fiction)

19. Turtles All The Way Down By John Green (Young Adult, Fiction)

20. Wonder By R.J. Palacio (Young Adult, Fiction)

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27 Thoughtful Questions To Ask Over the Holidays

'Tis the Season for family gatherings.

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In "Want to Seem More Likable? Try This," New York Times writer Tim Herrera reminds readers that we are often our own worst critic and we tend to think that people like us less than they actually do. He says that if you want to seem more likable and like a great conversationalist the key is asking questions. Asking questions allows you to be more interesting to your conversation partners by showing your interest in them. The goal is to ask questions, especially what and why questions, to lead people to reveal about themselves.

So if you want to avoid just chit chatting but don't want to delve into potentially controversial topics, I recommend using some of these questions to provoke thoughtful conversation with your family members this holiday season.

1. What’s your favorite holiday and why is it your favorite?

2. What holiday traditions did you have when you were a kid?

3. Where is our family originally from? What ethnic traditions do you remember being part of the holidays?

4. What’s your favorite family tradition?

5. What’s your favorite holiday memory?

6. What’s your earliest holiday memory? Why do you think it sticks out to you?

7. What’s your favorite memory of a family gathering?

8. What’s one of your happiest memories?

9. What are your favorite stories about [insert family member]?

10. What were some of the most important things to your family?

11. What was a typical family dinner like for you growing up?

12. What’s your favorite holiday dish?

13. What is/was the best thing that your grandparents ever cooked? What about your parents?

14. Have any recipes been passed down to you from family members?

15. Are there any special heirlooms or other memorabilia passed down in our family? What’s the story behind them?

16. What’s your favorite gift that you have ever received?

17. What’s the favorite gift that you have ever given?

18. What’s your favorite thing about being a parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle?

19. What’s the hardest part about being a parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle?

20. What do you think is the most important life skill or value your parents taught you?

21. If you could thank a person (living or dead) for their influence on your life, who would you thank?

22. What family member or friend do you wish was with us today?

23. What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned this year?

24.What random acts of kindness have you received or given this year?

25. What is an opportunity you had that you are grateful for this year?

26. What is one way you’ve used your talents to serve others this past year?

27. What do you consider to be one of your greatest accomplishments this year and why?

28. What are you thankful for?

(This last one may be expected, but it's a classic and can lead to a meaningful conversation if you and your conversation partner(s) are willing to thoroughly discuss it.)

This list is by no means comprehensive, and I challenge you to adapt these questions and to create your own. Ask follow-up questions to clarify and go deeper on a topic. Playing favorites or asking about what is someone's favorite or least favorite is a great way to learn more about them and to even spark some friendly competition with the rest of the fam arguing in favor of or against those answers. The secret is curiosity: What do you want to know about or even more about your family members? Keeping this in mind will help you to learn more about your family and to have more meaningful conversations with them this holiday season.

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Dear High School Seniors Touring Colleges, You Need To Know This Or You Might Have Regrets For The Next 4 Years

If you don't feel at home, then it's not for you.

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It's that season ladies and gents. Touring different college campuses is terrifying. Whether it is with your overly excited parents, or a school group, you are on your own. Choosing a college can be stressful but exhilarating, mostly because it's the picture of yourself sitting in the bland beige chairs in the packed library, or eating the dining hall food. I'm here to tell you that the choice is all yours. Do not let just your friends, family, or location convince you to attend whatever school you're touring in this moment. Take all of that into consideration when you're choosing your next home.

While touring a school, there are some aspects you need to pay attention to. Obviously pay attention to the tour guide, but also to the people casually walking by. Look at the way they look, the look on their faces, and the people around them too. I saw so many people who just looked angry, or neutral when I was touring different colleges. And no, it wasn't RBF. I even sat in a Chipotle line and asked the sophomore behind me if she was happy there, and she aggressively shook her head no and said she wished she paid attention to the spirit of students around her while touring. Luckily, the school I chose is huge on team spirit, and we all seem to have the southern hospitality that you see on TV shows. Find a school where people will say "hi" no matter who you are, because that is where you will thrive socially the most.

The campus has to be home, whether you're commuting or not. If you don't feel comfortable walking/driving around, then it most likely it is not for you. I was so anxious touring every school, walking into every building, because I just was overwhelmed. Find out what you are comfortable with and what you're not regarding class size, school size and campus size. My school is a walkable, medium sized campus, with a lot of fountains and palm trees. I liked the scenic aspect of my school, especially because I am a few miles away from the beach.

This is your decision. Your family may want you to go to their college, or a college around you. If you have this opportunity to branch out, do it, because you will never regret it. There is always the back up of transferring or withdrawing to find yourself. There is no shame in doing that because these are the years meant for you. Take advantage of it, and make it the vision you have always wanted!

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