Giving Hands

This weekend, I went with some of my students to ring the bells for the Salvation Army. I love taking time to give back to my community, and I love it even more when I can share that experience with my students. I am aware that my life is a life of privilege and any …

The Zone – How I Conquer NaNoWriMo

This year I am participating in NaNoWriMo. For the uninitiated among you, NaNoWriMo, short for National Novel Writers Month, is an annual challenge writers take to try to write an entire novel in the month of November. Since its inception, NaNoWriMo has changed slightly. Many writers, myself included, are using the month to focus hard …

Review – Brother John by August Turak

  Recipient of the prestigious Templeton Prize, Brother John is the true story of a meaningful encounter between the author going through a mid-life crisis, and an umbrella-wielding Trappist monk. This magical encounter on Christmas Eve eventually leads the author, and us all, to the redemptive power of an authentically purposeful life. Uplifting, deeply moving, and set …

We Are All New York

I’m sitting here in an apartment overlooking Midtown and listening to the sounds of New York City. I’m at a white desk, typing on my laptop and I wonder: is this what Carrie Bradshaw felt like? Did she sit, narrate in her head, and write with awe and wonder at the city around her? Or …

Banned Books Week – Of Mice and Men

Did you know that 56% of book challenges take place at public libraries? Libraries which are supposed to represent the communities which they serve. Libraries which are supposed to be places of acceptance and information. It doesn’t make sense to me that people ask libraries–the public forum for books and information–to ban books. But maybe …

Banned Books Week – A Separate Peace

Do you want to know the quickest way to get me to read a book? Call it a “filthy, trashy sex novel.” And in 1980, somebody did just that with today’s challenged book. You’ll notice from the graphic above (provided by ALA.org) that one of the biggest reasons books are challenged is sexual content. Because, …

Banned Books Week – To Kill a Mockingbird

You’d think that in this forward-thinking society, books would stand a chance, right? Wrong. Books are being banned and challenged today. And I don’t mean just new releases. It’s not like people are standing in line picketing the latest Stephen King novel. I don’t mean to say that modern releases aren’t being challenged. I just …