(Non-fiction) Friday: The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

“Before I discovered the miracles of science, magic ruled the world.” Imagine living in a place where you are utterly dependent on rain to grow food or having a 7-kilometer walk to buy kerosene just to light your house after dark. That is the world of William Kamkwamba as well as most of the African country of Malawi generic propecia online pharmacy. Yet despite these obstacles the resourceful young Kamkwamba built a windmill from salvaged material to generate electricity for his family. In The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind Kamkwamba and co-author Bryan…continue reading →

(Non) Fiction Friday: The Story of English in 100 Words

Ever wonder why lawyers use two words such as “have and hold” or “cease and desist” when one word would do? Or why there is a “b” in debt and a “p” in receipt? Those and other strange quirks of English are explained in The Story of English in 100 Words. From roe (a deer) in the 5th century to Twittersphere in the 21st author David Crystal describes the constantly evolving English language. Interesting details from the book: Captain John Smith made the first stab at spelling the Powhatan word Rahaughcum.  Today spelled…continue reading →

Fiction Friday: The Orphan Master’s Son

Hopefully, Pak Jun Do (phonetically, John Doe) is not the North Korean everyman. From his start in a North Korean orphanage selecting which orphans get food to his stint in the tunnels beneath the DMZ fighting in the dark to kidnapping Japanese citizens to mining uranium in Prison 33 Jun Do manages to survive the brutal, dystopian regime. Evoking George Orwell’s 1984, author Adam Johnson illuminates the struggle ordinary citizens endure to stay alive.  Moving quickly from one harrowing episode to another, the hero seems destined to outlast even the Dear Leader (Kim…continue reading →

(Non)Fiction Friday: Bossypants

Tina Fey is bossy and full of advice on all matters: Practical tips on how to make it in a male-dominated workplace: “No pigtails, no tube tops. Cry sparingly . . . don’t eat diet foods in meetings.” Beauty: “By nineteen, I had discovered that Retin-A was a great way to have large chunks of your skin peel off and waft to the floor during class.” The Rules of Improvisation That Will Change Your Life and Reduce Belly Fat: “. . . there are no mistakes, only opportunities.” So to improve your life,…continue reading →

(Non)Fiction-Friday: Quiet:The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

Do you dislike aggression? Enjoy solitude? Are you a good listener? Work best on your own? Think before you speak? You, my friend, could be an introvert. In a world that glorifies the go-get-em, up-and-at-em, hard bargaining, out-going, people-person attitudes, introversion can make even the most well-adjusted feel just a little out of step with the rest of humanity.  But Susan Cain in Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking contends that without introverts society would be decidedly worse off. It is precisely because of their introspective nature…continue reading →