This summer has been a “medical” summer. As those of you who are teachers know, any procedure that can be postponed until summer break usually is, and that is precisely what happened with this household of educators.
The positive side of this quiet summer is that I have had a lot of time for reading, both books and on the web. In fact, I saved so many articles for this “Best Ereads” post that I had to delete a few in order to not to run over long. So, these are actually the best of the best articles and blog posts I’ve read this summer so far.
A cautionary tale… This title seems to say it all, or does it? Although I accept, in fact already believed, that eye/hand coordination can impact academic performance, the article does not conclude that gross motor skills, as the title implies, is the key. The most important thing I learned from this article is that it is essential to read critically, and to exercise this skill with all media, especially electronic.
The Life of the Mind
- “Theology of the Imagination: How our very-real God Loves an Active, Creative Mind,” Caryn Rivandeneira
This article explores the value of imagination, which is greatly unappreciated world-wide. According to Rivandeneira, “Imagination is a practical means for achieving and enabling…commonly valued skills.” I whole-heartedly agree. Imagination is not only a necessity for children and artists, it is the engine behind problem-solving and the creation of every practical thing that makes life in the twenty-first century good. Keep exercising yours and encourage your loved ones to exercise theirs.
- “Finding Myself on the Interior Journey (Plus 3 Tips to Help You Find Your Way, Too,” by Lacy Ellman
“For those who identify as introverts, the interior journey offers an alternative path to deeper meaning—one steeped in silence and solitude, rest and simplicity, wisdom and tradition, beauty and mystery.” — Lacy Ellman
Being an introvert myself, it has been so exciting to find so much being written on the study of introversion and the introvert lifestyle. (Quite Revolution, the blog on which I found this article, is one of my favorites.) I really valued Ellman’s contributions to the discussion.
- “Jane Yolen: The Everydayness of Writing,” by Terri Windling
Jane Yolen is the queen of Folkloric Fantasy, the genre in which I write, and so I both enjoyed and was inspired by Windling’s profile of the prolific author. In addition to talking about Yolen’s fiction writing, Windling and Yolen discuss the centrality of writing in her life, a topic highly espoused here at Literate Lives. Enjoy!
- “Why Public Intellectuals Need Their Ivory Towers; Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Departure from ‘The Atlantic’ Reflects a Growing Crisis: Our Digital Age Inhibits Reliable and Enduring Insight,” by Jen Pollock Michel
As an introvert, I often find myself overwhelmed by the rapidity of communication options, deluge of information, and unending bombardment of the twenty-four hour news cycle. Therefore, I really appreciate Ta-Hehisi Coates and Jen Pollock Michel’s call for thinkers to be given time to think before being expected to provide insight and answers. This is a provocative read.
To facilitate your journey into the life of the mind, here are some writing prompts for August from A Symphony of Praise.
Yikes! I’m still running long. The following are posts deal primarily with fiction writing and the professional writer’s life, two areas in which I seek to continue learning and growing in skill:
- “Writing Insights Part One: Becoming a Writer, by Hugh Howey
- “Need Story Ideas? This 5-Step Process Works Every Time,” by Tal Valante”
- “Black, White, Gray, Rainbow: What is Heroism Now?” by Donald Maass
- Querying a complicated book: Dissecting the Elephant,” from victorialeewrites.com
This last is for both writers and Language Arts teachers: “Grammar and the Singular ‘They,’‘” b This article addresses an issue I struggle with, especially here on the blog. I want to be gender inclusive. I will often alternate between he and she, but even doing that, things can get clunky. Therefore, I found this article by literary agent Steve Laube very helpful.
What have you been reading online this summer? Any particular article that inspired or excited you? Please share the title and link in the comment box below. Let’s encourage one another!