A Short Guide to “Atlas Shrugged”

Assigned to read Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged? Curious about the book after Paul Ryan proclaimed his devotion to it last year? Don’t worry, you don’t have to wade through this long and ideologically…. interesting book. Not to get into the business of shilling for others’ films, but I ran across this video recently and thought I’d share. Here’s more about the book/video from Academic Earth: You know how some authors tuck their messages away in subtle narrative layers, inviting you to tease []

You (Plural): An Interview with Filmmaker David Vaipan

David Vaipan has written and directed more than seventy projects. Currently, he’s at work on a feature-length adaptation of James Joyce’s Ulysses, Shakespeare’s Hamlet, and Homer’s Odyssey, titled You (Plural). Recently, he answered a few of my questions about screenwriting and the process of adapting classic literature to film.

June Nonfiction Book Club: “Unnatural Selection” by Mara Hvistendahl

I’ve enjoyed the first few months of leading the Nonfiction Book Group at Arlington’s One More Page Books & More. So far we’ve read and chatted about Boomerang: Travels in the Third World by Michael Lewis; Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain; and Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich. Our selection for June is Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls, and the Consequences of a World Full []

Top Ten Books on Science: My Summer Reading List

I’ve developed an interest in science ever since graduating college, but sometimes I feel like I’m missing crucial elements of my education, partly because I was homeschooled. This summer, I hope to do a lot of catching up by (re)educating myself on basic scientific principles. Here’s what I’ll be reading: 1. A Briefer History of Time by Stephen Hawking Stephen Hawking’s worldwide bestseller A Brief History of Time remains a landmark volume in scientific writing. But for years readers have asked for []

“If You Knew Suzy” by Katherine Rosman

After her mother’s death, Katie Rosman is left reeling. Her mother, Suzy, was only 60 years old, and the diagnosis of lung cancer came as a shock to the nonsmoker. After Suzy’s death, Rosman, a journalist, decides to investigate her mother’s life in order to understand how she faced her own death.

“The Second Coming” by William Butler Yeats

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

“The Color of Water” by James McBride

James McBride, the eighth of twelve children, always wondered why his mother looked so different from his siblings, his stepfather, and everyone else in their predominantly black neighborhood. He badgered her for details all of his life, and when he became a journalist, he began recording her responses.