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  • Brian Boone 2:00 pm on 2017/08/07 Permalink
    Tags: alison lurie, casey lewis, , , dorm room essentials cookbook, , ethan trex, , , foreign affairs, free stuff guide for everyone, gina meyers, goodnight dorm room: all the advice I wish i got before going to college, harlan cohen, keith riegert, kingsley amix, knack dorm living, , , , on beauty, peter sander, , samuel kaplan, school daze, scott dikkers, Self-Improvement, streeter seidell, the big u, the college humor guide to college, the idiot, the naked roommate, the pretty good jim's journal treasury, , , , wonder boys,   

    These 20 Books Are Absolute Dorm Room Essentials 

    So you’re headed off to college in the fall. Congratulations! It’s going to be both a lot of work and a tremendous karmic shift! You’ll be on your own, and also living in a very small dormitory room with a person who is, in all likelihood, a complete stranger. Regardless, books are both an escape and an olive branch—the books you’ll need to best understand, appreciate, and enhance the college-going experience.

    The Pretty Good Jim’s Journal Treasury, by Scott Dikkers
    Everyone who went to college remembers it as an exciting time of self-discovery, new friendships, and working really, really hard. We tend to forget about all of the downtime and boredom of college—class is only a few hours a day, after all. This is where the droll comic strip collection by Scott Dikkers, a founder of The Onion, traffics—a guy named Jim does all the boring, mundane stuff one does in college. Much of Dikkers’ “Jim’s Journal” (which ran in lots of college newspapers in the ’90s) concerned the protagonist’s low-stakes experience with higher education.

    Lucky Jim, by Kingsley Amis
    Countless authors, past and present, have also been college professors and academics. And as the old adage goes, you write what you know. The result is the subgenre of the campus novel, which details the unique experience of being in college, either for a few years or forever, including its unique politics, quirks, challenges, and maddening hypocrisies. Kingsley Amis’s Lucky Jim, published in 1954, is among the first major campus novels, and it’s a rightful classic of the genre, detailing the wryly humorous life of an academic who becomes a lecturer at an English university despite not really wanting the job.

    The Secret History, by Donna Tartt
    There are certain things in Donna Tartt’s breakout novel that are universal college experiences: arguing with professors to allow you to take their classes, finding your tribe of like-minded individuals, and looking up to the most charismatic students on campus.

    White Noise, by Don DeLillo
    Don DeLillo’s classic novel is told through the eyes of a contented professor and patriarch of a large, blended, technology-addicted family who leads a small northeastern college’s Hitler Studies program. While the themes of the novel deal with the omnipresence of chemicals in our food, air, and bodies, DeLillo also nails the day-to-day of college life, as well as how it feels to live in a university town, particularly how it’s both charmingly unchanging and always exciting due to the constant influx and outflux of new students and teachers.

    Free Stuff Guide for Everyone, by Peter Sander
    Almost everyone in college is poor. Tuition, books, and living expenses cost a lot of money, and 18-year-olds don’t have much of that, because they lack earning power due to being 18, not-yet-college-educated, and having to spend the majority of their time going to class and studying. To make it through with your health and happiness intact, you’re going to have to get a little scrappy and a little shameless and seek out deals and bargains wherever you can. A book like this one will clue you in to all sorts of free and discounted necessary items.

    Goodnight Dorm Room: All the Advice I Wish I Got Before Going to College, by Samuel Kaplan and Keith Riegert
    Not a parody of Goodnight, Moon, likely because the book Goodnight, Moon is larger than the average dorm room. Rather, this is a swift and funny advice guide to everything “they” won’t tell you about going to college. And it’s important stuff, too, from how to exploit the goodwill of TAs who want you to succeed, to what stuff you should definitely and not definitely bring with you to fill out your tiny, tiny dorm room.

    Dorm Room Essentials Cookbook, by Gina Meyers
    Man or woman cannot survive on cafeteria food and ramen alone. Also, most college dorms don’t allow hotplates. But you’ve gotta eat, and eat well, so you’ve got to get creative. This cookbook shows you how to use the tools at hand and affordable ingredients to prepare all kinds of snacks, meals, and desserts.

    Knack Dorm Living: Get the Room—and the Experience—You Want at College, by Casey Lewis
    That dorm room is small, but this book just might be a good investment of both limited space and money. Written by Lewis when she was a seen-it-all-in-college, done-it-all-in-college college senior, it’s full of easy-to-follow and crucial tips on what to take to college, what to buy when you get there, and how to effectively and efficiently organize what little time, space, and money you’ve got.

    The Naked Roommate: And 107 Other Issues You Might Run Into in College, by Harlan Cohen
    Not only are dorm rooms small, but they have to be shared with another person, who could not only be a stranger, but also literally quite strange. (Hence the title.) Cohen’s book offers pre-emptive advice on all sorts of challenges a naive, inexperienced-to-the-ways-of-the-world college freshman may experience, such as the times when it’s okay to shoot for a C, how to find a campus job, and how to navigate both long-term relationships and more “temporary” ones.

    The College Humor Guide to College, by Ethan Trex and Streeter Seidell
    Nobody these days does college humor better than, uh, College Humor. The comedy website publishes all manner of silly videos and ridiculous articles about the absurd notion of being a young person alive in the world, feeling their way around with almost zero preparation. In many ways, this droll parody of college prep books feels a lot more realistic than the real ones do. This is a good one to have in college if only as a way to share it with others and knowingly laugh at the relatable parts.

    A guidebook about the city where the college is located
    For many, college is the first time to be out there on one’s own. It’s tempting and perfectly acceptable to just kick around campus and the surrounding neighborhoods—there’s certainly plenty for freshmen to do and explore. Or, you can mingle with the townies and check out a bit more of the area that surrounds the college. Getting out there and trying new things is what college is all about, but with a safety net, which is what a guidebook about that college town totally is. It’s a guidebook to fun and adventure!

    Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell
    College isn’t all partying and making new BFFs. At least not for everybody. This marvelous novel by the author of Eleanor & Park is about the difficult segue from teenhood to college life. It’s about a University of Nebraska freshman named Cath with social anxiety disorder, which precludes a social butterfly life and encourages her to stay at home writing fan fiction about a boy wizard…until she realizes that college is the best place to exercise and hone her writing skills.

    On Beauty, by Zadie Smith
    Having a Zadie Smith book on your dorm room’s sole shelf is a great conversation starter, and it’s a clue to others about how cool you are, because you’ve read Zadie Smith. The novel itself is an enlightening look at college—it touches on sexual, identity, and class issues, as well as how professors aren’t always the sage geniuses one would assume they are. It’s also a college-level text, as On Beauty was inspired by the structure and some of the plot points of E.M. Forster’s Howard’s End.

    Wonder Boys, by Michael Chabon
    It’s set in Pittsburgh, as is usually the case with Chabon’s novels, which is a beautiful and perfect college town. That’s just one of the blessings protagonist Grady Tripp takes for granted. He’s essentially a lost college freshman, but all grown up: He’s an established writer and college professor, he smokes too much marijuana, is having relationship trouble, he’s got writer’s block so bad he can’t finish his next book, and he’s just a little bit jealous of the young talent coming up behind him. Chabon’s prose is crackling, and he’s a great place to start in the world of “grown-up” fiction.

    Joe College, by Tom Perrotta
    Ah, the joys of working your way through college. In this dark and yet surprisingly optimistic book from the author of Election and The Leftovers, a Yale student named Danny doesn’t get to go on a debauched Spring Break trip with his friends: He’s stuck driving his dad’s lunch truck in New Jersey. That’s a plot device to get the reader into Danny’s head, where lots of college issues humorously and dramatically wrestle for attention.

    Foreign Affairs, by Alison Lurie
    Time for the semester abroad! Well, at least it is for the two American professors at the heart of this charming, Pulitzer Prize winning campus novel-meets-fish-out-water tale. Vinnie leaves his Ivy League environs to study playground rhymes and winds up in a family tree-tracing project. Fred, meanwhile, abandons his studies of English poetry to pal around with an esteemed actress.

    The Idiot, by Elif Batuman
    This almost stream-of-consciousness novel is told from the point-of-view of a Turkish-American freshman from New Jersey who is extremely happy to be away from her dull home life and attending the glorious Harvard University. This one shows how overwhelming college and all of its assorted social and academic entanglements can be. But, you know, in a good way.

    The Big U, by Neal Stephenson
    No matter how complicated and overwhelming college life gets, it could always be worse. This first novel from sci-fi icon Neal Stephenson demonstrates that. It’s about a Remote Sensing professor named Bud who works at American Megaversity, an eight-tower complex which pretty much makes the college a bubbled world unto itself. Hey, that’s like real college, only real college has way fewer electromagnetic weapons and radioactive rats.

    A second copy of what you’re currently reading
    Talk about an icebreaker. “Hey, what’s that you’re reading,” a roommate, hallmate, classmate, or random person in “the Quad” asks. You tell them, you show them, you lend them your copy because it’s so good. Boom, friends for life.

    A copy of your favorite book from childhood
    For when you’re homesick.

    What books should every college student read?

    The post These 20 Books Are Absolute Dorm Room Essentials appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Heidi Fiedler 5:16 pm on 2017/03/28 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Self-Improvement,   

    20 Ways to Live a More Bawse Life, Inspired By Lilly Singh’s How to Be a Bawse 

    With over 7 billion people on Earth, you have nearly countless opportunities to knock someone’s socks off. And if your ambitions are a little broader, turn to YouTube trailblazer and all-around rockstar Lilly Singh, sharing her hard-earned wisdom in How to Be a Bawse. With powerful advice, personal stories, a juicy bit of name dropping, top-notch design, and full-color photographs that ooze personality, our favorite online unicorn breaks down the mental, physical, and spiritual hustle required to feel bawse in every area of your life. Can’t wait to read her new book, out today? Get started living the bawse life with the tips below. When you’re ready for world domination, pick up Singh’s latest to get more guidance.

    1. Expect to work hard. Dismiss shortcuts as distractions. Seek stairs, not escalators.
    2. Cultivate self-awareness. Knowing yourself better than any HR manager, friend, or enemy makes you the bawse, no matter who you work for.
    3. Welcome hard truths. Embrace discomfort. Mastering your mindset is essential to success.
    4. “If you can’t control a situation, prepare for it.”
    5. Figure out your priorities, hustle toward them, and ignore the rest.
    6. Make mistakes. Own them. Call yourself out. Figure out how to prevent it from happening again. Apologize in a real way.
    7. Choose to conquer life, not just survive it.
    8. Commit to your decisions. Love them so hard you want to marry them.
    9. When faced with FOMO, think about your future self and do whatever will make her proud.
    10. Don’t feel like doing the work? Hold off on freaking out and reinventing your life. Instead, spend time getting inspired. Bingewatch an amazing show like Game of Thrones. Read an interview with an artist you admire. Pick up a magazine you’ve never read
    11. Make a vision board and visualize exactly what success looks like to you. Get specific, look for patterns, imprint your dreams on your subconscious. Then get to work.
    12. Aim high, so your negotiations will land exactly where you need them to.
    13. Feel free to alter strategy and technique as life inevitably changes, but forget the possibility of Plans B, C, or D. There is only Plan A.
    14. Be strong, knowing no one thing has the power to make or break you. Your career is the sum of all the hard work you do.
    15. Take care of your body so it can keep up with your hustle.
    16. Review your stresses at the end of each day and problem solve how you can avoid them or make recurring tasks easier in the future. If that means buying three iPhone chargers so you never find yourself without a working cell, do it.
    17. Surround yourself with smart people who can support and advise you while you focus on doing what you do best. If you can become friends with The Rock, all the better.
    18. Never stop investing in yourself. Take classes. Interview mentors. Hire coaches, VAs, team members, experts. Develop a lifestyle that encourages growth.
    19. When you’re meet someone for the first time, act like the bawse you are. Listen closely and stay engaged. Focus on being present. And, of course, overdeliver.
    20. Know that it’s not enough to work hard and rock your business. Lilly wants you to be the kind of person who genuinely enjoys life and makes other people happy too.

    How to Be a Bawse is on shelves now.

    The post 20 Ways to Live a More Bawse Life, Inspired By Lilly Singh’s How to Be a Bawse appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Heidi Fiedler 4:00 pm on 2016/12/27 Permalink
    Tags: , Self-Improvement   

    Your 2017 Detox Reading List 

    It’s natural to indulge during the holidays. When else will you get to see so many friends and loved ones? And there are soooo many treats. Plus we’re all super stressed at the end of year. Put all these elements together, and it’s common to cross the line into overindulging. So if you’re feeling the need for a detox, but aren’t quite ready to commit to a scary juice cleanse or spend a week at the spa, this reading list is for you. It’s filled with inspiration and practical tips on how you can detox in every area of your life, from finances to food. Ahhhh…now doesn’t that feel better?

    The Moon Juice Cookbook, by Amanda Chantal Bacon
    Beloved by the ladies at Goop, including Ms. Paltrow herself, Moon Juice uses superfoods to beautify, cleanse, and nourish the body. The first cookbook from creator Amanda Chantal Bacon calls for ingredients like cultured fennel and maca. There are over 75 decadent recipes, including Strawberry Rose Geranium Bars and Sea Bone Broth, alongside the gorgeous photographs. There’s even something called Hot Sex Milk. Don’t you feel better already?

    The Art of Money, by Bari Tessler
    Bari Tessler is like the Brene Brown of personal finance. She’s wise, soulful, compassionate, and deeply competent. Her book walks readers through kindly accepting your history with money, understanding how you relate to money now, and creating a money map for the future. After reading this book, you’ll have a more mindful relationship with money, feel more confident about how to align your finances with your intentions, and indulge in money dates rather than retail therapy. The best thing about Tessler’s book is that it never scolds. Instead, she celebrates your dreams and helps make them possible.

    The Joy of Less, by Francine Jay
    If your New Year’s detox needs to extend to your closet, Francine’s Jay mellow guide to minimalism offers practical advice on how to declutter everything from your kitchen to your coatrack so it’s streamlined, functional, and beautiful. The amazing thing about clearing space in your home is you appreciate the things you have and feel less compelled to buy more stuff, which means you can work a little less and live a little more. If that’s not New Year’s Resolution worthy, I don’t know what is!

    The Art of Attention, by Elena Brower and Erica Jago
    If you’re already dreading the new exercise routine you vowed to start the second it was January 1st, it might be because you’re doing what you think you should, rather than what you want to do. You won’t find the secret to enjoying exercise in the latest magazine or blog post. The only way to fall in love with exercise and make it part of your regular routine is to listen to your body and do whatever it’s craving, whether that’s taking a nap, going for a run, or doing a few sun salutations. The Art of Attention card deck is designed to help you get in touch with your body’s wisdom, while suggesting a few yoga poses along the way. Beautifully photographed, each card features an inspirational word and a small bit of advice that can unlock your own intuition. Namaste.

    Healing Tonics, by Adriana Ayales
    Eternal youth may not come in a bottle, but elixirs do, and it’s impossible to drink one of these healing tonics and not feel a tiny bit better. If all that champagne has given you a headache, try Ayales’ headache cure. If you need a little jolt to convince yourself going back to work is doable, down the Cacao & Reishi Energy Elixir. Or enjoy a rainbow of smoothies. Slip in one of these teas, tonics, or elixirs each day and you’ll be glowing in no time.

    Eat with Intention, by Cassandra Bodzak
    If you’re thinking it’s not so much about what you eat as how you eat, this guide to intuitive eating will be your guru in the new year. Written by a meditation teacher, this cookbook includes 75 recipes, each paired with a mantra and meditation. This zen approach to eating will help you move from worrying about what you put in your mouth to treating eating as an act of self care. Get ready to reset your relationship with food and find out what works for you.

    Chasing Slow, by Erin Loechner
    When the creator of Design for Mankind was asked to write a book about living with intention, she already knew a thing or two about styling beautiful photographs and inspiring her audience. But when she sat down to write, the words that rang true presented a more sophisticated theme than just Buy Less and Do Less. Instead of writing a guide to minimalism, Loechner wrote a personal memoir about the tension we all feel between trying to live with intention and trying to just get through the day, doing the best we can. If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by aspirational Instagram feeds or just your own list of resolutions, this book is a gentle reminder that we’re all simply chasing that feeling of peace we crave, and it might not come where we expect to find it.

    How are you planning on detoxing in the new year?

    The post Your 2017 Detox Reading List appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Heidi Fiedler 5:50 pm on 2016/02/22 Permalink
    Tags: listen up!, podcasts, , Self-Improvement   

    8 Books That Would Make Awesome Podcasts 

    I’m subscribed to 20 podcasts (related: I work at home and take many walks), and I think there are some smarty-pants authors who need to jump on this audio bandwagon pronto. Elizabeth Gilbert’s Magic Lessons podcast was originally meant to help promote her book Big Magic, which would have been a huge bestseller with or without marketing geniuses behind it, but it was also a passion project for Liz and her listeners. People felt like they got to know her. She got to know her readers. And it was all a big lovefest!  Likewise, the ever-savvy Gretchen Rubin paired up with her sister to create a podcast that’s being downloaded like crazy. So who will be the next author to join the world of podcasts? These are my picks for the next “Serial”—you’re listening to Season 2, right?

    “Let’s Be Friends” with Mindy Kaling
    Podcasts are often a way to feel like you’re hanging out with friends even when you’re really just driving a long and lonely commute. After reading Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? and Why Not Me?, we know Mindy Kaling is a totally relatable (but wiser and more successful) version of us. With her funny stories and quick insights, who wouldn’t want to hang out with her on a walk around the neighborhood, or over a sink full of dishes?

    Bossy? Yes, Please!” with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler
    Despite our wildest dreams, Tina and Amy can’t be everywhere at once, but they probably wouldn’t mind calling each other once a week to make a podcast. In fact, I think it might be the highlight of their weeks—and ours. Until they can host every award show, run for President, and pretty much shrink down and ride along in our pockets every day, having them whisper wisdom and wit in our ears via a podcast is the next best thing.

    Year of Yes” with Shonda Rhimes
    Can we just have a show where we all call in and ask Shonda’s advice on whether we should do something or not and the answer is always yes? “Hello, this is Shonda. What’s your next adventure?” “I’m thinking about building an underground tunnel filled with tulips and murals, so the musicians in my neighborhood have somewhere to play when it gets cold in the subways. But I don’t know. Should I do that?” “Oh, yes!” Yes, let’s do that.

    Unstoppable” with Bill Nye
    I would also love to listen to Bill Nye take down all the people who say “Science? Meh, it’s not for me.” or “Global warming? It feels pretty cold out right now.” Of course, Bill would be entirely civilized and never wrinkle his bow tie. But dang, you know his arguments would be on point, and we could all rest easier knowing the scientists of the world have won the latest bewildering battle.

    “Wholehearted Living” with Brené Brown
    I’m pretty sure that between her appearances with Oprah, her Courage Works class, and writing bestselling books, Dr. Brown doesn’t need any more work to do, but oh, we would eat her podcast up! That Texas twang? Her hilarious anecdotes? Call-ins from people who’ve read the books but just can’t figure out how they apply to their own lives? I’m ready to subscribe right now!

    Thrive” with Ariana Huffington
    Being boss is big business in the podcast world. And who’s a better boss than Ariana Huffington? Let’s hear her interview celebrity friends, leading entrepreneurs, and quieter heroes about the work they do and how they balance well-being with the drive to succeed. If we can’t get Ariana to do it, can we ask Nasim Pedrad to do a podcast as Ariana instead?

    Smarter, Better, Faster” with Charles Duhigg
    You’re already fast enough, are you? Don’t need to be any smarter to take over the world? Suit yourself. But if you want to hack your way to the top, Duhigg has some tips. Listening to them doled out in weekly podcast format would be the perfect way to test and try his ideas in your own life. If his research doesn’t convince you, on-air interviews with CEOs,  four-star generals, FBI agents, airplane pilots, and Broadway songwriters will.

    Norwegian Wood” with Lars Mitting (and his translator)
    I’m going to be honest. I spent a few minutes trying to figure out whether there’s a way to take the adult coloring-book craze and turn it into a podcast, but I haven’t cracked that one yet. But if you’re looking for something just as soothing, might I suggest an entire podcast devoted to the art of chopping, drying, and stacking wood the Scandinavian way? This just might be the podcast equivalent of watching the yule log on TV.

    What book would you love to listen to as a podcast? 

     
  • Kathryn Williams 7:28 pm on 2015/12/28 Permalink
    Tags: a joyful 2016, , , life-changing magic: a journal: spark joy every day, , Self-Improvement, ,   

    Ring in a Tidy New Year with Marie Kondo’s Spark Joy 

    There’s a saying I heard once: “Messy bed, messy head.” I’m not a particularly neat person, but this bit of mother-knows-best wisdom stuck with me. When I make my bed in the morning, I feel that much more equipped to conquer the day. The decks are cleared and possibilities are open. In 2016, I’m thinking of upping the ante. What if I could get that made-bed feeling throughout my whole house, and do it with Marie Kondo?

    In 2014’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Kondo (aka KonMari) introduced readers to the “Japanese art of decluttering and organizing.” But the KonMari Method isn’t just about neatening; it’s about changing your relationship to your world, starting with all the stuff that populates it. Discarding what we don’t need and surrounding ourselves only with those things that bring us joy is transformative, Kondo believes.

    Still, KonMari acolytes clamored for more. “But, KonMari, how do I fold a dolman-sleeved top?” they cried. “And what about that stuffed bear from my ex?” Kondo’s millions of fans will be delighted to hear that the tidying lessons will continue with Spark Joy, the “master class” in the KonMari Method. Here’s how her new book goes even further than her first, bestselling smash:

    • More detailed instruction. Kondo goes through every category of thing you might have in your home, even those that are hard to classify, telling you how to sort it, how to tell whether it truly brings joy (yes, even a screwdriver can make you happy), and how to store it. Cosplay outfits? Check. Greeting cards? Check. Sewing kits and calligraphy pens? She’s got you covered.
    •  Illustrations. Step-by-step drawings show how to fold specific types of clothing. Super helpful when it comes to that puffy, hooded parka.
    • Decorating tips. If you love to decorate, tidying can still work for you! Kondo is not against trinkets and decoration, as long as they bring you joy. Drape keychains, for example, over clothes hangers for a little mood-lifting sparkle in your own private space. Wrap electrical cords in pretty fabric, she also suggests, and use flowers to bring color to a room.
    • How to deal with others’ stuff. Kondo also tackles the all-important question of how to get kids and spouses involved, or how to “be like the sun” and accept them—and their messes—if your motivation is not, in fact, contagious. The process might even better your relationships.
    • A companion journal. In addition to this followup edition, Kondo has also brought us Life-Changing Magic: A Journal: Spark Joy Every Day. a daily journal sprinkled with Kondo quotes and inspiration for those looking to dig deeper into their organizing processes. When you’re seeking out the delight in everyday moments, the question, “does it spark joy?” will start to resonate not only about things and spaces but also about relationships, people, and activities.
    • Reminders of why this process is so important. When the going gets tough, even the tough need pep talks. For those readers losing steam against a mountain of stuff, this little book will be a helpful reminder of the reasons why you want a tidy home. That simple answer is: joy.

    Here’s to good tidyings of comfort and joy in 2016!

     
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