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Artist Quotes: 42 Frida Kahlo Quotes You Need To Read Today


My kids and I went on an educational vacation to Austin, Texas some years ago. Our primary objective was to visit the Harry Ransom Center to view their copy of the Gutenberg Bible. At the center, we also discovered some great art and letters. One of the paintings on display was Frida Kahlo‘s Self-portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird. The docent did her job well — she brought Frida to life for us. Thus began our love affair with this beautiful and intriguing woman.


Over 100 years ago, Magdalena Carmen Frieda Kahlo y Calderón (best known as simply Frida Kahlo) was born in Mexico. Kahlo was an openly bisexual communist artist who was married to the great Mexican muralist Diego Rivera, with whom she had a stormy, utterly passionate relationship.

Her story is inspiring. She contracted Polio at the age of six. That left her with one leg thinner than the other and one of her feet deformed. She wore long, colorful traditional Tehuana costumes to camouflage this. When she was 18 years old, she was injured in a trolley car accident and spent a year in bed recovering from fractures to her spine, ribs, collarbone, a shattered pelvis, eleven fractures in her right leg, and her shoulder. A punctured uterus left her unable to have children. She had more than thirty operations and spent most of her life in pain and flat on her back.


She began painting because it was one of the few things she could do lying flat on her back in bed. She married Diego Rivero when she was 22. He was chronically unfaithful and she retaliated with affairs of her own — with both men and women, including Georgia O’Keefe and Leon Trotsky. At one point, she and Diego divorced but they later remarried.

Diego himself perhaps described her work better than anyone else ever could:

“I recommend her to you, not as a husband but as an enthusiastic admirer of her work, acid and tender, hard as steel and delicate and fine as a butterfly’s wing, lovable as a beautiful smile, and as profound and cruel as the bitterness of life.”

Frida had a dark sense of humor and a sharp wit, according to biographers.

Frida had huge lust for life. She had a seductive effect on many people and charmed everyone. People loved her beauty, personality, and talent. She was also known for her dark sense of humour and sharp wit. Frida loved dancing, drinking and parties. She took great pride in keeping a home for Diego and loved looking after him. She lavished attention on her pets – mischievous spider monkeys, dogs, cats and birds and adored children. She loved nonsense, gossip and dirty jokes and abhorred pretension. She treated servants like family and students like esteemed colleagues.

Frida Kahlo died in 1954 at the age of 47.

While I do love art, words are my true love, my passion. I love powerful quotes — and artist quotes — so I’ve gathered below every Frida Kahlo quote I can find. It’s very fortunate for us that she kept a diary, which has also been published.

1. I was born a bitch. I was born a painter.

2. Feet, what do I need you for when I have wings to fly?

3. I paint flowers so they will not die.

4. There have been two great accidents in my life. One was the trolley, and the other was Diego. Diego was by far the worst.

5. I love you more than my own skin and even though you don’t love me the same way, you love me anyways, don’t you? And if you don’t, I’ll always have the hope that you do, and I’m satisfied with that. Love me a little. I adore you.

Picture 3

6. The most interesting thing about the so-called lies of Diego is that, sooner or later, the ones involved in the imaginary tale get angry, not because of the lies, but because of the truth contained in the lies, which always comes forth.

7. I paint self-portraits because I am so often alone, because I am the person I know best.

8. I used to think I was the strangest person in the world but then I thought there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways I do. I would imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me, too. Well, I hope that if you are out there and read this and know that, yes, it’s true I’m here, and I’m just as strange as you.

9. They thought I was a Surrealist, but I wasn’t. I never painted dreams. I painted my own reality.

10. I drank because I wanted to drown my sorrows, but now the damned things have learned to swim.

11. I am not sick. I am broken. But I am happy to be alive as long as I can paint.

12. I think that little by little I’ll be able to solve my problems and survive.

13. At the end of the day, we can endure much more than we think we can.



14. Nothing is worth more than laughter. It is strength to laugh and to abandon oneself, to be light.

15. Tragedy is the most ridiculous thing.

16. They are so damn ‘intellectual’ and rotten that I can’t stand them anymore. I would rather sit on the floor in the market of Toluca and sell tortillas, than have anything to do with those ‘artistic’ bitches of Paris.

17. The only thing I know is that I paint because I need to, and I paint whatever passes through my head without any other consideration.

18. I must fight with all my strength so that the little positive things that my health allows me to do might be pointed toward helping the revolution. The only real reason for living.

19. I leave you my portrait so that you will have my presence all the days and nights that I am away from you.

20. Really, I do not know whether my paintings are surrealist or not, but I do know that they are the frankest expression of myself.

22. The most important thing for everyone in Gringolandia is to have ambition and become ‘somebody,’ and frankly, I don’t have the least ambition to become anybody.

23. You deserve the best, the very best, because you are one of the few people in this lousy world who are honest to themselves, and that is the only thing that really counts.

24. I paint my own reality. The only thing I know is that I paint because I need to, and I paint whatever passes through my head without any other consideration.


25. My painting carries with it the message of pain.

26. Painting completed my life.

27. People in general are scared to death of the war and all the exhibitions have been a failure, because the rich don’t want to buy anything.

28. Diego was everything; my child, my lover, my universe.

29. I cannot speak of Diego as my husband because that term, when applied to him, is an absurdity. He never has been, nor will he ever be, anybody’s husband.

30. Nothing is absolute. Everything changes, everything moves, everything revolves, everything flies and goes away.

31. I wish I could do whatever I liked behind the curtain of ‘madness’. Then: I’d arrange flowers, all day long, I’d paint; pain, love and tenderness, I would laugh as much as I feel like at the stupidity of others, and they would all say: Poor thing, she’s crazy! (Above all I would laugh at my own stupidity.) I would build my world which while I lived, would be in agreement with all the worlds. The day, or the hour, or the minute that I lived would be mine and everyone else’s – my madness would not be an escape from ‘reality’.

32. Pain, pleasure and death are no more than a process for existence. The revolutionary struggle in this process is a doorway open to intelligence.

33. No moon, sun, diamond, hands –
fingertip, dot, ray, gauze, sea.
pine green, pink glass, eye,
mine, eraser, mud, mother, I am coming.

34. I want to be inside your darkest everything.

36. Only one mountain can know the core of another mountain.

37. I am nauseated by all these rotten people in Europe – and these fucking “democracies” are not worth even a crumb.

38. It was worthwhile to come here only to see why Europe is rottening, why all this people – good for nothing – are the cause of all the Hitlers and Mussolinis.

40. To feel the anguish of waiting for the next moment and of taking part in the complex current (of affairs) not knowing that we are headed toward ourselves, through millions of stone beings – of bird beings – of star beings – of microbe beings – of fountain beings toward ourselves.

41. I am my own muse, I am the subject I know best. The subject I want to know better.

42. I hope the exit is joyful. And I hope never to return.

images (25)

I hope you enjoyed these artist quotes by Frida Kahlo. You can see Frida in video below. An amazing compilation. I’d also recommend reading The Diary of Frida Kahlo: An Intimate Self-Portrait and introducing your kids to her via the movie about her life, Frida.

artist quotes

38 Gifts For Book Lovers


First published at LiberalAmerica.org

It’s not easy to shop for bibliophiles. On the one hand, this should be a no-brainer. Book lovers love books. All books. Any books. But what if you don’t want to buy them books? Or what if you don’t have any clue what they’ve read or haven’t read, or even what they like to read?

Never fear! There are lots of really cool gifts on the web for book lovers. Here are just a few. Hint to my kids: anything on this list.

1.Adjustable Tablet Stand


2. The Fault in Our Stars Necklaces



3.Bedside Book Hook



4.So Little Time Bookends



5.Female Authors Umbrella



6.Sylvia Plath Earrings



7.Instant Dictionary



8. The Bell Jar Inspired I Am. I Am. I Am. Necklace


9.The Time Traveler’s Wife Full Text Poster


10. Map of Middle Earth Dress (or leggings!)



11. Literary Temporary Tattoos



12. Bookshelf Necklace



13. Hogwarts Alumni Crop Top



14. Literary San Francisco Puzzle



15. Book-Rest Light



16. Jilted Literary Lover Matches



17. Cast-Iron Hand Sculpture


18. Bibliophile Soy Candles



19. Slaughterhouse Five So It Goes? Necklace



20. Zipper Bookmark



21. Le Petit Prince Shirt (they have it in all sizes)


22. Page-Turning Bookmark



23.Library Card Tote



24. Book Rest Toilet Paper Holder



25. Edgar Allen Poe-ka Dot Phone Case



26. Book Pillow



27. Book Bath Caddy


28. Banned Book Socks




29. Dinner with Mr. Darcy — Recipes inspired by the novels of Jane Austen

Ryland Peters & Small / rylandpeters.com
Ryland Peters & Small / rylandpeters.com

30.  Old Book Scented Candle (or new book scented!)


31. Great First Lines of Literature Mug


32. East Egg and West Egg Necklaces Set (great for BFFs)


33. Library Stamp Men’s T-shirt (for women, too)


34. Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy T-shirt (and nearly any other literary t-shirt you’re looking for)


35.  Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist — Awesome cocktail recipes with names that are literary puns!


36. Personal Library Kit — with self-adhesive pockets and checkout cards, date stamp, and inkpad


37. Novel Teas — 25 teabags individually tagged with literary quotes


38. Kurt Vonnegut “So It Goes” Mug



20 Bizarre Vintage Thanksgiving Pinups


I LOVE pinup and I’m actually an avid collector. But who knew “sexy Thanksgiving” was a thing? The explanation is that these were done as a practical matter. Most pinup was done for calendars and they had to have something for November.

Anyhow, these are hilarious. Enjoy, and most of all, enjoy your Thanksgiving, sexy or not.

Houston Press
Houston Press
RightWingNews (????)
RightWingNews (????)








You can explore more pin-up online. The Great American Pin-up is my favorite pin-up book and a good starter if you’re just falling in love with this fabulous art.


5 Kids Christmas Books That Totally Teach Kids Liberal Values


Have you ever noticed that most children’s stories are liberal stories? You never see a book that’s written for children that talks about “let them die if they can’t afford food” and “send undocumented immigrants back to where they came from.” So conservatives love to teach these values to their kids, even though they don’t practice them themselves. And in reality, they don’t teach them to their kids for REAL. Just as bedtime stories (or feel-good stories at church on Sunday).

Here are some great children’s books that you can buy for the kids of your friends and family. Be sure to tell the liberal story in front of all the adults and tell the kids “no matter what you learn when you grow up, always remember these stories.”


AImage via Amazon

1. Frosty The Snowman byWalter Rollins (Author), Steve Nelson (Author), Sam William (Illustrator)

You gotta love kids. They accept people (even snowpeople) for who they are. They found a hat, Frosty came to life, nobody judged. Our (silk) hats off to you Frosty and friends for the joy and friendship you inspire.


Image via Amazon

2. The 12 Days of Christmas by Frederic Austin (words)/Vladamir Vagin (illustrator)

This book can build cooperation between people in various ways. Adults and children alike will enjoy the beautiful illustrations of this edition and when some kid comes up with the idea to sing every single verse just stand back and watch the bipartisan cooperation as everyone heads outside to build snowmen and make snowforts and snowangles and celebrate those special Christmas memories with all the family.

Image via Amazon

3. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson

I can’t remember when I first read this book, but I immediately fell in love with the totally unlovable Herdman kids–Leroy, Claude, Ollie, Imogene, Gladys, and Ralph. You name it, the Herdman kids did it. Boy or girl they smoked, stole, lied, fought, and did pretty much anything they wanted. Toung Beth Bradley narrates this tale of how the Herdmans wind up in church when her brother Charlie brags about the snacks he gets during Sunday School Class. Then Beth and Charlie’s mother is put in charge of the Christmas Play and Herdmans, who had never heard the nativity story before decide they want to help. Miraculous mayhem ensues as the Herdmans manage to take over the production. (Even attempting to change the script to include a beat down of King Herod.) What everyone expects to become a disaster actually turns out to be a big lesson for the Herdmans and for the church members alike. As the Herdmans soften while they learn the story behind the play, the church folk begins to see the Herdmans and the nativity story in a whole new light– like the people they are portraying, the Herdmans are real people underneath, no different from the Holy Family nor different from the Bradley family or anyone else in the audience.


Image via Amazon

4. The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore

Imagine, if you will, a quiet and calm Victorian Era Christmas Eve. The kids, on their best behavior, are in bed and gone to sleep. Pappa and Mamma are also supposedly settling in as well, but if they’ve managed to get the rest of the household down I would imagine they are taking advantage for a little, shall we say,”Victorian’s” Secret time. Heeheehee

Then the calm is broken by an awful noise on the lawn. Pappa heads for the window, opens the shutters, and throws up the sash. I’m not sure what he was doing eating the sash. That discussion is best left to the folks on My Strange Addiction. It probably is best that he threw it up as it would have been difficult to digest.

In a possibly sash induced haze, Pappa sees a miniature sleigh drawn by tiny reindeer. He seems amazed, but not really frightened. Perhaps he is wondering if the Cook put a little too much rum in the rum cake. Then, the driver of the sleigh comes sliding down the family’s chimney. Many folks would be thinking in terms of home invasion, but no, he’s sure it’s St. Nick. The man is covered in fur (does PETA know about this) and of course ashes and soot. He is a tiny elf-like man carrying a bundle of toys. Pappa admits the man looked like a peddler. Now at this time peddlers were often associated with thieves or gypsies. So for all he knows he has a miniature, white bearded, pipe smoking, cat burglar on his hands. But the guy just looks so jolly that all Pappa can do is laugh. Then St. Nick gives him a wink and he knows he doesn’t have to be afraid and he lets the old gentleman go on about his work of filling stockings.

While he may have been a little surprised when St Nicholas left the home by going up the chimney, he felt very good about the experience overall. It wasn’t just about the material things though. Pappa could have started yelling out another window to draw the attention of the local constabulary, hit the old man over the head with a vase, or even taken that sack of toys and been #1 Dad. Instead he kept his cool. The two man came from very different worlds. Nick was dressed like a peddler, considered on the low end of the social scale, but was actually a Saint and therefore way above ordinary guy Pappa. But without saying a word, the two men showed each other mutual respect. St. Nick did not judge Pappa for his sash addiction and Pappa felt no need to exhibit violence toward the stranger suddenly appearing in his home. When you think with you head and your heart people from all parts of society can live in peace.

Image via Amazon

5. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

By now everyone knows the story of rich, miserly old Ebenezer Scrooge–scorned by his father but beloved by his sister. Obviously he is afflicted with what we now know to be self esteem issues, hoarding tendencies (gold), and obsessive compulsive disorder. Today he’d probably wind up with his own reality TV show or at least on an episode of Extreme Cheapskates. Sadly in that Victorian Era he was much maligned as people rushed to judge him as simply a mean old man who ignored his nephew Fred and was cruel to his employee Bob Cratchit. He also had a bit of an attitude with some folks collecting for charity. Are there no prisons Are there no workhouses?

Supposedly Scrooge is visited by the ghost of his old business partner, Jacob Marley. Eb isn’t really sure about this, believing that perhaps he’s suffering from some type of food poisoning. I rather go along with that thinking. I came out of TMJ surgery wearing an ice pack that went under chin around my cheeks and then went over the top of my head. (This is the way the winding cloth Jacob must take off before he can speak to Scrooge is represented.) Being a bit loopy on pain killers I spent a few days going around giving people the evil eye and slowly raising my arm and pointing my finger at them. As far as I know I didn’t scare anybody into turning their lives around. Anyway, Scrooge has a vision of Jacob Marley warning him that he better straighten up and fly right or spend eternity in chains of his own making. Oh yeah, by the way, Scrooge is going to get visited by three spirits and he’d better listen up.

So Scrooge, in his feverish state is visited by the Ghost of Christmas Past. Past shows Scrooge as a boy ignored by a cruel father, an older Scrooge apprenticed to the merchant Fezziwig, and finally Scrooge sees himself as businessman in his own right. Yet he loses the love of his life when his hoarding of gold comes between them. Finally Christmas Past show Eb his love–now older and happily married with children and living the life that could have been theirs. Unable to take anymore, Scrooge takes Past’s hat and snuffs it out from the light emanating from its head on down. Splat!

Next comes the Ghost of Christmas Present. Present takes Scrooge on a trip through a snowy, holiday London and then on to the small home of the Cratchit family. For the first time he sees the conditions in which Bob and his wife and children live. For the first time he learns of the crippled child Tiny Tim. Scrooge is surprised that the family can be content with what little they have and is disturbed when the Ghost predicts a future empty chair where Tiny Tim should be.

Present, being kind of a party animal, takes Eb to a few more feasts and then to the party that Scrooges’s nephew Fred is throwing. No one can see him, but something sparks and he actually begins to enjoy himself. But, this is meant to be a life lesson or a nightmare so off to more desolate climes they go. Beneath Present’s robes are two emaciated children–Ignorance and Want. (Remember, Dickens intended this to be a social allegory so he wasn’t going for subtility here.) When Scrooge asks if nothing can be done to help, Present mocks him with his own words–Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?

We all know what comes next. The Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come–who is not messing around. He sees the Cratchit family after the loss of Tiny Tim. He learns that he also has died–alone and unmourned. Can’t take it with you Eb. He cries out and begs for mercy and suddenly find himself back safe and sound in his own bed having survived 3 ghosts or food poisoning. Either way he is a changed man.

In short order Scrooge is dancing and singing, ordering a big honkin’ bird for the Cratchit Christmas table, and contributing to charity. He’s probably lucky people didn’t think he’d gone crazy and put him in an asylum. The next day he gives Bob Cratchit a raise and makes sure there is more coal to heat the office.

Scrooge never marries but a nontraditional family is formed. He becomes such a part of the Cratchit clan that Tiny Tim thinks of him as a second father. Scrooge apparently lets go of some more dough for Tim’s medical treatment because the lucky lad does not die. In fact he lives, learns to play the ukulele, sings about tulips, and marries his first wife on the set of the Johnny Carson show.

God bless us, every one!

56 Best Books For Unemployed People


This is a great resource that I stumbled onto at one of my favorite websites, Just English.

1. The Unemployed Millionaire: Escape the Rat Race, Fire Your Boss and Live Life on YOUR Terms! by Matt Morris

Once homeless and heavily in debt, Matt Morris knows what it’s like to be down and out. In this book, he shares how he turned his life around, created a new career and made millions, offering steps that could help inspire you to start your own business or break out of your unemployment slump.

2. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

This classic book will show you some simple, but powerful, ways to be a better leader and employee and change how you see yourself and your life.

3. The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss

This is one of the most popular business books of the last decade. Why work harder when you can work smarter? In this book, you’ll learn some tricks that will let you work less and live more when you start your own business.

4. Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson

If you’ve been throwing around the idea of starting your own business, this book is a must-read. It offers inspirational advice on everything from dealing with customers to effective time management.

5. The Power of Positive Thinking by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale

A motivational classic written by Boston-native Dr. Norman Peale, this book can help you to stop focusing on the negative in life and start seeing what good things you have going on. The attitude shift could be just the change you need to get your life back on track.

6. As a Man Thinketh by James Allen

You’re only as successful as you allow yourself to think you’ll be, or that’s the lesson this book aims to teach. While it doesn’t promise success simply as a result of thought a la The Secret, it does show how changing your way of thinking can change your level of happiness, outlook on life and belief in yourself all stepping stones to success in any facet of life.

7. Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson

Change is a fact of life, but so many of us have a hard time coping with it when it happens to us. You may no longer have your job, but this book will show you some powerful lessons that will help you deal with change, create new goals and find your new inner cheese. Johnson received his psychology bachelor from the University of Southern California and his M.D. degree from the Royal College of Surgeons.

8. Awaken the Giant Within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny by Anthony Robbins

Whether you buy into the lessons espoused by motivational and self-help speakers or not, this book can help you to break out of an unemployment funk. How? By reminding you that no one can get you a new job, career or business but you.

9. Your Best Year Yet!: Ten Questions for Making the Next Twelve Months Your Most Successful Ever by Jinny S. Ditzler

Parts of your year might have sucked pretty bad, but this book offers some hope that things can be better. Learn how to set goals, determine your core values and focus your energy where it matters most.

10. What Should I Do With My Life? The Story of People Who Answered the Ultimate Question by Po Bronson

You might be sitting there right now wondering what you should do with your life. There are no easy or right answers, but this book shares some touching stories of others who were searching for and sometimes finding their true callings an amazing source of inspiration for anyone feeling lost.

Just for the Unemployed

11. The Adventures of Unemployed Man by Erich Origen, Gan Golan, Ramona Fradon and Rick Veitch

Taking a humorous look at unemployment, this graphic novel follows the hero Unemployed Man and his sidekick Plan B as they battle the villainous The Just Us League.

12. iJobless: 50 Ways to Survive Unemployment by Jenny Holmes

Offering tips on lowering your monthly expenses, making money and staying motivated, this book aims to help you be, oddly enough, successful at being unemployed.

13. $100K to Nothing: My Journey From a Six Figure Income to the Unemployment Line in the Worst Economy of Our Time by Dan Holt

A story that is all too common these days, Dan Holt lost his job in 2009 and has struggled to find a new one. In this book, he documents his experiences and shares advice that can help others in the same situation get back to work.

14. Unemployment: The Shocking Truth of Its Causes, Its Outrageous Consequences And What Can Be Done About It by Jack Stone and Joe McCraw

Taking on the negatives of capitalism head on, this highly political read may not be for everyone, but for the unemployed it can help put a face on the many forces that helped contribute to job loss.

15. Little Victories: Conquering Unemployment by Tom Brophy

Learn how to battle the depression and frustration that can come with unemployment and celebrate the little victories that happen along the way as you work your way back into a job with help from Department of Labor veteran Tim Brophy.

16. The Unemployment Survival Guide by Jim Stringham and David Workman

While you might not feel that you’re going to get through being unemployed, you will, and this book will show you how, offering tips and tools to help you grow and learn while unemployed.

17. Gainfully Unemployed: 17 Ways to Maintain Your Sanity While Looking for Work by Jonathan Wade

If you’re pulling out your hair, staying up all night and generally stressing out about unemployment, you’re not doing yourself any favors. Read this book to learn how to stay sane and keep busy while out of work.

18. Landing on the Right Side of Your Ass: A Survival Guide for the Recently Unemployed by Michael B. Laskoff

You might be out on your ass from your last job, but this book shows you that it doesn’t always have to be a bad thing. A veteran of downsizing, Laskoff (New York) shares the steps of grieving for a lost jobs and the process necessary to move on.

19. Rebound: A Proven Plan for Starting Over After Job Loss by Martha I. Finney

Just like getting dumped, getting laid off can be an emotional and trying experience. In this book, you’ll find advice on protecting yourself, moving forward and finding a sexy new job to rebound with.

20. Unemployment Boot Camp: Tactics for Surviving and Thriving in the 21st Century by R. A. Long

Need some help kicking your unemployed butt into gear? Based on military-style thinking, this book will help you develop your own battle plans to survive and thrive during unemployment.

21. The Healthcare Survival Guide, Cost-Saving Options for The Suddenly Unemployed and Anyone Else Who Wants to Save Money by Martin B. Rosen and M.D. Abbie Leibowitz

One of the biggest worries for many who have lost their jobs is how to keep up with health insurance without going broke. This book offers some great advice and information that can make that less of a worry, so you can concentrate on finding a job.


Keeping your motivation levels high is key when looking for work, so give these books a read for a dose of inspiration that will help you push yourself on to bigger and better things.

22. The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz

This book teaches that a positive and optimistic mindset can go a long way, even when things seem at their worst. Learn how to turn your unemployment into an advantage and get motivated to meet your goals through this popular self-help read.

23. 100 Ways to Motivate Yourself: Change Your Life Forever by Steve Chandler

Those in dire need of motivation should check out this book for advice on creating your own action plan and changing self-limiting behaviors that may be holding you back.

24. Jobless: How to Quit Your Day Job and Start Your Climb to the Top by Alan De Keyrel

You’ve already got the lack of a day job part done, so now you can start working on climbing to the top with the help of this inspirational book.

25. Failing Forward: Turning Mistakes into Stepping Stones for Success by John Maxwell

You might think losing your job was a failure, but as this book will teach you it may simply give you the motivation and experience you need for future success.

26. The Path: Creating Your Mission Statement for Work and for Life by Laurie Beth Jones

Do you know what you want out of life? Out of work? In this book, you’ll learn how to figure out your life path and what the power of setting goals can offer to you in your professional life.

27. Maximum Achievement: Strategies and Skills That Will Unlock Your Hidden Powers to Succeed by Brian Tracy

If you’re unemployed, you’re probably not feeling that you’re really living up to your true potential. Yet this book offers up some ways that you can get back into the game and start using all those skills, even some you didn’t know you had, to find success in life and business.

28. Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath

Unemployment can make you feel weak and helpless, but if you want to get back into work, you’ve got to know your strengths. Use this book to figure out where your true gifts lie — you might just be surprised.

29. Motion Before Motivation: The Success Secret That Never Fails by Michael J. Dolphies

The lesson of this book? All the planning, talking and thinking about doing things is great, but the only thing that really matters is what you do.

30. Infinite Possibilities: The Art of Living Your Dreams by Mike Dooley

This book asks readers to look inside themselves to find inspiration and spiritual guidance that can bring greater happiness and help you to more adeptly work towards meeting your goals in life, which in the short term might just mean finding a job.

Networking and Business

These books offer help and assistance with finding success in business and meeting people who may be able to help you find work.

31. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Whether you’re the CEO of a company or an unemployed person, this book is an essential read for anyone in the business world. First published in 1937, the book offers some fundamentals for understanding human nature that can make you more likeable and ultimately more hirable.

32. The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino

Getting a job is really a matter of knowing how to sell yourself. In this book, you’ll get classic sales tips that may just help you finally find a new job.

33. Self-Promotion for Introverts: The Quiet Guide to Getting Ahead by Nancy Ancowitz

If you’ve always been the shy and retiring type, finding work can be doubly stressful. Luckily, there are books like this one that will teach even the shiest job seeker how to market themselves.

34. Louder Than Words: Take Your Career from Average to Exceptional with the Hidden Power of Nonverbal Intelligence by Joe Navarro

Want to know if you’re doing well in an interview or not? You could learn volumes by learning to better read body language, a skill this book will help you to hone.

35. Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty: The Only Networking Book You’ll Ever Need by Harvey Mackay

While you might be pretty thirsty for work right now, this book still has some amazing networking tips to offer that can help anyone, even those already in desperate need of a job, make connections that can lead to employment, contract work and more.

36. Think Better: An Innovator’s Guide to Productive Thinking by Tim Hurson

Tim Hurston shares some insights into what it takes to be a leading entrepreneur in this book, a great read for anyone considering starting their own business.

37. Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time by Keith Ferrazzi

This book will help you learn some networking skills that could just land you a new job or at least a few interviews.

38. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini

If you want to get others to do as you wish, like hire you, you have to be a master of persuasion. Learn more about how persuasion works and how you can use that to your advantage in this book.

39. Work Less, Live More by Bob Clyatt

Bob Clyatt worked hard and retired at the age of 42. Then, he lost much of his savings when the stock market tanked. In this book, he shares how he?s taken on part-time work? something the unemployed may want to consider as an option as well to help make ends meet.

40. Personal Development for Smart People by Steve Pavlina

Personal development guru Steve Pavlina’s book will help you learn to create goals, take charge of your life, get motivated and work hard to get where you want in life.

Job Hunting

Job hunting is rarely an entertaining activity, but it can be a lot more stressful when you’re unemployed. These books will show you how to take charge, impress employers and get back to work faster.

41. What Color is Your Parachute? 2015 – A Practical Manual for Job-hunters and Career-Changers by Richard N. Bolles

Perhaps one of the most popular job hunting books of all time, here you’ll find powerful advice on every aspect of the job hunt, from the best way to find job openings to building a better resume.

42. Zen and the Art of Making a Living

A Practical Guide to Creative Career Design by Laurence G. Boldt: Use this book to figure out what you want to do and how to actively take steps to make those career goals a reality.

43. The Job-Hunter’s Survival Guide: How to Find Hope and Rewarding Work, Even When There Are No Jobs by Richard Bolles

Another great read from Richard Bolles, this book serves up some advice for job hunters who are desperately in need of some guidance when it comes to finding work.

44. Work at Home Now: The No-Nonsense Guide to Finding Your Perfect Home-Based Job by Christine Durst and Michael Haaren

Many people these days telecommute to work, and it may be possible for you to find a job like this as well. Learn more about home-based jobs and the best places to look for them in this helpful book.

45. Powerful Unemployment: Practical and innovative ideas for staying motivated and having fun while looking for a new job by Sheila Boddy

This book contains a step-by-step guide that will take readers through the often scary waters of unemployment and give them the confidence and knowledge to find the opportunities they’ve been waiting for.

46. Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters 3.0: How to Stand Out from the Crowd and Tap Into the Hidden Job Market using Social Media and 999 other Tactics Today by Jay Conrad Levinson and David E. Perry

The market is packed with job hunters, many of them just as qualified as you are. So how can you stand out? This book offers some tips and tools that can help separate you from the herd.

47. How to Say It on Your Resume: A Top Recruiting Director’s Guide to Writing the Perfect Resume for Every Job by Brad Karsh

When was the last time your revised your resume? It might just need an update, and this book can help make sure that your new and improved version will be best it can be.

48. Acing the Interview: How to Ask and Answer the Questions That Will Get You the Job by Tony Beshara

Interviews are nerve-wracking, whether it’s your first time or your hundredth going through the process. In this book, help yourself to prepare for success in any interviewing situation.

49. Get The Job You Want, Even When No One’s Hiring:Take Charge of Your Career, Find a Job You Love, and Earn What You Deserve by Ford R. Myers

Finding a job during an economic crisis is, well, scary. This book will show you the different rules for looking for work in an economic downturn and what you need to do to develop your career while you wait for work.

50. The Unwritten Rules of the Highly Effective Job Search: The Proven Program Used by the World’s Leading Career Services Company by Orville Pierson

Make your job search a smarter one by using these helping tools that some of the top career services agencies employ.

Tiff’s bonus picks:

51. I Don’t Know What I Want, But I Know It’s Not This: A Step-by-Step Guide to Finding Gratifying Work by Julie Jansen

A huge number of people are unhappy with the jobs they have but don’t know what they want to do. Jansen looks at this epidemic of job dissatisfaction and offers up career assessment quizes and personality exercises to help you figure out your career situation and future. If you weren’t happy in the job you lost this is a great book to pick up in order to decide what kind of work you should pursue next.

52. 60 Seconds and You’re Hired! by Robin Ryan

This book has helped thousands of people for the past decade. Career coach Ryan shows how to excel at the job interview with useful tips in a brief format.

53. When Can You Start? 2014: ACE the Job Interview and GET HIRED by Paul Frieberger

Job interviews are your make or break moment. This book shows you how to get ready for that super important moment and how to knock their socks off in order to get the job.

54. 101 Great Answers to the Toughest Interview Questions by Ron Fry

Interviews can be difficult because you will inevitably get some tough questions thrown at you. This book gives you a guideline to answering those tough job interview questions. If you want to learn how to gracefully deal with complicated job interview questions, then pick up this book.

55. The Accidental Entrepreneur: The 50 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Starting a Business by Susan Urquhart-Brown

She never expected to end up as an entrepreneur and maybe you didn’t either. If you’ve considered the idea of starting your own business, read this book to get all the details and remove the mystery of going out on your own. You’ll get the advice, wisdom, and empathy of someone who has been there and done it already.

56. The Joy of Not Working: A Book for the Retired, Unemployed and Overworked by Ernie J. Zelinski

Why not look on the bright side of being unemployed? This book will teach you how to make the most of your time out of work and provide you with a framework for working life that will have you working less and living more.

Source via Just English

California School Bans ‘The Fault In Our Stars’ Because Of Parent Complaint


From the Los Angeles Register:

A Riverside schools committee has banned the book The Fault in Our Stars from its middle schools after a parent challenged the teen love story as inappropriate for that age group.

Following a parent’s similar complaint over a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel in Cucamonga School District, the Rancho Cucamonga Middle School library reopened to students Tuesday following a book audit launched by the controversy.

The Riverside Unified School District book reconsideration committee on Monday voted 6-1 to pull The Fault in Our Stars from library shelves at the Frank Augustus Miller Middle School. To make matters worse, the three copies that were pulled can not be sold or donated to another other schools.

fault in our stars banned

The parent involved — Karen Krueger — went to the committee and asked teachers, parents, a principal, librarian, and instructional services specialist to pull the book from the library or set up rules to only allow checkout with parental consent.

“I just didn’t think it was appropriate for an 11-, 12-, 13-year-old to read, she said. I was really shocked it was in a middle school.”

The book will still be allowed at high school libraries in the district. It’s a story about teens who are dying of cancer and use curse words and have sex.

Arlington principal and committee member Betsh Schmechel made a ridiculous statement.

“The thing that kept hitting me like a tidal wave was these kids dealing with their own mortality, and how difficult that might be for an 11-year-old or 12-year-old reading this book, she said, later adding she thinks the review process worked. If you have a process in place like this, then you have a way for anyone to be heard.

What are your thoughts on this? I do not agree with banning books, ever. I’d wager than most of these folks did or will take their kids to see the movie, but reading….well, that just won’t do.


No, not okay.

This book particularly means something to me. This surprises people, but my daughter isn’t a reader. She’s hella intelligent and lacking in nothing, but she just doesn’t enjoy getting absorbed in books. However, on her trip to China this year, someone had this book on the plane. She read it. Reading this book made her a reader. She’s now read all of John Green’s books. His writing sparked something in her.

Riverside, you’re making a mistake.

The author, John Green, had an incredible response to the banning. From his Tumblr:

“I guess I am both happy and sad.

I am happy because apparently young people in Riverside, California will never witness or experience mortality since they won’t be reading my book, which is great for them.

But I am also sad because I was really hoping I would be able to introduce the idea that human beings die to the children of Riverside, California and thereby crush their dreams of immortality.”

It’s ironic that we recently observed Banned Book Week. Also ironic is one of the central themes of this book.

fault in our stars banned

This Book Teaches Us All About ‘Raising Boys Feminists Will Hate’


first published at LiberalAmerica.org

The book Raising Boys Feminists Will Hate by Doug Giles was published in 2012, but because we’re enlightened liberals and we tend to avoid the dark underbelly of Amazon, we missed it. I’d like to buy it so that I can properly review it for Liberal America readers, but alas, putting money into the pocket of a guy like Doug Giles is something I’m loath to do, so I’ll rely on the reviews of other people who have read this book.

raising boys feminists will hate
Image via?Raising Classic Kids

From the Amazon description:

Parent, if you have a young son and you want him to grow up to be a man, then you need to keep him away from pop culture, public school and a lot of Nancy Boy churches. If metrosexual pop culture, feminized public schools and the effeminate branches of evanjellycalism lay their sissy hands on him, you can kiss his masculinity good-bye because they will morph him into a dandy. Yeah, mom and dad, if you dare to raise your boy as a classic boy in this castrated epoch, then you’ve got a task that’s more difficult than getting a drunk to hit the urinal at Chili?s. Read this bold and hard-hitting guide by Doug Giles, the politically incorrect master, on how to raise your son in a world which more and more seems to hate masculinity.

The preview that Amazon offers of the book shows that Giles seems obsessed with “metrosexual pop culture,” lesbians, and feminists. In the world of Doug Giles, raising a “classic boy in this castrated epoch” is more difficult than “getting a drunk to hit the urinal at Chili’s.” But the solution is simple: the Bible and the book of Genesis tells everything anyone needs to know about how to raise a “classic boy.”

The dedication leads one to believe that the book is a work of satire.

This screed is dedicated to fatehrs who enjoy living in the God -blessed testosterone fog and who wish to raise their sons to be men and not Nancy-boys.

This sounds like a joke, right? Would someone seriously write a book with that kind of dedication? Well, here’s what reviewer Christine Jerla said:

This book is disgusting. I bought it thinking it was satire but Giles is not joking. Giles writes, “The feminists and the men who have yielded up their private parts to the lesbians, I mean feminists, [who] have an organized system of male hatred that they just ca’t wait to slap your son with”.

Another reviewer describes the book as “extremely rough toilet paper, not very absorbent.”

If there is any doubt as to the genuineness of this author, you can glance at the folks who have given him “high praise.”

raising boys feminists will hate
Image via Amazon

That pretty much says all we need to know.

Reviewer Dan Hyland nailed it:

I’m a thirty-something dandified man with a wife, two kids, and a stable job. God, how I wish my parents had raised me right. Due to their non-judgmental, supportive parenting, I never had a chance to be an abusive rapist like I was meant to be! I mean, I never even once groped a classmate without permission. I never even spewed a “make me a sandwich, woman!” comment on an online forum! And all that time, I was caught in a net of self-loathing, seeing the women in my life having it so much easier than me, what with their superior pay, lack of sexual harassment on a daily basis, and numerous other advantages. Well, all that nonsense stops with me!

While I may be a lost cause, I’m going to raise my son right, and use this book as a guide to do so! By God, my son will be in prison for rape by the time he’s 20 years old! My son will be feared and loathed by my daughter and wife due to the way he treats them! In short, my son will be a MAN, something I’ve never been! Thank you, Doug, for showing me the way to raise him right!

In addition to junk books, Doug Giles has also written for right-wing online publications: The Daily Caller, Townhall, and The Blaze. Yep, he’s legit in the RWNJ world. His son Regis is an NRA columnist.

The 20 Most Important Books Of All Time, According To Your Facebook Friends


Earlier this year, we started seeing a fun meme crossing our Facebook timelines: “List 10 books that have stayed with you.”

It was a fun meme, but it went to a whole new level when a couple of researchers analyzed the data. From Lada Adamic and Pinkesh Patel:

The following analysis was conducted on anonymized, aggregate data.

To answer this question we gathered a de-identified sample of over 130,000 status updates matching “10 books or ten books appearing in the last two weeks of August 2014 (although the meme has been active over at least a year). The demographics of those posting were as follows: 63.7% were in the US, followed by 9.3%in India, and 6.3% in the UK. Women outnumbered men 3.1:1. The average age was 37. We therefore expect the books chosen to be reflective of this subset of the population.

We programmatically segmented the posts into lists, and found the most frequently occurring substrings, which corresponded to different books, e.g. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. However, the same book could appear as different substrings: e.g. just Anna Karenina or Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy. We clustered similar variants programmatically, hand tuning where the algorithm had failed to merge two popular variants. We then used the clusters to automatically match the book lists against the common variants of the top 500 most popular books.

The 20 best books of all time, according to Facebook, are below. You can see the rest of them here. I’m going to put most of these (if I’ve not read them) on my Amazon wish list. That will help me as I’m out and about running errands and near a used book store.


20. The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho

HarperOne / Via allthecovers.tumblr.com
HarperOne / Image via AllTheCovers


19. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe – C.S. Lewis

HarperCollins / Via msmela.com
HarperCollins / Image via MSMela


18. The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood

Anchor Books / Via one-elevenbooks.com
Anchor Books / Image via One Eleven Books


17. A Wrinkle in Time – Madeleine L’Engle

Square Fish / Via en.wikipedia.org
Square Fish / Image via Wikipedia


16. Gone with the Wind – Margaret Mitchell

Scribner Book Company / Via blog.hexotica.com.au
Scribner Book Company / Image via Hexotica


15. The Stand – Stephen King

Anchor Books / Via toomuchhorrorfiction.blogspot.com
Anchor Books / Too Much Horror Fiction


14. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte

Signet Classic / Via readwithstyle.blogspot.com
Signet Classic /Red With Style


13. Little Women – Louisa May Alcott

Via blogs.slj.com


12. 1984 – George Orwell

Debolsillo / Via bookcoverarchive.com
Debolsillo / Book Cover Archive


11. The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald

Charles Scribner?s Sons / Via en.wikipedia.org
Charles Scribner’s Sons /Wikipedia


10. The Chronicles of Narnia – C.S. Lewis



9. The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger

Little, Brown and Company / Via huffingtonpost.com
Little, Brown and Company /Wikipedia


8. The Hunger Games Trilogy – Suzanne Collins

Scholastic Press / Via amsjournal.wordpress.com
Scholastic Press /AMS Journal


7. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams

Random House / Via thealmightyguru.com
Random House /The Almighty Guru


6. The Holy Bible

American Bible Society / Via tbcaustin.com
American Bible Society /TBC Austin


5. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

Penguin Books / Via heretishietishie.blogspot.com
Penguin Books


4. The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt / Via cutlerlibrary.blogspot.com
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt /Cutler Library

3. The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien

Mariner Books / Via bestbooksforyoungadults.com
Mariner Books /Best Books for Young Adults


2. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

Grand Central Publishing / Via 210teenlibrary.wordpress.com
Grand Central Publishing /210 Teen Library

1. Harry Potter series – J.K. Rowling

Scholastic Books / Via en.wikipedia.org
Scholastic Books /Wikipedia

First published at LiberalAmerica.org

The Photographs Behind Norman Rockwell’s Iconic Paintings


Behind every iconic Normal Rockwell painting was a photograph. The book Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera illustrates these photographs that made history through art. You can listen to the story behind this project on the NPR website.

norman rockwell photographs behind the paintings

norman rockwell photographs behind the paintings

norman rockwell photographs behind the paintings

norman rockwell photographs behind the paintings

norman rockwell photographs behind the paintings

norman rockwell photographs behind the paintings

norman rockwell photographs behind the paintings

norman rockwell photographs behind the paintings

norman rockwell photographs behind the paintings
norman rockwell photographs behind the paintings

norman rockwell photographs behind the paintings

norman rockwell photographs behind the paintings

9 Books To Read While Taking Cold Meds

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (Image courtesy of Flickr)

Has cold and flu season finally caught up with you? It’s not a lot of fun, but cold medication plus just the right book as you drift off to sleep could result in some very interesting dreams. Maybe you’ll even get an idea that could make you the next Stephen King or J.K. Rowling.

5. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

This is the original nightmare book. Back in the early 1800’s, Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, her future husband Percy Shelley, Lord Byron, and fellow John Polidori, thought it would be oodles of fun and a really good use of their time to compete to see who could write the best horror story. A few days later, Mary had a bad dream, Frankenstein’s monster was born, and Abbott and Costello won.

4. It by Stephen King

Word of the day: Coulrophobia — fear of clowns. Even under the best of circumstance, some people just don’t like clowns. If you’re hoping for strange dreams, killer clowns would be the way to go.

3. Dracula by Bram Stoker and Dracula The Undead by Dacre Stoker and Ian Holt

These books should be read in tandem to get the full crazy dream-inducing experience. When I read Dracula as a child, it terrified me. When I read it as an adult, my feelings were more along the lines of — these people are stupid; they deserve to die. If you go sneaking around in creepy places, of course bad things are going to happen. Vampires running around in the daytime? So many plot holes. Then along comes Dacre Stoker, great-grand nephew of dear old Bram, to fill in the gaps.

We discover that Dracula was actually a failed novel by the original Stoker. He’s trying to salvage the mess by turning it into a stage play. He got his information from poor, sickly and misunderstood Abraham van Helsing, who lost his medical license because of the strange things he did to corpses. We know he was trying to keep them from coming back to life, but who is going to believe the now broken down old man? We learn that, of course, beautiful, doomed Lucy died not from a vampire bite, but from receiving multiple transfusions in an era before blood type mismatch was understood. Van Helsing gets the blame for that, as well.

Things are not well between Jonathan and Mina Harker, and their son, because, well, Johnathan might have enjoyed that time in Dracula’s castle with the strange women more than he ever admitted. This leads to misunderstandings and lousy sex. Mina might have enjoyed her time with Dracula a bit more than she would like to admit, too, which leads to more misunderstandings. Their son, Quincy, thinks they both misunderstand him and wants to be left alone to pursue an acting career.

Along comes that bloodthirsty villainess of history — Elizabeth Bathory. Bathory was known for her sadistic ways and for bathing in the blood of her servants and innocent village girls. Here, she has also been turned into a supernatural creature. BUT, she is really just misunderstood. After all, she was a young girl, mistreated by an older husband. It’s not really her fault she’s so bad.

Then, of course, there is the man himself — Dracula — and he is SO misunderstood. He was only trying to do God’s work in his homeland. He felt terrible about Lucy’s death. He just needed a bit of a snack after coming in off a ship where even the rats were so plague-ridden he couldn’t get a bite to eat.

All of these misunderstandings feel like the plot of just about every episode of “Three’s Company.” If you’re lucky, maybe you’ll dream of Jack Tripper as the brave Jonathan Harker and Janet as his beloved Mina with Chrissy as the poor doomed Lucy. Larry Dallas would make a good Renfield to Ralph Furley’s Dracula. Imagine Mr. Roper as the intrepid van Helsing and Mrs. Roper as one of Dracula’s Bride’s.

2. The Vampire Relationship Guide I-IV  by Evelyn Lafont

Think of this as Twilight for the grownups. Sex, violence, sex, humor, sex, vampires, sex. Josie lives in a world where vampires have not only come out of the closet, they are legally protected as having a disability. For example, Josie’s vampire mailman delivers mail at night. Josie wants nothing more in this world than to go to a vampire party and meet a luscious vampire of her own. When her mailman passes on an invitation to a party he can’t attend, she sees all her dreams coming true.

At first, everything is blissful. Then Josie finds herself in a love triangle, and in the vampire world, it’s hard to tell the good guys from the bad guys and the ancient vampires from the newly turned. Who on earth can a girl trust?

Josie faces many ups and downs throughout the book series and learns a lot about herself, and the supernatural world. She finally meets her vampire love, but things still are not always as they seem. For one thing, there are other supernatural creatures in the world who are not quite as open as vampires have become. Creatures who, through no fault of their own, periodically turn into another, shall we say, furrier, creature. And it would seem that her vampire love’s best friend is indeed a were. . . wait for it. . . bunny. HA! Not where you thought I was going, was it?

After all the supernatural horrors Josie faces to find love, it turns out that he and his twin brother are so newly turned that she is going to have to face a holiday meal with their STILL living and VERY conservative parents. And on top of that, her freewheeling, liberal, live for the moment mother is also coming.

Yep, sweet dreams.

1. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies?by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith

If your reading tastes are a bit eclectic and you like both classic literature and zombie fiction, this could be the perfect sleepy-time book for you.

You still follow the lives of the Bennet family. Mrs. Bennet tries to find husbands for her daughters as before, but in this version Mr. Bennet is busy teaching his daughters how to be zombie fighters. The things are such a nuisance. Mr. Darcy is still around and in need of honing his social skills, but he is a heck of a zombie fighter. That has to count in his favor.

The plot moves along with boy meeting girl and girl meeting boy, people looking down on people of lower social status, and along side the familiar plot of love and manners in older times there are zombies changing the plot a little here a little there. You won’t read about a Lady Catherine and her ninjas fighting Elizabeth Bennet to keep her from Mr. Darcy in the original.

So sleep well, my lovelies. Perhaps when you get back to work or school you can tell them how you dreamed of a Grand Ball where a bumbling Dracula tripped over a werebunny, a killer clown tried to pick a fight with a giant monster, and a pretty girl in a ball gown drop-kicked a zombie through the French doors.

Let us know your thoughts at the Liberal America Facebook page. Sign up for our free daily newsletter to receive more great stories like this one.

7 Reasons Harry Potter Isn’t Just For Kids


The famous Harry Potter series by J.K Rowling is often referred to as a “children’s book.” I must wholeheartedly disagree. The series has become probably one of the most iconic products of this generation, and it certainly did not get to be that way by being solely for children. Therefore, I feel it is necessary to make this argument that the beloved series is just as much for adults as it is for kids.

1) Themes

The Harry Potter series deals with a multitude of themes, like any book does. The difference, however, between Harry Potter and the average children’s book are the themes themselves. Usually, a book intended for kids will involve themes such as friendship and the classic good trumps evil, but Harry Potter includes so much more than that. The entire series deals with a plethora of themes that adults still need to analyze, let alone a child.

  • Racism – Racism in Harry Potter exists on several levels. It exists within the wizarding world in that some wizards do not treat other magical species of intelligent life as equals (centaurs, vampires, etc). Werewolves, even though they are human for the vast majority of their time, suffer prejudice from wizards who consider themselves superior. Racism also exists in the relationship between wizards and “muggles” (non-magic folk), as some wizards (including Lord Voldemort) consider themselves to be above muggles because of their abilities.
  • Classism – Classism in particular is very prevalent in the wizarding world. There are three main social classes: pure blood, half blood, and muggle born (aka mudblood). Pure blood wizards are those with a purely magical lineage, half blood wizards usually have one magical parent and one muggle parent, and muggle born wizards are just that, born to two muggle parents. Some pure blood wizards (the Malfoy family, for example) tend look down on those who are of less-pure bloodlines, thus creating hatred. For reference, Ron Weasley is a pure blood, Harry Potter is a half blood, and Hermione Granger is a muggle born.
  • Sexism – The way in which J.K. Rowling approaches sexism is fantastic in that she writes very strong female characters. I cannot recall any female characters in the series who weren’t very strong, independent beings (please note that this observation is based on the books, not the movies).

These are just a few examples of many that illustrate my point.

2) The HP Generation is Growing Up

On a less technical note, there is no denying that the Harry Potter generation is growing up. There is an increasing number of children being given names like Hermione and Draco. Though they may not be making the yearly top ten list yet, they are slowly increasing in numbers as the Harry Potter generation is becoming of age to have kids of their own. Pets, also, are fair game for this new name craze. I, myself, have a cat named Crookshanks, a guinea pig named Bellatrix, and a ball python named Hermione. The day I come across a little boy named Remus I will jump with joy.

3) Harry Potter By-Products

Every popular franchise some sort of by-product to is. Fanficiton, for example, is a by-product of almost everything in literature, cinema, and television. The Harry Potter fans, or “potterheads” as we call ourselves, have gone so far beyond that and the results are a beautiful thing.


  • Starkid – If you are a Harry Potter fan and have yet to watch A Very Potter Musical, get familiar. Team Starkid met as theater majors at the University of Michigan and have gone on to be one of the most famous by-products of Harry Potter out there. They have since formed their own theater company for which they write, produce, and perform their own comedy musicals. A Very Potter Musical is a parody of the much-loved series and was followed by A Very Potter Sequel and A Very Potter Senior Year. You may recognize the man who played Harry as the same guy who plays Blaine Anderson on Fox’s hit series Glee. They have also done various other parody work, along with a few original shows. All of their content can be found on YouTube and on their website.
  • Potter Puppet Pals – Also a YouTube viral sensation, the Potter Puppet Pals comedy skit show has quite a large following within the community. Their most famous video, The Mysterious Ticking Noise, has gained over 150 million views. Yes, I said million.
  • LeakyCon – Leaky is just one of the many conventions that have a basis in the Potter franchise. Leaky brags of bringing authors, musicians, and other makers of Harry Potter related material together for a few days full of nerdy fun. The 2014 LeakyCon brought approximately 5,000 fans from all over the world to Orlando, Florida.

This list, too, goes on and on. Notice that all three of these examples were created by adults.

4) Getting a Magical Education

At this point, there are numerous websites where Harry Potter fans can become Hogwarts students. Websites like Hogwarts Is Here and J.K. Rowling’s own Pottermore allow us muggles to become part of the story. While Pottermore is taking fans through all seven books in a very interactive manner, Hogwarts Is Here allows fans to actually take Hogwarts classes. Dozens of volunteers create content, textbooks, lessons, and assignments in a way that mimics an online school format. Participants do get grades but there are no due dates, as the creators do realize that people have jobs. Both websites have a huge fan following that is made up of primarily teens and adults.

5) Science Says So

According to science, reading Harry Potter makes you a “better, kinder person”. Three new studies show that fans of the boy wizard are are less hateful and more compassionate that those who have never been exposed to the series. Another study documented in the book “Harry Potter and the Millennials” (John Hopkins University Press, 2013) reveals that Harry Potter fans tend to be more accepting of diversity, more tolerant, more politically active, and more likely to have a negative view of the Bush administration. This shows that even if people read the series or see the movies as kids, the moral construct stays with them into adulthood. In this way, Harry Potter stays with us throughout our entire lives.

6) Finding Love

How many book/movie franchises can honestly say that they have their own dating website? Harry Potter can! The wizard based online dating website, Dating for Muggles, is increasing in popularity among the fans. It brings together fans of the franchise for dating or just new friends to talk to.

7) United We Stand

Say whatever you want about Harry Potter fans, but there is one thing that no one can take away from us and that is each other. It is more than a fandom, it is one big family. The fans are loyal to each other just as they are to the boy wizard and when you mess with one of us, you mess with all of us. Unity among the fans of a franchise is difficult to find, because everybody has their own ideas and opinions, but Harry Potter manages to bring together such a large number of people in a very loving, accepting fan base that I am proud to be a part of.

And on that note, I would like to personally thank J.K. Rowling for the books and movies that are a huge part of who I am today.

Twelve Years A Slave: Explaining Slavery In America To Children


The sad increase in interracial violence in recent months has proven the old adage, “He who forgets the past is doomed to repeat it.” So taking that into consideration, at what age do we begin to teach our young about that past?

Courtesy of
Courtesy of WLWT

When my daughter was a child she asked me if any of our ancestors had ever owned slaves. I told her no. That’s what I believed. As I began to enjoy genealogy as a hobby, I learned differently. I discovered the wills of my ancestors archived online. Slaves were bequeathed to family members along with household furniture. A child of a slave was given to a separate household. I literally felt sick to my stomach. How could my own flesh and blood treat human beings as if they did not have the same thoughts, feelings, and love of family as everyone else simply because of the color of their skin? It was two full years before I could bring myself to tell my daughter the truth about our family and slavery. There also came a day when she came home from school telling me that one of her favorite teachers, originally from a country with a history of discrimination against minorities, had told the class that slavery really wasn’t that bad. Much discussion followed.

The 2013 movie “12 Years A Slave” reintroduced the concept of free men who were kidnapped and sold into slavery which is something most Americans have probably not studied since high school. Though a great movie for adults, it was perhaps a bit harsh for children.

Today, there is a kindle book that I wish had been available when my daughter asked me questions about slavery in America.

Twelve Years a Slave (Just the Facts Book 8)

by Solomon Northup

by IP Factly


Edited for an 8-12 year old reading level, this version leaves out the more grisly and less age-appropriate details but doesn’t shy away from the fear and sadness that Northup saw and faced. Solomon Northup, who was mixed raced, was born a free man in New York. He eventually married Anne Hampton who was also mixed race. Together they had three children who were also free.

Solomon held different jobs but became known as a fiddle player. When Solomon was 32, he met two men who appeared to be offering him a dream job. He could travel, play his fiddle, and earn money. At first, things seemed fine. But then the men drugged him, took his papers showing that he was a free man, and sold him as a runaway slave. This was the beginning of Northup’s 12 year nightmare. He missed his family terribly. All his attempts to send messages to his family or convince anyone that he was free met with failure. His name was changed to make it harder for anyone looking for him to find out what had happened to him.

Northup endured the horrors of slavery. He saw families torn apart at the auction block. He was sold from place to place. Some masters were good and some were bad, but nothing made him give up his quest to reunite with his family.

With younger children, I would recommend reading the book together. For older children, you might still wish to read the book ahead of time just to be ready to answer questions.

It is not just the responsibility of the black parent, the white parent, or the school system to teach our children of what has happened in the past. It’s the responsibility of everyone who wants to make sure that the strides toward equality continue. When you make the world a better place for one part of society, you automatically make the world a better place for all society.

Newspaper Ripped For Horribly Sexist Obituary Of ‘Thorn Birds’ Author Colleen McCullough

Colleen McCullough holding a copy of "The Thorn Birds" in 1977 (courtesy The Australian)

First published at LiberalAmerica.org

Yesterday, Colleen McCullough, best known as the author of “The Thorn Birds,” died at the age of 77. That book earned her over $1.9 million–at the time, the highest earnings ever for a single book. But that’s not the first thing that The Australian, one of Australia’s largest national newspapers, chose to note about McCullough in its obituary of her. It saw fit to focus on her appearance–resulting in what is quite possibly one of the most sexist obituaries ever to appear in a newspaper.

Colleen McCullough holding a copy of "The Thorn Birds" in 1977 (courtesy The Australian)
Colleen McCullough holding a copy of “The Thorn Birds” in 1977 (courtesy The Australian)

When readers turned to of The Australian’s “A Plus” section this morning, they were greeted with this:

“COLLEEN McCullough, Australia’s best selling author, was a charmer. Plain of feature, and certainly overweight, she was, nevertheless, a woman of wit and warmth.”

In this day and age, it would seem inconceivable that something this outrageously degrading and sexist could have gotten past all of the checks and balances of any halfway reputable newspaper before it went to press. Yet, that’s exactly what happened. According to Crikey, a popular Australian e-magazine, McCullough’s obituary had actually been written years earlier by a male obituary writer who has since passed away himself. There’s no word yet on the identity of the sexist jerk who supposedly wrote this. McCullough’s death was announced just as the major newspapers were about to go to press. In the rush to get the obituary inserted, apparently nobody noticed the sexist sentences.

When word of this piece got out, the condemnation came fast and far on Twitter. Several users have tweeted mocking obituaries with the hashtag “#myozobituary.” The Australian is also taking a well-deserved beating in the comment section for the obituary, as well as on Facebook. Reportedly, several of the paper’s staffers are outraged at how McCullough was treated.

Being a journalism major, I wondered how such a colossal fail could possibly happen. Then I remembered–The Australian is owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. It is the flagship of the Australian half of the Murdoch empire, most of which remained under the News Corp banner when Murdoch split his publishing and broadcasting interests into two separate companies–News Corp for the newspaper interests and 21st Century Fox for the television and film interests–in 2013. This is the same company that apparently finds it acceptable to trash a newborn baby on the front page and to publish an op-ed that essentially called for Israel to shred the Geneva Conventions during its operation against Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Seen in this light, it’s not all that surprising that The Australian found it acceptable to essentially call a woman a fat hag.

That doesn’t make it any less outrageous, though. The Australian owes McCullough’s family, and the general public, a full apology–and none of this “sorry if anyone was offended” nonsense, either. And whoever failed to catch this degrading obituary should get, at the very least, a pretty long suspension. What happened here was unacceptable, period.




Award-Winning English Teacher In Connecticut Forced To Resign For Reading Allen Ginsberg Poem To Class


Intellectual and academic freedom are dead and buried. Or at least that certainly seems to be the message coming from a school system in Connecticut which forced an award-winning Advanced Placement English teacher who had been an educator for 19 years to resign or be fired. His crime? He read a graphic poem by Allen Ginsberg to his class.

Image Via Marcvelazquez.com

David Olio was pushed into resigning by the South Windsor School District after parents learned that the Ginsberg poem “Please Master” had been read in his class. The poem is an examination of homosexual affection that Ginsberg wrote in 1968.

A student brought the controversial poem to class for a reading and discussion of the work by the AP English students and instructor. But when school officials discovered that Olio had allowed the poem into the class, they sent him a letter of discipline which said, in part:

“Reading the poem in class showed egregiously poor professional judgment. You violated the trust placed by the Board of Education in you as a teacher, you brought discredit upon the South Windsor Public Schools, you undermined public confidence and parent trust in you as a teacher, and you put the emotional health of some students at risk.”

Put the emotional health of some students at risk? Are you kidding me?! With a freaking poem?!

But not all parents are as open-minded as I am, and one complained to a local TV station:

“I don’t feel that the content was appropriate whether it was a senior class or an honors class. It was a little bit much. I’m not sure what the reasoning was behind reading that particular poem.

Oilo’s colleagues, friends, and students rushed to his defense. One former student said:

“There has been a definite tonal change since I grew up here. It makes me think of Mrs. Flanders from The Simpsons: Will no one think of the children??? I mean, if there are parents in town who think their teenagers don?t know what a blow job is, they are sorely mistaken.”

Oh, but high school students don’t know anything about sex, do they? Don’t make me laugh!

On a personal note, I had an English teacher in 10th grade who encouraged the class to read Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs as a way of showing us that even things we thought might be off limits to writers were grist for the creative mill. I promptly went to the public library, checked out Naked Lunch, and read it. And it is one many books that helped me realize I wanted to be a writer. Another teacher urged me to read Franz Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis,” which quite literally helped me better understand myself and the world around me.

As Kafka himself wrote:

“I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound or stab us. If the book we’re reading doesn’t wake us up with a blow to the head, what are we reading for? So that it will make us happy, as you write? Good Lord, we would be happy precisely if we had no books, and the kind of books that make us happy are the kind we could write ourselves if we had to. But we need books that affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us. That is my belief.”

It is also mine. And I find it shameful that this fine educator of future minds has been banished into the intellectual forest by the ignorance of adults who think they can protect their children from the real world.

Read The Ginsberg Poem For Yourself


Durwaigh Studios — A Knock At The Door

Etsy https://www.etsy.com/shop/DuirwaighStudios

A Knock at the Door takes us to the beginning and end of every journey; a place of wonder and innocence, but above all a place of remembering – to the most magical secret place of all – the place of believing. ~Durwaigh Studios


I’ve put a video here that I want you to watch. The video was actually my whole reason for writing this up and hence the “from Tiff with love” dramatic headline.

You may have seen this video from Duirwaigh Studios. It went viral before viral videos were actually even a thing. It was phenomenally popular. It was viral before YouTube even existed, I think. It was on a little slideshow movie on their website, and later on a DVD. I’ve shared this with many people over the decade or so I’ve been enjoying it, including classrooms full of at-risk kids. And my own kids. The creators, Angi and Silas, put it into book form, and there’s even a calendar. I have the book, of course. I think I pre-ordered it before it was ever printed.

In sharing this, I hope I make someone smile, or someone shed a tear. I do both almost every time I watch it. Let me know what you think in the comments. And remember…THE TIME IS NOW. When was the last time you…?

Watch below. The transcript of the video is at the bottom of this article.

If you love the video, consider showing these amazing artists your support by shopping at their Etsy store or on their site (I’m in love with the new Frida calendar).

when was the last time you…
had a conversation
with the moon
made a wish
on a falling star
held hope on a string
of delicate things
when was the last time you…
got lost
in an enchanted wood
kissed by a prince
who turned into a frog
consulted a caterpillar
kidnapped a Myth
had a visit
from your fairy Godmother
who turned pumpkins…
into coaches
and wishes
into wings
when was the last time you…
cried lost tears
into the Lake of Longing
or sipped inspiration
from the pool of wonder
or rose, victorious
like a phoenix
from the ashes
when did you last?…
Lay your head in the lap of awe
and listen to a song
from a distant shore…
called home
remember your dreams
and unseen things
sing with rapture
and dance…
Dance like a dervish
and when imagination knocks
open the door

The First Battle Results Are In: Little Free Library


First published at LiberalAmerica.org

Photo courtesy of ginsberg.umich.edu

Previously we reported that the Caddo Parrish Metropolitan Planning Commission (MPC) had declared a war on reading by determining that a Little Free Library set up in the front yard of Ricky and Teresa Edgerton was a commercial venture. The story has gained national attention and caused the Shreveport City Council to step in.

“The Shreveport City Council approved an amended resolution Tuesday temporarily legalizing all book exchange boxes in the city until new zoning laws can be adopted to allow them. The process could take up to two months at most.”

This is just the first step in complete legalization of Little Free Libraries, but it allows the Edgertons’ to remove the padlock from their library box and resume sharing their love of reading with their neighbors. Councilman Jeff Everson, who had vowed to address the zoning complaint was instrumental in getting the temporary resolution passed.

In an interview with The Shreveport Times, Teresa Edgerton stated,

“I’m pleased that it’s been resolved for now. You know, this isn’t my first rodeo. I have been active in my neighborhood in making improvements and working with the MPC and council for years and years. I still think perhaps it was an overreach the MPC’s interpretation of current code. But that’s something that can be addressed as we move forward.”

The Edgertons’ are no longer required to fork over a $500 fine for sharing books with their neighbors and Shreveport is beginning the process to bring their antiquated zoning laws into the 21st century. A planned celebration and grand re-opening of the Edgerton’s Little Free Library is being held on the day of the Krewe of Highland Mardi Gras Parade on Sunday.

This all started because of an anonymous complaint from a resident of the city. In a feeble attempt to justify their actions in this matter, Lea Desmarteau, MPC Board chair, stated that their job was to enforce the zoning laws. Hopefully, with the changes being proposed, the MPC will cease and desist penalizing neighbors for being neighborly.

Featured image of the Tardis inspired Little Free Library was found at BookRiot.com, who attributed it to Karen B. Nelson, a lifelong educator.


14 Empowering Quotes For Women By Women


Books are simple things in design. They are words written on paper that are bound together with a cover. As any book lover knows, there is nothing simple about a book. Open a book, and you unleash magic. The words found inside books can challenge your thinking, help you discover faraway places, reflect on your own experiences or emotions, and leave you wanting more. The best books speak to a part of our soul that touches us forever. The writers phrase their words a certain way that the saying sticks with us. This is a compilation of quotes by female authors which have touched women. The quotes address womanhood directly while others are about humanity and being female in the world.

By Lin Kristensen from New Jersey, USA (Timeless Books) via Wikimedia Commons


1. Jane Austen


“I hate to hear you talk about all women as if they were fine ladies instead of rational creatures. None of us want to be in calm waters all our lives.”


2. Maya Angelou


“I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.”


3. Virginia Woolf


“I would venture to guess that Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman.”


4. Germaine Greer


“Yet if a woman never lets herself go, how will she ever know how far she might have got? If she never takes off her high-heeled shoes, how will she ?ever know how far she could walk, or how fast she could run?”


5. Gloria Steinem


“We have become the men who we wanted to marry.”


6. Cheryl Strayed


“The best thing you can possibly do with your life is to tackle the motherfucking shit out of it.”

7. Inga Muscio


“Every time you look in the mirror and your heart races because you think, ‘I’m so fucking rad,’ that’s self protection. Protect yourself.”


8. Bell Hooks


“I will not have my life narrowed down. I will not bow down to somebody else’s whim or to someone else’s ignorance.”


9. Anna Quindlen


“After all those years as a woman hearing ‘not thin enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough, not this enough, not that enough,’ ?almost overnight I woke up one morning and thought I am enough.”


10. Staceyann Chin


“I come in too many flavors for one fucking spoon.”


11. Erica Jong


“The greatest feminists have also been the greatest lovers. I’m thinking not only of Mary Wollstonecraft and her daughter Mary Shelley, but of Anais Nin, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and of course Sappho. You cannot divide creative juices from human juices. And as long as juicy women are equated with bad women, we will err on the side of being bad.”


?12. Mary Shelley


“I do not wish women have power over men; but over themselves.”

13. Eleanor Roosevelt


“A woman is like a tea bag: you cannot tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.”


14. Malala Yousafzai


“We realize the importance of our voice when we are silenced.”


h/t: Huffington Post and The Health Site.


51 Places To Find Totally Free Books


As a kid growing up in a small town in rural Arkansas, I was blessed to live within walking distance of a truly awesome small library. I would have loved having online access to all of the books I wanted.

I found a huge list of free books sites at Fried Beef’s Tech and I added some of my favorites to it. Enjoy!

  1. ManyBooks  Free eBooks for your PDA, iPod, or eBook reader
  2. BookCrossing  Where real books are released into the wild to be found by others
  3. LibraryElf  The perfect companion to a public library system
  4. FreeComputerBooks — Huge collection of computer, programming, math, technology, lecture notes, and tutorials
  5. Scribd  Open library to publish and discover documents online
  6. Word Public Library 400,000 PDF ebooks for download
  7. Free Tech Books  Free computer science and engineering books, with?lecture notes
  8. Bookins  Swap books with other readers
  9. OnlineFreeEBooks 9 categories that include business, automotive, hobbies, medical, martial arts, health
  10. Wowio  Public domain, free legitimate?copyrighted?materials, and one of the few sites that has comic books
  11. BizBooktalk  Free book giveaway contests on Fridays
  12. CHMPDF  A collection of general interest and technical ebooks
  13. Realtime Publishers  Free IT eBooks by many of the world?s best authors
  14. FrugalReader Trade Books for free
  15. TitleTrader  Swap books, movies, and music
  16. ZunaFish  Trade your old media and books items for new titles you?d rather have
  17. SwapSimple  Swap your used books here
  18. FreeTechBooks  Engineering and programming books and textbooks
  19. SwapThing  Community of users who swap items including books
  20. BookCart  Internet paperback exchange
  21. SF-Books  Exchange Sci-Fi Books here
  22. PaperbackSwap  Swap books for free
  23. PinkMonkey – 450 Study Guides / Booknotes / Online Chapter Summary Notes and Analysis
  24. eBookWorld  Technical resources
  25. Flaxx  IT and computer books
  26. Baen Library  Free science fiction and fantasy novels
  27. LibraryThing  Social networking and free books
  28. Online Books Page  Facilitates access to books that are freely readable over the Internet
  29. Glubusz  Another great list
  30. Podiobooks  Free audiobooks that you can subscribe to with iTunes
  31. BookRags  Research material in the form of eBooks
  32. Technical Books Online  Old tech books from the ?vacuum tube age? of electronic
  33. KnowFree  Exchange books and videos for educational purposes and self-practice
  34. ebookSearchr  Google powered
  35. Internet Archive  The Intenet indexed ? that includes a vast?text library
  36. BookYards  Books, videos, education materials
  37. GetFreeEBooks  Another great site
  38. The Online Books Page More than 30,000 free books
  39. DocStoc Online document sharing website
  40. Gutenberg Project Top 100  The oldest producer of free ebooks on the Internet
  41. BookMooch  Community for exchanging used books
  42. ebookSpyder  Specializes in technical books ranging anywhere from C# to AJAX
  43. Google Book Search Read the classics online
  44. Dwalin Plain text novels
  45. Baen Free Library Downloadable science fiction
  46. Free-eBooks You can also download free magazines and submit your own ebook
  47. FreeBookSpot Online source of more than 4,000 free books in 96 categories
  48. Free Computer Books Technical resources about computers
  49. Librivox  Audio works and podcasts of books
  50. WIkibooks  Free textbooks
  51. DailyLit  Receive small parts of books via email

Many thanks to Fried Beef’s Tech for compiling much of this awesome list.

Find Out How J.K. Rowling Used Twitter As A Life Saving Device


First published at LiberalAmerica.org

Most of the world has heard of popular author J.K Rowling, who penned the best-selling Harry Potter series. The seven-book series catapulted to the top of best-seller lists and has since been transformed into a series of eight full-length movies.

I think I have the only child in the universe that hasn’t read the books. At least she has seen MOST of the movies . . .

Rowling started her rise up the literary success ladder as a single mother living in Edinburgh, Scotland. In 1999, the first three books in the Harry Potter series took the top three spots on the New York Times Bestseller list. In 2000, the 4th book of the series Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire became the fastest selling book in history.

Her literary success made her a billionaire rather quickly. She lost that status a couple of years ago though – because she gave so much to charity that her personal wealth dropped down into the multi-millionaire area. She remains the 13th wealthiest woman in Britain.

So what on earth was she doing hanging out on Twitter answering random tweets? Only she knows. But she probably made a huge impact on one young man. Who would have thought that Twitter would become a life saving device?

In May, the author received the following tweet from a distressed fan, later identified as Royce Alden,

What followed was several more tweets directly from the author, and an uncountable number of supportive posts from her fans and followers. Messages of hope and encouragement, delivered to a soul wandering, wondering, if the world really was a decent place.

In a blog post describing the whole series of events, Royce Alden wrote,

“Just a few days ago, in the dark hours of the morning, I randomly tweeted out to JK Rowling. I saw that she was tweeting about various topics, so I more or less just asked her, “What would you say to someone who no longer has the will to live.” She responded, with inspirational pictures and text, unlike anything I’ve ever received from anybody. Still 3 days later, I am receiving beautiful messages of hope and encouragement from people all over the world. This is something I have never experienced in my life, on any sort of scale. I imagine most will never get to experience such a large outpouring of encouragement.

Alden continued with a lot of soul-searching, wondering if he was just attention-seeking, or if it had been more than that. His arrival at the following summation is stated beautifully (emphasis mine),

“I don’t believe I received attention, I believe I received hope, support, and was offered a light in my darkest hour. Could someone label those things as attention? Yes. But I don’t believe it was simply attention that I was seeking. I just wanted someone to listen, to think deeply, and to share a moment with me that most people shy away from. Life is this big, uncontrollable thing that we are all thrown in to, for better or for worse. Most people do not like talking about the sensitive stuff.”

We may never know what prompted Rowling to answer that one tweet. Based on her past, one can surmise that perhaps she remembers being in a place not so far removed from that lonely spot Alden found himself in that night. Does it really matter?

Alden got what he needed. Someone listened. Someone thought deeply. Someone shared a moment with him.

For me, I have gained a great deal of respect for this lady that seems to own the world. She remembers. I hope she never loses that memory. I thank her for using Twitter that night and for answering that lonely young man in such a thoughtful way. For giving me and so many others hope in a world that can be cruel and unforgiving. She may have saved more than one life that night with that simple gesture of kindness and caring. It is the small things that matter.

In the end, it really is nothing more than being kind and showing a little love.