Archives for posts with tag: reading

Challenge yourself this spring! Friends of TED in Austin, TX offers a great class for those who enjoy reading classics. It’s led by an English professor of UT-Austin, and he often invites guest speakers (scholars, most!) to speak about a particular aspect of the book, its historical context, or its author. The literature is always wonderful and the discussion is lively. I learn something new every time.

This spring the class will cover several titles by George Eliot. If you’re in the Austin, TX area, read up and come on out!



“Read, read, read. Read everything.” –William Faulkner

Last summer I spent a lot of time reading. I read for many hours each week. I read Beloved (Morrison), August Light (Faulkner), Jane Eyre (Bronte), To the Lighthouse (Woolf), and a number of others. My favorite was The Ice Palace, a short novel by an author I’d never encountered before–the inimitable Tarjei Vesaas of Norway.

What prompted this literary journey, you ask? I discovered a course–a free course–on I thought, “That sounds interesting. I’ll give it a try.” The course was called The Fiction of Relationship. It was taught by Professor Arnold Weinstein of Brown University. And it was amazing. The professor is amazing. The content is wonderful. I credit this course with reawakening my love of reading, which in turn inspired me to start writing this blog.

I’m telling you about this because I just learned that Coursera is offering the class again! It’s happening right now. Officially, it began a week ago, but you may still be able to enroll at (And, no, no one asked me to promote this. I just think it’s a genuinely great class.)


A couple of weeks ago I learned from this Slate article that The New Yorker paywall is down for a couple of months, and all articles from 2007 to the present are available for FREE reading! I’ve read several of the pieces on Slate’s list and the reporting and writing is so good. I knew this; I’ve read the magazine before, but I guess I had forgotten. I started with “Taken” and “The Apostate”–both pieces of great reporting, if somewhat troubling. Actually, “Taken” is more than somewhat troubling. It was a total bummer. But I’m still glad I read it.

The articles on this list are all fairly long. Like most people, I’ve become accustomed to much shorter reads, so these articles felt like a real commitment. But they were worth following through. I’ve so enjoyed these longer articles that I subscribed to Longreads, and now I get a weekly email with looks to some of the best online longreads of each week.