Notes From the Shire

Mysteries Make Great Beach Reads

So imagine you are reclining in your lounger being shaded by a palm tree with the white sand, blue sky, turquoise ocean, a vista stretching out in front of you. In one hand you have a Mai Tai with one of those paper umbrellas in it. What could possibly be missing from the other? Well, a fast paced novel with murder and intrigue of course! 

Analyzing Books: Overrated?

    The majority of English classes are focused on reading books and analyzing them critically, with the goal that students will know how the language works, and how to use it, when they are done. Lessons on proper grammar are sprinkled in here and there so that no one forgets the proper use of a gerund (I still have no idea). There’s nothing inherently wrong with using books to teach, in fact it can be quite beneficial, but this method can be exploited to become counterproductive.

Adventures in Spring Cleaning

It’s Spring Cleaning season!’s practically Summer Cleaning season, but I’m not the police. I won’t tell if you’ve gotten off to a late start. To be honest, so have I. Luckily there is an amazing smorgasboard of books on shelves now that will help kick-start those cleaning bursts!

The Modern Gothic Novel

The Gothic Novel genre is a unique one, dictated as much by the feeling it invokes as any particular subject. A quick search for a definition will most likely bring you to something like - “an English genre of fiction popular in the 18th to early 19th centuries, characterized by an atmosphere of mystery and horror and having a pseudo-medieval setting.” I would say the horror is usually more than subtle, suspenseful kind that sets the hairs on the back of your neck upright and makes you just a little afraid of the dark for a while after reading.


Sustainability:  the avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance.

How do we become more sustaining in our habits in relation to our natural world, or have we tipped too far? Luckily there are many resources at our fingertips to help us with this daily human struggle in the form of books, those reassuring things that have always helped us gain knowledge and insight.

F**k Plastic: 101 Ways to Free Yourself from Plastic and Save the World


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