7 Texts That Will Make You the Family Intellectual This Holiday Season

Ah, the holidays: that season of cheer, giving, and proving to your relatives that you do, in fact, have your life together. One of the joys of the season is proving yourself smarter than the rest of your family, but how can you cement your position as the family intellectual?

Simple: read some of the classics. Here’s a mixture of short stories, essays, plays, poetry, and literature that span from satire to tragedy. Best of all, you can find all of these and more on Owl Eyes. With these under your belt, you’re set to claim your place as the smartest of your siblings and cousins. Drop a quote into conversation at your leisure and wait for a flare of recognition in the eye of the nearest English major (or, possibly, a spark of alarm on the face of someone more plebeian). Whether you come away from the holidays with a reputation for a superior knowledge of literature or as the eccentric cousin, you’ve won. Continue Reading ›

12 of the Most Beautiful Libraries in the World

If you’re not already a regular library goer, it may be time to reconsider your book-gathering habits—libraries are some of the best places in the world. (This is coming from a purely unbiased stance, of course.) First, they provide free books. Let me repeat that: Free. Books. Secondly, libraries can be places of astounding architectural beauty, rich with historical significance.

Here are some of the biggest and most beautiful free-book-dispensers from around the world. Continue Reading ›

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: What is eNotes reading?

When they’re not out trying to catch ’em all, the eNotes staff are an elusive bunch. These fantastic enigmas dwell in the depths of Capitol Hill in the heart of Seattle, and spend their days click-click-clacking away behind bright Mac screens to decipher Shakespeare, answering your homework questions, and digging up free money for students. In between celebrating literary holidays and battling the feels, these majestic beings drink in the words of countless literary beasts, ruthlessly ravaging mountains of text. Whether the fantastic beasts are the eNotes staff or the books they’re reading…well, that’s up to you.

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Happy Birthday, Cormac McCarthy!

On this day in 1933, Cormac McCarthy was born. The great American novelist moved around a lot, and served in the Air Force for four years. After returning to the University of Tennessee in 1957, he was awarded an Ingram-Merrill Award for creative writing. He has published ten novels and has an eleventh on the way.

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Macbeth Unlocked

William Shakespeare remains, hands down, one of the most well-known and influential writers in recent history. Throughout his career, he published a truly impressive library of sonnets, poems, verses, plays, and tales. Among these works, Shakespeare is credited with the writing of four major tragedies: Hamlet, King Lear, Othello, and, of course, Macbeth.  Continue Reading ›

Wonderful Wanderlust: Books that Make You Want to go Places

Travel is one of the most wonderful experiences granted to us – what other creature can say (relatively on a whim) that they want a change of scenery and to experience something new? With the potential exception of migratory birds, not many. So what influences us to want to see the sights? Often, it’s hearing about grand adventures or seeing pictures of some far-off land. But there is another medium that gives us an itch to get going: literature, books, stories, etc. Reading the story of a life somewhere far, far away makes us yearn to see the places the author describes.

That being said, it is important to note that not everything happening in all countries is peachy. Many books (set in the U.S. and around the world) focus on the strife and turmoil happening within those borders, and it’s relatively impossible and perhaps irresponsible to make a booklist that ignores drama and conflict. So please, enjoy the following list, make some travel plans, learn some stuff, and stay safe out there! Continue Reading ›

Owl Eyes Annotated Texts: A Great Resource to Add to Your Teacher Toolbox  

The beginning of a new season is always a good time to consider new ways to engage students in the classroom. One way to do it—only a few keyboard clicks away—is to incorporate Owl Eyes annotated texts into lesson plans and instruction.

In case you’re unfamiliar with using the annotated texts at Owl Eyes, here are a few things to know to get started. First of all, they’re free, and they’re comprehensive! At Owl Eyes you will find hundreds of poems, short stories, novels, and essays to which instructional annotations have been added throughout the texts—and hundreds of additional annotated works are on the way. Continue Reading ›