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 ›

Get Cozy: 5 Holiday Book Reads

The holiday season, though festive and fun, is a time best experienced indoors. The good news is that dreary weather is the best reading weather! No matter what holidays you celebrate this time of year, no one can deny the comfort of keeping warm and cozy with a good book. Here are five books perfect for winter and the holidays. Continue Reading ›

Write a Stunning Literary Analysis: Practical Tips to Follow

Writing a good literary analysis on a work of fiction can be a challenging and time-consuming task, but it is also very rewarding. The benefits gained are substantial for students, including the following: Literary analysis develops critical thinking, reading becomes a more exciting activity, students widen their intellectual horizons, and they also get to expand upon their unique view of the piece being analyzed.
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Happy Birthday, Pablo Neruda: Quotes about Life (and Love)

Born in Chile on July 12, 1904, we recognize Pablo Neruda 112 years later as a political activist and eclectic poet. As a Communist holding several Chilean governmental posts, Neruda faced danger when Radical Party presidential candidate Gabriel González Videla turned against the Communist Party. Continue Reading ›

3 Important Ways to Brighten the Future of Reading in the U.S.

Reading a great book for pleasure can be a magical experience for kids. It takes them to new places, lets them relive history, and teaches them about worlds they would never encounter in real life.

Unfortunately, a study on the state of reading in the United States has recently revealed some disheartening statistics: did you know 66 percent of 8th graders tested below proficient in reading, according to The Nation’s Report Card? The problem: reading is one of the most important skills for a child to have—it will follow them through the rest of their schooling and career, in every way. Continue Reading ›

Remember More Than Just Rabbits: Understanding “Of Mice and Men”

When people talk about influential pieces of American literature, there are a few titles you can just about guarantee will be thrown into the discussion, i.e. To Kill a Mockingbird, Grapes of Wrath, Huckleberry Finnand oh yeah, Of Mice and Men (kudos to Steinbeck for making my off-the-cuff list twice). Chances are that even if you haven’t read any of these titles (though that is unlikely, knowing how popularly they are assigned as staples of high school reading lists), you have at the very least heard of them. Continue Reading ›

Not Just About Two Kids in Love: Top R&J Q&A

April is a fabulous month for all sorts of reasons: the sun is brighter, the temperature is higher, the flowers are blooming… And this month has a lot to do with Shakespeare. If you haven’t already noticed, we at the ‘Notes are big fans of the Bard, and April gives us even more excuses to talk about him than usual. Not only was our main man born on April 26th (1564), but he died on April 23rd (1616)—that’s two days this month that we get to think all about Shakespeare! And if that isn’t reason enough (and it usually is), this particular year is a special one as it marks Shakespeare’s 400th death-aversary. While the prospect of celebrating someone’s death may strike you as grim, we choose not to think of it that way and rather consider the fact that even four hundred years after his death, the modern world still looks to Shakespeare’s work both for entertainment and as a classic guide to writing, and that’s pretty astounding. Continue Reading ›