StumbleUpon Sunday (7)

StumbleUpon is a giant collection of the best pages on the Internet.

StumbleUpon is a great way to lose hours of your life.  Luckily, I braved the Internet vortex so you don’t have to.  This week I found these especially interesting websites:

  1. 16 Things I Know Are True But Haven’t Quite Learned Yet
    Great words of wisdom!  “All you need to do to finish things is keep starting them until they’re done.
  2. Rashad Alabarov Paints with Shadows and Light
    These are so incredible I almost can’t believe they’re real.
  3. 35 Tumblr Posts That’ll Make You Reevaluate Your Entire Existence
    Hahaha!  Great (idiotic) thought-provoking scenarios like:  “I won’t take a bullet for anyone because if I have to jump in front of a bullet, you have time to move.”
  4. 31 Places Everyone Should Visit Before They Die
    Wow!  Chittorgarh, India looks like a fantasy land!  *checks flight costs*  AND #27 is incredibly useful.
  5. A Photo Exploration of the Nomadic Culture in Mongolia
    Mongolia!  Probably my favorite place I’ve visited, in terms of uniqueness and beauty.
  6. Bookshelf Porn
    If I weren’t before, I’m now convinced that my future home must be wall-to-wall bookshelves.
  7. Funny Airplane Announcements
    “As you exit the plane, please make sure to gather all of your belongings. Anything left behind will be distributed evenly among the flight attendants. Please do not leave children or spouses.”
  8. Photos: What the Sky Should Look Like Without Light Pollution
    These are stunning.
  9. 10 Things You’ll See in Almost Every Tim Burton Film
    I love Tim Burton, and knowing he repeats himself does nothing to lessen my affection.
  10. 14 Amazing Psychology Facts Everyone Needs to Know
    Cool stuff!  I was especially intrigued by this one:  “Your decisions are more rational when thought in another language.”

StumbleUpon Sunday (5)

StumbleUpon is a giant collection of the best pages on the Internet.

StumbleUpon is a great way to lose hours of your life.  Luckily, I braved the Internet vortex so you don’t have to.  This week I found these especially interesting websites:

  1. Clever Illustrations Reveal the Two Kinds of People There Are in the World
    Well, I’m definitely the neat freak.
  2. 30 Places You’d Rather be Sitting Right Now
    A great way to feel worse about your desk/couch/location.
  3. Powerful Illustrations Show Women How to Fight Gender PrejudicesFor example:  “Rebecca had depression, and only after many months she was able to wear clothes that revealed the scars left on her body.  Rebecca, these marks are a reminder of how brave you have had to be!  Psychological pain is also human, and suffering it does not make you any less of a person.”
  4. Pudding the Fox is Too Friendly to Go Free
    I know he says he doesn’t support keeping foxes as pets, but with a name like Pudding?  Give me one!
  5. When Their Trailer is Transformed Into a House, Everyone is Left Completely Amazed
    This amazing camper has all the clever hacks that has made me love tiny houses.
  6. This Artist Doesn’t Just Drink Coffee, She Also Makes Incredible Portraits With It!
    Yoda!  Mario!  Daenerys!
  7. This Sentence Has Five Words
    Incredible writing advice given in an incredible format.
  8. The 30 Best Films of the Decade
    I’ve seen only 10!
  9. 30 Shower Thoughts You’ve Never Had Before
    “The saying ‘Money can’t buy you happiness’ should be changed to ‘Money can’t prevent sadness.'”
  10. The Hero’s Journey Outline
    Joseph Campbell’s hero’s journey, with multiple lists and charts!  This will be very interesting to a very specific set of people.

Unbecoming by Rebecca Scherm

By the time books arrive at my library after months of sitting in my request queue, I usually forget how I heard of it in the first place.  Such was the case with Unbecoming, and the cover didn’t grab my attention.  I very nearly decided to return it unread, but I decided to give the first page a cursory look.  The very first sentence grabbed my attention, and by the end of the first chapter, I knew I was going to read the whole thing.

The first lie Grace had told Hanna was her name.

Unbecoming is an excellent example of one of my favorite tropes:  the unreliable narrator.  Grace shares what she wants to share, and as the reader, I had no idea how much of the information presented was truth, fibs, omissions, or outright lies.  I loved it!  The suspense was heightened even more by alternating sections that described her present life in Paris or her past in Tennessee.  Halfway through the book, I was dying to know what had happened in the past as well as what would happen to her in the future.  The double mystery made the book twice as interesting.

I don’t want to say too much, because I want people to experience the book as I did:  totally unprepared.  The characters are rich, the themes fascinating, and the plot fantastic.  What more do you need?  Read it now!  (Or click through to read the book jacket, which does do a great job of setting up the story.) Continue reading

StumbleUpon Sunday (4)

StumbleUpon is a giant collection of the best pages on the Internet.

StumbleUpon is a great way to lose hours of your life.  Luckily, I braved the Internet vortex so you don’t have to.  This week I found these especially interesting websites:

  1. Silk
    This is the coolest website that allows you to create fantastic art by messing with rotational symmetry and colors.  It’s intuitive and impossible to make something ugly.
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  2. 49 Locals Tell You What You Absolutely Must Not Do in Their Home Countries
    Some are helpful, some are hilarious.
  3. 5-Year-Old Little Girl with Autism Paints Stunning Masterpieces
    My cynical side often thinks these child geniuses are not all that genius, but this girl’s paintings are genuinely beautiful.
  4. Time Lapse of Snow
    Oh my gosh, as a deeply devoted fan of snow, this massive accumulation of snow is fantastic.  It’s just so much!
  5. These 20 Thoughts are So Deep Your Brain Will Drown
    “If the toys in Toy Story died the kids would keep playing with them like normal but the other toys would be playing with their dead friend.”
  6. 10 Best Places to Live for Escaping World Conflict
    Never hurts to start planning ahead for retirement.
  7. If You Really Want to Connect With Someone Then the First Date Should Cost Zero Dollars
    Compelling idea–if the first date involves no money, the focus is on creativity and getting to know a person rather than going through the motions.
  8. Greek Frappe
    This video teaches you how to make a Greek frappe and is guaranteed to make you thirsty.
  9. 25 Spectacular Movies You (Probably) Haven’t Seen
    Hopefully you’ve seen some of these movies, because based on the ones I’ve seen, I completely agree that they are spectacular recommendations!
  10. 10 Reasons to Avoid Talking on the Phone
    98% of the time, I hate talking on the phone.  For exactly these ten reasons.

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

THIS BOOK.  Holy cow, it’s been a while since I’ve torn through a book in one day, but I’ll Give You the Sun was impossible to put down.  Art, mystery, family, love, grief–this book is absolutely beautiful, both in the way that it is written and in what it covers.  I’m still stunned.  This book shook me up, made me lighter, and weighed me down.  It even made me start thinking in contradictory metaphors.

I was skeptical of Nelson’s setup–she alternates chapters between twins.  This is a common writing device, but Nelson adds a twist.  The chapters told by Noah are from his 13-year-old perspective, while the chapters told by Jude jump ahead three years to when they are 16.  I didn’t know how Nelson could keep the plot moving if we found out in Jude’s chapters everything that was going to happen to younger Noah.  But I was wrong!  This worked out so well!  The hints and foreshadowing only made me more curious.  On top of that, Noah and Jude keep an incredibly amount of secrets from each other, and this makes their individual chapters all the more interesting. Continue reading