Monday, March 24, 2008

learn and feed

Here is a website that I think is absolutely genius:
The creator initially set it up to encourage his son to study for the SAT's. For every vocabulary question that you answer correctly the site will donate 20 grains of rice to the World Food Programme. The rice is paid for by the sponsors who advertise along the bottom of the webpage. Twenty grains seems like such a tiny amount but it all adds up and it's better than doing nothing AND you can increase your vocabulary.

Friday, February 15, 2008

The Book Thief

My family and I were in Portland visiting some friends last month and this book was on their coffee table. I was encouraged to pick it up and read it, so I did. I only read a few chapters before we had to leave for home but I made sure to put the book on hold at the library so I could continue it soon. After a seemingly endless wait (I didn't want to even consider starting another book in the meantime), it arrived. My love for this book has completely overshadowed any desire I ever had to finish Eat, Pray,Love. That book now seem so tedious when compared to this one. I suppose it was good in a "the author is discovering herself and you might discover yourself too" sort of way but The Book Thief is more engrossing, less contemplative. And that is more what I am in need of, since I am pretty sure I know who I am.
I had never heard of this book until now, but it is apparently quite popular. It is written from the point of view of Death, who is portrayed as being quite human in his/her emotions. I like to think that Death is male, but I'm not sure what the author wanted it to be. Death is intrigued by a young girl who steals a book from her brother's gravesite and begins to follow her. It is set in Germany during WWII. I would like to talk more about it but I don't want to spoil anything. That is always the dilemma when recommending a book. All I can say is that I come across books that I enjoy this much very few times a year, often only once a year. And it is quite an easy read; I think the library has it catalogued in the Young Adult section.