December 11th, 2014

granada holmes

Things I've Been Reading

... and think you'd enjoy, too.

(1) Teaching Essay Writing in Pyongyang, by Suki Kim @ Slate. A really interesting look at working in a school for the children of North Korea's elite, a fascinating look at the culture and the teaching experience.

(2) On Immigration, Obama Fulfills His Promise to Progressives, by Peter Beinart @ The Atlantic. Don't let the political title fool you - this isn't just partisan hackery. Beinart gets into the two sides of Pres Obama's political background, the pragmatic side but also his more activism-driven ideological roots. The latter won out on immigration and it's a nice window to understand what makes him tick, or at least what Beinart thinks makes him tick.

(3) The Dutch Village Where Everyone Has Dementia, by Josh Planos @ The Atlantic. This will never happen in America -- or most places, really -- because it's not economic or even all that scalable. Still, it's a really interesting take on a group of people doing a lot of good over in The Netherlands. Also, it got me thinking about sickness and quality of life. How many of those problems are unavoidable, and how much is it that we're just not willing (or able) to provide the care needed to give people a proper life rather than just continued existence?

(4) In Which Sherlock Discovers the Truth, and Anthea is Helpful, by second_skin @ AO3. Pretty much exactly what it says on the tin, with one bonus word: Mystrade. And another two: Johnlock (eventually). A very short, flat-out hilarious and very endearing story told through text messages.

(5) The Old Jim Crow, by Ta-Nehisi Coates @ The Atlantic. This is a heartbreaking but really well-done introduction to how black Americans were treated under Jim Crow and its pre-Civil War predecessors, with a special focus on laws that criminalized harmless everyday things when done by black people like reading. Interesting as history, and pertinent to recent events in Ferguson and elsewhere as well.

Check them out, and let me know what you think.
granada holmes

First round of Christmas cards are in the mail. All three of them! More are coming soon, though. I also received an ecard from azalaisdep which reminded me that I'm always receiving cards from lindahoyland and other people as well, and never thanking them. It brightens my day so much! I just never seem to have the energy to follow through and mention them for some reason. But thank you, thank you, thank you - please know that being thought of makes a good deal of difference.

Now, if I could offer you a Christmas gift, by way of a recommendation, it would be this:

A Christmas Carol (DW 2010 Christmas Special)

It's Doctor Who, but please don't let that scare you off if sci-fi isn't your style. It's whimsical, more fairy tale than gods-and-monsters, and cvery much modeled after the spirit of the Dickens tale. Starring Matt Smithof course but also Michael Gambon in the analogue to Ebeneezer Scrooge and Laurence Belcher, the lovely young Charles Xavier from X-Men: First Class as Gambon's younger self - and really the focus is on them. It's just so whimsical. The perfect modern-day fairytale to cuddle under the blanket with a mug of hot cocoa and watch.

I can't give it away, unfortunately, but $2 isn't so unreasonable I don't think (to be able to watch it whenever, you're not just renting), and it definitely puts me in the Christmas spirit. Free if you have a Prime account, as are all things Whovian outside the most recent series.