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Read This! (Non-Book Edition)

Updated: Jan 22, 2020

Here are some of my (Jen's) favorite things to read:

Book Riot is my favorite bookish site--I devour their articles every day, I listen to more than one of their podcasts, and this year, I’m taking on their Read Harder challenge.Their stated mission is to “innovate fresh content and services to [their] readers amplify marginalized voices, and challenge [themselves] and [their] community to be inclusive," which is right up my alley.

The Book Smugglers - Ana and Thea, the writers behind The Book Smugglers, are dedicated to speculative and genre fiction. I rely on their incisive reviews, their generous highlighting of a diverse array of authors, and their in-depth conversations about the state of books and reading.

Sarah's Book Shelves - Sarah’s approach to books checks all my boxes: she’s into numbers, data analysis, and spreadsheets. She’s not afraid to abandon a book--and she can tell you how far she got when she puts it down and, exactly, why she didn’t continue. Her book reviews are thoughtful and fair, and I find myself often following her recommendations. Her BOTM advice is a plus!

Nerdy Book Club - As an English teacher, finding Nerdy Book Club was a revelation. This book blog, which features posts from a different educator or author each day, highlights the best in classroom reading: the ways that we can support books and reading as windows and mirrors for students. Nerdy Book Club, run by Donalyn Miller, Colby Sharp, Katherine Sokolowski, and Cindy Minnich is funny, thoughtful, reflective, and passionate.

Brain Pickings - I inadvertently turned into a meme recently when I shared an article from Brain Pickings with my friends: “I don’t always read the Brain Pickings articles, but when I do . . .“ Maria Popova’s brilliant musings are referential, thorough, and thoughtful. They inspire me to be more positive and more intentional, but when you start one of these posts, be ready to settle in because you’re going to want to click on all of the links, to think, and probably to read it twice to make sure you’ve absorbed everything.

The Atlantic is my favorite magazine when I want to read about politics, to think about the world, to learn about a paradigm-shifting person or decision. Articles inThe Atlantic range from a couple of paragraphs to novella-length think pieces. They offer book reviews, pop culture reactions, and true crime, along with philosophical, political, and cultural essays. I’m also a fan of their podcast, Radio Atlantic.

Entertainment Weekly represents my longest continuous magazine subscription. EW is smart, thoughtful, fun, and great fodder for conversations starters with my pop culture-loving friends.

Alan Sepinwall in Rolling Stone - Sepinwall is my favorite TV critic. I’ve followed him across two other online magazines; we’ve landed now at Rolling Stone, where he continues writing reviews of television that could make up the syllabus of a grad school-level course on modern (and classic!) television. I’ve read his books and his tweets, and I’ve listened to his podcast. Basically, I’ll follow Alan Sepinwall anywhere he decides to go.

Dean Shareski's blog, Ideas and Thoughts - I recently went down the brilliant rabbit hole that is Dean Shareski’s blog. Shareski, who I first encountered when he was a keynote speaker at an Instructional Technology conference, focuses on finding the joy in education. He places students at the center of his teaching, and thinking about the questions he asks makes me, without a doubt, a stronger teacher. I also think, however, that he approaches education from a viewpoint that is not limited to the education world--he draws from business and culture, ideas and trends. I think, therefore, that his writing would appeal even to non-educators.

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