Showing posts from August, 2011


I'm writing this at 11:52 PM mainly not because I have a particular burning desire to write a blog post or even that I have a strong passion on the topic of productivity, but more (fittingly) because I feel like I need to produce some sort of written work today. :)

Admittedly, I did spend a good portion of the morning emailing TEDxRedmond speakers ( youth event I'm organizing), working on a document about TEDxRedmond for potential sponsors, communicating with organizing committee members, and taking a SAT Literature Practice Subject Test for fun during commercial breaks on the evening news broadcast (FYI, my scaled score was 760/800--hoping I can do better without the news as a distraction next time--and yes, to folks who disagree with testing, I was seriously doing it for fun), as well as taking a walk to the grocery store with my sister and mom. When I list what I've done today off like that it sounds slightly more "productive" but all t…

Three favorite books about international characters

Dawn by Elie Wiesel
I read this a couple years ago and picked it up from the library to re-read recently, then had my mom read it as well. Thanks to the conciseness of its 80 pages, this novel is approachable to most readers. The plot is seemingly simple--the thoughts and reflections of a Jewish Israeli freedom fighter (or terrorist, depending on your viewpoint) on the night he is condemned to kill a British soldier in retaliation for the execution of a fellow Israeli fighter.

Though fictional, I think this story lends more insight to the Israeli vs. British fight for a Jewish homeland than the passing mentions the conflict is usually given in American history textbooks. As a book comprised of the main character's reflections, it is moving and raises important questions about the ambiguity of good and evil; Dawn is a book that explores the inner workings of the "gray area" of black and white.

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (series) by Alexander McCall Smith
This h…