What Happens When People Care

What Happens When People Care

I Wish My Teacher Knew. How One Question Can Change Everything for Our Kids, by Kyle Schwartz

One day, the third-grade teacher at Dull Elementary in DenverKyle Schwartz, asked her students to “fill in the blank” in a very simple sentence:

“I wish my teacher knew _____.”

She asked all for he children to write down one thing they wanted to tell her, but wouldn’t normally in the classroom situation. The first note that Schwartz shared on Twitter was from a student who said they didn’t have pencils at home to do their homework.

Some of the answers were humorous, others…..

life journaling basics-2

Hello everyone! I am coming to you today with a little announcement: The Serial Reader is moving to its own place!

www.theserialreaderblog.com

I have been working on a new website / new domain, and I am now ready to invite you over! Sign up for daily updates from The Serial Reader!

Hope to see you there!


www.theserialreaderblog.com

How To Fake Your Own Death

How To Fake Your Own Death

Playing Dead. A Journey Through the World of Death Fraud, by Elizabeth Greenwood

Strangled by debts? Cops are after you? or is it your ex-wife stalking you and demanding for more money? Either be one or the other, here’s your way out: faking your deathcover82152-medium.png could be the solution to your problems.

When I first got a copy* of Playing Dead by Elizabeth Greenwood, I thought of a joke. I’ve heard of people faking dead like a new form of escapology, but I didn’t think it could be “a thing” even now in the 21st century.

Moved by innocent curiosity I asked my best friend in the world wide web -aka Google– about “fake your own death“, and what I found was hilarious.  15,800,000 results after, I had to admit that yes, faking death is still on.

Believe it or not, Wikihow also made a page of “precious” advices called “How to fake your own death” -11 steps (with pictures!) Because, according to the famous online community- “sometimes in life you may need to fake your own death to escape“.

Only a week ago an in-depth investigation by The National ENQUIRER revealed that Patrick McDermott -Olivia Newton-John’s ex-lover who disappeared during a 2005 fishing trip off the California coast- is believed to have faked his death to avoid money woes. McDermott was found living the high life working on luxury yachts south of the border under the protection of some rich Mexican family!

But in the 21st century -when every move is monitored by credit cards, smartphones and  socials network of any kind -how could be possible to disappear? If proving wrong is impossible -because dead are not coming back, right?- than what lesson could we learn from those who had been caught?

What happens to the people you left behind?  What would be lost? And who are the people who’re supposed to “kill” you?

Playing Dead is an empathetic investigation into a universal human fantasy and the men and women desperate enough to give up their lives—and their families—to start again.

*An ARC was kindly sent to me by via NetGalley by Simon & Schuster.


Get your own copy now! On Amazon.com (Book) – (eBook)

 

Brexit? Yes, Please!

Brexit? Yes, Please!

A State of Independence: Why the EU is the Problem and Not he Solution, by Mark Brolin

It is less than 24 hours until polls open for the EU referendum on June 23. Britons are called to make a “momentous” decision about whether the United Kingdom should remain a member of the European Union or leave it for good.

According to the latest opinion polls, the British public are fairly evenly split (44% remain – 45% leave) *FT Latest Developments. But in the end, will they get it right?

If following from the outside the debate about whether the UK should leave the European Union is confusing, it is quite perplexing from the inside, too. The debate itself -frankly- has been neither informative nor enlightening.

Mark Brolin –a British-Swedish Economist educated at the Stockholm School of Economics and presently a UK/EU correspondent– believes in the importance of offering an objective and critical analysis of what’s really going on in the Old Country.cover90880-medium.png

By applying a realist approach, Brolin answers some of the most controversial issues; as why is the immigration issue so toxic? or how can the same people responsible for the flagrant mismanagement of the euro project remain in charge of EU economic policies? and how has it also been possible to largely ignore the grumblings of the people despite democratic systems in all EU member states?

A State of Independence is a smart book that deserve to be read. Honest and objective -it will show you why Europe is the Problem and not the Solution.

“If still in doubt this book makes it perfectly clear that the EU of today is a pipe dream and that taxpayers money could be much better spent elsewhere”

Luke Johnson,  Chairman of Risk Capital Partners

Dear Miss Tate…You’re Fired From Millennials

Dear Miss Tate…You’re Fired From Millennials

Government Gone Wild. How D.C. Politicians Are Taking You for a Ride -and What You Can Do About It, by Kristin Tate

I like politics. I like talking about it and I like reading about it. Government Gone Wild was presented to me as a modern j’accuse addressed to our Government -written with humour and a fresh pecover84111-medium.pngrspective by the “young conservative journalist” Kristin Tate. 

Seen as  a fun way to agitate the entitled political establishment, Tate’s political action handbook is meant for a new generation of voters -the Millennials– who are afraid they will be paying for this out-of-control government their entire working lives.

I was expecting -from a journalist- a precise account of what  the Government is doing wrong; like bad administration and devilish conspiracies. Unfortunately this book is just a bunch of disconnected thoughts so obvious that is actually too embarrassing to believe they come from a 24 years old woman.

Some of her statements are borderline idiotic: in chapter one, Tate states that America has overcrowded prisons packed with people who never committed a single crime against anyone but themselves“. – I’d really like to know what prison Miss Tate visited that was overpacked with innocent people. Because the prison I visited was, yes packed -but with criminals. 

Speaking about drugs and legalization she said:  “Joints, spliffs and bongs should be completely legal” -and also- “If you want to smoke up until your eyes roll into the back of your empty skull, you should be free to do that“. According to Tate as long as we are allowed to eat junk food and waste our bodies with fat, alcohol or cigarette, we should be free to use cocaine or even heroin in the privacy of our home.

I am not the finest connoisseur of the human genre, but one thing I know is that drug addicts rarely stay “in the privacy of their own home“. Nope, they go out and mess with regular people. Like Kenneth Britt Smith, who is accused of striking and killing a bicyclist while was high on marijuana. (Northeast Portland, Dec 13, 2015). Or like David Njuguna– who is involved in the car crash death of a Massachusetts State Police trooper Thomas Clardy. Should I mention that Clardy left behind a wife and six children? And guess what? Njuguna was high on marijuana.

I would die to know if Miss Tate still believes these stoned guys only hurt themselves? Or they was just exercising their right to do what the hell they want with their lives?

And that was only chapter one!!  To be completely honest, I am so disappointed with this book, and  whilst I do appreciate Tate’s young and modern writing style, I am disturbed by the huge amount of stupidity she’s trying to feed the reader, especially because she claimed to write this book for Millennials.

Luckily there are a lot of smart Millennials out there who know how to write and how to deliver a good message. When Millennials Rule: The Reshaping of America by Jack and David Cahn is a splendid example of two dedicated and brilliant young men with valid and solid plans to make America strong again. I highly suggest you to read this book! And the previous post about Millennials, if you haven’t yet.


Get your own copy now! On Amazon.com (Book) – (eBook) ….or not!

 

*Disclaimer* -> Luckily not a single dime has been wasted on this book by me. An advanced copy was kindly sent to me via NetGalley by FaithWords/Center Street

Do You Do ASMR?

Do You Do ASMR?

Idiot’s Guides: ASMR, by Julie Young – Ilse Blansert

Make Money through YouTube is not a secret anymore. Whether you talk fashion, tech or daily life, product placement and sponsored videos is where money come from. In fact, if most people think of YouTube as a place to find instructional videos, music and news, others look at it as a major revenue source for their business.

51KoByiIbBL._SX416_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgOne of the latest money-maker trend coming from YouTube is ASMR, the “Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response” that has been defined as: “a distinct, pleasurable tingling sensation in the head, scalp, back, or peripheral regions of the body in response to visual, auditory, tactile, olfactory, or cognitive stimuli“*.

ASMR by Julie Young and Ilse Blansert is an easy-readable guide about  what now seems to be a social and cultural phenomenon:

  • what ASMR is,
  • all the theories and evidence as to why and how ASMR works and where’s the connection to other established methods of relaxation,
  • extensive exploration of the various trigger types,
  • how-to content on creating ASMR videos, including equipment, props, script writing, editing, and uploading,

plus exclusive interviews with the top ASMR artists from all over the world, discussing their strange celebrity and their own ASMR experiences.

Now the big question: Is There Any Money To Be Made In ASMR? You can bet it! Maybe not right away, but with a solid fan base, the YouTube partnership and good contents you might even be able to fully support yourself and even quit your daily job. YouTubers, by their partner contracts, are forbidden from revealing their earnings. But if you browse the net you will come up with quite big numbers (SocialBlade, is one of the longest running YouTube Statistics tracking websites).

Worth trying, isn’t it?

*Source Wikipedia


Get your own copy now! On Amazon.com (Book) – (eBook)

 

Aside

Millennials: Are You One of Us?

 

9d861ac5027505d5d61fe9eb36448da7One of the best part of becoming a self-proclaimed “book blogger” is when authors and PR people from publishing companies reach you out asking if -by any chance- you’d like to read this or that book and help them spreading the word.

Duh!! I’m a bookworm. Sure I would like to read your new/soon-to-be-published book!!

A week ago, Jack Cahn -a first-time author and college student- offered me to read an advanced copy of When Millennials Rule: The Reshaping of America,  written with his twin brother David.

I knew JaWhen Millennials Ruleck and David Cahn -the Twin Titans of Stuyvesant High School– from the media attention they received in 2013 because of their involvement in school activism, and I am an avid reader of their Huffington Post posts too (read here David’s entries and here Jack’s entries).

Jack and David’s book -which I will review soon- is written by and for a specific demographic cohort called Millennials.

According to all the legitimate sources I have consulted, I am -my birthright- one of them. Yes people, I am a Millennial.

Despite there are no precise dates for when the generation starts and ends; most researchers use birth years ranging from the early 1980s to around 2000.* The credit of naming the Millennials goes to authors William Strauss and Neil Howe, which -in their latest book titled Millennials Rising: The Next Great Generation– defined the Millennials as a “civic-minded generation with a strong sense of community both local and global“.

Pretty cool, huh? Sure is, on paper. Here comes the reality check.

o-THE-REAL-ME-GENERATION-facebookAfter further research I found out that Millennials don’t exactly enjoy widespread appreciation, nor consideration among society; lazy, entitled narcissists who still live with their parents, tech junkies and guinea pigs for everything marketing related.

We might be more tech savvy, more entrepreneurial, more tolerant and even more optimistic about the future, but we also are the generation with the highest joblessness and debt out of school.

Statistics show that we are the best educated generation of history but -apparently- our political views don’t make any sense, our ideas are unrealistic and we will never reach higher political positions.

3-Steps-to-Reaching-Millennials-on-Facebook.pngGo figure that!

We are good buyers though. No kidding. In fact, there are a lot of books about how to make us buy even more things:

  • Marketing to Millennials: Reach the largest and most influential Generation of Consumer Ever, by Jeff Fromm and Christie Garton (Book) – (eBook)
  • Your Customer is the star: How to make Millennials, Boomers and Everyone Else Love your Business, by Micah Solomon (Book) – (eBook)
  • Managing the Millennials: Discover the core Competencies for Managing Today’s Workforce, by Chip Espinoza and Mick Ukleja (Book) – (eBook)

Just to name a few. That’s quite sad, isn’t it?

My question to you, brave reader, is: What’s really hiding under the sand? Who’s keeping Millennials out of the big game? Why society doesn’t give Millennials credit? Are Millennials really narcissistic personalities characterized by a damaged sense of self?

When Millennials Rule: The Reshaping of America by Jack and David Cahn is an extraordinary reading that I recommend (pub.date August 2nd, 2016). If words and ideas can change the world, and if “it depends on us, on the choices we make, particularly when big changes are happening and everything seems up for grabs“** than we -Millennials- have a lot of work to do.


 *Source:Wikipedia

** President Obama to the class of 2016 at Rutger University 250th Anniversary Commencement

***This post reflects my personal opinion. I am not sponsored by none of the people mentioned above. The reason why I am  highly, strongly, shamelessy suggesting to buy Jack and David’s book is mostly because I believe in the message that carries. I will never get tired to recommend any writer who is not afraid to share good ideas and knows how to use a perfect consecutio temporum!

****If you don’t know what the consecutio temporum is…get out of here!! Kidding, just google it!

The Pornography Industry

The Pornography Industry

 

The Pornography Industry. What Everyone Needs to Know, by Shira Tarrant

The business of pornography is a major and ubiquitous multi-billion dollacover79667-medium.pngr enterprise.  Porn allegedly accounts for one-third of all internet traffic, every second there is an average 28,258 internet users watching pornography. The business is so popular because the product is made fast and it’s easily accessible.

Shira Tarrant, analyzing a wide range of statistics, goes through political controversies around the industry, the feminist war against it, the views of the religious right, legal cases and the impact that porn has on society.

While I’m not interested into knowing the industry basics I am about those important issues such as the sociological impact of pornography: does porn cause violence against women? Can people become addicted to it? How society responds to that?

“If we are going to advocate successfully for a safe and ethical world, if we care about gender justice, and if we are devoted to more fully understanding the politics of pleasure and danger, then moving past the porn wars is a welcome requirement for the future.” 

This is a challenging topic and this book will enable readers to explore these provocative issues and make their own opinion about the past, present and future of this major enterprise.


Get your copy now! On Amazon.com (Book) – (Ebook)

 

Why Do We Waste So Much Food?

Why Do We Waste So Much Food?

Freegans. Diving into the Wealth of Food Waste in America, by Alex V. Barnard

If we are still asking ourselves why does 40 percent of all U.S. food production go to waste, while one in six people in the nation face hunger, there is something wrong with modern society.cover85473-medium

Living on food culled from supermarket dumpsters may be a little radical but it’s what freegans does, promoting ethical consumption while fighting capitalism.
A very interesting book that will take you to know the people inside the movement, thwir motivations and their believes.

Freegans is a very interesting book that will make you think and question yourself about what we are doing wrong.

 


Get your copy on Amazon.com

 

When Family is All You Have

When Family is All You Have

Evicted. Poverty and Profit in the American City, by Matthew Desmond

Harvard sociologist Matthew Desmond takes us into the poorest neighborhoods of Milwaukee to tell the story of eight families on the edge. cover74027-medium.pngAll are spending almost everything they have on rent, and all have fallen behind. All are going to be evicted.

Based on real fieldwork and solid data of the human cost of America’s inequality, Desmond provides a ground-level view of one of the most urgent issues facing America today, as evictions are becoming more and more commonplace.

I highly recommend you to read this book, because we have to understand how this sick system of removing families from their homes in name of profit is exacerbating cycles of poverty, especially among minorities and women.


Get your copy now! On Amazon.com (Book) – (Ebook)

 

Incarceration Nations.

Incarceration Nations.

A Journey to Justice in Prisons Around the World, by Baz Dreisinger

cover78140-medium

What does losing your freedom means in Africa, Thailand, Brazil, Australia, Singapore and Norway?

When an English professor, criminal educator and criminal justice activist embarks on a 2 year pilgrimage to prisons around the world what you have is an astounding collection of stories and memories, that will make you ponder if our justice system is really working.

Either if you are a student or you work in the justice field this is a book worth reading.

 

“Here there is a world apart, unlike everything else, with laws of its own, its own dress, its own manners and customs, and here is the house of the living dead – life as nowhere else and a people apart.”

– F.M. Dostoevskij – The House of the Dead


 Get your copy now! On Amazon.com (Book) – (Ebook)