Amanda Gates

Friday I'm in Love: J.K. Rowling, Picture books, The Walking Dead & more

J.K. Rowling: She’s kind of all over the place again doing publicity, since A Casual Vacancy was released last month. And I think she’s just a joy. She’s serious and aloof, but she also has such a dry sense of humor and an honesty to her that’s so refreshing (maybe that’s because she’s English). I really enjoyed this profile of her, Mugglemarch, from The New Yorker. Also, she was on The Daily Show a couple weeks ago. She and Jon Stewart talked about everything from Potter to politics and her views on our system were quite fascinating. Last, I’m 30 pages into Vacancy, and while that’s not far enough to say I love it, it’s a pleasure to read her writing again. It’s much more adult and serious this time, but it’s still very Rowling.

Is it Possible to Rethink ‘Unpopular’? TED Talk: I enjoy Erika Napoletano’s tweets and blog posts (I’ve mentioned her in my Friday posts before). Now she has a TED talk and I found it quite enjoyable. She talks about how she just gave up on being polite and letting negative people inside her life (as a brand expert, she relates this idea to businesses as well). She wants people to embrace “unpopular” by Being Honest and Stop Apologizing. “When are you going to admit there’s something glorious about being you?” she asked. It left me inspired.

Electoral Precedent Cartoon: This cartoon looks at “The problem with statements like, ‘No <party> candidate has won the election without <state>,’ or ‘No president has been reelected under <circumstances>.’” For example, “No one can become president without getting marred. Until Buchanan did (1856),” and “No Republican has won without Vermont. Until Bush did (2000).” It’s fun! [Hat tip MinnPost]

The Kindergarten Canon—Must Read Picture Books for Preschoolers: Sure, this is only one man’s opinion, but boy did this list of 100 book bring back some memories (and some additions to my kid’s wish list). There’re some true classics (Snow White, Three Little Pigs), but newbies too (Knuffle Bunny). Some of my favorites: Caps for Sale, George and Martha, The Poky Little Puppy and Strega Nona (I loved my Tomie dePaola books).

The Walking Dead: There was A LOT of hype for this season premiere, and in my opinion it didn’t disappoint. Each segment got scarier until the end when the prison hallways were like a haunted house from my nightmares. (And it kept me up that night, hoping not to dream about zombies. So, while no sleep sucks, it shows it stuck with me.) While I enjoy the show, I usually scoff at the cheesy dialogue regularly throughout each episode. But, that was at a minimum this time—probably because they were too busy killing the dead—I think I only laughed once or twice at the cheese. The characters have grown a bit, and I’m excited to see what the next few episodes bring (more death, apparently).

Your turn!



Thanks for sharing the list of must reads for kids! I too love Caps for Sale, the Pokey Little Puppy, and Strega Nona. (In fact, I've already bought that one for Clare.)

I also enjoyed the profile of J.K. Rowling in the New Yorker! It made me wish once again that I could think of something as clever as Harry Potter. I got her new book for my birthday. I haven't started it yet, but I look forward to hearing what you think of it.


So glad you enjoyed my TEDx talk and thank you for sharing with your audience...glad you're a part of MY audience!

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