2. My next suggestion is a wonderful site for writing and reading called Figment (www.figment.com). Figment is an online community where participants create, discover, and share new reading and writing. You can search according to interest or follow amateur authors that you like. But you can also start writing your own stories and develop a fan base of your own! It adds a level of social networking by allowing you to “vote” for authors and stories that you like.
3. One book that I always like to recommend to sophomores and juniors is “The Gatekeepers”, by Jaques Steinberg. Jaques started the popular website on admissions through the New York Times called The Choice (http://thechoice.blogs.nytimes.com/). This is also a great site to read as you proceed through your process, if US colleges are on your list. In The Gatekeepers, Jaques was allowed to observe the admissions process over the course of a year at Wesleyan University, a very selective Liberal Arts college in Connecticut. It is a fun and informative read, and I highly recommend the book. One of my students at Wes claims that reading the book was a huge factor in her choosing the school once she had been accepted.
Looking for other recommendations for books? Here are a few other places you could browse:
- The faculty at the University of California, Berkeley creates a “suggested” reading list for students every year. These are not books that are in the curriculum or required, but more often represent the kind of student that is likely to get into Cal: a student who is intellectually curious and wants more! You can find this year’s suggested reading and past year’s at this site: http://reading.berkeley.edu/
- Are you already a voracious reader but in a location where you don’t have access to a great library? Me too! Don’t worry, with the Internet you don’t have to look far. Check out this site where you can download tons of books for free: http://www.readanybook.com/#read
- Got an iPad? Here is a YouTube video that shows you how to download free pdf books from net and read them in iBooks on an iPad: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6B-ZYk3ht-8 Or just browse all of the free books that are available in the iBooks store itself! How to do that – iBooks: At bottom of the “store” page there is a link to free books. For all of you “science kids” out there, I suggest the biography of Nikola Tesla or for you “history buffs”, The Life of Abraham Lincoln is also great! I am currently blazing through The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (which I somehow never had assigned to me in all of my years of education) in anticipation of watching the new movie coming out directed by Baz Lurman. I prefer to create my own images of the characters before “watching” how someone else interprets them!
It has been a blog entry on reading, and since I started with a quote, I will end with one: