Friday Reads – Pico Iyer on the Pleasures of Being Foreign, Ethan Siegel on Dark Matter

Soon there’ll be more foreigners on earth than there are Americans. Foreignness is a planetary condition, and even when you walk through your hometown—whether that’s New York or London or Sydney—half the people around you are speaking in languages and dealing in traditions different from your own.

Read the article at Lapham’s Quarterly

But there are still gravitationally bound systems, and they exist on small scales in great abundance, on medium scales in moderate abundance, and on relatively large scales in sparse but non-zero abundance. And it’s all part of the same cosmic story.

Ethan Siegel on dark energy, dark matter, and the fate of our expanding universe on Medium. Read the article.

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Maria Popova’s Animated Essay: Wisdom in the Age of Information

In this stunning collaboration with animator Drew Christie, Maria Popova parses the difference between wisdom and knowledge and ends with a question we should all be asking ourselves. Popova, the brain behind the phenomenal intellect and arts blog Brain Pickings, teamed up with Christie for the Future of Storytelling Conference.

“A great story invites an expansion of understanding.”

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Writer success story – why sometimes you have to tune out the criticism

Roald Dahl authored dozens of books, including the beloved Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach

“This boy is an indolent and illiterate member of the class.” age 16, summer term English composition

“A persistent muddler, vocabulary negligible, sentences malconstructed. He reminds me of a camel.” Summer term 1932, age 16, English composition

“Consistently idle, ideas limited.” Autumn term, 1932, English composition


Roald Dahl is a great writer. He is probably my favorite writer.” Oscar, age 9



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Crystal Springs – the new play by Kathy Rucker

This sounds really good: award-winning playwright Kathy Rucker’s new play, Crystal Springs. Crystal Springs runs March 6 – March 23 at The Eureka Theatre in San Francisco. Read more and get tickets at

About the play:

(via the website)

Crystal Springs is a thought-provoking new play that interweaves the challenges of parenting in the digital age with a suspenseful tale of online misbehavior and its vicious consequences. Written by Kathy Rucker, directed by 2013 Bruntwood Prize winner Anna Jordan.

Based on true events, the performance follows a suburban mother who becomes obsessed with her daughter’s online social circle, using the teen’s Web connections to fire salvos and seek revenge. The play starts at the story’s conclusion and unfolds backwards in time, turning surprising corners on a path to an unexpected beginning.

About the Playwright
Kathy Rucker is the award-winning writer of Beautiful Scar, Sultan’s Battery, and Turing Tested, which was a selection of Last Frontier Theater Conference. She has been a finalist for the Heideman Award and New Works of Merit. She lives in Northern California.

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Green Apple Books

Bay Area Literary Events

I’ll be talking about my brand new novel, Golden State, at several locations in the Bay Area. All of the following events are free and open to the public. We have fun, I promise!

Wed., 2/5/14, Palo Alto

Peninsula book launch for GOLDEN STATE at Books Inc. Palo Alto, 7:00 p.m.I

2/19, Mendocino

The Gallery Bookshop, Mendocino, 6:00 p.m.

2/20, San Francisco

Book Passage, Ferry Building, San Francisco, 6:00 PM

2/21, Pleasanton

Luncheon and book discussion at Towne Center Books, Pleasanton, CA, 11:30 (tickets required)

2/21, Berkeley

Mrs. Dalloway’s, Berkeley, CA, 7:30 p.m.

March 4, 2014

Belmont Public Library, Belmont, CA 7:00 p.m.


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