Just Wear Sunglasses: A Review of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

One day, while mailing a postcard at a post office, I found a card that said, “Dear Optimists, if you look too much on the bright side, you’ll go blind. The Pessimists.” I think that card is outrageously funny. And yet, in some way, it is true: there must be a balance between optimism and…

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The Quilt: A Review of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

My grandmother has several quilts she made herself. I like them: little triangles and squares arranged in quaint mountain-like patterns. And while reading the book Huckleberry Finn, I came to think of American English as a large quilt. It is made up of many different pieces of languages—Dutch, Latin, French—and America is made of many…

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Gymnastics and Maggie: A Review of Calico Bush

After my first year of gymnastics, I eagerly signed up for a gymnastics camp—what a fun week I’d have! However, although I loved the activities, I soon felt forsaken: only my roommate talked to me.  I came back home with a strange mix of feelings: elated by the wonderful week of activities, but brokenhearted by…

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Laughs are the Biggest Incentive: A Review of Three Men in a Boat

One night, while my older sister was reading, she burst out laughing for the millionth time. I looked up, annoyed, and asked her to “stop, for goodness’ sake.” As she muffled her laughter, my mouth started to twitch. The next moment I was helpless with laughter. I do not know what I was laughing at;…

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Whist-ful Thinking: A Review of Around the World in 80 Days

While visiting my grandmother’s home, my older sister (also my photographer) proposed we learn to play whist. She discovered this English card game by reading Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne. I loved whist because it was intriguing, compelling, and risky—just like the adventures of Mr. Phileas Fogg, the fictional character who…

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Of Podcasts and Electricity: A Review of Electric Universe

As we were driving home from piano lessons one day, my mother (with my siblings’ eager consent) decided to play a podcast about the history of light, from candle wax to light bulb fixtures. The podcast cast a spell on us. As we were listening to the acknowledgments, a name of a certain book caught…

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Observations on Staring: A Review of Wonder

When I was about five years old, my family and I went to a museum in Paris. On the steps outside the museum, I painted my face green with face-paint and pretended to be a T-Rex. It was incredibly entertaining to pretend to be a dinosaur . . . until we had to go home.…

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