Tag Archives: John Green

Summer in Review Part 2: Books!

If you were to chart my summer activities hour by hour, I can guarantee you that the top three items would be working, sleeping, and reading.  When I was wandering about Traverse City during the Cherry Festival, I made it my goal to find and purchase a John Green book in the name of science and Nerdfighteria.  It had been months since I’d set foot in a bookstore, and the intoxicating smell of paper and ink, the thrill of browsing the shelves for just the right book, and the anticipation of the hours of reading that awaited me within its pleasantly weighty pages instilled in me a kind of fever.  Over the next three months I bought and read as many books as I could find.  If there’s one thing I love more than reading a good book, it’s letting other people know about it so that they can read it, too, so below you’ll find a list of the books I bought/read this summer with a concise review for each.  Enjoy!

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Rule #32 – Enjoy the Little Things

Today was a big adventure, with all of the support staff from Lake Ann Camp heading out to Traverse City for the Cherry Festival, but that’s not what made it a great day.  The trip to the Festival itself was merely a backdrop for a series of life’s little pleasures, the sort of things that, when added up, create a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.  Here are the top five little things that made today great:

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Interview with the Newton Part One: Questions from Adam

I love interviews.  To this day, the interviews that I had the privilege to conduct with my friends Adam, Jay, and Robert back at the beginning of the year are three of my favorite posts since I started PostADay, and I hope to revive the weekly Pathos interview series soon (you can find those interviews in the “Pathos” category tab to your right.  No, down.  Too far, back up.  Yeah, that one).  Whenever I hear that someone I admire is being interviewed, I get all giddy and distractible until I get to read, watch, or listen to it.  For example, there’s a new fourteen-minute TV interview with songwriter Daniel Ingram on YouTube right now, and it’s all I can do not to watch it.  I have to keep telling my subconscious that if I don’t buckle down and write I won’t have time for either this post or  the interview before curfew tonight, but my subconscious hates logic, so he gets all huffy and starts singing “Friday” just to annoy me.

Speaking of interviews, a few weeks ago I made a post in which I asked you guys, the readers, to interview me by leaving questions for me to answer in the comments.  Two of you responded, so I’m splitting the answers post into two installments.  Today, I’ll answer questions from my best friend IRL, Adam Swensen, and tomorrow I’ll cover the questions from my best friend on the Internet, Tekaramity.  So now, without further ado, questions from Adam!

If you could go to either Haiti or Japan right now, where would you go? Why?

I’m not very well informed on either situation right now, but I think I would go to Haiti because it’s a more impoverished area.  Even before the disaster it was a bit of a focal point for humanitarian efforts, and now that they’ve undergone so much destruction and devastation they need more help than ever.

Chris Tomlin or Phil Wickham?

Wickham all the way!

Where do you want to see your life in five years?

There are a whole lot of things that I would like to do in the next five years, but I think the biggest two would be to publish a book and start a family.  As for where I want to be in my life, the only thing that really matters to me is that I’m a more mature person and Christian than I am now.  I always want to be growing, always want to be reaching for better things and higher goals, and as long as I’m becoming more like Christ He can take me wherever He wants me to go.

If there was one thing you accomplished in your life, what would that be?

I want to start something that keeps on making the world a better place and proclaiming the name of Christ long after I’m gone.  That’s part of why I’m so enamored with writing, because the written word can reach into places in both time and space that the author could never go and affect people that the author never even gets a chance to meet.  Ideally, I’d like to start a charity that reaches out to kids from broken families.  My family means the world to me, and one of the things that never fails to shatter my heart is when children are left without that love and support in their lives because their parents either could not or would not stay with them.  As long as I have the capacity to love I want to give that love to those who need it most.

What are your favorite attributes of God?

God’s patience astounds me every day.  He has been so gracious with me in all of my foolishness and selfishness, through all of the times that I’ve pushed Him aside and refused to surrender my will to His.  He’s always waiting to take me back when I realize that I was wrong, and He’s always working through my circumstances to pursue me even when I’m not pursuing Him.  I love that about Him.

Twitter or Facebook?

Facebook, but mostly because my phone really doesn’t cooperate with Twitter.

Favorite YouTuber? Why?

John Green.  He is a fellow author and the most articulate, passionate, thoughtful man on YouTube, and he often inspires me to reach for more as a writer and even as a person and as a friend.  He makes me think when most YouTubers are just out to make me laugh.  Not that I don’t love a good laugh, of course, but we need more than entertainment and John Green delivers that something more.

Recent music obsession? (Or what you have been listening to) Why?

The music from MLP:FiM Season 1.  There’s no official soundtrack released yet, but you can find a lot of the background music and songs on YouTube, and it is spectacular.  There are also some great remixes (Eurobeat Brony is the man) and even a few fan compositions that I enjoy greatly, like this one.  So.  Awesome.

Favorite Needtobreathe song? Why?

“Let Us Love” hands down.  It’s such a joyful song, but it’s not a clueless joy.  It’s the kind of joy that says, “I know that the world is broken and that life is hard, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t give all we’ve got and love with all of our hearts.”  In fact, that’s exactly what the song urges us to do, and that’s an encouragement that we could all use.

If you could only see one band/musician in concert ever, who would that be?

Switchfoot.  Absolutely, unequivocally Switchfoot.  They are my favorite band, and I’ve heard that they’re unbeatable live.  I’d be willing to give up going to concerts for the rest of my life if only I could see them in concert once.

If you could hang out and talk to 3 people for a day, like well known people, who would those 3 be?

John Green and his brother Hank come readily to mind.  As for the third, probably Charlie McDonnell.  He seems like he’d be a blast to hang out with, and he’s already friends with the Green brothers.  Yeah, a day with the Vlogbrothers and Charlie would be pretty much amazing.

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Positive Pranking

The Vlogbrothers, my latest favorite YouTubers, are the dynamic duo of best-selling author John Green and his brother Hank.  They’re both marvelously nerdy, side-splittingly funny, and endlessly creative, and when I stumbled on this video, one of their many suggestions for decreasing world-suck, I knew right away that I needed to post it here.  Basically, the idea is that people take classic pranks, like TPing houses, forking lawns, ding-dong ditching, or making prank calls, and they put a positive twist on them so that instead of getting pleasure from someone else’s discomfort they are getting pleasure by brightening someone else’s day.  Both John’s idea (his own version of TPing) and Hank’s idea (positive prank calls), as well as the idea that inspired them in the first place (Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s Hostess Ding-Dong ditching), are fantastic ways to perform some random acts of slightly silly kindness for other people, and I hope to try all of them at some point in the near future.  Who knows, maybe after you see John, Hank, and Amy’s successes you’ll be inspired to try a few positive pranks of your own, too.  Go ahead, watch the videos below to see some positive pranking in action, leave a comment telling about the best prank you’ve ever seen, heard of, or participated in, and don’t forget to be awesome!

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