All the World's a Classroom

Reading Interview Episode 3: Kendra Stanton Lee

Reading Interview Episode 3: Kendra Stanton Lee

Kendra Stanton Lee is my guest for this 3rd episode of the Reading Interview Series, where I chat with bookworms, avid readers and learners, to unpack their reading habits and philosophy. She’s a freelance writer based in Boston, but really, there’s not one thing that can describe her. She’s a teacher, writer, calligrapher, and entrepreneur. You’ll love this conversation with her. We talked about her reading life, some contemporary and important books, her writing life, and her experience with the publishing world. My personal favorite part is towards the end of the episode where we talk about intercultural relationships. Stick around to the end for that.

Connect with Kendra:

Kendra’s blog: www.kendraspondence.com
Twitter: @Kendraspondence

 

 

Mentioned Books, Authors, Podcasts, and Links
American girl books
Minute Markers:
Kendra’s life story in books [1:27]
Her approach to guide her kids to love reading [11:36]
How she discovers new books, favorite genres [15:20]
What makes her break up with a book [18:18]
Why an author’s voice is important [21:24]
Contemporary books that are important for women to read [22:36]
Why Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and her novel Americanah, rocks [22:59]
Why Between the World and Me is required reading [28:23]
The book that made a man moved away from sitting next to Kendra on the subway [33:14]
Kendra’s approach to writing; why writing is important to her [36:50]
Using daily occurrences as inspiration for writing; finding humor in life [40:50]
How she found/developed her voice in writing [45:20]
Experience with the publishing world through her book project a few years ago [47:40]
Intercultural relationships [49:09]
Why conversations on intercultural relationships/families are important [53:55]
Intercultural relationships from a faith perspective [56:24]
What raises up cultural conversations in her family [58:55]
Why messy conversations are sometimes necessary [1:00:08]

 

Attributions

Picture: Kendra Stanton Lee

 

*Amazon Product links on this blog are Amazon Affiliate links, which means that each time you purchase something through those links, I get a small commission without you paying any extra. Of course you don’t have to use them, but if you want to chip-in towards content creation for this blog, I’d really appreciate it!

 

Let’s Talk About Books: 3 Things I’m Doing

Let’s Talk About Books: 3 Things I’m Doing

Books, I find, demand not just to be read, but also to be talked about. They are keen for us to agree and disagree with their contents. They invite us to engage and complement their ideas, and thus enrich the greater dialogue that they are a part of.

 

Each book is a community. At least, it has the potential to be one. At its fullest realization, fellow readers gather to engage each other in conversations in book clubs, forums, or casual hangouts.

 

Finding communities in our modern lives, however, is not always easy (see Tribe: Home in Community). But how awesome it is to find one with kindred minds and spirits.

 

A Craving for Community

 

My reading has been quite consistent over the past few years, as my Goodreads account can testify. But as the knowledge and information piles one on another, book after book much without an outlet, my craving for a book community has peaked. I need to talk about what I’ve read!

 

Reading is great, but to have a conversation that goes along with it is superb. Conversations let you digest the books more deeply, exchange ideas and point of views, and probe more interesting questions. Thoughts become more complex. Differences in perspective emerge, and nothing sharpens and refines your views than sitting face to face with others who can challenge your thoughts.

 

Driven by this craving, I finally sought out my tribe. These are the 3 things I’m doing to talk about books these days.

 

3 Things I’m Doing to Talk about Books

 

1. The Next Big Idea Club

 

I’ve been seeing the Facebooks ads for The Next Big Idea Club that feature Adam Grant or Malcolm Gladwell for a few months. Spot on targeting there. What’s a bookworm to do but to click away.

 

The Next Big Idea Club is an online book club for nonfiction lovers, curated by Adam Grant, Malcolm Gladwell, Susan Cain, and Daniel Pink. I mean, their nonfiction credibility is through the roof. If there’s any book club to join, this is the one. After all, I own each of the four’s books.

 

How it works: The curators pick the best nonfiction works of the year for the club to read together, one book a month. It’s a subscription service, so you can either get the quarterly mailing of the hardcover books, ebooks, or just the bonus materials. The bonus materials are author interviews by the curators, video lectures, and a closed Facebook group for discussions. There are also live Q&A sessions with the authors. For every subscription, book donations to students in under-resourced communities are made.

 

It’s all top notch. People post really thoughtful reflections and questions on the Facebook group. And the books are brand-new releases. We’re currently reading The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups by Daniel Coyle.

 

If you’re a nonfiction lover, definitely check it out.

 

2. Business, Books, and Brews Meetup

 

This meetup in Boulder is awesome. What could be better than talking about books in a coffee shop for 1.5 hours? Everyone seems to be so pleased with finding the group and having an outlet to geek out about business books.

 

Our next meetup will be on Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant (who is mentioned three times already in this post). If you’re in the Boulder area, come join us!

 

3. My Reading Interview Podcast

 

It tickles me that I have to start a podcast to get to talk about books to long-time friends. So millennial. But these interviews are fantastic because it’s difficult to have an extended, focused conversation about books and reading when 1) they live far away, and 2) kids may interrupt in-person conversations.

 

There are self-motivated learners everywhere. Famous people get a lot of podcast airtime, but really, gems of insights are always nearby from people we interact everyday. I want to uncover these gems, somehow.

 

If you enjoy listening to conversations about books, check out my Reading Interview Series!

 

I actually have not decided whether to keep going indefinitely, or make this a finite project. I told myself to try 6 episodes first and then decide. If you have feedback or comments, please let me know!

 

How do you find ways to talk about what you read?

 

Reading Interview Episode 2: Amy Ratsara

Reading Interview Episode 2: Amy Ratsara

This is the second episode of the Reading Interview Series, where I chat with bookworms, avid readers and learners, to unpack their reading habits and philosophy.

 

 

In this episode I chat with Amy Ratsara. She is an attorney in the state of Michigan, who is a good friend. We love to talk about books and podcasts we like. One of the main reasons I want to interview her is her background in history and law, and we talk a lot about reading history in this conversation. For those of you who are thinking about or currently attending law school, she has some great tips on reading case laws and preparing for class. Hope you’ll enjoy this episode. As usual, all the books and links mentioned in the interview can be found below.

 

Connect with Amy on Twitter and Instagram: @amyratsara

 

 

Mentioned Books, Authors, Podcasts, and Links
Feedly RSS reader
American girl books
Minute Markers:
Childhood reading [1:08]
How her reading changed as she grew older [4:16]
Discovering her love of history [12:00]
Why history is important and inexhaustible [15:41]
How she picks books and resources now [21:00]
Good audiobooks she listened to recently [23:27]
Continual learning in law [26:26]
Reading tips for law students, how to annotate passages [30:15]
Applying the reading tips for general reading [36:31]
How to learn the historiography of a topic [37:25]
Debates on how history is popularized [40:20]
Bias in biographies [43:43]
Methods to select books to buy/borrow/purge [46:48]
What she’s reading right now [51:37]
Resources for people who want to start learning about American History [53:55]
How 2017 impacted her reading habits [57:15]
How to keep learning [1:00:39]

 

Attributions

 

*Amazon Product links on this blog are Amazon Affiliate links, which means that each time you purchase something through those links, I get a small commission without you paying any extra. Of course you don’t have to use them, but if you want to chip-in towards content creation for this blog, I’d really appreciate it!

 

Let's Read Together

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