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Results 26 - 50 of 13,529
26. Who was the first great Shakespearean actress?

The first female Juliet appears to have been Mary Saunderson, to Henry Harris’s Romeo in 1662 when her future husband, Thomas Betterton, played Mercutio. Later she acted admirably as Ophelia and Lady Macbeth but nothing I have read characterizes her as great. Elizabeth Barry (c.1658–1713) succeeded her as Betterton’s leading lady, excelling in pathetic roles and achieving her greatest successes in the heroic tragedies of her own time.

The post Who was the first great Shakespearean actress? appeared first on OUPblog.

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27. Review – Nobody Is Ever Missing by Catherine Lacey

I grabbed this book solely on the back of a tweet from Joss Whedon but it then languished in my TBR pile for months. With the book finally being released in Australia I thought it was time to pick it up and was immediately sucked in. Catherine Lacey’s writing style is electrifying. She skillfully balances […]

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We’re soon to touch down in one of our absolute favorite literary states for the Texas Library Association Conference in Austin! If there’s anything better than talking books, hanging out with authors and librarians, and enjoying sunshine and Shiners, then we don’t want to know about it.

If you’ll be in the Lone Star State, too, please swing by our booth, #1341, for galleys, giveaways, and face time with the HarperCollins Children’s Books School & Library team. We can’t wait to chat and put books in your hands.

But if you’re reading this thinking, “sure, you guys are nice, but we’re here to meet the AUTHORS, silly!” check out our top-notch signing schedule, here:

11:00am–12:00pm, Joy Preble, Aisle 7, Finding Paris
11:00am–12:00pm, Melissa Marr, Aisle 8, Made For You
12:00–1:00pm, Kiera Cass, Aisle 8, The Selection Series
1:00–2:00pm, Thanhha Lai, Aisle 8, Listen, Slowly
2:00–3:00pm, Dan Gutman, Aisle 8, Genius Files #5: License to Thrill
4:00–5:00pm, Lauren Oliver, Aisle 8, Vanishing Girls

10:00–11:00am, Sherry Thomas, Aisle 3, The Elemental Trilogy
11:30am–12:30pm, Neal & Brendan Shusterman, Aisle 1, Challenger Deep
2:00–3:00pm, Gordon Korman, Aisle 1, Masterminds
2:00–3:00pm, Julie Murphy, Aisle 2, Dumplin’ galleys
3:00–4:00pm, Becky Albertalli, Aisle 1, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

You don’t want to miss our coupon in the aisle by aisle guide, either! It points you to our booth for a free copy of BONE GAP, by Laura Ruby (*while supplies last), and a chance to enter to win a piece of framed original art by Jef Czekaj, from his upcoming picture book, AUSTIN, LOST IN AMERICA.

We can’t wait to see y’all!


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29. ‘Buyer beware': how the Federal Trade Commission redefined the word ‘free’

Last month marked the hundredth anniversary of the Federal Trade Commission, the regulatory agency that looks after consumer interests by enforcing truth in advertising laws. Established by the Federal Trade Commission Act of 1914 and signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson, the FTC opened its doors in March 16 of 2015, taking the place of the older Bureau of Corporations.

The post ‘Buyer beware': how the Federal Trade Commission redefined the word ‘free’ appeared first on OUPblog.

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30. A better strategy for presidential candidates

The invisible primary is well underway. From Jeb Bush to Hillary Clinton, Rand Paul to Marco Rubio, candidates are already angling for votes in the prized Iowa caucus. News cycles are abuzz with speculation about who the candidates will be and what their chances are, but much of this coverage asks the wrong question.

The post A better strategy for presidential candidates appeared first on OUPblog.

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31. Jonas Salk and the polio vaccination

Today, 12 April 2015 marks the sixtieth anniversary of the announcement that Jonas Salk’s vaccine could prevent poliomyelitis. We asked Charlotte Jacobs, author of Jonas Salk: A Life, a few questions about this event.

The post Jonas Salk and the polio vaccination appeared first on OUPblog.

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32. The world as hypertext

We all have experiences as of physical things, and it is possible to interpret these experiences as perceptions of objects and events belonging to a single universe. In Leibniz’s famous image, our experiences are like a collection of different perspective drawings of the same landscape. They are, as we might say, worldlike. Ordinarily, we refer the worldlike quality of our experiences to the fact that we all inhabit the same world, encounter objects in a common space, and witness events in a common time.

The post The world as hypertext appeared first on OUPblog.

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33. Shakespeare’s false friends

False friends (‘faux amis’) are words in one language which look the same as words in another. We therefore think that their meanings are the same and get a shock when we find they are not. Generations of French students have believed that demander means ‘demand’ (whereas it means ‘ask’) or librairie means ‘library’ (instead of ‘bookshop’). It is a sign of a mature understanding of a language when you can cope with the false friends, which can be some of its most frequently used words. Having a good grasp of the false friends is a crucial part of ‘learning to speak French.’

The post Shakespeare’s false friends appeared first on OUPblog.

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34. Lincoln’s eleven greatest speeches

Leaving behind a legacy that transcends generations today, Abraham Lincoln was a veteran when it came to giving speeches. Delivering one of the most quoted speeches in history, Lincoln addressed the nation on a number of other occasions, captivating his audience and paving the way for generations to come. Here is an in-depth look at Lincoln’s eleven greatest speeches, in chronological order.

The post Lincoln’s eleven greatest speeches appeared first on OUPblog.

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35. Diversity in policing, really?

There have been lots of recent debates, both in the police service and in the news, about the importance of having a diverse workforce. What does that really mean? Senior leaders in policing have called for police forces to positively discriminate in favour of black and ethnic minority officers (BME) in the face of a growing diversity crisis. Nationally, 14% of the population is from black and multi-ethnic communities, compared with 5% of police officers.

The post Diversity in policing, really? appeared first on OUPblog.

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36. Animal Mother, Mother of Animals, Guardian of the Road to the Land of the Dead

We were working in Baga Oigor II when I heard my husband yelling from above, “Esther, get up here, fast!” Thinking he had seen some wild animal on a high ridge, I scrambled up the slope. There, at the back of a protected terrace marked by old stone mounds was a huge boulder covered with hundreds of images. Within that maze of elements I could distinguish a hunting scene and several square patterns suggesting the outlines of dwellings.

The post Animal Mother, Mother of Animals, Guardian of the Road to the Land of the Dead appeared first on OUPblog.

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37. Whig literary culture and the canon: the legacy of the Tonsons

Jacob Tonson the elder (1656-1736) was, as has long been recognized, one of the most influential and pioneering booksellers of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries and, as such, is the subject of four major biographies of the past hundred years. The leading publisher of his day, Tonson published writers such as Joseph Addison, Aphra Behn, William Congreve, John Dryden, Laurence Echard, John Gay, John Oldmixon, Alexander Pope, Matthew Prior, Nicholas Rowe, Richard Steele, George Stepney, and John Vanbrugh.

The post Whig literary culture and the canon: the legacy of the Tonsons appeared first on OUPblog.

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38. WonderCon ’15: Recap, Impressions, Big move announcement.

Take a good look at the Anaheim Convention Center, It might be the last WonderCon sees of it.

Take a good look at the Anaheim Convention Center, It might be the last WonderCon sees of it.

By Nick Eskey

For the three years that WonderCon has been in the Anaheim convention center, I’ve been very fortunate to attend it. I say fortunate because compared to my local San Diego Comic Con, this one is much more relaxed. Replacing the large media influence and the sardine-cramped spaces, there is ease and Fandom. Easily one of the industry’s conventions that is more beloved by fans.

The convention itself is very well run, usually smooth-as-silk. A few hiccups that occurred this year were the downed elevators used for celebrity talent (which was of course not the fault of WonderCon) and the last minute change of entrances for badge pickup (my press email said Hall H, only to find out I had to go all the way back to A). I did like the addition of the turn-styles at the entrance of the fountain. This did add a redundancy in checking badges, but it kept the people who were passing out advertisements and postcards away from the main doors.

I can’t really say how long I walked the convention sales floor, I just know my feet got a workout. Artists, independent publishers, and exhibitors inhabit much of the booth spaces.
Though the right side is designated as Artist’s Alley, the far left also seemed like a secondary one, with people showing off their original comics or sketches for sale. Quite a few booths were also selling handmade “geekery” like cartoon-inspired dolls, 3D printed figures, and even tentacle kitty plushies. I spent most of my allotted money on art prints (and said tentacle kitty plush).

I really do wish there was more in the way of panels this year. Last year there were a few big movie announcements shown in the Arena area, but for this one it was all smaller panels on the 2nd and 3rd floors. This is where I think SDCC is far superior. It always has the big talent and over the top showings. It is still nice to have the “how to get into the industry” or documentary panels, but a dash of excitement here and there definitely would add considerably to the lineup.

The big announcement was of course that WonderCon would not be in Anaheim next year, but in LA. From what was told at the talkback panel on the last day of the convention, lack of availability surrounding that time period forced the hard decision on the board. As luck would have it, LA’s convention center had a cancellation, and welcomed WonderCon to fill the spot. We all might be a little spoiled in how the Anaheim convention center sits in between two large hotels, as well as being in walking distance to and from Disneyland Park, but isn’t that part of the fun?

LA does boast a collection of hotels and other attractions, but come on; Disneyland. DISNEYLAND!

I’ll still be heading to WonderCon 2016, believe you me. The convention survived it’s San Francisco birth, and flourished in its Anaheim move. Because of this, I am optimistic that it will become even better in this next move. After the explosion of SDCC, CCI has learned that they need to build on WonderCon piecemeal.

Who knows, 2017 might have the convention back in Anaheim. As of now, nothing is set in stone for the far future.

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39. Britain, political leadership, and nuclear weapons

The beliefs of British Prime Ministers since 1941 about the nation’s security and role in the world have been of critical importance in understanding the development and retention of a nuclear capability. Winston Churchill supported the development as a means of national survival during the Second World War.

The post Britain, political leadership, and nuclear weapons appeared first on OUPblog.

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40. The perils of cell confession evidence: principles and pitfalls

Cell confession evidence – evidence from inmates alleging that the accused has confessed to the crime – is a discrete but controversial covert policing resource. This type of evidence can be volunteered to investigators by the source, though rarely is it done so unconditionally. In other cases, it is a result of the deliberate use and conduct of a covert human intelligence source, authorized under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000.

The post The perils of cell confession evidence: principles and pitfalls appeared first on OUPblog.

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41. WonderCon ’15: Exhibition Hall Highlights

By Nick Eskey

The guys of CME in front of "Deadeye

The guys of CME in front of “Deadeye”

Known for being the fan favorite of major conventions, with its relaxed nature and lines, WonderCon has been gaining in popularity over the last few years.

For this last WonderCon, I was a little underwhelmed with the pick of panel selections, so I decided to spend more time on the sales floor than I usually do. The diversity of vendors, artists, and publishers gathered here are always wonderful to see and explore. During my long exploration, I came across a few booths that I felt deserved a shout out.

C.M.E. (Creative Mind Energy LLC): I’ve seen these guys for a few years now, at both WonderCon and Comic-Con. Every time I do, it’s a great pleasure. CME is a

Design Studio Press

Design Studio Press

family business that come up with original creative content for various avenues, such as print, television, movies, and video games. The artwork of their comic books are so unique, featuring beautifully, hand drawn scenes. The work stands out and makes a name for itself. One of their latest works, Deadeye, will be coming out this June. Find a copy for yourself. [http://creativemindenergy.com/]

Design Studio Press: This publisher has been around for 15 years. The level of workmanship in each book shows why they’ve been around this long. Design
Studio Press’s content is mostly beautiful reference materials for making art and designing. A couple books of theirs that really impressed me were “How to draw” and “How to render.” Each one’s a thick piece of work; highly detailed, lots of pictures, and very simple to follow. But what really was impressive is that if you download the company’s app on your phone, and train the camera on certain pages, an AR tutorial will appear on the paper, including more than what is there. This is truly the next step in books and technology. [http://designstudiopress.com/]

Abraham Lopez himself

Abraham Lopez himself

Abraham Lopez: A picture is worth a thousand words, so goes the saying. This artist’s work is indeed worth that many words, creating a hilarious work of fiction. Using a combination of comic and Disney characters, his drawings place them in farfetched, but yes very amusing scenes and situations. During the entire convention, his booth was consistently surrounded. I myself had to buy a few of his prints. They are just that good. But beyond their subject matter, his art is well done and polished. [http://artistabe.deviantart.com/]

Even though WonderCon is over, still check these guys out. They all deserve some patronage in my book. I’d love to see them again at this year’s SDCC.

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42. Reading in Bed

I don’t know what it is these past several nights but I’ve been barely able to keep my eyes open while reading before bed. Maybe it’s the cold, grey days we’ve been having. Maybe it’s because work has been pretty busy. Hard to say but it is frustrating.

Do you read before going to sleep? I know sleep experts frown upon the practice but I thumb my nose at them. I love reading in bed at night and so does Bookman. It happens every night and on the few occasions when it doesn’t, it feels so wrong. Sometimes the time reading before lights out is only 10-15 minutes. Most often it’s around half an hour. When we are feeling wild and crazy and don’t have to work the next day it might stretch to 45 minutes, even an hour. Whoa! I know, right?

My eyes were drooping in a major way last night. I could barely read an entire sentence before they would go unfocused and I’d begin to nod. That’s when I start trying all kinds of ways to keep alert. Sit up straight, hold my book up off my lap, put a finger on the page to follow the words as I read. None of it was working. I wasn’t about to admit defeat though. I probably read the same two pages three or four times before we turned off the light.

It’s not the book’s fault. I’m reading When Books Went to War at the moment. Good pacing, not brainy but not fluff, long chapters but lots of breaks within the chapters, easy to put down and pick up where I left off.

Choosing a book to read before bed is an art. Don’t you think? You want something relaxing but not dull. You don’t want something that is so exciting and such a page-turner you stay up into the wee hours. It has to be something you can start and stop. It has to bear up under an attention that might drift from time to time or eyes that might droop. You don’t want a chunkster you’ll be stuck reading for the next eight months. But you don’t want something so short you can finish it in a night or two.

Essays tend to work fairly well for me but not all essays. If they are long I will want to read the whole essay which could be detrimental to my beauty sleep. But if they are too short I feel kind of cheated because I didn’t get to read long enough. I’ve thought before that short stories should make great bedtime reading but I find it difficult to manage varying lengths. Where I might be able to stop in the middle of a long essay if I have to, short stories should be read in story-chunks. So I rarely end up reading stories before sleep.

Certain kinds of novels work really well. Proust is not a good choice to read before sleep. Murakami will give you wacky dreams. Anything remotely tense or thriller-y will cause bad dreams or not allow you to sleep at all for fear of what that noise might be. Science fiction and fantasy tend to work pretty well as does lighter literary fiction. I find nonfiction works really well too, but not all nonfiction. Books on history like When Books Went to War, letters, diaries, memoir and literary biography are good choices. One must stay away from books on science and technology before sleeping because they require too much mental effort.

Sometimes poetry works. It has to be an “easy” poet though like Mary Oliver. T.S. Eliot is not good before bed reading.

How do you choose your before sleep reading? Do you have a preference for certain kinds of books or a particular genre?

Filed under: Books, Reading

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43. Nicolas Nabokov: a life in pictures

Composer, cosmopolite, cultural force, Nicolas Nabokov (1903-1978), first cousin of Vladimir Nabokov (the author of Lolita), came to prominence in Paris in the late 1920s with Diaghilev's Ballets Russes. He then emigrated to America, returning to Europe in postwar Germany and subsequently as head of the Congress Cultural Freedom, for which he organized groundbreaking festivals. A tireless promoter of international cultural exchange, he was also remarkable for the range of his friendships, from Balanchine to Stravinsky and from Auden to Oppenheimer.

The post Nicolas Nabokov: a life in pictures appeared first on OUPblog.

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44. Shiny

The Spring issue of Shiny New Books is up!

I was so lucky to have the chance to read and review not one, but two, Oxford Classic reissues of Virginia Woolf books.

There is the delightful and marvelously rich Orlando:

I first read Orlando by Virginia Woolf many years ago. Fresh in love with Woolf’s writing and having just learned about her romance with Vita Sackville-West, I read the book as one long love story. But to read Orlando purely as a love letter from Virginia to Vita is to miss all the truly strange and wonderful things the book does. Because the book is also mock historical fiction and a satire on biography, not to mention an examination of identity and gender as well as a criticism of literary criticism. The book turns out to be charming, rich, and complex.

Having just published To the Lighthouse, Woolf wanted to write something lighter to please the public, something of which a reader could understand every word. But this is Woolf we are talking about and she sent me to the dictionary a number of times. Orgulous? Drugget? Obfusc? Woolf made that last one up!

Then I got to read The Waves for the first time. I was pretty nervous about that one and as you can tell, the introduction didn’t help matters. However, I should not have worried because it turned out to be a most amazing book:

Oxford World Classics has produced a terrific reissue of Virginia Woolf’s novel The Waves. There are helpful endnotes, biographical information, a selected bibliography and an introduction. But don’t read the introduction first. This is not because the introduction spoils anything, The Waves has no plot to spoil. Nor is it a badly written introduction, in fact it is quite good.

Don’t read the introduction first because it will color the way you read the novel. It will scare you by telling you how difficult The Waves is. It will tell you the book is Woolf’s most anti-colonial novel and you will spend far too much energy looking for clues for this. It will explain characters to you before you even meet them, which will cause you, when you do meet them, to have preconceived opinions. It will try to pin down into reality much of what Woolf works so hard to leave open and ambiguous. Read the introduction, but read it afterwards, after you have been tossed and tumbled about by The Waves and finally washed up on the shore bruised, glassy-eyed and gasping for breath.

Pop over via the links for the full reviews and while you are there, be sure and check out all the other articles and reviews. And be prepared to add to your TBR pile!

Filed under: Books, Reviews, Virginia Woolf Tagged: Shiny New Books

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45. The Life of Trees and the Tree of Life: An Annotated List of Multicultural Non-Fiction Picture Books About Trees

The Life of Trees and the Tree of Life: An MWD Annotated List of Multicultural Non-Fiction Picture Books About Trees

Tree of Life: The Incredible Biodiversity of Life on Earth, written by Rochelle  … <a class=Continue reading ...

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46. Are inheritances really that bad?

On the surface, inheritances are a source of moral repugnance. When we think of inheritances, we tend to think of families like the Rockefellers and Vanderbilts whose great fortunes were passed from one generation to the next. We also tend to think of “trust fund babies” – those rare individuals who have received enough money in inheritances or gifts (often in the form of a trust fund) so that they have no need to work over the course of their lifetime.

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47. Monthly etymology gleanings for March 2015, Part 2

Many thanks for comments, questions, and reprimands, even though sometimes I am accused of the sins I have not committed. If I were a journalist, I would say that my remarks tend to be taken out of context. Of course I know what precession of the equinoxes is and italicized e, to point out that it is indeed the right form (precession, not procession).

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48. A Monday snapshot



Small child straddling two barstools, running toy cars up and down the high counter. Another child sprawled on floor, drawing a picture. A third hovering by the cedar chest at the far end of the sofa, at loose ends. A leggy teenager spidering sideways in the comfy armchair. A perfectly typical scene of mild morning chaos.

I curl up in my rocking chair with House at Pooh Corner. The younger set hasn’t heard it yet, in that way that shocks me. They are six, almost nine, and eleven, for Pete’s sake! How could such a thing have happened? Answer: SO. MANY. BOOKS. With no fanfare, I open it and start reading.

The child on the floor flashes a starry grin and scoots closer, her pencils rolling under my feet. The child at loose ends looks up, ears perked. The small one zooming his cars around seems not to notice, but all the engines appear to have undergone sudden tuneups: their roars diminish to silky purrs.

It takes me a minute to find Pooh’s voice. It’s been a few years, after all. Piglet is easy and Eeyore—this revelation would no doubt astonish him—is a delight. It’s snowing, tiddley pom, but at least there hasn’t been an earthquake.

The cars have abandoned the counter and are crossing a bridge of air toward the Hundred Acre Wood. The teenager’s limbs have been transferred to the sofa. The no-longer-hovering child has claimed ownership of the big brown armchair. Nobody knows, tiddley pom, how cold my toes are growing. The postman rattles the lid of the mailbox, delivering the day’s contingent of recyclables. Pooh’s voice has settled down, and the wind must have blown Eeyore’s house over the wood because there it is, just as good as ever, and better in places.

It’s a beautiful house, tiddley pom.

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49. Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?

After several months of waiting, my turn for Roz Chast’s graphic memoir Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? finally came round. It was worth the wait.

You may already know what it is about. Chast’s parents were aging and she tried several times to talk to them about what they would want to do if something happened. Of course no one likes to think or talk about these sorts of things and trying to talk to your parents about it, especially when they don’t want to talk about it, is no easy thing. So Chast’s attempts went nowhere. And her parents continued to age and everything was fine until it wasn’t.

In their early 90s and becoming more frail, unable to keep the apartment clean and relying on a friendly neighbor to pick up things from the grocery store for them, it was only a matter of time before something happened. The call came at midnight. Chast’s mom had fallen while trying to stand on a ladder to change a light bulb. The fall had actually happened a few days before and she refused to go to the doctor. Nothing a little bed rest couldn’t fix. Until she couldn’t get out of bed. While Chast’s mom spent a few days at the hospital she had her father stay with her and her family. It was then she noticed her dad’s mental acuity was nowhere near what she thought it was. Her mom had been taking care of him and covering up just how bad he had gotten.

Thankfully, her mom was not seriously injured. But it was the beginning of the long decline. After more incidents Chast managed to convince her parents that they needed to move into assisted living. It was a nice facility where they had their own apartment and Chast, her husband and kids were nearby and could visit them frequently. Still, the parents did not go willingly.

The memoir is well told with humor and compassion. The art is cartoon-y but expressive. Chast’s story is the story of so many others that it is no surprise really why the book is so popular. I have family members who have had to take care of their aging parents. I have friends who are in the midst of taking care of theirs. It is not easy and our society doesn’t help make it any easier. Care facilities cost astronomical sums of money. Chast’s parents had scrimped and saved their entire lives and it only took a couple of years before they had nearly run through all their savings. Is that what we work all our lives to save for? Not retirement, but to pay for decent end-of-life care? And what happens when the money runs out? What happens if you have no one like Chast to look out for your best interests when you are not able to? It’s a scary prospect.

Growing old sucks. But the thing is, I don’t believe it has to. I don’t know how to change society and culture so that the golden years truly are golden right up to the last breath. But it is definitely something that needs to change.

Filed under: Books, Graphic Novels, Memoir/Biography, Reviews Tagged: Roz Chast

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50. Employment and education for emerging adults

Complaints about "boomerang kids" or the lack of work ethic for younger generations isn't uncommon. Yet over 80% of high school seniors have held at least one part-time job. And balancing schoolwork with a dead-end job is essential, as career prospects dissolve for young adults without an education.

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