Category Archives: Reading

Parenting the Asian and American Ways

A new book called Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother is causing a lot of controversy.  It was written by a Chinese-American woman, a professor, who decided to raise her 2 American children the Chinese way.  Her traditional Asian focus on discipline, obedience, and perfection in music and school is very controversial because it is very different from the most common way of raising children in the U.S.  What do you think?  Click here to read or listen to the article.


Asian-American Women and Depression

Click here for an interesting article from about why Asian-American women suffer from depression more than other Americans, and yes, part of it IS cultural.

Christmas and This I Believe

When my husband took English 302 at Cosumnes River College, he was fortunate enough to be required to read and respond to numerous essays in a beautiful book called This I Believe. He shared it with me, we sometimes read them aloud in the car to each other, and I bought copies of the book for family for Christmas. Not every essay in that book is fantastic or inspirational to me, but as a whole I found them beautiful expressions of what’s important in life, things we all know but need to be reminded of.

It’s Christmastime again, and This I Believe has a new book on love. Love is maybe my favorite theme these days because of the addition of children to my life and the influence of love-minded friends.

In the spirit of Christmas and love, click here for a This I Believe essay with a lovely little message of peace.  You can read or listen, or listen and read at the same time. The listening is special because it’s read by the author of the essay.

Take a little time to check out the website, too– it’s full of essays on all kinds of topics, by both famous and ordinary people, and provides not only inspiration but also great reading and listening practice!

Reading Recommendations

Want to improve your English while learning new things about the world around you?  Try some non-fiction, but beware– the level of most of these books is pretty advanced!  These are a few books that have been highly recommended lately:

1.  How Soccer Explains the World: An Unlikely Theory of Globalization

Learn about economics, politics, and other global aspects through a discussion of the world’s favorite sport.

2.  Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies

This broad look at the history of the world was extremely popular when it came out, mostly because the author takes an unusual look at how some societies became successful while others continued to suffer.  It starts with the Ice Age and includes sections on all parts of the world, including Asia, which is the author’s expertise.

3.  This I Believe

One of my favorites– a collection of inspiring essays written by both famous and ordinary people (although a few of the older ones bored me).  There is also a This I Believe II and This I Believe On Love.  You can also listen to and read the essays on the website:

4.  Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace 

Inspiring true story that will make you really appreciate your educational opportunities.

How to Thrive– An Interview about Happiness Around the World

I love the NPR (National Public Radio) website. You can find articles and interviews about everything, like news, art, books, & music. It changes every day!
Here’s a link to an interesting story about happiness. You can listen, read, or both (to do both, open “transcript” and listen at the same time).

Here are some questions if you want to test your listening: ListeningPrac Happiness