Sons & Orphans

Never Stop Learning

Category: Resources (page 1 of 2)

Rick Bragg’s Advice to Aspiring Writers


When Rick Bragg ambled up on stage, I knew immediately we were in for a treat. He had the look of a character from a novel—long, greasy hair parted in the middle and a patchy, graying beard. He was bigger than I expected, tall and on the heavier side. He wore a dark blazer with a white shirt underneath and dark boots.

After being introduced, he stood up and walked to the lectern. Before him sat a church full of people (mainly middle-aged women), all there to hear him speak at the Decatur Book Festival. Silence filled the sanctuary. What was he going to say? He folded his arms, squinted at the audience like he didn’t trust us, eyed the empty pulpit on the other side of the stage and said in slow, Southern drawl:

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5 Ways to Maximize Your Commute

5 ways maximize your commute

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average American’s travel time to work is 25.4 minutes. Let’s do some simple math real quick. That means the average person’s commute time per day is about an hour, per week is about 5 hours, and per year is about 255 hours. That’s basically 10.5 solid days you will spend in your car to and from work every year. 

Now for the big question: How are you spending that time? Continue reading

Why You Should Plan Your Reading in 2016 – Plus: My Reading Strategy and Book Ideas for 2016

Why you should plan readingIt’s January–that time of year when resolutions abound. Maybe you’ve resolved to eat healthier, exercise more, or spend more time with friends and family. 

But have you made any reading goals for the year? 

Odds are, your answer is no. If you’re anything like I used to be, you just kind of bounce from book to book haphazardly. What you read from month to month and year to year is simply not something you really sit down and think about.

Or maybe you’ve gone through a season without reading any books at all.  If that’s the case, you’re definitely not alone:

“The Pew Research Center reported [in January of 2014] that nearly a quarter of American adults had not read a single book in the past year. As in, they hadn’t cracked a paperback, fired up a Kindle, or even hit play on an audiobook while in the car. The number of non-book-readers has nearly tripled since 1978.”

Many of us are very intentional about what we put in our bodies (especially this time of year). Shouldn’t we also be intentional about what we put in our minds and hearts?  Continue reading

7 Reasons to Join Your Local Library

libraryIn case you haven’t figured it out yet, I love books.

But while I’m all about cool book stores like The Spotty Dog, I’ve just recently rediscovered my love for libraries. To be honest, it’s been a while since I’ve been to a public library.

However, after recently joining The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library (CML), I’ve discovered 7 great reasons why you should join your local library*:
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7 Books I’m Most Thankful For Reading This Year

book2Last night my wife and I attended a Friendsgiving.

Before we feasted, our host passed around note cards with questions to spur on meaningful conversation (a great idea by the way).

By a stroke providence, I chose a card with a question in my wheelhouse:

Name a book you were grateful to read this year and tell us why.

Since picking one book would be akin to a parent picking his favorite child, I’ve decided to create a list of the seven books I’m most thankful for reading this year. Continue reading

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