Nothing to Envy PDF Summary

Nothing to Envy PDFOrdinary Lives in North Korea

Care to learn a bit more about the history of the most mysterious country in the world?

If so, welcome to North Korea, possibly the only developed nation “that has fallen out of the developed world.”

Barbara Demick shares her deep knowledge of the country in “Nothing to Envy.”

Who Should Read “Nothing to Envy”? And Why?

Nothing to Envy” is a rather curious book, written somewhat in the manner of Dave Eggers’ “What Is the What. Meaning: it is a nonfiction book, but it has numerous fictional elements, if not in terms of facts, certainly in terms of style.

So, even though it’s based from cover to cover on Barbara Demick’s interviews with 100 real-life North Korean defectors – and especially focuses its attention on six of them – you can read much of it as if a fact-based novel.

Which, we believe, makes the book appealing to both historians and fiction-lovers alike.

Needless to add, those interested in North Korea’s past and current ways of life and those who want to learn more about the destinies of its defectors will enjoy this book the most.

If you are one of them, be sure to check out “Without You, There Is No Us” and “Escape from Camp 14,” two books which share many similarities with Demick’s.  

About Barbara Demick

Barbara DemickBarbara Demick is an American journalist, the Beijing bureau chief of the “Los Angeles Times” ever since a decade ago.

A correspondent for “Philadelphia Inquirer” in Eastern Europe between 1993 and 1997, Demick first reached prominence as the author of a series of articles following the lives of the regular people in Sarajevo during the Bosnian War.

These formed the basis for her first book, “Logavina Street,” which was published in 1996. Though published a decade and a half later, “Nothing to Envy” is Demick’s second book.

“Nothing to Envy PDF Summary”

If you look at satellite photographs of the far east by night,” writes Barbara Demick in the first sentence of “Nothing to Envy,” you’ll see a large splotch curiously lacking in light. this area of darkness is the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

In case you haven’t seen one so far – and you wonder if Demick is exaggerating a bit – please, be our guest and see if you can find North Korea on this satellite photograph.

The strangest thing: this wasn’t always the case! And it’s not like North Korea never had an electrical network. In fact, just half a century ago, it’s GDP per capita – which (never forget) doesn’t mean quality of life as well – was about the same as that of its southern neighbor, the other Korea.

So, what happened in the meantime?

How did North Korea fell so spectacularly from grace?

Well, the truth is that its rise was kind of peculiar to begin with. North Korea was nothing more but an unimportant Japanese colony for the most part of the first half of the twentieth century.

Then came the Second World War and, then, the actual creation of two separate countries on the Korean Peninsula.

The reason?

Because the Americans and the Soviets said so!

In order to appease the Soviet Union, two American officers (Charles Bonesteel and Dean Rusk) divided the Korean peninsula along the 38th parallel for basically no reason whatsoever other than the fact that this parallel neatly divided the peninsula in half.

Three years later, both Koreas were allowed independence by the two superpowers, but neither of the two governments (the communist one led by Kim Il-sung and the capitalist fronted by Syngman Rhee) thought it just to control merely one part of the peninsula.

So, incited and helped by the Soviets, North Korea tried to occupy South Korea just two years after these two became countries, which provoked a counter-reaction by the United States and 15 other nations.

Three years later, the Korean War ended achieving next to nothing: the border barely moved in either direction, the 3 million victims – futile symbols of the absurdity of one of history’s most meaningless conflicts.

After the war, Kim Il-sung divided the supposedly egalitarian communist society into three provisional categories: the selected loyal core, the indecisive few and the numerous and numerous hostiles.

Every North Korean citizen had to go through eight background checks before being assigned a certain status – or songbun – according to which he or she would later receive adequate responsibilities or even amounts of food.

Just like most of the other communist countries, Kim Il-sung introduced the cult of personality and an elaborate system of persistent ideological training which lasts to this day:

North Korea invites parody. We laugh at the excesses of the propaganda and the gullibility of the people. But consider that their indoctrination began in infancy, during the fourteen-hour days spent in factory day-care centers; that for the subsequent fifty years, every song, film, newspaper article, and billboard was designed to deify Kim Il-sung; that the country was hermetically sealed to keep out anything that might cast doubt on Kim Il-sung’s divinity. Who could possibly resist?

North Korea’s official state ideology is called Juche and is a variant of Stalin’s revision of Lenin’s original idea of a world communist revolution. It isn’t merely “socialism in one country,” but it’s basically “socialism in only one country.”

Namely, Kim Il-sung – who developed the ideology – firmly believed that the North Koreans don’t need anybody to be great, and that, as a children’s song from a 1970 film would later claim, that they have nothing to envy in the world:

It is in this idea of self-reliance that North Korean isolation was begotten. However, in time, things changed dramatically and suddenly it was the isolation that made sure that North Korea had no way of moving forward with the same government but by being self-reliant: “the strength of the regime,” notes at one place Demick, “came from its ability to isolate its own citizens completely.”

The trigger for the dramatic changes was, expectedly, the collapse of the Soviet Union. Without its help, the North Korean economy could not stay afloat.

Suddenly, North Korea had neither supplies nor electricity – in 1991, energy imports fell by 75%! – but did have large debts to both Russia and China.

To make matters worse, the last years of Kim Il-sung’s reign were marked by few bad harvests, which meant that the first year after his death, the great North Korean famine – known as the Arduous March began.

During the next four years, as many as 3 million North Koreans died of hunger and hunger-related issues, more than one-tenth of North Korea’s total population!

Kim Il-sung’s son, Kim Jong-il, had to admit that North Korea suffers from a severe food shortage and in September 1995 a UN relief team entered the country.

Five years later, Kim Jong-il had to legalize the black market which emerged during the course of the famine, but it was too little too late: most of the North Koreans had realized that they were living in a lie.

And that’s when they started defecting to (mostly) South Korea and China.

The stories of some of these defectors recounted in “Nothing to Envy” reveal that North Korea hasn’t changed one bit even under Kim Jong-un whom you may know as the “little rocket man.”

Key Lessons from “Nothing to Envy”

1.      In North Korea, You Are Defined by Your Songbun
2.      Juche Is the Official North Korean State Ideology
3.      The Majority of North Korean Defectors Are Women

In North Korea, You Are Defined by Your Songbun

Songbun – or officially chulsin-songbun – is the system North Korea uses to ascribe a social status to its citizens.

It works something like that “Nosedive” episode from “Black Mirror” only it’s much more real and deep: North Koreans go through eight background checks which include an analysis of the economic history and the behavior of their direct ancestors and relatives!

In short, if your grandparent was a dissident – you are a potential enemy of the state.

Juche Is the Official North Korean State Ideology

North Koreans are taught that they are genetically predetermined to be the only egalitarian socialist country in the world.

Believe it or not, according to the official state ideology called Juche, North Korea has nothing to envy the world!

Of course it hasn’t.

The Majority of North Korean Defectors Are Women

The easiest way to leave North Korea is if you sell yourself as a wife (read: slave) to a Chinese citizen.

75% of North Korean defectors have done exactly that!

Apparently, it’s better to be a slave in China, than a free citizen of North Korea!

Now that we believe.

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“Nothing to Envy Quotes”

Dogs in China ate better than doctors in North Korea. Click To Tweet

The more there was to complain about, the more important it was to ensure that nobody did. Click To Tweet

As her students were dying, she was supposed to teach them that they were blessed to be North Korean. Click To Tweet

The strength of the regime came from its ability to isolate its own citizens completely. Click To Tweet

Listening to South Korean television was like looking in the mirror for the first time in your life and realizing you were unattractive. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

A sort of a North Korean “Gulag Archipelago,” “Nothing to Envy” juggles brilliantly between objectively recounting the history of North Korea and movingly telling the chilling personal stories of its victims.

A real “tour de force of meticulous reporting”!    Take this summary with you and read anywhere! Download PDF:   

Slavery by Another Name PDF Summary

Slavery by Another Name PDFThe Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II

How many times have we heard about the exploitation and killings of Jews, and just bypassing the destiny of the African-Americans?

Although organized extermination was never the goal; slavery was seen as the quickest way of becoming rich.

Let’s see what Douglas has to say.

Who Should Read “Slavery by Another Name”? And Why?

If the name Nelson Mandela doesn’t ring any bells, then you are not of this Planet. Let’s assume that you’ve heard about his fight against the Apartheid and which granted him 27 Years in Prison.

This book bears a different name, but it’s written with an equally powerful purpose. In our humble opinion “Slavery by Another Name” doesn’t focus on anti-white rhetoric, but on social justice.

Anyone who thinks otherwise should indulge in reading it.

About Douglas A. Blackmon

Douglas A. BlackmonDouglas A. Blackmon is an American journalist and an award-winning author born on September 6th, 1964.

“Slavery by Another Name PDF Summary”

Blackmon digs deep in World History, and as a reporter decides to provoke the Wall Street Journal by asking a series of questions that make every person raise its eyebrows over the money-making methods.

He refers to in particular the idea of putting the British and American Imperial interests on the same wavelength as the German Policies during WW2. In other words, is the business/world community prepared to “bestow” the same level of disgust upon US Corporations as they did on the Swiss Banks and German Companies.

It’s no surprise that the history is written by the victorious, and this biased approach leaves people blinded by the ideas enforced upon them. The Holocaust was not only the cold-blooded execution of millions of Jews but also a well-planned robbery.  

Anyway, Douglas turns his attention over to Corporate Policies that in the post-Civil-War period relied on Black Labor Force to achieve their goals and quotas. In general, this was Douglas’ main trigger, which inflamed the burning desire and passion for writing about this “abandoned” course of history.

Although Blackmon covers a lot more than just the life of a single person, the storyline is built and revolves around Green Cottenham – a young African-American man. What’s even more shocking is that the historical records of this individual are scarce, which puts additional weight on the problem.

According to the author, depriving Cottenham of his voice, rights, needs, and urges is what lies at the center of this trilogy. From today’s perspective, we know very little of Cottenham’s life. But that doesn’t lead to any sort of discouragement regarding the idea of digging up of what has remained of his “journey.”

From the information gathered, Cottenham’s day of birth is still up in the air. He was born in the late 19th century, to two former “incarcerated” slaves who shared the same fate in the South. In 1908, the Alabama State Penitentiary archive records show that Cottenham was arrested on charges of vagrancy.

Let’s clear up the confusion – this means: A dog running around without a master. However horrifying this sounds, this destiny was shared among many African Americans who were robbed of their freedom for the same reasons.

The State of Alabama sent a notice to the Penitentiary Facilities to “rent” African Americans that are detained in prisons on unclear charges. They were needed in coal mines to work for U.S. Steel Corporation, where many of them had their final breath.

Cottenham died while being worked to death.

As you may already have guessed it, this new form of captivity is what Blackmon calls “Industrial Slavery.” It’s within the context of robbing someone of his will and way of life. The cotton fields were replaced by factories, where many people met their end.

Although, The Thirteenth Amendment released all slaves from the lashes of their masters; many Southerners found new ways to restrict the political, social and economic freedom of African-Americans. The South known for its racial rhetoric and through the governmental bodies decided to deviate from the laws enforced about abolishing slavery, and invented terms to keep African-Americans obedient.

Jail acted as the primary weapon for labeling these figures as crime-oriented personalities in need of social education.

Exploitation even after The Thirteenth Amendment happened on a colossal scale, as Blacks were being detained for no good reason. Worked and sometimes starved to exhaustion on plantations, factories, coal mines, and lumber camps.

The evidence of this unethical and inhumane behavior can be found anywhere. The former Governor of Georgia who accumulated great wealth through his “convict and socializing program,” is just one of them.

Eugene Reese was among the few who endeavored in putting the responsible parties behind bars, who orchestrated this whole process. Under federal laws, he had the right to do so, but his efforts bore very few fruits because such policies and rhetorics were not “popular” at the time.

Excluding the Blacks from the social life, was not something seen as an injustice, especially in the South, so the prosecution was left empty-handed.

The slave tendencies put a strain on the relations between various communities within the country, and at the height of WW2, the country required unity. So, the racial issues slightly loosened at the time. Military action was crucial, and mobilization was underway.

Key Lessons from “Slavery by Another Name”

1.      We need sincerity
2.      You reap what you sow
3.      New way, new life

We need sincerity

Blackmon doesn’t feel that a royal apology, nor pardon would do the job.

He believes that it’s vital to acknowledge the fact that the Blacks were demonized and used for personal agendas.

This is the only way to put all the differences aside and create a society in which every life counts.

You reap what you sow

If the world continues to perceive the world through the lens of judgment, we will reap sorrow and conflicts.

Building a better place requires a higher awareness that no longer divides people based on their status, political background, nationality, religion, skin color, etc.

New way, new life

Have we learned something? Are we walking down the same road or take different ones? All things considered, this compelling book should incite an inner change.

Go with the flow, and understand life as a basic human right to live/go/do/think as you please.

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“Slavery by Another Name Quotes”

the account of how a form of American slavery persisted into the twentieth century, embraced by the U.S. economic system and abided at all levels of government, offered a concrete answer to that fear for the first time. Click To Tweet How had so large a population of Americans disappeared into largely unrecorded oblivion of poverty and obscurity? Click To Tweet Compelled to help arm the troops fighting to preserve his enslavement. Click To Tweet In the eyes of the vast majority of white Americans, the refusal of the southern states to fully free or enfranchize former slaves and their descendants was not an issue worthy of any further disruption to the civil stability of the… Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

As much as we loved reading “Long Walk to Freedom,” we share a slightly higher affection for this one. To amplify our answer – this is something no one has ever talked about.

We all know about the slavery, but the idea of unveiling other subtler forms appeared just in time.

We give our thumbs up!    Take this summary with you and read anywhere! Download PDF:   

The Best of Me PDF Summary

The Best of Me PDFWhat is the best of you? Do you dare to take the road of uncertainty and put doubt on your methods for achieving happiness?

We were thrilled by every aspect of this fantastic novel, and we hope you’ll be too.

Without further ado, let’s cut to the chase:

Who Should Read “The Best of Me”? And Why?

Is this one of those teen novels that make you feel girly (if you are a guy)? Well, no! Nicholas’ style is unsurpassable in all regards if you ask us.

All things said, and considered – “The Best of Me” is best equipped for anyone who believes in true love. Finding your soulmate is perhaps the most beautiful encounter one can face in a lifetime.

Don’t be afraid to explore your inner beauties.

Nicholas Sparks Biography

Nicholas SparksNicholas Sparks is an American romance novelist, born on December 31st, 1965.

So far, he has published 19 novels and 2 non-fiction books that are exceptional as well. He is the author of Two by Two.


The Best of Me” is nothing shorter than a brilliant romantic novel written by the prominent author Nicholas Sparks. The main plot revolves around Dawson Cole’s return, to fulfill the wishes of his long-time friend Tuck Hostetler and person who sheltered him when no one else did.  

Upon his arrival, he lays his eyes on his high-school sweetheart Amanda, now a married woman who is on the same quest as Dawson. They break a few words, and then part ways.

As one can imagine, the presence of Amanda rekindles that romantic spark. They dread the idea of falling in love once more and suspect that Tuck has something to do with it.

Amanda is aware that every journey is fraught with danger, and this time the threat derives from Dawson’s family. Although Cole wants to escape from their grasp, the members of his circle pose a great danger to this reunion. Dawson’s future is also at stake!

The author also introduces us to Dawson Cole’s job – he is employed off the coast of Louisiana as an oil rig. Dawson nearly loses his life one day after a blast in the oil factory, but he is saved by an anonymous person in the water who shows him the way.

Not long afterward, he is informed about the death of Tuck Hostetler, his role model, and friend for life. On the spur of the moment, he decides to pack his bags and return home, to pay tribute to his buddy.

Dawson’s family is involved in various criminal activities, and he too is branded a gangster and a hooligan. Although he doesn’t share the same convictions as his family, no one attaches weight to the belief that one day Cole will become a law-abiding citizen like everybody else.

This unfortunate turn of events leaves Dawson isolated and earns him the title of a loner. However, this twist of fate is not new to him, because as a teen he ran away from his father’s home and settled in Tuck’s garage for the time being.

In those days, he for the first time met face to face with Amanda Collier – a girl from a wealthy family. They become lab partners and fall in love. Amanda refuses to pay heed to the warnings and suggestions said by her parents to leave Dawson.

They start dating, despite the idea of having to deal with the “boiling” pressure induced by the society. She soon faces a choice, to go to College, or stay with him. Dawson plays a part in convincing her that education is vital, and they make a decision to put an end to their relationship.

Not long afterward, Dawson finds himself in the middle of another problem. In a car accident, he kills a local doctor and is sentenced to 4 years in prison.

Upon his release, he leaves town for good and decides to try his luck elsewhere.

He finds Amanda at Tuck’s, and old memories start to roll in as he sits there in confusion. He is also surprised to hear that Amanda has nurtured a strong relationship with Tuck over the past few years, and received a call from Tuck’s lawyer to attend the last wish-fulfillment process.

They go to dinner that night and start to reminiscing.   

Amanda’s mother doesn’t miss an opportunity to lecture her about the danger she is facing by associating with Dawson. On top of that, she is a married woman! Nonetheless, her mother has no idea that Amanda’s marriage is falling apart because of her husband’s alcoholic urges.

The next day, Amanda and Dawson are summoned to scatter the ashes of Tuck at a nearby cabin that he chose prior to his departure. This activity binds them together, and they spend the day planning their next move.

Amanda takes leave, while Dawson stays at Tuck’s to work on a car, his old-friend tried to fix. In the meantime, Dawson’s insane cousin Ted creeps up on him with an intention to kill him – blinded by vengeance.

Dawson finds Crazy Ted’s truck in the woods and confronts him. Dawson learns that his cousin was behind the explosion that almost killed him. They cross swords, and Ted gets the worst of it.

The plot starts the untangle the following day when Dawson and Amanda for the first-time stumble upon a letter hidden in Tuck’s cabin. The writings reveal details about the love story between Tuck and his wife, which inspires them to pick up where they left off.

The Best of Me Epilogue

Amanda makes a surprising decision to return back to her family. She feels weak to go through raging scenario that fills her with dread. With little options but to flee, Dawson embarks on a long journey.

He returns to pick up the letter Tuck had written before. Upon entering the town, he lays eyes on the man that saved him.

Dawson tries to catch up with that man and enters a bar where he discovers that the son of the doctor he accidentally killed years ago, is tormented by his cousins. He saves the person but shortly afterward, Crazy Ted puts a bullet through his head.

In the meantime, Dawson overhears that Amanda’s son requires a heart transplant. He sacrifices himself for one last time without Amanda’s knowledge nor approval.

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“The Best of Me PDF Quotes”

Don't take my advice. Or anyone's advice. Trust yourself. For good or for bad, happy or unhappy, it's your life, and what you do with it has always been entirely up to you. Click To Tweet Life was messy. Always had been and always would be and that was just the way it was, so why bother complaining? You either did something about it or you didn’t, and then you lived with the choice you made. Click To Tweet There's a lot of magic between you too, ain't no denying that. And magic makes forgettin' hard. Click To Tweet I gave you the best of me, he'd told her once, and with every beat of her son's heart, she knew he'd exactly done that. Click To Tweet Love, after all, always said more about those who felt it than it did about the ones they loved. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

This is one of those books that can get you to burst into tears. We loved the passion, the suspicion, the idea of not knowing – basically everything.

We warmly recommended this book, and vouch for the uniqueness of this novel. It most definitely deserves a place on your bookshelf!

A movie starring James Marsden & Michelle Monaghan is made based on this best selling novel:    Take this summary with you and read anywhere! Download PDF:   

Tell Me Three Things PDF Summary

Tell Me Three Things PDFLet us tell you three things about “Tell Me Three Things”:

#1. The debut YA novel by Julie Buxbaum, the book was a critically acclaimed “New York Times” bestseller;
#2. The novel is a “perfect mix of comedy and tragedy, love and loss, and pain and elation”;
#3. It has one of the cutest and most adorable endings of a YA novel ever!

So, let’s go!

Who Should Read “Tell Me Three Things”? And Why?

Have you ever watched “You’ve Got Mail,” one of those adorable Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan romantic comedies?

Or, in case (somewhat like us) you enjoy your old Hollywood icons better, “The Shop Around the Corner” starring James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan?

Well, “Tell Me Three Things” is, more or less, built around the same premise – in a YA Californian version.

If you are a fan of authors such as Jennifer Niven, Rainbow Rowell, and E. Lockhart, or Stephanie Perkins, Nicola Yoon, and Jenny Han – you should definitely give this book a try.

Julie Buxbaum Biography

Julie BuxbaumJulie Buxbaum is an LA-based “New York Times” bestselling author.

She has written four books so far, the critically acclaimed “The Opposite of Love” and “After You,” and the ultra-popular YA novels, “Tell Me Three Things” and “What to Say Next.”

Find out more at  


Jessie Holmes is 16 years old, and she has just moved from Chicago to California with her father.

To be more precise – since Jessie kind of is – it has been exactly 30 days since the relocation.

Which only happened because 15 days before that her father decided to elope with a woman he had met on the Internet.

And that happened about 688 days after his wife – and Jessie’s mother – died from cancer!

So, in a nutshell, too many traumas for anyone to bear – let alone a 16-year-old girl, who, on top of this all, doesn’t even have someone – anyone – to share her pain and anger with!

She did have someone until recently: Scarlett, her half Jewish, half Korean “all-time best friend for life” with whom she shared a lot more than a million get-togethers at DeLucci’s Pizza and a mutual hatred for a certain Deena back in Chicago.

But, somehow, even this relationship doesn’t work that well at a distance.

You know what else doesn’t work well?


Not only is Jessie now living with a recently widowed woman her father wants to replace her beloved mother with, but she is obliged to call this Rachel her “stepmother”!

And this “step-monster” – Jessie’s word, not ours – has a gay son called Theo who misses his father as much as Jessie misses her mother; so, Jessie doesn’t get along that well with him too.

But, wait… there’s more:

Her stepmother enrolls Jessie at a fancy hotshot school called Wood Valley High School (WVHS), which is way out of Jessie’s league – something she recognizes on her very first day there.

But then – something happens.

Jessie receives an anonymous email from a certain person who calls himself Somebody Nobody who offers himself to be her virtual “Wood Valley H.S. spirit guide”:

I have been watching you at school. not in a creepy way. though I wonder if even using the word “creepy” by definition makes me creepy? anyhow, it’s just . . . you intrigue me. you must have noticed already that our school is a wasteland of mostly blond, vacant-eyed Barbies and Kens, and something about you—not just your newness… — but something about the way you move and talk and actually don’t talk but watch all of us like we are part of some bizarre National Geographic documentary makes me think that you might be different from all the other idiots at school.

Against her gut – out of both desperation and hope – Jessie replies, and, soon enough, she starts regularly exchanging emails with this shy and obviously fairly smart SN.

The MO is always the same: SN and J start their correspondence by telling each other three things. In time, Jessie learns that SN can understand her better than many because he has experienced a loss as well – 196 days ago.

SN recommends Jessie that she befriend Adrianna Sanchez (or “Dri” for short) because he feels like Dri and Jessie can become good friends. This SN seems a great judge of character since Dri and Jessie do become good friends.

However, most of the Barbies at WVHS are the total opposites of Dri and the reason why movies like “Mean Girls” seem too real-life to be considered a parody. One of them, Gem, is evil personified and she becomes Jessie’s bully and tormentor.

Fortunately for Jennie, even though the Barbies don’t like her, the Kens seem to share SN’s interest in her.

Which, strangely enough, in time becomes a great problem, since Jessie really likes (messaging with) SN but has no idea who he is in real life.

There are three possible candidates:

Ethan, a smart and handsome Batman-shirt-wearing blue-eyed dark-haired nerd who goes to some of her classes and with whom she is paired up for a poetry project (ironically, T. S. Eliot’s “Waste Land”);

Liam, the lead vocalist of the band Oville where Ethan plays the guitar; also, the son of the owner of “Book Out Below” where Jessie gets a part-time job;

Finally, Caleb, the first boy Jessie meets after arriving at WVHS and someone who, coincidentally, seems to be texting every time Jessie receives a message from SN.

It can be either one of these three, but, as time goes by, Jessie sets her mind more and more upon only one of them.


Tell Me Three Things Epilogue

Jessie has a hard time combining school with work and after some time decides to take a break, and she goes back to Chicago to see Scarlett once again.

To her surprise, Adam, Jessie’s ex-boyfriend, is now Scarlett’s partner and, to her absolute amazement, Deena has become Scarlett’s best friend!

They settle things out, but somehow Jessie is not that unwilling to leave Chicago this time.

She gets the best possible inspiration she can ever get: a message from SN telling her that he wants to meet her at IHOP!

Is it Ethan?

Well, this is how things unfold at the very end:

“I want to kiss you, like, very much, please,” the secretive guy says to Jessie.

“You do?”, Jessie asks.

“I do,” he answers and soon everything falls away.

We read:

It is just him and me, Ethan is Ethan is Ethan and Jessie is Jessie is Jessie, and his lips touch mine.
But sometimes a kiss is not a kiss is not a kiss. Sometimes it’s poetry.

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“Tell Me Three Things PDF Quotes”

Just because you're strong doesn't mean you shouldn't ask for help sometimes. Remember that. Click To Tweet

Other people can't make you feel stupid. Only you can. Click To Tweet

Not feeling like I belong anywhere has made me crave constant motion; standing still feels risky, like asking to be a target. Click To Tweet

Not knowing the right thing to do is not an excuse for not doing anything. Click To Tweet

There’s nothing lonelier than a hand on glass. Maybe because it’s so rarely reciprocated. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Jodi Picoult has three things to tell you about this novel:

(1) I loved it. (2) No, really, I LOVED it. (3) I wish I could tell every teen to read it. Buxbaum’s book sounds, reads, breathes, worries, and soars like real adolescents do.

And we have just one thing to add: we would have written the same had we been as eloquent and as creative as Jodi!    Take this summary with you and read anywhere! Download PDF:   

Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus PDF Summary

Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus PDFLudwig Wittgenstein is widely considered to have been one of the greatest – if not the greatest –philosopher of the 20th century.

At about 80 pages, “Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus” is the only book he published during his lifetime.

And for some time – if you had asked Wittgenstein and his followers – it was the only philosophical work that was worth your time and attention.

Join us and find out what the fuss is all about.

Who Should Read “Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus”? And Why?

Since it is a landmark work in the history of philosophy, everyone who is even remotely interested in philosophy and the history and evolution of thought.

However, considering the fact that it is notoriously complicated, not everyone will be able to do so in the absence of scholarly annotations and copious notes.

So, whatever you do, don’t let the size of “Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus” fool you: it will probably take you to read it as much as time as it would take you to read Dr. Johnson’s “Dictionary of the English Language.”

And, sorry to say, but unless you are really interested in philosophy and language, of the two, the latter will probably be the more interesting one.

About Ludwig Wittgenstein

Ludwig WittgensteinLudwig Wittgenstein was an Austrian-British philosopher, deemed by Bertrand Russell “the most perfect example… of genius as traditionally conceived; passionate, profound, intense, and dominating.”

Born into a wildly wealthy family in Vienna, Wittgenstein first studied engineering in Berlin, and it is with the goal of furthering his education in this area that he went to England, more precisely Manchester.

However, he soon developed a keen interest in mathematics and logic and on 18 October 1911, he arrived announced before Bertrand Russell at Cambridge, with an intention to become the greatest philosopher in history.

Two years later, he inherited a large fortune from his father, but he gave most of it away to artists and poets, and especially to his already rich brothers and sisters.

After three of his brothers had committed suicides – and thinking that he had solved all philosophical problems with the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (published in 1921) – the mentally and emotionally spent Ludwig gave up philosophy altogether and spent the next few years working as an elementary school teacher, gardener, and an architect.

In 1929 he went back to Cambridge where he became a professor in 1939. He died of cancer twelve years later.

“Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus PDF Summary”

Ludwig Wittgenstein’s “Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus” is one of the strangest and most forbidding texts in the history of philosophy – and, yes, that comes in a field occupied by the likes of Kant, Hegel, and Heidegger.

At least these three left behind them Bible-sized volumes and volumes of works!

Wittgenstein’s magnum opus is barely 80 pages and 526 propositions long. And in young Wittgenstein’s humble opinion, it managed to resolve all philosophical problems once and for all.

Quite a strange thing to think if you take into consideration the fact that, by his own admission – stated in the preface to the “Tractatus”:

The whole sense of the book might be summed up the following words: what can be said at all can be said clearly, and what we cannot talk about we must pass over in silence.

If you had troubles understanding that sentence, then don’t bother reading anything other than this summary.


Because – we kid you not! – that sentence is probably the least complicated in this book, plagued throughout by such pearls of wisdom as “The world is everything that is the case” and “A proposition is a truth-function of elementary propositions,” by the way, two of its seven main propositions.

However, we did include this book in our list of 15 most important nonfiction works in history, so, all joking aside, there must be some reason why we believe it to be as important as, say, Darwin’s “The Origin of Species.”

And, most certainly, there is!

You see, Wittgenstein’s aim was, through this book, “to set a limit to thought, or rather… to the expression of thoughts.”

In other words, his goal was to find out what we can know and what we can’t know – and if there are some things we will never know no matter how much we think about them (rendering the thinking about them futile and a waste of time).

In trying to solve that, he developed a radical philosophy of both language and thought – one that may even explain why you had that quarrel with your partner today over that completely unimportant and trivial matter.

And as Wittgenstein himself tried to point out over and over again, this philosophy is actually fairly simple!

He first had an inkling of it when he read in a newspaper about a court case in Paris, during which the judge suggested that the crime scene be reconstructed with model cars and pedestrians.


Because language wasn’t clear enough; if it had been, nobody would have needed a reconstruction of the scene since everybody would have had the same picture of it.

And that’s the gist of Wittgenstein’s famous picture theory of language.

Namely, if the world is made up of certain facts (i.e., things which are the way that they are) and language is made of certain propositions which we utter in relation to these facts, then everything that we say must be either true (if it presents the facts truthfully) or, otherwise, false.

In a nutshell, every single proposition is basically a picture of a fact the same way a map is a picture of the world; and the same way a map of Paris can present the real Paris the right and the wrong way, a proposition can be either true or false.

Now, a map testable: if you follow a route and you get to the place it suggests you will, it is the correct map; if you don’t, it is a poor picture of reality.

Well, Wittgenstein says that even though mapmakers don’t have the luxury of being wrong (you won’t buy the map which pictures reality wrongly), philosophers seem to have been privileged to say everything they like with impunity!

In Wittgenstein’s belief, this is the root of all the world’s problems: every single proposition which doesn’t picture facts, he claims, is meaningless.

Consider, for example, this sentence: “Love is grand.”

Even though fairly logical and comprehensible, in Wittgenstein’s opinion, this sentence is meaningless since it’s not a picture of the world, for the very simple reason that there’s no definition of what love is and, consequently, this can be a lie as much as it can be the truth.

But does that mean that Love doesn’t exist?

No – and this is where Wittgenstein becomes even more interesting: “There is indeed the inexpressible,” he notes at one place (6.522). “This shows itself; it is the mystical.

In other words, there are things which are grand and mystical; the problem is they cannot be put into language exactly because of that:

The limits of my language mean the limits of my world. (5.26)

Key Lessons from “Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus”

1.      Propositions Are Picture of Facts
2.      What We Talk About When We Talk About Love… or Many Different Things
3.      Silence Is Golden

Propositions Are Picture of Facts

Wittgenstein’s picture theory of language is a fairly simple one, based on two straightforward propositions and the relation between them:

#1. Language is made up of propositions
#2. The world is made up of facts
#1-2. Propositions are pictures of facts and can be either true or false; if neither – they are meaningless.

What We Talk About When We Talk About Love… or Many Different Things

Some propositions – such as “the cat sat on the mat” – are obviously related to the world: if the cat did sit on the mat, then this proposition is true, and if it didn’t, then it is false.

But what about a proposition such as “Thou shalt not commit adultery”?

Well, in the opinion of Wittgenstein, this proposition is a meaningless one, since it doesn’t picture anything that is a fact outside of language.

Ethics,” notes Wittgenstein, “is transcendental,” i.e., “It is clear that ethics cannot be expressed. (6.421-6.422)

Silence Is Golden

And, now, for the twist: the propositions of the “Tractatus” themselves are not pictures of the world in the strict sense we analyzed above.

Then, how are they different from the other meaningless expressions?

In this, and this way only:

My propositions are elucidatory in this way: he who understands me finally recognizes them as senseless, when he has climbed out through them, on them, over them. (He must so to speak throw away the ladder, after he has climbed up on it.) (6.54)

Which leads to Wittgenstein’s most famous dictum:

Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent. (7)

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“Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus Quotes”

Language disguises thought. Click To Tweet

Ethics and aesthetics are one. Click To Tweet

For an answer which cannot be expressed the question too cannot be expressed. The riddle does not exist. If a question can be put at all, then it can also be answered. Click To Tweet

We feel that even if all possible scientific questions be answered, the problems of life have still not been touched at all. Click To Tweet

Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Retrospectively, Wittgenstein’s “Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus” may have caused just as many problems as it has actually solved.

But, even so, it’s a landmark work.

And you should give it a try!    Take this summary with you and read anywhere! Download PDF:   

The Hero with a Thousand Faces PDF Summary

The Hero with a Thousand Faces PDFQuick: what do Osiris, Prometheus, Buddha, Mohammed, Jesus, King Arthur, Luke Skywalker, Frodo and Harry Potter have in common?

Answer: Everything.

They are all variants of the same story.

Joseph Campbell has all the details.

And he shares them under a beautiful and fairly suggestive title: “The Hero with a Thousand Faces.”

Who Should Read “The Hero with a Thousand Faces”? And Why?

“The Hero with a Thousand Faces” combines Joseph Campbell’s revolutionary understanding of mythology with Jungian psychology in a way which makes both of them not just comprehensible, but also irresistibly alluring.

However, even more than people involved or attracted by either discipline, the book should interest novelists and screenwriters, since Campbell breaks down the universal myth of the hero in a way which makes his scheme usable as the background for almost any work of art.

Don’t believe us?

George Lucas used Campbell’s scheme to write “Star Wars.”

About Joseph Campbell

Joseph CampbellJoseph Campbell was an American mythologist and author.

Born in New York City in 1904, he was educated at Columbia University in medieval literature, before continuing his studies in Europe, Paris, and Munich specifically.

Here, influenced by the work of Freud and Jung, the art of Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse, and the literary works of James Joyce and Thomas Mann, Campbell developed an interest to pursue the study of Sanskrit and Modern Art, something which his alma mater rejected.

Even though this meant that he would never obtain a Ph.D., in 1934, he became a Professor of Literature at Sarah Lawrence College, a position which he held for the next 38 years, until 1972.

He died fifteen years later, just a few months after completing the widely revered series of interviews with Bill Moyers, “The Power of Myth.”

“The Hero with a Thousand Faces PDF Summary”

The basic premise of “The Hero with a Thousand Faces” is remarkably simple: every important myth you can think of shares the same fundamental structure.

And the reason why this shouldn’t strike anybody as odd or fascinating is even simpler: myths are manifestations of humanity’s deepest (and, thus, usually unconscious) urges and needs, fears and desires.

And since humans everywhere share the same psychology, the myths of many cultures through many different times must be the same as well.

Of course, it’s easy to say such a thing and much more difficult to prove it.

Hence, “The Hero with a Thousand Faces,” which not only lays out the structure of the monomyth (in its first part) and the cosmogonic cycle (in its second part) but also offers hundreds of different examples from hundreds of different cultures as evidence to back the scheme.

Since the first part is the much more interesting and influential part of the book – borrowed from Joyce, “monomyth” is Campbell’s term for the underlying scheme of the hero’s adventure – we’ll leave the cosmogonic cycle out of our discussion for now, and, hopefully, extend our summary in the recent future.

Let’s begin with Campbell’s summary of the basic structure of the hero’s journey:

The usual hero adventure begins with someone from whom something has been taken, or who feels there is something lacking in the normal experience available or permitted to the members of society. The person then takes off on a series of adventures beyond the ordinary, either to recover what has been lost or to discover some life-giving elixir. It’s usually a cycle, a coming and a returning.

These – the taking off, the adventures, and the returning – are the three main stages of the hero’s journey, and Campbell dedicates a chapter to each; each of these chapters is further divided into several sections outlining different phases of that respective stage.

Nicely illustrated, the hero’s cycle looks like this:

The Hero with a Thousand Faces Summary

Of course, not all heroes pass through all stages (in fact, a hero rarely does), but there is basically no myth of a hero which includes an episode that won’t fit into Campbell’s beautiful scheme.

Here’s what it says, broken down, section by section:


A hero’s journey starts with a call to adventure: the hero is summoned by someone to venture from his normal world into the world of the unknown for one of many different reasons.

Sometimes, this call is just too strange or dangerous or ethically problematic, so the hero refuses the call. However, after some hesitation and in the presence of just enough evidence (say, Hamlet seeing the Ghost of his Father), the hero eventually agrees.

Once he/she embarks on the adventure, his supernatural aid – the mentor – appears or becomes known to him.

With the help of his aid’s advices or magical talismans, the hero is able to cross the first threshold and finally enter the unknown, the field where the laws of the normal world don’t apply anymore (aka: “that creature was actually a vampire!”)

A minor setback or danger may appear at this stage, such as Jonah – or Geppetto – ending up in the belly of the whale.

OK – not that minor in real-life terms.


But that’s when the real adventure commences!

The Hero is now in a world of “monsters,” treading the road of trials. After several heroic endeavors, he encounters the goddess or the temptress – either way, the woman who will make or break him (remember Gilgamesh?)

Now, comes the center point of the journey: the hero meets the person/figure which holds the ultimate power over his identity or life. Campbell calls this stage the atonement with the father which means that if you had known the contents of “The Hero with a Thousand Faces” and taken it literally before watching “Star Wars,” you would have guessed one of the most famous twists in cinematic history!

Apotheosis is an Ancient Greek word meaning deification, which makes this stage self-explanatory.

The ultimate boon is the goal of the quest: the thing due to which the hero’s journey started in the first place. It can be the Holy Grail or the elixir of life – or just some type of knowledge. But once the hero obtains it, the journey is complete.

Time for coming back.


Sometimes, however, the hero may refuse to return: the grass is greener on the other side for me, he thinks, so who cares about the people awaiting the boon.

And sometimes, returning from a journey may be just as difficult as going on one: so, at this stage, the hero must perform the magic flight.

If it doesn’t go well – say, he is wounded or weakened – he may need to be rescued from without by a supernatural aid, a beloved person, or a completely unassuming figure.

Next follows the crossing of the return threshold after which the hero usually shares his boon with his original community.

Now, he is the master of two worlds, both his brutal physical force and his inner spiritual understanding of what it means to live in a human society.

In some cases, he makes one more step upward, achieving the freedom to live by the total annihilation of his former fear of death.

Key Lessons from “The Hero with a Thousand Faces”

1.      All Heroes are the Same
2.      The Basic Structure of the Monomyth
3.      Why All of This Matters

All Heroes are the Same

The main thesis of “The Hero with a Thousand Faces” is there in the book’s title: Osiris and Buddha, Jesus and Muhammad, Luke Skywalker and Harry Potter are all just different manifestation of the same character, the Archetypal Hero.

The Basic Structure of the Monomyth

The universal pattern of the hero’s journey – the monomyth – can be summarized, in Campbell’s words, thus:

A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered, and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.

Why All of This Matters

Because, to quote Campbell, even though “there are of course differences between the numerous mythologies and religions of mankind,” once the similarities are understood, “the differences will be found to be much less great than is popularly (and politically) supposed.”

Campbell’s hope?

Unification in the sense of mutual human understanding.

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“The Hero with a Thousand Faces Quotes”

Regrets are illuminations come too late. Click To Tweet

Not all who hesitate are lost. The psyche has many secrets in reserve. And these are not disclosed unless required. Click To Tweet

Instead of clearing his own heart the zealot tries to clear the world. Click To Tweet

Wherever the poetry of myth is interpreted as biography, history, or science, it is killed. Click To Tweet

Perhaps some of us have to go through dark and devious ways before we can find the river of peace or the high road to the soul's destination. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Soon after the release of the first “Star Wars” film in 1977, George Lucas stated that his script was influenced in large part by “The Hero with a Thousand Faces.”

Since then, numerous different authors have used the same recipe to recreate the story of the hero, in more than one way, in more than one medium.

“Indiana Jones,” and “The Matrix,” “The Beauty and the Beast” and “Lion King,” “Community” and “Lost” – they all owe their structure to Campbell’s monomyth.

Just a few reasons to consider “The Hero with a Thousand Faces” one of the best nonfiction books of all time!    Take this summary with you and read anywhere! Download PDF:   

Always Running: La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A PDF Summary

Always Running: La Vida Loca PDFAre you also on the run? Hiding from someone, or perhaps cannot find peace?

Anyway, this book gives a rundown on how a local gang-member became a shining jewel, whose actions inspire millions.

Without further ado, let’s jump into the plot.

Who Should Read “Always Running: La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A”? And Why?

First and foremost, this is one of those books which carry a dose of hope, therefore – categorization would be utterly ridiculous.

Anyway, we welcome you to explore its secrets and find similarities between yours and Luis’ life. In other words, “Always Running: La Vida Loca” is predestined for troublemakers in the making, who needs to hear the other side of the story.

About Luis J. Rodriguez

Luis J. RodriguezLuis J. Rodriguez is an American poet, author, a novelist with Mexican origins, who managed to conquer the world with his life stories.

He is the author of several fiction and non-fiction books including poems such as My Nature is Hunger, The Concrete River…

“Always Running: La Vida Loca PDF Summary”

Luis recalls his early days when he was about 9. Along with his family, he goes to Union Station, and the journey suddenly begins. His mother takes good care of Luis and his needs in particular. As a comic book lover, she provides him with new materials for him to read and entertain himself.

His father on the other end in reckless and stands firm in his idea not to return to Mexico at any cost. Luis’ mother doesn’t greet this news with enthusiasm, but eventually, she decides to stay as well.

Luis finds himself in the middle of a quarrel, and describe his situation as a bouncing ball – without any permanent settlement nor solution; only dodging troubles and going where the wind takes them.  

Luis tries to overcome the language barrier with an intention to blend into the group of students. The main problem is a lack of basic understanding, which makes life even harder. The teachers have little clue on how to deal with such personalities and help them integrate into the society.

Out of fear of becoming a laughing stock, he decides to speak as little as possible. He attends school superficially, with no real interest in digesting the teachings. Such a turn of events instigate a new behavior and leave Luis little choice but to indulge in troublemaking as a way of life.

Forming a gang is seen as a way out such misery and gaining respect. Being on the same wavelength as his unsettling friends makes him an essential figure in the newly formed circle. Joining the Animal Tribe and earning a nickname “Chin” represent the turning point in his life.

Meanwhile, Luis is aware of the violence and crime perpetrated by these groups as families are abused and threatened. Killing happens almost daily, as gang violence spreads like cancer. Secretly, he believes that life can change for the better, but he decides not to betray his crime-partners.

To prove that he is a valuable member of the organization, he participates in an assault against a rival gang member, while firebombing his house. Knowing that all the other family members are inside, doesn’t stop him from taking part in the aggression and brutality.

Then out of a clear blue sky, he is offered a chance to showcase his skills and make an honest living. Guided and mentored in a community center, he somehow manages to pluck up his courage and gear himself up with the right mentality.

A teacher recognized the potential Luis possesses, and as a response, some of Luis’ writing samples were sent to a committee. Without knowledge, Luis comes out a winner, without even being aware of his application. He is awarded $250 and praised for his style.

Another City-Based program hires him to paint murals, and decorate the urban environment. A journalism degree is within reach, now more than ever, but yet again runs into trouble when he saw a woman beat up by the police.

He interferes and intervenes, which adds another blemish to his resume for assaulting an officer in the line of duty. He is back in the beginning once more!

When he was at the height of is gang-membership career, Luis turned down an offer to take part in a cigarette laced with PCP operation. His decision convinced other members to go down the same road, and by the public, this action is greeted with respect and admiration.

He manages to survive the boiling atmosphere inflamed by acts of “betrayal,” and he is even shot at. This warning is pointed at other members to watch out how they behave.

Luis struggles to find cover, but with the help of others, he copes with the situation and rising tension. He eventually flees the bad neighborhood and ends up getting married. Out of nowhere, a discredited rival gang member approaches Luis at a family gathering to wreak vengeance.

Luis asks for forgiveness because of the suffering he has caused, and if killing him would alleviate the pain, he’s prepared to give his life.

Key Lessons from “Always Running: La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A”

1.      It’s never too late
2.      Find your talent
3.      Grow daily

It’s never too late

Luis made it crystal clear, why he was the one who managed to abandon the circle of illusion and hatred.

Every person can wake up from a state of deep sleep, and then work its way through life until the goal is reached.

Find your talent

At first, no one is aware of its potential nor how to find it. Identifying your shallow limitations is the first step in eventually emerging as a winner.

In other words, you have to alter your mindset, before you embark on an adventure to conquer the world.

Grow daily

Education is just one tiny segment of learning; the real challenges are up-ahead. If you are not armed with knowledge and a positive spirit, you’ll quickly face a downfall.

So, don’t hesitate to invest in your professional expansion in order to improve your creative thinking skills!

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“Always Running: La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A Quotes”

She was still young then in Watts, in her thirties, but she had all these ailments. She didn't' even have teeth; they rotted away many years before. This made her look much older until later when she finally obtained false ones. Despite… Click To Tweet There are choices you have to make not just once, but every time they come up. Click To Tweet Cry, child, for those without tears have a grief which never ends. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

There’s not much that can be said from our perspective, regarding the stylish correctness of this book. If our humble opinion is meaningful to you then – this book has thumbs up!

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The Smartest Kids in the World PDF Summary

The Smartest Kids in the World PDFAnd How They Got That Way

No, don’t feel dumb right away. There are different types of intelligence; the ability to analyze and solve problems is just one of them.

In this summary, we try to unveil some of the principles and enacted policies that changed the path leading to higher knowledge.

Who Should Read “The Smartest Kids in the World”? And Why?

If you are not smart enough, this book is not for you. – Just joking! “Smart” is a relatively unbalanced term because it focuses mainly on the creative and cognitive skills of one’s mind.

The Smartest Kids in the World” is an excellent book for those willing to crush the boundaries of their mind and expand their horizons.

The stories of these kids will surely help you out in that endeavor.

About Amanda Ripley

Amanda RipleyAmanda Ripley is lauded as a great writer, who manages to penetrate into the mind of the reader.

She is also the author of The Unthinkable: Who Survives When!

“The Smartest Kids in the World PDF Summary”

If the name Andreas Schleicher doesn’t ring any bells; a recount of past events may eventually clear up the confusion.  He was a student at the University of Hamburg, Germany in the mid-80s, where he studied physics.

Amidst all the uncertainty, he received an invitation from Thomas Neville Postlethwaite (an educational scientist by profession) to conduct a full-scale quantification of educational patterns with the help of hard data.

No more than two decades later, approximately half a million students from 40+ Countries enrolled in testing” to gauge their level of competence in various fields. Putting numbers on their cognitive and critical thinking skills is vital to ascertain the level of proficiency in math, science, and reading.

Nowadays, this “phenomenon” is labeled as the PISA Test. The testing is controlled and carried out by the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) division. The OECD embraces the father-figure in this process and acts as its executioner.  

The real question was – Is PISA doing something to improve the level of education? The primary concern of this inquiry was to mark the countries, which are subtly indoctrinating the kids. The people involved in this process, recall the long-awaited results of the first PISA Testing in Paris.

OECD officials announced the results and showed the light at the end of the tunnel, which many skeptics didn’t see.

Schleicher didn’t hold back in his admiration for Finland’s social system. Moreover, according to him: Americans were partially distressed, while the Finns dazed by these revelations.

Indeed, the world has now evolved in the realm of education, and as a result, the number of countries that are enforcing this type of assessment is growing by the year. Experts agreed that the examination should happen once in 3 years. When it comes to the States – in 2009, the US Teenagers ranked 26th on the Math Test and 13th on Reading.

Kim’s Story:

Although there are several stories, we cannot basically cover all of them.

Kim was born and raised in Oklahoma or more precisely Sallisaw – a small town inhabited by less than 10,000 people. Half of those claim to have a Native American background, which grants them small favors and benefits such as free school materials and support in all forms.

From a young girl, Kim showed promising signs as a leaning enthusiast with an unquenchable passion for knowledge. In the late 60s, The United States was in desperate need of modification regarding the education system, and they tried to fill in the gap by hiring new teachers, enforcing new policies, and authorizing new standards.

Nonetheless, all of these efforts were mainly fruitless and didn’t live up to their expectations. About the time Kim was 12-year-old, she was exalted by her English teacher, who said that her tests met specific standards and that she’s fit to enroll in the special summer program at Duke.

Let’s say that once more – Kim outperformed her much-older peers and college seniors by a whopping 40%.

Despite her eagerness to learn and advance, Duke was an unreachable destination at the time due to money problems. 12 months later, Kim and her family found out that Finland is a gold mine for Smart Kids, and they have a much more progressive System than the Americans.

As a freshman at Sallisaw High School, Kim embarked on a journey with her mom’s permission to raise money and go to Finland. Reaching 10,000 $ for an unemployed girl was no piece of cake. She was persisting and determined to go to the end and started by selling her flute on eBay.

Through donations, going from door-to-door, she managed to reach $5,000. Her grandparents provided the last financial injection, and Kim was finally there.

Time in Finland wasn’t only Sunshine and Rainbows, both literally and metaphorically. Dark winters, with little daylight, made her depressive and added to her homesickness in general. She sought the help of a psychologist who confirmed that Kim is eligible to stay for as long as she wants in Finland.

The American student-exchange program helped her to find a new home, where Kim lived for less than a year. In the meantime, she started collecting Finish words, to keep her motivated and endure during this hard period.

The Teachers’ Program

Investing in creating, distributing and maintaining high-level of education, that contains progressive methods is many countries’ top priority. They want to achieve a level of independence that is brought by psychologically equipped and technologically savvy teachers.

Motivation is the key trigger, which pulls all the strings and sets in motion the idea of investing in yourself. These persons can, later on, develop into skilled negotiators, lawyers, economists, entrepreneurs and even athletes.

Proficient teachers are able to teach and convey moral norms and other traits such as “diligence,” “self-discipline,” “dedication” to students who are still on the lookout for their innateness.  

PISA Testing as a process is promoting dialogue and project-based learning, which puts emphasis on interactions and solving real-life problems that are an integral part of the social system.  

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“The Smartest Kids in the World Quotes”

Everywhere I went, in every country, people complained about their education system. It was a universal truth and a strangely reassuring one. No one was content, and rightly so. Educating all kids to high levels was hard, and every… Click To Tweet It was interesting to note that higher standards were seen not as an investment in students; they were seen, first and foremost, as a threat to teachers. Click To Tweet In many U.S. schools, sports instilled leadership and persistence in one group of kids while draining focus and resources from academics for everyone. The lesson wasn't that sports couldn't coexist with education; it was that sports had… Click To Tweet Tom was not good at math. He’d started to lose his way in middle school, as so many American kids did. It had happened gradually; first, he hadn’t understood one lesson, and then another and another. Click To Tweet Without data, you are just another person with an opinion . . . Without data, you are just another person with an opinion . . . Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

We are speechless and amazed by the authenticity of this masterpiece. As mind-blowing these discoveries are, we were also surprised by the data presented to support such claims.

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Everything, Everything PDF Summary

Everything, Everything PDFA Novel

What if you were allergic to everything and, thus forced to live in a bubble?

And what if, in spite of that, you fall in love?

Everything, Everything” tries to answer both questions.

Who Should Read “Everything, Everything”? And Why?

“Everything, Everything” is a young adult novel, so, obviously, it should interest John-Green/Nicholas-Sparks-worshipping teenagers much more than adults, many of whom may find this book a bit melodramatic.

However, the book’s innovativeness, its lyrical descriptions, and heartwarming narrative may jerk more than one tear out of the eyes of many adults who don’t like YA novels so much, but who do want to leaf through a sentimental work or two from time to time.

If so, this one should be the next one on your I-want-a-break-from-all-this-madness list.

Nicola YoonNicola Yoon Biography

Nicola Yoon is a Jamaican-American author.

She majored in electrical engineering at Cornell University, but a creative writing class inspired her to subsequently attend the Master of Creative Writing program at Emerson College.

She wrote her debut novel, “Everything, Everything,” long after while working full-time as a programmer for an investment management firm and raising her first daughter. The book proved a huge success, and it was adapted into a movie released in May 2017.

In 2016, Yoon’s second book, “The Sun Is Also a Star,” was published, the film rights of which have been already acquired by MGM and Warner Brothers.

Everything, Everything Summary

Have you ever watched “Seinfeld”?

If so, you certainly remember the episode with the Bubble Boy, right? You know, the one with the boy who has to live in a bubble because unless he lives in a germ-free sterile environment, he may die instantaneously!

Well, the main character of Nicola Yoon’s debut novel “Everything, Everything” is a bubble girl, Madeline “Maddy” Whittier, who suffers from the very same disease.

She explains its nature and its consequences from the very start of the novel, telling us that her disease is “as rare as it is famous” and that it’s a form of Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID):

“Basically, I’m allergic to the world,””she notes:

Anything can trigger a bout of sickness. It could be the chemicals in the cleaner used to wipe the table that I just touched. It could be someone’s perfume. It could be the exotic spice in the food I just ate. It could be one, or all, or none of these things, or something else entirely.

No one knows the triggers, but everyone knows the consequences. According to my mom, I almost died as an infant. And so I stay on SCID row. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years.

Maddy’s father and brother died a long time ago, so Maddy lives with her mother Pauline and her nurse Carla. She spends most of the time reading and watching the outdoors through the windows of her room.

One day, a family moves in next door.

Watching it from her window, Maddy notices three things.

One: that the father of this family is abusive and violent.

Two: that the daughter has a smoking problem.

And three: that the son is smoking hot.

Fortunately for Maddy, the son – whose name is Olly notices her back. Even more fortunately for her, despite Pauline’s attempts to keep Olly (and everyone else) away from Maddy, Carla has her back: one day, she sneaks the boy into Maddy’s house.

Soon enough, Olly basically becomes a part of the furniture of Maddy’s house every time Pauline is not around. And one time, Maddy even dares to leave her home for a few seconds!

Expectedly, Pauline finds out, and she bans Maddy from seeing Olly again. Even so, Maddy and Olly go on communicating by secretly texting each other.

After some time, they even decide to go on a holiday together to Hawaii.

Of course, the only reason why Olly would ever agree to such a foolish plan is a lie: Maddy tells Olly that she is on a new medicine and that she will be fine.

Surprise, surprise – she is not!

The second day in Hawaii, she begins to feel extremely sick and is taken to the hospital, where, for one brief moment, her heart stops beating.


Having found out about the young lovers’ plans in the meantime, Pauline travels to Hawaii and brings Maddy back home. Aware that SCID is not something you can mess around with, Maddy breaks off communication with Olly.

Barely a month passes, and Maddy sees Olly, his sister and their mother escaping in a van from the tyranny of their father.

Now, she doesn’t even have the chance to see him anymore.

And that should be the end of it, right?

Well, let us quote Yoon on that one:

Spoiler alert: Love is worth everything. Everything.

Everything, Everything Epilogue

One month after Olly leaves, Maddy receives a letter from the doctor who had treated her after her unfortunate Hawaii incident.

And the letter reveals something utterly strange: Maddy doesn’t have SCID. In fact, it’s the other way around: her immunodeficiency is the result of her enforced SCID row.

In simpler terms: Maddy is sick not because she was born that way, but because she has spent 17 years in a germ-free sick-secured environment which has never allowed her body to form a natural immunity.

This leads to one of two conclusions: either she was misdiagnosed as a child, or her mother is lying to her throughout her whole life!

Yes, it’s the second one: Maddy rummages through Pauline’s medical files, and all she discovers are just a few SCID-related internet articles!

So, why did she do such a horrible thing?

Two words: helicopter parenting.

After receiving some much-needed therapy, Maddy’s mother reveals to her that soon after the death of her husband and son, Maddy got very sick as well.

She didn’t want to lose her either, so, basically, after finding about this rare disease called SCID, she simply decided that Maddy has it as well. That way, she was able to keep her protected at all times.

The worst idea ever!

Oh, and we almost forgot the obligatory happy ending:

SCID-free, Maddy travels to New York and reunites with Olly.

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“Everything, Everything PDF Quotes”

Everything's a risk. Not doing anything is a risk. It's up to you. Click To Tweet

Maybe growing up means disappointing the people we love. Click To Tweet

Life is a gift. Don't forget to live it. Click To Tweet

Just because you can’t experience everything doesn’t mean you shouldn’t experience anything. Click To Tweet

I was happy before I met him. But I’m alive now, and those are not the same thing. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Many epithets have been used to describe “Everything, Everything” and most of them have been beyond flattering.

The New York Times Book Review” called it “gorgeous and lyrical” and “SLJ,” simply, “wonderful, wonderful.

However, David Arnold may have been closest to the truth when writing that “Everything, Everything” offers “an entirely unique and beautiful reading experience.”

True to the case: even though we are not big fans of the sentimentality of YA novels, we would be lying if we said that this one didn’t attract our attention.

Built on a fairly original premise, “Everything, Everything” is nothing short of a masterpiece of its genre, definitely a book over which many teenagers will obsess for many years to come.    Take this summary with you and read anywhere! Download PDF:   

On the Origin of Species PDF Summary

On the Origin of Species PDFBy Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life

In 1859, Charles Darwin changed the world.

Read the summary of “On the Origin of Species” to discover how.

Who Should Read “On the Origin of Species”? And Why?

“On the Origin of Species” is the foundational text of the life sciences.

And it’s also one of the most influential books ever written.

So – everybody.

Because everybody says so.

Charles DarwinAbout Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin was an English biologist, geologist, and naturalist, the man who first convincingly demonstrated that evolution is a fact and scientific theory.

One of the most influential figures in human history,” Darwin presented his theory in 1859 in “On the Origin of Species.”

Twelve years later, he applied it on humans in “The Descent of Man.”

And changed everything.

“On the Origin of Species PDF Summary”

No need to tell you this:

At about 500 pages in its original edition, “On the Origin of Species” is Charles Darwin magnum opus and, quite possibly, the most influential nonfiction book ever written.

Even though some of its findings have been modified in the century and a half which has passed since its publication, it’s safe to say that no summary can ever do enough justice to this book.

In other words, you should definitely try to find some time to read this book in the recent future.

In the meantime, here’s a summary which takes a look at Darwin’s most important ideas, tiptoeing around his evidence for the sake of brevity and simplicity.

“On the Origin of Species” is divided into fourteen chapters prefaced by an Introduction which gives an outline of the book and states its purpose.

Chapter I, titled “Variation Under Domestication” sets the terrain for Darwin’s main idea, i.e., natural selection, by providing a suitable analogy the accuracy of which cannot be questioned by anyone.

Namely, Darwin uses Chapter I to explain how speciation occurs in front of our very eyes in domestic environments, and how breeders are capable of selecting the traits of their liking and producing the species of their own imagination almost effortlessly in some cases.

Darwin reminds us of “that most skillful breeder, Sir John Sebright,” who apparently had a habit of saying “with respect to pigeons, that ‘he would produce any given feather in three years, but it would take him six years to obtain head and beak.’”

In other words, many pigeons, cats, and dogs are products of the process of human selection.

Now – asks Darwin in Chapter II, “Variation Under Nature,” – if humans can create (and have created) species, why shouldn’t Nature be able to do the same:

As man can produce and certainly has produced a great result by his methodical and unconscious means of selection, what may not natural selection effect? Man can act only on external and visible characters: Nature… cares nothing for appearances, except in so far as they are useful to any being. She can act on every internal organ, on every shade of constitutional difference, on the whole machinery of life. Man selects only for his own good; Nature only for that of the being which she tends.

Chapter III, “Struggle for Existence” is where Darwin explains how this happens.

And it’s quite simple, since for variation under nature to happen no more than few simple premises need to be accepted:

#1. Organisms reproduce and, through reproduction, they pass some of their traits to other generations;
#2. There is a limited amount of resources, so not all organisms can be supported;
#3. Those who survive are the ones who will pass their traits to the following generations;
#4. Consequently, the traits that will be passed are the ones that have allowed them to survive.

In other words, the struggle for life favors the strongest, i.e., Nature selects the organisms which are best adapted to a certain environment.

Chapter IV, “Natural Selection” is the elucidation of how this works in practice.

Here Darwin explains how much more powerful is natural selection when compared to human selection, especially when time is taken into account.

He then analyzes which circumstances are favorable and which are not for natural selection and how natural selection causes extinction and divergence on the descendants from a common parent.

He ends this chapter (which includes “a diagram of divergence of taxa,” the only illustration in the original edition) with an amazing discovery – that all organic beings can be grouped and traced to a single or few ancestors.

It is a truly wonderful fact,” he exclaims here, “the wonder of which we are apt to overlook from familiarity – that all animals and all plants throughout all time and space should be related to each other.

With the more technical Chapter V, “Laws of Variation,” Darwin wraps up the main points of his “theory of descent with modification” (as he calls it) and in the next three chapters tries to address some of its shortcomings in advance.

Chapter VI, “Difficulties on Theory” attempts to answer two questions: 1) “why, if species have descended from other species by insensibly fine gradations, do we not everywhere see innumerable transitional forms?” and 2) “Can we believe that natural selection could produce, on the one hand, organs of trifling importance, such as the tail of a giraffe, which serves as a fly-flapper, and, on the other hand, organs of such wonderful structure, as the eye, of which we hardly as yet fully understand the inimitable perfection?”

Chapter VII, “Instinct” and Chapter VIII, “Hybridism” address the remaining difficulties: 1) “can instincts be acquired and modified through natural selection?” and 2) “how can we account for species, when crossed, being sterile and producing sterile offspring, whereas, when varieties are crossed, their fertility is unimpaired?”

Chapter IX, “On the Imperfection of Geological Record” and Chapter X, “On the Geological Succession of Organic Beings” are Inspired by Charles Lyell’s “Principles of Geology” and examine fossil records, while the next two chapters – Chapter XI and Chapter XII deal with “Geographical Distribution.”

The eclectic Chapter XIII, baroquely titled “Mutual Affinities of Organic Beings: Morphology: Embryology: Rudimentary Organs,” abounds with interesting (if sometimes philosophical) evidence of Darwin’s common descent theory.

As suggested by its title, Chapter XIV, “Recapitulation and Conclusion” reviews the most important points of the book, and concludes with a quote-worthy paragraph:

Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows. There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.

Key Lessons from “On the Origin of Species”

1.      Natural Selection = Selective Breeding + Time – Humans
2.      The Survival of the Fittest
3.      All Species Have Descended from Common Ancestors

Natural Selection = Selective Breeding + Time – Humans

Men are capable of creating species in domestic environments through selective breeding.

Darwin says: well, Nature does the same.

And over eons of time, it has created every species in existence.

The Survival of the Fittest

The survival of the fittest” is actually an expression by Herbert Spencer, but Darwin says that it is equally convenient as his “natural selection.

This is why:

Owing to this struggle for life, any variation, however slight and from whatever cause proceeding, if it be in any degree profitable to an individual of any species, in its infinitely complex relations to other organic beings and to external nature, will tend to the preservation of that individual, and will generally be inherited by its offspring. The offspring, also, will thus have a better chance of surviving, for, of the many individuals of any species which are periodically born, but a small number can survive. I have called this principle, by which each slight variation, if useful, is preserved, by the term of Natural Selection, in order to mark its relation to man’s power of selection.

All Species Have Descended from Common Ancestors

If God created all species independently, then why are they so similar?

What can be more curious,” asks at one place Darwin, implicitly suggesting that independent creation shouldn’t be able to survive the Occam’s razor when faced with natural selection, “than that the hand of a man, formed for grasping, that of a mole for digging, the leg of the horse, the paddle of the porpoise, and the wing of the bat, should all be constructed on the same pattern, and should include the same bones, in the same relative positions?

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“On the Origin of Species Quotes”

One general law, leading to the advancement of all organic beings, namely, multiply, vary, let the strongest live and the weakest die. Click To Tweet

Man selects only for his own good: Nature only for that of the being which she tends. Click To Tweet

I see no good reasons why the views given in this volume should shock the religious views of anyone. Click To Tweet

If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down. But I can find no such case. Click To Tweet

Natural Selection… is a power incessantly ready for action, and is immeasurably superior to man's feeble efforts, as the works of Nature are to those of Art. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

There are not many books more important or more seminal than “The Origin of Species.”

And we can’t stress that enough.

Over to you.    Take this summary with you and read anywhere! Download PDF: