Ah, summer. A time of no more school, no more books, etc. We wait for it all year, as Thomas Carlyle reminds us: “Long stormy spring-time, wet contentious April, winter chilling the lap of very May; but at length the season of summer does come.”
It is a time for many things—rest, fun, travel—but for some people, summer is a time for reading. But what to read? Here are some web sites that offer stimulating yet satisfying content.
http://www.dailylit.com – Register for this site and get entire books e-mailed to you, one installment at a time. Some books are free in their entirety; others offer free excerpts before payment (often as little as $6.99) is needed. You can search for books that interest you, or you can browse by title, author, or category. Want to learn more? Check out the site’s FAQ page.
http://aldaily.com – Arts & Letters Daily is a collection of “the best writing on the Web.” Using a simple three-column format, the site summarizes and links to book reviews, essays, and opinion pieces covering philosophy, literature, language, culture, history, art, and more.
A section called Favorites links to other interesting sites, such as Overlawyered, a blog about “the high cost of our legal system.”
http://www.mentalfloss.com – Mental Floss is “where knowledge junkies get their fix.” Articles deal with mostly scientific and historical topics, and they are written in an accessible, entertaining style.
The site also has quizzes (my favorite: Ripped from Headlines or Plot from Scooby-Doo?), trivia, a blog, and the Amazing Fact Generator, from which I learned that only half a dolphin’s brain sleeps at one time. (The other, awake half makes the dolphin go up for air to prevent drowning.)