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A Cool Mona Book Review: H Is For Hawk

H Is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald, published 2014. Winner of the 2014 Samuel Johnson Prize and 2014 Costa Book of the Year. Shortlisted for the 2015 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction. An exquisitely-written literary meditation. A wholly enrapturing memoir of the year following the unexpected death of Macdonald’s father, Alisdair Macdonald, a …

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A Cool Mona Masterpiece: In Prison, Music Can Set You Free

Each year, the New York City-based Decoda Chamber Ensemble spends a week with inmates at the maximum security Lee Correctional Institution in South Carolina. They teach inmates to play instruments and compose their own music. At the end of the week, they perform for other inmates, prison staff and local officials. This year’s program (2.16.16) was called “Seasons of …

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A Cool Mona Book Review: The Muralist

The Muralist by B.A. Shapiro, published 2015. Talk about timing. An important look at two world-changing topics: the refugees of pre-war WWII trying to enter the United States and the budding American school of Abstract Expressionism. A strange combination, you’re thinking, but not so according to the beautiful piece of historical fiction B.A. Shapiro paints. …

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A Cool Mona Masterpiece: The Molinere Underwater Sculpture Park

What a beautiful idea. British sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor created The Molinere Underwater Sculpture Park, a collection of ecological underwater contemporary art located in the Caribbean sea off the west coast of Grenada, West Indies. The coral reef around Grenada suffered damage from Hurricane Ivan in 2004 and Emily in 2005. It has been recorded that …

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11 Ways To Boost Your Self-Esteem In Less Than An Hour

If you have… 1 second: Sit up straight. Research suggests that people with good posture have more confidence in their thoughts than slouchers. 2 seconds: Practice Good Scents. One study found that women felt more confident in social, business and romantic situations when wearing perfume. 3 seconds: Knock Wood. Psychologists have shown that embracing superstitions …