Our Five Favorite Fathers in Literature

As we know, fathers can be very powerful people in our lives. Although their styles may be different, many of us are who we are today because of how our fathers taught, loved, and cared for us throughout our lives. This Father’s Day, we look back at the great fathers we’ve come to know and love in literature and which qualities make them top notch role models.


1. Atticus Finch — The Leader

A leader, in any setting, sets the tone for how we interact with one another. They shape and construct the morals and values in each of their followers.  As a leader in the family, no father in literature accepts this role than Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird. In the face of conflict, Atticus took  a path that was filled with challenges and obstacles. He chose to show his children that every man is created equal no matter who they are are where they come from. This is no easy job, and our fathers face these types challenges everyday in their lives. Through their actions they plant the seeds in us that help us grow over time into the roots of our values.

2. Bob Cratchit — The Solace

Life is not always easy. We may find ourselves in a hard place, but our fathers help us to see the joy of being together as a family. In Charles Dickens’s magical story, The Christmas Carol, Bob Cratchit is the shining example of how to see the light in a world brimming in darkness. No matter how hard life may seem, Bob Cratchit, like many of our fathers, finds a way to bring out the joy in our lives and celebrate the true gift we receive everyday; our family.

3. Hans Hubermann — The Teacher

Our parents are our greatest teachers. They are constantly pushing us to become better and picking us up when fall down. No literary father loves teaching his child more than Hans Hubermann from the renowned novel The Book Thief. As the parent of an adopted child in a world surrounded by fear and violence, Hubermann devotes his life to educating his daughter the beauty of reading and imagination. In a community blinded by prejudice, Hubermann teaches his daughter to create a vision of the world through her own eyes, and not let others dictate how she thinks. Similar to our fathers, their love can be seen through their countless lessons and lectures with hope that we use this knowledge to create a life better than they have ever experienced.

4. Mrs. Doubtfire — The Comedian

On this day, we appreciate the countless times our dads made us smile when no one else could. Made famous by the motion picture, Mrs. Doubtfire is the father that will go the extra mile just to squeak a grin out of us. When a divorce causes him to be separated from his kids, this father dresses up as old nanny just to spend a few more hours each day laughing with his kids. While our fathers can seem so serious at times, they’re always the first to recognize whenever we need a bit of laughter in our lives.

5. The Giving Tree — The Giver

Finally, the last characteristic we admire in our fathers is their constant generosity in our lives. Whether it’s toys when we are young, countless nights of helping with math homework, or even walking you down the aisle on on your wedding day, our fathers are always willing to give whatever they have, just to make us happy. While not necessarily a human father, the tree in Shel Silverstein’s children’s book The Giving Tree is a perfect resemblance of a father figure who continues to give until he has nothing left. Our fathers serve us in any way they can, and as we grow older, our fathers sacrifice more and more just to sustain our happiness. It is not until we reach a certain age of maturity, that we are fully able to comprehend the the countless hours and energy our fathers have devoted towards providing us with a better life.

We hope that on this day of celebration, you are able to be thankful of all your father’s admirable qualities that have helped shape you into the person you are today.

It’s never too late to tell your father how thankful you are to have him in your life.

15 Thought-Provoking Quotes from Literature

Oscar Wilde once said, “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” This is especially true for the great books that are immortalized in paper and print for countless generations to enjoy.

People fall crazy in love with characters in books, often because they embody an ideal which they fundamentally identify with. When these characters express something particularly moving or thought-provoking, we keep their words in our hearts, and repeat them whenever we get the chance.

Actions speak louder than words, but quotes are without a doubt more repeatable. They’re easily shareable, whether it’s vocally, on a shirt, on your bedroom wall, or even on a quilt. We looked at classic books to find some of the most beloved characters and their thought-provoking quotes that will live forever in print and in our hearts.

15 thought-provoking book quotes by Readers.com

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Did you recognize any of these quotes from the classics? It’s always satisfying to find a book you can thoroughly enjoy and get lost in. And while you may forget lots of minor details in the story, the powerful quotes you discover stick with you. Check out some bifocal glasses or make sure to clean your glasses so you can continue enjoying your favorite books.

Five Reasons You Only Need to Make One Resolution This New Year


“Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you’ve got about a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies—G** damn it, you’ve got to be kind.”

Kurt Vonnegut. From God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater.

There’s only one resolution any of us need to make this year, and it’s this: to encourage ourselves and those around us to be kinder, better people; to look around for the hurt we can fix, the good we can do and the ways we can effectively help. Even the best of us have room to be more forgiving, more patient and more empathetic.

We could all learn to follow the Boy Scout campground rule socially and try to leave every person we meet better than we found them. It’s not just that being kind or fair makes us feel warm and fuzzy or gives us the chance to be smug when no one’s looking, it’s that treating each other well is a provably better way. There is even some speculation that the most efficient way to be selfish is to be generous; that we earn far more dividends in the long run by extending kindness than we do by being bitter or angry. Here are 5 reasons being kind is the only resolution you need to make this year:

1. Being Good to Others Lowers Your Blood Pressure

How many of us have tried cutting out salt, taking ACE inhibitors, losing weight, or giving up nightcaps, all in the name of getting our numbers down into a range that will make our doctors nod in approval? What if we could get part of the way there, have a head start, race ahead of the mall walking, dessert shunning and teetotalling to a better resting diastolic? What if that way was to give time or money to a charity organization that helps other human beings?

A study done by Piferi and Lawler in 2006 showed a direct correlation between charitable contribution and lower resting systolic pressure, diastolic pressure and heart rate. To make it even better, the same study showed a connection between those participants who gave social support and receiving greater “social support, greater self-efficacy, greater self-esteem, less depression, and less stress”.

To put it succinctly, if you help others more, you receive more help…and, oh, by the way, it lowers your blood pressure. For ideas on direct charitable giving to incredibly effective, but underfunded organizations, go to GiveWell.

And here are two others, closer to home, that you might consider:

Timmy Global Health

The Wounded Warrior Project

2. Helping Others Helps You Live Longer

Teach somebody to read, help a neighbor fix his fence, bring dinner to a shut-in and you’ll not only feel great about yourself, but you’ll live 22% longer. An analysis of over 40 scientific papers showed that people who help others get an average of ⅕ more life in which to help. While the study didn’t prove conclusively where the benefit comes from (whether a boost in, say chemicals like oxytocin, associated with positive emotions, or the direct social benefits of helping were causally related to the increase), there seems to be tremendous longevity benefit when it comes to lending a helping hand.

3. You’ve Heard of the “Runner’s High”? Well, There’s Also a “Helper’s High”

It turns out that, under clinical studies, the act of contributing to another person’s well-being actually releases endorphins — the chemical responsible for that sense of euphoria that runners experience as a result of a really great workout. It’s not just that helping can make you feel good, it’s that biologically speaking, there’s a direct chemical path between helping and feeling really, really good.

4. The Economy Runs on Trust

There’s been a lot of talk in the recent decades about the importance of competition in the Free Market. Our laws against monopolies are designed to sustain competitive environments. And in recent years, we’ve been running socio-economic experiments to determine whether increased competition from private charter schools makes for a better educational system. But, with all the talk of competition, we may forget that trust is absolutely fundamental to our economy (Forbes, July 2010).

In 2010, the World Bank estimated that, in the US, $12.4 trillion was directly attributable to established systems of trust. If the father of economic theory, Adam Smith, was correct and all economic systems are built on a foundation of specialized individual skills, Person A must trust Person B do whatever task that Person A does not have the time or resources to do. It follows, then, logically, that the less we trust one another, the more resources we are obligated to spend defending our own interests against each other.

5. Kindness is Contagious

For the first time in 2010, two researchers (Christakis and Fowler) were able to prove in laboratory conditions that cooperation and acts of kindness ripple outward through social interactions. That is, each kind act makes another kind act more likely to occur. In the study, research showed that not only did kindness propagate through a social group, but that it was likely to multiply by 3. A single smile at a barista will, on average, result in three smiles between the barista and customers, the customers and each other or the customer and a co-worker later in the day.

Whatever else we resolve to do or to be in 2016, let’s resolve to try to be kind to one another. If we try to understand where others have come from, what kind of day they might have had and choose to respond with kindness, it will make things better. Maybe not immediately and maybe not in every situation, but if we just keep trying, we will live longer, live better lives and pass that chance on to people around us.

Holiday Traditions Old & New to Try This Year

The stockings are hung, the gifts wrapped, and the menu planned. But when it comes to making the most out of the holiday season, it’s the time spent with loved ones that makes us merriest this time of year.

Whether you’re looking for all-new activities for the whole family or simply refreshing your tried-and-true holiday plans, grab some inspiration from our list of holiday traditions to try!

Holiday traditions to try this year

  1. Explore the lights around your city (don’t forget the hot cocoa!)
  2. Write letters to each other, seal them, and wait to read them until the holidays next year
  3. Have a pajama party and holiday movie marathon
  4. Bake and decorate Christmas cookies together
  5. Set up a food/drink bar (try cheese displays and a make-your-own Bloody Mary stand!)
  6. Volunteer your time at a local soup kitchen
  7. Host a white elephant gift exchange
  8. Count down to Christmas by unwrapping a holiday book each day of December
  9. Purchase a new unique ornament each year
  10. Have a gingerbread house competition
  11. Go ice skating and head to an outdoor rink if you have one near you
  12. Buy matching PJs for the family to wear on Christmas morning (this makes for great photos!)
  13. Camp out in front of the tree for a night, share holiday stories, and eat sweet treats
  14. Assign everyone a different line and sing “The 12 Days of Christmas” (make sure to catch it on video!)
  15. Reminisce over 2015 with your family and reflect on how you’d like to grow

How do you celebrate the season each year? Share your traditions with us on Facebook!