Lyse Links: Ice Cream diet, going offline, child prodigies, religion won’t die

I missed this post last week, so lots of links for you now!

  • Starting with the happy: An ice cream diet is viable! For both gaining and losing weight. The author ended up losing weight, but he was way below his usual calorie intake.
  • Is going offline actually worth it? A lot of people advocate going offline as a way to be more productive, reduce stress, and improve relationships. This author isn’t so sure it’s a great idea. I don’t want to spoil his conclusion, but if you’re reading this post, you’ll probably find it interesting.
  • What is it like to receive an autism diagnosis as an adult? Good article if you’re interested in how people think and especially mental health varieties. (I’m in the market for a good description of being fascinated with the way people think, including when that thinking is affected by diseases, disorders, accidents, etc.)
  • Why aren’t child prodigies good creators? I’m fascinated with how people raise smart or accomplished children and I’m taking notes for the future. This article aligns with my personal preferences and experiences, so I’m biased, but what the author is arguing makes sense.
  • Perspective of an older writer. I read authors with a wide variety of ages, so it’s interesting to see an author talking about how priorities change. In a selfish way, I sometimes wish my favorite authors wouldn’t experiment or take on different projects. If I already love their work, I’m sad to see them leave a certain world or genre. But I understand that they need to stay true to principles and refine their craft. I admire that even if I as a reader don’t like it.
  • Why humans find it hard to do away with religion. Honestly? I don’t have the intellectual time or space to really dissect this article. But I think it’s a very interesting read.
  • Last and weirdest: Woman attends her own funeral to confront husband who had her killed. Yes, it’s as unbelievable as it sounds.

What have you been reading this week?

Poetry to Share: Charge of the Light Brigade

I know this poem is super sad, but it’s one of my favorites from childhood. It has a good rhythm, is easy to memorize, and is incredibly dramatic.

Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
   Rode the six hundred.
“Forward, the Light Brigade!
Charge for the guns!” he said.
Into the valley of Death
   Rode the six hundred.


“Forward, the Light Brigade!”
Was there a man dismayed?
Not though the soldier knew
   Someone had blundered.
   Theirs not to make reply,
   Theirs not to reason why,
   Theirs but to do and die.
   Into the valley of Death
   Rode the six hundred.


Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
   Volleyed and thundered;
Stormed at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of hell
   Rode the six hundred.


Flashed all their sabres bare,
Flashed as they turned in air
Sabring the gunners there,
Charging an army, while
   All the world wondered.
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right through the line they broke;
Cossack and Russian
Reeled from the sabre stroke
   Shattered and sundered.
Then they rode back, but not
   Not the six hundred.


Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
   Volleyed and thundered;
Stormed at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell.
They that had fought so well
Came through the jaws of Death,
Back from the mouth of hell,
All that was left of them,
   Left of six hundred.


When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
   All the world wondered.
Honour the charge they made!
Honour the Light Brigade,
   Noble six hundred!
-Alfred, Lord Tennyson

January Reading Recap

As part of keeping book resolutions, I’ve decided to write monthly recaps. It helps me pay attention to how I’m meeting those goals.

For context, here are the goals I set:

  • 150 books total.
  • 50,000 pages.
  • 40 non-fiction.
  • 10 classics.
  • 10 books translated into English (excluding those on my “classics” list).
  • 15 books outside my comfort zone.
  • 22 books off my TBR list.

This month, I read:

  • 12 books.
  • 3,728 pages (and 35 hours of audiobook).
  • 1 non-fiction.

Those are the only goals I made progress on, since I didn’t read any classics, books outside my comfort zone, or anything off my TBR list.

I am, however, listening to Moby-Dick on audio, so I’m working on the classics goal.

This month was extremely heavy on fantasy–only 2 out of 12 weren’t fantasy. And most of those were YA. Interestingly enough, nearly all of them were written by women. I’m not sure what that says about my reading preference, but I’m going to keep observing the gender of authors to see if I consistently track that way.

What did you read this month?

Poetry to Share: Goblin Feet

This is, hands-down, my favorite Tolkien poem. Enjoy!

I am off down the road
Where the fairy lanterns glowed
And the little pretty flitter-mice are flying
A slender band of gray
It runs creepily away
And the hedges and the grasses are a-sighing.
The air is full of wings,
And of blundery beetle-things
That warn you with their whirring and their humming.
O! I hear the tiny horns
Of enchanted leprechauns
And the padded feet of many gnomes a-coming!
O! the lights! O! the gleams! O! the little twinkly sounds!
O! the rustle of their noiseless little robes!
O! the echo of their feet – of their happy little feet!
O! the swinging lamps in the starlit globes.

I must follow in their train
Down the crooked fairy lane
Where the coney-rabbits long ago have gone.
And where silvery they sing
In a moving moonlit ring
All a twinkle with the jewels they have on.
They are fading round the turn
Where the glow worms palely burn
And the echo of their padding feet is dying!
O! it’s knocking at my heart-

Let me go! let me start!
For the little magic hours are all a-flying.

O! the warmth! O! the hum! O! the colours in the dark!
O! the gauzy wings of golden honey-flies!
O! the music of their feet – of their dancing goblin feet!
O! the magic! O! the sorrow when it dies.

–J.R.R. Tolkien


Top Ten Tuesday: Classics I Love

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week is a freebie week, so I chose to talk about my favorite classics! As I’ve explained before, I’m using the term “classic” loosely to mean anything in the recommended canon of literature (what you might read in English class).


Ben-Hur is one of the first classics I read (6th grade, I think) and it was a good introduction. It’s a bit heavy on the history and description, but also contains lots of intrigue and romance, so I didn’t mind too much.

The Count of Monte-Cristo

Read this back to back with Ben-Hur on a dare from my now-husband. The juxtaposition made an interesting study in revenge stories. Continue reading