Tackle Fall Finals: 200+ Topics Now on Shmoop

Hi from Shmoop HQ,

Snow (in Houston), mean old Mr. Grinch (on television), and ugly sweater parties (everywhere). Oh, yes, it’s December. And that means finals are here, too.

Sharpen your brain for final exams and papers.

Shmoop now covers more than 200 topics:

Shmoop packed on the pounds just in time for finals. Let’s call it our “Freshman 18.”

New in Shmoop Literature:

New in Shmoop Poetry:

Are we missing something on your reading list? Let us know.
Make some noise in our new feedback forums. Make suggestions. Vote up your faves.

A song, a whale, a soliloquy and more… President-Elect Shmoopified

So we’d thought we’d be all cool and hip and innovative and interview our new President-Elect, Barack Obama, because what could our new President-Elect possibly have to do that is more important than talking to Shmoop? Exactly– zilch. In fact, what in the entire world is more important than talking to Shmoop (except, perhaps, eating turkey meatloaf). Well, come to find out, there are some things that are maybe just a few rungs above Shmoop on the President-Elect priority ladder. But thank goodness for Facebook, because with the help of Facebook, we have all of the ingredients to help us pretend like we are interviewing President-Elect Barack Obama.

Shmoop: Hello Mr. President-Elect Obama.

Imaginary President-Elect: Hello Shmoop.

S: How are you today?

IPE: Very well, thank you. How about yourself?

S: Splendid, sir. Now, Mr. President-Elect, let us get down to business. We at Shmoop are all about literature and history and writing and the color orange. We are dying to know what your favorite books are.

IPE: Well, Shmoop, my favorite books are Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison, Moby-Dick, by Herman Melville, all of William Shakespeare’s tragedies, Parting the Waters: America in the King Years 1954-1963 by Taylor Branch, Gilead by Marilynne Robinson, Self-Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Bible, and Abraham Lincoln’s collected writings.

S: Quite a slice of literary awesomeness, Mr. President-Elect. It looks like you’ve got some contemporary fiction, some old school fiction, some plays, some philosophical essays, some historical nonfiction, and some speeches all wrapped up in that list.

IPE: Indeed, I do.

S: You know, Mr. President-Elect, Shmoop endorses reading.

IPE: That is good to hear, Shmoop.

S: And it is so awesome that presidents read books. Because, you never think presidents have time for reading books, you know? But you do.

IPE: Yes, we do.

S: Well, it’s been a real—

IPE: Oh, Shmoop?

S: Yes, Mr. President-Elect?

IPE: I don’t mean to interrupt, but I forgot to mention another of my most favorite books.

S: And what is that, Mr. President-Elect?

IPE: Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak.

S: Oh, that’s a good one. Max is really cool.

IPE: Indeed.

S: Well, thanks so much for your time, Mr. President-Elect.

IPE: It was my pleasure, Shmoop.

Wow, that’s some award-winning interviewage, if we do say so ourselves. Mr. Obama told the American Library Association in a Q&A session at the July of 2005 ALA annual conference that his mother’s love of books had a huge impact on him as a child:

“Because as much trouble as I got into as an adolescent, she would constantly send me books. That’s what I got every birthday were books. You know, I was holding out for the basketball or the bike, and I’d get these big stacks of books. I’d be disappointed initially, but she knew that eventually I’d end up picking them up and reading them. That, I think, really laid the foundation for my subsequent success.”
See the video here.

Mr. Obama also said, “my wife still thinks that I’m Max,” of Where the Wild Things Are fame. You can read the full transcript of President-Elect Obama’s speech here.

Well, that’s all for now folks. Thank you for tuning in. We’ll be back soon with more cutting edge, juicy banter. In the meantime, keep feeding your brain.

The Shmoop Students’ Bill of Rights

You have the right to:

1.    Find your writing groove. The biggest schoolyard bully is the blank sheet of paper. Time to strike back.

2.    Save your energy drinks for a fun night out. Shmoop will help you kick that can by supplementing your sleep-inducing (and wallet-draining) textbooks.

3.    A lotta links. Photo-audio-video-…stuff like that.

4.    Learn like it’s the 21st century. Text and printed books are kinda 20th century (15th century, actually) – but great stories are timeless.

5.    Debate with your teachers. Every story has multiple sides.

6.    Find literature, history, and poetry relevant – inspiring, even – to the life you live today.