Readers write: Winning recipe, Kindle for a train ride, prepping for the State of the Union, measuring progress

Letters to the editor for the March 26, 2018 weekly magazine. 

Brian Snyder/Reuters
A commuter (l.) reads on a Kindle e-reader while riding the subway in Cambridge, Massachusetts on March 18, 2011.

Winning recipe

Regarding the Jan. 22 Home Forum essay, “Stealth parenting”: I tried writer Teresa Exner’s cranberry-almond muffin recipe, and it is wonderful and easy. I used almond flavoring instead of the vanilla and wow-oh-wow are they good! They have become a family favorite! Thanks, Teresa.

Marcia Hartill

Seaside, Ore.

Kindle for a train ride

Regarding the Feb. 19 books article “Europe, what are you reading?”: I’ve spent many happy hours reading on European trains, and in the past 10 years, I have used a Kindle. Yes, I love the book with its printed page. No, I do not love packing half a suitcase of books for a long trip or trying to read in poor light. I can adjust the size of the print to make reading easier on a bumpy ride, and I can look up definitions of words at any moment. And I have access to books from my public library no matter where I am. Why do people seem to think reading on a Kindle or tablet spells the end of literature?

Margie Gibson

Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany

Prepping for the State of the Union

Regarding the Jan. 29 article “State of the Union: How Teleprompter Trump can win the night”: This was very good! It helped me know what to expect. It was fair and unbiased. Most of all, you folks do an incredible job of remaining compassionate and respectful. Thank you!

Tarah Nellis

Aurora, Colo.

Measuring progress

Regarding the Jan. 22 cover story, “My return to China”: The contrasts Ann Scott Tyson identifies in the changes since she first knew China provoke questions about progress and how it is measured. It is captivatingly well written. I’ll read it again.

Margaret Hughes

Wandiligong, Australia

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

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