Coursera is running a 25% off sale on some of its top professional certificates, led by IBM and Facebook

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Through August 31, Coursera is offering 25% off the first month on select online professional certificate programs from IBM and Facebook.

  • E-learning platform Coursera offers professional certificate programs for in-demand career skills.
  • They’re led by companies like Google, Facebook, and IBM, and can help you get an entry-level job.
  • Right now, Coursera is offering 25% off 5 of its certificate programs through August 31.

If you’re interested in a fast-growing career that pays well and boasts high job satisfaction, you don’t necessarily need to go to grad school to switch paths. Online learning platforms like Coursera offer a number of professional certificate programs led by well-known companies, with the aim of teaching you the in-demand skills that could land you an entry-level job in a growing field like data science or cybersecurity. Once completed, you’ll get a certificate to share on your resume and LinkedIn profile for potential employers to see.

One big benefit of pursuing a Coursera professional certificate is that it’s self-paced and fully remote, offering full flexibility. You pay a monthly fee for as long as you take the course, so the faster you finish, the more money you save.

To help offset some of the costs, Coursera is offering 25% off the first month of some of its professional certificates through August 31. So, if a program is $39 per month, you could save $9.75 on the first month.

Here are the 5 Coursera professional certificates on sale right now

Facebook Social Media Marketing Professional Certificate

Enroll here

Cost: $49 per month (first month $36.75 with discount)

Approximate length: 7 months

Learn how to analyze your target audience, build a growing social media presence, and use Facebook Ads Manager to create and troubleshoot ads. No degree or prior experience are required.

IBM Data Science Professional Certificate

Enroll here

Cost: $39 per month (first month $29.25 with discount)

Approximate length: 11 months

For anyone interested in data science or machine learning, this course teaches you core data science skills, programming languages like Python & SQL, data analysis and visualization, and how to build machine learning models. No degree or prior experience are required.

IBM Cybersecurity Professional Certificate

Enroll here

Cost: $49 per month (first month $36.75 with discount)

Approximate length: 8 months

Learn about the modern threats to cybersecurity today using real case studies, and gain an understanding of data protection, endpoint protection, SIEM, and systems and network fundamentals. No degree or prior experience are required.

IBM Data Analyst Professional Certificate

Enroll here

Cost: $39 per month (first month $29.25 with discount)

Approximate length: 11 months

Learn the basics of data analysis and gain working knowledge in Excel, Python, SQL, data libraries, and IBM Cognos Analytics to jumpstart your data analyst career. No degree or prior experience are required.

IBM Applied AI Professional Certificate

Enroll here

Cost: $39 per month (first month $29.25 with discount)

Approximate length: 6 months

To kickstart your new career in artificial intelligence, this course teaches you how to code in Python, build a chatbot, and explore machine learning and computer vision using AI-powered solutions like IBM Watson. No degree or prior experience required.

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A Skillshare subscription grants you access to over 27,000 online courses. Here’s how it works and who it’s best suited for.

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Skillshare Review 4x3
Skillshare offers over 27,000 online videos courses in subjects from design to entrepreneurship.

  • Skillshare carries more than 27,000 online video courses, most taught by experts.
  • Below is an overview of the Skillshare platform, FAQ, and 10 great online classes to take.
  • If you’re a new user, you can try a 1-month free trial.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

As college tuitions skyrocket to the most expensive they’ve ever been, online learning resources are popping up to fill a widening chasm. Whether you want to pick up a new career skill or tap into your creativity, online platforms democratize higher learning for a fraction of the cost required to enroll in universities.

Of those many online resources, Skillshare is one of the most popular. It has over 27,000 video courses taught by experts in the field, including high-profile names like bestselling author Roxane Gay.

Subscription (medium)

How does Skillshare work?

Like ClassPass for e-learning, a Skillshare membership gives you unlimited access to thousands of expert-led online courses across disciplines like design, illustration, business, technology, photo, and writing, whether your objective is advancing your career or learning new hobbies.

Classes are comprised of short, digestible lessons and a hands-on project, which you can share with your class to get feedback from peers or collaborate with the community.

How much does Skillshare cost?

The monthly membership is free to try for one month. After the trial, a monthly membership is $32 per month or $168 annually. You can also learn more about volume discounts for teams or discounts on products like Squarespace and Todoist Premium when you sign up for Skillshare.

And, as part of its mission to make learning accessible, you can get 50% off a Skillshare Membership with a valid .edu email address.

Is Skillshare worth it?

If you’re looking for other options, there are a handful of other great e-learning platforms, like edX, Coursera, and MasterClass. You can take single courses for free on edX and Coursera (or pay per course for certificates of completion). The advantage of getting a professional certificate is that employers can see it on your resume or LinkedIn profile – something Skillshare doesn’t currently offer.

If you want unlimited courses, MasterClass only has an unlimited membership ($180 per year, or $15 per month), and Coursera has an unlimited option called Coursera Plus ($399 per year or $59 monthly).

All-Access Pass (small)Plus (Annual Subscription) (small)

10 popular Skillshare classes:

Subscription (medium)

The bottom line

All in all, Skillshare is a good tool for professionals looking for an affordable way to sharpen skills as well as lifelong learners who want variety, expertise, and flexibility. You can take multiple classes across thousands of disciplines for $32 per month or $168 annually ($13.99 per month).

Browse Skillshare classes here.

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The 9 best young adult books, according to a high schooler

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Collage of YA books, including All The Bright Places, Six of Crows, and Before I Fall 4x3
Some of my favorite YA books include “Ready Player One,” “All the Bright Places,” “Six of Crows,” and “Before I Fall.”

As a high school junior and writer, I’ve been obsessed with books since I was coordinated enough to hold one. Beyond reading for fun, books also helped me spark my creativity, expand my vocabulary, and understand my identity. Having experienced the power of reading firsthand, I always actively encourage children and teens to read for pleasure. So when I’m asked about the best way to foster a love for books, I point to the young adult section.

Because YA books are tailored towards a younger audience, they’re a great stepping stone to the vibrant world of literature. Stories about first loves, dystopian overlords, and wizardly duels aren’t purely a form of escapism: They’re also catalysts for young adults to see and feel the world through a unique lens and empathize with the characters, no matter how different they may be. And by dealing with the themes that teenagers experience – relationships, exploration, growing up, fitting in – YA gives young adults the tools to bravely navigate their own worlds.

Here are 9 of my favorite young adult books:

“Ready Player One” by Ernest Cline

Book cover for "Ready Player One" by Ernest Cline

Available on Amazon and Bookshop from $9.95

Endlessly fascinating, “Ready Player One” is one of the best science fiction novels I’ve ever read — I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. In the year 2044, the world is on the verge of collapse and humans rely on the cyber utopia known as the OASIS to escape reality. When James Halliday, OASIS’s eccentric creator, dies, he leaves his massive $240 billion fortune to the first person who can find the virtual Easter egg stashed somewhere in the OASIS. Pitted against “gunters” — egg hunters — and corporate-sponsored “sixers,” Wade Watts races to unravel Halliday’s mystery in an elaborate treasure hunt filled to the brim with pop culture references, vintage video games, and ’80s nostalgia.

“Before I Fall” by Lauren Oliver

Book cover for "Before I Fall" by Lauren Oliver

Available on Amazon and Bookshop from $13.71

“Before I Fall” is vulnerable and achingly emotional, and it touched me in a way that no book ever has. 17-year-old Samantha Kingston is selfish, egotistical, and cruel. Along with her popular clique of friends, she cheats, gossips, lies, and ruthlessly bullies Juliet Sykes, a social outcast at their high school. But when Sam dies in a fatal car crash on February 12, she finds herself alive and breathing the next morning, reliving the last day of her life over and over again. As Sam tries to figure out what went wrong, she’s left to grapple with the weight of her actions and the impact of how she treated those around her.

“The Young Elites” by Marie Lu

Book cover for "The Young Elites" by Marie Lu

Available on Amazon and Bookshop from $10.79

With vengeful and morally grey anti-heroes and a cinematically dark plot, “The Young Elites” is my go-to fantasy series. After the “blood fever” razes her nation, Adelina Amouteru’s dark hair turns silver and a scar runs through where her left eye once was. Because of her strange markings, she is known as a malfetto, a cursed abomination, and treated as a second-class citizen. But malfettos have more than just markings: They’re gifted with superhuman abilities and known as the Young Elites.

“All the Bright Places” by Jennifer Niven

Book cover for "All the Bright Places" by Jennifer Niven

Available from Amazon and Bookshop from $7.48

When Theodore Finch and Violet Markey meet on a ledge six stories above the ground, both plan to end their lives. After one saves the other, Finch and Violet are assigned a school project to explore the natural wonders of Indiana — but as Violet learns from Finch to find beauty in life, Finch’s life begins to lose its meaning. “All the Bright Places” touches on topics like PTSD, depression, and suicide, and although I rarely cry from books, Finch and Violet’s story broke my heart cleanly in two.

“Salt to the Sea” by Ruta Sepetys

Book cover for "Salt to the Sea" by Ruta Sepetys

Available from Amazon and Bookshop from $7.59

Ruta Sepetys has a gift for researching and writing about the hidden parts of history with strength, emotion, and humanity, and “Salt to the Sea” is no different. In 1945 East Prussia, four characters desperately flee war-torn Europe: Joana, a Lithuanian nurse; Florian, a Prussian soldier and restoration artist; Emilia, a teenage orphan from Poland; and Alfred, a Nazi. Their target is the Wilhelm Gustloff, a ship that promises the refugees safety and salvation, but they all have secrets to hide — and enemies to lose.

“Anna and the French Kiss” by Stephanie Perkins

Book cover for "Anna and the French Kiss" by Stephanie Perkins

Available from Amazon and Bookshop from $9.34

When Anna Oliphant finds herself enrolled at a boarding school in Paris, she feels like she’s left everything behind — but when she meets Etienne St. Clair, a beautiful, charming personification of Paris, the two inevitably fall in love. “Anna and the French Kiss” set the bar high for the romance genre: It’s an adorable, giddy, swoony read that pulls every cliché but still manages to feel relatable and authentic.

“Six of Crows” by Leigh Bardugo

Book cover for "Six of Crows" by Leigh Bardugo

Available from Amazon and Bookshop from $7.99

In Ketterdam, a crowded international trade hub, 17-year-old criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker is made an offer he can’t refuse: 30 million kruge to capture Bo Yul-Bayer, a chemist who created a drug that can amplify the powers of Grisha, humans born with magical abilities. Thrilling, larger-than-life, and “Oceans 11”-esque, “Six of Crows” is one of my favorite high fantasy series. I loved the characters, I loved the heist, and I loved the Grishaverse.

“Tweet Cute” by Emma Lord

Book cover for "Tweet Cute" by Emma Lord

Available from Amazon and Bookshop from $9.89

Pepper and Jack are polar opposites: Pepper is a perfectionist and captain of the swim team, while Jack is the school’s resident class clown. When fast-food chain Big League Burger announces their new line of grilled cheese sandwiches, Jack is shocked to find that the name — and the ingredients — are a carbon copy of his grandmother’s recipe that she’s served at their New York deli for years. When Jack turns to Twitter to vent, he has no idea that Pepper runs Big League Burger’s account — and that their tussle will spiral into an all-out viral Twitter war. “Tweet Cute” felt like watching an adorable, witty rom-com, and it was the perfect book to curl up with at the end of the day.

“Born a Crime” by Trevor Noah

Book cover for "Born a Crime" by Trevor Noah

Available from Amazon and Bookshop from $7.21

Although it’s not strictly a young adult book, Trevor Noah’s humorous but candid slant to tackling heavy subjects makes his writing approachable enough to fit into the genre. Born to a white Swiss father and a Black Xhosa mother in a time when interracial marriage was strictly illegal, Noah’s memoir is about growing up in the aftermath of apartheid. “Born a Crime” was one of the most educational books I’ve had the pleasure of reading. It changed the way that I think about injustice, poverty, and the impact of apartheid.

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20 historical fiction books that will whisk you to a different world

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Collage of best historical fiction books, including The Vanishing Half, Pachinko and Where The Crawdads Sing on green background 4x3
Some of the best historical fiction books of all time include “The Vanishing Half,” “Pachinko,” “The Nightingale,” “Where the Crawdads Sing,” and “The Underground Railroad.”

For many readers (myself included), learning about history can be a daunting task. But while many history books are crammed with dense details, historical fiction novels transport readers into riveting stories set in the past. Using real or fictional characters to capture the magnitude and atmosphere of a momentous time, historical fiction offers readers the chance to learn more about true events in an exciting way.

The best historical fiction books are well-researched and accurately reflect the cultural norms of the time, allowing the author to create a plot and characters that could have very well been real. Some books take major historical events such as World War II to offer emotional stories that dive far deeper than a textbook, while others examine events that have been forgotten by many over time.

Whether you’re interested in learning more about unsung wartime heroes or the devastating effects of slavery, historical fiction books can offer readers a gripping gateway to the past.

The 20 best historical fiction books of all time:

A historical fiction book about women’s bravery during World War II

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

“The Nightingale” by Kristin Hannah, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $8.18

“The Nightingale” takes place in France and begins just before the Nazi invasion in 1939. It’s the story of unbreakable resolve and an untold perspective of World War II, following two sisters as one trying to keep her daughter safe as a German captain claims her home, while the other risks her life by joining the resistance. Despite being over 400 pages, it’s a fast read that brought me to tears on more than one occasion and is my personal favorite historical fiction book.

A historical fiction story of love and redemption

The Color Purple

“The Color Purple” by Alice Walker, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.99

The winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, this historical fiction book is about Celie and Nettie, two sisters who were separated as girls yet connect through letters spanning 20 years. This book brings to light the extent of abuse women of color have often faced and been expected to quietly endure — a devastating and emotional read about the resiliency of the human spirit and the persistent bond of sisterhood.

A historical fiction read about love and relationships between women

"Snow Flower and the Secret Fan" by Lisa See

“Snow Flower and the Secret Fan” by Lisa See, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $13.19

With flowing prose that easily transports readers to 19th century China, Lisa See shows how the power of friendship can help us endure life’s greatest challenges. Lily and Snow Flower were paired as emotional matches when they were seven years old, communicating with each other in “nu shu” or women’s writing, a secret code women used to communicate despite seclusion. Through the years, Lily and Snow Flower share their hopes, dreams, and accomplishments through messages sent on fans, outlining the agony of foot-binding, the joys of motherhood, and their thoughts on their arranged marriages.

A multi-generational historical fiction story of a Korean family’s migration to Japan

"Pachinko" by Min Jin Lee

“Pachinko” by Min Jin Lee, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.99 

This National Book Award finalist takes place in the early 1900s Korea where readers meet Sunja, a teenage girl who falls in love with a wealthy stranger who promises her the world. When she discovers that he’s married and she’s pregnant, Sunja must instead accept a proposal from a minister on his way to Japan, rejecting the powerful father of her son in the process. This read contains a lot of fascinating history and follows four generations of a Korean family through Japanese colonization, war, and the divide of North and South Korea.

An intertwining historical fiction tale of twin sisters

"The Vanishing Half" by Brit Bennett

“The Vanishing Half” by Brit Bennett, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $18.65 

“The Vanishing Half” is a historical fiction novel about twin sisters who grew up to live very different lives. At 16, the Vignes twins run away together from their small, Black town to later separate and become starkly different women whose fates still manage to intersect through their children. Years later, one sister once again lives in their hometown with her daughter, while the other lives with her white husband, quietly passing as a white woman. Told from the 1950s to the 1990s, this is a generational story of identity, community, and family that was widely considered one of the best books of 2020.

A Holocaust historical fiction novel with an original narrator

"The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak

“The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $6.99 

Set in 1939 Nazi Germany, Liesel is a foster girl living outside of Munich who begins to steal books after finding “The Gravedigger’s Handbook” partially buried by her brother’s grave. As she falls in love with reading, the country around her descends deeper into war. When her foster family hides a Jewish man in their basement, Liesel’s understanding of the death and danger surrounding her grows as her exterior world shrinks. Narrated by Death, this is an intense and emotional World War II story as Liesel steals books from wherever she can — including Nazi book burnings.

An award-winning historical fiction classic

"Beloved" by Toni Morrison

“Beloved” by Toni Morrison, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $9.31 

Winner of the 1988 Pulitzer Prize, Toni Morrison’s “Beloved” is a devastating and unflinching story of slavery and survival. Sethe was born a slave and escaped to Ohio. Yet, 18 years later, she’s still tormented by her memories of the farm and the ones she left behind. Now, her home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, whose tombstone is engraved with only “Beloved.” This story is an emotional and brutal tale of the complex legacy of slavery.

A heartbreaking historical fiction book about friendship

"The Kite Runner" by Khaled Hosseini book cover

“The Kite Runner” by Khaled Hosseini, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $10.50 

Set in Afghanistan from 1963-2001, this book tells the story of Amir, a wealthy young boy, and his best friend Hassan, the son of his father’s servant. Like brothers, the boys spend their days flying kites to escape the difficulties of their lives, until a devastating act changes their relationship forever. This is a moving tale of friendship, guilt, and redemption that follows the real-world histories of military intervention and the rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan while keeping the relationships between Amir, his father, and Hassan in the foreground.

A historical fiction story that’s part coming-of-age and part murder mystery

"Where The Crawdads Sing" by Delia Owens

“Where The Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $9.98 

In this coming-of-age story driven by the mystery of a possible murder, Kya Clark is a young woman with only one day of schooling who’s been surviving alone in the marsh since she was seven, earning herself the nickname “Marsh Girl.” When a popular boy is found dead, Kya is an immediate suspect. This novel shows both the beauty of the natural world and the violence of pain, shifting between Kya’s resilient life on the marsh and the tantalizing murder mystery. 

A lyrical, Indigenous historical fiction novel

"Where the Dead Sit Talking" by Brandon Hobson

“Where the Dead Sit Talking” by Brandon Hobson, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $13.69 

“Where the Dead Sit Talking” is an emotional and authentic coming-of-age story featuring Sequoyah, who is placed in foster care after his single mother is jailed on drug charges. Set in 1980s Oklahoma, Sequoyah is a 15-year-old Cherokee boy and a survivor of childhood trauma and abuse. He quickly bonds with another Indigenous foster girl named Rosemary, sharing their past pains and precarious present in this award-winning, profound novel of suffering and strength.

A historical fiction novel about an empowered henna artist

"The Henna Artist" by Alka Joshi

“The Henna Artist” by Alka Joshiavailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $13.98 

“The Henna Artist” is an immersive read that tells the stories of many women in Jaipur in the 1950s. At only 17, Lakshmi is the most highly sought-after henna artist in Jaipur, having recently escaped her abusive marriage. While creating beautiful henna for her wealthy clients, she becomes a confidant to many women, offering wise advice while avoiding gossip. One day, Lakshmi is confronted by her husband, who brings her a young sister she didn’t know she had. With her secure and independent life in jeopardy, Lakshmi must care for her teenage sister on her journey to a life she never knew she wanted.  

A queer historical fiction book set in Uruguay

"Cantoras" by Caroline De Robertis

“Cantoras” by Caroline De Robertis, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $15.29

In 1977, Uruguay was ruled by an authoritarian military dictatorship under which homosexuality was not just a crime, but punishable by unspeakable means. Despite the dangers, five cantoras (women who sing) find each other through a friendship that blooms to love, family, and freedom. This novel is a passionate celebration of the safety and sanctuary of found families that begins with a trip to an isolated cape. 

A familial historical fiction book that spans centuries

"Homegoing" by Yaa Ghasi

“Homegoing” by Yaa Ghasi, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $8.82 

“Homegoing” is a multi-generational story that spans 300 years and is beloved by readers for the unforgettable forces that shape families on opposite sides of the world. In 18th century Ghana, two half-sisters are born in different villages, each unaware of the other’s existence. One is married off into wealth, while the other is imprisoned in the dungeons of her sister’s castle, soon sold into the slave trade and raised in American slavery. This tale of legacy follows the descendents of each sister through centuries of colonization, migration, and war. 

A historical fiction story about spiritual growth

"The Samurai’s Garden" by Gail Tsukiyama

“The Samurai’s Garden” by Gail Tsukiyama, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $10.19

This historical fiction book is about the emotional and spiritual journey of a young Chinese painter named Stephen, set amongst the backdrop of the Japanese invasion of China in the late 1930s. When Stephen is sent to his family’s coastal home to recover from tuberculosis, he meets four new people, including Matsu — a samurai of the soul who’s dedicated himself to living a generous and nurturing life and helps Stephen gain physical, mental, and spiritual strength as the novel progresses.

A heart-racing historical fiction story about escaping slavery

"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead

“The Underground Railroad” by Colson Whitehead, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $10.25 

Cora is an enslaved young girl in Georgia, an outcast who knows she must escape before she reaches womanhood and faces even greater horrors. When Cora and her new friend decide to flee through the Underground Railroad, they soon find they’re being hunted. The pair travels from state to state, risking their lives for the chance of freedom. Colson Whitehead’s ability to instill in readers the terror that Cora feelsis astounding, making it no surprise this extraordinary title won the National Book Award in 2016 and the Pulitzer Prize in 2017.

A historical fiction novel that follows a family over 200 years

"The House of the Spirits" by Isabel Allende

“The House of the Spirits” by Isabel Allendeavailable at Amazon and Bookshop, from $12.79 

Spanning three generations of a family in Chile, “The House of the Spirits” incorporates magical realism into an epic narrative that weaves joy, love, and fate through a history of rich culture and political unrest. Beginning just after World War I, this novel follows the women of the Trueba family whose gifts, triumphs, and tragedies are reflected in each generation of beautiful and meticulously crafted characters.

An engrossing historical fiction journey in 12th century England

"The Pillars of the Earth" by Ken Follett

“The Pillars of the Earth” by Ken Follett, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $7

Ken Follett is most well-known as a bestselling thriller writer, so it’s no surprise this hugely popular historical fiction novel has all the suspense, passion, and intricacies for which he’s revered. Set in 12th century England, this medieval story of morality, betrayal, and love is about a monk who is driven to build a Gothic cathedral so great it will dawn a new age. Told with vivid detail, “The Pillars of the Earth” brings an incredible cast of characters and their hardships to life.

A historical fiction novel interwoven with magical realism

"The Night Tiger" by Yangsze Choo

“The Night Tiger” by Yangsze Choo, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $13.59 

“The Night Tiger” is a historical fiction read that incorporates elements of magical realism, ancient superstition, and mystery to create a lush and exhilarating coming-of-age story set in 1930s Malaysia. Rin is a young Chinese houseboy and Ji Lin is an apprentice dressmaker, their paths unlikely to cross until their journeys intertwine over a severed finger. Rin has 49 days to reunite his master’s missing finger with his body, lest his soul roam the earth. One night, Ji Lin’s dance partner leaves her a severed finger. Convinced it’s bad luck, she sets out to return it to its owner.

A historical fiction retelling of Indigenous heroes

"A Novel About the Navajo Marines of World War Two" by Joseph Bruchac

“A Novel About the Navajo Marines of World War Two” by Joseph Bruchac, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $6.73 

The Navajo Code Talkers were an instrumental group of native men who used their language to code messages during World War II, saving countless American lives. In this fictionalized retelling, Ned Begay is a teenage Navajo boy who becomes a code talker through rigorous Marine Corps training, fighting through some of the war’s most brutal battles. While the novel highlights the discrimination the Navajo men faced, the story is also celebration of Navajo culture and the code talker heroes of World War II.

A historical fiction read that begins in a remote village in China

"The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane" by Lisa See

“The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane” by Lisa See, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $12.91 

Li-yan is raised in a remote mountain village where the lives of those in the community revolve around tradition, ritual, and tea farming. When a stranger arrives in the first automobile the villagers have ever seen, it dawns a modern awakening for the community and some begin to reject its customs and traditions. When Li-yan has a child out of wedlock, she brings the baby to an orphanage and leaves her village in search of an education and city life while her daughter is raised in California by her adoptive parents in this story of heritage, familial bonds, and sacrifice.

An emotionally trying historical fiction book

"The Darkest Child" by Delores Phillips

“The Darkest Child” by Delores Phillips, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $10.99 

Set in 1958 Georgia, Tangy Mae is 13 years old and one of 10 children, the darkest-skinned of her siblings and dubbed the ugliest by her light-skinned mother. The siblings all suffer horrific emotional and physical abuse by their mother, so when Tangy Mae is offered a spot in a nearby high school looking to assemble its first integrated class, she knows how life-changing yet impossible escaping her mother may prove to be.

A lyrical historical fiction book

"The Water Dancer" by Ta-Nehisi Coates

“The Water Dancer” by Ta-Nehisi Coates, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $12.31 

“The Water Dancer” is a historical fiction novel that combines elements of magical realism in an engaging and moving story of memory, family, and slavery. Hiram Walker is the enslaved Black son of a plantation owner who has the ability to remember everything except his mother, taken and sold by his father when Hiram was only nine. After Hiram has a near-death experience, he decides he must escape the plantation and rescue his family in this dramatic and heart-racing journey. 

A devastating historical fiction read

"The Boy in the Striped Pajamas" by John Boyne

“The Boy in the Striped Pajamas” by John Boyne, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $5 

When Bruno comes home from school one day, he discovers that his father received a promotion and the family must move far away. In the new house, there’s no one with whom Bruno can play so he decides to explore, discovering a tall fence that stretches forever and separates him from the people on the other side. This book focuses on Bruno’s perspective so the readers’ understanding of the Holocaust’s events develops alongside the main character.

A vibrant historical fiction story set during the Civil War

"Gone with the Wind" by Margaret Mitchell

“Gone with the Wind” by Margaret Mitchell, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $3.95

This classic historical fiction novel was originally published in 1936 but is set in Georgia in 1861 during the Civil War. The story focuses on Scarlett O’Hara, the spoiled daughter of a wealthy plantation owner whose life is forever changed by the Civil War. This is an intense book that captures the depth of transformation during the war, known for the manipulative and selfish ways of the unlikeable main character. “Gone with the Wind” won a Pulitzer Prize in 1937 and is widely considered a great American novel.

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The top 6 online LSAT prep programs, including one that’s completely free

the best LSAT prep services 4x3
  • The LSAT tests skills needed in law school, from logical reasoning to persuasive writing.
  • The best online LSAT prep courses can cost anywhere from $0 to $2,148, all with different features.
  • We outlined 6 of the best LSAT programs below, comparing cost, score-increase guarantees, and more.

The LSAT is designed to assess the most important skills required for succeed in law school, including critical reading, analytical reasoning, logical reasoning, and persuasive writing skills. The Law School Admission Council (LSAC) – which creates and administers the LSAT – uses data from a survey of faculty at about 90 ABA-approved law schools to determine what those skills are and then format each year’s LSAT to best measure them.

So, spending 20 hours per week re-learning algebra or how to interpret graphs would be a poor use of a prospective law student’s time. Instead, you’re better off strengthening deductive and inductive reasoning skills and learning how to organize evidence into a cogent written argument.

Prospective law students can find free LSAT preparation tools online, or pay up to $2,148 for a course that provides structure and advantages such as one-on-one tutoring and support from top LSAT scorers. Most programs, like The Princeton Review and LSAT Max, offer money-back guarantees tied to a certain score improvement (with conditions attached).

Comparison of standardized test prep chart

The prep course you choose depends upon variables such as budget, schedule, and what your starting score and goal score are. Below, you can find a few of the most popular LSAT prep options available online, and a short rundown of what you can expect to pay and receive from each.

The 6 best online LSAT prep programs:

Princeton Review

Princeton Review

Price range: $800 – $1,800

Pros: Score-increase guarantee; 8,000 LSAT practice questions, and six proctored practice tests

Cons: No app; private tutoring can be expensive

The Princeton Review offers a self-paced online course for $799, a fundamentals course with 30 hours of classroom time for $1,049 (originally $1,099), and an LSAT 165+ course for $1,599 (originally $1,699). You can also opt for private LSAT tutoring for $1,800.

The most popular, according to the company, is the LSAT 165+, which guarantees you (under certain conditions) an LSAT score of 165, which should make you competitive for a top 25 law school. LSAT 165+ comes with 84 hours of instruction by an LSAT expert, 150 hours of online drills and explanations, six full-length practice LSAT tests, and more than 8,000 LSAT exam-style questions. You can find out more info here.



Price range: $600 – $1,500

Pros: Score-increase guarantee; 90 prep tests; weekly office hours for live Q&As; 24/7 email and phone support, and there’s an app

Cons: Minimal explanations of practice test questions outside of Q&As

LSAT Max offers three programs with more than 100 hours of video detailing test-taking strategies and techniques. Additionally, students have access to weekly office hours, four textbooks, and analytics to determine weaknesses and maximize prep time. Lifetime access, a money-back guarantee of a higher score for two of the programs, and the ability to simulate an actual digital LSAT test also help set this program apart. 

Its three program tiers are LSAT Max 60 for $595, which lasts 60 days; LSATMax 180, which runs $995 and lasts for 180 days; and LSATMax 365 for $1,400 that gives you year-long access. Each comes with one free hour of private tutoring, and the latter two also include a higher score guarantee. 


LSAT courses Blueprint

Price range: $700 – $1,500

Pros: Score-increase guarantee; 85 full-length practice exams; personalized study plans, and online office hours 6 days per week

Cons: No app; tutoring can be expensive

Blueprint offers three options for its LSAT program: a three-month plan for $699 or $599 with promo code FINAL100 ($747 total if you pay by month rather than a one-time payment), a six-month plan for $999 or $799 with promo code FINAL200 ($1,494 total if you pay by month), and a 12-month plan for $1,499 (or $2,988 if you pay by month). The six- and 12-month plans also come with score-increase guarantees. 

Students receive 100+ hours of instruction between video lessons and live online office hours, plus a study plan, adaptive homework, and over 8,500 real LSAT questions with explanations.

Khan Academy

Khan Academy LSAT prep

Price range: Free

Pros: Free; customized lesson plan, and there’s an app available

Cons: No money-back guarantee; few exams and questions; no score increase guarantee, and no reliable way to get questions answered

For those on a tight budget, Khan Academy, founded to bring education to anyone with internet access, has an entirely free prep program. The company reportedly collaborated with the makers of the LSAT to offer students access to thousands of official practice questions from real tests.

Students can complete problem sets, timed practice tests, instructional videos, as well as get access to strategies, tips, and more. The program is also designed to help you determine your strengths and weaknesses in order to create a custom practice plan that takes your goal score, schedule, and starting skill strengths into account.


Magoosh LSAT Prep

Price range: $279 – $2,148

Pros: Score-increase guarantee; email assistance; relatively affordable; free trial available, and there’s an app available

Cons: No tutoring; fewer practice questions than other options

Magoosh’s premium LSAT plan — which comes with a guarantee of an LSAT score increase of five points — gets you eight full tests, more than 7,000 LSAT questions with video explanations, 200 Logic Game explanations, timed practice tests, and email assistance from tutors. 

Magoosh offers two LSAT premium options: The one-month program, which costs $279 ($180 plus $99 for a year of LSAT Prep Plus), and the year-long version for $2,148 (currently discounted for $299 total). The latter is essentially the same as the one-month premium version but offers longer access to materials. 


LSAT courses Kaplan

Price range: $700 – $1,200 

Pros: Score-increase guarantee; varied learning materials; many LSAT questions; interaction from instructors, and there’s an app

Cons: Fewer hours of instruction; classes and tutoring can be expensive, and class sizes may be larger

Kaplan offers three currently discounted LSAT programs: self-paced for $700 (originally $799), and a live online lecture for $1200 (originally $1,299). 

Kaplan’s live online courses include eight four-hour sessions, two proctored practice exams, more than 60 LSAT exams with self-proctoring tools, and LSAT prep books. With an upgrade to Kaplan’s Live Online PLUS, you also get three hours of one-on-one coaching.

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22 of the best classic books to read in your lifetime

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Young woman reading classic book
  • Classic books have characters, stories, or messages that withstand time.
  • All of the books on this list were published before 1987, though most are much older.
  • Want more books? Check out our best fantasy books, science fiction books, and beach reads.

While many readers prefer new releases, classic books are notable works of literature that withstand stand time, memorable for their beautiful prose, complex characters, or ability to capture life at the time they were written. Our definition of a “classic” shifts every decade or so, not only as great books age into classic status, but also as our understanding of humanity shifts.

All of the books on this list were published before 1987, though most are much older, dating back as late as the 11th century. In order to still be cherished, classic novels must have themes or messages that resonate with today’s readers and each book on this list was chosen because it is still a revered piece of literature – many of them remain at the top of Goodreads’ “Most Read Classics” list.

Whether you’re looking for an intense Great Depression story or one of the first novels ever published, this list of can’t-miss classic books has a read you’ll love.

22 classic books to read in your lifetime:

A Pulitzer Prize-winning classic book


“Beloved” by Toni Morrison, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $9.31

In 1988, Toni Morrison won the Pulitzer Prize for her 1987 novel “Beloved,” chosen as “a work of assured, immense distinction, destined to become an American classic.” The book follows Sethe, a woman who was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, haunted by her early memories and the ghost of her unnamed baby, whose grave is only marked “Beloved.” This is a deeply emotional and profoundly moving story about the resilience of the human spirit, psychological wounds, and hope despite the pain of our pasts.

A classic novel about four sisters set during the Civil War

"Little Women"

“Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott by Amazon and Bookshop, from $13.79

“Little Women” was first published in 1869 and is based on Louisa May Alcott’s early life with her own family. It follows four sisters — Jo, Beth, Meg, and Amy — who are trying to survive in New England during the Civil War. Depending on only each other while their father fights in the war and their mother struggles to support them, the girls can think of little else but their father’s safety in this story of love, sisterhood, war, and identity. Readers love this novel for its beauty and simplicity, for the timeless life lessons, and the captivating individualism of each sister.

A classic story of teenage angst and rebellion

The Catcher in the Rye JD Salinger

“Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $9.19

This classic was published in 1951 and garnered significant attention in the ’50s and ’60s for its use of profanity and sexual language. This story of teenage angst takes place over three days, following 16-year-old Holden Caulfield between the conclusion of his school term in Pennsylvania and his return home to Manhattan. Holden is regularly admired as a complex character with both a childish and adult-like voice, on the cusp of adulthood though far from emotionally prepared. Though told from Holden’s perspective, J.D. Salinger manages an emotional undercurrent to the story that allows readers to understand the boy’s psyche deeper than even he himself can. 

A classic, award-winning feminist staple

The Color Purple

“The Color Purple” by Alice Walker, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.99

“The Color Purple” won both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award in 1983, chosen for the latter because it is “rich with passion, pain, inspiration, and an indomitable love of life.” This story is about sisters Celie and Nettie who were separated at birth and reconnected through letters. This book is known and still revered for its heartbreakingly honest truths, one of the first novels to shed light on the domestic and sexual abuse suffered by Black women, and a vulnerable story of redemption and bravery. 

A swoon-worthy classic romance

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

“Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $6.26

In a whirlwind romance novel starring Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy, “Pride and Prejudice” is a funny and flirty high society love story. Elizabeth is an independent and headstrong woman juxtaposed to Mr. Darcy’s arrogant and conceited ways. Though neither character is particularly fond of the other in the beginning, their romance evolves from a budding friendship built on snide remarks and witty banter, culminating to an iconic love story that tackles big themes of class, marriage, and first impressions that’s been cherished since its debut in 1813.

A 1957 classic novel about Japanese internment camps

"No-No Boy"

“No-No Boy” by John Okada, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $15

During World War II, “no-no boys” were young men who answered “no” twice on a military questionnaire which asked if they would serve in the armed forces and pledge loyalty to the United States. This novel is about a fictional man named Ichiro who spent two years in an internment camp and another two years in prison after becoming a “no-no boy,” an important memorialization of the long withstanding suffering of Asian people in America.

A classic sci-fi dystopian novel


“1984” by George Orwell, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $7.48

In this 1949 novel that predicted a dystopian future, political satirist George Orwell introduced the concept of “Big Brother,” the idea of an all-seeing government that aims to control not only the narrative of the public, but of individuals. Winston Smith works for the Ministry of Truth, rewriting histories with lies that fit Big Brother’s agenda. This story is imaginative and powerful, a startlingly frightening world through which readers continue to find lasting messages as our idea of privacy shifts with the growth of technology. 

A classic fictional memoir about a biracial man

"The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man"

“The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man” by James Weldon Johnson, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $5.99

This is a fictional memoir which was originally published anonymously in 1912, a portrait of Blackness in America during the time. The narrator is an unnamed man, a biracial jazz musician who closets his African-American identity and allows himself to “pass” as a white man after witnessing a horrific act of racism. This classic stands as a testament to the complexities of race in America at the turn of the century, an extraordinary novel that influenced and inspired writers during the Harlem Renaissance.

A masterpiece of classic literature

22 YA books To Kill a Mockingbird

“To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $7.19

Considered one of the great American classics, “To Kill a Mockingbird” takes place during a time of turbulent prejudice and racism in the American South. Through the perspective of a young girl, Scout, the story is part coming-of-age and part courtroom fiction as Scout’s father defends an innocent Black man accused of a terrible crime. This book is heart-wrenching, both a struggle against blind hatred and the growing understanding of morality in the growth towards conscious adulthood. 

A gothic, romantic classic

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

“Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Brontё, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $8.28

Jane is an orphaned young woman who, after finishing school, is offered a governess position at Thornfield Hall, where she meets and begins to fall in love with the mysterious and brooding Mr. Rochester. When the two decide to get married, secrets from Mr. Rochester’s past are quickly revealed and Jane risks heartbreak once again. This novel is gothic and romantic, but readers still love this vivid 1846 classic today for Jane’s strong, intelligent, and independent character.

A 1937 classic book of love and identity

"Their Eyes Were Watching God"

“Their Eyes Were Watching God” by Zora Neale Hurston, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $7.30

This book is about Janie Crawford, an African-American woman who recounts her life as she searches for her identity through the stories of her past. “Their Eyes Were Watching God” was out of print for nearly 30 years until 1978, initially rejected by readers for its strong Black female protagonist. In Janie’s search to be defined as something other than property, this novel is an impressive story of one woman’s love for her husbands, her life, and her destiny despite trials and abuses that would otherwise crush a spirit. 

A foundational classic

"The Dream of The Red Chamber"

“The Dream of the Red Chamber” by Cáo Xuěqín, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $11.95

One of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature, “The Dream of the Red Chamber” was finally published in 1791 when Gao E and Cheng Weiyun collected the manuscripts and finished the novel. It is a captivating family story of the rise and fall of a wealthy and significant house as well as the romantic plot of a young heir and his love interests. This novel weaves entertaining scenes with elegant descriptions in a story that is as insightful and psychological as it is riveting and enchanting.

A 19th century classic horror novel

Horror books Dracula

“Dracula” by Bram Stoker, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $8.80

“Dracula” is a gothic horror novel far more evil and complex than the vampire stories of modern literature. Written as a series of letters, newspaper articles, and diary entries, the story follows Count Dracula as he moves from Transylvania to England on a mission to spread the undead curse as a group of civilians hunt him. This novel swirls with horror and gothic themes but also portrays messages about Victorian-era fears surrounding sexuality and disease. 

A classic story of one Indian man’s journey to holiness

"The Guide"

“The Guide” by R.K. Narayan, available at Amazon, $17

Raju has just been released from prison and finds refuge in an abandoned temple. When a man comes to the temple seeking advice, Raju is mistaken for a holy man and decides to fake his new role. Soon, word of Raju’s holiness spreads. When a drought hits, it seems as though God himself is testing Raju’s newfound role. The author uses a simple writing style to convey the complex issues in this novel, a classic fiction tale with an ambiguous ending.

A classic novel about the Dust Bowl migration

"The Grapes of Wrath"

“Grapes of Wrath” by John Steinbeck, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $12.29

A tale of the Dust Bowl migration during the Great Depression, this 1939 classic won the Pulitzer Prize in 1940. “Grapes of Wrath” features the Joad family as they leave their family farm in Oklahoma to travel towards a promise of greater opportunity in California. Many families, including the Joads, were driven from their farms due to nearly hopeless economic and agricultural prospects, and this novel is a fictional yet historically accurate epic chronicle of the pain felt by powerless families during the Great Depression. 

An important classic book by an adored poet

"Not Without Laughter"

“Not Without Laughter” by Langston Hughes, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.49

Langston Hughes was best known as a poet and social activist during the Harlem Renaissance, remembered for portraying the honest hardships and triumphs of Black life. “Not Without Laughter” is a story of racial division, one of Sandy’s, the protagonist, coming-of-age post-slavery. Langston Hughes addresses poverty and racism with an air of hope for the future while understanding the generational hardships of the past. Readers meet Sandy’s family, learning their histories and dreams in a novel that radiates with the beauty of Hughes’ poetry.

A young adult allegorical classic

"Lord of the Flies"

“Lord of the Flies” by William Golding, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $5.99

Noted still today as a tale of morality, “Lord of the Flies” is a young adult novel from 1954 about a group of British boys who are stranded on an island after a mysterious plane crash. Though they initially celebrate the lack of adult supervision, the boys soon attempt to govern themselves, any small established order quickly deteriorating in the face of evil. While superficially a thrilling adventure story, this novel is one of great contrasting themes: individualism vs. societal mentalities, morality vs. immorality, and selfishness vs. selflessness. 

A thoughtful classic novel with a nameless narrator

"Invisible Man"

 “Invisible Man” by Ralph Ellison, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $10.31

Led by a nameless protagonist, this book addresses complex racial issues within nationalism, societal expectations, and individualism. The narrator feels like an invisible man because he struggles to secure an identity where his thoughts, opinions, and desires aren’t subject to judgment. Though initially published anonymously, “Invisible Man” won the National Book Award in 1953, making Ralph Ellison the first Black man to be awarded the prestige. This is a touching story about the uncertainty of identity for many Black people in the 1900s. 

A 1937 Steinbeck classic

of mice and men

“Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $8.18

George and Lennie share an unlikely friendship but the same dream: To own a home and land of their own. While working as laborers in California fields, the men are hired on a farm with a chance at their dream until a terrible accident changes their friendship and their future. This book is an exciting roller coaster of emotion, boasting tense moments evoking fear and heartbreak for characters readers can’t help but want to protect. With a heartbreaking ending, this Great Depression-era classic is one loved for the brilliant simplicity and cruelty within the pages. 

A classic publication about World War II


“Catch-22” by Joseph Heller, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $12.22

“Catch-22” is a World War II novel remembered for its humor despite danger, destruction, and insanity. This classic is about Yossarian, a pilot in Italy during World War II whose biggest concern isn’t his enemy, but the continued expectation to complete dangerous missions. Itching for an out, Yossarian knows his request will be in violation of Catch-22, where men are considered mad if they continue to fly perilous combat missions, but sane and ineligible for relief if they request resignation. With the author’s personal experience as a bombardier, this novel is a perfect depiction of the chaotic, traumatic, and taxing aspects of war. 

An ancient classic novel that brings Japanese culture to life

"The Tale of Genji"

“The Tale of Genji” by Murasaki Shikibu, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $15.64

Known as one of the world’s first novels, “The Tale of Genji” dates back approximately to the year 1001 and is hailed as a hallmark of classic Japanese literature. This book is a portrait of medieval Japanese culture, following the romantic courts of the prince Genji and his search for the meaning of life. Over 1,000 pages long, the lush descriptions and intermittent poetry hold this classic as an esteemed masterpiece. 

A startling dystopian classic

"Brave New World"

“Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $11.55

In “Brave New World”, author Aldous Huxley imagines a dystopian society that may appear utopian with remarkable advancements in genetics, pharmaceuticals, and technology. In this imagined World State, humans are artificially produced and sorted into predetermined classes, tasked to serve a ruling order and challenged only by Bernard Marx, an outsider who values individuality despite his status as an outcast. This novel continues to terrify readers with the realities it mirrors, eerily relevant despite its original publication in 1932. 

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Harvard’s free online CS50 courses teach computer science to absolute beginners – and are some of edX’s most popular classes

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Harvard edX
  • Harvard offers its popular CS50 computer science classes online through the e-learning platform edX.
  • You can enroll for free, or pay a fee to receive a certificate to add to your resume or LinkedIn.
  • Below, find a list of Harvard’s online CS50 courses, as well as information about longer programs.

Whether you’re interested in pursuing one of the happiest jobs in America or one of the fastest-growing career paths, there’s a good chance it involves computer science. Coveted roles in data science, software engineering, and cybersecurity all require a comfortable understanding of how computers and computational systems work.

If you’re interested in learning the basics of computer science – and from one of the top schools in the worldHarvard University offers its CS50 classes and professional certificates through edX, an e-learning platform co-founded by Harvard.

CS50 classes are beginner computer science courses, with the introductory CS50 course being the largest one on Harvard’s campus. Its popularity is reflected online as well: Since being adapted into a free virtual version, nearly three million people have enrolled, making it one of the top 100 edX courses of all time.

Below, you’ll find all the free Harvard CS50 courses currently available (with the option of a paid certificate of completion for all of them). Topics range from game development to web programming with Python and Java.

You can also enroll in a paid CS50 professional certificate program, such as the data science program, which compiles multiple related courses together to master a skill and provide certification for your resume or LinkedIn profile. You can find the full list of those programs here, including CS50’s AP Computer Science Principles ($358.20), which offers high schoolers HarvardX certification as well as AP credit upon completion of the AP exam.

Below are all 8 free Harvard CS50 courses available on edX:

CS50’s Introduction to Computer Science

CS50 Introduction to Computer Science

Time: 12 weeks

Cost: Free; $199 for a certificate

In this introductory course, students learn concepts like abstraction, algorithms, data structures, encapsulation, resource management, security, software engineering, and web development.

They also become familiar with programming languages such as C, Python, SQL, JavaScript, CSS, and HTML. By the end, students develop and present a final programming project to their peers. 

CS50’s Introduction to Computer Science (button)
CS50’s Web Programming with Python and JavaScript

edX CS50 Python and Javascript

Time: 12 weeks 

Cost: Free; $199 for a certificate 

Students learn about data, design, scalability, security, and user experience. Using hands-on projects, they become well versed in writing and using APIs; creating interactive UIs, and leveraging cloud services like GitHub and Heroku. The class touches on HTML, SQL, JavaScript, Front Ends, Flask, and more. 

CS50’s Web Programming with Python and JavaScript (button)
CS50’s Introduction to Game Development

edX CS50 Web Programming Gaming

Time: 12 weeks 

Cost: Free; $199 for a certificate 

Learn about the development of 2D and 3D interactive games. Using lectures and hands-on projects, students explore the design of popular games such as Super Mario Bros., Pokémon, Angry Birds, and more.

Computer Science for Game Development by Harvard University (button)
CS50’s Introduction to Artificial Intelligence with Python

edX CS50 courses

Time: 7 weeks 

Cost: Free; $199 for a certificate

In this introductory course to AI, students learn to use machine learning in Python. Through hands-on projects, students are exposed to the theory behind graph search algorithms, classification, optimization, reinforcement learning, and other topics. They also learn about adversarial search, logical inference, Markov models, and natural language processing.

CS50’s Introduction to Artificial Intelligence with Python (button)
CS50 for Lawyers

edX CS50 For Lawyers

Time: 10 weeks 

Cost: Free; $199 for a certificate

This is a variant of Harvard’s introductory computer science course that’s been designed specifically for lawyers and law students to impart a deeper understanding of the legal implications of a client’s technological decisions. The original CS50 takes a bottom-up approach, but this course begins with high-level concepts and related design decisions first.

CS50 for Lawyers (button)
CS50’s Computer Science for Business Professionals

edX CS50 For Business Professionals

Time: 6 weeks 

Cost: Free; $199 for a certificate

This course is designed for business professionals such as managers, product managers, founders, and decision-makers so they can make technological decisions even if they’re not actual tech experts. Unlike CS50’s bottom-up approach, this course is also top-down, emphasizing mastery of high-level concepts and related decisions. Topics include computational thinking and web development.

CS50’s Computer Science for Business Professionals (button)
CS50’s Understanding Technology

edX CS50's Understanding Technology

Time: 6 weeks 

Cost: Free; $199 for a certificate

This is Harvard’s CS50 course for students who use technology every day but don’t necessarily understand how it all works or how to troubleshoot. Harvard designed this version of their class to help fill in the gaps. Basic concepts like hardware, the Internet, multimedia, security, programming, and web development are all covered. 

CS50’s Understanding Technology (button)
CS50’s Mobile App Development with React Native

edX CS50 Mobile App

Time: 13 weeks 

Cost: Free

Here, students pick up where the introduction to CS50 leaves off, learning about mobile app development with React Native and modern JavaScript (including ES6 and ES7) as well as JSX, a JavaScript extension. After hands-on projects, students implement an app entirely of their own design in a final project.

*This course is currently archived, but is still available to audit.

CS50’s Mobile App Development with React Native (button)

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15 Pulitzer Prize book winners and finalists from 2021 that belong on your reading list

Collage of Pulitzer Prize winner books, including The Night Watchman, The Dead Are Arising, and Postcolonial Love Poem 4x3
This year’s winners and finalists included “Minor Feelings” by Cathy Park Hong and a biography about Malcolm X.

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  • The Pulitzer Prize has been awarded for excellence in journalism and the arts since 1917.
  • The literature categories include fiction, history, biography, poetry, and general nonfiction.
  • These are the book winners and finalists of the Pulitzer Prize in 2021.

Since 1917, the Pulitzer Prize has been a mark of excellence in journalism and the arts, with a panel of acclaimed judges annually selecting profound pieces of journalism, drama, music, and literature from thousands of submissions. In this list, we’ve highlighted the Pulitzer Prize winners and finalists for fiction, history, biography, poetry, and general nonfiction in 2021. Each of these was written by American authors and many feature American life or history, though each category has different requirements.

Every book on this list earned its place as an incredible work of fiction, nonfiction, or poetry. If you are looking for a profound read, these Pulitzer Prize finalists and winners can offer you just that.

The 2021 Pulitzer Prize book winners and finalists in literature:





General Nonfiction


Winner: 2021 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction

Book cover for "The Night Watchman" by Louise Erdrich

“The Night Watchman” by Louise Erdrich, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $13.19

Based on the life of Louise Erdrich’s grandfather, this novel follows Thomas Wazhashk, a factory watchman and Chippewa council member, along with his community as they fight a Congressional bill that threatened to displace and terminate Native tribes in 1953. Louise Erdrich’s work is widely considered central to the Native American Renaissance literary movement, with this novel chosen for its “majestic” and “polyphonic” qualities. 

Finalist: 2021 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction

Book cover for "A Registry of My Passage Upon the Earth" by Daniel Mason

“A Registry of My Passage Upon the Earth” by Daniel Mason, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $16.99

The culmination of a 15-year project, “A Registry of My Passage Upon the Earth” is a short story collection by author and physician Daniel Mason. Spanning from London to Rio de Janeiro, these moving stories have individually earned accolades such as the Pushcart Prize and a National Magazine Award as they tell an array of survival stories from a mother seeking a cure for her ill child to a telegraph operator who discovers a companion in the Amazon. 

Finalist: 2021 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction

Book cover for "Telephone" by Percival Everett

“Telephone” by Percival Everett, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $13.29

In this tender new novel hailed for its “narrative ingenuity” by the Pulitzer judges, Zach Wells is a geologist and paleobiologist who loves to play chess with his daughter. When she begins to slowly deteriorate from a mysterious illness, Zach is driven by loss and grief through an unrealistic rescue mission, desperate for someone to save. This novel is clever and deeply emotional, a story catering to readers’ desires and written by a self-proclaimed “reader’s writer”


Winner: 2021 Pulitzer Prize for History

Book cover for "Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America" by Marcia Chatelain

“Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America” by Marcia Chatelain, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $14.79

Since the dawn of the fight for civil rights, many marginalized Americans have looked to entrepreneurship and economic opportunities as a means to achieve equality. Fast food franchises have offered success to Black entrepreneurs and brought business to struggling communities while simultaneously extracting wealth and preventing the potential advancement of workers. Marcia Chatelain is a professor of history and African American studies at Georgetown University whose account of the fast-food industry was chosen for its ability to “masterfully illustrate how the fight for civil rights has been intertwined with the fate of Black business.” 

Finalist: 2021 Pulitzer Prize for History

Book cover for "The Deviant's War: The Homosexual vs. the United States of America" by Eric Cervini

“The Deviant’s War: The Homosexual vs. the United States of America” by Eric Cervini, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $17.99

Praised by the judges as “a painstakingly researched and engagingly written study”, this account highlights the fight for gay rights a generation before Stonewall. The book follows astronomer Frank Kameny who was dismissed from his government job in 1957 after an investigation into his rumored homosexuality. Entirely based on first-hand accounts, FBI records, and 40,000 personal documents, Eric Cervini tells the necessary and true story of the first organization to protest the persecution of gay federal employees. 

Finalist: 2021 Pulitzer Prize for History

Book cover for "The Three-Cornered War: The Union, the Confederacy, and Native Peoples in the Fight for the West" by Megan Kate Nelson

“The Three-Cornered War: The Union, the Confederacy, and Native Peoples in the Fight for the West” by Megan Kate Nelson, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $16.39

A perfect new read for American history buffs, “The Three-Cornered War” reframes the Civil War as one involving the North, the South — and the West. Historian and author Megan Kate Nelson introduces nine individuals who fought for control of the West in a new narration that demonstrates the effects of the Civil War on Indigenous people as well as the rest of the nation. This historical account is based on letters, diaries, and military records, cited by judges as “a lively and well-crafted Civil War narrative that expands our understanding of the conflict’s Western theaters.”


Winner: 2021 Pulitzer Prize for Biography

Book cover for "The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X" by Les Payne and Tamara Payne

“The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X” by Les Payne and Tamara Payne, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $18.99

The winner of numerous 2020 literary awards (including a National Book Award), “The Dead Are Arising” draws on hundreds of interviews over 30 years to create an encompassing portrait of Malcolm X. Written by the late Les Payne and finished by his daughter after his passing in 2018, it corrects the historical records and demonstrates Malcom X’s centrality in the Black freedom movement. 

Finalist: 2021 Pulitzer Prize for Biography

Book cover for "Red Comet: The Short Life and Blazing Art of Sylvia Plath" by Heather Clark

“Red Comet: The Short Life and Blazing Art of Sylvia Plath” by Heather Clark, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $19.40

Heather Clark used letters, manuscripts, and official records to create this biography of the short but brilliant life of Sylvia Plath. While many focus on her depression and suicide, Heather Clark rewrites Plath’s life through the lens of her world: Plath’s motivations, desires, and her experiences with a flawed mental health industry. This biography restores Sylvia Plath’s reputation by highlighting her intellect, achievements, and art. 

Finalist: 2021 Pulitzer Prize for Biography

Book cover for "Stranger in the Shogun's City: A Japanese Woman and Her World" by Amy Stanley

“Stranger in the Shogun’s City: A Japanese Woman and Her World” by Amy Stanley, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $15.99

Tsueno was the daughter of a Buddhist priest who ran away to Edo, one of the largest cities in the world, after failing to become the flawless, traditional woman her parents imagined. Tsueno’s story in a budding metropolis offers a unique lens to 19th century Japan, exploring the social conventions and economic boom through the life of an unconventional and strong-willed woman. 


Winner: 2021 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry

Book cover for "Postcolonial Love Poem" by Natalie Diaz

“Postcolonial Love Poem” by Natalie Diaz, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $11.24

Natalie Diaz is an honored and award-winning Mojave poet whose second poetry collection was chosen by Pulitzer judges for its ability to “explore what it means to love and be loved in an America beset by conflict.” Her poems flow with love, desire, joy, and grief through the bodies of Indigenous, Latinx, Black, and brown women wounded by America. It goes without saying that the poems in this collection are powerful, but also hopeful, searching for the good in America’s future through our ability to choose love.

Finalist: 2021 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry

Book cover for "A Treatise on Stars" by Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge

“A Treatise on Stars” by Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $16.51

In this ethereal, meditative, and spiritual poetry collection, Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge connects life and nature in cosmic poetry that pulls on the beauty of our experiences. Berssenbrugge communicates through the emotional effects of her poetry, drawing on the senses to give readers of light and motion, making it a truly unique expression of language through poetry.

Finalist: 2021 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry

Book cover for "In the Lateness of the World" by Carolyn Forché

“In the Lateness of the World” by Carolyn Forché, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $13.99

Praised by the Pulitzer judges for her use of “imagery of beauty and horror,” Carolyn Forché’s first new collection in 17 years traverses past and present to sift through the aftermath of history at the end of the world. These poems serve as a testament to the things and people we have lost and the spaces that remain. In poetry full of detail and unafraid to shy away from sadness, readers grieve for humanity while feeling the depths of solitude.

General Nonfiction

Winner: 2021 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction

Book cover for "Wilmington's Lie: The Murderous Coup of 1989 and the Rise of White Supremacy" by David Zucchino

“Wilmington’s Lie: The Murderous Coup of 1989 and the Rise of White Supremacy” by David Zucchino, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $16.20

David Zucchino is a contributing writer for the New York Times and a previous Pulitzer Prize winner for journalism in 1989. In this book, David Zucchino writes a gripping account of insurrection, racially-motivated rebellion, and the rise of white supremacy during a coup 1898. Using individual accounts derived from newspaper articles, diaries, and letters, this forgotten chapter of racial and political terrorism in North Carolina is finally revealed.

Finalist: 2021 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction

Book cover for "Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning" by Cathy Park Hong

“Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning” by Cathy Park Hong, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $13.70

Cathy Park Hong is a poet and essayist who combines her personal experiences and cultural criticism to expose a silenced perspective of the “minor feelings” endured by Asian people in America. The author’s experience as a successful poet is clear in her writing: The sentiments are searching and honest, portraying a consciousness shared by many Asian American immigrants in the lies they’re told about their racial identity.

Finalist: 2021 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction

Book cover for "Yellow Bird: Oil, Murder, and a Woman's Search for Justice in Indian Country" by Sierra Crane Murdoch

“Yellow Bird: Oil, Murder, and a Woman’s Search for Justice in Indian Country” by Sierra Crane Murdoch, available on Amazon and Bookshop from $13.71

When Lissa Yellow Bird was released from prison in 2009, she found her reservation changed by an oil boom. When she learned of a young oil worker’s disappearance, she set out on a complex mission for redemption and truth. Sierra Crane Murdoch used eight years of investigation to report on the story of two communities: one of an Indigenous reservation forever altered by the changing landscape of an oil boom, and another of the oil workers desperate for hope in an economic recession.

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I loved Coursera’s free online social work course from the University of Michigan so much that I decided to go to graduate school

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Emily Hein wearing a NYU t-shirt outside in New York City
The University of Michigan’s free online social work course (offered through Coursera) encouraged me to apply to grad school in the field. I applied shortly after finishing the class and will attend NYU’s Silver School of Social Work in the fall.

Table of Contents: Static

The decision to go to grad school is a daunting one: Committing time, money, and effort to a major career decision that won’t actually manifest until years later feels slightly terrifying.

I had been curious about how I could fuse my background in journalism with my passion for mental health advocacy, so I took to Coursera and discovered the University of Michigan’s Social Work: Practice, Policy and Research MasterTrack (one of the school’s many online offerings). I enrolled in the free, self-paced introductory course to help me decide if I wanted to commit to the full MasterTrack, which takes about 6-8 months to complete, or even a longer degree.

Social Work Practice: Advocating Social Justice and Change (small)

It was a small preview into the history and importance of social work, an opportunity for self-reflection and understanding my role in promoting social justice, and a test in balancing a full-time job with part-time learning. Three weeks later, I flew through nearly the entire intro course in two sittings – and felt ready to apply to part-time graduate programs in social work.

Sure enough, I recently committed to a part-time, on-campus Master of Social Work at NYU, and I feel exponentially more confident in that decision after taking the University of Michigan’s free online course.

Keep reading to learn about the free course, the University of Michigan’s social work MasterTrack program, and more:

Coursera Mastertrack

Course structure

Social Work Practice: Advocating Social Justice and Change breaks its instruction down into four main sections:

  • What Is Social Work?
  • Integrated Themes of Social Work
  • A History of Social Work
  • Privilege, Oppression, Diversity, and Social Justice

All modules include videos from practicing social workers, alumni, and faculty from Michigan’s School of Social Work. This was the selling point for me: Hearing firsthand how each speaker has used their experience in social work to better understand others’ perspectives, empower those they work with, and advocate for the communities they care so deeply about.

However, it’s important to note that the vast majority of the course is presented through these video accounts. The videos are accessible and include captioning, but there are far more of them than there are discussion opportunities, quizzes, or interactive materials (although there are multiple occurrences of these other learning tools as well).

Timing and cost

The course is estimated to take about 12 hours to complete, and when I enrolled, it was suggested that I dedicate one week to each module – or three hours each week – to learning. Because I found the course material very engaging, I completed more than half the course in four hours on a Saturday night. The remaining modules were completed in two smaller chunks on weeknights. It’ll depend on your learning style how you want to spread out your study time.

Coursera Social Work certificate

The course is free to audit, though you can also pay $49 for a certificate of completion to add to your LinkedIn or resume. I appreciated having the graded quizzes and certificate for accountability and career development, and the assessments were pretty straightforward – I enjoyed the quizzes and didn’t find them particularly challenging.

If you’re looking to pursue the Social Work: Practice, Policy and Research MasterTrack, then the certificate is worth it because its cost can be applied to the MasterTrack. If not, then the value of the certificate will depend on your career ambitions and learning style – it might just be worth it to audit the course for free.

Enrolling in the MasterTrack and applying to the MSW

Free University of Michigan courses 4x3

If you finish the course and would like to take the entire MasterTrack, you can enroll directly through Coursera with no required application. The MasterTrack is $2,000, and a detailed FAQ page explains the enrollment process.

If you’d like to apply to Michigan’s School of Social Work, you can submit an Eligibility Review Request to the university before enrolling in the MasterTrack. This form, which requires uploading your resume, is used to assess whether you’d be eligible to apply the MasterTrack certificate to an online or in-person Master of Social Work degree at UMich. It is not automatically supplemental to an MSW application and MasterTrack students are not guaranteed acceptance.

The completion of the MasterTrack certificate reduces the master’s degree from 60 credits to 45, potentially saving a significant amount of time and tuition costs. However, it’s important to note that the MasterTrack certificate is only applicable to Michigan’s MSW programs – it can’t be applied to other schools or programs.

Social Work: Practice, Policy and Research MasterTrack™ Certificate from the University of Michigan (small)

How the course informed my own career

I loved Social Work Practice: Advocating Social Justice and Change so much that it inspired me to apply to MSW programs of my own, and I’m proud to be attending NYU’s Silver School of Social Work in the fall.

I’m NYC-based, and NYU’s Extended Program allowed me to enroll part-time in night and weekend courses while keeping my full-time job.

Though I could have enrolled in Michigan’s online program, I felt in-person courses were the right fit for me following over a year of work from home. For those who live in Michigan or prefer online learning, I’d still recommend the MasterTrack program.

The bottom line

If you’re curious about others’ professional experiences in social work, passionate about social justice, and considering social work as a career, I’d highly recommend this free course as a starting point. The engaging videos, varying perspectives, and powerful takeaways have already left a lasting positive impact on my future.

While working through it, I entered a much sought-after flow state of engagement, empowerment, and confidence that confirmed my suspicion that social work would be the right path for me. As I plan to begin pursuing my MSW in the fall, I’m grateful for the reassurance that I’ve made an informed career decision.

Social Work Practice: Advocating Social Justice and Change (button)

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Harvard’s 2-year online data science certificate program costs under $800 – here’s how it can help you break into the field

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Harvard data science courses 4x3
Harvard University’s Data Science Professional Certificate ($792.80) is a nine-course online edX program that can help jumpstart your career in data science.

If you’re looking for a job that’s impactful, well-paying, and in high demand, becoming a data scientist may be the path for you – and could be one of the happiest careers you could pick, according to Glassdoor.

Drawing from techniques in statistics and computer science, data scientists translate large, seemingly incomprehensible sets of data into meaningful insights that can help drive important business decisions. Given the job’s complexity and impact, companies are looking for data scientists in droves and are willing to pay up: the median base salary in 2020 is $107,801.

And with online courses, it’s actually possible to jump-start a career in data science without spending thousands of dollars or putting a wrench in your current job. One e-learning option is Harvard University’s Data Science Professional Certificate Program ($792.80), an intensive, 17-month-long online edX program that prepares you with the skills, knowledge, and confidence to pursue roles in data science. (You can also test out most of the courses for free before committing, or pay to earn professional certificates in individual courses.)

The courses are taught by Harvard professor of biostatistics Rafael Irizarry, yet costs under $800 and takes place entirely online, offering a combination of access, affordability, and flexibility previously unattainable at the actual school.

Each course in the program is designed so you can progress at your own speed, but you should expect to spend about 2-3 hours per week per course. There are nine courses total, beginning with foundational basics and culminating in a capstone project in which you’ll apply your new knowledge. This final project provides students with a tangible product to show potential employers or educational programs. Here are all the courses you’ll take in the Data Science program:

  1. R Basics
  2. Visualization
  3. Probability
  4. Inference and Modeling
  5. Productivity Tools
  6. Wrangling
  7. Linear Regression
  8. Machine Learning
  9. Capstone

Upon completion of the program, students receive an official certificate that they can highlight on their resumes and LinkedIn profiles to not only indicate their relevant data science skills but also to signal initiative, self-motivation, and a willingness to learn – traits that employers love.

Past students of the program appreciated the engaging content and teaching style, hands-on exercises, and flexibility:

“Excellent class. Really helpful instructor and lots of hands-on materials. It covers the essential things you need to know and builds on material sequentially. I really look forward to taking the rest of the modules in the sequence. I am a busy professional and so being able to complete this course on my own time when I am traveling is very convenient and effective.”

“Perfect! I loved the course and I’m going to complete the whole Harvard Data Science program. I liked the instructor, the subject is perfectly clarified, and the videos are engaging. The course is very concise – no chance to get bored. Perfect solution for everyone looking for R fundamentals and a basic statistics course in one place.”

For about $88 per course, you can get your foot in the door to the fascinating, rapidly growing world of data science. Since edX is available on computers, tablets, and phones, you can do so anywhere and on your own time.

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