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Literature

Books That Will Satisfy All Readers This Holiday Weekend

If finding a good story isn’t on your summer bucket list, you’re doing it all wrong.

Journeying away from the chaos of your daily routine be it a vacation or just the day at the beach obviously requiresgood books in your tote. And let’s face it: What’s better than a picnic in the sand with a nice glass of rosand a bestseller? This Fourth of July weekend is the perfect opportunity to indulge in summer literature and a little bit of your favorite pink drink.

With the variety of options available this year, you definitely shouldn’t have trouble filling your shelves. Depending on whatever you’re feeling during this weekend’sbeach outing, there’s something for you.

If you’re in need of something haunting:

Amazon

by Nina Laurin is a chilling suspense about two missing girls whose stories intertwine perfect for Paula Hawkins fans.

by Fiona Barton is the psychological suspense that follows a journalist who is uncovering the mystery behind a tiny skeleton that was discovered in a demolished London home.


If you’re in need of something refreshing:

by Courtney Maum gives readers a peek inside a trend forecaster’s life after she decides she needs to make some changes when it comes to love and work.

Amazon


If you want to go back in time:

By Sofia Grant turns the clocks back and finds two sisters who are joining forces to create amazing clothes in a post World War II society.

by Ellen Marie Wiseman chronicles a family breaking apart amid a Depression-era traveling circus and finding the light at the end of the tunnel in the ’50s.


If you need some motivation:

Amazon

by Steve Kardian gives females insight on how to protect themselves this day in age, whether that means cyber bullying, campus assaults, and so on. Kardian has served as a detective and FBI defensive tactics instructor, among other law enforcement positions, so it’s safe to say he knows his stuff.


If you don’t mind a good cry:

by Lisa Duffy follows a family in Maine picking up the pieces after a tragedy shakes their entire world.


If you welcome chaos:

by Chlo Esposito is the story of an identical who will stop at nothing to get her sister’s so-called perfect life. London and Sicily are the perfect backdrops if you have to cure your wanderlust.

by Joanna Novak is an emotional story of a young girl’s infatuationwith extreme dieting, sex, and a relationship with a young drug dealer.


If you’re looking for a little romance:

by Christina Lauren is the writing duo’s latest story about two people who have an awkward first encounter but can’t seem to kill the flame. Will this last when they discover that they’re vying for the same job?


If you’re feeling nostalgic:

by Mandy Berman is a coming-of-age debut about friendships and summer camps that will take you right back to your tween years.


If you’re in search of a wild ride:

by Daniel Riley heads to the West Coast in the ’70s as a young girl forgets about her prestigious degree and makes her way to Cali for a stewardessing position that ultimately leads to danger.

by Chiara Barzini follows a young Italian girl who makes her way to L.A. with eccentricfilmmaker parents in the ’90s while dealing with unstable scene in California and an earthquake that shakes Eugenia to her core.


If you need a good belly laugh:

Amazon

by Jenny Allen is a hysterical essay collection filled with so-called reflections on life and other bad ideas that will keep the tears (of laughter) coming.


If you’re looking for a memoir:

by Patricia Lockwood is the story of an unorthodox priest whose world is turned upside down when his daughter and son-in-law return to his rectory after a crisis strikes.


If you’re looking for something mainstream:

by Catherine Lacey follows a young New York millennial named Mary who lands herself a job as an Emotional Girlfriend in the Girlfriend Experiment in order to make ends meet with her medical expenses.

by Rene Carlino follows Charlotte as she tries to make sense of her life in L.A. when her world collides with a painter named Adam. Afterward, when she finds herself in a more serious relationship, she has trouble moving past Adam the one who got away.

by Chelsea Marshall & Mary Dauterman might fool you at first. It’s not a children’s book, but a picture book detailing millennials digitally-connected lives.

You’ve got more than enough options. Get reading!

Read more: http://elitedaily.com/entertainment/summer-2017-books-july-fourth-weekend/2008104/

Have a lover, have friends, read books. Montaigne was right about one thing | Germaine Leece

We think we are escaping ourselves when we read literature, but we might be going deeper into our interior worlds through the therapy of reading.

The understanding that literature can comfort, console and heal has been around since the second millennium BC; it is no coincidence that Apollo was the god of medicine as well as poetry.

As a bibliotherapist, I’m interested in the therapeutic value stories have to offer us, particularly during times of stress. Here the intent around reading is different; the value of the story lies solely in our emotional response to it.



One of the greatest arguments for using literature as therapy was posited by the Renaissance essayist Michel de Montaigne, who believed there were three possible cures for loneliness: have a lover, have friends and read books. But he argued sexual pleasure is too fleeting and betrayal too common, and while friendship was better it always ended with death. Therefore, the only therapy that could endure through life was the companionship of literature.

Why were the ancient Greeks and Romans right to suppose literature heals the soul? Why did Montaigne trust we could endure loneliness through a lifelong relationship with books? Why, despite all the distractions of modern life, do books still get published and writers festival events get sold out? The answer lies in the power of stories.

Stories have been around since time began; they tell us what it is to be human, give us a context for the past and an insight towards the future. A narrators voice replaces our stressed, internal monologue and takes us out of our life and into the world of a story. Paradoxically, we think we are escaping ourselves but the best stories take us back deeper into our interior worlds. Freud, who believed the reading cure came before the talking cure, once wrote that wherever he went he discovered a poet had been there before. It is difficult to access emotional language and this is why we have writers. They remind us of the universality and timelessness of emotions, helping us better understand our own.

What stories have shaped you? It’s a question worth reflecting on, as this shaping is often subconscious. The act of making it conscious will allow your future reading to perhaps have a different intent; you will be reading your life from now on, allowing you to live it more fully and better understand it.

Recently, more studies are telling us what the ancient Greeks and Romans already knew: reading improves our mental health. In 2009, research out of the University of Sussex found reading could reduce stress levels by 68%, working better at calming nerves than listening to music, going for walks or having a cup of tea. Subjects only had to read silently for six minutes to slow down the heart rate and ease tension in muscles.

A 2013 study found reading literary fiction can help you become more empathetic, by giving you the experience of being emotionally transported to other places and relating to new characters. Other studies have shown reading can improve sleep quality and ease mild symptoms of depression and anxiety.

As a bibliotherapist, I am continually reminded that all forms of literature can help people in all sorts of ways. A person who is grieving may need a predictable plot and an ordered fictional world; a man searching for direction or coming to terms with retirement may need a novel that reflects and explores the transience of life; a mother of young children may reach for a novel that illustrates the arc of life and reminds her she is in just one albeit messy and tiring chapter for now.

Sometimes it is not the content of the stories themselves but just knowing you have control by choosing to read or listen that provides the calming effect. All stories offer a safe, contained world with a beginning, middle and end. We have the power of when to start or stop and choose how long we stay in this story’s world.

Time spent listening to authors talk about their work and their own understanding of the power of literature also allows us, as readers, to reflect on stories that have shaped us.

:Why do stories matter so terribly to us, that we will offer ourselves up to, and later be grateful for, an experience that we know is going to fill us with grief and despair?” questions Helen Garner in her latest collection, Everywhere I Look.

Robert Dessaix, in his memoir What Days Are For, explores narrative as an optimistic form: “Is that why I’m reading a novel in the first place? It’s not a Pollyanna-ish form, it’s not devoid of unravellings and pain, but it’s optimistic in the sense that you keep turning the pages, one after the other in the hope of something transforming happening. Isn’t that it? In the hope of a transforming answer to your particular questions.”

Both authors are exploring their identity as readers and the impact reading can have. The writers festival is more than an event celebrating authors; it also celebrates the power of literature and the power of you, the reader.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/may/24/have-a-lover-have-friends-read-books-said-montaigne-he-was-right-about-one-of-them

Barbershop Books is using barbershops to inspire kids to read

Sometimes a book is just a hobby, a fun way to consume a new story. But sometimes a book is a powerful tool to advance social change.

The National Book Foundation announced the winner of the 2017 Innovations In Reading Prize on Monday. The prize is an annual award that honors individuals and organizations that are using literature to make a social impact on the world and comes with a $10,000 prize. The award was founded in 2009, and since it launched, it has honored a variety of organizations including Next Chapter Book Club and Chicago Books to Women in Prison.

This year, the winner of the Innovations in Reading Prize is Barbershop Books, a community-based literacy program that creates child-friendly reading spaces in barbershops.

The program was founded in 2013 by Alvin Irby, an author and former kindergarten and 1st grade teacher, as a way to help young black boys identify as readers.

“At Barbershop Books, we believe that by pairing books and reading with barbershops, over time an association will be formed in community members and children that when they see a barbershop, it will trigger them to think about books and reading,” Irby explains.

The idea came to Irby when he saw one of his students walk into a barbershop without a book.

“[My student] just sat there with this bored look on his face for 15 or 20 minutes, and the whole time, I kept thinking, He should be practicing his reading right now,'” he said. “So it was literally that perfect storm that brought about the idea: me being a teacher, me seeing my student, and me spending a lifetime going to the barbershop and understanding how important it is for the young boys who go there.”

Since its launch, Barbershop Books has partnered with more than 50 barbershops across 20 cities in 12 different states to provide books for young black boys, a community that Irby explains is often underserved in school.

“Many young black boys may literally never see a black man reading in school during the years when theyre learning to read because there are so few black male elementary school teachers,” Irby says.

Because of this, Irby says, many young black boys never have people who look like them encouraging them to read.

But that’s where barbershops come in.

“For many of those same young black boys, if they go to a barbershop, they actually see their barber at least once or twice a month,” he said. “Those frequent trips to the barbershop creates this opportunity to help boys identify as readers.”

Image: Barbershop Books

But Barbershop Books is about more than just giving kids access to books it’s about giving kids access to books they want to read.

“This is really what Barbershop books is about, getting young black boys to say three words: Im a reader.”

“One of the things youll notice as I talk about Barbershop Books is that you wont hear me talking about reading skills or vocabulary,” Irby said. “Thats not a coincidence. I think there are far too many young black boys whose first and early reading experience are almost all skills-based. And there are fewer and fewer opportunities for children just to have fun, low-stress interactions with books and reading. And thats what Barbershop Books is trying to do. Our belief is that if we can create positive reading experiences early and often for young black boys, then they will choose to read for fun because they will identify as a reader.”

And that is the very core of Barbershop Book’s mission not just getting students to pick up a book, but rather to self-identify as a reader.

“This is really what Barbershop books is about, getting young black boys to say three words: Im a reader,” he said. “If we can get young black boys to say those three words, we believe they will read for fun, and if they read for fun, we believe they will reach higher levels of reading proficiency.”

It’s a mission that Irby hopes to spread to more and more places. With the $10,000 prize money, Irby plans to expand Barbershop Books to expand to Little Rock, Arkansas (Irbys hometown), partnering with 10 new barbershops and conducting trainings for barbers to learn how to establish reading community spaces.

Barbershop Books wasn’t the only organization spotlighted by the National Book Foundation with the innovations in reading prize. The organization also announced several honorable mentions including: Books@Work, Great Reading Games, Poetry in Motion, Reach Out and Read.

You can learn more about each organization below.

Honorable Mentions:

Books@Work

Image: Books@Work

Books@Work brings professor-led literature seminars to workplaces and community settings to build confidence, critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity. Through shared narratives, Books@Work builds human capacity to imagine, innovate, and connect, strengthening cultures of trust, respect, and inclusion.

Great Reading Games

Image: Great Reading Games

Great Reading Games is a national audiobook reading competition from Learning Ally, a non-profit that helps students with print-disabilities. The contest is designed to motivate students to increase the frequency and duration with which they read.

Poetry in Motion

Image: Poetry In Motion

Poetry in Motion is a project by the Poetry Society of America that places poetry and accompanying art in subway cars throughout New York City. Since it was a founded in 1992 (with a brief hiatus between 2008 – 2011), Poetry In Motion has brought more than 200 poems and excerpts to millions of subway riders.

Reach Out and Read

Image: Reach Out and Read

Reach Out and Read is a nonprofit organization that gives young children a foundation for success by incorporating books into pediatric care and encouraging families to read aloud together.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/05/01/innovations-in-reading-prize-barbershop-books/

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