Posts Tagged: reading

Can Poptimism Save Literary Culture?

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Literary criticism suffers from elitism, claims Elisabeth Donnelly over at Flavorwire, and the solution is introducing a poptimism revolution. The term poptimism originated in the music world as a reaction to stodgy music reviewers’ love of Bob Dylan and “argues for a more inclusive view of what matters and what’s pleasurable in music.” Donnelly insists that book reviewers and literary culture could stand to benefit from a wider audience by embracing popular books.

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The Science of Why You Can’t Read Good Literature

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Writer Michael Harris discusses digital distraction and reading War and Peace at Salon:

But there’s a religious certainty required in order to devote yourself to one thing while cutting off the rest of the world. We don’t know that the inbox is emergency-free, we don’t know that the work we’re doing is the work we ought to be doing.

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A Book Voyage with No Guide

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As the number of Americans who read books has declined, those who do read have begun wearing t-shirts, carrying tote bags, and sticking magnets on their fridges declaring their love of reading. Some book lovers even perform “book stunts,” reading through the encyclopedia or the dictionary over the course of a year.

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Just Read All of the Books

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Why is offering book recommendations so hard? People solicit book recommendations from their well-read friends all the time, but too often we’re left seemingly stumped to provide them with the best book possible. Swapna Krishna over at BookRiot points out its not because we don’t know about good books, but the opposite:

The fact is that there are just too many good books out there, and I want to recommend all of them to the person at a party who asked a question they thought was innocuous.

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Influence Without Anxiety

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Inspiration comes from many sources, including the books we read. As we internalize other authors’s work, they inevitably influence our writing (often without us ever knowing). The novelist Kim Triedman explores the relationship writers have to the books they read at Beyond the Margins:

As writers, we read and are enriched, see possibilities for language – syntax and rhythm, repetition and rhyme and enjambment – where before there were none.

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Reading: Still Probably a Good Idea

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We linked to an Atlantic article in January about the recent decline in readers in America. According to the article, 23 percent of Americans went without reading a single novel in 2013.

Now, Time has a summary of a recent study of reading’s effects on the brain. As expected, the activity roughly a quarter of Americans forwent last year is statistically correlated with cultivating social awareness, creativity, and empathy; in other words, pretty good things.

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Discussion Nostalgia, Book Clubbing

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Up on your wall behind your office desk is a small sheet of paper, gold-leaf embossed, an emblem in the bottom right hand corner—it reads: The University of Something-or-Rather in authoritative print. But is the paper just filling space? You miss the seminars, the depth, the charged discussions…

Have a look at this article from the Huffington Post for some information on how to have a successful book club.

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The Best Stories Leave an Aftertaste

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In her deeply personal essay on The Millions, Allison K. Gibson explains some of the intense literary cravings she experienced during her pregnancy. Some of them were unexpected, even violent, but all were led entirely by intuition.

“Now I had a voracious appetite to consume certain books I’d read long ago, revisiting passages that had always been especially moving.

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Make Reading a New Year’s Resolution!

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The folks over at BOOKish have a wonderful idea: add reading to your list of New Year’s resolutions. They have helpful hints for how you can accomplish this:

Read a new author

It’s so difficult to determine which authors are “new” to which readers, so we’re recommending reads by a slew of recent fantastic debut authors.

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Thanksgivukkah Reading

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Over at WNPR this week Maureen Corrigan offers up a “Literary Escape Plan” from holiday stress.

The Borsch Belt-style Pilgrim jokes and mishmash recipes (turkey brined in Manischewitz, anyone?) are flying around the Internet; but since Jews are frequently referred to as “the People of the Book” and Pilgrims pretty much lived by the Book, Thanksgivukkah seems to me like the quintessential (stressful) family holiday to celebrate by escaping into a book.

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The Black Clock 17 Launch!

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Hey Los Angeles Rockers!

Sunday night is the launch and reading event of Black Clock, issue 17 and you know you want to be there.

Come see readings by: Cecil Castellucci, Rumpus contributor Antonia Crane, Dayna Dunne, Brian Evenson, and Andrew Nicholls at The Mandrake this Sunday, November 10th at 7 p.m.

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Our Future Depends On Reading!

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“Well-meaning adults can easily destroy a child’s love of reading: stop them reading what they enjoy, or give them worthy-but-dull books that you like, the 21st-century equivalents of Victorian “improving” literature. You’ll wind up with a generation convinced that reading is uncool and worse, unpleasant.”

Neil Gaiman offers strong words at The Guardian on why libraries, reading, and daydreaming is vital to our future.

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Reading Makes You Better At Life

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A degree in English may make your job search harder, but it makes empathy and social interaction easier, according to a study conducted by some people who had more practical majors.

The study, published in Science, found that literary fiction like Dostoevsky or Louise Erdrich enhanced subjects’ ability to read others’ emotions more than did popular fiction or “nonfiction that was well-written, but not literary or about people.”

Erdrich’s take on the matter: “This is why I love science….[They] found a way to prove true the intangible benefits of literary fiction….Thank God the research didn’t find that novels increased tooth decay or blocked up your arteries.”

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Notable New York: 9/4-9/8

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Of special note this week: The venue formerly known as The Bowery Poetry Club has reopened their doors after some serious renovations. Now going by the name Bowery Arts and Science — which makes more sense since poetry was a small fraction of the programming there — they are back and have a full schedule up on the site.

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The 3rd Annual New York Poetry Festival Is Coming

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The Poetry Society of New York’s 3rd Annual New York Poetry Festival is coming up on July 27 and 28 on Governors Island.

The festival has become a highlight of the New York lit-o-sphere in the summer. A short ferry ride from Manhattan, the fest attracts poets from around the country for two days of poetry on three stages for six hours each day.

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