Never Alone With Books

30 06 2018

A LIFE OF READING IS NEVER LONELY

Reading is at once a lonely and an intensely sociable act. The writer becomes your ideal companion—interesting, worldly, compassionate, energetic—but only if you stick with him or her for a while, long enough to throw off the chill of isolation and to hear the intelligent voice murmuring in your ear. No wonder Victorian parents used to read out loud to the whole family (a chapter of Dickens a night by the precious light of the single candle); there’s nothing lonely about laughing or crying together—or shrinking back in horror. Even if solitary, the reader’s inner dialogue with the writer—questioning, concurring, wondering, objecting, pitying—fills the empty room under the lamplight with silent discourse and the expression of emotion.

A really lovely reflection on the power of a reading life





On Reading According to a Writer

30 06 2018

EDMUND WHITE: READING IS A PASSPORT
TO THE WORLD

When I was a little child, my sister, who was nearly four years older, was astonished that Icouldn’t read. We were in my mother’s old Ford, driving around the main square of Hyde Park, and my sister pointed to a sign and said, “You honestly can’t read that?”

“No,” I said sullenly. “What does it say?”

“Graeter’s,” she announced triumphantly, the name of Cincinnati’s premier ice creammaker. “Can’t you see that? What does it say to you?” She wasn’t being mean; she was genuinely puzzled. Reading was a magical portal—once you passed through it, you couldn’t even imagine going back.

must have been four. Two years later could read, or at least “sound out” syllables (that was the method then). When I realized that I could interpret these hieroglyphics, I felt sofree, as if a whole new world had been opened to me. Now I could herar a chorus ofvoices, even those coming from other centuries and cultures. I was no longer bound to the squalid here and now, to my mother’s web-spinning of agreeable fantasies or my father’s sudden eruptions of rage, to the sweating summers of that age before airconditioning.

remember toddling into my mother’s room, where she was taking a perfumed bubble bath in the late afternoon. I announced (or maybe thought), “I’m free. I can read.”

Could I really have had such an improbable thought at age six? Or have just told myself that that thought occurred to me then? And yet remember my mother’s sweetness, the good smell, the afternoon sunlight, and my very real feeling of joyful liberation. And,quite concretely, reading has always struck me as a passport to the world, one in which characters are more real than actual people, where values are more intense than in the dim light of reality, where characters fly up into destinies rather than paddle around in ambiguity.

I felt like a blind person who’d just regained his sight. I was no longer a Cincinnatian butrather an earthling. If things were clearly written in English, there was no text that wasoff-limits. I never read the standard children’s classics. No Wind in the Willows. Onlyrecently did I get around to Treasure
Island.

Read further @ Literary Hub





Out now! BookIsh Plaza eZine JUNE issue

30 05 2018

Jamaican poet Safiya Sinclair @ 2018 Poetry International, Rotterdam

The JUNE issue of BookIsh Plaza eZine is out now!
BookIsh Plaza is your online bookshop for (Dutch)Caribbean literature.

In this issue:

  • Summer Creative Writing in Curaçao
  • St. Martin Book Fair in June
  • In the Picture: St. Martin Books
  • And much more ……….

Read & share the eZine. The next issue will appear in June.

BOOKISH PLAZA eZINE nr.73 JUNE 2018

Visit BookIsh Plaza for our New Arrivals!

 





Out now! BookIsh Plaza eZine MAY issue

3 05 2018

The MAY issue of BookIsh Plaza eZine is out now!
BookIsh Plaza is your online bookshop for (Dutch)Caribbean literature.

In this issue:

  • Rahim wins 2018 OCM Bocas Prize
  • Unique Online Magazine for New Caribbean Writing
  • Book Tips for Mother’s Day
  • And much more ……….

Read & share the eZine. The next issue will appear in June.

BOOKISH PLAZA eZINE nr.72 MAY 2018

Visit BookIsh Plaza for our New Arrivals!





An Extraordinary Demonstration of Narrative Dexterity

3 05 2018

THE CHALLENGE OF WRITING ACROSS
TIME AND VERNACULAR
Gregory Blake Smith in Conversation with Bonnie Nadzam

Gregory Blake Smith is author of The Maze at Windermere (Viking, January 2018), already critically acclaimed for its breathtaking scope and beauty. The Washington Post’s Ron Charles has called it “staggeringly brilliant… an extraordinary demonstration of narrative dexterity.” It is those things and more; it is timely, it is important, it made me cry and sit very still when I finished it, and it is among the best American novels I’ve ever read. I would say so even if Greg weren’t a former college professor of mine, and now friend. Among his other books, his novel The Divine Comedy of John Venner, was named a Notable Book of 1992 by The New York Times Book Review and his short story collection The Law of Miracles won the 2010 Juniper Prize for Fiction and the 2012 Minnesota Book Award.

Read further @ Literary Hub

 





Writing Advice by a Great Author

3 05 2018
                                                                                                                                                                    PHOTO: aljazeera.com

“INTUITION IS ESSENTIAL.” WRITING ADVICE FROM GABRIEL GARCÍA MÁRQUEZ

In the face of the literary world’s ongoing fetish for youth, I often like to remind myself that Gabriel García Márquez didn’t become famous until he was 40. That’s when he published his fourth novel, One Hundred Years of Solitude. Now, of course, he’s a household name, beloved for his storytelling ability and fantastical imagination (though as he’d tell you, everything in his most famous novel happened—somewhere, to someone). García Márquez is a master of storytelling, but he’s also a master of discipline: above all else, he put in the work. For that alone, we should all listen to his advice. So on the anniversary of his death, here is some collected literary wisdom from one of the all-time greats.

Read further @ Literary Hub

 





Out Now! BookIsh Plaza eZine APRIL Issue

13 04 2018

The APRIL issue of BookIsh Plaza eZine is out now!
BookIsh Plaza is your online bookshop for (Dutch)Caribbean literature.

In this issue:

  • Upcoming Book on ABRAHAM
  • TIP: Cuban Classic & Jazz Concert, May 6, Den haag
  • Dutch Caribbean in the Second World War
  • And much more ……….

Read & share the eZine. The next issue will appear in May.

BOOKISH PLAZA eZINE nr.71 APRIL 2018

Visit BookIsh Plaza for our New Arrivals!





On the Art of Flash Fiction

13 04 2018

ON THE VERY CONTEMPORARY ART OF FLASH FICTION

Lord Chesterfield called the novel “a kind of abbreviation of a Romance.” Ian McEwan described the more compact novella as “the beautiful daughter of a rambling, bloated, ill-shaven giant.” William Trevor considered the short story “essential art.” Writing a story, he said, is infinitely harder than writing a novel, “but it’s infinitely more worthwhile.” And now we have the even shorter story, a form that was validated, if it needed to be, when Lydia Davis, whose stories are sometimes a sentence long, was awarded the 2013 Man Booker International Prize. In their citation, the judges said of Davis’s works: “Just how to categorize them? They have been called stories but could equally be miniatures, anecdotes, essays, jokes, parables, fables, texts, aphorisms or even apothegms, prayers or simply observations.”

The short-short story is narrative (or it’s not) that is distilled and refined, concentrated, layered, coherent, textured, stimulating, and resonant, and it may prove to be the ideal form of fiction for the 21st century, an age of shrinking attention spans and busy and distracted lives, in which our mobile devices connect us to the world as they simultaneously divert us from it. And on the screens of our smartphones and our iPads and our laptops, we can fit an entire work of flash fiction. It’s short but not shallow; it’s a reduced form used to represent a larger, more complex story; it’s pithy and cogent, brief and pointed, and like the gist of a recollected conversation, it offers the essential truth, if not all the inessential facts.

The market for flash fiction is extensive and it’s growing. A Google search for flash fiction markets nets 719,000 hits in .55 seconds. Duotrope lists 4,700 publications looking for flash fiction, and a few of those outlets publish 365 stories a year. Your chances of finding a home for your short-short story are considerably better than they are for your novel. What better way to break into the world of publishing, to get your name out there, to earn the endorsement of editors, to introduce your beloved characters to an appreciable number of readers? If your dream is to write a novel, consider that flash fiction might be your first small step. I learned to write novels by writing short stories and learned to write short stories by writing very short stories before they had a snappy name.

While flash fiction may be quickly read, it is not often quickly written. Henry David Thoreau wrote, “Not that the story need be long, but it will take a long while to make it short.” To be brief takes time. But the obvious fact is that it does take less time to write a short-short story than it does the longer forms. It might take years to write a novel (it does for me), months to write a story, but only weeks, maybe days, if you’re lucky, to write a very short story. And an occasional morsel of sweet short-term gratification won’t make you sick. Promise! With the end so close in sight, you are emboldened, and you learn to finish. If you don’t finish, you can’t revise, and if you don’t revise, you won’t learn to write.

Read further @ LitHub





Students & Reading

13 04 2018

HOW TO GET STUDENTS TO READ MORE

For as long as there have been books people have worried that the death of reading was imminent. We hear it all the timeteens don’t read anymore! But during my eleven years of teaching, I have encountered students who read with more discipline than many of the adults in their lives. I often see students carrying the latest Lamar Giles or A.S. King novel, reading at lunch, and joining our school library’s book club. So why do English teachers and school officials worry about getting students to read more?

ENCOURAGE STUDENTS TO DOWNLOAD THE SERIAL READER APP AND USE IT FOR TWENTY MINUTES A DAY

PROVIDE STUDENTS TIME DURING CLASS TO READ

  1. Assign reading time as a bell ringer. 
  2. Set the expectation that when students finish an       assignment early, they should take out a book.

LEAVE OFF AT A CLIFFHANGER

TELL THEM HOW CONTROVERSIAL IT IS

  1. First, I always tell them when a book has been challenged.
  2. Next, I’ll play the concerned adult.

Read further @ BookRiot

 





The greatest revelation in the Spanish language

13 04 2018

100 COVERS OF GABRIEL GARCÍA MÁRQUEZ’S ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF SOLITUDE

Pablo Neruda once called Gabriel García Márquez’s 1967 novel One Hundred Years of Solitude “perhaps the greatest revelation in the Spanish language since the Don Quixote of Cervantes.” Now a beloved classic for millions, and the defining pinnacle of magical realist literature, the novel traces the Buendía family over seven generations spent in their fictional hometown of Macondo—founded in the Colombian rainforest by their patriarch, José Arcadio Buendía—which is reportedly based on Márquez’s own hometown of Aracataca, near the northern coast of Colombia. For a while it is a kind of utopia, though a strange one, but eventually, the encroachment of the outside world destroys everything the Buendías have built. This is a lush, descriptive, and relentlessly irreal novel, and as such, its cover treatments have varied wildly over the years. Below, I’ve selected one hundred different covers used for One Hundred Years of Solitude, published around the world between 1967 and 2018. The only question is: which one is the best?

Read further @ LitHub





Tips to your booktime reading

13 04 2018

5 TIPS FOR CALM, COZY, COMFORTING BEDTIME READING

1. KEEP IT SHORT
2. KEEP IT LIGHT
3. HAPPY ENDINGS ONLY
4. MAKE IT A PAGE-TURNER…BUT
NOT TOO MUCH OF ONE
5. KEEP IT FAMILIAR

Read further @ BookRiot





Get Students to Read

1 03 2018

HOW TO GET STUDENTS TO READ MORE

For as long as there have been books people have worried that the death of reading was imminent. We hear it all the timeteens don’t read anymore! But during my eleven years of teaching, I have encountered students who read with more discipline than many of the adults in their lives. I often see students carrying the latest Lamar Giles or A.S. King novel, reading at lunch, and joining our school library’s book club. So why do English teachers and school officials worry about getting students to read more?

1.Encourage students to download the serial reader app and use it for twenty minutes a day

2.Provide students time during class to read

3.Leave off at a cliffhanger

4.Tell them how controversial it is

Read further @ BookRiot

 





Reading Challenges

1 03 2018

50 DIY READING CHALLENGES TO MAKE 2018 THE BEST YEAR OF YOUR READING LIFE

The challenges here range from the serious to the ridiculous. The numbers are mostly arbitrary—for instance, I’ve used a lot of pick ten books. You could just as easily pick five or thirty. These ideas are jumping off points. My hope is that you find something here that excites you, and run with it.

1. Make a list of ten identities that are important to you and/or influence the way you experience the world. Now read ten books by ten different authors who share one of those identities, and/or ten different books that center and explore those identities.

2. Make a list of ten identities (race, religion, sexuality, gender, nationality, etc.) that are not yours. Now read ten books, each written by an author who holds one of those identities.

3. Pick ten countries you have always wanted to visit. Read one book that takes place in each of those countries.

4. Is there a genre you’ve always wanted to try but just haven’t gotten around to? Maybe your best friend has been telling you to try fantasy since forever but you’ve always shrugged her off. Pick the genre that’s always scared/baffled/bored you and challenge yourself to find one book in that genre that you absolutely love.

5. Read a book published each year between your birth and now. Goodreads by decade shelves can help.

6. Read a book about/that takes place in each of the fifty states.

7. Pick 10 classics you’ve always wanted to read. Now read a retelling/reinvention of each of those classics instead. Not sure where to start? Try these YA Jane Austen retellings, Alice in Wonderlandretellings, and retellings of myths and folklore.

8. Read 52 comics—one comic per week!

Read further @ BookRiot





Classic of the Dutch Caribbean Literature Reprinted

6 02 2018

DE ROTS DER STRUIKELING [Life’s Obstacles, ed.] is a classic from the Dutch Caribbean literature. The novel tells the story of Eddy Lejeune, who reflects on his turbulent life.

Eddy Lejeune comes in search for diamonds in Venezuela mysteriously to his end. The story is told in a journalistic manner and begins at the end of his life. Before that, his high school years are described, his growing up in a foster home, the war that overtakes him as a student, the war camp. Particularly his war experiences prove to be a major influence on his thinking.

For this book Boeli van Leeuwen from Curaçao was rewarded the Vijverberg Prize (the present Bordewijk Prize) in Holland. In 1983 he received the Cola Debrot prize, the most important Antillian cultural distinction, for his literary work.

For more news read it in our new BOOKISH PLAZA eZINE nr.69 FEBRUARY 2018 edition.
Just out now!

Visit BookIsh Plaza for our New Arrivals!





BookIsh People & Their Reading Distraction

6 02 2018

HOW TO CURE READER’S DISTRACTION

Definition

Reader’s Distraction refers to an illness specifically afflicting bookish people, and is characterized by the inability to get through one book without setting it down to pick up another. This disorder typically degenerates into a vicious cycle whereby a reader never finishes a book, but is constantly purchasing new ones.

People who suffer from Reader’s Distraction usually exhibit the following symptoms:

  • TBR and TBF (to be finished) stacks that go on for days
  • Bookmarks in almost every book owned, but never placed toward the end
  • Weekly or even daily book hauls
  • The inability to refuse a book sale
  • Complete ignorance of story conclusions
  • A leaning tower of bedside books

Read further for the treatment advice @ BookRiot





Look Out for a Richer Reading Experience

6 02 2018

1. Wake up 15 minutes earlier than usual and use that time to read a poem.

2. Visit your library — especially if it’s been awhile — and ask a librarian for a recommendation.

3. Let go of one reading prejudice and never think about it again.

4. Read one book in a genre you think you despise.

5. Ask someone you respect for a book suggestion, and read it right away.

6. Give away the book that’s been on your TBR pile the longest.

7. Volunteer for an organization that promotes literacy.

8. Read a book that looks like it will make you feel uncomfortable.

9. Commit to a reading challenge.

10. Cull ten books from your collection and donate them without bringing any new books home.

11. Read out loud to someone you love.

12. Make a list of the ways reading intersects with love in your life.

13. Listen to the audiobook of a book you DNF’d years ago.

14. Read your best friend’s favourite book, no matter what it is.

15. Dog-ear a page.

16. Write in the margins.

17. Ask your oldest relative or friend their favourite book. Read it right away and tell them.

18. Read outside.

19. Listen to an audiobook while you run errands.

20. Read a play. Let yourself take the time to imagine how it might be staged.

21. Reread a book you hated in high school. Reread it twice.

22. Apologize to someone you’ve been snobby or snarky to about books.

23. Read a book by an author from a country you’ve never imagined visiting.

24. Read a collection of poetry by a single poet, front-to-back, twice.

25. Give your favourite book from childhood at the next baby shower you attend.

26. Give your favourite book from your 20s to your favourite college student.

27. Read a book by a person who doesn’t look like you.

28. Read a book by a person who wouldn’t understand you in a million years.

29. Read one page of a holy book from a faith you were not raised with.

30. Listen to a podcast about books.

31. Attend the next reading in your town, even (especially!) if you don’t know the author.

32. Write a handwritten letter to a living author you adore.

33. Visit the grave of a dead author you adore.

34. Visit a place you’ve only ever read about in books.

35. Crack a spine. Go on. Do it.

36. Read a superhero comic, especially if you haven’t in years (or ever).

37. Watch an adaptation of a book you like and try to like it for what it is.

38. Memorize a poem.

39. Reread the book you loved best when you were sixteen.

40. Have a conversation about books with someone you’ve never talked books with before.

Source: BookRiot





How to gain a Bookish New Year

13 01 2018


1. Preorder one book per month (or every other month or every third month) for the new year. Enjoy the surprise of the gift you purchased for yourself when it arrives.

2. Pick a series of books from childhood you’ve always meant to read or want to revisit. Prioritize that reading experience.

3. Buy or make a new bookmark. You can also print yourself a new one, if you’d like.

4. Choose a new planner and set it up with not just your calendar, but also a to-be-read list and a read list. Get creative!

5. Treat yourself to a new tote bag for lugging your hauls to and from the public library.

Read further @ BookRiot