Some 2017 Highlights of Caribbean Literature

13 01 2018

Commemorating 50 years of CIEN  AÑOS DE SOLEDAD with an illustrated version

 

Writing a new Caribbean: a picture of the Caribbean, as seen by a new generation of writers and poets. Listen to this interesting BBC 4 radio broadcast –

 

– Haitian-American writer Ibi Zoboi was on the Young People’s Literature list of the 2017 National #Book Award Finalists with AMERICAN STREET

For more highlights and articles read it in our new BOOKISH PLAZA eZINE nr. 68 JANUARY 2018 edition.
Just out now!

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The Rule is Don’t Write a Novel

12 01 2018

THE FIRST RULE OF NOVEL-WRITING IS DON’T WRITE A NOVEL

ELIZABETH PERCER: NINE NON-RULES FOR WRITING

If you’d asked me 15 years ago how I saw my future, I would tell you about all the hard work I’d put into earning my doctorate, about the post doc that promised me a way into a fantastic research opportunity; about the tenure track position I hoped to secure one day. I would tell you all this with a clenched jaw, a fierce smile, and a knot in my belly. Because although I’d spent most of my young life envisioning academic achievement as the pinnacle of success and fulfillment, these goals were forged from a lifetime of trying to measure up. I’d shoved my quirky, not particularly scientific self into a mold that suited my family of physicists, mathematicians, and software designers. But somehow along the way, in measuring myself against those I loved and admired, I forgot to check in to see if there was a form within me that was more essential and less shapely, to see if I had measures of my own to follow.

It wouldn’t be until after several life-altering events—most notably, the birth of my three children in somewhat rapid succession—that I would slowly relinquish my grasp on borrowed titles. Once liberated, however, I found myself in the distinctly uncomfortable position of realizing that original compositions are so much harder to develop than derivative ones, not least because they don’t have the same examples to follow.

Still, like any good academic, I tried for years to work at my writing the same way I’d worked at anything. I pushed myself. I was stern with myself. I created strict rules to follow and chastised myself when I didn’t follow them. When that didn’t work, I looked to experts, who told me that I needed to write for about the same time every day in the same place, or that I should seriously consider getting an MFA, or that I should seriously consider not getting an MFA, or who told me that only the most talented writers could succeed, or that true creative talent would never realize any kind of commercial success, or who told me I was too young, or too old. It’s no wonder that in looking for others to tell me how I needed to be, I got into the habit of showing up to my writing at the same time in the same place and freeze

1.  Don’t write a novel
2. Keep your publishing dreams in check
3. Writing doesn’t always look like writing
4. Books do not respond to timelines, spreadsheets, or graphs
5.  Make space for what comes
6.  Procrastinate
7.  Get to Know the Demons on Your Block
8.  Go Gentle into that Dark Night
9.  Don’t Neglect the Rest of You

Read further @ Literary Hub





Read More Books in 2018

12 01 2018


It’s resolution time! Indeed it is. How many am I going to read this time around. Set my goals on 30 on GoodReads. Last year it was 20 and I succeeded. Purely literature, no non-fiction that has to do with work. So I stepped up my reading. What’s your reading resolution for this year?
Let see what Jessica Roy advices us over at LATimes.

—————–

It’s resolution time.
Will this be the year you hit the treadmill for an hour every day, make all your meals at home, learn a new language and max out your retirement savings accounts? Perhaps. But more often than not, New Year’s resolutions are abandoned before the first gym payment goes through on your credit card.

This year, make a better resolution: Read more books. In fact, think of it less as a resolution, and more as a belated holiday gift to yourself.

Reading more was my resolution back in 2013. I realized I’d read maybe three books in the previous year. I joined Goodreads, a social media site for book lovers and got an L.A. Public Library card. I asked for an e-reader for Christmas that year. I joined a book club.

I set a goal to read 36 books. I wasn’t too hard on myself as to what counted as reading a book. Audiobooks counted. Cookbooks counted, if I had read through most of the recipes. Graphic novels and comic books counted. Books I got halfway through and then abandoned for lack of interest counted.

Getting back into reading books has been one of the singularly most rewarding things I have done for myself in my adult life. I carry my Kindle everywhere, which means I always have something to do when I’m in a waiting room. And getting into a warm bed with a good book is one of life’s singular great pleasures.

So do it. Read more books. Here are some ways to help you get started.

Read further @ LATimes





Out Now BookIsh Plaza eZine DECEMBER Issue

29 11 2017

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

In this issue:

  • Poetry on the Wall
  • Give a book for the Holiday Season
  • At the Christmas Dinner Table with James Ocalia
  • And much more ……….

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

BOOKISH PLAZA eZINE nr.67 DECEMBER 2017

Visit BookIsh Plaza for our New Arrivals!

 





Book Rec Giving Styles

29 11 2017

Do you recommend books to friends, foes, and family.?

The question is, what kind of book rec giver are you? As varied as the human experience is, so goes the many, many ways people give book recs. It’s a curiously personal thing, after all. You’re basically promising people that the dark scratches on a page will capture their imaginations in the same way it did to yours. Here are some book rec giving styles:

The Bookworm: You’ve always got your nose buried in one book or another. Your love of reading cannot be contained, and it bubbles over in your book rec giving. Your joy is infectious. You might convince a few people to read your particular Book-of-the-Week, but only through sheer enthusiasm and force of will. Your book recs are more about you, than whoever you’re trying to convince — which isn’t a bad thing! You do you.

The Librarian: Maybe it’s your actual job, or maybe you just take book rec giving really seriously. Either way, you are kind, and you are thoughtful. You tailor your book recs to whoever you’re talking to, taking into account their personality and tastes. People are, as the Youth say, #blessed to encounter you. Others are more likely to come away with a book they’ll, like, actually read for real.

The Scholar: Books are, to you, for educational purposes. You read Serious (TM) works of non-fiction and heartrending treatises on the human condition. These books carry the weight of the world on their spines. You consider it your duty to persuade others to improve themselves as you do. You’re really Samuel Richardson-ing it up in here. No offense, but your book recs can be kind of boring. But when people want to learn something, they know who to ask for recs. That’s pretty cool.

The Hipster: Let’s face it. You’re kind of a snob. The books you read are obscure and experimental and kind of hard to get into. You consider your reading an art form. Accordingly, you start your book rec shpiel with “You probably haven’t heard of this, but…” No one really knows what you’re talking about when you bring up your favorite books. But, you’re good at finding that diamond in the rough and shining a light on books that would otherwise remain unknown forever.

The Bestie: After the Librarian, you’re probably the best person to go to for book recs. You consider reading a social experience, and want to read with your friends. To make that happen, you recommend books that you know your friends will like, or might be willing to try because of you. You’ve managed to convince more than a few people to try out books they’d never read normally through the power of friendship. You’re pretty awesome. Have you considered starting a book club?

So, what type of book rec giver are you?

Source: BookRiot





Talking to Your Teen About Books

29 11 2017

The Difficult Truth

Let’s face it: parenting a teenage reader can be a daunting task. With an ever-growing number of literary influences on today’s youth, it can often be difficult just to know where to start a bookish conversation with your teen. But after nearly five years teaching English to sixteen and seventeen year-old students, I feel confident in my grasp of the psychology of the teen reader and am pleased to offer, free of charge, some tips on how best to approach these tough conversations and steer your teen from the path of popular swill to the dizzying heights of great literature.

Read further @ BookRiot

 





Out Now! BookIsh Plaza eZine November Issue

29 10 2017

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

In this issue:

·        50th Anniversary of Cien Años de Soledad
·        New Scary Children’s Book
·        Book Launch Burgers & Broeders by Peter Verton
·        BookIsh Plaza @ One Happy Kingdom
·        And much more ……….

Read & share the eZine. The next special festive season issue will appear in December.

BOOKISH PLAZA eZINE nr.66 NOVEMBER 2017

Visit BookIsh Plaza for our New Arrivals!

 





What is your reading position?

29 10 2017

THE FIVE READING POSITIONS, RANKED

Reading may take place in the mind, but there’s no denying there’s a physical component to it as well. Whatever reading position you choose is important. If you’re not comfortable, chances are you won’t be reading as long or digesting the story as well. Here are five of the most common reading positions, ranked from best to worst. Which ones do you prefer?

1. SITTING – THE OLD STANDBY

2. SUPINE – THE FAVORITE   

3. STANDING – THE NECESSITY

4. SIDE – A NICE CHANGE OF PACE

5. PRONE – ONLY WHEN YOU HAVE TO

BONUS: UPSIDE DOWN – WORTH A TRY

Read further @ BookRiot





How to Get Kids to Read Books for Pleasure

12 10 2017

How to get kids to look away from their screens and take pleasure in books

In the summer, there were lots of excuses: camp, the pool, the beach, lazy days when it didn’t seem so bad if your kids were still in their pajamas and maybe watching a little TV or noodling around on an iPad. It was vacation, right? They’d read when school started. Wouldn’t pressuring them lead to resistance?

Now they’re back in school, and you’re up against something perhaps even more daunting: homework. (Also, soccer practice, piano lessons, play dates and on and on.)

How do you squeeze book-reading into this already overpacked schedule? More important: How do you help kids see reading as something separate from school, from testing, from work?

How do you foster a love of reading for pleasure?

Read further @ The Washington Post





Easy Steps to Become an Novelist

12 10 2017

HOW TO BECOME A NOVELIST IN
TEN EASY STEPS

1. Examine your motives
2. Arrange financing
3. Write a bad novella
4. Don’t publish the bad novella
5. Think of a plot and characters
6. Write your debut
7. Never worry about style
8. Get an agent
9. Sell it
10. Write another one

Read further @ Literary Hub





Out Now! BookIsh Plaza eZine SEPTEMBER 2017

1 09 2017

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

In this issue:

·        Folklore from Aruba, Bonaire & Curaçao
·        Cuba on our Literary Mind
·        Dutch Caribbean Authors not know in the Caribbean
·        And much more ……….

Read & share the eZine. The next one will appear in September.

BOOKISH PLAZA eZINE nr.64 SEPTEMBER 2017

Visit BookIsh Plaza for our New Arrivals!





Is Writing a Painful & Bloody Process

1 09 2017

WHY DOES ANYONE WRITE?

WRITING A NOVEL IS A PAINFUL AND BLOODY PROCESS

Writing a novel is a painful and bloody process that takes up all your free time, haunts you in the darkest hours of night and generally culminates in a lot of weeping over an ever-growing pile of rejection letters. Every novelist will have to go through this at least once and in some cases many times before they are published, and since publication itself brings no guarantee of riches or plaudits, it’s not unreasonable to ask what sort of a person would subject himself to such a thing.

Read further @ LiteraryHub





Out Now! BookIsh Plaza eZine JUNE 2017

15 06 2017

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

In this issue:

  • Keti Koti Month
  • Good Reads on Enslavement & Liberation
  • Good Reads & New Books for the Summer
  • And much more ……….

Tis time we have an extra appendix with more information.
Read & share the eZine. The next one will appear in September.

BOOKISH PLAZA eZINE nr.63 JUNE 2017
APPENDIX BOOKISH PLAZA eZINE nr.63 JUNE 2017

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How Murakami began writing

5 06 2017

HARUKI MURAKAMI: THE MOMENT I BECAME A NOVELIST

One bright April afternoon in 1978, I attended a baseball game at Jingu Stadium, not far from where I lived and worked. It was the Central League season opener, first pitch at one o’clock, the Yakult Swallows against the Hiroshima Carp. I was already a Swallows fan in those days, so I sometimes popped in to catch a game—a substitute, as it were, for taking a walk.

Back then, the Swallows were a perennially weak team (you might guess as much from their name) with little money and no flashy big-name players. Naturally, they weren’t very popular. Season opener it may have been, but only a few fans were sitting beyond the outfield fence. I stretched out with a beer to watch the game. At the time there were no bleacher seats out there, just a grassy slope. The sky was a sparkling blue, the draft beer as cold as could be, and the ball strikingly white against the green field, the first green I had seen in a long while. The Swallows first batter was Dave Hilton, a skinny newcomer from the States and a complete unknown. He batted in the leadoff position. The cleanup hitter was Charlie Manuel, who later became famous as the manager of the Cleveland Indians and the Philadelphia Phillies. Then, though, he was a real stud, a slugger the Japanese fans had dubbed “the Red Demon.”

I think Hiroshima’s starting pitcher that day was Yoshiro Sotokoba. Yakult countered with Takeshi Yasuda. In the bottom of the first inning, Hilton slammed Sotokoba’s first pitch into left field for a clean double. The satisfying crack when the bat met the ball resounded throughout Jingu Stadium. Scattered applause rose around me. In that instant, for no reason and on no grounds whatsoever, the thought suddenly struck me: I think I can write a novel.

I can still recall the exact sensation. It felt as if something had come fluttering down from the sky, and I had caught it cleanly in my hands. I had no idea why it had chanced to fall into my grasp. I didn’t know then, and I don’t know now. Whatever the reason, it had taken place. It was like a revelation. Or maybe epiphany is the closest word. All I can say is that my life was drastically and permanently altered in that instant—when Dave Hilton belted that beautiful, ringing double at Jingu Stadium.

After the game (Yakult won as I recall), I took the train to Shinjuku and bought a sheaf of writing paper and a fountain pen. Word processors and computers weren’t around back then, which meant we had to write everything by hand, one character at a time. The sensation of writing felt very fresh. I remember how thrilled I was. It had been such a long time since I had put fountain pen to paper.

Read the whole article @ Literary Hub





Out Now! BookIsh Plaza eZine APRIL 2017

27 03 2017

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

In this issue:

  • Commemorating 50 Years of Cien años de soledad
  • Overal opa’s en oma’s selected for the Dutch Kinderjury. Vote till April 19th!
  • Ode to St. Lucian Poet Derek Walcott
  • Poetry Night in Aruba
  • And much more news………

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

BOOKISH PLAZA eZINE nr.61 APRIL 2017

Visit BookIsh Plaza for our New Arrivals!





How to Read More Books

27 03 2017


8 Ways to Read (a Lot) More Books This Year

How much do you read?

For most of my adult life I read maybe five books a year — if I was lucky. I’d read a couple on vacation and I’d always have a few slow burners hanging around the bedside table for months.

And then last year I surprised myself by reading 50 books. This year I’m on pace for 100. I’ve never felt more creatively alive in all areas of my life. I feel more interesting, I feel like a better father, and my writing output has dramatically increased. Amplifying my reading rate has been the domino that’s tipped over a slew of others.

I’m disappointed that I didn’t do it sooner.

Why did I wait 20 years?

Well, our world today is designed for shallow skimming rather than deep diving, so it took me some time to identify the specific changes that skyrocketed my reading rate. None of them had to do with how fast I read. I’m actually a pretty slow reader.

Here’s my advice for fitting more reading into your own life, based on the behaviors that I changed:

  1. Centralize reading in your home.
  2. Make a public commitment.
  3. Find a few trusted, curated lists.
  4. Change your mindset about quitting.
  5. Take a “news fast” and channel your reading dollars.
  6. Triple your churn rate.
  7. Read physical books.
  8. Reapply the 10,000 steps rule.

Read further @ Harvard Business Review

 





The Benefits of a Sensitivity Reader

27 03 2017

Sensitivity Readers Are A New Front Line In Helping Authors With Their Craft

What’s a well-meaning contemporary author seeking to portray a diverse world in her fiction to do? Several recent articles suggest a surprising answer: Hire a sensitivity reader to edit the manuscript.

In an excellent reported piece for Slate last week, Katy Waldman sketches out the uses and potential drawbacks of the practice. Sensitivity readers function as primary readers of a work in progress ― but while a traditional editor would read with a view for overall quality, a sensitivity reader focuses on the accuracy and potential offensiveness of a specific minority group’s portrayal. To ensure a Korean-American family is being depicted sensitively and authentically, an author might hire a Korean-American reader; to vet the characterization of a protagonist who uses a wheelchair, an author might hire a reader with the same disability.

Read further @ Huffington Post