Readersforum's Blog

January 27, 2014

Reading Books Is Fundamental

Filed under: Books — Tags: , , , , — Bookblurb @ 8:23 am
Charles M. Blow

Charles M. Blow

The first thing I can remember buying for myself, aside from candy, of course, was not a toy. It was a book.

It was a religious picture book about Job from the Bible, bought at Kmart.

It was on one of the rare occasions when my mother had enough money to give my brothers and me each a few dollars so that we could buy whatever we wanted.

We all made a beeline for the toy aisle, but that path led through the section of greeting cards and books. As I raced past the children’s books, they stopped me. Books to me were things most special. Magical. Ideas eternalized.

Books were the things my brothers brought home from school before I was old enough to attend, the things that engrossed them late into the night as they did their homework. They were the things my mother brought home from her evening classes, which she attended after work, to earn her degree and teaching certificate.

Books, to me, were powerful and transformational.

Click here to read the rest of this story

Advertisements

Can reading make you smarter?

 Smarter: The New Science of Building Brain Power by Dan Hurley

Smarter: The New Science of Building Brain Power
by Dan Hurley

There is evidence that reading can increase levels of all three major categories of intelligence. I believe my discovery of Spider-Man and other comic books turned me into a straight-A student.

By Dan Hurley
When I was eight years old, I still couldn’t read. I remember my teacher Mrs Browning walking over to my desk and asking me to read a few sentences from a Dick and Jane book. She pointed to a word. “Tuh-hee,” I said, trying to pronounce it. “The,” she said, correcting me, and that’s when it clicked – the moment when I learned to read the word “the”.

Growing up in Teaneck, New Jersey, in the 1960s, I was what Mrs Browning called “slow”. During a parent-teacher meeting, she told my mother: “Daniel is a slow learner.” I sat during lunch in the gymnasium with the – forgive the term – dumb kids. I was grouped with them during reading and maths: the “slow group”.

And then, a year later, I was rescued by Spider-Man.

Click here to read the rest of this story

The 9 Best Books That Don’t Exist

SandBy Gabe Habash

It’s time to make you really sad: here are 9 great books…that don’t actually exist.

But while the world would certainly be a better place if they did exist (except #4 and probably #1), if you haven’t read the books they’re from, change that right away.

Click here to read the rest of this story

Here, Kitty, Kitty: Even Dog Lovers Should Read ‘The Guest Cat’

KittyBy Juan Vidal

The best novels are often the ones that change us. They speak to a void, sometimes quietly, other times loudly from the proverbial rooftop. When done right, they bring to the surface important questions and compel us to look inward. Over time, they stay with us — like small miracles.

A best-seller in France and recipient of Japan’s prestigious Kiyama Shohei Literary Award, The Guest Cat is a rare treasure. In just under 140 pages, it spans a wide spectrum of emotion and detail. Takashi Hiraide, the Japanese poet and novelist, blindsided me. His prose — so illuminating and achingly poetic — made me care. Damn it, it made me care a lot.

Click here to read the rest of this story

Etisalat Prize for Literature Announces 2013 Shortlist

AfricaEtisalat Prize for Literature Announces 2013 Shortlist

Innovative telecommunications company in Nigeria, Etisalat, today announced the 2013 shortlist for the Etisalat Prize for Literature.

Bom Boy by Yewande Omotoso (Modjaji Publishers)
Finding Soutbek by Karen Jennings (Holland Park Press)
We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo (Little, Brown and Company/Chatto & Windus UK)

In its inaugural year, the Etisalat Prize for Literature is the first Pan-African literary prize created to recognize and reward debut fiction writers in Africa. The winner will be presented with a cheque of £15,000, an engraved Montblanc Meisterstück and will attend The Etisalat Fellowship at the prestigious University of East Anglia, mentored by Professor Giles Foden, author of the Last King of Scotland.

The shortlist was decided after a retreat in Morocco where the judges met to discuss at length the nine longlisted books. Pumla Gqola, Chair of the Judges said ‘We discussed each of the books on the long list in quite some detail, although considerably more time was dedicated to those books that were ranked differently by the judges. We are quite pleased to have reached yet another important milestone in the young life of the Prize’.

Click here to read the rest of this story

Daniel Defoe & Moll Flanders

Daniel Defoe    (1660 - 1731)

Daniel Defoe
(1660 – 1731)

By Steve King

On this day in 1722 Daniel Defoe published Moll Flanders — or, more exactly, “The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders &c who was born at Newgate, and during a Life of continued Variety for Threescore Years, besides her Childhood, was Twelve Year a Whore, five time a Wife (whereof once to her own Brother), Twelve Year a Thief, Eight Year a Transported Felon in Virginia, at last grew rich, liv’d Honest, and died a Penitent.”

Click here to read the rest of this story

January 24, 2014

25 Big Novels That Are Worth Your Time

ProustBy Jason Diamond

What we love about big novels is that you have to get really comfortable with them. A big page count usually equals a big chunk of time, meaning you need to be a serious reader without a fear of commitment, but with books like Eleanor Catton’s The Luminaries, Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch, and Sergio de la Pava’s A Naked Singularity receiving heaps of praise and major literary awards in 2013, there is a very great chance that this year will probably see its share of great novels that tip the scales at over 500 pages. With that, we offer you this list of epic page turners that you may have missed, skipped, or just couldn’t finish the first time, because we believe that bigger can certainly be better, and these books are proof of that.

Click here to read the rest of this story

The 10 Weirdest And Most Wonderful Libraries In The World

MatrixBy Kimberly Turner

Let’s do a word association exercise. When I say “books, borrowing, building…” you’d say, “library.” Great. We’re off to a good start. Let’s try again: “Donkey, tank, phone booth, UFO…” Anybody? No, it has nothing to do with donkey versus alien combat. This one’s a little tougher. Okay, I’ll give it to you. The answer, once again, is “library.” See, although the libraries most of us visit on the regular are dull municipal buildings that we’d avoid were they not full of thousands of free books, some communities have fanciful architectural wonders, animals who deliver books to children, repurposed phone booths full of reading material on the street, and other wonderfully unexpected ways of bringing reading to the people.

Click here to read the rest of this story

The last hieroglyphic language on earth and an ancient culture fighting to survive

DongbaBy April Holloway

The Dongba symbols are an ancient system of pictographic glyphs created by the founder of the Bön religious tradition of Tibet and used by the Naxi people in southern China.  Historical records show that this unique script was used as early as the 7th century, during the early Tang Dynasty, however, research conducted last year showed that its origins may date back as far as 7,000 years ago.   Incredibly, the Dongba symbols continue to be used by the elders of the Naxi people, making it the only hieroglyphic language still used in the world today.

The Naxi people lived in the beautiful mountain province of Yunnan (“south of the clouds”) for thousands of years, where they developed their own rich and enduring culture.

Click here to read the rest of this story

Congreve, Fondlewife, Maskwell….

William Congreve    (1670 - 1729)

William Congreve
(1670 – 1729)

By Steve King

On this day in 1670 English playwright William Congreve was born. His “comedy of manners” toasted and tilted at the “gala day of wit and pleasure” enjoyed by those who lived in the inner circles of power, or wished they did — “men and women of quick brains and cynical humours,” says the Cambridge History, who talk “with the brilliance and rapidity wherewith the finished swordsman fences.”

Click here to read the rest of this story

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: