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Literary Links

Textual Healing: The Novel World of Bibliotherapy

From The Walrus, a Canadian publication: “Though not a stand-alone clinical practice in Canada, clinical bibliotherapy is a method used by professionals who already have certification in counselling, therapy, and clinical therapy and want to help patients seeking an additional outlet.”

But be certain to see also the next sentence: “Nonclinical bibliotherapy can’t replace professional help for patients with mental illnesses; instead, it is often used in conjunction with other forms of clinical therapy.”

This is an informative article about the history and growth of the bibliotherapy movement.

In Brain Waves, Scientists See Neurons Juggle Possible Futures

“Faced with a decision, the brain weighs its options by bundling them into rapidly alternating cycles of brain waves.”

To make even trivial decisions, our brains sift through a pile of “what ifs” and weigh the hypotheticals. Even for choices that seem automatic—jumping out of the way of a speeding car, for instance—the brain can very quickly extrapolate from past experiences to make predictions and guide behavior.”

Since our life story depends on the decisions we make, I’m always fascinated by articles like this that examine new findings in neuroscience.

The Federal Writers’ Project: Exploring “The Greatest Literary Project in History”

“Now, some in Congress are looking to the FWP as a model for a new jobs program for writers,” writes Clare Barnett. Read her history of the original Federal Writers’ Project, developed to employ writers in “the biggest public works program in American history” during the Great Depression.

Introducing our 10 best debut novelists of 2022

From The Guardian: “We talk to the authors of the most exciting first-time novels of the year, exploring everything from the English civil war to Instagram, TV chefs to knife crime.”

The Messay: An Introduction

Laura Sackton explains why the messay, “the memoir-essay hybrid,” is one of her favorite kinds of books:

A messay isn’t just a blend of memoir and essay. It’s a messy blend of memoir and essay. Messays can be messy structurally, thematically, emotionally. The important bit is that they’re not straightforward. They often meander. They go off on tangents and then circle back in surprising ways. They shakes things up. They’re complicated.

Have We Forgotten How to Read Critically?

What a case of synchronicity that I found this piece right after the article listed above. Although their slants are different, they both contain the kernel of the same thought: essays are a writer’s efforts to figure something out, and they should be read carefully and critically.

Here Kate Harding writes:

Every day of the last two years, we’ve seen the devastating consequences of combining a torrential flow of information with lousy reading and thinking. We have to do better . . . Reading better, thinking better, is quite literally a matter of survival in the time of Covid and climate change, in these days when we’re reflecting on the first anniversary of disinformation-powered insurrectionists breaching the U.S. Capitol. It’s no longer enough to see a headline, feel a feeling, and go off. We have to ask more questions, of ourselves and our sources. . .

A Library the Internet Can’t Get Enough Of

Photo of a huge, two-room library crammed with books, both on shelves and stacked between shelves.

You’ve probably seen this image more than once if you follow social media and literary stories at all.

‘PW’ Turns 150

Publishers Weekly, with its “ong history of being involved with innovation in the [pyblishing] industry,” celebrates its 150th anniversary.

© 2022 by Mary Daniels Brown

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