Last Week's Links

Literary Links

Learning How to Read Slowly

Laura Sackton, a self-proclaimed fast reader, explains her reasons for learning “about how to shift some of my bookish energy toward slower, more deliberate reading” because, she writes, “there are some books that are better when read slowly.”

I couldn’t agree more. And I was especially intrigued by her realization that, “for me, slow reading has nothing to do with time. It’s about the way I read. It’s about how present I am with a book.”

Category: Reading

What is that voice in your head when you read?

Here’s more about reading, from two psychology professors at the University of Memphis. Although written for kids, the information about developing an inner voice is interesting.

Category: Reading

Narrative Medicine Writing Saved My Sanity

Physician Arthur Lazarus writes:

Storytelling saved my sanity during the coronavirus pandemic. The lockdown afforded me time to write and share stories about my life and career. I wasn’t writing my memoir as much as I was engaged in the practice of narrative medicine writing — stories about the meaning of illness and opportunities to reflect on the vastness and depth of human experience in the healthcare setting. After I began telling my stories, I discovered the field of narrative medicine has been around since the turn of the century.

Read his history of narrative medicine and how both physicians and patients can benefit from engaging storytelling in their interactions.

Categories: Reading, Story, Writing

Faulty Memory Is a Feature, Not a Bug

Two of the basic themes of Life Stories in Literature is “we are what we remember” and “we create our sense of self from the personal experiences we remember.” Here Cody Kommers, who holds a Ph.D. in experimental psychology, explains a bit about how memory functions and why forgetting is necessary for imagination.

Categories: Life Stories in Literature

Finding Happiness When Life Doesn’t Turn Out as You Planned

Another important concept in Life Stories in Literature is how we find meaning and purpose in life by narrating our personal experiences. 

Social psychologist Juliana Breines, Ph.D., offers “four strategies that can help us embrace a different life than the one we planned.”

Categories: Life Stories in Literature

13 Novels That Reclaim the Stories of the Women of Greek Mythology

“Giving Voice to the Voiceless”

Yet another aspect of Life Stories in Literature is the drive to give voice to people who, over the centuries, have been marginalized by having their voices removed from history.  In western culture, women have been one of the largest category of such people. Recent history has produced a movement to counter this historical trend through literature aimed at giving imaginative voices to women from the past. Here’s a list of major literary works that examine beliefs and events from women’s perspectives.

Categories: Life Stories in Literature, Literary Criticism, Literary History, Literature & Culture, Reading, Writing

The Most Read YA Books in College and University Classes

I didn’t grow up with the concept of YA (young adult) literature and was therefore to read the opening statement: “The category of young adult literature is 55 years old” (which makes it much older than I thought but still younger than me). Over its lifespan YA literature “has not only grown in popularity, its reputation as a body of thought-provoking literature has, too.”

Kelly Jensen has analyzed “the thousands of syllabi made available through Open Syllabus, [to] find . . . the most read YA books in college and university classes.”

Categories: Literary Criticism, Literary History, Reading

Notes from Prince Harry’s Ghostwriter

Ghostwriters used to make a lot of money not only for writing someone’s memoir, but also for keeping their own involvement a secret. That old tradition was finally nixed when J.R. Moehringer was revealed to be the author of Prince Harry’s immensely popular book Spare. Here Moehringer tells his story.

Category: Memoir, Reading, Writing

Do Great Actors Make Great Novelists?

“It doesn’t matter if Tom Hanks’s new novel is great—or even any good. When it comes to the rich literary tradition of actor-novelists, we’re asking all the wrong questions.”

Jonathan Russell Clark begins this article by giving away the ending: “Great actors don’t make great novelists.” Clark continues, “the reason this is true has nothing to do with acting and everything to do with novel-making.”

Categories: Reading, Writing

The greatest literary feuds and gossip of all time… ever

I thought my list for this week was done—until I stumbled across this piece, which is just absolutely too good to pass up.

Categories: Literary Criticism, Literary History

© 2023 by Mary Daniels Brown

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