Chelsea Leu suggests seven books that “describe the experience of becoming absorbed by a skill or craft, and deliver insights into what mundane activities—say, playing sports or learning a foreign language—can tell us about how we live today. Look closely enough at any human endeavor, these books suggest, and you’ll find lessons on our relationship to the natural world, to history, to other cultures, and to our own body.”
Categories: Literature & Culture, Literature & Psychology, Nonfiction, Reading
“In Dostoyevsky’s final novel, narrative unfurls at the mad and authentic pace of human emotion.”
Jennifer Wilson writes, “In ‘The Brothers Karamazov,’ now available in a lively, fast-flowing new translation by Michael Katz (Liveright), Dostoyevsky blended the family novel with the whodunnit, revealing the capaciousness of the novel as a form and the power of blood as a metaphor.”
Categories: Fiction, Literature & Culture, Literature & Psychology, Writing
“From sizzling romance to Russian classics, talking about books can help you find your people”
Tatum Hunter, in the Washington Post, has suggestions for “the best tech-enabled destinations I found to hang out with other book lovers.”
Categories: Book Groups, Reading
“Since its inception in 2007, Goodreads has been a place where people can come together and rate their favorite books, find new authors, and more. This writer juggles the greater implications of the site with our current reading culture.”
I know a lot of people have issues with Goodreads. I’ve avoided most of the complaints I’ve heard by using Goodreads only for the few features that I like (tracking books I’ve read, generating end-of-year reading statistics). What have been your experiences with Goodreads and other book-related social media?
“Publishing is currently the weak point that bad-faith AI users are trying to infiltrate,” writes Constance Grady for Vox.
Categories: Publishing, Writing
In his book The World Behind the World: Consciousness, Free Will, and the Limits of Science, neuroscience researcher Erik Hoel declares, “Novel reading is mind reading.” In this excerpt from the book, he explains why no other art form, including film, can mimic the novel’s ability to achieve this function.
Categories: Fiction, Literature & Psychology, Reading
I like books that feature writers as protagonists because they often address all sorts of issues that swirl around the center of creation, writing, and reading. But Chris M. Arnone disagrees, arguing that writer-as-protagonist is an overdone trope and that most writers’ lives aren’t very interesting anyway.
Categories: Fiction, Reading, Writing
In 1973, the American Psychiatric Association established the so-called Goldwater Rule as a response to the many mental-health professionals who had ventured glib and florid diagnoses of Senator Barry Goldwater during his 1964 presidential campaign. . . . In the four decades between its enshrining and the 2016 election, the Goldwater Rule—which prohibits psychiatrists from issuing diagnoses of public figures they haven’t seen as patients—was mostly honored.
In The Atlantic Scott Stossel reports that “psychiatrist Peter D. Kramer seems to have successfully engineered an end run around the Goldwater Rule: In his interesting and challenging new novel, Death of the Great Man, Kramer takes on some of the relevant psychological issues of the Trump era via fiction.”
Categories: Literary History, Literature & Culture, Literature & Psychology
© 2023 by Mary Daniels Brown