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The Dreariness of Book Club Discussions Novelist and critic Naomi Kanakia, who belongs to two book clubs, uses the context of her book group discussions to examine why we read fiction. The point of novels, she writes, “is that something happened. Something was at stake in this story. Characters made decisions. Those decisions had consequences. …

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Last Week's Links

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How Librarians Can Counter Lies from Book Banners This problem isn’t going to go away any time soon, so we need to stay informed. Categories: Censorship, Libraries 5 Messy Characters You Can’t Help But Love My favorite phrase for describing humans is “deliciously messy.” So I immediately zoomed in on this list by Zeniya Cooley: …

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Why does experiencing ‘flow’ feel so good? A communication scientist explains I’ve written here about flow before (here and here). In this article Richard Huskey, an assistant professor of communication and cognitive science at the University of California, Davis, discusses how the concept of flow figures into his resolutions for 2022. He has been studying flow …

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What Our Biggest Best-Sellers Tell Us About a Nation’s Soul “Reading America through more than two centuries of its favorite books.” In The New Yorker, Louis Menand takes on Jess McHugh’s book Americanon, which discusses “thirteen American books, from ‘The Old Farmer’s Almanac,’ first published in 1792, to Stephen R. Covey’s ‘The 7 Habits of …

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A Literary Guide to Combat Anti-Asian Racism in America “Anti-Asian violence and discrimination has increased precipitously, but it has a long history in the United States” Jae-Yeon Yoo and Stefani Kuo offer a reading list to help readers in the U.S. better understand racism against Asian Americans: We’ve compiled this list as a way to …

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What’s Behind the Label ‘Domestic Fiction’? Soledad Fox Maura, professor of Spanish and Comparative Literature at Williams College and soon-to-debut novelist, wonders why World Cat “(the biggest library search engine on the planet)” has classified her upcoming novel, Madrid Again, as domestic fiction: Why would my novel, about an itinerant bilingual mother and daughter who …

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Book Club Spotlight: How This 20-Year-Old Book Club Connects Virtually The group of 15 ladies successfully transitioned from over 20 years of dinner and monthly meetings at the Rancho Santa Margarita City Hall to a virtual format — and were even able to welcome back a few members! Most recently, the club held its annual …

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We Need More Dark Stories with Hopeful Endings Author Les Edgerton believes that dark novels needn’t have completely dark endings: “To endure page after page of never-ending pain and sorrow and to culminate in the same morass of tragedy would only be nihilism, and the best books don’t end like that.” Here he lists some …

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woman sitting & reading in front of book shelves

Life in an Independent Bookstore Near Seattle

Coronavirus Diaries: I Own a Bookstore. I Don’t Know How Much Longer We Can Survive. I live in Tacoma, WA, about 30 miles south of Seattle, the epicenter of the coronavirus influx into the United States. This article in Slate therefore caught my eye and seems appropriate to pass on since it’s about books. Laurie …

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