Category Archives: Books Read

Book It Across the Pond

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I love the warmer weather because it means I can sit outside and do a little reading. Though the problem I’ve found: when you venture outside of the park, there isn’t much in the way of bench seating. Yes, you can sit on the concrete steps of Diversey Harbor (like Harry Potter and I did this weekend), but I can never get comfortable. There’s something about sitting on a bench and reading and having the backdrop of a Lake behind you.

It seems London and the National Literacy Trust have cured my current dilemma by teaming up with with a cartoonist and How to Train a Dragon creator. The Books about Town campaign brings to life classic book illustration interpretations on 50 park benches. Yes, there are book benches strewn about London begging for you to sit and read and they depict some of your favorite books. As we know, I love a seek and find when it comes to the arts.

Heavy sigh. Via BBC News Entertainment & Arts

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P.L. Travers’ Mary Poppins by Artist Darel Seow

Michael Bond's Please Look After This Bear by Artist Michelle Heron

Michael Bond’s Please Look After This Bear by Artist Michelle Heron

Charles Dickens' Great Expectations by Artist Ivan Liotchev

Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations by Artist Ivan Liotchev

 

 

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The Things Readers Carried

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When I read The Book Thief a few years ago, there was a quote that really stood out and well, I still carry to this day.

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I find this to be all too true. A great book, I just want to keep holding as the book and story have a hold on me. It’s hard for me to really let go of a story and its characters since it all feels so incredibly real. And according to science now, it appears I’m not going crazy as a story implants itself in your brain and sticks around for a bit, changing the way your mind works.

Dr. Gregory S. Burns and his research team conducted a study with undergraduates and recorded their brain activity while reading Pompeii (Robert Harris) over nine days and then continued monitoring brain activity for an additional five days after finishing the book.

Huffington Post writer Jacqueline Howard goes into more detail about the study and its findings, yet I cannot help to just love this little nugget from Dr. Burns during Howard’s reporting:

“At a minimum, we can say that reading stories –- especially those with strong narrative arcs -– reconfigures brain networks for at least a few days. It shows how stories can stay with us. This may have profound implications for children and the role of reading in shaping their brains.”
— Dr. Gregory S. Burns

And now, I think I’m going to have to pick up Pompeii.

Bookin’ Around Town

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I was a huge fan of food trucks when they first hit the streets a few years ago. Cupcakes on the go?! Lunch that meets you on the corner?! And all you had to do was tweet and follow businesses. And then I got food truck fatigue and do not remember the last time I ventured to one (plus most have retail spaces now).

Then I saw this geniusness from Penguin Group: Penguin Book Pushcart. It’s a mobile bookstore, but unlike the bookmobile from yesteryears, it comes complete with café style seating and a pushcart to wander the streets. Apparently this vehicle was just in Chicago for the American Library Association conference and I missed it. You can track the vehicles’ movements and stops through their website (it’s already been bookmarked).

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Source: Penguin Book Truck Facebook Page

 

Wish Granting Factory

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I bought The Fault in Our Stars last week to read on my Colorado trip. Except I didn’t make it that far. Instead, I laid in bed reading for five hours until I finished the book. That’s one of my favorite feelings in the world; getting so consumed by a book the only way to stop is for the book to run out of pages and words.

I can say of all the years of book reading, I’ve never cried in a book. Sure, I might have cried during a movie adaptation, but I’ve never cried while reading. I’ve actually found myself a tad jealous of those who can get so lost in their imaginations and the written word to produce such powerful emotion.

And then it happened. The eyes welled up. A few tears trickled down. I regained composure. A full-on sob. Followed by I-can’t-quite-breathe sobs. And then again, pulling it together to finish the ending and more sobs. Then for some reason, I felt compelled to reread the ending. Puffy eyes greeted me in the morning.

The tale is about two teens who meet during a cancer support group. You know something bad/sad is going to happen, it’s inevitable right? But man oh man, the way John Green makes you fall in love with these characters so that you’re not worrying about their stories but more so their thoughts and feelings is truly genius. You get so wrapped up in Hazel’s and Augustus’s day-to-day that you don’t even have time to contemplate, read into foreshadowing or figure out where the story’s landing.

Just like Augustus and Hazel, I finally got my wish.

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Summer Reading List

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Two years ago during the Film Festival, we screened The Descendants and had a Q&A with the lead opposite George Clooney, Shailene Woodley. I remember sitting there thinking how well-spoken, down to earth and real she was while holding a mic and speaking to a room full of strangers. She had a command and presence that just pulled you in.

Fast forward to today, and she is blowing up. With the lead in the Divergent series (which by the by, is a FANTASTIC series and highly recommended if you enjoy/ed Hunger Games) and The Fault in Our Stars (just picked up the book, plan on reading it during this weekend’s Colorado trip), she’s in this spectacular trailer, The Spectacular Now. It’s also based off a book.

There’s your Summer reading list courtesy of Shailene Woodley’s movie career.

Oh and naturally, I’m all about the song in this trailer– “Feel Again” by OneRepublic

Book It to Algonquin Hotel

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When I’m staying at hotels, I’m always itching to get out of the room, no matter how immaculate it is. And then I saw this and figured my hotel ways would for sure change.

The Algonquin Hotel just announced a partnership with Simon & Schuster that will feature a Simon & Schuster Suite and Package. The Suite, stocked with bookcases of classics, book memorabilia and advanced copies of new releases, features a living room and king-sized bed and a turn-down service where you walk away with a soon-to-be-released book.

Should you decide to venture outside of the hotel room, there will be breakfast in the Round Table Restaurant and author readings. Rainy vacation days in NYC just got oh so fantastic, with a $459/night price tag. For a photo gallery of the featured room, Christopher Reynolds of Los Angeles Times provided some images.

Via Publishers Weekly