Summary of “So you want to read classic books during the coronavirus pandemic”

If you are the kind of person who likes to embark upon a project in times of stress, there are worse choices during quarantine than trying to read your way through a bunch of the classic great books.
If your only plan is to read books you vaguely understand to be classics, the idea of starting can be overwhelming.
Books for when you want something familiar and accessible If you want a classic that you can probably finish in about a day and still be able to get plenty out of, turn to the high school reading list staples: They won’t be very long or very dense, and plenty of them are damn good books.
If you want to read back in time, to ease your way into the transition, start with Jane Austen.
You might feel intimidated by the number of pages, but I promise you that if you can read other 19th-century literature, these books are all well within your capabilities as a reader.
Now is the time for The Waves! Now is the time for Ulysses! Now is the time for formal prose experiments that you’re not totally sure you’ll ever fully grasp but want to read anyway, just to see if you can!
Read the Zora Canon, a list of the 100 greatest books by African American women writers.
There are so many books out there waiting for you to read them, and so many of them are good.

The orginal article.

Summary of “I Read 50-Plus Books Every Year: Here’s How I Do It”

Over the past three years, I’ve read 174 books, and I’ve done it all while balancing a full-time job, extra hobbies, and what I consider to be just the right amount of a social life.
By the time a new year rolled around, I made it a goal to finish 50 books.
Are you hoping to finish more books in 2020? Follow these five tips I’ve picked up along the way.
Narrative style, structure, and your own taste all come into play to determine how long you’ll take to finish a book.
Though other voracious readers may keep up their pace by switching from book to book, I’ve found that sticking with one title at a time helps me to retain my focus and get through books faster.
Let’s face it-not every book is going to grip you in its first page or even its first chapter.
By publicly logging how many books I finished in a year, I found myself getting competitive with myself from month to month.
This is what I most often say to people when they ask me how I finish a considerable number of books per year: It’s something that I set out initially as a goal, which later became a habit.

The orginal article.

Summary of “This 3-Minute Habit Changed My Life”

Tracking my time has changed how I think about my time.
My time logs showed me that even in a full life there can still be space.
Knowing where the time goes allows you to redeploy time from the mundane to the meaningful, and from the forgettable to the memorable.
Everyone knows working moms don’t have time to read, right?
The result is that since I started tracking time, I have read War and Peace.
Since I mostly work out of a home office and don’t have a regular commute, I wasn’t building “Time in the car” into my mental model of life.
Time Tracking Helped Ease Working Parent Guilt I’d recommend time tracking to anyone prone to parental guilt.
With the time logs recording those sunsets, I simply cannot claim that I have no time.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Zadie Smith Showed Me How to Believe in the Novel”

“My thing is that good novels are really fucking rare. They’re just really rare. So I totally agree with everyone who says it feels like the novel is dead – because it always feels like that.”- Zadie Smith.
As Smith notes, every few years or so, there’s a lot of hand-wringing over both sides of the Atlantic about the imminent death of the novel.
Today, the debate over whether the novel is just a bourgeois form incapable of mapping the totality of our worlds has since given way to the heralding of pop-culture representation, a demand for more people of color, more women and non-binary people, some of them even queer, making an appearance in story-telling and bringing along their trauma.
The novel need not be a means of divining the future for clever literary critics.
So what of Smith, who insists on the form, who “Get[s] hung up on generalized theories of the novel,” who insists on writing about flawed black characters, who, for all her nebulous former-working-but-currently-upper-middle-class anxieties, is an astute writer of class? NW remains her best novel not just because it is an ultimately compassionate rendering of the brutality of growing-up in a world devastated by capitalist imperatives, but because this telling illuminates the possibilities of the novel form itself.
It’s not just that the lives of Natalie and Leah are worth writing about; it’s that the novel and its conventions expand to accommodate the downtrodden, the just-getting-by, the people willing themselves to upward mobility that Natalie calls “Miracle[s] of self-invention.” That hip-hop is included in the novel is not a novelty, but an act of real, formal import.
Speaking at the Inaugural Philip Roth Lecture in the Newark Public Library in 2016, Smith suggested that fiction offers an “Ambivalent space in which impossible identities are made possible, both for authors and their characters.” It isn’t a space for aspiration necessarily, nor is it a place for the relatively narcissistic reader to find slivers of herself in the moving shadows and sentences of the novel.
Smith continued: “Great novels free us into an understanding that the tension between true/not true might in fact be livable, might not have to be judged and immediately neutralized in the court of public opinion or in the oppressive conservatism of our social lives.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “Authors list the books they might finally read in quarantine”

We asked a number of authors about the books that they’ve intended to read over the years without actually reading.
For me this has to be “Middlemarch,” a book I have attempted to read over 100 times, I am sure.
“Middlemarch” is my favorite Victorian novel, but I’ve never read George Eliot’s last opus, “Daniel Deronda.” I’ve had it on my shelves since graduate school – so for nearly 20 years.
For the record, I’ve read the classic long-term TBRs – Proust, Melville and “Infinite Jest” – and see no reason to try “The Man Without Qualities” because I’ve never liked Musil all that much.
Then I will read “Lampedusa,” the novel about Giuseppe di Lampedusa, the author of “The Leopard,” and then reread “The Leopard.” Essentially I’ll engage in a series of linked exercises that will require me to make many more connections that will keep me from my fears.
One book on my ‘to read’ shelf is Yoko Tawada’s “The Emissary,” which won the National Book Award in translated literature.
For the first time in two years, I’m reading a book I don’t have to read. It’s Kate Elizabeth Russell’s “My Dark Vanessa.” I’m also rereading “Sabbath’s Theater.” Oh, and I have to add my downstairs-bathroom book too.
The book that has been on my bookshelves the longest is “Middlemarch.” Now that we’re all facing weeks of self-isolation, I might finally have a chance to read it.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How WWII Saved The Great Gatsby From Obscurity”

One day in 1937, F. Scott Fitzgerald stepped into a Los Angeles bookstore hoping to grab a copy of The Great Gatsby.
“One finishes Great Gatsby with a feeling of regret, not for the fate of the people in the book but for Mr. Fitzgerald,” wrote Harvey Eagleton of the Dallas Morning News.
The Great Gatsby sold a modest 20,870 copies-nothing like Fitzgerald’s previous best sellers, This Side of Paradise and The Beautiful and the Damned.
History forgot Fitzgerald while he was still alive, so why do we think of The Great Gatsby as the enduring classic of the Jazz Age? That story begins, and ends, with a world war.
When Gatsby reinvents himself as a rich man, she remains impossible to have-just as Ginevra was to Fitzgerald.
Fitzgerald had a hunch that to write the Great American Novel, he’d have to leave America.
More than one million soldiers read Fitzgerald’s Great American Novel.
These new converts-and the generations that would follow-saw in Gatsby something that Fitzgerald’s contemporaries had dismissed as short-sighted.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Reviewer’s Fallacy”

According to Rotten Tomatoes, 92 percent of critics liked the movie.
Viewers gave Daddy’s Home 2 a 59 rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and the critics an 18.
The discrepancy between their estimation and the critics’ is an example of a persistent phenomenon.
As a friend of mine suggests, critics fall prey to a sort of hermeneutic Stockholm syndrome.
Inside Llewyn Davis got 93 from the critics and 74 from the public on Rotten Tomatoes.
Here’s the heart of the problem: The set of critics’ and audiences’ interests do not perfectly overlap but rather form a Venn diagram.
In the audience circle, the pressing question is, “Should I spend some number of the dollars I have to my name and the hours I have left on Earth on this thing?” Critics get in for free and by definition have to read or watch or listen to whatever’s next up.
Take last year’s Best Picture winner, Moonlight, which has a 98 critics’ and 79 audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, and which I haven’t seen.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Just Read the Book Already”

She had, she concluded, “Changed in ways I would never have predicted. I now read on the surface and very quickly; in fact, I read too fast to comprehend deeper levels, which forced me constantly to go back and reread the same sentence over and over with increasing frustration.” She had lost the “Cognitive patience” that once sustained her in reading such books.
Whenever he tried to read anything substantial, Carr wrote, “I get fidgety, lose the thread, begin looking for something else to do. The deep reading that used to come naturally has become a struggle.” Reader, Come Home’s chapters are written in the form of letters-Wolf’s attempt to strike an intimate tone-but for all her adoration of literature, this is a writer who lives most of her professional life in the realm of academia and policymaking, an environment that has left its mark on her prose.
In her defense, unlike, say, her fellow neuroscience popularizer and Proust fan, the disgraced Jonah Lehrer-a pleasure to read if you don’t know about the plagiarism and fabrication-Wolf is a serious scholar genuinely trying to make the world a better place.
Reader, Come Home is full of sound, if hardly revelatory, advice for parents-read to your small children instead of handing them an iPad with an “Enhanced” e-book on it that can read itself aloud while you check your smartphone-and considered policy recommendations.
Sure, we read Twitter and Facebook, but not in the way we read even so fragmented a text as a newspaper.
In her paeans to deep reading and its power to engender critical thinking, “Wherein different possible interpretations of the text move back and forth, integrating background knowledge with empathy and inference with critical analysis,” Wolf argues that good readers learn to weigh their acquired knowledge against the text, testing it.
Why, Clay Shirky argued, couldn’t Carr recognize that the form of “Literary reading” he lamented had had its day and was being replaced by something different but of even greater value because it is so much more democratic? The reason no one’s reading War and Peace is, Shirky asserted, because it’s “Too long, and not so interesting.” Instead of mourning the loss of the “Cathedral” reading experience offered by a great 19th-century novel, we should be adapting to the “Bazaar” culture of the internet.
In Reader, Come Home, Wolf arrives bearing a bit more evidence in defense of deep reading, and specifically the reading of fiction, which some researchers have found to increase empathy.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Tsundoku: The Art of Buying Books and Never Reading Them”

Do you have a habit of picking up books that you never quite get around to reading?
So when put together, “Tsundoku” has the meaning of buying reading material and piling it up.
“Which is likely to be satirical, about a teacher who has lots of books but doesn’t read them.”
While this might sound like tsundoku is being used as an insult, Prof. Gerstle said the word does not carry any stigma in Japan.
Another Word for Bibliomania? Hands up if you regularly used the word “Bibliomania” before reading this article.
While the two words may have similar meanings, there is one key difference: Bibliomania describes the intention to create a book collection, tsundoku describes the intention to read books and their eventual, accidental collection.
Does It Only Work for Books? Strictly speaking, the word doku does mean reading, so tsundoku should probably only be used when discussing literature.
Some people even joked the service should rename their annual week of discounting the “Steam Tsundoku Sale”.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Tomi Adeyemi, Angie Thomas and More on Changing the YA Books Industry”

Only yesterday, Emezi’s Pet was named a finalist for the 2019 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature-a prize Acevedo nabbed the previous year with The Poet X. Stone was gearing up to release three new books.
An annual study by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center at the University of Wisconsin found that of the 3,200 children’s books published in 2013, only 94 were about black people.
The late Walter Dean Myers, who’d written over 100 books about young people of color, took the publishing industry to task in a Times op-ed: “Books transmit values. They explore our common humanity. What is the message when some children are not represented in those books?… There is work to be done.” In the years since, to the benefit of all young readers, that work is being done: In 2018, those numbers nearly quadrupled.
Akwaeke Emezi recalls being surrounded by books while growing up in southeastern Nigeria-everything from Chinua Achebe to Enid Blyton to the volumes available for the taking at the local book swap.
“We need more editors, copy editors, graphic designers. It has to be across the industry, from the marketer to the publicist. If it’s just writers, the creativity is there, but the machines behind them that get these books into the spaces they need to be in-mindfully-will be lacking.”
Angie Thomas began telling stories as a child in Jackson, Mississippi, devising better endings to the books her mother read at bedtime and reciting them on the spot.
On the Come Up was fueled in part by her first novel turning up on various school districts’ banned and challenged book lists for being deemed “Anti-cop.” “It’s frustrating, because you’re basically telling young people, ‘If this book is about you, your life makes me uncomfortable,'” Thomas says.
Now, as a middle-grade and young adult novelist with four books under her belt, Stone writes with the express purpose of weaving narratives that reach young people who might find themselves in a similar situation.

The orginal article.