Monday, November 4, 2013

Who Knew Jackie Would Fall Head Over Heels For A Couple of Reference Books?
At once a love letter to literature and a charming guide to the books most worth reading, A Reader's Book of Days features bite-size accounts of events in the lives of great authors for every day of the year. Here is Marcel Proust starting In Search of Lost Time and Virginia Woolf scribbling in the margin of her own writing, "Is it nonsense, or is it brilliance?" Fictional events that take place within beloved books are also included: the birth of Harry Potter's enemy Draco Malfoy, the blood-soaked prom in Stephen King's Carrie.

A Reader's Book of Days is filled with memorable and surprising tales from the lives and works of Martin Amis, Jane Austen, James Baldwin, Roberto Bolano, the Bronte sisters, Junot Diaz, Philip K. Dick, Charles Dickens, Joan Didion, F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Keats, Hilary Mantel, Haruki Murakami, Flannery O'Connor, Orhan Pamuk, George Plimpton, Marilynne Robinson, W. G. Sebald, Dr. Seuss, Zadie Smith, Susan Sontag, Hunter S. Thompson, Leo Tolstoy, David Foster Wallace, and many more. The book also notes the days on which famous authors were born and died; it includes lists of recommended reading for every month of the year as well as snippets from book reviews as they appeared across literary history; and throughout there are wry illustrations by acclaimed artist Joanna Neborsky.

Brimming with nearly 2,000 stories, A Reader's Book of Days will have readers of every stripe reaching for their favorite books and discovering new ones.
Jackie says:
"This book makes me sooooo very happy. There is a page for every day, and each page is filled with interesting tidbits about authors and their books. Overall, there nearly 2000 different and often unusual stories between the covers, providing wonderful glimpses of history, culture, and personalities. There are also recommended reading lists that will help you find some amazing reads. Trivia fans will love it, as well as pretty much any book lover."
A novel is a story transmitted from the novelist to the reader. It offers distraction, entertainment, and an opportunity to unwind or focus. But it can also be something more powerful—a way to learn about how to live. Read at the right moment in your life, a novel can—quite literally—change it.

The Novel Cure is a reminder of that power. To create this apothecary, the authors have trawled two thousand years of literature for novels that effectively promote happiness, health, and sanity, written by brilliant minds who knew what it meant to be human and wrote their life lessons into their fiction. Structured like a reference book, readers simply look up their ailment, be it agoraphobia, boredom, or a midlife crisis, and are given a novel to read as the antidote. Bibliotherapy does not discriminate between pains of the body and pains of the head (or heart). Aware that you’ve been cowardly? Pick up To Kill a Mockingbird. for an injection of courage. Experiencing a sudden, acute fear of death? Read One Hundred Years of Solitude for some perspective on the larger cycle of life. Nervous about throwing a dinner party? Ali Smith’s There But For The will convince you that yours could never go that wrong. Whatever your condition, the prescription is simple: a novel (or two), to be read at regular intervals and in nice long chunks until you finish. Some treatments will lead to a complete cure. Others will offer solace, showing that you’re not the first to experience these emotions. The Novel Cure is also peppered with useful lists and sidebars recommending the best novels to read when you’re stuck in traffic or can’t fall asleep, the most important novels to read during every decade of life, and many more.

Brilliant in concept and deeply satisfying in execution, The Novel Cure belongs on everyone’s bookshelf and in every medicine cabinet. It will make even the most well-read fiction aficionado pick up a novel he’s never heard of, and see familiar ones with new eyes. Mostly, it will reaffirm literature’s ability to distract and transport, to resonate and reassure, to change the way we see the world and our place in it. 

Jackie says:
"We all know that books can change your mood, your attitude, and sometimes, your life.  There is a power to prose (and poetry) that buoy's up the human soul.  Berthoud and Elderkin have taken "bibliotherapy" to an impressive level, culling bits and pieces from literature that spans 2000 years.  Feeling dizzy?  Read My Antonia by Willa Cather  Can't get rid of the hiccups?  There is a list of books that will provide a literary shock to scare them away.  Suffering from anxiety?  Read The Portrait of a Lady by James Joyce.  There are hundreds of recommendations in here, and all of them are fascinating.  The one thing THIS book won't fix is sleeplessness (though, actually, they have nine categories of causes of sleeplessness, all with their own literary recommendations) because you just have to just one more remedy (and another, and another....).  This is a fantastic book for any lover of books."

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