Tag: reading

"Can't believe Harry Potter dies at the end of endgame smh"

Our Favorite Bookish Tweets This Week

It’s time for some Friday Twitterature! As one of our many weekly features, Bookstr is taking a look back at some of the best tweets from our feed this week: celebs gush over Game of Thrones, spoilers threaten Avengers fans everywhere, and Jeff Bezos wants to ship to the moon. Get ready for the weekend (as if you weren’t already right there) with these literary tweets.


1. This dangerous tweet from kehlani




2. This self-promo tweet from Flo (of the machines)


3. This fan-fueled praise from Stephen king


4. in case you wanted to cry some more


5. Amazon ceo’s private space company is out for delivery


Amazon, the company set to take over the book publishing world AND the real world, may have some new developments. FYI, Blue Origin is basically Jeff Bezos’ own private NASA. We assume he wants to colonize space or become the next man to land on the moon (or the first, depending on whether or not you believe the conspiracy theory). He mysteriously Tweeted out a date without explanation or context… so, we can assume that this is the day he finally claims our souls?


6. family night pro-tip: don’t watch your own sex scene




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Print Vs E-Books: New Study Proves Which Is Better For Kids

The Print versus E-book debate is the hot new topic nowadays. Finally we have an answer to which is the better of the two, for children at least.

The new study from the University of Michigan was shared in the American Academy of Pediatrics earlier in March 2019.  Tiffany G. Munzer M.D., Fellow in Developmental Behavior Pediatrics says:


“We wanted to conduct this study because shared book reading is one of the most important developmental activities families can engage in. It promotes a love of reading, early childhood literacy, and attachment between trusted caregivers and their children”


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Dr. Tiffany G. Munzer | Image via Pediatrics – AAP Gateway 


For the study thirty-seven healthy parent-toddler pairs were gathered to read three book formats: enhanced electronic, with sound effects and/or animation; basic electronic; and print. The reading was recorded for each book read, and what the researchers were looking for was bond building, verbal communication, and connection to the reading itself between the parent and child.


Unfortunately for tablet and E-reader fanatics, the results were not in favor for electronic books whatsoever.


The gist of the results are that with E-books overall, the bonds between parent and child, the connection and focus on the story being told, and even the speed in which a book is read are all lessened.


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Image via raisesmartkid.com


The researchers believed this was due in part to the special features that E-books have over print books being too distracting for toddlers. Tiffany G. Munzer M.D. noted:

[T]he enhancements in electronic books interfere with reading comprehension, and parents verbalize less overall on electronic books compared with print…Toddlers [are at] an important developmental age…because of their immature attention capacity, which might make them more susceptible to these distracting enhancements.


Most of the time during the study, parents would have to stop reading because their child pushed the wrong button, or tapped the touchscreen incorrectly.


Maybe this is because toddlers are new to E-book technology, but if you think about it, toddlers are new to just about everything aside from eating, pooping, napping, and crying. Just a thought.


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Image via Tenor


Overall the results found that print books gave parents and toddlers a much better bonding experience where the child wasn’t distracted by any special graphics or lights. The pairs more often shared questions and comments for a discussion on what they were reading as well.


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Image via Dyslexia Association of Ireland


In an interview with ABC News Tamba Bay Munzer proclaimed, “The print book is really the gold standard in eliciting positive interactions between parents and their children.”In the post for American Academy of Pediatrics, Munzer also recommended that “pediatricians may wish to continue recommending print books over electronic books for toddlers and their parents.”


In the end print books win this battle, but the war continues.


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Image via Acorn House International



Featured Image via The School Run

Non Fiction Reading Challenge 2019

5 Non-Fiction Books You Need to Read Right Now!

As 2019 continues on, we have a lot of book releases to look forward to. Heck, if you want to see the list of the top three books I can’t wait for, check out this list.
Thank you for clicking on that.

Now you might notice that one of those books, Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud and The Last Trial of Harper Lee, is non-fiction. That book has not come out yet, but in honor of my anticipation here are five non-fiction books that have come out this year and are, above all, wonderful, eye opening, great reads.

Stephanie Land beside a cover of "The Maid"
Image Via Inlander
Released on January 22nd, Stephanie Land’s autobiography beautifully describes her life, post-eviction, as she recalls being tossed onto the street, working as a maid in houses she could never afford just to make ends meet and struggling with poverty. With dreams of moving to Montana, attending college, and becoming a full-time writer, Land’s life-long goals are always just out of reach, pushed back by childcare fees, heating bills, and rent. It’s a memoir that takes you through the underbelly of America. Gritty, soul-crushing, this is one for the masses to take heart.
Don’t believe me? Well, look at how the Nation states, “[i]n the end, her life does take a turn that sets her on the path to becoming a published author. But it is not a kind of fairy-tale twist so much as a gradual confluence of good luck.”
Cover of "When Death Becomes Life: Notes from a Transplant Surgeon" by Joshua D. Mezrich
Image Via Amazon
Released January 15th, Joshua D. Mezrich’s autobiography describes the tribulations and hardships of being a surgeon. Questions like “How much risk should a healthy person be allowed to take to save someone she loves?” or “Should a patient suffering from alcoholism receive a healthy liver?” are questions he faces on a daily basis, but nonetheless they are life changing.

A transplant surgeon by trade, the book opens with Dr. Mezrich, ferrying organs, getting aboard a small plane that winds up getting caught in a violent thunderstorm. The drama speaks for itself: not only are the passengers on the plane in danger, but the people who desperately wait for those organs are in danger of dying thanks to a storm they are far away from.

What’s going to happen? Read the book, but know that on CSL’s website Kevin Kovaleski, CSL Behring’s Senior Director and Therapeutic Area Strategy Team Lead-Transplant, said, “Mezrich’s book sheds light on a critical area of medicine, one that’s ready for advancements, innovations and breakthroughs”.


3. Becoming by Michelle Obama

Cover of "Becoming" by Michelle Obama

Image by Amazon

Despite its release on November 13, 2018, Michelle Obama’s autobiography is still going strong, and for good reason. The Guardian calls it “frequently funny,” Vanity Fare states, “surprisingly candid, richly emotional, and granularly detailed that it allows readers to feel exactly what Michelle herself felt at various moments in her life,” while the The New York Times noting that the book is more about motherhood than politics.

But I know what you’re asking: What’s my opinion? It’s great!


2. The Collected Schizophrenias: Essays by Esmé Weijun Wang

Esme Weijun Wang beside her book, "The Collected Schizophrenias"

Image Via The Paris REVIEW

The New York Times writes that “[i]n Wang’s kaleidoscopic essays, memoir has been shattered into sliding and overlapping pieces. . . . Her multifaceted arguments can be gratifyingly mind-expanding” and this book truly is mind-expanding. Winner of the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize, this collection of essays has stories that will break your heart, make you cry, and teach you about living with mental illness, as noted by The Paris Review which writes how it “examines schizophrenia from historical, medical, social, and emotional perspectives, and looks at the myriad ways it is misunderstood, including by the psychiatric community and schizophrenics themselves.”

The book shows that living with mental illness isn’t pretty, isn’t horrifying, but at its core is completely human.


1.The First Conspiracy: The Secret Plot to Kill George Washington by Brad Meltzer and Josh Mensch

Image result for The First Conspiracy: The Secret Plot to Kill George Washington by Brad Meltzer and Josh Mensch amazon

Image Via Amazon

Released January 8th, this book details the foiled plot to murder George Washington. George Washington, in case you didn’t know, was this General guy who became President or something.

I kid. It’s actually remarkable.

Back in 1776, the governor of New York and the mayor of New York City conspired to assassinate George Washington. It might have worked too, if it weren’t for that pesky would-be counterfeiter and that iron mill foreman. It’s exciting and is something straight out of a movie. It would be unbelievable, if it wasn’t true. (Here’s the SparkNotes-esque version on History Channel for those who don’t like to read)

Don’t believe me? (Why? I trust you, George) National Public Radio says, “The First Conspiracy is an excellent book, enthralling and beyond fascinating, and it’s sure to delight both fans of thrillers and American history.”
Check it out.
Also check out Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud and The Last Trial of Harper Lee when it hits bookshelves May 7th.
Featured Image Via Bookbub

I Think It’s Time to Rethink High School Reading Requirements

When you were in high school, did you ever question the required reading choices to pass your literature classes?


The other day I was helping my younger brother with his English assignment and noticed that he had a copy of Heartless, an Alice in Wonderland adaptation. Surprised to see it in his pile of school books, I picked it up and with a smile I asked him proudly if he was finally taking interest in reading on his own time. Being a fan of fantasy, I must say I was a proud older sister at that moment. He then took the book and told me “No, it’s the book we’re reading for one of my literature classes. The one I’m doing a research paper on.”


Image via Barnes and Nobles

I must have looked pretty confused because he immediately explained that his literature teacher had assigned modern adaptations of classics along for class assignments. The reason she gave them was that this would help them experience all forms of writing and open their minds to creativity. Although the school still had a set of required reading to be done in that year, she decided to try different approaches. The assignment was for the students to read both the original classic and the modern adaptation and write a report comparing the two.


While the study of classic literature does have its merits, it seemed like a great idea to take the kids out of the classic literature world because for too long young people have been taught only one type of literature in school. After all, it is an English and writing class, so why not broaden their minds?


Image via Amazon.com

Art history, music appreciation, and other classes that focus on specific art forms in a historical and analytical way can be both beneficial and enjoyable for students, but they are not required. Language classes are a definite necessity since they are applied in most if not all professions, but the study of classic literature is unnecessary. Studying classic literature in language classes provides no future benefit for students other than personal enjoyment or preparation to become a professor of classic literature themselves. Furthermore, those who struggle with language classes will only be hurt further by being forced to read and understand books written in older English, which is vastly different from the language used today and will most likely never will be used at any other point in their lives.


In my experience, even as an avid reader and lover of the written word, the majority of these reading requirements weren’t enjoyable for me. Having to take history classes then coming to English class to read a book about a soldier going through the Vietnam war wasn’t a bit pleasant. Usually after finishing the book, we were required to see the movie adaptation to write reports on how the film and book were different. This did nothing for me.


With the world changing as fast as it is, maybe it’s time schools reconsidered reading requirements for kids. There are hundreds of different genres and in today’s world that could very well be used as examples of different thought processes and writing styles, especially if there are students who are interested in going into the field of English Literature and creative writing.



Featured Image via modernmrsdarcy.com

A Homeless Man’s Coloring Book Pages Show Us Another Side of Creativity

A lesson for children and adults alike.

Healing, like creativity, is a process; there is no on/off switch. It flows like a river, sporadically obstructed by nature and chance. Shit happens—emotionally, spiritually, physically, we get hurt and we turn to various outlets to heal. People exercise, meditate, cleanse, float in some sort of sensory reduction tank (because apparently, that’s a thing), and others create. Regarding books, I do not mean to exclude the reader from this act of creation. There’s a well-known quote by Samuel Johnson circling our illustrious world wide web that says: “A writer only begins a book. A reader finishes it.”


Look at that face, that’s a solid blue steel.
Image Via Wikipedia


The reader fills in all the blanks—I know this because of all the literary theory classes those college people made me take…Reading allows the human mind to escape the limitations our so-called realities place upon it. Creating is the same. In the moment, your creation feels like all that matters. But it’s still about more than just you.

A local news station in Cleveland recently did a piece on a homeless man who enjoys drawing as a means to cope with his own limitations. Eugene Sopher draws pages for a coloring book that, due to Sopher’s precarious financial situation, may never be published. To Sopher, that doesn’t matter.



“I do this drawing, and it’s medicine, baby,” said Sopher. “I’m in the zone. Not trying to mix it with drugs, but it’s the best high I’ve ever had.”


His lack of finances and exposure have led to some unconventional PR methods: he relies on strangers to make copies for him so that he may share is art with the world. The wide variety of pages he has created contain lessons for young and old alike. Some of his pictures warn about the dangers of gang violence or meeting strangers online, and others aim to simply put a smile on your face. Sopher, who suffers from depression and bipolar disorder, has not had an easy life. He has felt the weight of the world and the resulting discombobulation. At forty-four years young, he spends a good amount of time drawing uncolored pages so that he can escape any personal grimness and help his readers.




“I can do something because if they’re reading that, they can say, ‘You know what? That happened to me. Oh, you what know, I went through that,” said Sopher. “A lot of the reason I keep my cartoons in black and white is it gives you a chance to put color to them.”


Sopher’s story and art remind us that creativity is not some sort of commodity purchased in the restricted section of society. It’s not exclusively available to those deemed ‘intellectual.’ It’s part of all of us, a silver lining that bridges the gap between reality and perception, body and soul. Regardless of one’s age, race, or gender—whether it be the lawyer who journals in her free time or the homeless man who lives to doodle—we are all connected by imagination and our ability to create.




Images Via News5cleveland.com