For the Love of Reading

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An avid reader is always searching for their next conquest. What better genre could there be for a lover of reading to peruse than books about books? Check out these “bibliobooks” from your local library for further investigation into the beloved pastime of reading:

Am I Alone Here?: Notes on Living to Read and Reading to Live by Peter Orner – A collection of 41 short essays about reading and life reflects the acclaimed writer’s beliefs about the role of stories in shaping his identity and includes entries on the censoring of the works of Isaac Babel and Zora Neale Hurston, the paradoxical loneliness of Franz Kafka and the dubious insanity of Robert Walser.

 

The Literature Book edited by James Canton – A global assessment of the forefront works of literature and the themes that unite them is presented through a collection of 100 articles, infographics, photographs and author biographies and is complemented by suggestions for additional reading.

The Books That Changed My Life edited by Bethanne Patrick – Including contributions from Al Roker, Carl Hiaasen, Gillian Flynn, Liev Schreiber, Tim Gunn, Margaret Atwood, Mayim Bialik and many others, 100 of today’s most prominent literary and cultural icons share the books that changed their life, why they love them and their passion with readers everywhere.

Browsings: A Year of Reading, Collecting, and Living With Books by Michael Dirda – A latest volume of writings by the Pulitzer Prize-winning critic and Washington Post columnist shares personal essays on diverse topics ranging from literary pets and cursive writing to book inscriptions and the pleasures of science-fiction conventions. Continue reading

Sing your way to early literacy

By Camille Thompson and Jacqui Dempsey-Cohen

This month, we’re celebrating early literacy with our Winter Reading activities for children birth-age 5.  Early literacy skills are the building blocks children acquire before they learn to read and write which help them on their journey towards literacy.  One of the ways caregivers can help children develop early literacy skills is through singing.  Singing, reciting nursery rhymes, and reading books with rhyming phrases helps children hear the smaller sounds in words, which will help them sound out words when they learn to read.  You don’t need to be a virtuoso to sing with your child– whether you can carry a tune or not, you and your child will reap the benefits of singing for early literacy, all while having fun together!  Try out more fun activities from our Winter Reading Activity Sheet, and once you’ve completed it, turn it in to any JMRL location for a free book.

These books are wonderful for rhyming and singing with your child:

Every Little Thing by Cedella Marley: An exuberant picture book adaptation of Bob Marley’s song that illustrates the reassuring story of a bouncing, dreadlocked boy who won’t let anything get him down.

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star by Jerry Pinkney: A lavish rendition of the classic song following the adventures of a curious chipmunk who embarks on an imaginary voyage to the stars.

Barnyard Dance by Sandra Boynton: Adorably silly farm animals dance and prance across board book pages in a frolicking read-aloud with foot-stomping rhythms and rhymes.

Goodnight Songs by Margaret Wise Brown: A collection of charming lullabies by the celebrated  author of Goodnight Moon, illustrated by 12 award winning artists.

Baa Baa Black Sheep by Jane Cabrera: Black sheep graciously offers bag after bag of wool to Miss, who hand-knits mittens, a tea cozy, and other fuzzy gifts for her friends. Includes music for piano and guitar.

Inch by Inch by David Mallett: Inch by inch and row by row, a boy and his dog help their garden grow in this playfully illustrated version of the classic song.

Seals on the Bus by Lenny Hort: What will the people on the bus do when raucous animals hop on board and add their voices to the din? This beastly twist on a favorite song will have young readers errping and roaring and honking along.

I Went Walking by Sue Williams: A melodious guessing-game concept book in which a shock-headed child goes for a walk and collects a procession of surprisingly colorful animals.

Star-Crossed Lovers

beautifulruinsWe’ve all heard of Romeo and Juliet, but their story is just one of many tragic tales of love and loss. Try one of these titles from JMRL if you’re looking for another pair of star-crossed lovers to keep you company on Valentine’s Day:

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter – Follows a young Italian innkeeper and his almost-love affair with a beautiful American starlet, which draws him into a glittering world filled with unforgettable characters.

Calling Me Home by Julie Kibler – Follows the experiences of hairdresser and African-American single mom Dorrie, who while struggling with difficult family dynamics reluctantly agrees to drive an octogenarian client to a funeral several states away.

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes – Taking a job as an assistant to extreme sports enthusiast Will, who is wheelchair bound after a motorcycle accident, Louisa struggles with her employer’s acerbic moods and learns of his shocking plans before demonstrating to him that life is still worth living.

The Lonely Hearts Hotel by Heather O’Neill – Two orphaned soulmates, one a piano prodigy, the other a dancing savant, dream up a plan for the most extraordinary circus show the world has ever seen against a backdrop of the Great Depression.

One Day by David Nicholls – Falling in love on the eve of their 1988 college graduations, Dexter and Emma embark on a heady relationship marked throughout subsequent decades by their disparate personalities, conflicts and misconceptions, in a tale told on the anniversaries of the day they met. Continue reading