Spring has finally sprung. The past few months have not seen many updates to our Posts and Lessons section of the site with our staff busy dealing with life and all of the formalities that come along with it. However, we have been busy behind the scenes working on some new content that relates to books, writing, and teaching.
Last week, we launched the first video on our YouTube channel, which is part of an upcoming series called Writing Workshop. These videos are meant to be used by Language Arts teachers in the classroom to supplement their original lessons. Students can view the videos at home for additional reinforcement or in the classroom if the teacher is absent or bogged down which work, which we know happens from time to time. They are meant to be concise and clear, and hopefully they will get even better with time. The first video, Using Textual Evidence in Essays, is accessible through the "Videos" link on our homepage. Please subscribe to our channel to get notified of new video uploads.
Additionally, we are continuing to offer more literature-based apparel with all profits being donated to the Bridge of Books Foundation, which provides books to underserved children in New Jersey. On our online store, we just launched a black tank top that is perfect for the warm summer months. If you enjoy book-based puns, then you will definitely be a fan. We also added "Astounding Science Fiction" shirts that were originally printed by our friends at Free Cake. They are available through the "Store" link on our homepage as well.
Although running Why We Read is a passion project and part-time operation, we hope to provide more content during any available time in the coming months. Thank you for visiting, and we hope to see you soon!
As summer 2017 rolls along, we are all recharging while also mulling over some ideas for new content here at Why We Read. Be sure to keep an eye here as the warm months progress. In the mean time, we figured we would share some summer book recommendations that will either keep you entertained or flex your brain while in the sun.
Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang: Although this 2002 collection of short stories is notorious for the source material of the film Arrival, Chiang's sci-fi volume is brimming with mind-bending and entertaining goodness. "Division by Zero" and "Hell Is the Absence of God" are the standouts here, as long as you do not mind getting a bit cerebral with your stories.
Our Only World: Ten Essays by Wendell Berry: When describing Wendell Berry's work, the Poetry Foundation notes how "whether he is writing poetry, fiction, or essays, his message is essentially the same: humans must learn to live in harmony with the natural rhythms of the earth or perish." Berry frequently manages to describe a world on the brink of doom while still retaining hope, and that is particularly what Our Only World does. It is a poignant text that is absolutely needed for this time, during which many powerful figures are losing reverence for our planet.
Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur: Simple, digestible, and profound, Kaur's breakout book of poetry from 2015 has been receiving critical acclaim. Whether you have loathed or enjoyed poetry in the past, it is worth taking a look at this genuine expression of life as a young woman in today's world. Her next book of poetry, The Sun and Her Flowers, comes out in October.
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline: Anyone reading this post has probably heard of this book, but if you have not read it yet, you may want to get that done before March of next year. Steven Spielberg's film adaptation is now in post-production, and you definitely want to be one of those "I read the book first" people, right?
To The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf: Split into three parts, all focusing on the Scotland summer home of the Ramsay family, To The Lighthouse is an introspective and mood-driven read. With summer trips and visits with loved ones filling most schedules this time of year, this text will make you take a step back and consider how your life has changed and what the future may hold. If you want a read that has a chance of causing an existential breakthrough, give Woolf's book a shot.
We are pleased to announce that we have printed up a short run of t-shirts for a good cause. The Bridge of Books Foundation is a group who aim to "to provide an ongoing source of books to underserved children throughout New Jersey in order to support the development of literacy skills and encourage a love of reading," and all profits from the sale of these shirts will be donated to them. Since we are based in New Jersey, it only makes sense for us to give back to our state with the gift of books.
These shirts are the real deal, folks - they are black Canvas brand pocket tees with our logo on the front pocket and our "READ" flag design on the back. We basically wanted to make a shirt that we wanted to wear, and we think you'll like them too. If you are interested in picking one up, check out our online store.
More lessons and posts are coming shortly. Thanks for reading!