It's important to hear things from multiple perspectives.
Beauty is not a sign of moral integrity, it is just a genetic fluke.
Books can build bonds between generations.
An obligation to read is no kind of incentive to pick up a book, and it often has the opposite effect, rendering the intended reader incapable of turning off the television or logging off Facebook.
Modern libraries play an important role, not in upholding a sense of academic excellence and intellectual superiority among users, but in their inclusivity. They are places where people of all demographics can come together and enjoy the free use of a public space.
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There is a particular kind of humour to be found in the pages of a book. It is often subtle and unexpected, creeping up on the reader who didn't expect to laugh. After all, isn't reading considered qu...
Books can play an invaluable role in imparting life lessons on children. But there is a big caveat: the lesson has to be delivered subtly, within a story that is fun, entertaining, and ideally, a little bit silly.
Just as Bob Dylan called on writers and critics to herald the future in his famous song 'The Times, They Are a-Changing', writers continue to play an important role in documenting change, including the evolution of the role of fathers.
When we find certain words repellant, it's not their sound but their meaning, or association with certain unattractive bodily functions that gives rise to this response.
To my consternation -- given my hopeless devotion to books -- I found that my first child could not have been less interested in books. He fidgeted, then bawled. Perhaps there was something about the green sheep that just didn't appeal. He certainly didn't give a damn where it was.
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Is it envy or a distrust of power that we are exhibiting when we relish the stories of the failure or downfall of our powerful politicians or sportspeople? We even have a term for the phenomenon: the tall poppy syndrome. And when a tall poppy falls, we revel in it.
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Fiction can serve a lot of different purposes. It can entertain us, inform us, uplift us and move us. But can it counsel us as well?
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It is a dichotomy that is familiar to many siblings, who are tied together in a relationship that is strange and complex, full of contradictions, and veering wildly between love and resentment, complicity and rivalry.
I still love to read books set all around the world. I want to experience the lives of those far removed from my own, to visit bustling markets, stone castles and arid deserts in the pages of a book. But I will not dismiss the value of reading about my own country, in the words of those who know it best.
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And although the focus on empathy in the workplace and the new breed of business books is heartening, I wonder whether non-fiction is the best place for business managers and leaders to gain an understanding of empathy. I believe that Cloudstreet, Animal Farm or Harry Potter could be a better place to start.
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The experiences of the characters in The Natural Way of Things, by Charlotte Wood, are extreme and shocking. But, what is even more shocking is that there is more than a touch of familiarity in the female women's experiences.
Whenever I'm verging on literary snobbery, dismissing the latest popular romance, true crime or fantasy novel, I check myself. Because sometimes the 'worst' books can be the best.
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Some people swoon over Ryan Gosling in 'The Notebook'. Others prefer Brad Pitt in 'Thelma and Louise'. A twist of Mick Jagger's hips drives some people wild. Others can't get enough of Ricky Martin's rumba. But all it takes to pique my interest is an intricate plot and clever turn of phrase.
It is one of the greatest skills of writers to expose the human condition by holding a mirror to readers' lives, personalities and aspirations. But the reflection isn't always a pretty one, as our vanities, insecurities and fears are laid bare.
I want to gather and devour all of the books I can before I die, even if that means skimming over multi-layered brilliance and tasting a mere morsel of genius. But it is a children's series that has given me cause to reevaluate my approach to rereading.