Archive for March, 2015

March 23rd, 2015

Gethsemane: An Epic Poem About Us by R. Douglas Jacobs

by Gwen

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I don’t know about you, but as a reader, there are times that I need to step outside of the usual and try something new. Gethsemane was so far outside my comfort zone that it’s hard to know where to start talking about it.

It’s an epic poem…woah, there Nelly, the last time I read one of those was by force in high school and let’s just say it wasn’t a pleasant experience. Gethsemane was different and not only because I wasn’t being forced to read it. Perhaps the author explains it best…

Gethsemane is not your epic poem in the traditional sense. Its body of work is composed as an ode in three acts, but formatted as a linear narrative that is divided by one hundred forty-eight verses that read like sonnets. Each stanza (or poetic sentence) is no longer than twelve syllables in length, and each ends in a unique rhyme. Not a single rhyme was repeated, which accentuates the melodic beauty of each verse.

The key for me here was the “melodic beauty”, it was lyrical in a really calming non-Gilgamesh way. Music also plays a big part in the author’s original conception and that was a huge part of the overall reading experience. Jacobs went above and beyond for the audio version of the work (note: I say work, I don’t see this as just a book.) and he was kind enough to send me both the audio and printed version. There’s a sense of fullness and commitment that is such a unique experience that it’s hard to describe.

 

My thoughts? Obviously, I’m a bit dumbfounded on how to describe it…it wasn’t anything like reading or listening to a book, more like experiencing it.  It left me in an amazing meditative state and the entire concept just continues to blow me away. I may have to listen a few more times to allow it to really sink in.

 

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March 20th, 2015

8 Ways to Read More

by Gwen

Do you want to be a writer like Daniel Handler? Maybe you love Daniel and his work, but you really just want to expand your literary education. Either way, it’s important to invest more time to reading. Read on for ways to squeeze this important pastime into your day.

1. Figure out your purpose for reading. Why do you want to read? What do you want to get out of it? Do you want to learn about a certain topic? Maybe you want to get inspired for your own writing or read all of the classics. By having a purpose, you’ll make reading more of a priority.

2. Only read books you’re attracted to. There’s no point in making yourself read books you don’t have a genuine interest in!

3. Don’t feel guilty about skipping pages. If you’re reading educational books, you may already know some of what’s written. In this case, skip over it! No need to revisit information you already know when you can spend that time soaking up new knowledge.

4. Create reading goals. For example, you may want to read one new book every week or every month, or get through a certain number of pages or chapters every night. By giving yourself a goal and a deadline, you’ll make sure to reach for your book every day.

5. Add reading to your daily routine. For example, you can read every weekday during your train commute to work or every evening right before you go to sleep.

6. Always have your next book chosen. By knowing what you’re going to pick up after you’ve finished your current book, you won’t have down time between reads. This means you’ll stay in the habit of reading.

7. Use your free time to read. By always having a book or e-reader on you, you can get a few pages read when standing on line, waiting for a friend, or being stuck in a traffic jam.

8. Read in a quiet place. If there are fewer distractions around, you’ll find it easier to read and you’ll get through your daily reading goal faster. Plus, you’ll soak up the information more than if you were in a noisy place.

With these tips, you’ll hopefully be able to get through all of the reading you have planned for the year!

 

This was a sponsored post full of grand ideas. If I was to write the list, it wouldn’t have been practical. #1 would have been quit your job, farm the kids out to family and or neighbors, and change the locks on your house so your husband can’t get in. See? Not really practical. 

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