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Readers

The Onion Reveals Best Books of 2014

avclub-logoThe Onion’s A.V. Club has revealed its list of best books of the year list.

Titles on the list include: The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell; The Martian by Andy Weir; Wolf In White Van by John Darnielle; Boy, Snow, Bird, by Helen Oyeyemi; and An Untamed State by Roxane Gay.

Here is more about how they came up with the list:

As usual, The A.V. Club invited our regular books writers to pick their favorite titles released in 2014. Since very few of our contributors read the same list of books each year, a ballot system doesn’t work as well. Here is a list of our 2014 book recommendations, from reviewed favorites to unsung gems. And don’t forget to vote for your favorite reads of the year in our readers’ poll.

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Teens Prefer Print Books: Nielsen

teen-booksTeens may be tech savvy, but they still prefer print books, according to new research from Nielsen.

In fact, according to the report, this demographic is less likely to buy an eBook than older readers. Twenty percent of teens reported that they would buy eBooks, less than the 25 percent of 30-44 year olds and 23 percent of 18-29 year olds that buy eBooks. Here is more from the Nielsen blog:

Several factors may play a role in teens’ tendency toward printed publications. Parents’ preference for print could have an effect or teens’ lack of credit cards for online purchases. But another explanation may be teens’ penchant for borrowing and sharing books rather than purchasing them, which is easier to do in print. Over half of teens are still looking for books on library or bookstore shelves. And in-store browsing is about level with browsing online for this group.

Bill Gates Picks The Best 5 Books He Read in 2014

billgatesBill Gates has unveiled a list of his favorite books that he read in 2014.

Some of the titles were not published this year because “sometimes I fall behind and don’t get to a book until well after it’s been published.” Gates’ five picks include Business Adventures by John Brooks, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, How Asia Works by Joe Studwell, The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion, and Making the Modern World: Materials and Dematerialization by Vaclav Smil.

Here’s an excerpt from Gates’ blog post: “I didn’t really plan it this way. But as I look at the list of the best books I read this year, I see how a number of them touch on economics and business. That’s fitting, in a year when Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century put a big spotlight on inequality. In addition, with the Asian economies so much in the news, I wanted to read How Asia Works, which promised to explain why some of the continent’s countries grew so fast while others languished. And I got to brush up on an old favorite, the best business book I’ve ever read.”

Can Books Spark Intimacy Between Lovers?

Helen RosnerHave you ever given a book suggestion to a significant other? Food writer Helen Rosner posted an essay on Buzzfeed about recommending books to a romantic partner.

Rosner (pictured, via) talks about how this particular act can create great intimacy for couples. She feels that the books an individual enjoys can say so much about their personality. Here’s an excerpt:

“Finding someone whose favorite books move me inherently — and not just because I love him — has been one of the greatest, deepest, most unanticipated pleasures of my life. And so a year ago I revisited Jane Eyre (my copy, as it happens, given to me as a gift by an earnest litigator who desperately wanted to impress me with his appreciation for Brontë) and took my cue from the book’s best line: Reader, I married him.”

Coloring Books Could Help Adults De-Stress

Art-thérapieFeeling a bit tense and anxious? Perhaps picking up a coloring book may be the solution.

Many psychologists recommend that adults cast aside the notion that only children should color.  These experts theorize that “when we focus on a particular activity, we focus on it and not on our worries.” According to The Huffington Post, “the practice generates wellness, quietness and also stimulates brain areas related to motor skills, the senses and creativity.”

A number of publishers throughout Europe and North America have released these types of books for adult readers. Some of these publications have become bestsellers in France and the United Kingdom. What do you think?

Jane Austen Fans Break World Record

janeausten550 dressed up Jane Austen fans came together for a Guiness World Record-breaking event during the Jane Austen Festival.

Organizers claim that this group has become the largest gathering of people dressed in Regency costume. The current record stands at 491 people. The event took place outside of the Assembly Rooms in Bath, Somerset.

Here’s more from The Telegraph: “When the announcement was made, cheers were heard around the tea rooms inside the Assembly Rooms, with the town crier calling out the results…Every year, thousands of people flock to the city from all over the world for the event, coming from over Europe and even as far as America. The event was part of the 10 day festival’s programme of activities which is a big tourist attraction in the city.” What do you think?

Reading Print Versus Digital Increases Comprehension: Study

bookstack304Reading a print book is better for comprehension than reading on a computer, according to a new report out of Norway.

Researchers from at the Reading Centre of the The University of Stavanger conducted a study on a group of 10th graders and formed this conclusion. For the study, students were divided into two groups — those reading books and those reading on computers. Both groups were given the same two texts, one fiction and one nonfiction. After they read the text, the students were quizzed for comprehension. Those that read print books did better on the tests than those that read on computers, even when accounting for their reading skills and vocabulary going into the study.

Why? The researchers concluded that reading print texts helps the brain form mental maps. ScienceNordic.com has more: Read more

Ralph Lauren Initiates Children’s Literacy Program

Ralph Lauren LiteracyRalph Lauren has initiated a Children’s Literacy Program.

According to the press release, the company executives have produced a “Literacy Capsule Collection” which includes t-shirts, a journal, a tote and bag charm. Buyers can choose from two different t-shirts; the limited edition one showcases a “runway sketch” and the other features “a new Polo Pony designed to promote childhood literacy in 12 languages.”

The company plans to release these items for sale starting in late August. The On Our Minds blog reports that “25% of the purchase price from items in the Literacy Capsule Collection will be donated to Reach Out and Read in the United States, with up to 100,000 books fulfilled by Scholastic.”

Bill Gates Reviews His Favorite Business Book in WSJ

UnknownWhat is Bill Gates‘ favorite business book? Business Adventures by John Brooks, a 1960s collection of New Yorker stories which profiles different companies.

Warren Buffett recommended the book to Gates back in 1991, and Gates says that the book is still relevant today. He reviewed the out-of-print title in The Wall Street Journal today, pointing out that while business times may have changed, human nature has not.

Here is an excerpt: “Unlike a lot of today’s business writers, Brooks didn’t boil his work down into pat how-to lessons or simplistic explanations for success. (How many times have you read that some company is taking off because they give their employees free lunch?) You won’t find any listicles in his work. Brooks wrote long articles that frame an issue, explore it in depth, introduce a few compelling characters and show how things went for them.”

Mike Stillkey Turns Old Books Into Beautiful Paintings

thequietallureofexistence-1.LOArtist Mike Stilkey uses the covers of discarded books as the canvas for colorful paintings featuring the likes of animals dressed up in costumes or playing instruments.

Thisiscolossal.com visited his recent solo show at The Gilman Contemporary Gallery and posted a ton of photos of these amazing creations. In an interview series posted on  YouTube, Stilkey explains that he had no formal training but was drawn to painting through skateboard culture.

Here is more about the artist from his bio: “Using a mix of ink, colored pencil, paint and lacquer, Stilkey depicts a melancholic and at times a whimsical cast of characters inhabiting ambiguous spaces and narratives of fantasy and fairy tales. A lingering sense of loss and longing hints at emotional depth and draws the viewer into their introspective thrall with a mixture of capricious poetry, wit, and mystery.”

 

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