Reading to wellness

Here’s a wonderful article about bibliotherapy.

And So She Thinks

For avid readers, the idea of bibliotherapy is not new at all. Many people feel better after curling up with a good book. There’s a feeling that they are good for the heart and soul, and it’s not unusual to find a feeling of friendship within the page, looking to them for guidance and perspective, asking questions such as ‘What Would Jane Do?’

Using words to soothe the emotions and alter thoughts is the root of bibliography – the use of literature to help people deal with psychological, social and emotional problems. The concept dates back to 300 BC when ancient civilizations placed inscriptions over library entrances that stated that within the building was healing for the soul. Aristotle considered literature to have healing benefits and reading fiction to be a way of treating illness and in Titus Andronicus William Shakespeare encourages the audience to ‘Come, and take choice of…

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Celine by Peter Heller

Celine by Peter Heller

celine

In Celine, Heller introduces readers to an aristocratic PI with emphysema. The titular character is also an excellent shot with a mind as quick as trap.

Even though she’s on the Social Register, Celine prefers reuniting birth families pro Bono. She doesn’t care for any other kind of detective work, though she once worked for the F.B.I.

One of the most admirable characters in a long time is this one–gutsy and privileged Celine who sincerely cares for the underdog.

Celine is given a strange case–a woman who was abandoned twice by her own father. The woman is in her 40s now and would like to find her father so he can meet his grandchild.

The man, a National Geographic Explorer photographer, may have faked his own death. He also may be on the run from the CIA for his involvement in political matters in South America.

Celine has her own secrets. The second mystery that unfolds is who Celine really is and what she’s hiding from her “Watson,” her husband, Peter, and her son, Hank.

Based on the dedication page, it appears that Celine and Peter are versions of the author’s own parents.

Peter Heller has also written The Dog Stars and The Painter.

http://www.peterheller.net/

For writers (as well)

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

 

Steve Jobs

The Promise by Anne Weisgarber

promiseAll novels begin with trouble. Catherine is on the verge of poverty after she has an affair with a married man.

Disgraced, Catherine Wainwright decides to make a fresh start in Galveston. Though she never planned on marriage, a man she scarcely remembers from high school has offered to marry her.

From Dayton, Ohio, Catherine journeys to the unknown where the food, religion, climate and ways of life are foreign to her.

Oscar Williams, the man who offered marriage, had adapted to Galveston. Catherine believes that she can, too, even if it means becoming a step-mother to a five-year-old and living under the watchful eye of a resentful servant, Nan.

Catherine and Oscar learn to love each other, even if they have different ways. Catherine is a college graduate and was a celebrated pianist. She has refined ways whereas Oscar is a dairy farmer. His home is on stilts and there’s no electricity.

Catherine learns to appreciate Oscar’s goodness; even if, tragically, the Galveston Hurricane of 1900 will change everything.

This is a well-researched historical novel filled with delightful people who are honest and hard-working, especially Nan and Oscar.

Catherine, of course, has a past, but she learns the true meaning of love and family when she meets Oscar and his little son.

This could have been a beautiful story about making a fresh start and beginning anew, but the tragedy of the storm muddies this beautiful message.

 

 

Fellside

Fellside by M.R. Carey

Fellside is another terrifying, yet gripping story by M.R. Carey, the author of The Girl With All The Gifts. 

Jess Moulson goes on a hunger strike shortly before entering a maximum security prison, Fellside.

Though Jess nearly dies, a young boy gives her a reason to live. Alex, the ghost of the boy whom everyone believes she killed, asks her to do the one thing she cannot refuse.

Fellside is a ghost story that reads like a riveting psychological thriller and suspenseful mystery.

Jess’s relationship with Alex is complicated. She wants to protect him from everything but he is also powerful. He saved her when a nurse punctured her artery instead of her vein:

“He’d brought her back from the abyss, from the mouth of the grave. She owed him everything and he owed her nothing except arguably a life for a life and a tooth for a tooth.”

Alex knows, however, that the fire Jess started while she was high hadn’t killed him.

The fire she set hadn’t killed him because he was already dead. So who hurt him and how did he die?

As a favor to Alex who brought her back from the blackness, Jess agrees to appeal her case and investigate what truly happened to him.