Book Recommendations To Bring You Closer to Inner Peace… or a Stronger Yoga Practice

Misadventures of a Parenting Yogi Home ImageA few weeks ago, when I learned that Brian Leaf had just come out with a new book, I literally squee’d. I’d loved his previous book, Misadventures of a Garden State Yogi, and this new one—Misadventures of a Parenting Yogi—aimed to hit two of my sweet spots: my yoga addiction and my impending motherhood.

Yes, I realize my last book roundup was about horror and despair and terror and creeping unease, but I’m also a vinyasa yoga instructor and meditate twice a day and wake up to the sound of Tibetan singing bowls (thanks to an iPhone app) every morning. As I’m sure I’ve said before, I contain multitudes.

So I’ve amassed quite the recommended reading list for those looking to incorporate yoga into their day-to-day lives.

Please. Reap the bounties of my nerdiness.Continue Reading

Roundup: They’re Creepy & They’re Kooky

In our Roundups segment, we’re looking back at all the great posts since the blog started in 2009. We explore posts from our archives as well as other top literary magazines and websites, centered on a certain theme to help you jump-start your week.

The month of October is heralded by an onslaught of horror movie marathons and ends with bags of discounted candy, both equally frightful in their own right. Whether you enjoy romping around in a costume on Halloween or scaring the bejesus out of your friends, we’ve got you covered with some spooky stories and thrilling reads.

Here, we’ve compiled some blog posts and things found across the Internet that’ll be sure to send a shiver up your spine!

5109415488_d494ab7994From Ploughshares

  • Whether you’ve been preparing for the zombie apocalypse since you were five or you were into werewolves before they were cool, Brenna Dixon has got a Ploughshares Playlist for all your monster needs.
  • Still searching for completely awesome, yet horribly last minute costume idea? The Ploughshares staff has you covered with these literary costumes.

Roundup: Bold Beginnings & Sensational Starts

In our Roundups segment, we’re looking back at all the great posts since the blog started in 2009. We explore posts from our archives as well as other top literary magazines and websites, centered on a certain theme to help you jump-start your week.

Autumn is upon us and students everywhere are getting into the routine of yet another semester. You may have started a new job or a life in a completely new city. Maybe you’ve just cracked open book you’ve yet to read. Either way, you’ve begun! And we hope it’s the start of something great.

Here, we’ve compiled some blog posts and things found across the Internet with fresh starts in mind.

5783321374_7f6b3e2b4dFrom Ploughshares

  • Coming up with a good beginning is often the hardest part. So make it count with some advice from Sarah Banse’s “From the Slush Pile…”

Top 10 Movies Starring Books

Trivia Challenge: Can you name the 1997 neo-noir thriller in which this 1939 tennis tome so prominently appears? (Hint: “Funny old world? Dog my cats indeed!” Read on for the answer….)

Trivia Challenge: Can you name the 1997 neo-noir thriller in which this 1939 tennis tome  prominently appears? (Hint: “Dog my cats, indeed!” Read on for the answer….)

The Great Gatsby. Les Misérables. Silver Linings Playbook. Sure, plenty of successful movies owe a big debt to books. “Based on the novel by…,” “Best Adapted Screenplay” and all that.

But what about great films in which books get out from behind the scenes to drive plot, reveal character, and create atmosphere, becoming actors of a kind themselves?

Welcome to my unabashedly biased list, Top 10 Movies Starring Books. Hang on tight, because we’re going to be hopping through genres and decades, crossing some international borders, rubbing elbows with some cinematic A-listers—and partying with some bold and brassy B’s.

Getting Meta: Turns out some of these movies starring books are also based on books. Can you spot them? Bonus points if you can name the author too. (Answers are at the bottom of this post.)Continue Reading

Roundup: Social Media, Technology, and Innovation

In our Roundups segment, we’re looking back at all the great posts since the blog started in 2009. We explore posts from our archives as well as other top literary magazines and websites, centered on a certain theme to help you jump-start your week.

We featured a post recently about literary magazine approaches to social media, and it got us thinking: How are writers being innovative with social media and technology? Enjoy this multi-faceted roundup.

From Ploughshares:

  • In our “Innovators in Lit” series we look at lit mags, editors, and writers on the edge. Here are our interviews with The Lit Pub, featherproof books, and an interview with Dzanc Books editor Matt Bell.

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Roundup: Is a Literary City in Your Summer Travel Plans?

In our Roundups segment, we’re looking back at all the great posts since the blog started in 2009. We explore posts from our archives as well as other top literary magazines and websites, centered on a certain theme to help you jump-start your week.

Summer has finally arrived, so start making your travel plans. Intending to do some literary-themed vacations or road trips this year? Here’s a list of places where you can get your bookshopping, writing inspiration, and literary geekiness on:

From Ploughshares:

A while back we did a “Literary Boroughs” series of book-ish and book-y places around the US and the globe. Here are some destinations (in the form of a helpful itinerary):

  • 2036277618_912f1fcdacSince Ploughshares is based in Boston, we’ll start off with our lovely Beantown’s rich literary history (in two parts here and here!).
  • Head down to Baltimore, the self-named “The City That Reads,” tour its many bookstores, and brush up on your Poe history.
  • Fly out to Denver, where there are some great book events and nonprofit writing centers.
  • Head up to Portland and visit Powell’s, home to over a million used and new books.
  • End your trip in Seattle spending time writing at the many (many!) coffeeshops.
  • Need someplace further afield? Head to Berlin, Prague, Dublin, or Madrid.

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Roundup: Summer is for Lovers (and Writers)

In our Roundups segment, we’re looking back at all the great posts since the blog started in 2009. We explore posts from our archives as well as other top literary magazines and websites, centered on a certain theme to help you jump-start your week.

If Grease has taught us anything, it’s that summer is the time for lovin’, and if your inbox has taught you anything, it’s that wedding season is upon us. Here’s a roundup of posts about the often volatile, sometimes emotional, and ever dynamic relationships between writers, readers, and work.

From Ploughshares:

Roundup: MFA-ccident? Or Worth It?

In our Roundups segment, we’re looking back at all the great posts since the blog started in 2009. We explore posts from our archives as well as other top literary magazines, centered on a certain theme to help you jump-start your week. This week we have posts on MFA programs.

Okay, so bad pun in the title. But the question is a sincere one that has been asked a lot recently. Is it worth it for an aspiring writer to get an MFA? The following articles from Ploughshares and from around the web contribute to the conversation…

From Ploughshares:

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Roundup: Getting Rejected

In our Roundups segment, we’re looking back at all the great posts since the blog started in 2009. We explore posts from our archives as well as other top literary magazines, centered on a certain theme to help you jump-start your week. This week we have posts on getting rejected.

In baseball, if you get out seven times out of ten, you’re considered a great hitter. You’re considered great at what you do. Like baseball players, writers have to face rejection, and they have to face it most of the time. 

rejection letter

Wine helps.

From Ploughshares:

  • In “Many Forms of Rejection,” Thomas Lee writes, “If there is an award for taking rejection without being fazed, I’m pretty sure I could win.”

Roundup: The End—Putting Your Story to Bed

In our Roundups segment, we’re looking back at all the great posts since the blog started in 2009. We explore posts from our archives as well as other top literary magazines, centered on a certain theme to help you jump-start your week. This week we have posts on story endings.

So you’ve got a great story, but don’t know where to start when it comes to ending it.  Sound familiar? The following expert advice on ending stories will help you find your story’s final landing spot.

From Ploughshares:

the end.Continue Reading