The 10 Essential Elements of a Gothic Novel

In the spirit of Halloween, we highlight the Gothic genre. Gothic literature emerged as one of the most chilling forms of Dark Romanticism in the late 1700s, and has since captivated readers with terrifying, mysterious narratives. Evident in the works of great Gothic writers such as Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker, the Bronte sisters, and many more, Gothic stories feature distinctive elements that make the genre so unique.

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Bibliotheraphy: Can Books Treat Mental Health Issues?

The Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg is by many accounts a "feel-good read" – a book that readers say makes them feel upbeat after having finished it. But that raises the question: Can a book truly influence your mood?   It turns out that scientists have long speculated that reading can, in fact, have an impact on one's mental health, and a practice called "bibliotherapy" has arisen around this belief.

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Best Book Club Books for 2019

From the early 20th century to our contemporary time, from California to Georgia to Washington D.C., from Israel to India and to Ireland, and from the voices of a six-year-old boy to a young newlywed woman to a recent widowed man, the books we've picked for the coming year are diverse and powerful. Whether you love an intimate focus on the heart, like Only Child, An American Marriage and The Story of Arthur Truluv; or the panoramic exploration of a point in time such as Code Girls or The Woman's Hour, there is something for everyone.

All twelve books have 5-star BookBrowse reviews and are already, or soon will be, published in paperback (and are already available in hardcover and e-book.) You'll find everything you need to decide which are right for you and your book club here on BookBrowse, including reviews, discussion guides, excerpts and "beyond the book" articles.

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Familial Co-Authors Writing Under a Single Pen Name

Every time BookBrowse reviews a book we go "beyond the book" to explore a related topic, such as this article originally written as background to The Last Mrs Parrish, a debut novel written by sisters Lynne Constantine and Valerie Constantine:




Lynne Constantine and Valerie ConstantineAccording to their website, "Liv Constantine is the pen name of sisters Lynne Constantine and Valerie Constantine." Hearing this piqued my curiosity regarding, not simply literary collaborations (there are tons of those), but writers who collaborate and then publish their fictional works under a single pseudonym--and in particular writers who are related to each other.

Here are some famous related co-authors who write under a single pen name:

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Veterans Day Display Idea for Libraries

Many thanks to Darcus Smith, of Metropolitan Library System's Edmond Library in Oklahoma, who shares a successful idea for honoring military veterans on Veterans Day:

Last winter we had an awesome three-tier display for Veterans Day (November 11th) that featured books about all branches of the military. In addition, we invited our library patrons to write the names of their loved ones who had served in the military on white stars, so others could read their names. 

The picture here is an early shot, but as word spread, the tiers were full and it became a huge, beautiful display of white stars. This idea could also be adapted for Memorial Day - there's so much that can be done in remembrance of our veterans.



BookBrowse suggests the following non-fiction titles:



Does your library have an idea - big or small - to share?
We would love to hear it!

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Banned Books in the USA - Infographic

September 23rd is the start of Banned Books Week, an annual awareness campaign promoted by the American Library Association and Amnesty International that celebrates the freedom to read, draws attention to banned and challenged books and highlights persecuted individuals. Last year's top ten banned titles consisted mainly of titles written for children and teens that address sex and gender, and two adult titles read in schools: The Kite Runner and To Kill a Mockingbird.

In honor of Banned Books Week, here's part of an interesting infographic of the top banned books in different genres, the reasons why they've been banned in the past, and interesting facts and stats. You can see the full infographic at Invaluable.

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