Sunday, April 15, 2012

A marvelous--and rare--interview with Anne Tyler

From Britain's Guardian newspaper: Here are the beginning paragraphs:

"If you were to pop by Anne Tyler's house in leafy Roland Park, Baltimore, on a Tuesday afternoon, you might interrupt her and five women friends deep into an episode of The Wire. They have seen all five seasons three times, and are discussing how soon they can begin a fourth viewing....

Today, Tyler is in London. In the literary world this is news. Before the publication of her latest novel, The Beginner's Goodbye, she hadn't given a face-to-face interview for almost 40 years – and before that she gave only two. Her reluctance to submit to the demands of today's publicity machine means that any newspaper feature (there are remarkably few) inevitably compares her to the reclusive Salinger.

But when we meet, on a sunny spring morning in Kensington, it's hard to imagine anyone less like the irascible Salinger; with her silver fringe, upright posture and smiling eyes, she radiates equanimity, friendliness and goodness, if that doesn't sound too Tylerish. Literary editors and journalists had given up even inquiring if she might grant an interview – why has she agreed now?

'It's sort of whimsical. I'm 70. And I thought, why not?' The same answer she gave to her husband when he asked her to marry him."

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Rereading Books is Good for Mental Health

Rereading Books Good for Mental Health

Reading a book more than once can offer mental health benefits, according to a study published in the Journal of Consumer Research.

The Daily Mail reported that the study, based upon interviews with readers in the U.S. and New Zealand, found that the "first time people read--or watch--through, they are focused on events and stories. The second time through, the repeated experience reignites the emotions caused by the book or film, and allows people to savor those emotions at leisure. The 'second run' can offer profound emotional benefits."

"By doing it again, people get more out of it," said Cristel Antonia Russell of American University. "Even though people are already familiar with the stories or the places, re-consuming brings new or renewed appreciation of both the object of consumption and their self."

Read the Daily Mail article here:

And if you want to experience this effect for yourself, you could do worse than rereading The Great Gatsby and then coming to our Blast From the Past Reading Series on April 18th, when Allan Gurganus will lead a "Great" discussion of Jay Gatsby, Daisy Buchanan, and Nick Carraway.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Study Shows Thriving Small Businesses Lift Real Estate Values

"The report studied 27 neighborhoods where small businesses have thrived in 15 major U.S. cities. It found that home values in these neighborhoods outperformed their broader markets by 4 percent per year and 50 percent cumulatively over the past 14 years. The “indie hotspots” in the 27 neighborhoods support an average of more than 1,800 jobs at independent retailers, restaurants and bars. "

See the Berkshire Hathaway Business Wire article about this study at: