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Reading is good for your health Shreve Memorial Library just recently concluded the second annual Beanstack

Shreve Memorial Library just recently concluded the second annual Beanstack Winter Reading Challenge. We challenged Caddo Parish to read at least 500 books during the month of January, and you all surpassed that goal, reading a total of 1,573 books.

This month, we are encouraging you to participate in the African American Read-In and celebrate diversity in literature. In May, we will celebrate Children’s Book Week and the second annual Shreve Memorial Library Children’s Book Festival, and in the summer months, the annual summer reading program will take center stage. Each fall, we encourage you to join our One Book One Parish reading campaign. While it may seem like the library pushes reading in seasons, reading regularly throughout the year can have many positive health benefits for you.

There are countless articles and studies out there measuring the benefits of reading on health. Here are a few of my favorite, healthy reasons to read.

Reading exercises your brain — well a brain is not technically a muscle — but reading helps you concentrate, focus, reason, understand, and retain information, keeping your mental functions sharp. Studies have even shown that reading can help to reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s.

Reading helps to reduce stress, and we all know stress is a key factor in many health issues including high blood pressure and heart disease. Getting lost in a good book is a great way to slow down and let go of the pressures and stress of the day.

Reading also helps with social skills and coping mechanisms for life’s challenges. Have you ever read a book and completely related to the character in the story because you experienced similar challenges in real life? Or have you ever read a self-help book for guidance? Reading about another person’s experiences (real or fiction) can help you to look at your situation in a different light, help you to feel like you are not alone in the experience, and help you to process feelings you may not have been able to express.

So whatever your reason for picking up a good book, just remember that reading is good for your health, and you can find many good books to read at Shreve Memorial Library. Here are just a few available at the library.

New Books at the Library

The Kinship of Secrets by Eugenia Kim (fiction)

From the author of The Calligrapher’s Daughter comes the riveting story of two sisters, one raised in the United States, the other in South Korea, and the family that bound them together even as the Korean War kept them apart. In 1948 Najin and Calvin Cho, with their young daughter, Miran, travel from South Korea to the United States in search of new opportunities. Wary of the challenges they know they will face, Najin and Calvin make the difficult decision to leave their infant daughter, Inja, behind with their extended family; soon, they hope, they will return to her. But then war breaks out in Korea, and there is no end in sight to the separation. Miran grows up in prosperous American suburbia, under the shadow of the daughter left behind, as Inja grapples in her war-torn land with ties to a family she doesn’t remember. Najin and Calvin desperately seek a reunion with Inja, but are the bonds of love strong enough to reconnect their family over distance, time, and war? And as deep family secrets are revealed, will everything they long for be upended? Told through the alternating perspectives of the distanced sisters, and inspired by a true story, The Kinship of Secrets explores the cruelty of war, the power of hope, and what it means to be a sister.

The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border by Francisco Cantu (non-fiction)

For Francisco Cantu, the border is in the blood: his mother, a park ranger and daughter of a Mexican immigrant, raised him in the scrublands of the Southwest. Driven to understand the hard realities of the landscape he loves, Cantu joins the Border Patrol. He and his partners learn to track other humans under blistering sun and through frigid nights. They haul in the dead and deliver to detention those they find alive. Plagued by a growing awareness of his complicity in a dehumanizing enterprise, he abandons the Patrol for civilian life. But when an immigrant friend travels to Mexico to visit his dying mother and does not return, Cantu discovers that the border has migrated with him, and now he must know the full extent of the violence it wreaks, on both sides of the line.

The Place You’re Supposed to Laugh by Jenn Stroud Rossmann (fiction)

It’s 2002 in Silicon Valley. 9/11’s still fresh, the dot-com bubble has burst, and holy calamity is raining down on 14-year-old Chad Loudermilk. His father is about to lose his job, his mother isn’t the same since Chad’s grandma died, and as one of the few black kids at tiny Palo Alto High School, Chad’s starting to wonder about his birth parents. Next door lives dot-com mogul, Scot MacAvoy, with his luxury SUV and his gardeners and his beautiful wife and his time to play video games with Chad, all making the Loudermilk family’s struggle to stay afloat seem that much harder. It’s going to be a tough year for the Loudermilks. The Place You’re Supposed to Laugh is a wise and witty novel about the Silicon Valley that’s not covered in the fawning features in The New York Times. It’s a place where the working class, blended Loudermilk family grapples with issues of race and inequality, all while trying to keep a smile on their faces. In the spirit of the works of Celeste Ng and Angela Flournoy, this is a big-hearted page-turner that will make you laugh, cry, and think all at once.

Samantha Bonnette is marketing development manager at Shreve Memorial Library.

Article source: https://www.shreveporttimes.com/story/life/2019/02/08/reading-good-health/39010729/

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