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Therapeutic Fiction on Prescription — A Haitian Bibliotherapy Collection on Love, Loss and Grief

Posted by Bijal Shah on

Therapeutic Fiction on Prescription — A Haitian Bibliotherapy Collection on Love, Loss and Grief

Growing up in Kenya, East Africa in the 1980s, was like growing up in a caged paradise — beautiful outdoor landscapes and nature visits — in a backdrop of staggering crime levels and targeted attacks on the Asian community, which meant that there wasn’t always lots to do for budding teenagers. I often spent hours on end at the community library totally absorbed in fiction — and I’d often use literature as the antidote to teenage angst. I lived in an Orthodox Jain community and mental health and well-being were unheard of. We didn’t talk about many of the issues...

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5 Wonderful Books to Help Your Children Through the Pandemic

Posted by Bijal Shah on

5 Wonderful Books to Help Your Children Through the Pandemic

At the start of the pandemic, as we started to make sense of what was happening, as the world began to shut down and global and local markets paused, as governments rapidly deployed armies of medical staff to cope with mass illness as a result of Covid-19, I looked at my toddlers - a 1.5 year old and a 3 year old. Did they really understand what was happening? They could sense that some sort of change was taking place - but did they really understand? Why we couldn't see family and friends, why we had to wear a mask,...

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40 Books from 2020 You Need to Read in 2021

Posted by Bijal Shah on

40 Books from 2020 You Need to Read in 2021

Hello! This is our selection of the most notable books of 2020 spanning both fiction and non-fiction, ranging from literary fiction, pandemic fiction, young adult, romance, mystery and thrillers, LGBTQIA+ as well as a wonderful choice of non-fiction including best political and business books, memoirs and biographies and travel and cook books. Also to help you get the most out of your reading life don’t forget to sign up to our signature Bibliotherapy, Literature & Mental Health online course or our personalised reading service (tailored book recommendations and curated reading lists)! Best Literary Fiction Books of 2020 1. The Vanishing Half(Literary Fiction/Historical...

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Bibliotherapy: The Magical Healing Quality of Literature

Posted by Bijal Shah on

Bibliotherapy: The Magical Healing Quality of Literature

Bibliotherapy: The Magical Healing Quality of Literature “I’ve never known any trouble that an hour’s reading didn’t assuage”. The words of French philosopher Charles De Secondat and author of the controversial book ‘The Spirit of the Laws’ continue to resonate today. Its premise is bibliotherapy, which is the use of literature as therapy. Biblio is the Greek word for books and therapy stems from the Greek word therapeia which literally means ‘to help medically’.  The modern-day term ‘book therapy’ is often cited too, as is the word ‘bibliocounselling’, both describe the prescription of literature, as a form of art therapy, that...

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Re-thinking Therapeutic Literature with Dr Kelda Green

Posted by Bijal Shah on

Re-thinking Therapeutic Literature with Dr Kelda Green

When I came across Dr Kelda Green’s book, Rethinking Therapeutic Literature, I was fascinated — Dr Green had recently completed her PhD on the therapeutic aspects of literature and was sharing insights from her research. Her book was essentially a trim-down version of her PhD thesis and I wanted to know more. Particularly as her work aligns closely with Book Therapy’s mission: accessing the therapeutic benefits of literature. Dr Green was born and grew up in South London. She read English and French at The University of Liverpool, graduating in 2009. She went on to complete a Master’s degree in ‘Reading in...

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