Literati is excited to welcome Anthony Debenedet who will be sharing his new book Playful Intelligence: The Power of Living Lightly in a Serious World.
About Playful Intelligence:
As adults, we have more responsibilities than we could have ever imagined growing up. Learning the work of marriage. Navigating the bumpy terrain of parenting. Maintaining social relationships. Facing grave hardship. Finding contentment in our career. As the years pass by, we sense how the good things in life are so often eclipsed by stress. We find ourselves doing everything we can just to endure adulthood, all the while wondering whether we are actually enjoying it. This is exactly why Dr. Anthony T. DeBenedet decided to write Playful Intelligence: The Power of Living Lightly in a Serious World, to show readers how playfulness helps us counterbalance the seriousness of adulthood
“Five years ago, my life was becoming more intense and stressful,” DeBenedet says. “My relationships, clinical work as a physician, and basic interactions with the world were blurring into a frazzled mosaic. Going through the motions became my norm, and every day brought busyness and exhaustion. I thought about whether I was depressed. I didn’t think I was. Anxious? Sure, but aren’t we all anxious on some level? I also thought about the lifestyle factors that could be making me feel this way. Was I getting enough sleep? Was I exercising regularly? Was I eating healthy? Was I playing and remembering to be playful?”
Today, we live in a taxing world. The endless pressure to keep up with our responsibilities and the daily headlines swarming around us can be overwhelming. DeBenedet’s work comes at a time when stress, uncertainty, and intensity levels are high. Playful Intelligence shows adults that there is a way to live lighter–and smarter–as we navigate the seriousness of adulthood. It’s not about taking life less seriously; it’s about taking ourselves less seriously.
The book’s core chapters are devoted to exploring the effects and benefits of five playful qualities: imagination, sociability, humor, spontaneity, and wonder. By examining playfulness as a sum of its parts, readers will gain a working awareness of its power and be able to apply playful principles to their own lives, bringing the magic of childhood back into their day-to-day existence. The book also offers practical suggestions on how to make life more playful in nature.
Anthony T. DeBenedet, M.D. is a practicing physician and behavioral-science enthusiast. His interviews and writings have run in various media outlets, including the New York Times, the Today show, the Washington Post, and TIME Ideas. He also co-authored The Art of Roughhousing: Good Old-Fashioned Horseplay and Why Every Kid Needs It (Quirk Books, 2011), a parenting book about the importance of parent-child physical play. DeBenedet has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biomedical Engineering from the Duke University Pratt School of Engineering, a Master of Science Degree in Health and Healthcare Research from the University of Michigan Rackham Graduate School, and a Doctor of Medicine Degree from the University of Virginia School of Medicine. He completed his internal medicine residency and gastroenterology fellowship at the University of Michigan Health System. DeBenedet lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he enjoys spending time with his family, connecting with friends, and playing a little basketball.
Join us for a special Stortyime Event with Emily Siwek and the Violin Monster!
About A Monster on Main Street:
Strange sightings are all around in this simply sweet story inspired by Ann Arbor’s beloved Violin Monster. Rendered with loose, playful illustrations, this string playing werewolf encourages readers to give scary things a second look.
Emily Siwek is an Ann Arbor, MI native who loves finding adventure in her hometown with her husband and two children. She has worked in a variety of creative industries from interior design to trend forecasting and enjoys coloring outside the lines.
Literati is excited to welcome poet Ruth Behar who will be reading and sharing from her newest collection Everything I Kept: Todo Lo Que Guardé
About Everything I Kept: Todo Lo Que Guardé
Moving between the speech and silence of a woman struggling to speak freely, Ruth Behar embarks on a poetic voyage into her own vulnerability and the sacrifices of her exiled ancestors as she tries to understand love, loss, regret, and the things we keep and carry with us. Behar’s vivid renderings of wilted gardens, crashing waves, and firefly-lit nights recall the imagery of her inspiration, Dulce María Loynaz, who is often known as the Cuban Emily Dickinson. Presented in a beautiful bilingual English-Spanish edition–Behar serves as her own translator–Everything I Kept/Todo lo que guardé will haunt readers with the cries and whispers which illuminate the human spirit and the spectrum of emotions that make for a life and lives well-remembered.
Ruth Behar is the Victor Haim Perera collegiate professor of anthropology at the University of Michigan.
Join us for a celebration of authors, books, art, and bratwurst.
Booktoberfest will feature industry experts from around the country, offering advice and insight for authors, as well as fun and educational activities for the whole family.
Authors can even pitch their books to a panel of experts for a chance to win a publishing package from Thomson-Shore! (Must sign up for the pitch contest ahead of time by visiting thomsonshore.com/booktoberfest.)
Enjoy a day of music, food, and fun, while learning about the ever-changing world of publishing and bookmaking. A portion of proceeds will benefit 826 Michigan.
Literati is excited to welcome author Ann Pearlman who will be sharing her new memoir Infidelity.
“Thirty years. Thirty years of my life have been gifted to this man. How do I prevent making the rest of my life a testament to his infidelity? If I leave him, it’s because of this. If I stay, I will always think of it. How do I make my story different from Mother’s, from Lala’s? How do I make it right for me?”
She thought they were the perfect couple. She authored Keep the Home Fires Burning: How to Have an Affair with Your Spouse and appeared on Oprah, Donahue, and Sally Jessy Raphael as an expert on the joys of sexual monogamy. She was a marriage and family therapist who counseled patients coping with cheating spouses. She believed she had escaped her family legacy of marital infidelity. She was wrong. After thirty years of marriage and three children, Ann Pearlman discovered her husband’s affair with another woman.
In Infidelity, Pearlman tells the true story of the devastating effect of adultery across three generations of American women, beginning with her grandmother, Lala, whose husband fell in love with another woman during the Depression and maintained the relationship until his death. The unfortunate legacy continued with Lala’s daughter, Nora, who wed a womanizing entrepreneur, Pearlman’s father. An award-winning author, columnist, psychotherapist, marriage and family therapist, Pearlman draws on sociological and anthropological works as well as her own experience to write out her rage, pain, depression, doubts, and, eventually, her journey back to confidence and strength.
Ann Pearlman has won vast critical and commercial success for her fiction and nonfiction books. Keep the Home Fires Burning: How to Have an Affair With Your Spouse garnered the attention of the Oprah Winfrey Show and was featured on many other talk shows. Her memoir, Infidelity, was nominated for National Book Award and a Pulitzer Prize, and made into a Lifetime movie by Lionsgate. Inside the Crips, with a foreword by Ice T, took readers into the life of a Crip gang member and the California Prison system. Her first novel, The Christmas Cookie Club, became an international bestseller, spawning cookie exchanges and a follow-up cookbook. A Gift for My Sister won first place in the Sharp Writ Book Awards, 2013. She lives in Ann Arbor, MI.
Literati is excited to welcome artist and stylist Lauren Friedman who will be presenting her latest book 50 Ways to Wear Accessories.
About 50 Ways to Wear Accessories:
This sparkling celebration of accessories from the author of the 50 Ways to Wear series offers top-notch tips for rocking statement pieces–think earrings, bracelets, hats, belts, purses, and more–in unexpected ways. Learn how to accessorize any outfit for a snowy day, a fancy event, a job interview. With fun illustrations that show how to achieve each look, advice on different ways to wear each featured item and style, and tips on mixing and matching different items, patterns, and prints, 50 Ways to Wear Accessories is a must-have resource to optimize any wardrobe and head out the door with panache.
Lauren Friedman is an artist, stylist, and the author/illustrator of 50 Ways to Wear a Scarf (2014), 50 Ways to Wear Denim (2016), and her newest title, 50 Ways to Wear Accessories, released in Fall 2018, all published by Chronicle Books. She is also the creator of the My Closet in Sketches project, an illustrated style blog launched in 2010. Lauren’s work as a professional illustrator has appeared in numerous publications, including Lucky Magazine, Travel and Leisure Magazine, and The Washington Post. When she is not working, you can find Lauren reading, dancing, and taking long walks in the woods. A native of Ann Arbor, Lauren returned to her home town in May of 2017 and lives on the West Side.
Ann Arbor Storytellers Guild members host a storytelling program. Audience members are encouraged to bring a 5-minute story to tell.
7-9 p.m., Crazy Wisdom Tea Room, 114 S. Main. Free. 665-2757.
One MFA student of fiction and one of poetry, each introduced by a peer, will read their work. The Mark Webster Reading Series presents emerging writers in a warm and relaxed setting. We encourage you to bring your friends – a Webster reading makes for an enjoyable and enlightening Friday evening.
Readings by U-M creative writing grad students, including prose by Rachel Girty and poetry by Lorenzo Diaz-Cruz.
7 p.m., UMMA Auditorium, 525 S. State. Free. 764-6330
A startlingly beautiful debut, Half Gods brings together the exiled, the disappeared, the seekers. Following the fractured origins and destines of two brothers named after demigods from the ancient epic the Mahabharata, we meet a family struggling with the reverberations of the past in their lives. These ten interlinked stories redraw the map of our world in surprising ways: following an act of violence, a baby girl is renamed after a Hindu goddess but raised as a Muslim; a lonely butcher from Angola finds solace in a family of refugees in New Jersey; a gentle entomologist, in Sri Lanka, discovers unexpected reserves of courage while searching for his missing son.
By turns heartbreaking and fiercely inventive, Half Gods reveals with sharp clarity the ways that parents, children, and friends act as unknowing mirrors to each other, revealing in their all-too human weaknesses, hopes, and sorrows a connection to the divine.
Akil Kumarasamy is a writer from New Jersey. Her fiction has appeared in Harper’s Magazine, American Short Fiction, Boston Review, and elsewhere. She received her MFA from the University of Michigan and has been a fiction fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and the University of East Anglia. Half Gods is her first book.
About Little Wonder:
Kat Gardiner’s debut collection of microfiction, Little Wonder, springs from the year she spent in Anacortes, Washington. Young and idealistic, she and her husband moved to town to open a café and music venue in the hopes of finding a home there.
The experiment lasted exactly one year.
In interconnected fragments, Little Wonder reads like a series of love notes to a former self. Characters navigate frustration, loss, heartbreak, but they also come into new versions of themselves. Little Wonder sheds light on the idea that joy and pain are often two sides of the same coin — and that being alive in this world can necessitate embracing both.
“I can see the sun sinking down over Anacortes at the end of every page. Little Wonder has the ache of Raymond Carver, the honesty, the vulnerability. It’s so melancholic and honest and beautiful.” — Kyle Field (Little Wings)
Born in Oklahoma, raised in the Pacific Northwest, and based in Detroit, Kat Gardiner carries a restlessness through her writing that’s been honed by a lifelong search for roots. Her debut collection of short fiction, Little Wonder, springs from the year Gardiner spent in Anacortes, Washington, during her early twenties. Young and idealistic, she opened a coffee shop and music venue with her husband in the hopes of finding a home in the city’s artistic community. The experiment lasted exactly one year. Gardiner closed the coffee shop and moved away from Anacortes, ending a stressful and dreamlike chapter in her life.
Gardiner studied creative writing at Bennington College in Vermont, and later took workshops with Tom Spanbauer, the creator of the technique known as Dangerous Writing, in Portland, Oregon. In developing her craft, she found herself drawn to microfiction, citing Lydia Davis as a touchstone. “There’s something powerful in succinct details,” Gardiner says. Writing in short, interconnected fragments enabled her to revisit the year spent in Anacortes with a new sense of perspective. Little Wonder reads like a series of love notes to a former self, or a collection of Polaroids made golden with age. Gardiner’s characters navigate frustration, loss, and heartbreak, but they also come into new versions of themselves, a transformation they may not recognize in the moment. Through poignant vignettes furnished generously with detail, Gardiner looks into what it means to enter the world and realize that the world is not nearly as amenable to change as an optimistic young person might think. “It’s been liberating to make art out of both the painful and the joyous parts of that experience,” she says. With Little Wonder, she’s shed light on the idea that joy and pain are often two sides of the same coin — and that being alive in this world can necessitate embracing both.