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.
Ann Arbor Storytellers Guild member Lyn Davidge hosts a variety show with several local performers, including storyteller Beverly Black, poet Rebecca Biber, comic Steve Wilson, and others.
6:45 p.m., Bookbound, 1729 Plymouth. Free. 369-4345.
We are thrilled to welcome to Literati author Abbey Mei Otis who will be reading and sharing her new collection Alien Virus Love Disaster: Stories.
Praise for Alien Virus Love Disaster:
“Abbey Mei Otis’s stories are incandescently dark, if you can imagine such a thing (but maybe only she can). Full of danger and strangeness, but written in carbonated and astounding prose that is all her own, these stories create worlds and will make you contemplate (and worry about) our own.” — Elizabeth McCracken, author of Thunderstruck & Other Stories
“These are amazing, electric stories—you can feel the live wire sizzling in them from the first sentence, and you know you’re about to take a wild, unforgettable trip. Abbey Mei Otis is my favorite kind of writer: her worlds are uniquely strange yet eerily relatable, and she knows how to make you laugh and weep at the same time.” — Dan Chaon, author of Ill Will
“After I read this book, I woke up with bumpy, reddish growths along my spine. They burst, releasing marvels: aliens, robots, prefab houses, vinyl, chainlink, styrofoam, star stuff, tales from the edge of eviction, so many new worlds. Alien Virus Love Disaster is a super-intelligent infection. Let Abbey Mei Otis give you some lumps.”
— Sofia Samatar, author of Tender
Abbey Mei Otis is a writer and teaching artist who lives in Washington, DC. She is a graduate of the Clarion West Writers Workshop and received her MFA from the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas. Her work is forthcoming in Tin House and has been published previously in Strange Horizons, Tor.com, Barrelhouse, Gargoyle, and Story Quarterly, among other places.
Three writers discuss their new books. Pamela Gossiaux‘s Trusting the Cat Burglar is about a newlywed who discovers a dark secret about her husband’s past while curating an exhibit of rare maps. Darci Hannah‘s Cherry Pies & Deadly Lies is about a baker who turns sleuth when the manager of her family’s orchard is found dead, with all evidence pointing to the baker’s father as the killer. Greg Jolly‘s Malice in a Very Small Town is about a woman bent on protecting her child when kids start disappearing in her neighborhood.
7 p.m., Nicola’s, Westgate shopping center. Free
Literati is thrilled to welcome author Alice Bolin who will be sharing with us her new essay collection Dead Girls: Essays on Surviving an American Obsession.
About Dead Girls:
In this poignant collection, Alice Bolin examines iconic American works from the essays of Joan Didion and James Baldwin to Twin Peaks, Britney Spears, and Serial, illuminating the widespread obsession with women who are abused, killed, and disenfranchised, and whose bodies (dead and alive) are used as props to bolster men’s stories. Smart and accessible, thoughtful and heartfelt, Bolin investigates the implications of our cultural fixations, and her own role as a consumer and creator.
Bolin chronicles her life in Los Angeles, dissects the Noir, revisits her own coming of age, and analyzes stories of witches and werewolves, both appreciating and challenging the narratives we construct and absorb every day. Dead Girls begins by exploring the trope of dead women in fiction, and ends by interrogating the more complex dilemma of living women – both the persistent injustices they suffer and the oppression that white women help perpetrate.
Reminiscent of the piercing insight of Rebecca Solnit and the critical skill of Hilton Als, Bolin constructs a sharp, perceptive, and revelatory dialogue on the portrayal of women in media and their roles in our culture.
Alice Bolin’s nonfiction has appeared in many publications including ELLE, the Awl, the LA Review of Books, Salon, VICE’s Broadly, The Paris Review Daily, and The New Yorker‘s Page-Turner blog. She currently teaches creative nonfiction at the University of Memphis.
Larry D. Sweazy joins our August book club on Friday, August 17 at 7, to talk about his latest Marjorie Trumaine novel, See Also Proof. All are welcome.
Three bestselling authors talk about the most gripping aspect of storytelling: the deep dive into all facets of human relationships. Whether it’s bringing characters together in a forever love or exploring the depths of a broken family, Beverly Jenkins, Sylvia Hubbard and Sarah Zettel talk about the art of exploring the shifting, fascinating and sometimes perilous spaces between people. Authors will also discuss some of the romantic titles included in PBS’ The Great American Read, in partnership with Detroit Public Television and the American Library Association.
YDL-Whittaker, 5577 Whittaker Road, Ypsilanti. Free. firstname.lastname@example.org www.ypsilibrary.org
Literati is excited to host author Laura Bernstein-Machlay who will be reading and discussing her debut essay collection Travelers.
Travelers, Laura Bernstein-Machlay’s debut collection of essays, maps the author’s journey as she makes sense of her recovering city, the generations that preceded her, and her own definition of wife, mother, and home. These intimate, humorous and heartfelt essays offer an honest, and discerning look at the moments which both challenge and redeem us; the shaping of our lineage; and the profound necessity of hope.
Deftly observed and thoughtfully crafted, Bernstein-Machlay’s lyrical prose brings to life Detroit’s survivor spirit and the indefatigable nature of family. This collection discovers the inherent grace and defining necessity of place, heritage and the search for our own footing within the vast world we inhabit. Travelers examines the intersection of the connections we form and those we inherit and how, with distance and trust, and a little luck, we might find more than just our way home.
Laura Bernstein-Machlay was born in Detroit, MI. After stints in Ann Arbor, Philadelphia, Chicago and Seattle, not to mention several months-long odysseys abroad, she returned to her hometown where she currently lives with her husband and daughter. An award-winning author of poetry and creative nonfiction, Laura’s poems and essays have appeared in numerous national and international magazines and literary journals.
Join us at the downtown library when Steve Hamilton comes to town on August 21 at 7 PM to debut his new Alex McKnight mystery, Dead Man Running.
Aug. 7 & 21. Open mike storytelling competition sponsored by The Moth, the NYC-based nonprofit storytelling organization that also produces a weekly public radio show. Each month 10 storytellers are selected at random from among those who sign up to tell a 3-5 minute story on a biweekly theme. August themes: “Business” (Aug. 7) & “Destiny” (Aug. 21). The 3-person judging teams are recruited from the audience. Monthly winners compete in a semiannual Grand Slam. Space limited, so it’s smart to arrive early.
7:30-9 p.m. (doors open and sign-up begins at 6 p.m.), Greyline, 100 N. Ashley. $8. 764-5118.