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The Dog Ear: Books to begin with for spring

By Alyssa McDonagh
On March 3, 2014

As the proverb says, "March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb." The bitterly cold temperatures we have already experienced this week are showing me the truth in this statement. I have not been enjoying this weather. The snow is everywhere and the hot days of summer seem so far away. On top of the miserable weather, exams and projects have all been assigned simultaneously. I've needed something to pull me through these dreary days. When I found out these books will be released in the next few months, my spirits were brightened.
Later this week on March 6, "You Are the Music: How Music Reveals What it Means to be Human," by Victoria Williamson will be in stores. This nonfiction book is written by a music psychologist who explores what happens to us when we listen to music. Music has always been an essential part of my life so I am very interested in the answers to Williamson's questions. The book covers topics such as is music is good for productivity, does playing classical music to your child actually make them smarter and what exactly causes a song to become stuck in your head. Music is omnipresent; from the radio to advertisement jingles to the custom of singing "Happy Birthday." Knowing whether music can actually shape our brains would be valuable information.
J.K. Rowling may have ended her work with the "Harry Potter" series, but she seems to have become a prolific writer for other novels. "The Silkworm" will be Rowling's newest Cormoran Strike novel written under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. With a June publication date, this will be Rowling's third novel in less than two years. If only she wrote the "Harry Potter" novels that quickly! Detective Strike is facing the challenge of solving the murder of an author who was planning to publish a scandalous book with the potential to destroy the lives of those he wrote about. As usual, Rowling has caught my attention with this plotline. Skilled at building suspense and being mysterious, this should be an excellent, well-crafted crime novel.
"Four: A Divergent Collection" by Veronica Roth will be released in July. Appropriately named, this book contains four short stories before the events in the "Divergent" series occurred. They are written from the point of view of one of the main characters, Tobias, nicknamed "Four." Four's point of view was first explored in "Allegiant," the final book in the trilogy. It was very interesting to hear his perspective so I think that these stories will provide fans with lots of insight into his character and the events that shaped him. The titles of the stories, "The Transfer," "The Initiate," "The Son" and "The Traitor," all give clues as to what each one may be about. "Divergent" is one of my favorite series so I am excited to read the additional material.
A good book and a warm blanket can make any cold day seem manageable. Hopefully, these books will give you something to look forward to as we continue to trudge through snow and exams. If the snow ever melts, reading on top of Horsebarn Hill with the warm sun shining down would be the perfect study break.

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