Today We’re All Boston Strong: 5 Novels That Celebrate The City of Boston

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photo by Anna Patrick

By Anna Patrick, Digital Publicist

No matter what city you call home, or what sports team you support, we’re all Bostonians today. Today marks the anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings, and while there are memories from this day last year that we would rather forget, our hearts remember the pride we have for our country and for the people of Boston.

A year ago I stood at mile 21, a senior at Boston College cheering on friends who were coming through the Heartbreak Hill portion of the race, which winds through our hilly campus. Living on the Chesnut Hill side of Commonwealth Avenue the runners raced past my door all day. Until suddenly everything stopped.

But as I reflect today, I remember the Boston Marathon for what it truly is, what it really means to the city of Boston and the nation as a whole, beyond the darkness of the events that transpired - it is a celebration of human achievement and the spirit of man. I remember the look on runners’ faces as they came through Heartbreak Hill, and the light in their eyes when they saw us cheering them onward. I remember their elation, and the fighting look on their faces, drenched in sweat and still smiling, as they headed down home stretch. I remember the runners, men and women, soldiers and athletes in wheelchairs, giving it their all for the sport and city they love. I remember what it feels like to be one.

Today we send our thoughts and energy to Boston, and to those still healing a year later. We celebrate the city, and all of the athletes who continue to awe us at the marathon each year by defying human limitations.

 

In honor of the city, which has always prided itself on being a literary city, here are five great books that take place in Boston:

 

Boston_TheBellJarThe Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath

The Bell Jar is Sylvia Plath’s only novel. When it was originally published in 1963 it was published under her pseudonym, “Victoria Lucas.” The story begins in the suburbs of Boston, and follows protagonist Esther Greenwood as she accepts an internship in New York City. The work is famous for Plath’s ability to write an emotionally-wrenching and intensely raw account of a woman losing her grip on her own sanity.

 

 

 

 

 

Boston_NathanHawthorneThe Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne

A nod to a classic, The Scarlet Letter is set it Puritan Boston from 1642-1649, and famously paints the story of protagonist Hester Prynne, who partakes on a journey to gain repentence and dignity in a society that shuns her for heaving a daughter through an adulterous affair. Our society is put under a microscope as the novel explores timeless themes, such as sin, legality, and guilt. The book also gives a view of what Puritan life and culture was like in Boston at the start of the country.

 

 

 

 

 

TBoston_HandmaidsTalehe Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid’s Tale is a dystopian novel set in Boston in the near future. The book is included on many Goodreads lists, including some called “Best Books Ever” and “Best Dystopian and Post-Apocalyptic Fiction.” Atwood certainly earns her praises as she gives us a glimpse at what living in a futuristic totalitarian Christian theocracy. A major theme that Atwood explores is women in subjugation, and how these women gain agency.

 

 

 

 

Boston_JhumpaLahiriThe Namesake, Jhumpa Lahiri

Lahiri’s The Namesake explored the conflict of being caught between cultures, and features the cities of Boston, New York, and Calcutta. The story follows a Bengali couple, and their difficulties dealing with cities that have highly distinct social, religious, and ideological differences. From India the couple moves to Central Square in Cambridge, where the husband, Ashoke, is an engineering student at MIT.

 

 

 

 

Boston_HenryJamesThe Bostonians, Henry James

As is reflected by the title, Henry James captured a unique side of Boston when he penned The Bostonians, a tragicomedy that introduces readers to a triumverate of odd characters: a political conservative from Mississippi (Basil Ransom), a feminist Bostonian (Olive Ransom), and Olive’s protégée Verena Tarrant. The Bostonians is unique in the sense that thematically it is strictly political, unlike his other works.

 

 

 

 

 

So wherever you are today, let’s remember Boston, and the great runners that come to the city every year to redefine what we thought was humanly possible. Let’s remember what it means to be one.

 

Related: Meet Our MC Team: Anna Patrick

 

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27 Tips to Help You Pitch the Media

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By Brian Feinblum, Senior Vice President and Marketing Officer

Sometimes we get into a slump when it comes to pitching, or maybe we just hit a bad streak with the media. Perhaps you feel overloaded. Maybe our busy outside lives have clouded our minds from doing our best job in the office. Whatever the reason, you just find you want to perform at a higher level, so what can you do?

 

Ideally, here’s what you want in a successful pitch:

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4 Anti-Heroines in Literature Who Are Inspiring, Admirable and Tough as Nails

By Alexandra Israel, Publicist

I recently came across a Flavorwire article called “The Bookshelf: Unlikely Heroines in Literature,” which made me start thinking that there are so many anti-heroines in literature, but how exactly do you accurately describe what an “anti-heroine” is?

By definition, an anti-heroine is “a female protagonist, as in a novel or play, whose attitudes and behaviors are not typical of a conventional heroine.” Flavorwire had a more up-to-date definition, inspired by author Leslie Jamison: “Fairy tales introduce us to certain standard breeds of heroine: beautiful innocents, homely martyrs, and plucky tomboys. These heroines aren’t those ones… they make it hard to look away.” This definition is true; anti-heroines are sometimes what keep us going in long novels.

Here are four examples of anti-heroines that I’ve come across recently—some of them have qualities that are admirable and others survive hardships that are inspiring:

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What Inspires You To Do Good? A Look at the 2014 Good Deeds Day New York City Takeover

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Deborah Kohan, Johanna Dickson, and Alexandra Israel stand infront of a Good Deeds Day double-decker bus

By Deborah Kohan, Senior VP and Director of MC en Español

What inspires you to do good in this world?

On March 5th, hundreds of New Yorkers rallied together to help others and participate in a day long volunteer marathon: Good Deeds Day NYC Takeover. The first Good Deeds Day started out in Times Square, where volunteers from non-profit organizations, government agencies, and corporations boarded our Good Deeds Day branded double decker bus.

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5 Things YA Literary Agents and Publishers Are Looking For In 2014

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By Lindsey Hall, Associate Publicist

In line with having just watched the trailer for The Fault in Our Stars for the umpteenth time, and realizing that April is School Library Month, I’ve decided to dedicate today’s post to the beauty of Young Adult writing.

So what is it that YA Lit Agents and Publishers are looking for in 2014 exactly? Naturally, when we have a story mold in our minds we run with it, and there are no rules we can follow. (How else do you think The Hunger Games came about?) However, if you are an aspiring first-time author in need of some direction, here are five guidelines I found helpful from my time at a literary agency:

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6 Books From Our Adolescence That We Would Reread

 Books To ReRead

There is always that one book that silently tugs at your heart strings whenever someone asks the familiar, “What’s your favorite book?” Maybe you pause and give off a slight smile at the thought of a favorite character, or a favorite fictional place. Then maybe you answer with a slightly more “grown up” title. But the books that shaped us early on undeniably become a part of us in ways that we can only start to grasp as we grow older.

Here are the following six books we would love to revisit now as an adult:

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The Year of the Faith-Based Movies

By Sharon Farnell, Director of the MC Faith Division

 

2014 is proving to be an exciting year for faith-based movies. This past weekend, “Noah,” which stars Russell Crowe and Anthony Hopkins, took the number one spot at the box office. Another surprise this past weekend was the movie “God’s Not Dead,” which finished 5th at the box office for a second week in a row. The movie “Son of God,” which is the brainchild of popular TV producer, Mark Burnett and his wife, actress Roma Downey has also held top spots at the box office over recent months.

Faith-based movies have been around for years, but many have lacked big budgets, theatrical release, and star power. 2014 is proving to be the year that faith-based films are rising to more of the level of mainstream productions, so those that have felt slighted with the quality of religious films in the past should not be disappointed with this years’ selection. Take a look at a few of the faith-based films heading to theaters this year, which all share a common theme: they all have connections to books including the Bible, which provides terrific story lines and remains the best-selling book of all time.

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Celebrate Children’s Book Day with 7 Beloved Quotes From Children’s Literature

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Today, April 2nd, marks Hans Christian Andersen’s birthday, which has been recognized as International Children’s Book Day since 1967. The day is celebrated in countries across the globe with the aim to foster a love of reading in the younger generations and also to call attention to children’s books both new and classic.

In honor of this day we take a look back at beloved quotes from seven books that started it all, and solidified us as perennial readers and book lovers.

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6 Unforgettable Literary Pranksters

By Anna Patrick, Associate Digital Publicist

The web has been rife with April Fools’ pranks today – it’s hard to know what news information you can trust! While viral social media pranks have been the talk of the day, we decided to find our April Fools’ inspiration offline, in some of our favorite books!

Read on for six unforgettable literary pranksters, each of whom have a thing or two to teach us about mischief.

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Personality Quiz: What Social Media Network Are You?

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By Anna Patrick, Associate Digital Publicist

Sure, you’ve Tweeted, put up a Facebook status, updated your Instagram and LinkedIn. In a 2012 poll 58 percent of people surveyed said that they used social media, and that was two years ago. As of January first of this year, 1.4 billion people have Facebook profiles. It was estimated that in the 18-24 age range 98 percent use social media. Needless to say, regardless of the social media platform, you’ve either updated it or heard about it. [source]

But what social media site fits you best, based on your personality? Out of the hundreds out there – and growing – which is the one that speaks to you?

Find out by taking our social media personality test: all you have to do is go through the groups below, and choose the letter in the group with the statement that applies the most to you. If you are torn between two, record that as well. Be honest!

Then you can find out your match after the jump.

 

Group 1

A. You can speak quickly and to the point.

B. You are visual – you think more in pictures than in words.

C. When you speak your words are organized and thought out.

D. You believe your speech represents you, so you prefer professional dialogue over colloquial.

E. You love to speak informally, and you like to initiate conversations.

 

Group 2

A. You like to read breaking news.

B. You like to read travel stories, or anything with a lot of photographs.

C. You like to read stories about events – weddings, social gatherings, etc.

D. You like reading about what your peers are doing, or corporate events.

E. You like reading about past events, or reading your old journals.

 

Group 3

A. If you could talk to anyone, it would be a celebrity.

B. You would rather see photos of celebrities than engage.

C. You would rather read quotes by celebrities.

D. You would rather have the contacts in a celebrity’s phonebook.

E. You would rather learn how the celebrity got where they are today and find out what their experiences are.

 

Group 4

A. Your interests relate mostly to 20-30 year olds.

B. Your interests relate mostly to the teenage market.

C. Your interests relate mostly to women.

D. Your interests relate mostly to mid-senior level professionals.

E. Your interests relate to the status quo, or to whatever your friends’ interests are.

 

Group 5

A. You’re both work and play, but alternating on the hour.

B. You’re play, but you work when you have to.

C. You’re a balance of both work and play.

D. You’re all work and no play.

E. You’re all play.

 

See your results after the jump…

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