Reading is good for you!

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By Lisa | Filed in Commentary | No comments yet.

group-reading-2We all know that, right? There’s a lot of research to support the idea – it lifts your mood, reduces stress, it may prevent Alzheimer’s, it improves your concentration – so I was really interested in this article from Arts.mic: Science has great news for people who read books. Apparently, reading a print book is better for your brain than an eBook.

Reading long, literary sentences sans links and distractions is actually a serious skill that you lose if you don’t use it. Before the Internet, the brain read in a linear fashion, taking advantage of sensory details to remember where key information was in the book by layout.

As we increasingly read on screens, our reading habits have adapted to skim text rather than really absorb the meaning.

Not only that, the physical presence of the book helps our memory of the story:

A 2014 study found that readers of a short mystery story on a Kindle were significantly worse at remembering the order of events than those who read the same story in paperback.

and

The tactile experience of a book aids this process, from the thickness of the pages in your hands as you progress through the story to the placement of a word on the page. Mangen hypothesizes that the difference for Kindle readers “might have something to do with the fact that the fixity of a text on paper, and this very gradual unfolding of paper as you progress through a story is some kind of sensory offload, supporting the visual sense of progress when you’re reading.”

I love my books and I love my Kindle, and I love having the option to choose between the two. So read! Find time to read every day and if someone asks what you’re doing, tell them that you’re exercising your brain!

Quotables

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“If you cannot read all your books…fondle them—peer into them, let them fall open where they will, read from the first sentence that arrests the eye, set them back on the shelves with your own hands, arrange them on your own plan so that you at least know where they are. Let them be your friends; let them, at any rate, be your acquaintances.”

Winston Churchill, British politician, UK Prime Minister, and a man who liked to fondle books

Hot Guys with Books

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By Lisa | Filed in Hot Guys with Books | 2 comments

Oh, now we’re talking!

mark

Quotables

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“Give me a man or woman who has read a thousand books and you give me an interesting companion. Give me a man or woman who has read perhaps three and you give me a very dangerous enemy indeed.”

Anne Rice, American author

Hot Guys with Books

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Good books on the stoop

book worm

dropI am fast becoming a big Dennis Lehane fan. I read Shutter Island and loved it. I recently reviewed Live By Night and loved it. Even more recently, I devoured The Drop in one bite (on a flight between Cleveland and New York/JFK) and loved it. That’s a pretty good track record!

Bob is a loner, a bit of a social misfit, a man with secrets that come between him and the world — and Bob is desperately lonely. When he finds a battered puppy stuffed in a garbage can, he seems to have finally found a friend – not only the puppy, but a woman he meets nearby who encourages him to take in the dog. It would not be wise to step between the man and his new friends.

That’s only part of the story. Bob works for his Cousin Marv at the bar everyone thinks Marv owns, but is really a front for the Chechen mob. Cousin Marv used to be somebody, be a tough guy, but in the end, he wasn’t tough enough. The Chechens treat him like an errand boy and it galls him, maybe enough to do something stupid.

I think everyone reading The Drop sees the end coming. Cousin Marv’s bar is going to be “the drop” on one of the biggest nights of the year and that makes them a target. We all know that something bad is going to happen – the question is who will it happen to and how will they react. You can’t help but root for Bob, I think, and his poor puppy and his friend, Nadia. You want things to work out for them and there are so many ways this could all go wrong. I kept expecting one more twist, one more complication, and that’s the tension that kept me turning pages, rushing towards the end.

I am looking forward to seeing the movie, although I had a hard time imagining Tom Hardy as a misfit loner…until I saw the stills from the movie. You can see it in the hunch of his shoulders and the set of his mouth. It’s going to be interesting to watch. In the meantime, I strongly recommend the book. It’s a quick read and very enjoyable. It looks like I’ll be working my way through Lehane’s back catalog, while I wait for the next novel.

My copy of The Drop was an advanced reader copy, provided free of charge.

Quotables

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“If you don’t like to read, you haven’t found the right book.”

J. K. Rowling

Hot Guys with Books

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Nikolaj Coster Waldau – yum!

nicolas

I have heard a lot of great things about Flash Boys by Michael Lewis, so  I picked it up at the airport in New York (a little insurance policy, since Id already finished one book on the flight). Surprised one of my coworkers (he never did explain why he thought I wouldn’t be reading it), but I am looking forward to it.

flash boysFlash Boys is about a small group of Wall Street guys who figure out that the U.S. stock market has been rigged for the benefit of insiders and that, post–financial crisis, the markets have become not more free but less, and more controlled by the big Wall Street banks. Working at different firms, they come to this realization separately; but after they discover one another, the flash boys band together and set out to reform the financial markets. This they do by creating an exchange in which high-frequency trading—source of the most intractable problems—will have no advantage whatsoever.

The characters in Flash Boys are fabulous, each completely different from what you think of when you think “Wall Street guy.” Several have walked away from jobs in the financial sector that paid them millions of dollars a year. From their new vantage point they investigate the big banks, the world’s stock exchanges, and high-frequency trading firms as they have never been investigated, and expose the many strange new ways that Wall Street generates profits.

The light that Lewis shines into the darkest corners of the financial world may not be good for your blood pressure, because if you have any contact with the market, even a retirement account, this story is happening to you. But in the end, Flash Boys is an uplifting read. Here are people who have somehow preserved a moral sense in an environment where you don’t get paid for that; they have perceived an institutionalized injustice and are willing to go to war to fix it.

In the mood for a little romance?

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I found thiROMANCE-NOVELs list very interesting: 50 Romantic Books for People Who Hate Romance Novels.

I agree with the author: sometimes you want a little romance. Sometimes, some people even want a romance novel. The formula and knowing your expectations will be met can be very soothing and relaxing. But what about when you want some romance mixed with your historical fiction, or your action-adventure or your literary fiction? The list gives you some great options. From the list, I’ve read:

 

  • The Princess Bride
  • Jane Eyre  (hated it)
  • The Great Gatsby
  • Dune
  • High Fidelity
  • Madame Bovary
  • Tipping the Velvet

Now on my TBR list:

  • Call Me By Your Name
  • Love in the Time of Cholera
  • History of a Pleasure Seeker
  • A Visit from the Goon Squad
  • Lord of Misrule
  • The Night Circus
  • Schematics: A Love Story

And maybe a few more!