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How Reading a Novel
Can Improve the Brain

ABC News, by Lee Dye

Original Article

Posted By:MissMolly, 1/12/2014 11:38:31 AM

It´s amazing you can read these words. It took millions of years for humans, and our recent ancestors, to develop the visual and motor and auditory skills that let us function in the complex world we inhabit today. But in less than 5,000 years, a brief span in human history, we learned how to read. And that skill, or at least our understanding of it, is still evolving. Scientists are using some of their most sophisticated tools to peer inside the human brain to see what happens when we engage in the process of reading, and they are finding a number of surprises: --

      


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Reply 1 - Posted by: rosefenn, 1/12/2014 11:46:07 AM     (No. 9689253)

I do Reader´s Advisory at the busiest branch library in the state of Nebraska. Here´s a few suggestions to get you started:

The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara
Agincourt by Bernard Cornwell
I Heard the Owl Call My Name by Margaret Craven
Isn´t It Romantic by Ron Hansen
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
Hatchet by Gary Paulsen (this is for young readers)

Get to the library! Today!

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Reply 2 - Posted by: StormCnter, 1/12/2014 11:48:52 AM     (No. 9689259)

#1, I loved, loved, loved "The Rosie Project" and have recommended it over and over. Thank you for the list. There are a couple I haven´t read.

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Reply 3 - Posted by: rosefenn, 1/12/2014 11:52:29 AM     (No. 9689263)

#2 -- So glad you like The Rosie Project! I loved Don from page 17. When I wasn´t laughing I was crying!

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Reply 4 - Posted by: earlybird, 1/12/2014 12:23:20 PM     (No. 9689292)

Thanks to OP for posting this article and to #1 for that list. I have not read one of them.

I sent the article on to my book club members. Will peruse the list for future reading recommendations.



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Reply 5 - Posted by: earlybird, 1/12/2014 12:36:01 PM     (No. 9689308)

Update to #4.

I am now #1 on my library´s hold list for all but The Rosie Project, where I am #40. (!)

Thanks to #1 for recommending some older books. Much more accessible after the buzz has had a chance to die down....

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Reply 6 - Posted by: Hazymac, 1/12/2014 1:10:23 PM     (No. 9689339)

Let me echo my apporoval for what all have said above, especially #4.

The greatest novels are worth revisiting for a second or third time, as it is possible for great art to expand its meaning in the mind of the reader who has seen it before, but was less experienced the first time.

The same is true for the greatest films, for example, Hitchcock´s Vertigo, which is still revealing its wonders to me after more than twenty viewings. The last scene between James Stewart and Kim Novak on the belltower steps is as poignant as any moment ever committed to celluloid.

As for my own recommendations, let me mention Hemingway´s eloquent tragedy of the Spanish Civil War, For Whom the Bell Tolls, Faulkner´s Light in August, Dostoevsky´s The Brothers Karamazov, and Joyce´s novella The Dead (the last chapter in Dubliners), and Robert Penn Warren´s All the King´s Men, probably the best political novel ever written.

The Russian author Mikhail Shishkin has entered the first rank of novelists with works such as One Night Befalls Us All and The Light and the Dark (recently published).

Poetry, at its best the purest form of language and a journey of endless discovery, is another abiding passion that readers should explore. Start with Yeats.

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Reply 7 - Posted by: mc squared, 1/12/2014 1:10:46 PM     (No. 9689341)

Seems rather narrow. Wouldn´t any activity that requires comprehension ( rather than just being entertained) help the brain?

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Reply 8 - Posted by: Leshno, 1/12/2014 1:14:23 PM     (No. 9689344)

Thanks so much for the list #1 and for the recommendation #2.

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Reply 9 - Posted by: BigGeorgeTX, 1/12/2014 1:29:54 PM     (No. 9689358)

Reading challenges the mind and engages the brain, which is why the LoFos do so little of it.

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Reply 10 - Posted by: Peregrine, 1/12/2014 1:43:29 PM     (No. 9689377)

I can´t imagine a life without books. I was disappointed that Lucianne didn´t cover favorite books like they do favorite recipes. I thought it was usually done on the first of the year.

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Reply 11 - Posted by: StormCnter, 1/12/2014 1:44:56 PM     (No. 9689380)

#10, have you visited Suggested Reading at the Connection? It´s a good place to dish about what you´re reading.

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Reply 12 - Posted by: mitzi, 1/12/2014 1:44:57 PM     (No. 9689381)

I generally prefer to read non-fiction. Just too much that I want to know about. For diversion, I do read a novel now and then. I´ve downloaded a few so when the mood strikes me, I don´t have to go looking for something of interest. (I did read ALL the Harry Potter books and I like sci-fi and fantasy and historical fiction set in classical Greece and Rome or early modern Europe.)

The fiction line-up on my Kindle:

If on a winter´s night a traveler
9 Tales of Henghis Hapthorn
Complete Collection of John Milton
The Ultimate Inferior Beings
The Cana Mystery
Winter is coming: Symbols and Hidden Meanings in the Game of Thrones
A Land Without Sin

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Reply 13 - Posted by: StormCnter, 1/12/2014 1:51:33 PM     (No. 9689384)

The best non-fiction book I have read in my adult lifetime is "Freedom at Midnight", the division of India with the creation of Pakistan. My copy is dogeared and cover-damaged from all the sharing I´ve done, but it´s a great book. "Path Between the Seas", the history of the Panama Canal is another loved favorite.

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Reply 14 - Posted by: MissMolly, 1/12/2014 1:53:32 PM     (No. 9689386)

#9, which do you think came first? Are they lo-fo because they don´t read? Or do they not read because they are lo-fo. I think it´s door #1.

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Reply 15 - Posted by: happywarrior, 1/12/2014 2:14:07 PM     (No. 9689410)

I loved The Killer Angels and Agincourt, anything by Shaara and Cornwell is good. I´d also like to give a belated thank you to #2 for recommending The Son by Philipp Meyer a ways back. It was a great book. I will give a try to the rest of the books on that list.

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Reply 16 - Posted by: Immanuel Goldstein, 1/12/2014 4:06:56 PM     (No. 9689492)

I think that the human brain reached it´s greatest development some 6,000 years ago. Then some damn fool developed the alphebet and reading, and it´s been down hill ever since. Now that we have smart phones, we will all be idiots within a generation.

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Reply 17 - Posted by: controlfreak, 1/12/2014 6:33:34 PM     (No. 9689587)

For those who read nonfiction, you might enjoy Wil Hylton´s book, Vanished, about a search for missing men of WWII. Beautifully written!

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