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How Do the Books We Read Change Our Brains? “Gregory Berns on Measuring the Effects of a Really Good Story” In this article, adapted from his book The Self Delusion: The New Neuroscience of How We Invent—and Reinvent—Our Identities, Emory University psychology professor Gregory Berns describes a neuroimaging experiment he devised to measure whether reading …

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Opinion  Have we forgotten what a public library is for? The executive directors of the Michigan Library Association and Michigan ACLU reflected on the recent vote to defund a public library outside of Grand Rapids over its display of LGBTQ books.  Categories: Censorship, Libraries The Ultimate Guide to Wondrous Independent Bookstores Shortly after opting out …

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The Queen of arts: Elizabeth II in fiction “It wasn’t until 1988 that the Queen began to make appearances in fiction, but since then she’s had many, largely sympathetic portrayals” Categories: Fiction, Literary History How Will Overturning of Roe v. Wade Influence Book Trends? “Without Roe v. Wade, we probably never would have gotten the …

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Good Company: Depictions of Older Women in Literature Jane Campbell has some reading recommendations: For some time, I have been relishing literature that offers wonderfully varying depictions of old women. They are good company. These are pieces that expose the cruelty inflicted on older women and that impress me with their capacity to pursue the …

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How Contemporary Literary Fiction Is Reclaiming the Insanity Arc and Humanizing Women Dee Das starts her essay with this premise: A hundred or so years ago, women were silenced into submission by psychiatry under the label of ‘insane’, every time they posed a threat to the models of domesticity. Any woman who didn’t conform to …

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Cyberpunk: Everything You Did (and Maybe Didn’t) Want to Know I don’t know about you, but I have trouble keeping up with the terminology used to describe some of the new kinds of literature. Here Caitlin Hobbs explains that the term cyberpunk, which has its roots in science fiction, “didn’t gain traction as a recognized …

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What’s Behind the Label ‘Domestic Fiction’? Soledad Fox Maura, professor of Spanish and Comparative Literature at Williams College and soon-to-debut novelist, wonders why World Cat “(the biggest library search engine on the planet)” has classified her upcoming novel, Madrid Again, as domestic fiction: Why would my novel, about an itinerant bilingual mother and daughter who …

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Mixing Genres Is All About Messing with Structure “Knowing what people are expecting allows you to subvert the trope. Expectation is its own red herring, built right into your reader.” Stuart Turton, author of the brilliant The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle and newly released The Devil and The Dark Water, admits, “I’m obsessed by …

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The Case for Teaching Depressing Books High school English teacher Sahar Mustafah writes that her students often ask when they’re going to read happy books. Young people, quite naturally, equate “happy” with a safe, uneventful existence. Genocide, sexual assault, poverty, racism, climate change—it’s hard to find any reason to be excited about reading these subjects …

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The Edgar Awards Revisited: The Suspect by L. R. Wright (Best Novel; 1986) The Edgar Awards Revisited, a series in Criminal Element, looks back at award winners not only in their own right, as outstanding novels, but as representative of the their time. In fact, looking back on 1986, The Suspect may have been the …

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