How Reading Helps Shape Our Emotions: The Sequel

Please get emotional with more exceptional passages. Laugh Out Loud Hilarity The Princess Bride (William Goldman, 1973) The Princess Bride turns the standard “Prince Charming rescues helpless Princess” upside down into a mad adventurous farcical fable. The reader often laughs out loud. Westley, the hero, is the Farm Boy to the socially superior heroine Buttercup. … Read more

How Reading Helps Shape Emotions: Part 1

Over the years, reading has had a profound effect on my thoughts, beliefs, and most of all, sense of self. Readers make emotional investments in literary choices that impact the way we feel, think, and act. Samuel Johnson (1708-1784) wrote, “A writer only begins a book. A reader finishes it.” How true. Looking through the … Read more

Character Studies: The Good, the Bad, the Evil…And the Ambiguous

“The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.”Hannah Arendt (The Life of the Mind, 1978) In fictional stories, as in real life, we know that events, inner struggles, and moral decisions can take people from the “dark side” to the “light.” … Read more

A Talking Cat Shares the Meaning of Life and Books!

The Cat Who Saved Books by Sosuke Natsukawa begins with a death. Rintaro, the main character, has just lost his beloved grandfather. But he soon discovers even amidst his grief that his grandfather has left him with a tremendous gift…a love for books and a legacy, his small yet eclectic second-hand bookshop. Natsuki Books is … Read more

Great Books with Horrible Dating Advice

This is by Robert Bruce of 101 Books When I was single, I hated dating—which is probably why I didn’t do much of it. There are so many unspoken rules, and girls play games, and it’s enough to make you want to become a celibate monk. Okay, it’s not quite that bad. Fortunately, I was … Read more