The Sorrow and Joy of the Last Page

The writer and the reader experience the sorrow and joy of the last page. Not in exactly the same way, but pretty close. A good book drives you to that last page then, if you’re like me you sit there, hugging the book and feeling lost. This feeling comes from what psychologist and other scientists call deep reading. Most of us make pictures in our minds. We experience sorrow and joy. Science has shown that our emotional reactions are close to the same emotions as the characters we read about. The deeper, the more intense the reading–the more we exercise our brain. We become more empathetic. There are people who are not natural readers. Shocking, I know. They don’t experience reading in the same way. But, they can improve their reading skills and enjoyment. Parents reading to children is a critical step in helping poor readers learn to enjoy reading more. It’s important to read because reading increases the white matter in our brain. (A brief discussion of the science can be found here.) Reading nonfiction doesn’t do quite the same thing. In studies, reading nonfiction lights different areas of the brain than reading fiction does. Not better areas, different. Our emotions aren’t […]

Heart Stories

February isn’t over yet and neither is my list of heart stories. This week we look at history, at a true love story, an organization dedicated to helping women make time for and feel the love, and some real heart stories reminding you to take care of your heart health. HEART BALM RACKET From the Smithsonian, we take a look at How the Heart Balm Racket Convinced America Women Were No Good. What do you think? Was the Heart Balm Racket sensationalistic journalism or a real threat? LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT A love at first sight story, also from the Smithsonian. How do you like that Mr. Clemmons deliberately writing passages that his wife would react to? FEEL THE LOVE HeartStories is an organization whose mission is to help women hear Love louder than all the negative noise in your life. Read about them here. http://heartstories.com/about/ If you can’t or don’t want to join that organization, consider doing something for yourself. Make a goal to set aside time to slow down and feel the love around you. REAL HEART STORIES Do yourself a favor and read the Real Heart Stories from The Heart Foundation, then check out the rest of […]

Listen & Learn: Podcasts

We’re all busy, right? We have lives, children (two-legged or/and four-legged), spouses, and chores to do. Some of us have more than one career we juggle, too. So how does one make time for everything? Listen & learn. NO TIME TO READ? In my busy lifestyle, I find it difficult to find time to read. But I have a lot of tasks that I do that keep my hands busy like dishes, yard work, and data collection. During those times I sometimes listen to audio books but more and more lately, I’ve been listening to podcasts. DISCOVER PODCASTS According to Wikipedia, “A podcast is an episodic series of audio files which a user can subscribe to so that new episodes are automatically downloaded via web syndication to the user’s local computer, mobile application, or media player. The term podcast was invented by BBC  journalist Ben Hammersly in 2004. Podcasts are usually free of charge. Some charge a small fee, others use sponsors and ads, still others use Patron to cover the cost of production. The user can listen to current podcast episodes or archived ones. Podcasts are produced by a wide range of people from professionals working for well-known corporations […]