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Who can resist a little Betty White read aloud? An oldie but goody.
Bookworms, fear not: dauntless belle of the book club Emma Watson is continuing to carry the torch of reading with her global literary initiative. This time, she’s hiding copies of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale in mysterious locations around Paris, according to an update she posted on Twitter (in both English and French, of course).
1. Build your empathy muscle
A number of research studies have shown that when we read about depictions of smell, touch, and movement, we use the same parts of our brain as when we experience these sensory stimulations ourselves. Taking the research further, a York University psychologist found significant overlap in brain regions activated to understand stories and those used to interact with other individuals.
Put another way, when we read and imagine stories, we are exercising and improving our ability to interact with and understand people. By reading fiction, you improve your ability to empathize with colleagues, clients, and anyone else you might engage with throughout the workday so that you might have more effective conversations and design more valuable offerings.
As much as I love nonfiction, fiction really is a vital part of a balanced reading life (whatever that means).
But while Gwynne racked up reviews of his eclectic stage and screen credits over a decades-long career, he was also getting notices of another, less buzzy, nature. He was writing and illustrating children’s books—really good ones. His two best-known titles, The King Who Rained and A Chocolate Moose for Dinner, attested to his love for puns and homonyms. They are those rare children’s tomes that are both goofy and sly, respecting the intelligence of children befuddled by the inanities of language. Well-loved by critics, they were also wildly popular, scoring positions on the bestsellers list when published and still in print today.
Atlas Obscura has been killing it in kid lit coverage recently, but this piece about the writing life of the actor behind Herman Munster is fascinating.