READING IS GOOD FOR YOUR MENTAL HEALTH: HERE’S WHY

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The ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes through embodied cognition is key to improving theory of mind and also the ability to be compassionate. Although this study does not directly draw these conclusions, it seems like common sense that if we encourage our children to read—as opposed to tuning out through television—theory of mind and the ability to be compassionate to another person’s suffering will improve. {Source}

DE-STRESSING

Taking a break to read can help with your stress levels, according to a University of Sussex study. The researchers increased the subjects’ heart rate and stress levels, and then gave them a variety of relaxing tasks. Guess what? Reading worked best to de-stress them. Personally, I’m not surprised in the lease. Plus, it only took six minutes (six!) for reading as a relaxant to kick in. Which means that if you’re going through something at work or school, you can take a short break – say, ten minutes – and read. Try it!

SLEEP BETTER

According to the Mayo Clinic (as well as my own habits and those of many readers I know), reading before bed can help you sleep better. Avoid e-readers before bed, because screens have an effect on your brain. Keep your paper books for pre-bed reading, and stick to a sleep schedule. Better sleep is essential. “Poor sleep and depression are very closely linked,” according to the Sleep Health Foundation, and “treating one condition will often improve the other.” If you can’t fall asleep, try reading for a while, and see if that helps. Make it part of your routine! Short stories are great for bedtime reading.

SOCIALIZING & EMPATHY

While many of us may have always assumed that reading helped our empathetic abilities, there’s now science to back this up as well. Several studies (one from the University of Buffalo, another from the New School of Social Research, for example) used different metrics and groups, but each showed that reading increases empathy. But for those who also suffer from social anxiety, there’s evidence that empathy and socializing in a healthy way go hand in hand. This incredible article in The New Yorker, for example, which discusses bibliotherapy, posits that books “give us a chance to rehearse for interactions with others in the world, without doing any lasting damage.” Reading is a kind of practice for socialization, which helps us be more comfortable later in real social situations.

AND IN THE LONG-TERM…

Even if you’re not worried about your current mental health, there’s evidence that shows the reading can help prevent various forms of dementia and memory loss and keeps your brain strong over time.

If you needed another reason to feel good about reading, here it is. And if, by any chance, you’ve been looking to read more, maybe these reasons will help you remember to really do it. Take the time to read, for your mental health, for your brain power, for your relationships, but mostly, for yourself. Read on, friends. Read on.

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Judy Garland {READING} The Wizard of Oz

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Winterhouse (Winterhouse #1) by Ben Guterson

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

This is a must read for children, full of mystery that will keep them entertained though the whole story!

Elizabeth Somer lives with her aunt and uncle because her parents passed away.  They are by no means a wealthy family and Elizabeth has a feeling that her aunt and uncle really don’t like her.  Until one day out of the blue, her aunt and uncle receive money and instructions to take a vacation by themselves while sending Elizabeth off to a hotel called Winterhouse over Christmas break.  Elizabeth has no idea who sent them the money, which is where her mysterious journey to Winterhouse begins…..

Upon her arrival, Elizabeth is mesmerized at the charms Winterhouse seems to offer, which I won’t delve into because you must read the story to find out all of it’s magical amenities!  She meets a boy her age, whose parents also sent him to Winterhouse for Christmas and they quickly become friends.

Elizabeth loves to read and to her excitement, there is a vast library at Winterhouse several stories tall.  While browsing one day she happens upon a magical book of puzzles that unlocks a mystery involving the Hotel’s owner and his family’s secrets.  Elizabeth quickly realizes that something is happening to her and somehow she is connected Winterhouse, but how?Elizabeth is the only one who can solve the mystery of the strange things that begin to unravel during her stay at Winterhouse……

This story is full of mystery and adventure, a great book for young readers with beautiful writing combined with illustrations that make you feel like you are right next to Elizabeth solving the mystery!

Published January 2nd 2018 by Henry Holt and Co.

 

The Lucky Ones by Tiffany Reisz

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

This is a romance-thriller that had just enough of both to keep you wondering into the next chapters to find out what was going to happen next!

Seven children, The Lucky Ones, had been either orphaned or abandoned by their parents and sent into different home-care systems.  Until the day when each of their lives would change thanks to a legendary brain surgeon named Dr. Capello.  Dr. Capello helped each and every one of these children and then offered his home to them as sanctuary.  The house was named The Dragon, which sat along the beach in Oregon.

Allison was the youngest of the seven to live with Dr. Capello after he whisked her away from a foster home.  She was living in the home because her mother had died and her aunt was too old to care for her and so she went to live in The Dragon with Dr. Capello and his children.

Then something happens to Allison, sending her to live with aunt who lets Allison know that she will never be returning to the house again.  Then, thirteen years later Allison receives a letter in the mail from her foster brother, Dr. Capello’s oldest son, telling her that their ‘father’ is ill and is in his last days.

Although Allison is determined to go back to The Dragon, the ghosts of the past creep back into her mind.  This makes the trip even more crucial, she needs to find out what happened all those years ago, she needs to know if someone was really trying to kill her.  Digging into these truths uncover a lot more than Allison was hoping for.  This tale that will take you up into a dark attic filled with secrets of love and also grief.

I’m not really a romance genre type, but this had just enough of this mixed with mystery that I was eagerly reading to find out what was going to happen next.

 

Published February 13th 2018 by Mira Books

The Storm King by Brendan Duffy

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Dear readers, if you enjoy a good mystery pick this book up right now!

Haunted by dark secrets and an unsolved mystery, a young doctor returns to his isolated Adirondacks hometown in a tense, atmospheric novel in the vein of Michael Koryta and Harlan Coben.

Nate McHale thought he had put his past and the secrets along with it way behind him when he left his home town of Greystone Lake.  Then, a body is discovered deep in the forest that surrounds the lake, drawing Nate the “Storm King” back home and how fitting could it be that a hurricane is thrashing on the horizon.

If Nate had his way, he would have never returned to Greystone Lake.  There are too many bad memories, memories of his family’s death, his high school girlfriend’s disappearance and then there’s the deep dark secrets the “Storm King” holds.  This homecoming brings Greystone Lake to it’s knees as chaos brews and stories are brought to the surface from the Lake that always returns what it takes……..

This is a hair raising story that you won’t be able to put down.  I’m telling you, this story will have your mind reeling with the pandemonium and secrets that are unfolded for us right before our eyes.  Fantastic writing and I cannot wait to read Brendan Duffy’s other book, “House of Echoes”!  Highly recommend!

Published February 6th 2018 by Ballantine Books