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}


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!


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.


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.


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.


Judy Garland {READING} The Wizard of Oz

Seven Dog Days of Summer Books

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I am quite bias when it comes to dogs.  Of course my dogs are the cutest, best dogs there are!  Someday I will write a book about them!  Here are some “Dog” Days of summer books for you to revisit and read!



The Hundred and One Dalmatians by Dodie Smith

By beloved author and playwright Dodie Smith, this is the original tale of the Dearly’s dalmatians, Pongo and Missis, and their fifteen pups stolen for Cruella de Vil’s coat couture. On Pongo and Missis way to rescue their litter from being skinned alive (literally), they meet Perdita and Prince whose puppies have also been pinched. Much more than Disney’s “Kanine Krunchies” jingle, this novel is 101 percent heart and fur.

Available at
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books A Million | iBooks | IndieBound |Target | Walmart


A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron

From the humorous author of 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter, this book chronicles a dog’s life through multiple reincarnations. He searches for his purpose while leaving everlasting paw prints on his human family members. After reading this book, you’ll never look at a dog again without seriously contemplating the divine nature of the canine spirit.

Available at
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books A Million | iBooks | IndieBound |Target | Walmart


Because of Winn-Dixieby Kate DiCamillo

Disheartened ten-year-old Opal moves to Naomi, Florida, with her father after her mother’s abandonment. She finds a misfit dog at Winn-Dixie supermarket and promptly adopts him. Because of Winn-Dixie, Opal meets new friends and discovers ten things about her absent mother. Because of Winn-Dixie, she learns that she is not defined by her sad past, and that finding love begins by giving it. This took home a Newberry Medal for a reason: it’s a winner.

Available at
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books A Million | IndieBound | Walmart


One Good Dog by Susan Wilson

Boston millionaire Adam March loses his job for slapping his assistant and is sentenced to community service at a homeless shelter where he meets Chance, a pit-bull mix escaping a brutal past of illegal dogfighting. Together, man and man’s best friend rebuild broken trusts and forge new lives. A salute to second chances, and who doesn’t love that!

Available at
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books A Million | iBooks | IndieBound |Target | Walmart


The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

Enzo, a shep-terr-oodle mix, has studied his master Denny’s racecar driving and his rocky relationships with his wife and daughter. As a dog, Enzo ponders the philosophical horizons of life in silent reflection, and he’s ready to be reincarnated as a man. It’s the eve of his death, and he’s giving us his tell-all. A poignant reflection of humanity as only a dog could convey. This book will have you counting your blessings—including opposable thumbs.

Available at
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books A Million | iBooks | IndieBound |Target | Walmart


The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford

Burnford contends that she wrote this book for adults despite its children’s literature fame. Animal devotion is an ageless theme. In the novel, the Hunter family’s three pets travel three hundred miles through the wilderness searching for their cherished masters who have temporarily gone to England. I’m devoted to stories of man (and man’s best friends) traversing nature’s wilds and coming through triumphant. Isn’t that why we read—to vicariously live incredible journeys?

Available at
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books A Million | iBooks | IndieBound |Target | Walmart


White Fang by Jack London

We all know London’s acclaimed The Call of the Wild,but I argue his White Fangsurpasses the original wolf-dog tale. Told from the perspective of White Fang, the novel examines the mirrored violence of the animal and human kingdoms. Set against the treacherous beauty of Canada during the Klondike Gold Rush, the book is an homage to an adventurous corner of history told through the impartial eyes of a savage with a heart of gold.

Available at
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books A Million | IndieBound | Target |Walmart