Fiction readers: do you love literary or popular books?
According to an October 2013 article in Scientific American by Julianne Chiaet, researchers at The New School in New York City “found evidence that literary fiction improves a reader’s capacity to understand what others are thinking and feeling.” Participants in the study read excerpts from genre (or popular) fiction, literary fiction, nonfiction or nothing, then took a test that measured their ability to infer and understand other people’s thoughts and emotions. The difference was significant. Literary fiction, writes Chiaet, “focuses more on the psychology of characters and their relationships.” It increases readers’ psychological awareness. “Although literary fiction tends to be […]
Three novels to check out
Summer is coming, and for some that means setting aside more time to catch up on reading. And what better to read than fiction? Here are three novels I’ve read in the past few weeks that I recommend. What is most effective is how Hannah helps readers experience what it must have been like to face hunger and cold and watch Jewish neighbors be hauled away. The Nightingale (2015) by Kristin Hannah tells the story of two sisters in France just before and during the Nazi occupation of France in World War II. Hannah draws her characters well and explores […]
This exploration of the meaning of things runs through all of Robinson’s fiction (she is perhaps our most theological of literary artists), yet she is less interested in answers than in the exploration of them.
The Fault in Our Stars
The Fault in Our Stars is a publishing mega-hit, wowing young readers, adults, and literary minds alike (It’s witty! A great romance! Written by a man!)—and once the movie posters outed it as a cancer book, I lost all interest in reading it.With a due sense of exhaustion and dread, I opened the book. And finished it by the next day. Yes, it is a cancer book, and yes it is witty, and romantic, and written by a man.
Families and Faith
One concern many families of faith share is how to pass on their faith to their children. At least one sociologist has made this a major project in his scholarly career. It turns out that one of the most important factors in children adopting religion is the warmth of the father—or if not the father, then the grandfather.The highest generational transmission of religion from generation to generation occurs in families with a high degree of warmth—particularly if the father is perceived as warm and close.”