jackie reads.

I have a cat. I also blog at http://jackietravels.com.

I found empirical support for the idea that the Harry Potter series influenced the political values and perspectives of the generation that came of age with these books. Reading the books correlated with greater levels of acceptance for out-groups, higher political tolerance, less predisposition to authoritarianism, greater support for equality, and greater opposition to the use of violence and torture. As Harry Potter fans will have noted, these are major themes repeated throughout the series. These correlations remained significant even when applying more sophisticated statistical analyses – when controlling for, among other things, parental influence.

"Harry Potter did help shape the political culture of a generation" by Anthony Gierzynski (The Conversation)

Totally fascinating research into how reading shapes political beliefs.

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Horror doesn’t just terrify us, it engages our minds and relieves it from over-thinking everyday feelings by engaging a different feeling… um, terror (but still a different feeling!). As Stephen King said, “We make up horrors to help us cope with the real ones.” Nobody’s life is perfect in horror- in fact it’s usually the opposite- so there’s nothing to make you feel bad about yours. Marriage going badly? No worries, I have yet to encounter a love story in a horror book that I would want. Money woes? Wealth does not save people in this genre, in fact, it usually just makes things messier. Didn’t get to go on a vacation this year? Well, everyone got eaten by a shark at the beach anyway, so you lucked out. See what I mean? With this foray back into horror, I’m understanding something I never got before- the reason why horror is the ultimate escapism genre: because when you are absorbed in a horror story, your brain is instinctually telling the rest of your body to pay attention because we might die. Therefore, it is harder to start letting your mind wander off into the “Don’t forget to worry about this, this, and this today,” mode of our very typical brain patterns.

—from Read More Horror: My Ode to the Scary Genre by Wallace Yovetich (via bookriot)

Just because a word is in the dictionary doesn’t mean it’s a word. Seriously. There’s even a term for words-in-the-dictionary-that-aren’t-words (of course there is): ghost words. It happens a lot more often than you would think. One of the most famous examples is “dord,” a word without entomology that appeared in Merriam’s dictionary for five years before someone caught it and was like, “Hey… that’s not a word.” But by that time several other dictionaries had already included it, because copycats. That doesn’t make “dord” a word.

—from Word Wars: Alright Is Not All Right by Tasha Brandstatter (via bookriot)


Just a reminder to play Haruki Murakami Bingo today - “Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage” is out in the US! 

The bingo board photos and handmade pieces are courtesy of Los Angeles-based painter (and Murakami/Incidental Comics reader) Hunter Nesbitt. Thanks Hunter!

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