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Reading can boost your brain and health. Check out these three novels
Reading can boost your brain and health. Check out these three novels
Reading can boost your brain and health. Check out these three novels

Published on: 05/20/2023


Even in an era when we read stories on a tiny handheld screen that disappear after 24 hours, reading novels is still a cherished pastime.

But what exactly do we get from reading books? The answer is quite clear. Reading benefits both brain function and physical health.

For adults, reading has multiple benefits such as strengthening the brain’s neural connectivity, thus keeping it more flexible; helping the brain process information more effectively, improving memory function and attention span; and even reducing age-related memory decline, possibly preventing the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

In the physical realm, reading is a highly effective tool for stress relief. It relaxes your body, lowers your heart rate and eases muscle tension. Along with reducing stress, reading signals the body it is time to settle down andhelps improve sleep. A mere six minutes of reading reduces stress by 68% and has proven more effective than other relaxation methods, like drinking hot tea or listening to music.

But none of this research emphasizes the most important benefit of reading.

Simply put, the most important benefit is the joy it brings to a reader.

With a good novel, we can escape into a world beyond our own, experience every emotion from sadness to unfettered happiness, and dip into our imagination and desires. Reading offers a touch of enchantment and magic to everyday life and allows us to both relax and feel replenished.

With summer just around the corner, it's time to begin stockpiling some of the wonderful novels below and add a little joy to your life.

"Hello Beautiful," by Ann Napolitano.

‘Hello Beautiful’ by Ann Napolitano

William Waters was born three days after his 3-year-old sister passed away. In the years following, his parents could barely look at him, let alone love him. Amidst unending loneliness, playing basketball was his only relief.

When he attends Northwestern University, he meets lovely and ambitious Julia Padavano, who quickly decides that William is the only one for her.

With Julia comes three sisters from whom Julia is inseparable. Sylvie, the family’s dreamer and bookworm, and younger twins Cecilia, the artist, and Emeline, the family nurturer. Along with her parents, Rose and Charlie,William experiences a sense of family belonging for the very first time.

When Julia becomes pregnant, however, darkness resurfaces inside William and the couple makes choices that cause a cataclysmic family rift to ensue. Will loyalty and love be enough to ever bring the Padavanos back together as a family?

Why read it? Ann Napolitano’s newest novel follows her 2020 bestseller "Dear Edward." This exquisite, emotionally powerful and beautifully written novel deftly explores the fragile bonds of family and friendship and the power they possess to break us or make us whole.

"The Five-Star Weekend," by Elin Hilderbrand.

‘The Five-Star Weekend’ by Elin Hildebrand

To the outside world, Hollis Shaw seems to have it all.

She has created a wildly popular food blog called ‘Hungry with Hollis’ and is married to Matthew, a handsome, successful heart surgeon. They have a college-age daughter and a beautiful second home on Nantucket.

But one morning, following an argument, Matthew dies in a car crash and Hollis is left grieving and trying to understand the cracks that had formed in both her marriage and her relationship with her daughter.

Months later, trying to move forward with life, Hollis organizes a “Five-Star Weekend” on Nantucket with best friends from each phase of life, from her teenage years to current day. While she painstakingly plans every detail, nothing goes according to plan. Each guest brings their own set of secrets and drama which threaten to derail both the weekend and their longstanding friendships.

Why Read It? This captivating, must-read novel by prolific author Elin Hildebrand explores the complexities of female friendship. It reawakens the full Nantucket vibe, where anything is possible.

"The Book of Silver Linings," by Nan Fischer.

‘The Book of Silver Linings’ by Nan Fischer

Constance Sparks is a kind human being and a people pleaser.

So when her boyfriend, Hayden, asks her to marry him – even though he seems to have secrets – she says “yes.”

While planning her wedding, she finds herself curious to learn more about the expensive, exquisite antique ring Hayden has given her. Constance decides to research the history of her ring and discovers a book of letters written by a WWI soldier describing his first love and his connection to the ring.

With no one to talk to about her own growing anxiety about her decision to marry Hayden, Constance puts her troubled thoughts into a letter and leaves it tucked inside the book. In utter amazement, she receives a lengthy written response from the soldier.

As their correspondence continues, Constance finds herself falling in love with a ghost, if that’s even possible, and putting her real-life relationship with Hayden in jeopardy.

Will Constance dig deep enough to find her true path and her true soulmate?

Why Read It? Looking for an uplifting read with a touch of magic? This utterly charming, delightful, and captivating reading will have you falling in love with love’s possibilities.

Author :Nancy Harris

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