Brain function ‘boosted for days after reading a novel’

Tom Avitabile


That was the headline above the by line by Tomas Jivanda in an article in The Independent last week.

He reported on a research study out of Emory University.  The essence of it is summarized in this sentence from the piece.

“Being pulled into the world of a gripping novel can trigger actual, measurable changes in the brain that linger for at least five days after reading, scientists have said.”

Here’s a new scientific postulate: Is the lingering effect enhanced and extended to say 10 or 20 days of mental optimization if the subject of said gripping novel is the brain itself?

Well, the world of my first, hopefully ‘gripping’ novel, was about the human brain itself.  It’s deep layers and the mapping of it. Therefore, if the average run of the mill novel with ‘great grip’ can increase your noodle powers for 5 days then certainly getting a grip…

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Can you hear me now?

One of my favorite authors, if you have never read Lawrence Block, you are missing one of the finest authors in the world.


eightmillionaudio“For those used to listening to crime stories on audio, [Michael] Kelly’s take on [Stephen King’s] Joyland might be jarring. The narrators of Lawrence Block’s Matt Scudder series, for example – Alan Sklar, William Roberts, Mark Hammer – explore every word as a threat, pummeling headlong toward finales composed of shock and sadness. (Only Block himself, on Eight Million Ways to Die, seems to get to the deep sorrow of the character).”

So writes Kevin Quigley in his review of Joyland. I quote it here not merely because it’s both (a) about me me me and (b) favorable, but because I find it reassuring after a couple of recent posts criticizing my narrative efforts as flat and undramatic, and lacking in the quality that can be imparted by a professional voice artist.

Neither critical response is invalid. A thing worth noting about audiobooks is that different styles work for…

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Nothing I’d like to do more than go to the party. Geography and finances however won’t allow. However I’ll be there in spirit and when you create a signature for the Audible edition, please send me one, I’ll treasure it. Ila in Maine


Well, it’s been a long time coming.

I finished writing Hit Me in November, 2011. I was booked for two events a week or so apart in Southern California, and I had about a week’s worth of work to do on the book, so I took my laptop along, holed up in a hotel on Beverly Boulevard, just down the street from CBS, and Got It Done.

What I truly want, when I finish a book, is to take a shower, drink a cup of coffee, then walk around the corner to find the book nicely displayed in a proper bookstore. An hour or so strikes me as an appropriate interval; fifteen months, OTOH, is a lot like eternity.

Well, fifteen months (if not eternity) is up this coming Tuesday, February 12. I’ve been blogging and blathering about it sufficiently to leave you feeling as though you’ve already read it…

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