Neuroscience Explains Harry Potter’s Appeal

BookWithGlassesCurling up with a good book is one of life’s greatest pleasures, whether you’re reading on a tropical beach while on vacation or nestled into your favorite chair at home. As your eyes skim over the words, your mind conjures up images of the events unfolding on the page. Books can take us to fantastic places, real and imaginary, that we will never visit in our lifetime. And while there is some pleasure to be gained from nonfictional books, my favorite books all seem to fall in the realm of fiction. I am not alone. The science fiction and fantasy genre of literature continues to be one of the most popular. Why do so many readers find these types of books so enticing and engaging?

It all comes down to science, specifically neuroscience.

Continue reading “Neuroscience Explains Harry Potter’s Appeal”

From Zombies to Hanta Virus to Wizards in Training: Summertime Reading

iStock_000016760626XSmallJust the other day, the local library near Promega held its Friends of the Library Summer Book Sale, and several of the Promega editors trekked to the stacks to take advantage of bargain books. Many of us were looking for summer reading treasures.

Summer reading has always been a big tradition for me.  When I was younger I spent much of my summer breaks sitting under the shade of a big tree or, later, an airplane hangar with a good book.  When I was in college on the summer Glee Club tour, I remember an English Literature major who always boarded the bus with a shopping bag full of Harlequin romances—her summer reading. My daughter, now a “school-ager” herself has come home with own summer reading list, although many of the assignments were ebooks: times have changed a little.

As I was thinking about summer reading, I wondered, is there any pattern to what scientists take on vacation with them for their leisure reading hours? So I conducted an informal poll of science types hanging around Promega to see what they were planning for summer vacation reading. The results were as varied as the scientists whom I polled, but if you are stuck for a summer reading idea, perhaps one of these titles will appeal to you.

Do you have any summer reading suggestions for us? Share them on Twitter (@Promega), Facebook  or Google+

Science-related fiction Continue reading “From Zombies to Hanta Virus to Wizards in Training: Summertime Reading”