Embark on these literary escapes

As that familiar fall crispness seeps into the air, it becomes more and more tempting to abandon those plans you’ve made and opt for a cozy night in.

Itching for a great fall book to read? Look no further.

Literature professor Philip Schochet said: “any book is better in the fall. Its nature’s last hurrah and therefore the best time for reading and writing.”

A few scary classics he recommended are “Dracula” by Bram Stoker, “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley, or any Nathaniel Hawthorne stories. For a more modern Gothic American novel he recommends Brian Evenson’s “Windeye.” For a new fall book, he recommended “Bark” by Lauri Moore or for a short story collection, “The Empty House” by Nathan Oates, who happens to be the chair of the Creative Writing Department at Seton Hall.

If you’re looking for a bestseller, currently at the top of the New York Times Bestseller List are “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn, “Edge of Eternity” by Ken Follett, “Personal” by Lee Child, “The Best of Me” by Nicholas Sparks and “Outlander” by Diana Gabaldon.

If you’d prefer something scarier, CBS New York suggested “Doctor Sleep” by Stephen King (the long awaited sequel to “The Shining”), “Red Rain” by R.L. Stine, or “Cain’s Blood” by Geoffery Girard to get you in the mood for Halloween.

Whatever you’re into, studies show that reading can have positive effects on your health and overall well-being. According to “Readers’ Digest,” reading regularly can relieve stress, boost vocabulary, improve empathy and even help prevent Alzheimer’s disease later in life.

Reading can also strengthen your brain. Dr. Ken Pugh, president and director of research of Haskins Laboratories, told “Oprah” magazine “parts of the brain that have evolved for other functions—such as vision, language, and associative learning— connect in a specific neural circuit for reading, which is very challenging."

It has also been said that readers are, scientifically, the best type of people to fall in love with. Raymond Mar, a psychologist at York University in Canada said that “those who read fiction are capable of the most empathy and ‘theory of mind,’ which is able to hold opinions, beliefs and interests apart from their own.”

Rachel O’Connor can be reached at rachel.oconnor@student.shu.edu.

Author: Staff Writer

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