web site hit counter Wonderworks: The 25 Most Powerful Inventions in the History of Literature - Ebooks PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

Wonderworks: The 25 Most Powerful Inventions in the History of Literature

Availability: Ready to download

A brilliant examination of literary inventions through the ages, from ancient Mesopotamia to Elena Ferrante, that shows how writers have created technical breakthroughs—rivaling any scientific inventions—and engineering enhancements to the human heart and mind. Literature is a technology like any other. And the writers we revere—from Homer, Shakespeare, Austen, and others—e A brilliant examination of literary inventions through the ages, from ancient Mesopotamia to Elena Ferrante, that shows how writers have created technical breakthroughs—rivaling any scientific inventions—and engineering enhancements to the human heart and mind. Literature is a technology like any other. And the writers we revere—from Homer, Shakespeare, Austen, and others—each made a unique technical breakthrough that can be viewed as both a narrative and neuroscientific advancement. Literature’s great invention was to address problems we could not solve: not how to start a fire or build a boat, but how to live and love; how to maintain courage in the face of death; how to account for the fact that we exist at all. Wonderworks reviews the blueprints for twenty-five of the most powerful developments in the history of literature. These inventions can be scientifically shown to alleviate grief, trauma, loneliness, anxiety, numbness, depression, pessimism, and ennui—all while sparking creativity, courage, love, empathy, hope, joy, and positive change. They can be found all throughout literature—from ancient Chinese lyrics to Shakespeare’s plays, poetry to nursery rhymes and fairy tales, and crime novels to slave narratives. An easy-to-understand exploration of the new literary field of story science, Wonderworks teaches you everything you wish you learned in your English class. Based on author Angus Fletcher’s own research, it is an eye-opening and thought-provoking work that offers us a new understanding of the power of literature.


Compare

A brilliant examination of literary inventions through the ages, from ancient Mesopotamia to Elena Ferrante, that shows how writers have created technical breakthroughs—rivaling any scientific inventions—and engineering enhancements to the human heart and mind. Literature is a technology like any other. And the writers we revere—from Homer, Shakespeare, Austen, and others—e A brilliant examination of literary inventions through the ages, from ancient Mesopotamia to Elena Ferrante, that shows how writers have created technical breakthroughs—rivaling any scientific inventions—and engineering enhancements to the human heart and mind. Literature is a technology like any other. And the writers we revere—from Homer, Shakespeare, Austen, and others—each made a unique technical breakthrough that can be viewed as both a narrative and neuroscientific advancement. Literature’s great invention was to address problems we could not solve: not how to start a fire or build a boat, but how to live and love; how to maintain courage in the face of death; how to account for the fact that we exist at all. Wonderworks reviews the blueprints for twenty-five of the most powerful developments in the history of literature. These inventions can be scientifically shown to alleviate grief, trauma, loneliness, anxiety, numbness, depression, pessimism, and ennui—all while sparking creativity, courage, love, empathy, hope, joy, and positive change. They can be found all throughout literature—from ancient Chinese lyrics to Shakespeare’s plays, poetry to nursery rhymes and fairy tales, and crime novels to slave narratives. An easy-to-understand exploration of the new literary field of story science, Wonderworks teaches you everything you wish you learned in your English class. Based on author Angus Fletcher’s own research, it is an eye-opening and thought-provoking work that offers us a new understanding of the power of literature.

30 review for Wonderworks: The 25 Most Powerful Inventions in the History of Literature

  1. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    I was intrigued by the idea of "literary" inventions. Angus Fletcher has studied and dissected how the psychological impact of literature, and what literature does to achieve that impact. It's what first drew me to books. As a girl, I recognized how books widened my knowledge and understanding, but mostly I was impressed by how they could make me FEEL. Books could make me cry. Make me laugh. Cause all kinds of ideas to spark in my head. I was awed by that power. In Wonderworks, Fletcher takes read I was intrigued by the idea of "literary" inventions. Angus Fletcher has studied and dissected how the psychological impact of literature, and what literature does to achieve that impact. It's what first drew me to books. As a girl, I recognized how books widened my knowledge and understanding, but mostly I was impressed by how they could make me FEEL. Books could make me cry. Make me laugh. Cause all kinds of ideas to spark in my head. I was awed by that power. In Wonderworks, Fletcher takes readers on a historical tour of the great moments in literature, showing the advances in literary tools and how the human brain reacts to cause emotional responses that can heal and enlarge our individual lives. I have never read anything like it. Fletcher's vast knowledge shines as he leads us through his thinking, from one literary achievement to another, showing the development of each "invention". He then parses the reactive brain chemistry that causes the reader's reactions. I enjoyed reading the book one invention at a time. Some inventions were easy to grasp; others took effort. I was familiar with much of the literature used as examples, but was happy to encounter new ones. Like the ancient papyrus text The Wisdom of Ptahhotep, which advises "For as long as you life, follow your heart." At the chapter's end, Fletcher includes books and movies that offer the same psychic value as the literature he has discussed. This is a radical, innovative way of looking at literature. It is provoking. I received a free egalley from the publisher through NetGalley. My review is fair and unbiased.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mr. Armstrong

    How can a book be so interesting and so boring at the same time?

  3. 4 out of 5

    Susan Tunis

    This is a long and dense book, but any effort expended in the reading is exponentially rewarded. By the time I reached the end, I felt like I'd absorbed an entire college course worth of knowledge! The title of this book is a bit opaque. In short, it looks at how in the span of history, there have been literary innovations that have impacted readers or viewers on a psychological and even medical level, and it has the science to back up the assertions. Mr. Fletcher starts off strong with an exampl This is a long and dense book, but any effort expended in the reading is exponentially rewarded. By the time I reached the end, I felt like I'd absorbed an entire college course worth of knowledge! The title of this book is a bit opaque. In short, it looks at how in the span of history, there have been literary innovations that have impacted readers or viewers on a psychological and even medical level, and it has the science to back up the assertions. Mr. Fletcher starts off strong with an example of how ancient Greek dramas treated PTSD through specific types of vocalizations and eye movements in a way that contemporary science is only now able to start to explain. It's crazy stuff! It's not all so clinical. In the course of the book, centuries of literary innovations are explored--things like the invention of the soliloquy or stream of conscious novels. Lots of classics are deconstructed, but there are many contemporary examples shared as well. To the author's credit, he looks at writers who are not exclusively white, European men. He also looks at non-traditional literary narratives. From Shakespeare's plays, to Alison Bechtel's graphic memoir Fun Home, to Monteverdi's operas, and Tina Fey's 30 Rock--all were innovators who impacted their audience. As a bookseller, I've always been taken by the fanciful idea of the literary apothecary. Wonderworks illustrates that the idea of finding the perfect book for whatever ails you is not so fanciful after all. This was a completely fascinating book, and should be required reading for all serious readers, writers, and humans--and maybe even people who are all three.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lora Milton

    This is an examination of literary inventions through the ages of great use to students of literary devices. I loved how each section makes a point, but does it in a storytelling voice to tell the history about whichever literary device is being depicted. It's an educations book, yet reads like a book of short stories! Very interesting book and one of great use for writers and students of literature. This is an examination of literary inventions through the ages of great use to students of literary devices. I loved how each section makes a point, but does it in a storytelling voice to tell the history about whichever literary device is being depicted. It's an educations book, yet reads like a book of short stories! Very interesting book and one of great use for writers and students of literature.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Heidi

    I skimmed most of this, read certain chapters. I like the idea of having this book, maybe referencing a specific chapter when I'm feeling that chapter's emotion. See what books are recommended. But to just open on page 1 and keep going is too much. Way too dense for my brain. Literature as self-help is a really cool way to think about literature -- much more interesting than 'identifying the themes' in English Lit class. I have added Pride & Prejudice to my Re-Read pile because of this book, but I skimmed most of this, read certain chapters. I like the idea of having this book, maybe referencing a specific chapter when I'm feeling that chapter's emotion. See what books are recommended. But to just open on page 1 and keep going is too much. Way too dense for my brain. Literature as self-help is a really cool way to think about literature -- much more interesting than 'identifying the themes' in English Lit class. I have added Pride & Prejudice to my Re-Read pile because of this book, but I can't remember why.

  6. 5 out of 5

    superawesomekt

    This is too gimmicky for me. I started it but after the introduction (and the first example) I found I disagreed with the author's entire premise and there are MANY books that cover a range of books to read (e.g. Michael Dirda's Bound to Please, Fadiman's Lifetime Reading Plan). Moving on... This is too gimmicky for me. I started it but after the introduction (and the first example) I found I disagreed with the author's entire premise and there are MANY books that cover a range of books to read (e.g. Michael Dirda's Bound to Please, Fadiman's Lifetime Reading Plan). Moving on...

  7. 4 out of 5

    Teresa Grabs

    I wasn't exactly sure what to expect when I read Wonderworks's description, but I love learning about literature through the ages, so I was excited to read it. Beginning in Mesopotamia and traveling to modern-day through 25 "inventions" (themes), Fletcher highlights key shifts or emerging themes that helped shape literature. Some of the selections picked contributed to the feeling that I was reading an upper-division textbook rather than a reference book for book lovers. Several themes piqued my I wasn't exactly sure what to expect when I read Wonderworks's description, but I love learning about literature through the ages, so I was excited to read it. Beginning in Mesopotamia and traveling to modern-day through 25 "inventions" (themes), Fletcher highlights key shifts or emerging themes that helped shape literature. Some of the selections picked contributed to the feeling that I was reading an upper-division textbook rather than a reference book for book lovers. Several themes piqued my interest more than others but, as a whole, the book dragged and it was a slog to get through. While I am sure readers and writers who love critical analysis of literary themes and motifs will love this book, I am not one of those readers. Thank you NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for the opportunity to read an advance reading copy.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Thomasm

    As a reader and teacher, I liked this book but I wanted to like it more. Something about the style of writing slowed me down—maybe the narratives that began each chapter? However, it has encouraged me to look at my reading experience in a new light, in terms of the effects a piece of literature has on me and how its creation has led to those effects. I also really appreciate the reading suggestions at the end of each chapter.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kristjan

    This is a very interesting review of several [25] literary devices that apparently have neurological explanations for why they are so effective. It is this physiological connection that I found most interesting. It opens strong with a quick nod to how the Illiad incorporated a revolutionary version of the paean or battle chorus to replicate an oxytocin boost to provide us with a "connection to the cosmic human community.” Then we move quickly to the story of Job, and how it was rewritten to have This is a very interesting review of several [25] literary devices that apparently have neurological explanations for why they are so effective. It is this physiological connection that I found most interesting. It opens strong with a quick nod to how the Illiad incorporated a revolutionary version of the paean or battle chorus to replicate an oxytocin boost to provide us with a "connection to the cosmic human community.” Then we move quickly to the story of Job, and how it was rewritten to have such a powerful impact on the human empathy. Some of the “inventions” are more of how previous inventions were combined to make them more effective … most of those seemed to be a stretch or something I just didn’t understand well enough to appreciate it. Regardless, it did give more a different take on a lot of the classic literature that I struggled with in school. I was given this free advance reader copy (ARC) ebook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. #Wonderworks #NetGalley

  10. 5 out of 5

    Cat

    Many thanks to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for the chance to read an early copy of this book. WONDERWORKS is an unusual, thought-provoking book. It mixes history, literature, and neuroscience to create essentially a self-help book where the cure for what ails you is a certain element of literature. And "literature" is defined quite broadly as anything that tells a story and inspires emotion, so along the way we get recommendations for TV like THE TWILIGHT ZONE, FLEABAG, and 30 ROCK alongside m Many thanks to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for the chance to read an early copy of this book. WONDERWORKS is an unusual, thought-provoking book. It mixes history, literature, and neuroscience to create essentially a self-help book where the cure for what ails you is a certain element of literature. And "literature" is defined quite broadly as anything that tells a story and inspires emotion, so along the way we get recommendations for TV like THE TWILIGHT ZONE, FLEABAG, and 30 ROCK alongside more typical literary recommendations like Shakespeare, Austen, and Poe. The body of the book reviews 25 literary "inventions" that have emotional effects, from anger to gratitude to healing from grief. We start out with a vignette of the "inventor," reviewing the history, the invention, the neuroscience of the emotion, and closing out with how you can try it yourself with other books, including recommendations. While the book is written accessibly to a general audience, I would still recommend reading this only a chapter or two at a time because it is so packed with ideas that there is almost an inverse relationship where the more you read in one sitting the less you'll be able to absorb. I will say that I was skeptical at times of how strongly the arguments were made about this author being the very first to do something, and to be deliberately writing it for this intended effect--but I don't begrudge the author his crafting of a narrative, because narrative and story is what this is all about. And while I don't think that every person is guaranteed to have the same reaction to the same story, I do tend to agree to the logic behind the certain elements. I read a lot of genre fiction and almost always consume stories for their emotional effect, so I appreciated this ode to the power of literature to make us feel things. I also liked how wide-ranging the historical and geographical scope was--though many of the examples were European or American, we also visit Egypt, Mali, China, and Colombia along the way, throughout history from the oral tradition and ancient Greek plays to THE GODFATHER and Alison Bechdel's graphic novel FUN HOME. The questions and ideas raised by this book are wonderful food for thought, and I already know I'll be buying a copy for my father, who shares my interests in literature, history, and psychology.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Shelleyrae at Book'd Out

    “It was barely sunrise. Yet even in the faint, rose-fingered light, there could be no doubt: the invention was a marvel. It could mend cracks in the heart and resurrect hope from the dark. It could summon up raptures and impossible days. It could chase away dullness and unlatch the sky. The invention was literature. And to catch its marvel for ourselves, let’s return to that dawn. Let’s learn the story of why literature was invented. And all the things it was invented to do.” Angus Fletcher expla “It was barely sunrise. Yet even in the faint, rose-fingered light, there could be no doubt: the invention was a marvel. It could mend cracks in the heart and resurrect hope from the dark. It could summon up raptures and impossible days. It could chase away dullness and unlatch the sky. The invention was literature. And to catch its marvel for ourselves, let’s return to that dawn. Let’s learn the story of why literature was invented. And all the things it was invented to do.” Angus Fletcher explains twenty five ‘inventions’ that underpin the appeal of literature in Wonderworks. Stories have many purposes and Fletcher proposes thot these have evolved over time as authors have discovered techniques, from the plot twist to the happy ever after ending, for eliciting specific emotions and reactions from their audience. The emerging field of story science explains how different types of narratives, from thrillers to satire, have been proven to stimulate different areas of our brain and have the ability to affect our attitudes, beliefs, and behaviour. Stories can not only educate, they can also encourage the development of empathy, alleviate depression, inspire creativity, and improve self-awareness. In each chapter of Wonderworks, Fletcher examines a invention of literature, relating its history, and often that of its ‘inventor’, provides examples, and explores how and why the technique resonates with us as revealed by modern neuroscience. I thought Fletcher offered some astute insights, though much confirms what avid readers instinctively know about the power of all types of fiction has to enrich our lives. “For whatever the power of truth may be, literature’s own special power has always lain in fiction, that wonder we construct. It is the invention that unbreaks the heart. And brings us into hope, and peace, and love.” There is, as necessary, some jargon to contend with but Fletcher embraces the style of nonfiction narrative so Wonderworks is rarely dry. It can be dense however and, in my opinion, occasionally veers into the pretentious, so I found it difficult to read in one sitting. I think enthusiasm for Wonderworks will be higher among those interested in literary analysis and study, students of psychology, philosophers, and writers looking to hone their craft, but it does have value for the simply curious. Wonderworks provides a way to understand literature that moves beyond its construction and practicalities. It’s an interesting and thought-provoking study of narrative and the significance of fiction to both individuals and society.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Brenda

    We read books and take many literary breakthroughs for granted. Literature is powerful and the invention of "story science" important to our understanding as bibliophiles. If you've wondered who invented a particular technique/device such as plot, irony, parody, comedy and satire as I have, this comprehensive book has your name written all over it. This is all about how literature works from the beginning of time to the present in 25 literary breakthroughs. From the cuneiform of Ur, Biblical para We read books and take many literary breakthroughs for granted. Literature is powerful and the invention of "story science" important to our understanding as bibliophiles. If you've wondered who invented a particular technique/device such as plot, irony, parody, comedy and satire as I have, this comprehensive book has your name written all over it. This is all about how literature works from the beginning of time to the present in 25 literary breakthroughs. From the cuneiform of Ur, Biblical parables and Greek poetry to Shakespearean plays and Mary Shelley's horror to Wagner's opera, we learn why literature was invented and how. Stories and writing needed to have a beginning and an end, solve problems, instruct and give enjoyment. Basically, humans needed to learn what literature does. To the Greeks it was "soul lifting" and caused wonder. It has always been a cure for loneliness and still is today. The author describes the literary inventions of plot twists, catharsis, narrators, irony, allegory, hope, romance, deduction, failures and stream of consciousness, all with examples such as Chaucer, Samuel Richardson, Henry Fielding, Jane Austen, George Eliot and Virginia Woolf. Bibliophiles with an academic side should read this marvelously unique book. It answered many of my questions and also left me with more! I learned a lot of interesting information. It caused me to really see things from a different perspective. My sincere thank you to Simon & Schuster and NetGalley for the privilege of reading an early copy of this amazing book. Wonderworks is wonder full!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Diane Hernandez

    Wonderworks has a unique concept. Let’s look across time and place to find twenty-five literary tools that most impact writing today. Then, show how they began to be used and how they continue to be used today in both books and film. Finally, how you can use the technique in your own writing or even to solve your personal problems. Some of the tools power modern romance and thriller books. Others may be in any genre of book. Some examples are joy, wonder and satire. It took me a couple of chapter Wonderworks has a unique concept. Let’s look across time and place to find twenty-five literary tools that most impact writing today. Then, show how they began to be used and how they continue to be used today in both books and film. Finally, how you can use the technique in your own writing or even to solve your personal problems. Some of the tools power modern romance and thriller books. Others may be in any genre of book. Some examples are joy, wonder and satire. It took me a couple of chapters to understand what the author was really “selling”. At first, I thought Wonderworks was literary critique or a lesson in how to critique. But eventually I realized that this book is an invaluable tool for both emerging and established authors. Who can’t stand to learn some new tools, after all? I highly recommend this book. It is chockful of interesting facts. I’m sure I will be rereading it soon. 5 stars! Thanks to Simon & Schuster and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Dan

    My thanks to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for an advanced copy of this book. Angus Fletcher in Wonderworks: The 25 Most Powerful Inventions in the History of Literature has created a Way Things Work for fiction readers and writers. In 25 chapters Mr. Fletcher travels from the first stories told in caves to the present day showing, comparing and contracting how literature works, and why its messages, when done right, can be so compelling. Mr. Fletcher explains why our brains feel the way they d My thanks to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for an advanced copy of this book. Angus Fletcher in Wonderworks: The 25 Most Powerful Inventions in the History of Literature has created a Way Things Work for fiction readers and writers. In 25 chapters Mr. Fletcher travels from the first stories told in caves to the present day showing, comparing and contracting how literature works, and why its messages, when done right, can be so compelling. Mr. Fletcher explains why our brains feel the way they do after certain passages, using neurological research and examples from various authors. The book is a lot to take in. I recommend reading a chapter or two a day and to contemplate what Mr. Fletcher discusses, sort of like going back to school for lectures, only fun. One of the better books I've read on reading that I have read. A great graduation gift for the readers you know, or those you wish to encourage.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Scott Martin

    (Audiobook) This book is an attempt to make a readable literature studies textbook. While it pulls from established writing/literature, it also takes from various sources, from ancient Middle Eastern poetry to The Godfather. It attempts to explain how literature became a major part of the human existence and the various methods of how it conveyed the human condition. It is literary analysis, but it also shows how literature addressed concerns long before human science could offer its explanation (Audiobook) This book is an attempt to make a readable literature studies textbook. While it pulls from established writing/literature, it also takes from various sources, from ancient Middle Eastern poetry to The Godfather. It attempts to explain how literature became a major part of the human existence and the various methods of how it conveyed the human condition. It is literary analysis, but it also shows how literature addressed concerns long before human science could offer its explanations. I think this is one of those books that would be better served as a hard copy/e-copy. Even at the beginning, the author invites the reader to hunt around to find what would be of interest. Listening to this book just didn’t quite have the same effectiveness as reading the book in person. There is something to be said for reading this book, but recommend the hard copy/e-copy over the audiobook. The reader is fine, but the content isn’t as effective spoken as written.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Chenglin

    I was super excited to read this book. The book details various literary inventions, their potential origin from ancient times, and further development through contemporary authors, and ties each one to psychological benefits for readers. I would've liked more scientific backing (or citing of research) that ties a specific invention to its psychological effects on the brain...that would've strengthened his argument for certain inventions. For example, will watching 30 Rock actually prime me to t I was super excited to read this book. The book details various literary inventions, their potential origin from ancient times, and further development through contemporary authors, and ties each one to psychological benefits for readers. I would've liked more scientific backing (or citing of research) that ties a specific invention to its psychological effects on the brain...that would've strengthened his argument for certain inventions. For example, will watching 30 Rock actually prime me to think more counterfactually? I'm not sure. But, I really enjoyed reading about the literary inventions. Some of the chapters got long and was harder got get through. I read the themes I was most interested in first :)

  17. 5 out of 5

    Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance

    Literary scholar Angus Fletcher takes a close look at the power of innovations in literature to improve human happiness, and he analyzes these effects on the physical body. Yes, that's what he does. And my reaction, at first, was exactly like yours. What? I thought. Then I read it, and I learned how the devices stories use have profound psychological benefits for people. "The neural leap inside a perpetrator's head...allows our brain to be us while also being someone else." "(The happiest of happ Literary scholar Angus Fletcher takes a close look at the power of innovations in literature to improve human happiness, and he analyzes these effects on the physical body. Yes, that's what he does. And my reaction, at first, was exactly like yours. What? I thought. Then I read it, and I learned how the devices stories use have profound psychological benefits for people. "The neural leap inside a perpetrator's head...allows our brain to be us while also being someone else." "(The happiest of happy endings) can energize our inner optimist." Amazing, right? He looks at paradox and comedy and horror and more, and he learns that all of these have incredibly strong positive effects on us as readers. I knew there was a reason I feel good when I read.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Gordon Jack

    I wish I could explain (as Angus Fletcher does) why this book was so compelling for me. It’s totally formulaic, with each chapter following the same structure: Take us into a work of literature, explain its invention and its effect on our brain, and then recommend how we can personally benefit from greater exposure to this invention. You would think this would get repetitive after a while, but it never did for me. That’s because Fletcher is an excellent writer with an encyclopedic knowledge of b I wish I could explain (as Angus Fletcher does) why this book was so compelling for me. It’s totally formulaic, with each chapter following the same structure: Take us into a work of literature, explain its invention and its effect on our brain, and then recommend how we can personally benefit from greater exposure to this invention. You would think this would get repetitive after a while, but it never did for me. That’s because Fletcher is an excellent writer with an encyclopedic knowledge of both literature and neuroscience. He keeps each chapter interesting with his keen insights on each author’s work and clear explanations of the brain science. My only wish is that I retained more of his insights so I could sound smarter summarizing them here.

  19. 4 out of 5

    John Girard

    This was really good. The only reason for docking it one star: I don’t think the framing of “inventions of literature” really worked. It feels like something either the author fell in love with and couldn’t abandon or that the editor thought would make it more marketable. The book is actually better thought of us as “the neuro-psychology of literature” which I think is 100x more interesting (and more accurate). Framed that way, you can consider this the “missing link” between science and the lite This was really good. The only reason for docking it one star: I don’t think the framing of “inventions of literature” really worked. It feels like something either the author fell in love with and couldn’t abandon or that the editor thought would make it more marketable. The book is actually better thought of us as “the neuro-psychology of literature” which I think is 100x more interesting (and more accurate). Framed that way, you can consider this the “missing link” between science and the literary criticism - it grounds some of the seemingly ineffable effects of literature in neuroscience in compelling and thoughtful ways. Read on kindle, probably need a hard copy foe the library!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Johanna Beachy

    An absolutely phenomenal read. The type of book I wish I had assigned to me in high school or college. Filled to the brim with valuable literary insight and guidance. A Masterclass in arts and literature. Wonderworks is a psychological analysis of the mechanisms used throughout all literature, past and present, and their implications on theater, the mind, humanity, and more. Explore how Greek theater used movement on the stage to create a sense of calm within the viewer, how the first record of An absolutely phenomenal read. The type of book I wish I had assigned to me in high school or college. Filled to the brim with valuable literary insight and guidance. A Masterclass in arts and literature. Wonderworks is a psychological analysis of the mechanisms used throughout all literature, past and present, and their implications on theater, the mind, humanity, and more. Explore how Greek theater used movement on the stage to create a sense of calm within the viewer, how the first record of written literature was by a female noblewoman, and many other powerful insights into what makes literature so wonderful.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    I was really excited about this book-literature, neuroscience-how literature affects our brain. My own experience knew the truth that literature does affect us emotionally and mentally, but to pull in the neuroscience aspect was just bonus-what exactly did literature do to my brain making me feel the things I did when I read certain stories. Overall, I did enjoy this read-it was fascinating. But there were chapters I was not jiving with as far as his "conclusions" of what the literature was doin I was really excited about this book-literature, neuroscience-how literature affects our brain. My own experience knew the truth that literature does affect us emotionally and mentally, but to pull in the neuroscience aspect was just bonus-what exactly did literature do to my brain making me feel the things I did when I read certain stories. Overall, I did enjoy this read-it was fascinating. But there were chapters I was not jiving with as far as his "conclusions" of what the literature was doing. I had had a different experience. But of course, the author is writing from his perspective and the data he has collected. For some readers, this may be a new thought altogether and so for his category creating insight, I would recommend it.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Grace

    The concept of this book was super interesting, and as an avid reader and occasional dabbler in writing, I thought it was really cool to explore writing's "inventions". The breakdown as to the how behind why certain books make you feel certain things was just so fascinating and it definitely gave me a different lens to read books through. Definitely recommend, especially for my big reader and/or writer friends! The concept of this book was super interesting, and as an avid reader and occasional dabbler in writing, I thought it was really cool to explore writing's "inventions". The breakdown as to the how behind why certain books make you feel certain things was just so fascinating and it definitely gave me a different lens to read books through. Definitely recommend, especially for my big reader and/or writer friends!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Swisher Ray

    This book combined three topics that deeply interest me: literature, innovation, and (neuro)science. I appreciated the innovative premise of this book: a scientific analysis of some of history’s most enduring works of literature. Overall, did not disappoint, although admittedly, extensive portions of the book read a bit much like a dissertation rather than something to be enjoyed by a non-academic.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Peter Tillman

    Here's the author's article on the book at the Smithsonian magazine, which amounts to an extended preview/advert for his new book: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/innova... It sounds pretty cool. Idea goes all the way back to Aristotle's Poetics..... Here's the author's article on the book at the Smithsonian magazine, which amounts to an extended preview/advert for his new book: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/innova... It sounds pretty cool. Idea goes all the way back to Aristotle's Poetics.....

  25. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    Wow. So good! I keep telling everyone—including my therapist—about this book! Forced myself to read it slowly, because there is a LOT to absorb. As a reader, I can’t wait to check out every book he mentions in here. As a writer, I’ll refer back to this book forever to refine my technique. Can’t get enough of the book? Listen to his podcast with Brene Brown for more.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Roy Kenagy

    FRANKLIN 809 F632 READ0 Read Introduction, Conclusion, Coda, Further Reading (420) and a sample chapter to get a feel for whether worth pursuing. Follow up on James Phelen and "rhetorical narrative theory" and "story science" FRANKLIN 809 F632 READ0 Read Introduction, Conclusion, Coda, Further Reading (420) and a sample chapter to get a feel for whether worth pursuing. Follow up on James Phelen and "rhetorical narrative theory" and "story science"

  27. 4 out of 5

    Cianna Stewart

    An absolutely extraordinary book! Incredible thinking and beautiful writing. I admit my brain was so zapped by the concepts in this book that I’m immediately going to reread it to try to better absorb them.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Chad

    “Read widely in history, memoir, and autobiography, treasuring the uniqueness of every past life you discover while taking a lightly ironic view of your present self. That way, each dawn will bring a chance to celebrate history—and embrace future change.”

  29. 4 out of 5

    Justine

    Thanks to NetGalley and Simon Schuster for providing an ARC!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Becky Franzel

    Such a lovely and thought provoking book It really bothers me that I have to post 20 words. Can’t a book be so damned good that it renders me speechless?

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.