How a Little Fiction Can Help You in Your Real Life


I can’t tell you how many times I’ve received this response when speaking about my favorite novels to nonfiction-lovers. While it’s true that Sherlock Holmes may not really be around to solve crimes and Hogwarts might not actually exist, that doesn’t make the worlds in which they exist any less relevant to us real folk. Continue reading

Watercoolering: Heck Yes We Read Books

We might spend our days reading copy, editing copy and secretly judging our peers who send that email with typos in it (Yep, we do that.) but, no matter how weary our eyes get, we still have the desire to read when we get home. And more than that, we like to talk about what we’re reading the next day–sometimes around the literal water dispenser.

So, on this Friday a select group of the editorial staff decided to share those books they can’t help but gab about with peers. Here goes!



the book: “A Confederacy of Dunces”

the author: John Kennedy Toole

The real reason to read this book is the protagonist, Ignatius J. Reilly. So full of righteous anger and indignation towards the world around him, he is a disaster of a man. And that disaster also happens to be hilarious. Read this book! –Tim Edmundson, Editor

the book: “Half and Half: Writers Growing up Biracial and Bicultural”

the author: Claudine C. O’Hearn

This is a collection of short stories about bi-racial and bi-cultural experiences, but unlike a lot of other books on the subject–this book opened my eyes to different bi-racial and bi-cultural experiences. It’s a great book because it makes you ask yourself: What is race? What is culture?

–Cathy Flanagan, Editor, Content Channels

the book: “Side Effects”

the author: Woody Allen

Yes, that Woody Allen. My uncle, a baby boomer comedy nerd, gave me a copy of this anthology of Allen’s short comic stories and essays when I was in junior high–one of the few books I read cover-to-cover in my illiterate youth. Includes the classic story “The Kugelmass Episode” in which a city college professor is magically transported into the novel “Madame Bovary”, setting off a series of hilarious fictional and “real” consequences.

–Mike Plewa, Supervisor, Title Selection



the book: “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time”

the author: Mark Haddon

I’ve always liked mysteries–when I was little I read everything from Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys to Sherlock Holmes. This book was, in many ways, a detective story, but the revelation is not, as you might expect, discovering what happened to the dog in the night, but rather a discovery of the life of the novel’s protagonist, Christopher, who is a teenager on the autism spectrum. It’s  inspiring as a writer to see how a novelist was able to bring me into a completely foreign realm and to so aptly depict the metaphysical landscape of this boy’s world in an engaging and approachable way.

–Lindsay Morris, Senior Manager, Content Channels

So we shared our favorites. What are some of yours? Let us know!