Current events

Happy New Year and May you read many more books

As famous film director Werner Herzog explains in an interview with Stephen Sackur on the BBC’s HARDTalk program on 24th December 2015 (video below), to write a good movie, you must read, read, and read. To write well, you must read, and to write good reviews, you must read, and that is why I read. My review of A Man Called Ove was my 145th review, and this year I’ve read and reviewed about 40 books, and just read many more that I didn’t get round to reviewing. I am looking forward to another year of many and worthwhile books. The scientific basis for reading and writing going together is that writing is not a skill that people develop separately from other processes. It combines many complex activities, including categorizing, building key terms and concepts for a subject, measuring one’s reaction to a subject, making new connections, abstracting, figuring out significance, and developing arguments—to name a few. But the highest cognitive functions are developed and supported through active and interconnected use of language—speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Writing and reading is the chicken and the egg – the one cannot develop without the other. So, hooray for Werner Herzog, no matter how odd his accent or the expressions that he uses.