“We all have our time machines, don’t we. Those that take us back are memories… And those that carry us forward, are dreams.” – H.G. Wells
This week’s topic for Top Ten Tuesday is “Books with Sensory Reading Memories.” But what are sensory memories?
When information is brought in and retained by the senses, this is what is known as sensory memory. The effects are extremely short term with this information forgotten within a few seconds.1
Sensory memories are short-lived however books can help us retain our sensory memories. Reading is a complex process and engages all of our focus/senses for a prolonged experience. So the information brought in by our senses during this time gets better retained in our memory when it becomes associated/connected to our reading experience. This can also work in reverse with a sensory experience reminding us of certain books or stories.
To me, the books with sensory reading memories are older books such that when you take them out of your bookshelf and open them you are filled with a strong feeling of nostalgia for the all the times you read it before.
All the scents, sounds, temperatures, feelings you experienced earlier come rushing back to you at once and you get this strange feeling in your heart. Continue reading “Memories Within Books”
Sometimes, when you are looking for a new book to immerse yourself in, reading a description or review of a book doesn’t work: it can be too vague or confusing, it may sound uninteresting, or even turn out to be deceptive in some cases. Sometimes going straight to the text is much more satisfying. Here I present to you 21 quotes from the book Summer in Orcus by T. Kingfisher aka Ursula Vernon Continue reading “Quotes from Summer in Orcus”
It’s been raining all day, with cool winds, and heavy rainfall, continuing after a night of thunder and lightning. While the rain is a welcome respite from the heat of summer, the whole city has just about turned into Venice. So I thought I’d make a post about rainy day books. Continue reading “Rainy Day Reads”
Featured Image: Cover painting for The Cloud Roads by artist Matthew Stewart
In my recent readings through the fantasy genre I have realised that there aren’t that many books with non-human people as the main characters or protagonists. Illustrated books from my childhood often had protagonists like bears, cats and rabbits.1 It is also much easier to find non-human characters in comics and manga, etc. I recently finished reading a beautiful graphic novel The Tea Dragon Society with very diverse characters, and tea dragons, and barely a human.
But what about prose novels with non-human protagonists for adults? While there are a lot of urban fantasy and paranormal books with people who are shape-shifters and halflings, and beings like vampires, werewolves, fairies, demons and so on, the characters or creatures like these often spend more time as human, or have very human-like cultures,2 and are often obviously based on western mythology.
Some humans might point out that books are mostly written by humans,3 therefore it is only natural that a majority of them would have a human point of view. Others may needlessly like to point out how mythological and fantastical creatures are imaginary and fictional, forgetting the fact that we are talking about fiction books here. On the whole, I believe there should be more diverse viewpoints as everyone would benefit from them.4 Only perspectives that are different from our own can help us change our thinking and worldview. And books with non-human characters also allow a chance for the portrayal of humans from different perspectives. Perhaps at the very least they may generate more tolerance and empathy for people of ones own species.
Here is a small list of favourite non-human protagonists from my own hoard of books Continue reading “On Books with Non-human Protagonists”