The best medication is a book

"People suffering from anxiety, depression or relationship problems will be offered self-help books on prescription from their" doctors, "it was announced today.

Those suffering mental health issues will be given written prescriptions to visit their local library...

The initiative ... will result in every public library having a designated list of texts for problems ranging from “anger” to “worry”.

Other areas of expertise include “relationship problems”, “sleep problems”, “social phobias”, “stress”, “binge eating” and “bulimia nervosa”.

Each book has been assessed as “effective” in helping combat mental health problems"...

More: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/9839458/GPs-to-prescribe-library-books-to-combat-anxiety-depression-and-relationship-problems.html

SpyWriter Jack King, the author of:
Agents of Change, WikiJustice, The Black Vault, and The Fifth Internationale.
Coming soon:


Stop arguing, start reading

We can't get along because "People who belong to different communities —with different ideas, experiences, and values— will hold different standards of reason." However, reading has the power to unite us:

"The political divide in America can be seen as a geographical problem: Red and Blue Americans disagree deeply ... when you don’t share experiences with someone — when you lack a common perspective — it’s easy to think of their opinions as arbitrary and wrong. ...

Reading fiction has the power to change it...

"To create a more inclusive society you need to expand community boundaries; you can’t use reason to expand those boundaries because reason itself is parochial; fiction, however, has the power to cross communities and make strangers intelligible to each other; and once a community has been enlarged, it becomes possible for the members of the expanded community to practice politics together using shared standards of reason.

The power that Rorty ascribed to fiction led him to conclude that the novel is "the characteristic genre of democracy.”

And indeed, if there’s an opening in the literary fiction market right now, it might be for a novel that translates across the partisan gap.

That may seem like a lot to ask of a story, but Rorty, who admired Uncle Tom’s Cabin, would have said that fiction has moved bigger mountains before."

More: http://mobile.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/brainiac/2013/01/the_political_d

SpyWriter Jack King, the author of:
Agents of Change, WikiJustice, The Black Vault, and The Fifth Internationale.
Coming soon:


Read fiction to be a good person

Yet another study finds reading fiction makes us better persons:

"During the act of reading engaging fiction, we can lose all sense of time. By the final chapter of the right book, we feel changed in our own lives, even if what we've read is entirely made up.

Research says that’s because while you’re engaged in fiction — unlike nonfiction — you’re given a safe arena to experience emotions without the need for self-protection. Since the events you’re reading about do not follow you into your own life, you can feel strong emotions freely.

The Dutch study found that good fiction—the kind that sucks you in with characters you can identify with—can have a lasting effect on a person’s expression of empathy. Bad fiction, the kind you can’t really get into, has exactly the opposite effect."

More: http://www.healthline.com/health-blogs/healthline-connects/reading-fiction-increases-empathy-013013

SpyWriter Jack King, the author of:
Agents of Change, WikiJustice, The Black Vault, and The Fifth Internationale.
Coming soon:



Children's books teach to accept inequality

"Martin analyzes nearly 300 children's books and finds that there is a marked tendency for these texts to represent certain animals in particular kinds of jobs. Jobs that allow the occupant to exercise authority over others tend to be held by predatory animals (especially foxes), but never by "lower" animals (mice or pigs)....

...there is a hidden language or code inscribed in children's books, which teaches kids to view inequalities within the division of labor as a "natural" fact of life  – that is, as a reflection of the inherent characteristics of the workers themselves.  Young readers learn (without realizing it, of course) that some species-beings are simply better equipped to hold manual or service jobs, while other creatures ought to be professionals. Once this code is acquired by pre-school children, he suggests, it becomes exceedingly difficult to unlearn.

As adults, then, we are already predisposed to accept the hierarchical, caste-based system of labor that characterizes the American workplace."

More: http://m.jezebel.com/5979617/childrens-books-and-segregation-in-the-workplace

SpyWriter Jack King, the author of:
Agents of Change, WikiJustice, The Black Vault, and The Fifth Internationale.
Coming soon:


Literature a tool for Change

"Literature becomes important in arousing emotions and invoking and stressing some morality or even inculcating some attitude in the reader."

It can be an effective tool for change.

"Why is literature so powerful as a tool for change? It is because literature is in a very reflective nature, brings about social-political awareness and guides morality of the society by repudiating societal wrongs and upholding what is right. ...

Aristotle asserts that more philosophical than history in that whereas history deals with the past, literature deals with what might happen; the general probable – useful to sociologists, historians and philosophers. It is universally accepted that cognitive value in drama and novels is psychological – the human element makes it thus. Other utilities include preservation and creating continuity in the ways of life of societies."

From: http://thecitizen.co.tz/magazines/-/28441-try-reading-for-a-change

SpyWriter Jack King, Author of:
WikiJustice www.amzn.to/t3zd8Z
The Black Vault www.amzn.to/Na7QRO
The Fifth Internationale www.amzn.to/snl4w1
And announcing:



Depressed? Literature more effective than pills

"Reading books is more effective than pills or therapy when it comes to treating depression, according to a study published in Plos One. The research studied a sample of 281 patients in the UK with mild symptoms divided into two groups. The first group were given a self-help book that followed the cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) approach, while the second group underwent a series of traditional therapies based on therapy sessions and antidepressants. After four months, the group that read the CBT guide showed greater signs of improvement. CBT concentrates the patient on the present, rather than analysing and re-living memories and childhood traumas. The therapy helps to identify and modify thought disorders and irrational mental patterns."


SpyWriter Jack King, the Author of:

WikiJustice http://amzn.to/t3zd8Z

The Black Vault http://amzn.to/Na7QRO

The Fifth Internationale http://amzn.to/snl4w1

And announcing:


Study literature to succeed in business

"Arguably, literature and the humanities have a lot to say about the world of business and the world in general. Ask most business leaders what keeps them up at night, and the answer will rarely be issues of process, technology or numbers – although all of that is certainly complicated and challenging. Rather, what leaders struggle with usually comes down to the people stuff. And by that they mean the complex and often contradictory nature of human beings. ...

Insights from literature and the humanities are particularly valuable when trying to understand behaviour that doesn't seem to make sense in a classic economic analysis. Examples of people being confusing in the world of business abound, whether dealing with colleagues, partners or customers. ...

As a way of approaching complex reflection, nothing beats the fragility, the openness, and the contradictory nature of the literary text.

A more sustainable business is surely a more human business. If we continue to ignore human complexity, and human motivations beyond profit, eventually people will turn their backs on commerce. It is already starting to happen."

More: http://www.guardian.co.uk/sustainable-business/blog/what-can-literature-teach-about-business



How to get children to read books

"Today, with the widespread of education and the booming of the print industry, we would expect more people getting into reading habits, but this did not happen.

...some people equate reading with studying and do not read in their leisure time.

...instead of passing stories along from one generation to another, children are left to television and internet for entertainment."

How to change it? A good starting point is your home:

"When children are used to seeing books as part of their home furniture at an early age, it helps them get attached to reading."

More: http://m.thenational.ae/news/uae-news/education/despite-high-literacy-rate-uae-isnt-reading-books-for-pleasure

SpyWriter Jack King "A new King of thrillers on the horizon" www.SpyWriter.com


How to read more, faster

So you realized life's too short to read all those books you'd like to read. What do you do? Cluster words and read faster:

"Learning to read clusters is not something your eyes do naturally. It takes constant practice.

Here's how to go about it: Pick something light to read. Read it as fast as you can. Concentrate on seeing three to four words at once rather than one word at a time.

Then reread the piece at your normal speed to see what you missed the first time.

Try a second piece. First cluster, then reread to see what you missed in this one.

When you can read in clusters without missing much the first time, your speed has increased."

More: http://m.lifehacker.com/5973158/can-i-learn-to-read-faster-and-get-through-my-backlog-of-books


SpyWriter Jack King "A new King of thrillers on the horizon" www.SpyWriter.com


Reading and Writing indispensable human requisites

"Books banish darkness, literature conquers ignorance, reading opens and sharpens the mind, and writing widens perspectives and ultimately develops character.

Reading not only clears our thoughts, it also widens our perspective and enlarges our vision. It gives us, not a narrow, limited view of reality, but a world view of ourselves, of life in general, and of human existence as a whole. 

Our duty as humans is to highlight the truth of the human condition through writing, public discourse, and social solidarity. We must encourage our young to read, write and express themselves. These are the indispensable requisites, indeed virtues, of intellect."

More: http://opinion.inquirer.net/45437/the-pleasure-of-reading-and-the-joys-of-writing

SpyWriter Jack King || "A new King of thrillers on the horizon" || Author of Political Thrillers || www.SpyWriter.com


I Doubt therefore I Write

"The brains of writers aren’t filled with only yet-to-be-penned stories. They’re loaded with insecurities, doubts, and uncertainties. These can range from the minor to the more melodramatic (My writing is a mere shack to Faulkner’s pa . Why bother?)

And I won’t even dwell on the disheartening contemporary literary landscape. Snooki is a New York Times bestselling author. How’s that for soul-crushing?

It’s easy to become defeatist and even disillusioned when rejections roll in and when the unexplainable, unjust literary success of dimwitted celebs destroys our faith in the American public’s ability to appreciate good work.

In the face of rejection and dismay, from where can we draw encouragement?

Famous Writers Show: Rejection and late bloomers abound.Laura Ingalls Wilder didn’t begin writing until she was 44. She published the first of the Little House books when she was 64 years old. While Charles Bukowski’s first story was published when he was 24 years old, he didn’t receive a major offer from a publisher until age 44. He published his first novel, Post Office, at age 51.

And it’s no secret that a tremendous number of now-famous books were rejected—some multiple times. William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury and As I Lay Dying failed to earn him enough royalties to support his family. E.B. White was a firm believer in “the doctrine of immaculate rejection.” When he mailed in his manuscripts, he included a stamped envelope for the rejection letter.

The point is, even the writers whose work we now revere didn’t have an easy go of it; even the best didn’t instantly achieve success."

More: http://www.business2community.com/content-marketing/how-to-overcome-the-most-common-writing-obstacles-according-to-the-literary-greats-0379054

SpyWriter Jack King || "A new King of thrillers on the horizon" || Author of Political Thrillers || www.SpyWriter.com


Chosing TV over Books is Dangerous to Society

"TV serials are penned by those who have very little experience about life and society. Thus it has become a social danger...

Most of the people are now watching sub standard TV serials. These serials make the viewers ... consumers. This situation will kill the human ability of thinking. But the reading of books gives a totally different experience. ...

...even the educated sections of the society are loosing their thinking power by seeing the pulp serials... Such serials can create only consumers but not the thinking class of people. This is what the consumer corporate world wanted ... for whom consumerism is the only aim and objective. By going away from the reading habit one's thinking power gets lost. Thus people loose the great opportunity of learning to grow."

More: http://m.thehindu.com/news/states/kerala/bring-back-reading-habit-to-the-society-urges-adoor/article4312728.ece/

SpyWriter Jack King || "A new King of thrillers on the horizon" || Author of Political Thrillers || www.SpyWriter.com


Writing as therapy

With all possible therapies in vogue, we haven't bothered to focus on the very word- therapy. In fact, each city of this country should host a regular get- together of authors and poets and writers. Give it any name of your choice; after all what's in a name! ...

In fact, if diary - writing along the format of daily outpourings be made compulsory in hospitals, jails, wards cum asylums, refugee camps, night or day shelters, then those stress related symptoms would lessen. As writing along the offloading and unleashing format has that potential to heal. ...

...writing helped me to recover from a series of severe nervous breakdowns. ...'Each time my love affairs failed I suffered a nervous breakdown and the only 'thing' that helped me recover and brought about some relief was writing a novel... My meeting with Sigmund Freud just after the first nervous breakdown in 1927 helped me to some extent but its actually writing novels that helped me towards total recovery."

Other writers who were helped by writing:  http://www.kashmirtimes.com/newsdet.aspx?q=11202

SpyWriter Jack King || "A new King of thrillers on the horizon" || Author of Political Thrillers || www.SpyWriter.com


Literature more memorable when posted on Facebook

"Laura Mickes and her team took 200Facebook stat us updates, stripped them of their context, and showed them to 32 participants alongside other decontextualised lines from 200 different fiction and nonfiction books.

The participants were shown the lines on a screen, briefly, and given the choice of saying whether it had been repeated from earlier in the experiment or not.

The results found that, across the board, people were one and a half times as likely to remember a Facebook post as a line from a book — and, when a similar experiment was carried out with faces instead of the lines from novels, it showed that people were two and a half times as likely to remember the Facebook posts over the faces."

From: http://blogs.wsj.com/tech-europe/2013/01/17/social-media-posts-more-memorable-than-literature/

SpyWriter Jack King || "A new King of thrillers on the horizon" || Author of Political Thrillers || www.SpyWriter.com


Truth or Myth: Politics and Novels don't mix

Interviewer: The question of combining politics and fiction has engaged a good many critics, often drawing from them the notion that it's very difficult to mix the two. 

John Dos Passos: Well, I don't know. Recently, I've been calling my novels contemporary chronicles, which seems to fit them rather better. They have a strong political bent because after all—although it isn't the only thing—politics in our time has pushed people around more than anything else. I don't see why dealing with politics should harm a writer at all. Despite what he said about politics in the novel being “the pistol shot at the opera,” Stendhal also wrote contemporary chronicles. Or look at Thucydides. I don't think his history was at all damaged by the fact that he was a political writer. A lot of very good writing has been more or less involved in politics, although it's always a dangerous territory. It's better for some people to keep out unless they're willing to learn how to observe. It is the occupation of a special kind of writer. His investigation—using blocks of raw experience—must be balanced. Sartre in his straight, plain reporting was wonderful. I can't read him now. A writer in this field should be both engaged and disengaged. He must have passion and concern and anger—but he must keep his emotions at arm's length in his work. If he doesn't, he's simply a propagandist, and what he offers is a “preachment."

More: http://www.ibna.ir/vdciv3azwt1awz2.ilct.html

SpyWriter Jack King || "A new King of thrillers on the horizon" || Author of Political Thrillers || www.SpyWriter.com

Reading Classic Literature Boosts Brain Power

"Reading books can help your brain – of that there is little doubt. But a new scientific study and a recently released book have taken that concept to an entirely new level, showing that what you read, how you read, and how you apply lessons learned from the experience could have a tremendous impact on your thought-processes and problem-solving skills.

Serious literature acts like a rocket-booster to the brain... The research shows the power of literature to shift mental pathways, to create new thoughts, shapes and connections in the young and the staid alike."

More: http://www.redorbit.com/news/science/1112763043/brain-gets-a-boost-from-classical-literature-and-poetry-011413/

SpyWriter Jack King "A new King of thrillers on the horizon" www.SpyWriter.com

Sock Puppet Social Media Friends

"The US military is developing software that will let it secretly manipulate social media sites by using fake online personas to influence internet conversations and spread pro-American propaganda."

Propaganda program "will allow one US serviceman or woman to control up to 10 separate identities based all over the world."

The military "stipulates that each fake online persona must have a convincing background, history and supporting details, and that up to 50 US-based controllers should be able to operate false identities from their workstations "without fear of being discovered by sophisticated adversaries"."

More: http://m.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/mar/17/us-spy-operation-social-networks

SpyWriter Jack King "A new King of thrillers on the horizon" www.SpyWriter.com


Why we read fiction

"One of the attractions readers often cite as their explanation for their passion for books is the opportunity for escapism they offer. But sometimes ... the new realities we encounter bear little or no relatoin to the realities we're leaving behind.

The question of why we read is a huge one, but the classic (if often armchair) argument of fiction as escapism does in fact hanker after an element of truth. These are other realities, other layers of experience we dip into, and we dip for a reason or reasons

Fiction and fact are the other worlds we can immerse ourselves into, the virtual reality headsets we can don to evade being unable to deal with the absolute horror of our universe - of time having moved inexorably on, of being unable to go back, without losing our minds."

More: http://www.foyles.co.uk/Public/Biblio/Detail.aspx?blogId=1156

SpyWriter Jack King "A new King of thrillers on the horizon" www.SpyWriter.com

Unbreakable Codes


The Voynich Manuscript (1400-1500s)

Few encrypted texts are as mysterious – or as tantalizing – as the Voynich manuscript, a book dating to either 15th- or 16th-century Italy and written in a language no one understands, about a subject that no one can figure out, and involving illustrations of plants that don't exist. Plus it's got Zodiac symbols, astrological charts, illustrations of medicinal herbs, and drawings of naked womenbathing while hooked up to tubes.

The manuscript's 246 calfskin pages were perhaps meant for alchemy or medieval medicine, but no one knows for sure. What we do know is that it's written in a language distinct from any European language, and follows a pattern unique to its own. The alphabet ranges from 19 to 28 letters, with an average word length consistent with Greek- or Latin-derived languages, but is missing two-letter words while repeating words at a much higher rate than other European languages. All told, the book has 170,000 characters in it, written from left to right, and there are no punctuation marks.

William Friedman, one of the 20th century's greatest cryptographers, couldn't figure it out and suspected Voynich was a constructed, artificial language. (With no Rosetta Stone to help translate.) German computer scientist Klaus Schmeh suspected a hoax, and also suggested the manuscript's original language could have been encoded in a much larger set of "meaningless filler text." But there's no system for separating out the real text from the junk. Linguist and computer scientist Gordon Rugg also concluded the manuscript was a hoax.

Knight has been wrestling with Voynich for the better part of a decade, on and off. Recently, he and University of Chicago computer scientist Sravana Reddy discovered that the word length and frequency and the seeming presence of morphology – or the structure of word forms – "and most notably, the presence of page-level topics conform to natural language-like text."

The problem is that no one seems to know where to go next."

More unbreakable codes: http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/12/codes/

SpyWriter Jack King "A new King of thrillers on the horizon" www.SpyWriter.com

Why reading is important for children

"Even with video games, computer tablets and other digital resources, the book still remains a powerful tool to tell stories, teach facts, and share experiences.

Reading is very important to character development, to understand how stories flow ... I can’t say that our kids are reading less. The amount of time given them to read has changed. They don’t spend as much time in the school library. The teachers want the kids to read, but there is a limit on the time they can devote to that.

Children from lower income homes are not going to have a library inside their home ... The school and public library are the only places for them to have the opportunity to experience written stories.

While video lays out a visual story for children, reading compels them to use their imagination to create the characters, setting and situations in the story."

More: http://m.exponent-telegram.com/article_41947942-5dff-11e2-8fa7-0019bb2963f4.html

SpyWriter Jack King "A new King of thrillers on the horizon" www.SpyWriter.com


What it takes to be a writer

"You’ve got to sell your heart, your strongest reactions, not the little minor things that only touch you lightly, the little experiences that you might tell at dinner. This is especially true when you begin to write, when you have not yet developed the tricks of interesting people on paper, when you have none of the technique which it takes time to learn. When, in short, you have only your emotions to sell.

This is the experience of all writers. ...

... if you want to get into the big time, you have to have your own fences to jump and learn from experience. Nobody ever became a writer just by wanting to be one. If you have anything to say, anything you feel nobody has ever said before, you have got to feel it so desperately that you will find some way to say it that nobody has ever found before, so that the thing you have to say and the way of saying it blend as one matter—as indissolubly as if they were conceived together."

F. Scott Fitzgerald

More: http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2013/01/08/f-scott-fitzgerld-on-writing/

SpyWriter Jack King "A new King of thrillers on the horizon" www.SpyWriter.com

Find a boring job, write a novel

"Being bored at work can have a positive effect because daydreaming can increase creativity, according to a new study."

"Boredom at work has always been seen as something to be eliminated, but perhaps we should be embracing it in order to enhance our creativity."

"We want to see what the practical implications of this finding are. Do people who are bored at work become more creative in other areas of their job, or do they go home and write novels?"

More: http://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/bored-at-work-great--youll-be-more-creative-says-study-8443540.html

SpyWriter Jack King "A new King of thrillers on the horizon" www.SpyWriter.com


Novels Influence the Young

"the popularity of a young adult novel ... satisfies a more covert, noble cause. It gets the twelve to eighteen year old crowd reading whether it an actual book or an e-reader. Reading leads to learning and learning creates a desire in the young adult to seek more knowledge in expanding vocabulary, improving comprehension and teaching them how to write effectively. They may even inspire to be the next great author to rise out of the ashes of what many consider today’s lost youth. The old adage “reading is fundamental” is a basic truth. The young adult that can read and comprehend has a much better chance at surviving the test of life and becoming a productive member of society than one that doesn’t read well."

More: http://www.melodika.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=548461&Itemid=50

SpyWriter Jack King "A new King of thrillers on the horizon" www.SpyWriter.com

Mobile Libraries

Polish city of Gdańsk turns its streetcars into mobile libraries:

“Every method of promoting reading is of value,” commented mayor of Gdansk Pawel Adamowicz, during Thursday's inauguration of the new trams, as quoted by the Polish Press Agency (PAP).

He argued that “a permanent fashion for reading books is needed, as unfortunately, we don't belong to those European nations which read a great deal.”

Some 35 trams will be carrying books, and librarians took trouble to choose a wide variety of titles."

From: http://www.thenews.pl/1/11/Artykul/123182,Gdansk-turns-trams-into-mobile-libraries

SpyWriter Jack King "A new King of thrillers on the horizon" www.SpyWriter.com


Books will set you free

"Whether we read for entertainment or education, it's important to incorporate reading into our lives. Reading gives us a perspective into other people's existence, a view of the history of humanity, and a glimpse into a possible tomorrow.

As a passive activity, when we watch television, our brains do not interact with characters or scenes. Educational stimulus is prevented as we watch scenes unfold without participating. Books on the other hand teach us about history, society, and the world we live in.

Open the floodgates of imagination and read. Books set us free."

From: http://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue0622/Reading-Sets-the-Mind-Free.html

SpyWriter Jack King "A new King of thrillers on the horizon" www.SpyWriter.com

Tampering with Nature as weapon

"That iconic atomic bomb mushroom cloud image could have been a towering tsunami wave. According to archival military records uncovered by author and filmmaker Ray Waru, a 1944 top-secret operation, code-named Project Seal, planned to hijack nature's wrath by creating 33-foot tsunami waves capable of destroying coastal cities. How? Simply detonate 2 million tons of explosives as a series of 10 blasts about five miles from shore. "If the atomic bomb had not worked as well as it did, we might have been tsunami-ing people," says Waru. But while a tsunami bomb was deemed totally feasible after about 3,700 bombs were exploded off New Caledonia and near Auckland, plans for a pseudo-natural doomsday device were abandoned in 1945."

More: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/australiaandthepacific/newzealand/9774217/Tsunami-bomb-tested-off-New-Zealand-coast.html


SpyWriter Jack King "A new King of thrillers on the horizon" www.SpyWriter.com


Politics and religion divide, literature unites

"Politics or religion cannot unite, they only divide people. Only literature can act as a binding force... language may be regional but literature is universal. Language is not a barrier, it is our strength" ... Books are "treasure houses of words ... literature ignites culture. A writer begins the book and the reader finishes it. I think all books are left incomplete, as a writer takes the reader into the subject and leaves him to draw his own conclusion"...

... whereas politics and religion offer divisive demagoguery.


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