The Reading List – December 2018

Presented for your amusement and intellectual enrichment: the best pieces of writing the Octopus Group copy team has read in the past month. Be inspired, disgusted, entertained, or a combination of the three.

Can reading make you happier? (Ceridwen Dovey, The New Yorker)

An interesting read on Ceridwen Dovey’s experience with bibliotherapy at the School of Life, why people tend to seek the help of a bibliotherapist at ‘life-juncture’ moments, and how fiction has a huge part to play in self-help. Read it now!

The friendship that made Google huge (James Somers, The New Yorker)

Monet and Renoir. Lennon and McCartney. Countless Nobel Prize-winning scientific partnerships. Jeff and Sanjay. Are we capable of creating better things – art, music, science or, in the case of Google’s pair-programmers, code – when working in pairs? Read it now!

The best audiobooks to enjoy this Christmas (podcast) (Sian Cain and Claire Armitstead, The Guardian)

…or the best audiobooks to enjoy at any time, frankly. An interesting edition of The Guardian Books Podcast in which the merits of audiobooks are explored through 2018’s recommended listens. Listen now!

Sneering at local newspapers as they suffer at the hands of internet giants is bad news (Sathnam Sanghera, The Times)

This is a terrific piece on the decline of local news sources and their importance to writers and regions. You’ll be desperate to support your local paper by the end. Read it now!

It’s time we gave chick-lit the respect it deserves (Caroline O’Donoghue, The Pool)

Author and journalist takes a look at an unfairly maligned genre of literature. Comes alongside her new podcast, Sentimental Garbage, which explores the lasting impact of a few popular fiction books. Read it now!