Reading offers a different kind of escape than staring at a screen.

In these past few months, I’ve invited you to read more in 2023. Why? Because reading triggers a brain response that watching TV or surfing the internet can’t duplicate. Studies show that reading keeps your mind alert and delays cognitive decline in elders. Research even shows that when elderly people regularly read, Alzheimer’s is less likely to develop. With that in mind, I’d like to share some of the books I’ve been reading:

What I’m reading:

Book Cover: The Sociopath Next Door

The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout PH.D.

The Sociopath Next Door is a chilling look at the people around us who don’t possess a conscience. Not all sociopaths are killers. The less violent ones use others as stepping stones to get where they want. They feel no guilt or remorse over the way they treat others.

I’m reading this for research for my next novel, Where Is My Sister?. The antagonist is the CEO of the Women’s Leadership Program and I want to make her seem like she cares for the women she’s mentoring. But she’s using them as pawns and I won’t give you any more spoilers. You’ll have to wait until 2024 when the book will be released by Elk Lake Publishing.

Dial P for Perfect by Heidi Gray McGill

Dial P for Perfect is a cute romance with a nice twist. I like reading books about people who are flawed. In this case, Ginger is a plus-sized gal with plus-sized snark. Her self-esteem has been battered since childhood by a mother who wanted a daughter who was skinny as a pencil, instead of curvy. Because of her lousy self-image, she can’t believe anyone would want to date her, much less, love her.

Great story with a happy ending – my kind of book.

Book Cover: Dial P for Perfect

Night Songs by Jennifer Sienes

Night Songs is the first novel I’ve read by Jennifer Sienes. Now that I’m spending a lot more time in the South, I can appreciate books set in this geographic area.

The story takes place in Tennessee and boy is it southern! The food, the dialect, the music all shout bless your heart, but in a good way. You have to take a trip here to discover the true meaning of the phrase ‘bless your heart.’ This is a great story of redemption, which is the theme of my writing. 

Next steps:

I hope I’ve given you some hints on what to read next.

Did you know that six minutes of reading can reduce stress levels by 68%? I’m not talking about reading the latest headlines. I’m talking about picking up a book, settling into your favorite spot, and letting your eyes send beautiful words to your brain.

Now that you’ve seen the benefits of reading, how will you fit more of it into your life?

Jane S. Daly is the author of two nonfiction books and five novels. You can connect with her on her website

Jane is addicted to coffee, purple pens, and her husband, not necessarily in that order. A self-proclaimed introvert, she enjoys the solitude of riding shotgun in Rigsby, her 37-foot motor home. But when they pull into a new campground, her favorite thing is to make new friends and find hangouts featuring local musicians. Her fantasy involves writing lyrics for country music songs and hearing them played on the radio. In the meantime, she’ll stick to writing novels. And seeing as much of the country as possible.