Sci-fi readers make good romantic partners? + Comeback of brainy books (trends)

Science Fiction & Fantasy Readers Make Good Romantic Partners

EXCERPT: Are you ready for romance, but unable to find anyone who understands how relationships actually work? Here's a suggestion: Head for a bookstore, and hang out in the science fiction/fantasy section. New research suggests fans of those genres have more mature beliefs about romantic relationships than readers who gravitate toward suspense, romance, or even highbrow literature. "Individuals who scored higher for exposure to science fiction/fantasy were less likely to endorse four unrealistic relationship beliefs," writes a research team led by psychologist Stephanie C. Stern of the University of Oklahoma. "Romance is not the only written fiction genre to be associated with real-world beliefs about romantic relationships."


How the ‘brainy’ book became a publishing phenomenon

EXCERPT: . . . These are febrile, unpredictable times, with society facing new challenges and quandaries each day, from the rise of populist politics to the migrant crisis to climate change. Mark Richards, publisher at John Murray Press, sees the return to serious works of nonfiction as a response to the spirit of the age. “We’re living in a world that suddenly seems less certain than it did even two years ago, and the natural reaction is for people to try and find out as much about it as possible,” he says. “People have a hunger both for information and facts, and for nuanced exploration of issues, of a sort that books are in a prime position to provide.”

[...] It may be, though, that the picture is more nuanced than merely a desperate yearning for voices of authority at a time of crisis. Karolina Sutton, an agent at Curtis Brown who represents writers from Malala Yousafzai to Oliver Bullough to Thomas Friedman, sees a number of different forces driving this latest publishing trend. “There are two things going on in serious contemporary nonfiction,” she says. “We’re seeing these big sweeping narratives that people are reaching for as a way of making sense of this unstable world, and on the other hand you have a new generation of activist-writers who are telling stories of gender, politics or race and doing it on their own terms, very much going against what went before. These are bold books, quite radical, really exciting and tend to be younger writers writing for younger readers.”


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