DL Fowler's Blog

25 Best Novels for Psychology Buffs

Posted in Emotions, Favorite Books, Reading, Show Don't Tell, Themes, Writing by DLFowler on February 7, 2011

From my perspective good novels are always about psychology. Personally, I read to engage in relationships with the people (call them characters if you want) who live on  printed pages – or on my iPhone’s screen. So when I recieved a link to an article that lists the 25 Best Novels for Psychology Buffs. I just had to share. There’s some pretty good stuff here.

I like fiction as an avenue for understanding human behavior because novels and short stories let us watch people respond to the challenges of life. It’s not someone saying “Sarah was depressed.” A good author shows us how her body responds to events and emotions … by seeing her face contort or her body tense up we can feel what she feels. It is by feeling that we truly understand. After all, the brain was wired to learn from sensory impulses. We even talk about embracing logic as if we require an emotional connection to facts before we let them into our brain.

Anyway, I thought you’d enjoy the list.  Thanks to Celina Jacobson at http://Careeroverview.com for sharing


One Response

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  1. Lex Falcon said, on February 7, 2011 at 11:14 AM

    To my shame, I haven’t read more than a couple of those. I’ll have to work on rectifying that ASAP!

    I can’t really comment on the books themselves, thanks to being apparently more poorly-read than I should perhaps admit, but I do really like your commentary in this post. You say “…by feeling we truly understand“, which I think ties closely to the old idea of “show, don’t tell.” Simply saying that Sarah was depressed is, of course, telling the audience. By showing her facial expressions, her movements, perhaps even carefully describing how she speaks (though I’m always a bit wary of adverbs), we can show them.

    I think the same holds true for any state of mind, though I’m an armchair psychologist at best, and even that description is a bit of wishful thinking-come-self-aggrandising, perhaps. As the MC in my current WIP is battling a major addiction, I should perhaps try to show his feelings, reactions and issues, rather than simply stating them — something I’ve caught myself doing a time or two.

    Thanks for posting this. 🙂 You’ve managed to provide me not only with a reading list for about the next year, but also some tasty food for thought. It’s much appreciated!


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