Sunset and plant on Charles River

The Name of the Wind

I read somewhere* that brain scans before reading a book vs after reading a book show changes in brain function, so for at least a short period of time a book really does change the way you think, literally.

I find this amazing, I love reading, and the idea that it so directly affects how you think is fantastic, authors must be ecstatic to learn how influential they can be. 

So I say read a book and change your perspective!

I especially love fantasy books. Now there’s a lot of reasons people give for loving fantasy but I think a few here are key. Imagining a world beyond our own but so close it just slips through our fingers, imaging our own abilities as humans to be far greater than they are, connecting with characters who’s struggles are so similar to our own but who’s world is so different, they put you in a mind to think about a problem from a different point of view.

The Name of the Wind is the first book in the King Killer Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss. The second is called A Wise Man’s Fear, and the third has yet to be released…. I’m just dying waiting for it to be released! Rothfuss completed drafts of all three books while as an undergraduate for 9 years. He edited each book for years before publishing so we’re all still waiting to hear how it ends. The books are a story within a story, with the main character telling his life story interspersed with pieces of the present. The friend who recommended it likened it to The Lord of the Rings meets Harry Potter, so obviously I had to read it. I can’t say thank you to her enough, this series is now my absolute favorite, even over those two! The setting feels like something from another worlds medieval age, very similar to Lord of the Rings world (but the war hasn’t happened in the story he’s telling… yet) and the magic comes in different forms, with different studies in university, these studies include Naming, Sympathy, Alchemy, Artificing, Sygaldry, Mathematics, Languages, Medica, Rhetoric, etc. Just reading those names gives you an idea how different this concept is from what you might initially think of when you read a book with magic. They relate to a true understand of the nature of something we gave a name, the connectedness of all things, metal smithing, chemisty, math, language, medicine, philosophy, and more.

What I love most about The Name of the Wind, the actual concept I see behind it’s magic, is that you can connect the “magic” to philosophy and knowledge, to something less mystical and less unexplainable (than a wand and some  words strung together), to something more natural, to a deeper understanding and connectedness to the world around us. That the idea of studying and university is still so key to greater understanding and greater abilities is also a great reminder to always keep learning!

This gives the book greater depths, it makes you connect more to the world around you, to consider things you may have forgotten or never considered.

At least that’s how it makes me feel, so I recommend it, for a change in perspective.

*read in "A book can change your life" article in FastCoDesign,