Numerous studies suggest that reading, particularly literary fiction, improves empathy. In a world that seems to be pickling in vitriol, enhancing our ability to understand and have compassion for the thoughts and feelings of others can bring the temperature down a bit, and ease divisiveness. Where to start? We asked bestselling author Jami Attenberg for recommendations. Three of her novels have been Best of the Month picks--The Middlesteins, Saint Mazie, and a book that has been topping many must-read lists this spring, including ours, All Grown Up. At the end of it, the main character has an epiphany that will punch you in the heart. I wanted to know which books walloped Ms. Attenberg that way--books that snap us out of self absorption, and "incite the reader to create a better world."
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