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In THE DEADLIEST HATE, during her voyage to Caesarea, Miriam sits with her feet elevated on a long chaise in one of the Orion’s deckhouse lounges to re-read The Clouds and amuse herself with Aristophanes’s caricature of Socrates. Her mission in Caesarea is vital, to locate the source of an alchemical text that surfaced there, but the stress of the trip temporarily slips away as she loses herself in the story.

Today we know that, aside from stress reduction, reading sharpens analytic thinking. When you read a book, you have to remember an assortment of characters, their backgrounds, ambitions, history, and nuances, as well as the various arcs and sub-plots that weave their way through a story. Especially in a mystery novel, you not only have to take note of the details, but you have to weigh them to solve the puzzle. And all the while, you are focusing your attention.

Reading is a low-budget form of education as well as entertainment. How else can you develop your knowledge base while amusing yourself for hours for just a few dollars? For example, you can purchase a copy of THE DEADLIEST THIEF for less than three dollars. It will lower your stress, heighten your analytic skills, broaden your knowledge base, improve your ability to focus, and entertain you for hours. Interested? Just click here.

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