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Opinion: Reading — it’s brain nourishment

Several years ago, Sharon Stockdale retired from the Madera Unified School District and ended her column, “Sharon the Librarian.” A firm believer in the idea that reading is fundamental to learning, citizenship, and a rewarding life, I’ve tried to fill the void that Sharon left.

Of course, I don’t have the “audience appeal” that Sharon had, and the books that I read now that my academic career is over are mostly mystery/thrillers. However, occasionally I report on books outside that genre in my Wednesday column. I’ve written columns about Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s latest musings on the universe and Yuval Noah Harari’s discourses on the state of homo sapiens. This month, I’m featuring books that I’ve enjoyed over my lifetime, starting more than seven decades ago.

Early brain development

Early development and the potential for future development of the brain begin in the womb, particularly during the third


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