I am increasingly interested in why we read stories, I think it might make you a better writer if you understand the seduction of narrative (though maybe it is better not to think about these things at all, and just write). I've been dipping into The Storytelling Animal by Jonathan Gottschall: The riddle of fiction comes to this: Evolution is ruthlessly utilitarian. How has the seeming luxury of fiction not been eliminated from human life? My stepdad continues to bemuse us with narratives based on false memories - and what else is narrative if not memory? - he told us at the weekend that he had travelled across India by train in the nineties. He also referred to dinner plates as 'big flats', which is just poetry. I've been horrified at the pre-election violence in Pakistan (my family on my father's side live in Karachi). This clip from a couple of weeks ago is unbearable to watch, capturing a young boy's trauma after a bomb has gone off in Peshawar. I cannot claim to understand much of the political narrative that is playing out in Pakistan at the moment, but my heart sinks at the seemingly endless cycle of violence. This is an interesting article by doctor and writer Qanta Ahmed, who lives in New York. She explores the twisted, nihilistic narrative that seduces young men like the Boston bombers - there is no motive, just narrative which brings 'meaning' to their senseless and cruel acts.