“In a secular age, I suspect that reading fiction is one of the few remaining paths to transcendence, that elusive state in which the distance between the self and the universe shrinks.” In The New Yorker, Ceridwen Dovey examines whether reading can be viewed as a form of therapy. (If it can, I’m undercharging you for this newsletter.)

+ The stupid history of water guns.

+ According to a study, fermented foods can reduce social anxiety. (And nothing’s better than an interaction with an anxious person who has sauerkraut breath.)