A thorough book about mindfulness and its applications to a variety of everyday issues. Ronald Siegel strikes a great balance between explaining coreA thorough book about mindfulness and its applications to a variety of everyday issues. Ronald Siegel strikes a great balance between explaining core concepts, offering different exercises, and discussing how to apply mindfulness to topics ranging from aging to relationships to chronic pain. His tone shows his knowledge of the subject while remaining casual and easy to comprehend.
I would recommend this book to those who want to get their feet wet with mindfulness. Siegel reveals several ways to incorporate mindfulness into one's busy day, such as through walking or eating meditation. Contemporary society often enforces the idea that we must make ourselves busy all the time, and this book - and mindfulness in general - highlights the benefits of taking a step back and accepting things as they arise. As an aspiring psychologist I will make sure to reference the many strategies included within The Mindfulness Solution....more
Pain and necessity often coexist. That statement exemplifies how I feel about this guide (in an over-dramatic way, I admit). I would recommen3.5 stars
Pain and necessity often coexist. That statement exemplifies how I feel about this guide (in an over-dramatic way, I admit). I would recommend attaining a copy of this book if you want to score high on the quantitative section of the GRE, as it contains a lot of practice problems provided by the test-makers themselves. The writers of the book split the questions into four types (arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and data analysis) and they also include two mixed practice sets. The overview of the test and the appendix also come in handy for prepping for the exam.
A minor downside: the book only provides strategies ETS would approve of, which sometimes meant more raw complicated mathematical configurations than necessary, in particular if you employ strategies from sources like The Princeton Review. Still, I would recommend this one to anyone searching for more preparation for the quantitative section of the GRE. For the sake of full disclosure, using this guide and the aforementioned Princeton Review guide, I scored a 159 on this portion of the GRE....more
Slim enough for me to read and review within an hour and a half, A Thousand Mornings will appeal to fans of poetry about nature. Mary Oliver intertwinSlim enough for me to read and review within an hour and a half, A Thousand Mornings will appeal to fans of poetry about nature. Mary Oliver intertwines themes of appreciating the present and her faith in God within her incisive observations about the environment. Her poetry conveys a wise and understated joy; though I tuned out while reading a few of her poems, others stood out with clear and artful messages. I will end this brief review with one of my favorite pieces, "I Go Down to the Shore":
I go down to the shore in the morning and depending on the hour the waves are rolling in or moving out, and I say, oh, I am miserable, what shall- what should I do? and the sea says in its lovely voice: Excuse me, I have work to do.
Oliver has written a couple of my favorite poems, though none appear in this collection. Her authentic sensitivity makes her words shine, and I would recommend her work to fans who find meaning in the natural environment....more
How do some of us wake up for 6 a.m. jogs every day? What leads people to develop gambling addictions? Why do people brush their teeth every day whileHow do some of us wake up for 6 a.m. jogs every day? What leads people to develop gambling addictions? Why do people brush their teeth every day while never remembering to wear sunscreen? Charles Duhigg answers these questions and more in The Power of Habit, a well-researched book on what motivates us to make the decisions we do in everyday life and in business.
Duhigg's background as a reporter shows in this book. He does a good job of stringing together a wide variety of topics to fit his thesis that revolves around habit, and for the most part he writes about the cue-routine-reward cycle. To illustrate how that pattern works and what we can do to change it, Duhigg explores ideas like smoking addiction, sleepwalking, Target tracking down pregnant women, and more. His writing shines when he compares the man who murdered his wife while asleep to the women who lost an enormous sum of money to compulsive gambling: I still find myself thinking about the neurological and moral implications of the distinction he presents.
However, the writing in this book faltered at times. In certain sections Duhigg would break up anecdotes and combine them in odd, confusing ways. Sometimes he selected scenarios that did not align too well with his arguments, like his exploration of how "Hey-Ya" became popular. The book as a whole veered more toward reporting than research, so bear that in mind if you decide to pick it up.
Overall, a decent read I wanted a little more from when I finished. Recommended to those who want to get their feet wet when it comes to habit formation or psychology that deals with motivation. I will end with a quote from The Power of Habit that stood out to me in a good way:
That, in some ways, is the point of this book. Perhaps a sleepwalking murderer can plausibly argue that he wasn't aware of his habit, and so he doesn't bear responsibility for his crime. But almost all the other patterns that exist in most people's lives - how we eat and sleep and talk to our kids, how we unthinkingly spend our time, attention, and money - those are habits that we know exist. And once you understand that habits can change, you have the freedom - and the responsibility - to remake them. Once you understand that habits can be rebuilt, the power of habit becomes easier to grasp, and the only option left is to get to work....more
Yes, I sacrificed my soul this summer to study and take the GRE. My eight-year-old aspiring-psychologist self did not predict that his twenty-year-oldYes, I sacrificed my soul this summer to study and take the GRE. My eight-year-old aspiring-psychologist self did not predict that his twenty-year-old aspiring-psychologist self would have to go through such trials for his future career. Still, I recognize that taking the GRE does not equate to an actual serious life struggle, in particular when I have the privileges of resources like this book to prepare myself.
Similar to its guides for the SAT, the Princeton Review draws its strength from its tone. This prep book has a comforting voice that revels in its allyship. Instead of forcing you to swallow hefty formulas or learn how to read at the speed of light, the writers of this guide teach you tips and tricks to circumnavigate ETS's annoying questions while still scoring high. Some overall pros of the book include easy-to-understand and reassuring explanations about the verbal and quantitative content, a stellar vocab list, verbal practice questions that mirror those of ETS, and an overall non-pretentious voice.
However, this guide does go a little easy on the quantitative section. It does not include a few of the more difficult concepts and formulas ETS tests on. While using this book alone may be enough to score in the 150-155 range on the quantitative section, or maybe even the 155-160 range, if you are aiming for a significantly above average score I would recommend a supplement with more thorough practice problems.
Overall, a recommended test prep book. For full disclosure, I scored a 164 on the Verbal section and a 159 on the Quantitative section after reviewing for a few hours every week for three months, using this book and ETS's Official Quantitative Reasoning Practice Questions (which I will review soon). Good luck on the test, my fellow graduate school hopefuls!...more
"Will increasing empathy solve all the world's problems? Of course not. But few of them can be solved without it."
And so ends Born for Love by Bruce P"Will increasing empathy solve all the world's problems? Of course not. But few of them can be solved without it."
And so ends Born for Love by Bruce Perry and Maia Szalavitz, a book about the nature of empathy and its importance in modern society. The authors examine the development of empathy in babies and young children, how factors such as race and socioeconomic status affect empathy, and how empathy allows us to live longer and more meaningful lives. Perry and Szalavitz examine empathy from a variety of angles, incorporating neuroscience, case studies, and cross-cultural analyses to support their thesis that empathy matters - a lot. They offer ways to foster empathy (e.g., reduce screen time, decrease class differences) and drive home just how important it is for us to look outside of ourselves.
As someone who values empathy more than most things in life, I started Born for Love with great anticipation. Szalavitz and Perry do not disappoint, as they create insightful connections between early developmental factors, intersectional identities, and neuroscience to argue in favor of empathy. Their specific interviews with inspiring individuals and the quality of the research they cite transforms the oftentimes abstract concept of empathy into a more tangible and understandable necessity. This book highlights that while none of us may need empathy, all of us should want it, because it offers a gamut of benefits ranging from better physical health to greater satisfaction of oneself and others.
However, Born for Love did have some flaws, as much as I detest to admit. Szalavitz and Perry focus a lot on developmental psychology and select aspects of social psychology; I wish they could have expanded their analysis of empathy beyond just the effects of childhood experience, perhaps to include thoughts about empathy in adolescence and adulthood. Furthermore, their actual discussion of "empathy" felt a little broad. The book may have benefited from a more concrete operationalization of empathy as well as the specific intrapersonal and interpersonal mechanisms that underlie it.
Overall, a great read I would recommend to those interested in Psychology and/or parenting. If this book piques your interest, also try The Lost Art of Listening, which gives concrete ways to increase understanding in our everyday relationships....more