Taken at face value, this is an interesting book and the tales inside are worth a cheap laugh. They're all of a very typical Freudian value- 'every-si...moreTaken at face value, this is an interesting book and the tales inside are worth a cheap laugh. They're all of a very typical Freudian value- 'every-sing goes back to ze muzzer'. No, seriously- everything goes back to dear ol' ma in this book.
Mary? Mum. Well, Mum also plays in with Dad in this section.
Now, I'm sure Akeret is a good psychoanalyst, but I felt the whole time while reading this book that everything was just a touch overly dramatic, a touch of fantasy. I'm sure that everything is based on reality, but even so...
I wonder if his patients gave their approval for this book to be published? Charles, Sasha, Mary... did they say it was okay for their problems to be revealed so intimately? It doesn't say the names have been changed, but I'm sure if someone were very interested they could dig around and see who Sasha and Charles really are.
So in short: interesting, if a bit hard to swallow.(less)
Young Rebecca, the protagonist, struggles with her food. Her world of anorexia has been going on for a while when the book starts, but it seems to hav...moreYoung Rebecca, the protagonist, struggles with her food. Her world of anorexia has been going on for a while when the book starts, but it seems to have been going on for a year previous. It seems to be rooted in a desire for her parents to notice her- neither her mother or father seem to be interested.
This isn't too bad a book. It deals with anorexia (and other eating disorders, though primarily bulimia) in a way that fourteen-year-old girls could comprehend. It suggests reasons behind it, but it doesn't go too in depth, though it does suggest darker reasons. Sharon, Beck's hospital friend, seems to be encouraged by her aunt.
One thing I liked about the book is that there's never an end for anorexia. First for Beck it's thirty-five, then thirty-three, then thirty, with the suggestion of going further. It doesn't end for her- it's always more more more.
A good book- basic on the details, but maybe a way to reach out to young girls (and boys!) fighting eating disorders.(less)
I was incredibly hesitant to start reading this book. I want to like Jodi Picoult. She has fascinating ideas, and I really like the plots she writes....moreI was incredibly hesitant to start reading this book. I want to like Jodi Picoult. She has fascinating ideas, and I really like the plots she writes. I love the way she sets up characters to have their heart ripped out. I'm always left unsatisfied, though. My Sister's Keeper, The Pact, Keeping Faith, Mercy... they all felt as though Picoult had done what she'd wanted to do, and then she had no idea how to finish. It's like she got sick of writing the novel and wanted to move onto the next idea that had grabbed her. All these books, bar Mercy, which bored me from the start, really engrossed me. Second Glance did, too.
The characters are a little weak in parts, and the romantic story line between Ross and Meredith made me roll my eyes, and the ending with the quarry... well, that made me push my suspension of disbelief a little too far, but as a whole, I felt like Picoult really wanted a satisfying ending for her characters. Everything wrapped up well here. Everyone got an ending that worked for them.
I really liked the relationship between Lia and Ross. Was it face-paced? Sure. But I'm happy to ignore my little quibbles a little. I mean, hell, this is a fantasy novel. Ross has had a miserable life and Lia's been dreaming about him. So let's go with it. And I really loved the relationship between Lia and Grey Wolf.
Just something I didn't particularly enjoy, aside from what I mentioned above. I'm not too sure how I felt Picoult's way of writing a short scene that lasts between half a page to two pages, then ending it and moving onto the next scene. It felt very Dan Brown to me.(less)
I do like books that show the effects of various psychological disorders in a way that young adults can understand. I think it's important that teens...moreI do like books that show the effects of various psychological disorders in a way that young adults can understand. I think it's important that teens and children understand that they're not alone, that there are people out there like them, and that there are ways to find treatment for problems if they so wish.
I liked this book in that it showed a young girl struggling to come to terms with her OCD, and how her family reacted to it. Hesser also explained some of the compulsions Tara goes through and the way she attempted to justify them- counting cracks, checking the road when her parents come home late. But there were other parts that I felt could have done with more explanation. 'Kissing doorknobs' for instance.
And I hated her mother's reaction to all of it. Slapping her daughter? Hitting her? Wishing her dead? I'm sorry, but that's an overreaction to an extreme. Tara said her mother wasn't abusive, but really? She was. There was no need for her mother to keep beating her daughter. That part disgusted me.
Overall I found the writing to be average, the mother to be awful, but the theme to be fairly positive if only to reach out to other young OCD sufferers.(less)
I really enjoyed this. The narrative is, admittedly, all over the place, but I read this as to be following the Asylum patient's thought process. I en...moreI really enjoyed this. The narrative is, admittedly, all over the place, but I read this as to be following the Asylum patient's thought process. I enjoyed the artwork and the sketchy type of way Keith drew. Also, Batman was nowhere to be seen- yay!
My only complaint is that I wish there had been more Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy.(less)
Ehh. A rather bland, slightly stereotypical portrayal of OCD. I felt like George Harrar used basic Google search results/Wikipedia articles about OCD....moreEhh. A rather bland, slightly stereotypical portrayal of OCD. I felt like George Harrar used basic Google search results/Wikipedia articles about OCD. Devon has a vaguely traumatic incident in his youth when he was present when his grandfather died and developed vague obsessions. His parents don't seem to have linked the two together, and while they put him in therapy, they keep moving when something happens that could spoil their perfect image. Why not stay in one place, let your kid get a bond with the therapist? Uprooting constantly will only cause your child more anxiety.
I also didn't like the way Devon seemed to think not eating four carrots everyday at lunch will ultimately cause his mother's demise or something like that. Yes, OCs typically do have a fear something bad will happen if they don't perform certain rituals, but usually the fear is unnamed and it just feels 'wrong'. I don't believe my father will die if I take my right shoe off before my left, but it just feels wrong to me, it feels bad.
As a fellow sufferer of OCD, I can definitely feel the anguish Jeff Bell was going through during the severe bouts of anxiety he suffered (and most li...moreAs a fellow sufferer of OCD, I can definitely feel the anguish Jeff Bell was going through during the severe bouts of anxiety he suffered (and most likely still suffers). This is something that OCs will probably be the ones to understand, or the ones to really appreciate this book, I think. I know I did. Certain passages really grabbed my attention and spoke to me.
One day I boast of being on top of the world, the next I use the most dire language possible to describe the depths of my hell. One day I list three items on my episodes cards; the next day twelve. Up and down, and up and down again. Week after week.
I know what Bell's talking about here- that agony of being right, of being well, for so long, and then to find it crashing down around you. The depression and feeling of failure that sinks in afterwards.
It's a case of managing the illness, of learning strategies, of ways of dealing with it. That way one can combat OCD, to shove it back and learn to live instead of hiding behind the obsessions and compulsions.(less)
**spoiler alert** This is a very charming, sweet book. The writing style is quite unique, and, in some ways, really emanates the main character, Chris...more**spoiler alert** This is a very charming, sweet book. The writing style is quite unique, and, in some ways, really emanates the main character, Christopher. And then the story unravels and it turns out his father killed the dog out of spite and his mother is alive and his father is kind of a bastard. A kind bastard, but it's still rather unnerving that he lied to his son about his mother.
I'm not sure yet if this book will rate a one of my top favourites. I did enjoy it- a lot, actually- and it's a very quick read. But I think this is the kind of book that one sits on and ponders over for a while. Digests, stews over it, allows it to marinade, and then one finally comes up with a decision. I do think, though, this is a book everybody should try to read, as it is touching.(less)
What a fascinating book. I have previously read Oliver Sacks' other book, The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat, which I enjoyed. I was a bit curious...moreWhat a fascinating book. I have previously read Oliver Sacks' other book, The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat, which I enjoyed. I was a bit curious as to what this book would entail. I couldn't quite picture how Sacks was going to intertwine music and psychology. When I did start reading it, I was pleasantly and quickly surprised, and I very much enjoyed the book. Many of Sacks' stories deal with various forms of memory loss (such as dementia and Alzheimer's), but also cases of mental retardation.
As a musician (albeit a very average one), I liked reading about how the brain becomes alive when one plays an instrument. It's so true that playing an instrument stimulates the brain in oh so many ways. But it was wonderful to read about all the other possibilities music can offer people- freedom for disabilities, opening the doors to emotion, allowing communication and what else. I like the other Sacks talks about his patients, and how he relates to them. I also like reading about how the patients relate to him, and what they teach Sacks and also those reading the story.
This is definitely one for those who enjoy reading psychological non-fiction books, but without the added melodrama. It's also one for musicians interested in discovering just how music is part of human nature.(less)
Danny Vendramini presents an interesting hypothesis here, and he really got me hooked at the start. His theory is that Neanderthals and homo sapiens w...moreDanny Vendramini presents an interesting hypothesis here, and he really got me hooked at the start. His theory is that Neanderthals and homo sapiens were caught in a predator/prey battle for thousands of years, and that is how we, homo sapiens, evolved the way we did. Vendramini breaks down each aspects of the pre-modern humans' lives, and how the Neanderthals could have changed humans when they were the major predators. He also goes into how Neanderthals possibly looked more like gorillas than humans.
But then it got a bit strange, when Vendramini started introducing teems and psychological genetic imprinting, and he lost me. His initials theories were quite well thought out, but I felt it just went a bit far. However, he does seem to realise this, and mentions that his theories are just starting and may be wrong. So good job, Vendramini, for realising your short comings.(less)
The first thing I thought when I opened this book was, the title is a lie! This book is about riding a bike, not running! That thought process lingere...moreThe first thing I thought when I opened this book was, the title is a lie! This book is about riding a bike, not running! That thought process lingered with me throughout the rest of the book. True, he does remember running in some parts, but it seems to have been such a small (relative) part of his youth, that I'm not sure why the book wasn't called, The Memory of That Small Aspect of My Life That Was About Running. Perhaps that was a bit long, though.
I did like the character Bethany. She seemed to be the only person who jumped off the page. Did she have schizophrenia or dissociative identity disorder? It seems most people are saying schizophrenia, and that probably fits the bill better, but I kept seeing aspects of DID. It's never elaborated in the book, and the psychologists the Ides took her to didn't really believe in Bethany's illness. Given Bethany did have a good ability to lie, one even believed Smithy had taken to raping his sister on a daily basis. Good psychoanalysis there, doc.
Then there's Smithy himself. I just couldn't like him. He had no personality, and he just seemed to flab around from one person/place to the next. And Norma- what the hell, girl, I know you've got spinal damage but you still have a spine! You don't need to wait by your phone for him to call you. You say you're so independent, but you sure as hell don't act like it!
It feels as though Ron McLarty isn't quite sure how to write characters without giving them a 'quirky' personality. It's possible to write characters who are rather dull in terms of personality, but are actually three dimensional and realistic. The closest he got to that, I feel, is Kenny and his parents. Okay, so they were strange, but it's also reasonable to expect to meet someone like that in real life. But the rest of the characters were just quirky for the sake of being quirky. They didn't bring anything to the novel. And then there was Smithy and Norma who were so dull and one-sided that I didn't get any form of attachment to them, either.
This is about the convicts in the land of convicts who are recommended to never be released. It's rather outdated in some aspects now- it was written in 1993, and some of the criminals have since been released or died- but it still holds the same truth: Australia has produced some screwed up people. Though it's a little bit amusing, to me, that many of these people are from the UK.(less)
This is a very interesting book. My father kept mentioning it, and wanted to give it to me to read, but I finally found it in a second-hand bookstore...moreThis is a very interesting book. My father kept mentioning it, and wanted to give it to me to read, but I finally found it in a second-hand bookstore and was able to purchase it for myself.
It's a good, easy quick read, but I found myself getting disappointed at times. It's outdated in parts, and I think it would be worthwhile if it was updated a little with newer information, or if Sacks went and wrote a second novel with the same theme. Furthermore, so many of the stories were brushed over quickly and I didn't quite grasp what was happening in each case. I would have also liked some follow up to each story- what happened to the patients, maybe where they are now if they're still alive, how they dealt with society, that sort of thing.
So, I generally scoff at these books. Not because of the situations depicted in them, but because they all look the same. A white background, a handwr...moreSo, I generally scoff at these books. Not because of the situations depicted in them, but because they all look the same. A white background, a handwritten font title, sad picture of a child on the front. The names are usually one word: NAKED, UGLY, SICKENED. And so on.
Buuut, I liked this book. I liked how Gregory was able to depict MBP, and how she believed herself to be sick up until her mid-twenties. If you're told something for so long, eventually you will believe it right down to your soul.
Gregory's writing style isn't for everyone, but I enjoyed parts of it. Sometimes her train of thought seemed to veer in odd directions, but it was enjoyable in itself.
I would have liked a bit of description of Gregory fighting to find someone to believe her about her mother and Munchausen by proxy. The book also ends on an odd note- her mother has another child under her care, who she is inflicting MBP on.
Has Gregory done any interviews? I did a Google search but came up short.(less)
I wanted to like this book, but after I discovered there was no true plot, my struggle to find enjoyment failed.
So where to start? I suppose I'll break this down into the characters, given this is how the book is written.
Julia and Valentina I didn't like Julia from the start. I should get that out there. She rubbed me the wrong way. And while I did like Valentina initially, eventually I found she annoyed me, too. And it wasn't actually her 'Mouse'ness. It was around the time Valentina decided she wanted to off herself so she could escape Julia. Why Valentina didn't just up and leave, I shall never know. Sure, have your adoring sister and family think you're dead, that's totally fine!
I will say I did like Valentina's final scene, though.
Elspeth I liked the limits on being a ghost, and how Elspeth was able to find what she could and couldn't do. And then Elspeth was discovered to be a real bitch. While I do think she got (some of) her just desserts at the end, did she have to steal her daughter's body to do it? Bitch, much?
Robert I didn't think much of Robert. He was just kind of there. But, uh, was he really planning on sticking it in the resurrected Valentina? He had flowers and candles, and then he started stroking her naked body, and oh, whaddayaknow, it's actually Elspeth!
You don't stick your peen in just-revived girls, okay?
Martin Niffenegger's portrayal of OCD really grated on me. Okay, I understand that some peoples OCD may be that severe, but as someone who does have OCD, I just found it horribly stereotypical and false. I thought him and Marijke reuniting was sweet, but... it's portrayals like this one that makes it difficult for people with mental disorders to come out. (less)
In terms of data, this is a very good book. Ekman is clearly very researched in his area, and he is able to break down the information in a way that i...moreIn terms of data, this is a very good book. Ekman is clearly very researched in his area, and he is able to break down the information in a way that it is possible for a layperson (such as myself) who has little to no information on the psychology behind lying. He goes through the possible motivations behind lying (and really, lying isn't always negative), the facial and behavioural clues, and even points out areas that people may not even notice. I particularly liked the appendix, where tables were set up to allow people how to read others.
A problem I found is that it is so very dry, particularly when he talks about polygraphs and the chapter entitled Lying in the 1990s. I just found my enthusiasm waning. It's a good book, don't get me wrong, but I found myself losing steam. If you don't mind dry works, then perhaps you, the reader of this review, will enjoy it more.
But it's highly informative, provides great detail, and is no doubt useful to those who Ekman dubs as 'lie catchers'. (less)
It started off promising enough. I'm curious about incest, and the psychology behind it, and so this book looked as though it would sate that. Unfortu...moreIt started off promising enough. I'm curious about incest, and the psychology behind it, and so this book looked as though it would sate that. Unfortunately, this book wound up being more an anthropological study on the primates that a sociological study on humans. I actually wound up not being able to finish all of it.
I'm really quite confused about what Anita Phillips was trying to do with this book. It started off okay enough, with her mentioning Venus in Furs and...moreI'm really quite confused about what Anita Phillips was trying to do with this book. It started off okay enough, with her mentioning Venus in Furs and the historical psychological analysis of masochism, but then she started twisting and turning and going really nowhere.
The few brief good points she brings up (which is why I rated this book two out of five stars as opposed to one) is lost in the garble that she fills the pages with. She emphasis the need for consent in BDSM relationships (despite stating repeatedly that sadist get off only on non-consensual violence) and that people in consensual BDSM relationships shouldn't be prosecuted by the law. The rest... well, she just dribbles on.
Phillips talks about art, gender and society without really mentioning masochism. I'm not entirely sure what her point was half the time. She talks in circles all the time, and I wonder if she's hoping to confuse the readers into agreeing with her. The editor really should have pulled her up on it.
This review is much better than I could hope to achieve, and I recommend it. I can't recommend this book, though.(less)
Well, it's okay. If you've already got a basic grasp on psychology/if you've taken a psychology in your time, you're not going to learn anything new....moreWell, it's okay. If you've already got a basic grasp on psychology/if you've taken a psychology in your time, you're not going to learn anything new. I wouldn't say it's 'stuff you really need to know', because if you're going to encounter any of the ideas presented in this book regularly, you're likely to have already known them. Furthermore, I think a lot of these ideas aren't things you 'really need to know', but more, 'things that you might encounter some point in your life, and you won't likely be seen as an idiot for not knowing them, but if you're the type who worries about losing face at every possible moment and want to act as though you know everything and need to one-up people, then you might want to know them.'
But it's okay. A book to have on your shelf to talk over with coffee, maybe.(less)
I could give this three stars. I very easily could. I actually rate this one closer to 2.5/3 than two stars. It's revolutionary and thought provoki...moreHm.
I could give this three stars. I very easily could. I actually rate this one closer to 2.5/3 than two stars. It's revolutionary and thought provoking and challenging, and oh look at what Foucault has said, but I need to be honest to myself, and honestly I didn't find it challenging, or very thought provoking. Revolutionary, yes, and deeply philosophising maybe, but not enjoyable. And ultimately, that's what I rate things on. A book or author may have people on the edge of their seat and getting them to think about the world, but I'm not going to give a book five stars on that alone. I need to respond to it. I didn't really respond to this one.
And furthermore, this isn't really a history of sexuality. It's a history of power, or opposites. Foucault frequently falls back on opposing sides- teacher/student, parent/child, doctor/patient and sexualises them because society apparently sexualises the relationships. At times I was lost with what he was saying. Or maybe it should have been titled The History of Society's Sexuality and the Power That It Brings.
Maybe I'm going around in circles and not making much sense. But really, that's what I felt with this book.