Trying to make my 2013 Goodreads Challenge slightly less pathetic by including assigned reading. And since I think I might be the only actual review o...moreTrying to make my 2013 Goodreads Challenge slightly less pathetic by including assigned reading. And since I think I might be the only actual review on Goodreads, I should probably try to say something moderately useful.
This book was an excellent resource for those of us who are in the very early stages of clinical work (aspiring psychologists, counselors, social workers). You could probably go ahead and retitle this Intake Interviews for Dummies. On the whole it was very accessible, and acted much like a nice set of water wings for fledging clinicians drowning in that seemingly enormous sea of "What the Hell Am I Doing." Some chapters were more engaging than others, but overall it's worth a read for students beginning (or soon to be beginning) their first year of practicum. Note though that when they say "a practical guide," they mean it--this book is geared toward the nuts and bolts of conducting an intake interview. Readers interested in insight into longer-term relationship building and the therapeutic process should look elsewhere.(less)
I had been warned ahead of time that this book was a bit of a letdown after A Storm of Swords, and that seems about right. That didn't stop me from de...moreI had been warned ahead of time that this book was a bit of a letdown after A Storm of Swords, and that seems about right. That didn't stop me from devouring this one about as quickly as I have the previous three books in the series. But things are getting a little out of control here--as if there weren't enough characters to keep up with already, this book introduces chapters told from the perspectives of characters-I-knew-about, characters-I-sorta-remember-hearing-mentioned-once, and who-the-hell-is-this-character--which is confusing enough as it is, but is made all the worse by chapter titles that describe rather than name the character ("The Reaver," "The Prophet"). The working memory capacity required to read these books is becoming a bit too much at this point, and I hope the series begins to pare that down a bit.
Lastly, I'm getting a bit worried about series completion here. I understand that there are to be seven books in the series; this book ended with a note dated June 2005 from George R. R. Martin stating that the fifth book could be expected "next year"--when in reality, it was another six years before its publication. Oh boy... what have I gotten myself into here?(less)
HOW ARE THESE SO GOOD?!!? Everyone seemed to be telling me the third book was the best, and although I didn't quite see it at first--I definitely do n...moreHOW ARE THESE SO GOOD?!!? Everyone seemed to be telling me the third book was the best, and although I didn't quite see it at first--I definitely do now. *So* many excellent and unexpected story turns, both good and bad. Once again I'm left with the decision of whether to immediately dig into the next book or wait awhile and make the series last...(less)
Although this one didn't leave me quite so rapt as A Game of Thrones, I'm still completely hooked on this series. I wasn't as thrilled about some of t...moreAlthough this one didn't leave me quite so rapt as A Game of Thrones, I'm still completely hooked on this series. I wasn't as thrilled about some of the new perspectives in this one; in particular, I have a hard time caring about what's going on with Theon. But some of them grew on me--while I was frustrated as hell with this monotheism storyline in the first half of the book, once it became part of something bigger it became much more compelling for me. I'm very much looking forward to the next book, and to Season 3!(less)
This book might have an alternative subtitle: "85 Protips for Being a Therapist." It was the first of Yalom's books that I've read, and it was a great...moreThis book might have an alternative subtitle: "85 Protips for Being a Therapist." It was the first of Yalom's books that I've read, and it was a great look into the world of an experienced therapist. It's pathetic I know, but I especially appreciated that the content was broken into tiny, bite-size chapters---it was a nice contrast to just about everything else I've been reading for grad school! Although of course I didn't find myself on board with all of his advice (the author would likely roll his eyes knowingly at me, a member of a younger generation who had to trudge through the chapters regarding dream work), there was so much good, insightful, thought-provoking stuff in here. And I must admit---I gained new perspectives on even the things I disagreed with.
I'm looking forward to reading more of Yalom's work.(less)
LOVED EVERY PAGE OF IT. I'm so torn between wanting to devour the rest of them and wanting to take my time and make them last! I had watched Season 1...moreLOVED EVERY PAGE OF IT. I'm so torn between wanting to devour the rest of them and wanting to take my time and make them last! I had watched Season 1 of the television show before reading it--so I'm also deciding between which to do first, read the next book or watch the next season. Decisions!!(less)
When I learned that The Great Gatsby was about to become a film (starring Leo DiCaprio!!? Eee!), I knew I needed to revisit F. Scott Fitzgerald's most...moreWhen I learned that The Great Gatsby was about to become a film (starring Leo DiCaprio!!? Eee!), I knew I needed to revisit F. Scott Fitzgerald's most famous work. Like just about everyone, I had read it in high school (let's not use the phrase "about a decade ago"), but remembered absolutely nothing about it save for the presence of a vaguely phallic car.
What I found surprised me. For one thing, reading this book after having gone through quite a few years of higher education meant that a book which seemed somehow lengthy to me when it was assigned summer reading before 11th or 12th grade was now a breeze to get through. And having no memory of anything about the book, I was surprised by its subject--I misremembered it as being more focused on the enigmatic man as opposed to the relationships and circumstances that made (and make) him so.
One aspect that held my attention throughout my rereading was time. For one, I realized that several of the most important characters (including Gatsby and Carraway) would've been born very near one hundred years before my birthyear. I enjoyed looking at events through the lens of "What if I'd been born a century earlier [and also fabulously wealthy]?" I also realized in this reading that Fitzgerald wrote this book just a few years after it was set (1920). I tried to imagine reading the book when it was published, that the experience would be much like my now reading a contemporary novel set in New York in the present-day. This sounds like a pretty stupid realization (forgive me if it is), but it felt a bit like time travel to imagine Fitzgerald's words, the places and features he described, not as elements of a piece of classic 20th century literature, but of just... the way things are.
I loved Fitzgerald's writing and zoomed through the book this time. (How have I not read more of his stuff?!) I still struggled with that English major-y guilt if I'm not spending time doing a close reading of the text or analyzing it on a larger scale, but frankly... I'm pretty tired of trying to read that way. Go ahead and judge me, O ye Goodreads users; I read an important piece of literature for pleasure, didn't try to think too hard, and I enjoyed it!
Lastly I must note: my Goodreads ratings are based on how much I enjoyed or learned from a book or textbook and do not reflect any objective sense of quality. By giving The Great Gatsby three stars I do not intend to imply that the entirety of the Harry Potter series is better literature.(less)
One of few textbooks that will make it onto my Goodreads, but I feel I earned it, having legitimately read the whole thing. Overall, it was a useful r...moreOne of few textbooks that will make it onto my Goodreads, but I feel I earned it, having legitimately read the whole thing. Overall, it was a useful resource; breaking down counseling skills into the microskills framework was in fact pretty helpful. Mastering one small step at a time in order to put everything together in the end really did feel like an accomplishment.
Still, parts of this book rubbed me the wrong way. For one thing, if I have to read the expression "Creation of the New" one more time, I may barf (in case you're wondering, it's an impossibly New Age-sounding phrase used to describe guiding the client toward transforming his/her perspective and gaining transcendence over a given issue or situation). Secondly, despite this newest edition's purported inclusion of relevant neuropsychological data, the neuropsych sections amounted to little more than brief boxes, generally less than one per chapter and not often very in-depth or helpful.
Still, this text's main goal is to grant an understanding of exactly what counseling is and how to begin the process of learning it, and in those regards I feel it succeeds. The emphasis on multicultural competence was welcome as well. A bit soft overall in my opinion, but still a useful resource, especially for beginners such as myself.(less)
Paris, I Love You but You're Bringing Me Down is American author Rosecrans Baldwin's humorous documentation of his several seasons spent living in Par...moreParis, I Love You but You're Bringing Me Down is American author Rosecrans Baldwin's humorous documentation of his several seasons spent living in Paris and working as a copywriter at a French advertising agency. I was thrilled to discover this was an actual book after reading an excerpt (and loving it) online.
The book was a fun read, and really shone in the passages in which Baldwin shares his misadventures arising from lack of fluency and cultural awareness. (The section dealing with his confusion about when it was and wasn't socially acceptable to dole out les bises, the kisses, remains one of my favorites.) His coworkers act as a wonderful supporting cast, and their confusion or humorous exasperation with their American coworker made for funny stories. And of course, it's difficult not to feel envious (both for the reader and for some of his coworkers) as he shares details of his extravagant travels paid for by his agency as they woo luxury brands.
But after some time the book began to lag for me, and after about the first half I had lost some interest. I missed the self-deprecating silliness of the beginning. And Baldwin's conversational writing style was generally fun... until a sentence was riddled with so many commas or back-and-forths as to become unreadable. On top of that, a recurring problem my uncultured self had with the book was that some phrases---in fact, some punch lines---were left untranslated in French. I'm sure these were things most people with even a smattering of French vocabulary should have been able to understand. But alas, I am well-described by a joke told in the book:
What do you call someone who speaks three languages? Trilingual. What do you call someone who speaks two languages? Bilingual. What do you call someone who speaks one language? American!
This would be a great read for Francophiles and those who love to travel. I am the kind of person who has the opposite of wanderlust (wanderfrigidity? stationarylust?), but I love reading memoirs and tales of other people's travels. This book is a decent humorous entry in the genre.(less)
While I didn't find the main story/stories of this book as compelling as those of its predecessor, I still very much enjoyed The Girl Who Played with...moreWhile I didn't find the main story/stories of this book as compelling as those of its predecessor, I still very much enjoyed The Girl Who Played with Fire. There were plenty of intrigues and revelations, and I'm eager to see where things go in the third (and sadly, final) book. I'm usually not much for mystery books, but the characters in these have held my interest; it's impossible not to be fond of them, and I'm especially eager to see how their relationships evolve in the wake of the events here.(less)
I don't like to bother writing a serious review when I feel I am the last person on the planet to read a book (see: my pseudo-reviews for the Hunger G...moreI don't like to bother writing a serious review when I feel I am the last person on the planet to read a book (see: my pseudo-reviews for the Hunger Games trilogy), and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo will be no exception. But I will say this is one of the rare instances where I'm glad I saw a film version first; if nothing else, it made keeping the Vanger family tree straight immensely easier than it otherwise would have been. But without the movie's help I also would have risked getting mired down in much of the financial talk and some of the slower portions early on in the book, possibly to the point of giving up. I'm so glad I didn't!
I'm excited to move on to The Girl Who Played with Fire. Between The Hunger Games, the Millenium Trilogy, and my continued pursuit of Lord of the Rings, 2012 is shaping up to be my Year of the Trilogy.(less)
I think that by far, this was the boldest book of the trilogy, and I have to say, I think it's what makes it the best one (although I can't decide whe...moreI think that by far, this was the boldest book of the trilogy, and I have to say, I think it's what makes it the best one (although I can't decide whether or not to label it my "favorite"). This book didn't have the same effect on me that the first two did---the literally-can't-stand-to-put-it-down factor---but I think that's because something about this one just felt much realer, and much more painful. There's no shying away from the ugly realities of war in this book, and while I don't consider the stories to be flawless, I also feel like a certain lack of tidiness in the storytelling was necessary and important. And as an added bonus, the teenage romantic angst was mercifully cut down from its previous Catching Fire levels, enough so that it was compelling instead of annoying.
I loved the entire trilogy, and I would give this one four-and-a-half stars.(less)
I was so disappointed for the first third of this book and felt it was certain to be a two-star review. But once things picked up and Katniss stopped...moreI was so disappointed for the first third of this book and felt it was certain to be a two-star review. But once things picked up and Katniss stopped spending all of her time narrating evaluations of her relationships, I was hooked again--and read most of the book in one sitting. I can't wait to see how the story concludes!(less)
"...I definitely like to deal with things that I don't totally understand and things that make people uncomfortable. And I like bringing it up in an h...more"...I definitely like to deal with things that I don't totally understand and things that make people uncomfortable. And I like bringing it up in an honest way." This quote from Perry Bible Fellowship creator Nicholas Gurewitch, taken from an interview featured in the back of this fat, lovely collection of his work, is a pretty perfect summary of his comics. Often morbid or lewd, usually smart and shocking, PBF is probably one of my favorite comics of all time. These strips tell stories, sometimes bizarre and sometimes disconcertingly normal, in which you find yourself seeing the situation from one perspective only to suddenly have the rug pulled out from under you. In her preface to the book, Diablo Cody compares reading these strips to being a giddy kid away at camp until "that last panel creeps in like a big kid to kick my ass." The last panels are, indeed, usually ass-kickers.
This collection is pretty much a must-have for any fan of the series. In addition to all of the comics that can be found on the website (with the exception of the handful posted recently), the book is interspersed with strips not posted online. The highlight for me was an entire section of "Lost Strips," which never made it to print or the web. These lost gems are made even better by Gurewitch's commentary on why he couldn't use them ("This needs sound effects"; "Not funny, AND, technically, a poop joke"; one strip marked "I never intended this one to be as offensive as it is sometimes interpreted to be" followed by another marked "I never meant this to be as unfunny as it is sometimes interpreted to be"). This section is followed by some sketches as well as the previously mentioned interview.
The binding is gorgeous, the printing is high quality (I loved being able to soak in all the details easily overlooked online), and if you're not convinced yet: it includes a little ribbon for marking your page. SOLD, eh? I have no qualms about giving this one five stars.(less)
This book is a fantastic resource for anyone beginning (or in the middle of) the the process of applying to graduate school in psychology. Its greates...moreThis book is a fantastic resource for anyone beginning (or in the middle of) the the process of applying to graduate school in psychology. Its greatest strengths are its thorough breakdown of everything the process entails; its explanation of proper etiquette throughout the application process (e.g. "In what situations is it acceptable to contact a program directly?" "What sort of questions are advisable to ask in an interview?"); and its clarification of aspects of both the academic world of psychology (e.g., "What does it mean if a program is the 'scientist-practitioner model'?") and the professional world ("What does an industrial-organizational psychologist do?" "Where might a health psychologist work?"). It offers complete, detailed timetable for those beginning the process early, on-time, and late. For the price, it would be difficult to find a better guide than this APA-published work.
That said, I did have a few issues with the book. Published in early 2007, some aspects of it are due for an update--for example, the book fails to recognize that with most schools, all elements of the application are now conducted online, and that much of the information it suggests you ask about during an interview is available through the department's websites as well. Furthermore, it of course cannot account for changes the standardized tests have undergone since the book's publication, and so its advice for those is dated. And its "step-by-step plan," while useful, is also obsessively detailed and of course, might not be the best strategy for everyone. I wasn't particularly interested in using the forms they provided for planning, but they still contained good information on what to be thinking about during the process.
Lastly, while being APA-published is a strength in that this is about as official a guide as you can get, it also means regular promotion of other APA materials, including their annually-published Graduate Study in Psychology--which, if you intend to follow this book's detailed steps to the letter, you may as well go ahead and buy also.
For anyone planning or even just considering applying to graduate school, I would highly recommend this book.(less)