Against Marriage An Egalitarian Defense of the Marriage-Free State By Clare Chambers Review by Hennie Weiss on Tue, Jan 16th 2018.
In Against Marriage: An Egalitarian Defence of the Marriage-Free State, Clare Chambers puts together a well thought out rejection of state recognized marriage based on the notion that such marriages are gendered and heterosexual in nature while undermining liberty and equality. According to Chambers, this book is not for the socially conservative, the religious fundamentalists and the non-egalitarian libertarians, and Chambers makes that clear from the very beginning. Chambers states that the book is also a critique of traditional marriage, a rejection of state-recognized marria Click here to read the full review!
Depression A Very Short Introduction By Mary Jane Tacchi and Jan Scott Review by Daniel J. Dunleavy on Tue, Jan 16th 2018.
Depression is among the latest contributions to Oxford University Press’s A Very Short Introduction series. It is written by practicing psychiatrist Mary Jane Tacchi and Professor of Psychiatry Jan Scott (Institute of Psychiatry at Kings College London). Like all entries in the series, the book provides a brief overview of the topic (typically around 120 pages of text), offers recommendations for further reading, and is written for a general audience (i.e. no background knowledge is presumed). In this review, I will describe each section of the book, provide critical commentary, and give Click here to read the full review!
The End of Our Story is a YA romance featuring serious themes. Bridge is a high school senior who takes her life seriously. She narrates most of the story. She lives with her mother and little sister -- her father has never been in the picture, and she has a good relationship with her mother most of the time, although they don't always see each other much. She has known Will since she was little, and they were best friends until they became romantically involved. She spends a lot of time with him and his family -- his father is almost like a father to her. Then in junior year she gets drunk at Click here to read the full review!
Nothing By Annie Barrows Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jan 16th 2018.
Charlotte and Frankie are 15 and they read a lot of YA literature. They are very familiar with all the clichés of the genre, and often point out the difference between their lives and what would happen in a YA novel. Because in their lives, nothing happens. This gives Charlotte the idea of writing an account of their lives, which she will call Nothing. So this YA novel by Annie Barrows is an attempt to buck the trend of YA lit and capture the ordinary details of everyday life. Indeed, not much happens. There's a story about a coffee pot that got broken, and there's a road trip. Th Click here to read the full review!
Treating People Well The Extraordinary Power of Civility at Work and in Life By Lea Berman and Jeremy Bernard Review by Daniel Buccino on Tue, Jan 9th 2018.
With all eyes riveted on the Oval Office, with a dizzying, traumatic hypervigilance, it seems quaintly prelapsarian to think the White House once could have been a symbol of probity and civility for the world. However benighted the current reality, the White House and its occupant, as symbols of Democracy and representative of the country, once were a site of aspiration for a preferred vision of the future for citizens of America and the world.
George Washington gave great thought to how the first "President" of the "United States of Ame Click here to read the full review!
Facts and Values The Ethics and Metaphysics of Normativity By Giancarlo Marchetti and Sarin Marchetti Review by Raff Donelson on Tue, Jan 9th 2018.
Marchetti and Marchetti offer readers a solid collection of thirteen original essays from scholars hailing from around the world on various relations between facts and values. At the outset of the volume, the editors pitch the book as nothing short of "a robust, multipronged attack" on the fact-value distinction (19). This characterization probably goes too far. Some of the chapters argue for conclusions that are perfectly consistent with maintaining a firm fact-value distinction (Miller's "Normativity without Normative Facts"), and some of the chapters that are more cl Click here to read the full review!
Mindfulness Advances in Psychotherapy: Evidence-Based Practice By Katie Witkiewitz, Corey R. Roos, Dana Dharmakaya Colgan, and Sarah Bowen Review by Alexandra Varga on Tue, Jan 9th 2018.
Mindfulness, by K. Witkiewitz, C.R. Ross, D.H. Colgan and S. Bowen, introduces the occidental public to the "theories, understandings, and practices" of an ancient concept from the Buddhist tradition. Mindfulness has recently become widely popular because of its use in a variety of psychological interventions, with significant positive results.
The book is very well structured and has helpful side notes, which summarize the text (e.g., "Curiosity and acceptance are core skills in mindfulness training"). It is didactical, handbook-like and clearly written, and hence accessible to a broad audi Click here to read the full review!
Lie to Me By J.T. Ellison Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jan 9th 2018.
Sutton is married to Ethan. They are both writers, and love stories. They tell different stories of their relationship, in alternate sections. The story starts with Sutton disappearing, and Ethan at first believing she has left him, and then worrying something terrible has happened. We hear stories about how they met, their families, their friends, and their pasts, but not all the details agree, and we are left wondering what is true. But the main suspense is not in the story itself, but in the game the author J.T. Ellison plays with the readers. We wonder whether it will really be a completel Click here to read the full review!
The Philosophical Parent Asking the Hard Questions About Having and Raising Children By Jean Kazez Review by Samuel LeBlanc on Tue, Jan 2nd 2018.
Being a parent is the best and worst thing that can happen. Or, as Anne Lamott, mother of Sam, is quoted in Kazez's The Philosopher Parent, "I feel that he has completely ruined my life, because I just didn't used to care so much" (177). To this, add that there are more than 7 billion of us on the planet and you have a book that is easy and impossible to write. Parenthood is inherently social, so much so, that talking about it can be nauseating. Everyone has an opinion on every conceivable subject about what should--and shouldn't--be done. But asking thoughtful questions is a refreshing exerci Click here to read the full review!
The Boy Who Loved Too Much A True Story of Pathological Friendliness By Jennifer Latson Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jan 2nd 2018.
Latson describes a boy she calls Eli who has been diagnosed with Williams syndrome, a genetic disorder that involves physical, cognitive and emotional variations. Latson focuses on the unguarded friendliness that characterizes the disorder, the webpage of the Williams Syndrome Association makes clear that there are many features that goes with it. The Boy Who Loved Too Much: A True Story of Pathological Friendliness follows Eli from the age of 12 until he was 15. He was enormously and indiscriminately friendly, always seeking hugs. As he got older, this behavior became increasingly inappropria Click here to read the full review!
The Art of Misdiagnosis Surviving My Mother's Suicide By Gayle Brandeis Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jan 2nd 2018.
The title of Gayle Brandeis's memoir tells the reader what to expect, as does the description in the blurb. But as she writes it, she brings her readers along with the experience of the frustration of dealing with her mother Arlene, and the anxiety of wondering what has happened to her when she disappears. After her mother's body has been discovered, she copes with the grief at the same time as raising her new-born child. Arlene was a complicated and difficult person who was a candidate for psychiatric diagnoses. Gayle reflects on her childhood when her mother encouraged her and her sister to Click here to read the full review!
Several weeks ago I saw Jenifer Lewis on The View TV show as she spoke about her new memoir, being diagnosed with Bipolar illness mid-way in her career and having been in the entertainment industry for decades. Lewis is presently a star on the TV program “blackish” and as the title of the book suggests The Mother of Black Hollywood: a Memoir Lewis has played the mother of many popular stars in the field.
In her memoir there are 320 pages including 8 pgs...of photos, plus a Letter to the Reader, 5 pgs. of Acknowledgments including many celebrities and a Career Overview.
The Click here to read the full review!
Bloomsbury Press, under the editorship of James A. Marcum, Professor of Philosophy and Director of Medical Humanities at Baylor University, USA, has recently released an impressive volume of essays on the discourse between philosophy and medicine. The Bloomsbury Companion to Contemporary Philosophy of Medicine gives a thorough account of the current conversation between these two disciplines. This volume is divided into intuitive sections, ranging from the more analytic conversations of diagnostic definitions, to continental phenomenological discourses on illness and embodiment.
The handbook Click here to read the full review!
On Human Nature By Roger Scruton Review by Robert Zaborowski on Tue, Dec 26th 2017.
This small and elegant book has four chapters, of which the first three were given by Scruton as lectures at Princeton University in 2013. It may be read, I think, either as a book on human nature or as a collection of papers on four relatively separate topics treated in four chapters which are about (i) humankind, (ii) human relations, (iii) moral life, and (iv) sacred obligations. I would rather favour the latter option. It seems to me to be an option more sympathetic to Scruton, who warns the reader that the book is "at best a summary of [his] views and do[es] not in any way deal with all t Click here to read the full review!
And Breathe The Complete Guide to Conscious Breathing for Health and Happiness By Rebecca Dennis Review by Beth Cholette, Ph.D. on Tue, Dec 26th 2017.
This book focuses on Transformational Breath, a practice developed by Judith Kravitz in Mexico. Author Rebecca Dennis credits this technique with saving her life: she lived with depression for over twenty years, and although she reports that other therapies were of some benefit to her, it was the discovery of Transformational Breath that she found to be life-changing. Just as she shares her own story in the introduction, Dennis weaves personal testimonials throughout And Breathe, mostly from her clients. In fact, the entire volume reads like a collection of reflections Click here to read the full review!
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