An individual human existence should be like a river--small at first, narrowly contained within its banks, and rushing passionately past rocks and over waterfalls. Gradually the river grows wider, the banks recede, the waters flow more quietly, and in the end, without any visible break, they become merged in the sea, and painlessly lose their individual being. The man who, in old age, can see his life in this way, will not suffer from the fear of death, since the things he cares for will continue. And if, with the decay of vitality, weariness increases, the thought of rest will not be unwelcom Click here to read the full review!
Distinguished philosopher of language and historian of philosophy, Scott Soames presents in his latest book a collection of fifteen recent essays, three of them previously unpublished. Although most of these texts had originally been published separately and in different contexts, they all share a similar goal: to inquire on the origins, history, and actuality of analytic philosophy, still largely preponderant in English-speaking countries. This new volume can thus be seen as a continuation of Soames' previous works, especially his Philosophical Analysis in the Twentieth Century (2003, 2 vol.) Click here to read the full review!
The Good Life Wellbeing and the new science of altruism, selfishness and immorality By Graham Music Review by Finn Janning, Ph.D. on Tue, Oct 28th 2014.
I do good, therefore I feel good
In Patti Smith's memoir, Woolgathering, she writes that the "only thing you can count on is change." Not change as a going from A to B. Rather as an ongoing movement: the world is constantly changing.
Graham Music, who is a Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist, pleads in his book, The Good Life, for a change. Unlike Smith, his metaphysical foundation is not that everything is changing or becoming. Instead, his approach favors that some things are not changing, e.g. what is good and bad. He is a moral Platonist.
Plainly spe Click here to read the full review!
10% Happier How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works--A True Story By Dan Harris Review by Leo Uzych, J.D., M.P.H. on Tue, Oct 28th 2014.
10% Happier is the true story of how the author, Dan Harris, tamed the voice in his head, reduced stress without losing his edge, and found self-help that actually works. Harris is the co-anchor of Nightline and the weekend editions of Good Morning America.
In a "Preface", Harris comments, with the forthrightness that pervades the book in its entirety, that the inner chatter of the voice in a person's head may potentially be a malevolent puppeteer. But Harris asserts that meditation is a proven technique to avoid being led around by the nose by the voice in one's head.  Click here to read the full review!
Julie Murphy's emotionally overwrought debut young adult novel features Alice, who had leukemia and is now in remission. The narrative shifts between the present, as she copes with living, and the past, when she was coping with dying. The other narrator is Harvey, the boy who was closest to Alice through her illness. They were childhood friends and are very close, but once she escapes her cancer, she rejects him. Much of the story is about how she is able to face her feelings for him, after rejecting him several times. He has had a demanding childhood, playing piano for his ballet- Click here to read the full review!
Parenting on the Go Birth to Six, A to Z By David Elkind Review by Hennie Weiss on Tue, Oct 21st 2014.
David Elkind has created a short but far reaching book for parents on various subjects in an A to Z guide. In Parenting on the go: Birth to Six, A to Z, Elkind presents the reader with short, to the point advice on subjects ranging from ADHD and homework to junk food and second languages. The book is written in response to what Elkind names a "time famine" (p. xvii) in which parents have little time "…to consult parenting books, but they could use a short, to-the-point discussion of the challenges they meet daily" (p. xviii). Most parents would probably appreciate the fact that Elkind Click here to read the full review!
One of the reasons I chose to pursue an academic career was, I believe, the influence a certain kind of book had on me. The books I have in mind are the sweeping intellectual histories of the sort written by Will and Ariel Durant, John H. Randall, Jr., and Jacques Barzun. These were books not written for the scholar or specialist, but for a general audience. They were intelligent discussions written in elegant prose. They did a service to the reading public. They made sense out of complex ideas. They contextualized the motivations of various intellectual deb Click here to read the full review!
Stay A History of Suicide and the Philosophies Against It By Jennifer Michael Hecht Review by Robert Scott Stewart, Ph.D. on Tue, Oct 21st 2014.
Suicide has become alarmingly common. As Hecht reports from a recent World Health Organization study, suicide rates have risen 60% worldwide in the past 45 years; in 2010, 32,000 Americans committed suicide with terrible increases particularly amongst the young, women, soldiers and veterans (4). The impetus for Stay derives in part from these statistics and especially from the suicides of two of Hecht’s friends and colleagues. In response to these, she writes: “So I want to say this, and forgive me the strangeness of it. Don’t kill yourself. Life has always been a Click here to read the full review!
Behind the Gospels Understanding the Oral Tradition By Eric Eve Review by Bob Lane, MA on Tue, Oct 21st 2014.
Jesus of Nazareth is the hero of the many stories in the New Testament of the Bible. He is believed by many to be God, or the son of God, or both. He is an important part of the three person god of the Christian faith community. Millions of people send prayers to Him daily, for He is believed to be at the right hand of God. Further He is believed to be part man, part God. A saviour. The lamb of God. (John Dominic Crossan's witty remark, ""Just because the Bible says "Jesus is the Lamb of God," it doesn't follow that Mary had a little lamb" comes to mind) And yet, of course, most of what we kno Click here to read the full review!
15-year-old Kenna has been detained in a psychiatric center for young people. She has been held under the Baker Act in Florida, because she was caught cutting herself at school. She will be there for 72 hours while she is observed; then the doctors will decide whether to release her or hospitalize her. She reflects on what led to her getting there, and the other young people she meets during her time there. There's a boy she likes and there's a girl who seems friendly, but she isn't sure what to think. She is angry with her parents and with her friends. She isn't sure why she cuts Click here to read the full review!
One Hour in Paris A True Story of Rape and Recovery By Karyn L. Freedman Review by Elin Weiss on Tue, Oct 14th 2014.
Karyn L. Freedman's One hour in Paris: A true story of rape and recovery is an account of the rape and violence that Freedman went through as a 22-year old while backpacking through Europe.
Freedman tells the story beginning with a short introduction of her life at the time of the travel and briefly describes the different countries and cities she visited before stopping in Paris. She comes across as incredibly open and honest from the first page on and her description of the rape is just as honest. She describes every detail of the rape even though it must be difficult for her to let the Click here to read the full review!
Curious The Desire to Know and Why Your Future Depends On It By Ian Leslie Review by Hennie Weiss on Tue, Oct 14th 2014.
At first thought, curiosity might seem like something innate, something we are simply born with, interests come and go, and we become curious about certain things at certain times. Many of us may not spend much time reflecting over what makes us curious or how certain hobbies develop. But Curious: The Desire to Know and Why Your Future Depends On It by Ian Leslie focuses on the root causes of curiosity, how it develops, and how curiosity can be stifled through numerous processes. Leslie describes to the reader various forms of curiosity and their role in society. For example, diverse curiosity Click here to read the full review!
Kicking the Sky A Novel By Anthony De Sa Review by Bob Lane, MA on Tue, Oct 14th 2014.
Kicking the Sky is Anthony De Sa's first novel and it is a good one! De Sa uses the real murder of Emmanuel Jaques in 1977 in Toronto (known then as "Toronto the good") as the base event of the novel. News reports from the time indicate much about 1977 Canada. Jaques was a twelve year old shoeshine boy working on Yonge Street who was lured to an apartment and raped and killed by a group of men. Toronto awoke on an August day to the news of this lurid sex crime; the victim a member of the Portuguese community whose body was found on a roof above a Yonge Street body rub parlour in a green garbag Click here to read the full review!
Why Animals Matter Animal Consciousness, Animal Welfare, and Human Well-Being By Marian Stamp Dawkins Review by Jonelle DePetro, PhD, on Tue, Oct 14th 2014.
Animal suffering is no longer the exclusive focal point for debates concerning nonhuman animals. Animal welfare discussions more broadly include issues such as consciousness, cognition, and emotion. Philosophers, biologists, psychologists, and neuroscientists labor to discover the intersections of human and nonhuman physiology, behavior, and experience. In Why Animals Matter, animal behaviorist Marian Stamp Dawkins carefully places arguments concerning nonhuman animal welfare in the context of wider human concerns such as sustainable food production, human health and disease, and environmental Click here to read the full review!
Making Peace with Porn Adult Entertainment and Your Guy By Allison Vivas Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Oct 14th 2014.
Allison Vivas is president of Pink Visual, an internet porn company, but her book is aimed at women, helping them accept their husbands' use of porn, so long as it is not excessive. She argues that watching porn is normal for men, that it is only a fantasy and so does not represent their real wishes, that most porn is not degrading to women, and that porn performers should be respected because they are hard workers and smart, interesting people. She writes not only as a defender of her business, but also as a wife and mother, who has come to lose her previous reservations about porn and Click here to read the full review!
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