Metapsychology Online Reviews - Volume 22, Number 3
 
Featured Reviews
Mental Health in Asia and the Pacific by Harry Minas and Milton Lewis (Editors)Mental Health in Asia and the Pacific
by Harry Minas and Milton Lewis (Editors)
Tue, Dec 5th 2017
Can't You Hear Them? by Simon McCarthy-JonesCan't You Hear Them?
by Simon McCarthy-Jones
Tue, Dec 5th 2017
The Nature Fix by Florence WilliamsThe Nature Fix
by Florence Williams
Tue, Dec 5th 2017
 
Against Marriage
An Egalitarian Defense of the Marriage-Free State
By Clare Chambers
Review by Hennie Weiss on Tue, Jan 16th 2018.
Against Marriage by Clare Chambers   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
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Depression
A Very Short Introduction
By Mary Jane Tacchi and Jan Scott
Review by Daniel J. Dunleavy on Tue, Jan 16th 2018.
Depression by Mary Jane Tacchi and Jan ScottDepression 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
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The End of Our Story
By Meg Haston
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jan 16th 2018.
The End of Our Story by Meg HastonThe 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
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Nothing
By Annie Barrows
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jan 16th 2018.
Nothing by Annie BarrowsCharlotte 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
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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.
Treating People Well by Lea Berman and Jeremy BernardWith 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
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Facts and Values
The Ethics and Metaphysics of Normativity
By Giancarlo Marchetti and Sarin Marchetti
Review by Raff Donelson on Tue, Jan 9th 2018.
Facts and Values by Giancarlo Marchetti and Sarin MarchettiMarchetti 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
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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 Katie Witkiewitz,‎ Corey R. Roos,‎ Dana Dharmakaya Colgan,‎ and Sarah Bowen 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
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Lie to Me
By J.T. Ellison
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jan 9th 2018.
Lie to Me by J.T. EllisonSutton 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
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The Philosophical Parent
Asking the Hard Questions About Having and Raising Children
By Jean Kazez
Review by Samuel LeBlanc on Tue, Jan 2nd 2018.
The Philosophical Parent by Jean KazezBeing 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
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The Boy Who Loved Too Much
A True Story of Pathological Friendliness
By Jennifer Latson
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jan 2nd 2018.
The Boy Who Loved Too Much by Jennifer LatsonLatson 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
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The Art of Misdiagnosis
Surviving My Mother's Suicide
By Gayle Brandeis
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jan 2nd 2018.
The Art of Misdiagnosis by Gayle BrandeisThe 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
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The Mother of Black Hollywood
A Memoir
By Jenifer Lewis
Review by Kaolin on Tue, Jan 2nd 2018.
The Mother of Black Hollywood by Jenifer LewisSeveral 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
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The Bloomsbury Companion to Contemporary Philosophy of Medicine
By James A. Marcum (Editor)
Review by Anna Westin, PhD on Tue, Dec 26th 2017.
The Bloomsbury Companion to Contemporary Philosophy of Medicine by James A. Marcum (Editor)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
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On Human Nature
By Roger Scruton
Review by Robert Zaborowski on Tue, Dec 26th 2017.
On Human Nature by Roger ScrutonThis 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
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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.
And Breathe by Rebecca DennisThis 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
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