Memoirs and Biographies
The Family Gene
A Mission to Turn My Deadly Inheritance into a Hopeful Future
By Joselin Linder
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Nov 13th 2018.
The Family Gene by Joselin LinderJoselin Linder tells the story of herself and her family who have an extremely rare genetic mutation that causes medical problems that lead to death. She starts out talking about her physician father's illness and death, which was alarming for the whole family. Then there's a retrospective look at previous deaths in their family that must have been due to the same problem. After this, Linder goes into her own life, talking about her college days, indulging in some drug use, her love life, and her rather meandering career in her twenties. Her life also involved her helping take care of her aili
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The Only Girl in the World
A Memoir
By Maude Julien
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Nov 6th 2018.
Maude Julien, a French therapist, tells her own story of abuse by her parents. Her father was the source of the problem, driven by bizarre political beliefs that center on the Third Reich and survivalist tendencies. He aims to raise Maude as a girl with extraordinary qualities who will have almost superhuman qualities. When he was middle aged he first chose his wife, and then in his fifties he moved them to a secluded house in rural northern France to raise their child. He indoctrinated both his wife and child, and his wife also collaborated with him in his cruel treatment of their daughter. T
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The Only Girl in the World by Maude Julien

The Neuroscientist Who Lost Her Mind
My Tale of Madness and Recovery
By Barbara K. Lipska
Review by Roy Sugarman, PhD on Tue, Oct 9th 2018.
The Neuroscientist Who Lost Her Mind by Barbara K. LipskaThe amount of books one can buy which tell the tale of authors who suffered and recovered from some seemingly insurmountable illness is climbing steadily, and some even make it into the movies: recently, Brain on Fire described the most deadly of these which the initially wrote off to mental illness rather than the neurochemistry of glutamate.  Some books describe the experience of neurologists who slip and fall on icy pavement, some of a neurologist who discovers, after a ride at the fair, how a leg refuses to climb into bed with him. In all of these descriptions, experts who should know
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Because We Are Bad
OCD and a Girl Lost in Thought
By Lily Bailey
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Sep 4th 2018.
Lily Bailey is a British model and now an author. At the age of 23 she is young to have written a memoir, but she has lived all of her remembered life with obsessive thoughts and performing rituals, so she is able to give an account of childhood OCD that hasn't been done in such detail. But her story is so particular to her that it seems unlikely that it is generalizable to other young people. For about the first half of the book she refers to herself as "we" because she is in constant dialog with a kind of imaginary friend -- she doesn't really explain what the duality is. Sometimes it sounds
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Because We Are Bad by Lily Bailey

Getting Off
One Woman's Journey Through Sex and Porn Addiction
By Erica Garza
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jul 3rd 2018.
Getting Off by Erica GarzaIn her memoir of her life, Erica Garza portrays herself as a sexual addict. This is a difficult task to attempt since many readers will be suspicious that sex and porn can be genuinely addictive. However, the greater problem for Garza is her interpretation of herself as being unhappy. One might think that one can at least know if one is happy or unhappy, but Getting Off presents a case of someone who seems to have plenty of success, plenty of friends, family harmony, and no material struggles. She certainly has a lot of sex and uses a lot of porn to masturbate with, and through her teen years
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Beautiful Bodies
By Kimberly Rae Miller
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Jun 19th 2018.
Kim Miller is a writer who works on food and diet, but also runs her own blog, The Kim Challenge Beautiful Bodies is a combination of memoir about her obsession with her weight, and a history and discussion of the weight loss industry. She was sure that she was overweight even as a child and she gained weight early on, combined with early puberty, and this made her very self-conscious. Miller attributes a lot of her weight concern to her mother's attitudes, and of course there is the weight-loss industry that Miller herself ended up working for. Her family is from the south shore of Long Islan
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Beautiful Bodies by Kimberly Rae Miller

The Recovering
Intoxication and Its Aftermath
By Leslie Jamison
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, May 29th 2018.
The Recovering by Leslie JamisonAccording to the Yale English Department website, Leslie Jamison gained her PhD in May 2016 with her dissertation titled "The Recovered: Addiction and Sincerity in 20th Century American Literature." According to Wikipedia, she was born in 1983, she is the daughter of two academics and is the niece of famed writer Kay Redfield Jamison. She has spent a good deal of time at the Iowa Writers Workshop. She is now an assistant professor in English at Columbia University, is married to another writer, and now lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn. She describes herself as a "nice middle class white girl." T
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Becoming Myself
A Psychiatrist's Memoir
By Irvin D. Yalom
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, May 22nd 2018.
In this memoir, famed existential psychotherapist Irvin Yalom sets out his past and his intellectual history. He starts with his home life living in Washington DC, where his immigrant parents ran a supermarket. While they maintained a traditional Jewish life, Yalom was always resistant to religious thought and often explains his antipathy towards religion. But his parents were always very supportive of his education, and he excelled as a student. He went on to become a psychiatrist and he specialized in group psychotherapy. He writes both about his professional life, his marriage to scholar Ma
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Becoming Myself by Irvin D. Yalom

 
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