Metapsychology Online Reviews - Volume 22, Number 16
 
Featured Reviews
Relax, It's Just Sex by Leslie SpurrRelax, It's Just Sex
by Leslie Spurr
Tue, Mar 13th 2018
Mind by Ted HonderichMind
by Ted Honderich
Tue, Mar 13th 2018
The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Empathy by Heidi Maibom (Editor)The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Empathy
by Heidi Maibom (Editor)
Tue, Mar 6th 2018
 
On Being an Introvert or Highly Sensitive Person
A guide to boundaries, joy, and meaning
By Ilse Sand
Review by Beth Cholette, Ph.D. on Tue, Apr 17th 2018.
On Being an Introvert or Highly Sensitive Person by Ilse Sand Author Ilse Sand, from Denmark, is a former parish priest who currently works as a supervisor, speaker, trainer, and therapist.  In 2010, she wrote the best-selling book Highly Sensitive People in an Insensitive World: How to Create a Happy Life.  In her preface to the current volume, Sand explains that her first book led her to hear about the challenges others face, to provide advice, and ultimately, to gain new personal insights, all of which form the foundation for her current work, On Being an Introvert or Highly Sensitive Person. Sand opens with a brief overview of the developm
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When My Heart Joins the Thousand
By A. J. Steiger
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Apr 17th 2018.
When My Heart Joins the Thousand by A. J. SteigerWhen My Heart Joins the Thousand is a YA novel about a 17 year old girl Alvie Fitz who has Asperger's and has had a very troubled past. She lives on her own, earning a living by working at a local small zoo. She has no friends and no family, so she is very isolated, but it doesn't bother her. She loves animals and in her spare time she reads and learns about science. But she sees a boy at the local park throw away his phone, and she contacts him. She and Stanley get on well, and text a lot. It turns out that he too has no family, and he has many medical problems. He is also a loner, although h
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White Houses
By Amy Bloom
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Apr 17th 2018.
White Houses by Amy BloomAmy Bloom's novel imagines a romance between first lady Eleanor Roosevelt and journalist Lorena Hickok. This relationship has been hinted at by a non-fiction book by Susan Quinn, Eleanor and Hick: The Love Affair That Shaped a First Lady, published in 2016. Most of the interest of the book is in whether it could be true, but that wears thin after a bit. Bloom makes Hickok the narrator, and she is the more interesting of the two main characters, coming from a poor family out west, and now living on Long Island as an old woman looking back on her life. Her own story is dramatic, and the book wou
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Philosophizing Madness from Nietzsche to Derrida
By Angelos Evangelou
Review by Guilel Treiber on Tue, Apr 10th 2018.
 Philosophizing Madness from Nietzsche to Derrida by Angelos EvangelouThe DSM-5 defines a mental disorder as "a syndrome characterized by clinically significant disturbance in an individual cognition, emotion regulation, or behavior that reflects a dysfunction in the psychological, biological, or developmental processes underlying mental functioning." The DSM does not emphasize the word reflect. It seems, as many words in this impressive work of intellectual and medical ingenuity, to be taken evidently, one would say almost naturally. However, one must stop and reflect on the role the word plays within the structure of the definition itself. What is reflected? I
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Psychotherapy East and West
By Alan Watts
Review by Gabrielle Sinnott on Tue, Apr 10th 2018.
Psychotherapy East and West by Alan WattsPsychotherapy East & West by Philosopher Alan Watts was first introduced to us in 1961 and has been recently reissued by New World Library. In this seminal book, Watts provides an extensive analysis on the Western practice of psychotherapy and Eastern philosophies of Buddhism, Vedanta, Yoga and Taoism in regards to liberation and the results of social institutions on the self. Watts begins in Psychotherapy and Liberation by outright stating the similarities between psychotherapy and eastern philosophies: "Psychotherapy and ways of liberation have two things in common: first, the transform
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I Am I Am I Am
Seventeen Brushes with Death
By Maggie O'Farrell
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Apr 10th 2018.
I Am I Am I Am by Maggie O'FarrellO'Farrell has established herself as an impressive novelist, with 7 novels since her debut After You'd Gone in 2000. I Am I Am I Am is an unconventional memoir, recounting 17 times that she or her daughter came close to dying. Few of us have ever come so close to death as O'Farrell, and of course one wonders whether it can be just bad luck, whether she makes bad choices, or whether she is in some way cursed. It turns out that several of these encounters with death are related to impairments she acquired in what was probably her first near-death experience, as a child with a form of encephaliti
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Flat Lake in Winter
By Joseph T. Klempner
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Apr 10th 2018.
Flat Lake in Winter by Joseph T. KlempnerOriginally published in 1999, Flat Lake in Winter has recently been released as an unabridged audiobook performed by George Newbern. Klempner's novel is a well-crafted mystery with strong psychological themes set in the small towns of the Adirondacks in NY State.  It is written in the style of a true crime non-fiction account, adding lots of detail about the characters, as if collected from interviews and evidence collecting.  There are only a few moments where we enter into the minds of the characters and get details about private lives that make it clear from the internal narrative
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Self-Determination: The Ethics of Action
Volume 1
By Thomas Pink
Review by Ludwig Jaskolla on Tue, Apr 3rd 2018.
Self-Determination: The Ethics of Action by Thomas Pink "Self-Determination" is the first volume of a two-volume book project by Thomas Pink addressing broadly construed topics evolving around action theory, the philosophy of personal identity, the metaphysics of free will, and ethics. The central question can be summed up the following way: Is there a special power wherein action can be adequately described in a robust, irreducible way as a form of self-determination – as a power to determine alternative outcomes? I think that this a very interesting book – a worthwhile read for philosophers, and maybe psychologists, working at the
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Arguments about Abortion
Personhood, Morality, and Law
By Kate Greasley
Review by Bob Lane on Tue, Apr 3rd 2018.
Arguments about Abortion by Kate GreasleyAbortion. In philosophy it raises many questions around several important issues including: When does life begin? What is a person? Is there a significant difference between biology and morality? How can thought experiments help us sort out these problems, or in what ways are innocent violin players and fetuses the same? How useful are thought experiments? Can we learn anything useful through them or are they just weird? Is abortion killing? Is all killing wrong? What do we learn about abortion from Judith Jarvis Thomson and her famous thought experiment? ["You wake up in the morning and find
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Portraits of Resilience
By Daniel Jackson
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Apr 3rd 2018.
Portraits of Resilience by Daniel JacksonDaniel Jackson is a professor of computer science at MIT. Following a number of suicides at MIT he engaged in a project to document the struggle of people dealing with the pressures of life, especially when added to the strain of meeting the standards of a demanding university. The resulting book, Portraits of Resilience, features the stories of about 23 people accompanied by photos of them and the MIT campus. There are undergraduates, graduate students, staff, and faculty, from a variety of backgrounds. The photographs are monochrome. They are conventional in style, with subjects looking at t
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Good and Gone
By Megan Frazer Blakemore
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Apr 3rd 2018.
Good and Gone by Megan Frazer BlakemoreGood and Gone is a YA novel narrated by high school girl Lexi, who goes on a road trip with her brother Carlie, a college student who has just broken up with his long term girlfriend, and their friend  Zack. Both Lexi and Carlie are coping with their own pain, he with depression and her with the way that her last boyfriend used her and dumped her. The excuse for the road trip is a search for a pop star who has walked away from his tour bus and disappeared. The three young people go looking for him, but really they just want to get away for some time. Along the way they meet all sorts of p
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Discrimination against the Mentally Ill
By Monica Joseph
Review by Biswanath Swain on Tue, Mar 27th 2018.
Discrimination against the Mentally Ill by Monica JosephA holistic effort has been made in the book titled "Discrimination against the mentally ill" by Monica A. Joseph to contribute to increased awareness and sensitivity toward discrimination against the persons with mental illness and to lay out some of the potential ways to prevent this form of discrimination. Mental illness, as discussed by the author, has historically been called by "a variety of different names – madness, insanity, lunacy …, unsoundness of mind, idiocy, and imbecility" (p.5). She further adds that the mental illness, as a concept, in the contemporary era "is most
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Sex, Lies, and Brain Scans
How fMRI reveals what really goes on in our minds
By Barbara J. Sahakian and‎ Julia Gottwald
Review by Alexandra Moraitis on Tue, Mar 27th 2018.
Sex, Lies, and Brain Scans by Barbara J. Sahakian and‎ Julia GottwaldSex, Lies, and Brain Scans is aimed at fostering public engagement, scientific engagement concerning the applications of fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) technologies. The applications appear to be predominantly within the realm of the criminal justice system, in a courtroom setting and extend to the vetting process of higher members of the judiciary echelons. (See Chapters Three and Four, 'A Racial Bias Hiding In Your Mind ?'  and  'The Perfect Lie Detector?) I won't deny this book has a sexy, and alluring title and it is probably what attracted me in the first instance
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Ways to Die in Glasgow
By Jay Stringer
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Mar 27th 2018.
Ways to Die in Glasgow by Jay StringerWays to Die in Glasgow is a mystery set in Glasgow, living up to all of the stereotypes of Glasgow being a crime-ridden city full of drunks. It starts out with two people coming to kill Mackie, but they end up killing the woman he is having sex with and his dog, and he manages to kill them. Then he is on the run, and he has people looking for him, including his therapist. Mackie has hallucinations due to his drinking, but he is coherent enough to tell his story, and he of often very funny. There are multiple narrators, performed by Napoleon Ryan and Heather Wilds on the unabridged audiobook. T
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Not My Shame
By T.O. Walker
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Mar 27th 2018.
Not My Shame by T.O. WalkerThis short monochrome graphic novel  doesn't so much tell a story as explore themes about the effects of sexual abuse of young people. Most pages are split into 4 panels, and have rather crudely drawn pictures showing a haunted child and abusive or passive adults.  There is writing too, expressing anger at parents and authorities who just allow abusers to do what they want. There are also images of self-harm and bottles of alcohol, with some words about the need to escape. Nearer the end of the book there are some statistics about the prevalence of sexual abuse and the low rates of r
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