Metapsychology Online Reviews - Volume 21, Number 50
Featured Reviews
Bipolar, Not So Much by Chris Aiken and James PhelpsBipolar, Not So Much
by Chris Aiken and James Phelps
Tue, Oct 31st 2017
Sometimes Amazing Things Happen by Elizabeth FordSometimes Amazing Things Happen
by Elizabeth Ford
Fri, Oct 13th 2017
Wisdom Won from Illness by Jonathan Lear Wisdom Won from Illness
by Jonathan Lear
Fri, Oct 13th 2017
Beyond Melancholy
Sadness and Selfhood in Renaissance England
By Erin Sullivan
Review by Jennifer Radden, Ph.D. on Tue, Dec 12th 2017.
Beyond Melancholy by Erin SullivanBeyond Melancholy finds a place within the burgeoning sub-field of Humanities scholarship that takes emotions as its subject matter. Senior Lecturer and Fellow at the University of Birmingham's Shakespeare Institute, Erin Sullivan describes herself as an emotions historian, although literary emotions historian might be a helpful qualification for the readers of this review, since many (although by no means all) of her closely analyzed texts are works of fiction, drama and poetry, and a professed aim of the book is to show how with their distinctive power to create new realities through their r
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The Infidel and the Professor
David Hume, Adam Smith, and the Friendship That Shaped Modern Thought
By Dennis C. Rasmussen
Review by John Mullen, Ph.D. on Tue, Dec 12th 2017.
The Infidel and the Professor by Dennis C. RasmussenThis is a story of a friendship between two great geniuses of the eighteenth century. Adam Smith is widely known as the systematizer of the “laws” of the free market and defender of free trade. He is an icon of economic conservatism. David Hume is less widely known, except within philosophical circles. During Hume’s lifetime, he died in 1776 the same year Smith published his Wealth of Nations, Hume was more widely known than Smith. He was famous for his monumental History of England and infamous for his philosophical critiques of the common rationales provided for belief in r
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He Counts Their Tears
By Mary Ann D'Alto
Review by Karl Pfeifer, PhD on Tue, Dec 12th 2017.
He Counts Their Tears by Mary Ann D'AltoMary Ann D'Alto's débuting novel, He Counts Their Tears, is the story of Aaron Stein, a psychopath. Aaron uses what he calls "The Method", a game of control and power over unsuspecting women whom he selects as prey with great care, "knowing from the first that he was grooming [them] to be discarded and, in the process, emotionally and psychologically destroyed" (p. 6). An interesting and uncommon aspect of Aaron's process of charming women is his use of covert hypnosis to gain control so that they do not realize that they are being bamboozled into believing they have found their soulmat
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Odd Child Out
By Gilly Macmillan
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Dec 12th 2017.
Odd Child Out by Gilly MacmillanGilly Macmillan's Odd Child Out combines a detective story with two very earnest themes: dying children and racism towards immigrants. Detective Jim Clemo works in Bristol, a city in Southwest UK. He is given the case of a 15 year old boy, Noah, who is near death because he fell in a canal, and he already had a very serious illness. He was with his best friend Adbi, who is a Somali refugee, whose family moved to Bristol before he was born. The police want to know what happened but Abdi won't say. He refuses to speak. Through telling the story from the perspectives of most of the main character
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The Patch
The People, Pipelines, and Politics of the Oil Sands
By Chris Turner
Review by Bob Lane on Tue, Dec 12th 2017.
The Patch by Chris Turner Want to learn about the complexities of the extraction of oil from the underground bitumen deposits in northern Alberta? Have a concern about climate change? Interested in engineering advances in extraction methods? Care about ducks? Do oil spills give you pause? Will temperatures rise another 2℃ in the next 20 years? Ever think about where the gasoline you put in your automobile comes from? Does alternative energy sources excite you? Read this book. Publisher's description: Bestselling author Chris Turner brings readers onto the streets of Fort McMurray, showing the myriad ways the o
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Turtles All the Way Down
By John Green
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Dec 5th 2017.
Turtles All the Way Down by John GreenAll the press about John Green's latest YA novel Turtles All the Way Down emphasizes the theme of mental illness, and interviews with Green have focused on how the obsessive compulsive disorder of the main character, Aza, reflects his own OCD. But the novel is as much about the loss of a parent and about how great wealth alters one's life and makes it difficult to assess the motives of other people who are friendly. It is Davis Pickett who lives in great wealth, but his father Russell has gone missing. Aza goes to the same school as Davis, and she used to have a crush on him. Her best friend D
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Mental Health in Asia and the Pacific
Historical and Cultural Perspectives
By Harry Minas and Milton Lewis (Editors)
Review by Sharon Packer, MD on Tue, Dec 5th 2017.
Mental Health in Asia and the Pacific by Harry Minas and Milton Lewis (Editors)This is a unique book, because of both its content and its approach. It goes without saying that it is an important book for mental health practitioners and administrators situated in Asia and the Pacific Islands and for medical historians and cultural anthropologists specializing in those regions. It is an equally fascinating read—although not necessarily a directly relevant read--for psychiatrists and other mental health practitioners who are interested in Asia yet are based far away from Asia, as is the case with this reviewer. For American psychiatrists and healthcare administrator
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Can't You Hear Them?
The Science and Significance of Hearing Voices
By Simon McCarthy-Jones
Review by Mark Welch on Tue, Dec 5th 2017.
Can't You Hear Them? by Simon McCarthy-JonesHearing voices is not new. Nor, as McCarthy-Jones makes clear, as rare, as pathological or as ominous as may be commonly believed. McCarthy-Jones himself has had the experience, as have luminaries such as the writers Samuel Johnson, his friend William Cowper, and Virginia Woolf, the mountaineer Joe Simpson, the mathematician Francoise Chatelin and the musician Brian Wilson – and all of them, as does everyone, have had a deeply personal relationship with it. The underlying purpose of this sensitive, engaging, compassionate and enlightening book is to challenge the dominant and somewhat
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The Nature Fix
Why Nature Makes us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative
By Florence Williams
Review by Hennie Weiss on Tue, Dec 5th 2017.
The Nature Fix by Florence Williams In The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative, Florence Williams, discusses the importance of being out in nature, of walking and of being in the wilderness (alone or with others). Williams takes us through a journey of visiting many different countries, including Finland, Japan, Korea and various places throughout the United States. For Williams, there was a big change in her life when moving from Colorado to New York, which included less time in nature, more noise and more distractions. Williams explains that more people than ever before now live in cities,&n
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The State of Affairs
Rethinking Infidelity
By Esther Perel
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Nov 28th 2017.
The State of Affairs by Esther PerelEsther Perel takes an inquisitive and thoughtful approach to infidelity. She has a recent TED talk that summarizes many of her main themes. As a therapist, she has specialized in couples and individuals who are struggling with problems arising from infidelity.  She takes a subtle approach aiming to understand why people have affairs even when they are in love with their partners or when they are taking huge risks by doing so. People even lie about affairs when they have open relationships. Her book explores many aspects of infidelity in a non-judgmental way, and although the chapters have
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Outsider Art and Art Therapy
Shared Histories, Current Issues, and Future Identities
By Rachel Cohen
Review by Mark Welch on Tue, Nov 28th 2017.
Outsider Art and Art Therapy by Rachel Cohen What is (Outsider) Art, and what is Art Therapy, and where, if at all, do they intersect, overlap, coexist, sit in opposition or relate to each other? These are some of the questions that Cohen, an Art Therapist herself, looks to explore in this slim, but welcome volume. She suggests that they have shared histories, common problems of definition, and perhaps a mutually reflexive future, and in this she sees deeper currents of social construction and identity issues. Outsider Art, a term that first emerged in 1972 in direct reference to what Dubuffet called art brut, has usually been taken to
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Locking Up Our Own
Crime and Punishment in Black America
By James Forman Jr.
Review by Kaolin on Tue, Nov 28th 2017.
Locking Up Our Own by James Forman Jr.Locking Up Our Own is written by James Forman, Jr. and as the title suggests it is about the criminal justice system since 1910 thru 2016 and the affects of white supremacist themes controlling it, plus, the impact of racism in the police departments in both black and white communities; the influx of drugs cementing ones prejudices and distilling the myth of black solidarity within the world of highly effectual yet moderately powerful black clergy in WA., DC. in the 60's along with the price black men and the nation are facing regarding civil rights today. It is important to know that drug ad
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Early Exposures
A Photographic Memoir
By Bill Pennell
Review by Bob Lane on Tue, Nov 28th 2017.
Early Exposures by Bill Pennell  A memoir (from French: mémoire: memoria, meaning memory or reminiscence) is a collection of memories that an individual writes about moments or events, both public or private, that took place in the subject's life. The assertions made in the work are understood to be factual. CHARACTERISTICS OF THE MEMOIR. The voice is first person singular: I, not we, one, or you. The memoirist is the main character, the someone for readers to be within the story. The writer's thoughts and feelings, reactions and reflections, are revealed. Many will remember one of th
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A Fragile Life
Accepting Our Vulnerability
By Todd May
Review by Finn Janning, PhD on Tue, Nov 21st 2017.
A Fragile Life by Todd MayThe main argument in Todd May's book, A Fragile Life: Accepting Our Vulnerability, is that most of us would be unwilling to choose an invulnerable life even if we were given the opportunity. Of course, we all understand that in reality, it is impossible to live a life where we avoid all sources of pain. In his book, the author proposes that we should accept our vulnerability and acknowledge that the suffering is part of life. The question is: How do we develop that acceptance within ourselves? It is doubtful whether May is correct in his assumptions regarding what most people might choose or
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Going Into Town
A Love Letter to New York
By Roz Chast
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Nov 21st 2017.
Going Into Town by Roz ChastGoing into Town is a guide to moving to Manhattan and learning to enjoy it, although it would be equally good for tourists. It is a revised version of a booklet Chast created when her daughter moved to NYC for college. Chast wanted to explain the basics of how to get around town, what to do for entertainment, and how to appreciate the beauty of the city. It has a mixture of personal anecdote and facts about the city, illustrated in Chast's familiar style, along with a few photographs. It is entertaining and charming in its quirkiness. Chast highlights the standpipes which populate the city and
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