Metapsychology Online Reviews - Volume 24, Number 22
Featured Reviews
Drop the Disorder! by Jo WatsonDrop the Disorder!
by Jo Watson
Tue, Dec 17th 2019
Motivational Yoga by Nancy GersteinMotivational Yoga
by Nancy Gerstein
Tue, Dec 17th 2019
When Animals Speak by Eva MeijerWhen Animals Speak
by Eva Meijer
Tue, Dec 17th 2019
The Brain Health Book
Using the Power of Neuroscience to Improve Your Life
By John Randolph
Review by Roy Sugarman, Ph.D. on Tue, Dec 31st 2019.
The Brain Health Book by John RandolphThe issue of a body-brain dichotomy has its origins in people such as Descartes, who spoke of us thinking and therefore existing, and ended somewhat with the reign of the Damasio's a husband and wife team who in writing of Descartes' "error" showed that we feel, and therefore know we exist. The brain of course, as opposed to mind, is a physical entity continuous with our bodily organs and deeply committed to all of us, including, as we now know, the gut biome with its serotonergic and melatonergic pathways, along with the enteric branch of the ANS and so on. In short, the brain is dependent on
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Boys & Sex
Young Men on Hookups, Love, Porn, Consent, and Navigating the New Masculinity
By Peggy Orenstein
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Dec 31st 2019.
Boys & Sex by Peggy OrensteinPeggy Orenstein wrote Girls & Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape in 2016. Her new book, Boys & Sex: Young Men on Hookups, Love, Porn, Consent, and Navigating the New Masculinity, is similar in its approach. She interviews many young men mainly in their late teens and early twenties, some experts and pundits, and she cites a fair amount of scholarly research. She combines her results into a very readable social analysis of the sexual lives of young men in the USA. Nearly all of her work up to now has been about girls and young women, with a little about pa
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Planning, Time, and Self-Governance
Essays in Practical Rationality
By Michael E. Bratman
Review by Peter Stone on Tue, Dec 31st 2019.
Planning, Time, and Self-Governance by Michael E. BratmanIn the early 1980s, Michael Bratman introduced his planning theory of intention, a major contribution to the philosophy of action. This theory was the focus of Bratman's first book, Intentions, Plans, and Practical Reasons (1987). Bratman's theory has generated an enormous debate over the ensuing three decades, a debate to which Bratman himself contributed in a series of publications, including three further books—Faces of Intention: Selected Essays on Agency and Intention (1999), Structures of Agency: Essays (2007), and Shared Agency: A Planning Theory
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Pilates Anatomy
Second Edition
By Rael Isacowitz and Karen Clippinger
Review by Beth Cholette, Ph.D. on Tue, Dec 31st 2019.
Pilates Anatomy by Rael Isacowitz and Karen ClippingerPilates Anatomy, Second Edition is an updated version of the manual originally released by authors Rael Isacowtiz and Karen Clippinger back in 2011.  Isacowitz is a Pilates instructor who trained under several "first generation" Pilates teachers (i.e., those who studied directly under Joseph Pilates himself) and founded Body Arts and Science International (BASI) Pilates.  Co-author Karen Clippinger has a master's degree in exercise science and is a professor emerita at California State University-Long Beach.  As noted in the Preface, together Isacowitz and Clippinger h
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Let's Call It a Doomsday
By Katie Henry
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Dec 31st 2019.
Let's Call It a Doomsday by Katie HenrySince we are destroying the earth, it is reasonable to prepare for the end of life as we know it. But when one girl acts on this, she is labelled as mentally ill. The heroine and narrator of this YA novel is Ellis Kimball. She is a high school junior living with her parents in San Francisco. She is extremely smart but she also worries a great deal, especially about the future of the world. She goes to a therapist to work on her anxiety issues, but she is not ready to accept that she is the one with the problem. She is convinced that the world is heading towards apocalypse, but she is not sure
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The Arc of Love
How Our Romantic Lives Change over Time
By Aaron Ben-Ze ev
Review by Michael Maidan on Tue, Dec 24th 2019.
The Arc of Love by Aaron Ben-Ze evProfessor Ben Ze'ev, emeritus professor of Philosophy at the University of Haifa in Israel, works in the interface between Philosophy and Psychology, and for the last twenty years has published several studies on emotions in general and love in particular.  The Arc of Love studies love and romantic relationships from the point of view of time.  Indeed, time in two dimensions. Time as an internal dimension in a relationship between two individuals, as well as the historical time in which –at least in our individualistic Western societies– our relationships are immersed.&nb
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The Case against Education
Why the Education System Is a Waste of Time and Money
By Bryan Caplan
Review by Peter Murphy on Tue, Dec 24th 2019.
The Case against Education by Bryan CaplanAbout 75% of Americans favor more spending on education; about 5% favor less. In this thorough, hard-hitting book, Bryan Caplan, a professor of economics at George Mason University, makes the case that if we care about the social good, we should try to grow the 5%. The reason is simple: there is now a wide variety of evidence that the American education system fails to substantially build human capital.  For many readers, the claim that our education system fails in this way, and Caplan's evidence for it, will stand out the most on first read. It is a subsidiary claim though in the book'
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The Smiling Man
A Novel
By Joseph Knox
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Dec 24th 2019.
The Smiling Man by Joseph KnoxAidan Waits is a Manchester detective, working on the night shift with his partner Peter Sutcliffe. Together they make a dour pair, investigating the sordid side of the city. There is a businessman who is pressuring a student to have sex with him. There are random trash can fires downtown. A body is discovered in odd circumstances -- the dead man's face is distorted into a smile, and all identifying information has been stripped from his clothes. Aidan has recently been thrown under suspicion in an incident related to drug use, and his boss is out to get him. In flashbacks we learn about his e
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When She Returned
By Lucinda Berry
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Dec 24th 2019.
When She Returned by Lucinda BerrySome novels are gripping reads, even though you hate them all the way through. Lucinda Berry's When She Returned has won a good amount of praise, and has over 300 reviews with an average of over 4 starts at Amazon. The mystery of the plot is gradually revealed, and the reader is forced to engage with the multiple characters. I was glad to finish it, concluding that it is really a loathsome work.  The story is about a woman who returns to her family after disappearing for 11 years. They assumed that she had been kidnapped. It turns out that she was with a cult. Her husband after many year
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Drop the Disorder!
Challenging the culture of psychiatric diagnosis
By Jo Watson
Review by Michelle Joy, MD on Tue, Dec 17th 2019.
Drop the Disorder! by Jo WatsonI write this as a psychiatrist of two minds.  But, first, the Drop the Disorder!… This book is a collection of essays inspired by the event – and eventually series of events – called "A Disorder for Everyone!" (AD4E) hosted by authors Jo Watson (book editor) and Dr. Lucy Johnstone in the United Kingdom.  The introduction of the book explains these events as having 2 primary goals: 1) challenging the culture of diagnosing psychiatric problems as disorders and 2) reinterpreting mental health symptoms as distress embedded in social context.  The book itself is a
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Motivational Yoga
100 Lessons for Strength, Energy, and Transformation
By Nancy Gerstein
Review by Beth Cholette, Ph.D. on Tue, Dec 17th 2019.
Motivational Yoga by Nancy GersteinAuthor Nancy Gerstein is a yoga teacher and entrepreneur who previously released the book Yoga’s Guiding Light, a manual providing 74 brief yoga class lesson plans.  Gertstein’s current release, Motivational Yoga, is also aimed at yoga teachers.  In this new work, Gerstein again offers lesson plans for yoga teachers, this time providing 100 different options of varying lengths plus five additional plans intended as outlines for yoga workshops. The lesson plans in this book are organized into a total of 17 chapters.  Early chapters cover yoga practice basics, includi
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When Animals Speak
Toward an Interspecies Democracy
By Eva Meijer
Review by Josh Milburn on Tue, Dec 17th 2019.
When Animals Speak by Eva MeijerAnimals speak, if only we would learn to listen – and learning to listen to them is a crucial first step to taking them seriously in democratic politics. That's the the claim of Eva Meijer's When Animals Speak: Towards an Interspecies Democracy, published in 2019 as the first instalment of Animals in Context, a promising new book series from NYU Press. If we take a Wittgensteinian approach to language, Meijer argues, we can see that the practices of animals can constitute languages. And, Meijer claims, shared languages mean shared worlds – whether that's a world shared by a troop o
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Discovering New York's Beautiful Places
By Siobhan Ferguson
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Dec 17th 2019.
prettycitynewyork by Siobhan FergusonThis is a 256 page book with lots of pretty photographs of New York City, with pictures from the prettycitiesnewyork Instragram account, taken by many different photographers. It is a 7.5" x 10 hardcover. The beginning of the book has some advice about how to take striking and attractive pictures, and the rest of it is a guide to some parts of New York. It would certainly be churlish to object to appealing images, but then, I am a bit of a downer. Let me explain my ambivalence. I spend a lot of time in NYC and I can't imagine giving this book to anyone who lives there. Yet those same people wi
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The Cry of the Flesh
By Havi Carel
Review by Alexander Westenberg on Tue, Dec 10th 2019.
Illness by Havi Carel The original edition of Carel's book Illness: The Cry of the Flesh, published in 2008, made something of a splash. It was a raw expression-cum-examination of the experience of a life-changing, possibly life-ending, illness. Carel had received her diagnosis only two years before the publication of the first edition, and it showed in the uncertain ruminations of the book.  The reader was, at times, given the impression that what was being read were personal diaries, with all the feelings of reading that entails of reading something not meant for others. Perhaps because of this very persona
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A Novel
By Candice Carty-Williams
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Dec 10th 2019.
Queenie by Candice Carty-WilliamsQueenie is a remarkable novel in many ways. The narrator, Queenie, is written with such a clear voice and vivid character that she fully engages the reader. Her friends and family are equally sharply drawn. The book is often very funny, making me laugh out loud often while listening to the unabridged audiobook performed with great energy and conviction by Shvorne Marks. But it is also a challenging work because Queenie reaches such a level of self-defeat that reading about how she lets herself down is frustrating. But ultimately this is an uplifting story that is particularly striking in givin
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