MixedThe Wall Street Journal... an important course-correction to what is now received wisdom about trauma and how to treat it ... resilient individuals have a \'flexibility mindset,\' consisting of optimism, confidence in their ability to cope,and a \'challenge orientation\' ... All desirable qualities, to be sure, but in spite of Mr. Bonanno’s efforts to tie them to stories of people in adversity, the practical advice he is able to extract from them proves frothy, self-helpy and vague ... I do wish he had tackled the politics and economics of the trauma industry in more detail ... Of greater concern is that the author himself fails to distinguish events that are truly traumatic from difficult life problems (illness, loss, multiple stresses), calling upon \'resilience\' to link them all.
PositiveThe Times Literary Supplement (UK)O’Sullivan’s fair and detailed analysis of Havana Syndrome is itself worth the price of this book ... reveals the link between culture-bound disorders such as grisi siknis and their Western incarnations as resignation syndrome, mass anxiety contagions and other functional neurological disorders.
PanTimes Literary Supplement (UK)...for someone who spent so long marinating in therapy, Tate is curiously unreflective, lacking insight into what elements of the process were beneficial, and if so, why ... For nearly 300 pages that constitute the very definition of \'oversharing,\' Tate gives us an unfiltered recounting of everything she discussed in the group over five-odd years and what the others had to say about it ... In Group’s acknowledgements, she admits that her children “are going to be mortified” if they ever read the book. Not to worry; \'the good news is that I’ve given them ample material for their own therapy sessions.\' She thinks that’s funny.
PositiveThe Wall Street JournalFuhgeddaboudit, Mr. Cobb says, albeit in his own elegant British prose. Despite unarguable progress in methods of studying the brain, we still haven’t the foggiest idea of how the billions of neurons interact and connect to produce the brain’s activity ... The Idea of the Brain is an engrossing journey through the centuries, into the profound ways those metaphors shaped (and limited) scientists’ thinking about the mysterious organ in our skull ... The reader will come away from this illuminating history of thinking about the brain with a renewed appreciation of the task that remains ... Who knows what awaits, but in the final section Mr. Cobb offers glimmers of the dazzling possibilities ... Our ignorance, as all who labor in science know, is not a defeat but a challenge.
MixedThe Wall Street JournalTalking to Strangers is a great title, but it doesn’t describe the book Malcolm Gladwell has written ... contains such a varied assortment of stories and studies that it’s often hard to find the chocolate in the trail mix ... Mr. Gladwell is well known as an enjoyable raconteur but a somewhat lazy researcher, and both of those qualities are on display in this book ... inexcusably lazy thinking ... in this story and many of the others in Talking to Strangers, [Gladwell] leaves out what doesn’t fit.
PanThe Times Literary SupplementSteinke describes, in excruciating detail, the devastating emotional and physical toll of her menopausal changes ... I’ve no doubt that many women will find themselves in these evocative pages, written with a novelist’s eye and full of random notes and philosophic musings ... Steinke tells her \'new story\' through the lens of rage at sexism ... The patriarchy is a convenient villain ... But the patriarchy is not responsible for the fact that estrogen plummets ... Steinke conflates what needs to be done socially and economically to ensure that women in old age are awarded respect and \'move into leadership roles\' with what women can do physically to live longer and healthier lives ... I fall on the opposite side of the HRT issue [as Steinke] ... estrogen not only reduces the symptoms that torment so many women like Steinke but also reduces the likelihood of their developing heart disease, osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s ... Any woman inclined to read Steinke’s book should also read an antidote, Sandra Tsing Loh’s hilarious The Madwoman in the Volvo: My year of raging hormones (2014).
PanThe Wall Street JournalThe cover of The Inflamed Mind should immediately arouse a reader’s suspicions about the reliability of what lies within ... The idea that inflammation is involved in some mental illnesses is not an improbable hypothesis. But the evidence that it’s a significant cause of most kinds of depression comprises a relatively small part of Dr. Bullmore’s narrative, which is puffed to book length with chapters on how the immune system works, some history of depression from melancholia to major depressive disorder, speculation about the evolutionary benefits of depression, and an extended argument that body and mind are intricately related ... the truly radical breakthrough would be to step back from market-driven efforts to reduce the complexities of depression to single biomedical markers and instead to place its symptoms in social context. With depression and anxiety at epidemic levels, do we really want to measure everyone’s levels of cytokines and C-reactive protein or, rather, should we reduce the stressors they face and improve the quality and meaningfulness of their lives?
RaveThe Wall Street Journal...in this riveting, far-reaching book she brings the skills of a detective, cultural critic, historian, scientist and biographer to bear on the MBTI and the two women who invented and promoted it ... when Ms. Emre describes her book as being \'for the skeptics, the true believers, and everyone in between,\' she is absolutely right.