Tag Archives: psychology

Are You My Mother?: A Comic Drama by Alison Bechdel

Are you my mother alison bechdelRating: ★★★☆☆

As an autobiographical sequel to Fun Home, Bechdel’s approach to analysing her relationship with her mother couldn’t be more different to how she examined the one with her father. If you have a problem with dry psychoanalysis, then you may struggle with Are You My Mother?

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Memento Mori by Jonathan Nolan

Memento MoriRating:

Memento Mori is the free short story that inspired Nolan’s brother, Christopher Nolan (Inception, Interstellar) to make mind-bending film Memento starring Guy Pearce.

Earl is a permanent patient at a hospital since he was injured in the attack which saw Earl’s wife raped and killed. His injury has caused permanent brain damage meaning he’s unable to convert short-term into long-term memories. Earl remembers everything before the damage, but nothing after, so his memory is only ten minutes long.

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Can I Change Your Mind?: The Craft and Art of Persuasive Writing by Lindsay Camp

Can I Change Your Mind?: The Craft and Art of Persuasive WritingRating:

Answer: Not really.

I’ve wanted to brush up on my persuasive writings skills for a while as it’s something I’ve been using quite a bit in recent months and I always failed that part of my English language studies at school. I picked two books: this one (obtained from the library) and Persuasive Writing: How to Harness the Power of Words (which I bought). I’m glad I made this decision.

Can I Change Your Mind? isn’t as useful as I was hoping, whereas quickly flicking through my other choice saw me finding some very clear and immediately handy tips. Of the four sections, the first is the worst. The layout and formatting didn’t help which is notably better in Persuasive Writing. Camp rambles so I skimmed, proving him right that ‘the reader never reads from start to finish’, but helpfully, someone who’d read this book previously had underlined the key points in pencil. Defacing a book is wrong, but in this case, acceptable.

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Review: Ligeia by Edgar Allan Poe

Ligeia
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The madness of grief personified.

Passionately in love with Ligeia, his wife, until she dies and he becomes obsessed with every detail of her memory. Later marrying Lady Rowena because he secretly likes that she ‘shunned’ him at every turn and that she’s Ligeia’s opposite in every way, but despite this he hates her because she’s not the one he loved most.

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What Reading Means to Me, Part II: The Teenage Years

Continuing on from What Reading Means to Me, Part I: The Early Years.

Secondary school (age 11-16) introduced me to the classics. Well, tragic classics:

The last was a stark lesson in the importance of treating people well, how you’d want to be treated, to avoid being responsible for harmful repercussions of my actions experienced by others.

But it wasn’t until I studied for my A-levels (age 16-18), after choosing English Literature and Psychology, that reading really changed me.

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One and Only: The Freedom of Having an Only Child, and the Joy of Being One by Lauren Sandler

One and Only: The Freedom of Having an Only Child, and the Joy of Being OneRating:

This is propaganda, pure and simple. Designed by the parent of an only child to make herself feel better about her choice by collecting countless positive (quantitative) studies to dismiss the negative only-child (qualitative) experiences of Sandler’s friends and other interviewees, while debunking supposed stereotypes and replacing them with reasons why everyone should do as the Chinese do: have only one child, and in the process, shaming those that have more. In the end, I feel this is a biased, self-congratulatory piece of questionable value, of which I learned nothing new.

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Rape is Rape: How Denial, Distortion, and Victim Blaming are Fueling a Hidden Acquaintance Rape Crisis by Jody Raphael

Rape is Rape: How Denial, Distortion, and Victim Blaming are Fueling a Hidden Acquaintance Rape Crisis
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“Vulnerability scares us, very deeply. To feel your body being forcibly penetrated by another human being is an experience of such utter, terrifying vulnerability and helplessness that most people recoil from the thought. To overcome that resistance, to actually identify with the experience and the person who suffers it, is an act of profound empathy, and considerable courage. Most people, frankly, are not up to the challenge; certainly not without a lot of support…” ~ David Lisak

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Review: How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr

How to Save a Life
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What I thought of when I saw the title: The Fray’s How to Save A Life.

Reactive Attachment Disorder is an incredibly sad thing because it’s the hallmark of neglect, parental and otherwise, sometimes leading to ‘excessive familiarity with relative strangers’ to fulfil the all-consuming need for love, attention and affection they’ve never received. Witnessing Mandy forming unhealthy attachments to people she’s just met is excruciating. Once you hear her story, you just want to pull her away from her old life and insecurities, give her a hug, take her home and take care of her and her unborn baby.

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Divergent (Divergent #1) by Veronica Roth

Divergent (Divergent, #1)Rating:

Barring the first couple of pages I read this from start to finish in one session. It was that compelling. There were a few short pauses when I was worried about slushy romantic moments but I needn’t have worried.

The heroine was strong, brave and despite what she first thought, selfless. Tris is by no means perfect, she grows and struggles with her nature and identity throughout as she learns to face both her own and other people’s fears.

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