Tag Archives: Psychology

Room by Emma Donoghue

Synopsis: Jack has never left Room, where he has lived with his mother since the day he was born 5 years ago, but now it might be time for them to attempt an escape into a world that Jack can’t even imagine. Review: I’m late in the game reading Room, and I confess I resisted it for a long time because the quotes I read seemed just too precious. What finally piqued my curiosity was learning that the novel depicted extended breastfeeding from the child’s…

Read More »

The Hoarder in You by Dr. Robin Zasio

Synopsis: Subtitled: How to Live a Happier, Healthier, Uncluttered Life. Review: The Hoarder in You is a self help book for people who struggle with clutter and hoarding. I’m a very very organized person and find hoarding fascinating, and Dr. Zasio is one of my favorite experts on A&E’s Hoarders. I actually got some good counseling tips that will help in my volunteer work! Share on Facebook

Read More »

The Secret Lives of Hoarders: True Stories of Tackling Extreme Clutter by Matt Paxton and Phaedra Hise

Synopsis: A&E’s “Extreme Cleaning Expert” Matt Paxton shares all he’s learned in the years he’s been working with hoarders. Review: I puffy heart Matt Paxton. Not only does he tackle cleaning jobs nobody else can handle, he genuinely cares about the people he works with. I loved The Secret Lives of Hoarders and hope he writes another one! Oh, and check out his podcast, Five Decisions Away. It’s only just started but already I love it. Share on Facebook

Read More »

This Glittering World by T. Greenwood

Synopsis: After the body of a badly beaten Navajo man is discovered in the snow outside his home, Ben Bailey takes the investigation into his own hands, with devastating consequences for his own disordered life. Review: With every book of hers I read, I become convinced that T. Greenwood is my favorite contemporary author. This Glittering World is one of her best yet, achieving the same level of intensity and feeling as her second novel (and my favorite) Nearer than the Sky. Protagonist Ben Bailey’s…

Read More »

Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things by Randy O. Frost and Gail Steketee

Synopsis: The psychology of hoarding in its different manifestations. Review: Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things is eminently readable, a prime example of the best of what popular psychology has to offer. Great case studies, analysis that goes deep but never wonky, and well-chosen anecdotes bring the multi-faceted issue of hoarding to life. What struck me the most was the insight that hoarders are people who see more beauty and complexity in the world than most people, sort of like aesthetic savants. They…

Read More »

The Whole World by Emily Winslow

Synopsis: Three Cambridge students working with the blind daughter of a famous novelist have their lives disrupted when one of them disappears. Review: In her other life, Emily Winslow is a well-respected crafter of puzzles, and that expertise shines through in the intricate plotting of The Whole World. Through the use of multiple points-of-view, Winslow creates a layered mystery where it’s nearly impossible to figure out what really happened–but when you learn the truth, it all makes perfect sense. I loved the Cambridge setting and…

Read More »

The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova

Synopsis: A psychiatrist takes on a recalcitrant painter who attempted to stab a painting in the National Gallery, and his fruitless attempt to get the man to talk lead the doctor to investigate the artist’s life and loves–and obsessions. Review: There’s a solidly compelling mystery at the heart of The Swan Thieves, Elizabeth Kostova’s latest jaunt through history and memory. Nothing supernatural here, but it still has an otherworldy air about it that makes the experience of reading the book haunting and delicious. For the…

Read More »

The Unnamed by Joshua Ferris

Synopsis: A successful lawyer is stricken by a mysterious illness that makes him walk, walk, walk, unable to slow down or stop until his body collapses from exhaustion miles from home. Review: The Unnamed is soaked in misery, both the mysterious and the more pedestrian. Tim’s walking fits threaten his job, his marriage, his security, and even his physical integrity, and he’s powerless to stop. Author Joshua Ferris wisely avoids using Tim’s condition as a literal metaphor, as easy as that might be. If anything,…

Read More »

The Addict by Michael Stein

Synopsis: One year in the treatment of a Vicodin addict, as told by the internist who treated her with medication. Review: Dr. Michael Stein is an internist specializing in prescribing a drug that blocks the effect of painkillers on a patient. In The Addict, subtitled One Patient, One Doctor, One Year, Stein recounts his journey treating Lucy, a promising young woman whose life has been stunted by an addiction to prescription medication. Lucy is meant to be an Everywoman; a college graduate, she’s a far…

Read More »