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Review: “Predictably Irrational,” Dan Ariely

Pros: Fascinating, sometimes frightening look at irrational human behavior Cons: Kind of florid in places Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Visit DanAriely.com for more information.   We all like to believe that our choices are rational, that we’ve weighed our

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Link: “An Open Letter to You, A Bipolar”

Laura Paxton writes a lovely missive on the necessity for medication to treat bipolar disorder. She makes very important–and oft-missed–points about how long it can take to adjust to medication, how it can help rather than hinder creativity, and why

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"Waking Evil," Kylie Brant

Pros: Wonderful characters & mystery; fascinating legendry Cons: Identity of killer insufficiently foreshadowed; too many similarities between heroine of this book and heroine of last one Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Review book courtesy of Penguin Group.   Ramsey Clark

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"Waking Nightmare," Kylie Brant

Pros: Wonderful psych material; great characters; interesting mystery Cons: Identity of killer insufficiently foreshadowed Rating: 4 out of 5 Review book courtesy of Penguin Group.   There’s a serial rapist loose in Savannah, and detective Ryne Robel is determined to

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Retail Sadness

Okay, bunch o’ stuff today. But first: It’s really sad to see someone’s dream die. A couple of months ago I noticed that there was a new organic market opening near us. ‘Great!’ I thought. ‘We won’t have to go

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"The Torment of Others," Val McDermid

Pros: Fascinating mystery and characters; taut psychological thriller Cons: Doesn’t pull its grotesque punches Rating: 5 out of 5   A few years ago I discovered and fell absolutely in love with a British mystery TV series called ‘Wire in

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"The Five Secrets You Must Discover Before You Die," John Izzo Ph.D.

Pros: Insightful; tries to provide a practical guide to living well Cons: There is no simple way to apply this to your life Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Review book courtesy of Jane Wesman Public Relations, Inc.   John Izzo,

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Contagious emotions, anger, and empathy

I’m fascinated by psychology and psychiatry. There’s a very good reason for that: I have several psychiatric/psychological disorders, mostly inherited, but at least one developed: bipolar (genetic), ADD (probably genetic), PTSD (developed), and generalized anxiety (who knows?). These are things

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Fun with Psychology–and Cats

I find psychology fascinating. It can help us to find clever and unusual ways of solving intractable problems. Take the story of Sheriff Low, for example. [Defunct link removed.] The reoffense rate in his little town has significantly dropped since

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"The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Psychology, Third Edition," Joni E. Johnston, Psy.D.

Lest you think this book is all about mental illness, nothing could be further from the truth. Whether you want an overview on the nature vs. nurture debate, the brain vs. mind delineation, issues of memory, emotions, motivation, stress, self-concepts, personality, or the difference between “normal” and “abnormal” behavior, it’s covered in here.

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