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Welcome to MHN's unique book review site Metapsychology. We feature in-depth reviews of a wide range of books written by our reviewers from many backgrounds and perspectives. We update our front page frequently and add more than forty new reviews each month. Our editor is Christian Perring, PhD. To contact him, use the form available here.

Can't remember our URL? Access our reviews directly via 'metapsychology.net'

Newly released in paperback:

Why Is It Always About You? Saving Yourself from the Narcissists in Your Life
by Sandy Hotchkiss

Please Don't Kill the Freshman: A Memoir
by Zoe Trope

One Pill Makes You Smaller: A Novel
by Lisa Dierbeck

Natural Beauty: Farber Nudes
by Robert Farber

Better Than Well: American Medicine Meets the American Dream
by Carl Elliott

Furnishing the Mind: Concepts and Their Perceptual Basis
by Jesse Prinz

Orgasms: How to Have Them, Give Them, and Keep Them Coming
by Lou Paget


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Interested in becoming a book reviewer for Metapsychology? Currently, we especially need thoughtful reviewers for books in teen fiction, self-help and popular psychology. To apply, write to our editor.



In Association with Amazon.com

Feb 5th 2005 : Our Most Recent Reviews
See all this month's new reviews!

Featured Reviews
The Making of Dr. Phil: The Straight-Talking True Story of Everyone's Favorite Therapist
Emotion, Evolution, And Rationality
Virtual Addiction: Help for Netheads, Cyberfreaks, and Those Who Love Them

Walking a Literary Labyrinth
A Spirituality of Reading
By Nancy M. Malone
Review by Tony O'Brien, M. Phil. on Tue, Feb 1st 2005.

Walking a Literary Labyrinth by Nancy M. Malone If you love reading, you'll love this book. Nancy Malone, a Roman Catholic nun in the Ursuline order, has written an account of how our identities are shaped by the books we read, and of how reading serves the spiritual need for reflection, wonder, and communion. Walking a Literary Labyrinth is part biography, part memoir, part essay, as Malone explores her own reading and spiritual life, and her personal crises, including spiritual doubt, tuberculosis, and addiction to alcohol. Malone likens reading to prayer and meditation. Anyone with experience of either will recognize the experi

Click here to read the full review!


Psychiatric Slavery

By Thomas Szasz
Review by Kevin T. Keith on Tue, Feb 1st 2005.

Thomas Szasz has been the scourge of psychiatry for decades. His criticisms are now well-known: that psychiatry is an unscientific profession which enforces social conformity for the aggrandizement of the psychicatric professionals and the political/social structure that privileges them. Motivated by libertarian politics, Szasz insists that psychiatry must not lend itself to the state as a tool of coercion or punishment; he opposes psychiatric evaluations of criminal defendants and the involuntary detention of psychiatric patients for either the protection of society or their own good.

Click here to read the full review!

Psychiatric Slavery by Thomas Szasz

The Mummy at the Dining Room Table
Eminent Therapists Reveal Their Most Unusual Cases
By Jeffrey Kottler and Jon Carlson
Review by Patricia Ferguson, Psy.D. on Tue, Feb 1st 2005.

The Mummy at the Dining Room Table by Jeffrey Kottler and Jon Carlson As indicated in the title, this book is the presentation of clinical examples 32 therapists found illustrative and interesting to the point of uniqueness. Although many of the examples are unique, I think in some cases the titles are more unique than the examples. But the book is still worth reading, very much so, since it includes therapists who are all renowned for their theories. As a writer and editor myself, I think this book does a fine job of following the adage given to writers: "Show, don't tell." The book is written following interviews by Kottler and Carlson with

Click here to read the full review!


Varieties of Meaning
The 2002 Jean Nicod Lectures
By Ruth Garrett Millikan
Review by Nick Trakakis on Tue, Feb 1st 2005.

This is the sixth installment in MIT's series of Jean Nicod Lectures, a series that is based on the lectures delivered annually in Paris by a leading philosopher of mind or philosophically oriented cognitive scientist, with past participants including Jerry Fodor, Donald Davidson, John Searle, and Daniel Dennett.  Millikan's lectures were presented in 2002 and address the problem: "What are the varieties of meaning? And what do they have in common, so as to be treated together under one cover?" (ix).  Millikan's answer, briefly put, is that there are various forms of meaning

Click here to read the full review!

Varieties of Meaning by Ruth Garrett Millikan

The Ultimate Guide to Sex and Disability
For All of Us Who Live with Disabilities, Chronic Pain and Illness
By Miriam Kaufman, Cory Silverberg, and Fran Odette
Review by David Wolf, M.A. on Tue, Feb 1st 2005.

The Ultimate Guide to Sex and Disability by Miriam Kaufman, Cory Silverberg, and Fran Odette Something about the initial plunge into this subject (and this text) is disquieting, even distasteful. The authors wisely deal with this phenomenon early: society as a whole doesn't want to acknowledge, much less grant, the active sexuality of disabled people. So, Chapter One is "Myths about Disability and Sexuality" and Myth #1, you guessed right, is "People living with disabilities and chronic illnesses are not sexual." And the other myths are closely related to this theme--disabled people can't have "real" sex, are not desirable, are pathetic choices

Click here to read the full review!


Thinking and Seeing
Visual Metacognition in Adults and Children
By Daniel T. Levin (Editor)
Review by Maura Pilotti, Ph.D. on Tue, Feb 1st 2005.

What advances scientific knowledge? One of the answers to this important question is embedded in Thinking and Seeing: Visual Metacognition in adults and children, which is a heterogeneous collection of essays on how children and adults understand visual processing and its products.  In this book, progress in scientific knowledge is illustrated by the work of researchers with diverse areas of expertise who come together to address an issue, ponder its many facets, and propose possible avenues of empirical and theoretical exploration. The result is nothing less than compelling. The b

Click here to read the full review!

Thinking and Seeing by Daniel T. Levin (Editor)

Family First
Your Step-By-Step Plan for Creating a Phenomenal Family
By Phillip C. McGraw
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D. on Tue, Feb 1st 2005.

From the opening paragraphs of Phil McGraw's new audiobook Family First, he seems to identify with a conservative agenda.  He says that the most important institution in life is the family, and he sides with families against the modern media with their destructive messages and influences.  He occasionally refers to his religious beliefs, talks about families being blessed, and assumes that the prototype of the family is a mother, father, and children.  He makes little reference to children who are raised by their grandmothers, aunts, or other extended family, let alone non-traditional

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Descartes' Cogito
Saved from the Great Shipwreck
By Husain Sarkar
Review by Kamuran Godelek, Ph.D. on Tue, Feb 1st 2005.

Famously, Descartes holds that the occurrence of thought guarantees the existence of a thinker. As illustrated early in the second Meditation, the purported insight has it that though the existence of my body is subject to doubt, the existence of me -- qua thinker -- looks to withstand even the most hyperbolic of doubts. The very attempt to doubt one's own existence is an occurrence of thought; in turn, the occurrence of thought requires a thinker. Descartes regards the cogito as the "first and most certain of all to occur to anyone who philosophizes in an orderly way" (Prin

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Descartes' Cogito by Husain Sarkar

Feeding Your Child
The Brazelton Way
By T. Berry Brazleton and Joshua Sparrow
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D. on Tue, Feb 1st 2005.

Feeding Your Child by T. Berry Brazleton and Joshua Sparrow There must be hundreds of books on looking after babies and infants, and probably many of them address feeding.  Most people never actually read all the parenting books they have, and so it is helpful to have books that are easy to read.  Brazleton and Sparrow's Feeding contains plenty of clear advice and information of parents of young children.  It is divided into 3 chapters, the first on the importance of feeding, the second on how to go about normal feeding, and the third on how to deal with feeding problems.  It is a short book with about 170 pages, and it is simple to browse th

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The Act of Thinking

By Derek Melser
Review by Max Hocutt, Ph.D. on Tue, Feb 1st 2005.

Although The Act of Thinking is a rewrite of a Ph.D. thesis, for Massey University of New Zealand, it is no academic cliché but the work of a mature, sophisticated and profound thinker who may just have written the most original and important book in philosophy of mind to have appeared in over a decade. The title of Melser's book encapsulates its thesis, which is that thinking is not a process, either biological or mental, but an action, which we have to learn from others how to perform.  The text of the book consists of an extended attempt to explain what this means and why the a

Click here to read the full review!

The Act of Thinking by Derek Melser

David Sedaris Live at Carnegie Hall

By David Sedaris
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D. on Tue, Feb 1st 2005.

David Sedaris Live at Carnegie Hall by David Sedaris This live performance was recorded in October, 2002.  David Sedaris reads his work to an adoring audience and he does a great job.  Three of the stories are also on his recent book Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim (reviewed in Metapsychology December 2004) and the other pieces are much shorter: one introduction of a conversation between Ira Glass and Terry Gross, two short articles from Esquire Magazine, and a question and answer session with the audience.  What Sedaris does so well is show the eccentricities and foibles of his family and his relationship with his boyfriend, m

Click here to read the full review!



Metapsychology's Most Read Reviews, Dec 31st 2004 - Jan 30th 2005
1. Naked Women
The Female Nude in Photography from 1850 to the Present Day

by Philip Braham
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D. on Dec 11th 2003 [2]
2. Naked Happy Girls
by Andrew Einhorn
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D. on Dec 11th 2003 [3]
3. Small Favors
Girly Porno Comic Collection: Book One

by Colleen Coover
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D. on Apr 7th 2003 [1]
4. Erotic Morality
The Role of Touch in Moral Agency

by Linda Holler
Review by Brent Dean Robbins, Ph.D. on Aug 25th 2003 [4]
5. Anjos Proibidos
by Fabio Cabral
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D. on Apr 14th 2001 [6]
6. Monster
by Walter Dean Myers
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D. on Oct 22nd 2002 [20]
7. Prozac Nation
Young and Depressed in America

by Elizabeth Wurtzel
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D. on May 13th 2002 [5]
8. Depression Is a Choice
Winning the Fight Without Drugs

by A. B. Curtiss
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D. on Oct 21st 2001 [11]
9. Talking Back to Prozac
What Doctors Won't Tell You About Today's Most Controversial Drug

by Peter R. Breggin, M.D. & Ginger Ross Breggin
Review by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on Feb 9th 1997 [7]
10. Breathing Underwater
by Alex Flinn
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D. on Mar 6th 2002 [8]
11. Potatoes Not Prozac
A Natural Seven-Step Dietary Plan to Control Your Cravings and Lose Weight, Recognize How Foods Affect the Way You Feel, and Stabilize the Level of Sugar in Your Blood

by Kathleen DesMaisons, PhD
Review by Margo McPhillips on Feb 13th 2000 [16]
12. Natural Beauty
Farber Nudes

by Robert Farber
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D. on Mar 26th 2002 [39]
13. Lord of the Flies
Read by the author

by William Golding
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D. on Oct 23rd 2003 [36]
14. Natural Beauties
by Eolake Stobblehouse
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D. on Oct 25th 2004 [31]
15. Passing for Normal
A Memoir of Compulsion

by Amy S. Wilensky
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D. on Mar 14th 2001 [10]
16. When Words Are Not Enough
The Women's Prescription for Depression and Anxiety

by Valerie Davis Raskin, M.D.
Review by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on Feb 25th 2001 [9]
17. An Unquiet Mind
A Memoir of Moods and Madness

by Kay Redfield Jamison
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D. on Nov 3rd 1999 [12]
18. Just Checking
Scenes from the Life of an Obsessive-Compulsive

by Emily Colas
Review by LG on Feb 12th 1999 [24]
19. Girl, Interrupted
by Susanna Kaysen
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D. on Dec 1st 1999 [32]
20. Unholy Ghost
Writers on Depression

by Nell Casey (editor)
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D. on Jul 1st 2001 [15]
21. Essential Psychopharmacology of Depression and Bipolar Disorder
by Stephen M. Stahl
Review by Caroline Mondoux, R.N., BGB on Aug 7th 2001 [14]
22. Active Treatment of Depression
by Richard O'Connor
Review by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on Feb 25th 2001 [18]
23. Overcoming Depression
by Demitri and Janice Papolos
Review by CAP on Jul 8th 1997 [13]
24. Undoing Depression
What Therapy Doesn't Teach You and Medication Can't Give You

by Richard O'Connor
Review by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on Feb 4th 1999 [17]
25. Getting Control
Overcoming Your Obsessions and Compulsions

by Lee Baer
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D. on Oct 13th 2002 [23]
26. Demons of the Modern World
by Malcolm McGrath
Review by Su Terry on Aug 12th 2002 [19]
27. History of Suicide
Voluntary Death in Western Culture

by Georges Minois
Review by Kathryn Walker on Feb 3rd 2001 [33]
28. True Believer
by Virginia Euwer Wolff
Review by Liz Bass on Apr 28th 2002 [21]
29. Understanding the Borderline Mother
Helping Her Children Transcend the Intense, Unpredictable, and Volatile Relationship

by Christine Ann Lawson
Review by Heather C. Liston on Oct 16th 2001 [30]
30. Swing Low
A Life

by Miriam Toews
Review by Marion Torchia on Dec 9th 2002 [26]
31. Becoming Anna
The Autobiography of a Sixteen-Year-Old

by Anna J. Michener
Review by Molly Mitchell on Feb 1st 2000 [22]
32. Why Is It Always About You?
Saving Yourself from the Narcissists in Your Life

by Sandy Hotchkiss
Review by David M. Wolf, M.A. on Jul 2nd 2003 [35]
33. Toxic Psychiatry
Drugs and Electroconvulsive Therapy: The Truth and the Better Alternatives

by Peter R. Breggin, M.D.
Review by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on Mar 12th 1997 [25]
34. I Hate You-Don't Leave Me
Understanding the Borderline Personality

by Jerold J. Kriesman and Hal Straus
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D. on Nov 1st 1999 [28]
35. Little Chicago
by Adam Rapp
Review by Su Terry on Dec 16th 2002 [29]
36. Richard Rorty
Volume III

by Alan Malachowski (Editor)
Review by Richard Matthews, Ph.D. on Apr 9th 2003 [43]
37. Stop Walking on Eggshells
Taking Your Life Back When Someone You Care About Has Borderline Personality Disorder

by Paul Mason, M.S., C.P.C. and Randi Kreger
Review by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on Apr 12th 1998 [37]
38. Mood Genes
Hunting for Origins of Mania and Depression

by Samuel H. Barondes
Review by Daniel R. Wilson, MD, PhD on Oct 23rd 2001 [38]
39. Jock Sturges
New Work 1996-2000

by Jock Sturges
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D. on Jun 1st 2001 [41]
40. When Jeff Comes Home
by Catherine Atkins
Review by Su Terry on Apr 7th 2003 [34]
41. Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key
by Jack Gantos
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D. on Apr 26th 2002 [40]
42. Understanding Depression
What We Know and What You Can Do About It

by J. Raymond DePaulo Jr., M.D. and Leslie Alan Horvitz
Review by Diana Pederson on Dec 28th 2002 [27]
43. The Feeling Good Handbook
by David Burns
Review by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on Apr 7th 1997 [47]
44. I am Not Sick I Don't Need Help!
by Xavier Amador
Review by Lisa Perkins on Jun 2nd 2002 [48]
45. Joey Pigza Loses Control
by Jack Gantos
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D. on May 7th 2002 [51]
46. Prozac and the New Antidepressants
What You Need to Know About Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Luvox, Wellbutrin, Effexor, Serzone, Vestra, Celexa, St. John's Wort and Others

by William S. Appleton
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D. on Jul 1st 2001 [42]
47. Calm Energy
How People Regulate Mood with Food and Exercise

by Robert E. Thayer
Review by Liz Bass on Jul 3rd 2002 [57]
48. Kim: Empty Inside
The Diary of an Anonymous Teenager

by Beatrice Sparks
Review by Su Terry on Nov 5th 2002 [52]
49. Skin Game
A Memoir

by Caroline Kettlewell
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D. on Sep 1st 2000 [45]
50. Let Me Make It Good
A Chronicle of My Life With Borderline Personality Disorder

by Jane Wanklin
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D. on Aug 19th 1998 [44]
51. Night Falls Fast
Understanding Suicide

by Kay Redfield Jamison
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D. on Oct 1st 1999 [65]
52. The Noonday Demon
An Atlas of Depression

by Andrew Solomon
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D. on Aug 1st 2001 [53]
53. But I Love Him
Protecting Your Teen Daughter from Controlling, Abusive Dating Relationships

by Jill Murray
Review by Patricia Ferguson, Ph.D. on Apr 7th 2003 [62]
54. Speaking of Sadness
Depression, Disconnection, and the Meanings of Illness

by David Karp
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D. on Jul 19th 1998 [49]
55. Psychotherapy for Personality Disorders
by John G. Gunderson and Glen O. Gabbard (Editors)
Review by Shara L. Kronmal M.D. Ph.D. on Jan 18th 2001 [46]
56. Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Depression
by Zindel Segal, Mark Williams and John Teasdale
Review by Peter B. Raabe Ph.D. on May 9th 2002 [54]
57. Everything In Its Place
My Trials and Triumphs with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

by Marc Summers with Eric Hollander
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D. on May 21st 2000 [58]
58. Girl Walking Backwards
A Novel

by Bett Williams
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D. on Feb 14th 2001 [59]
59. Wasted
A Memoir of Anorexia and Bulimia

by Marya Hornbacher
Review by Molly Mitchell, MA, Psy.D. on Sep 1st 1999 [60]
60. Lost in the Mirror
An inside look at borderline personality disorder

by Richard A. Moskovitz
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D. on Apr 1st 1998 [56]
61. The Clinical and Forensic Assessment of Psychopathy
A Practitioner's Guide

by Carl B. Gacono (editor)
Review by Susan Dwyer, Ph.D. on Jul 12th 2002 [66]
62. Prozac Diary
by Lauren Slater
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D. on Apr 16th 2000 [63]
63. German Idealism and the Jew
The Inner Anti-Semitism of Philosophy and German Jewish Responses

by Michael Mack
Review by Wendy C. Hamblet, Ph.D. on Dec 8th 2004 [50]
64. Natural Healing for Depression
Solutions from the World's Great Health Traditions and Practitioners

by James Strohecker and Nancy Shaw Strohecker (editors)
Review by Diane Rockenstein on Mar 14th 2000 [61]
65. Conquering the Beast Within
How I Fought Depression and Won. . .and How You Can, Too

by Cait Irwin
Review by Lyz Rudolf on Apr 17th 2000 [64]
66. Dysthymia and the Spectrum of Chronic Depressions
by Hagop S. Akiskal and Giovanni B. Cassano
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D. on Jun 21st 1998 [55]
67. Undercurrents
A Life Beneath the Surface

by Martha Manning
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D. on Jul 1st 2000 [67]
68. Malignant Sadness
The Anatomy of Depression

by Lewis Wolpert
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D. on Feb 23rd 2000 [74]
69. Stick Figure
A Diary of My Former Self

by Lori Gottlieb
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D. on May 23rd 2002 [70]
70. The Anti-Depressant Fact Book
What Your Doctor Won't Tell You About Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Celexa, and Luvox

by Peter R. Breggin
Review by Duncan Double on Dec 8th 2001 [0]
71. Through the Looking Glass
Women and Borderline Personality Disorder

by Dana Becker
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D. on Jan 1st 1998 [0]
72. The Cruelty of Depression
On Melancholy

by Jacques Hassoun
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D. on Oct 1st 1998 [69]
73. Emotion, Evolution, And Rationality
by Dylan Evans, Pierre Cruse (Editors)
Review by Manuel Bremer on Jan 6th 2005 [0]
74. Emotional Claustrophobia
Getting over Your Fear of Being Engulfed by People or Situations

by Aphrodite Matsakis
Review by Margo McPhillips on Jul 1st 2002 [72]
75. The Beast
A Journey Through Depression

by Tracy Thompson
Review by Christian Perring, Ph.D. on Oct 23rd 1999 [68]
[Previous ranking is in brackets]

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