An approachable and informative book about the grief process.

CROSSING THE BRIDGE OF DESOLATION

THE BEREAVEMENT JOURNEY

Grey draws on more than 20 years of working with grieving families in a book that aims to help readers learn how to cope with the death of a loved one.

The author, a bereavement coordinator and hospice chaplain, notes early on in this book that grief comes in all shapes and sizes; its causes and effects can vary, depending on different factors, such as the age at which one experiences death, or the length of the relationship that one had with the deceased. This book aims to create a complete approach to healing by helping readers define and identify their grief, and then offering them different steps to succeed at crossing that “bridge of desolation [that] is shrouded in mists of uncertainty.” The inclusion of relevant, relatable stories of Grey’s clients’ grief journeys is a highlight; for example, he presents the story of Juanita, whose mother died when Juanita was relatively young, and of Joan, who lost her life partner after 50 years of being together. The book reveals how the two women’s different experiences shaped their reactions; because of her early loss, Juanita was unable to allow herself to emotionally invest in other relationships because she feared further loss, whereas Joan, despite her emotional struggles, saw fewer social effects. Interestingly, Juanita found it difficult to show up to grief group counseling, while Joan attended two different counseling groups in attempt to maintain her emotional health. By showing grief through the lives of real people, Grey makes it easy for readers to relate to and identify with specific concepts and apply them to their own lives. Similarly, when he adds excerpts from well-known novels (the works of Leo Tolstoy; Charlotte’s Web; the Winnie-the-Pooh stories) to explain grief-related topics, such as fragmentation anxiety, and other psychological obstacles, it makes the ideas more digestible and the lessons easier to grasp.

An approachable and informative book about the grief process.

Pub Date: April 9, 2021

ISBN: 979-8734695197

Page Count: 281

Publisher: Independently Published

Review Posted Online: Nov. 12, 2021

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If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

THE 48 LAWS OF POWER

The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our...

THINKING, FAST AND SLOW

A psychologist and Nobel Prize winner summarizes and synthesizes the recent decades of research on intuition and systematic thinking.

The author of several scholarly texts, Kahneman (Emeritus Psychology and Public Affairs/Princeton Univ.) now offers general readers not just the findings of psychological research but also a better understanding of how research questions arise and how scholars systematically frame and answer them. He begins with the distinction between System 1 and System 2 mental operations, the former referring to quick, automatic thought, the latter to more effortful, overt thinking. We rely heavily, writes, on System 1, resorting to the higher-energy System 2 only when we need or want to. Kahneman continually refers to System 2 as “lazy”: We don’t want to think rigorously about something. The author then explores the nuances of our two-system minds, showing how they perform in various situations. Psychological experiments have repeatedly revealed that our intuitions are generally wrong, that our assessments are based on biases and that our System 1 hates doubt and despises ambiguity. Kahneman largely avoids jargon; when he does use some (“heuristics,” for example), he argues that such terms really ought to join our everyday vocabulary. He reviews many fundamental concepts in psychology and statistics (regression to the mean, the narrative fallacy, the optimistic bias), showing how they relate to his overall concerns about how we think and why we make the decisions that we do. Some of the later chapters (dealing with risk-taking and statistics and probabilities) are denser than others (some readers may resent such demands on System 2!), but the passages that deal with the economic and political implications of the research are gripping.

Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our minds.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-374-27563-1

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Sept. 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

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