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A compassionate book that provides intriguing insights and useful strategies.

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Registered dietician Ellis offers a self-help guide for people with unhealthy eating patterns.

“Food Cuddler,” “Food Whisperer,” and “Procrastin-Eater” are just a few of the author’s creatively named categories in this book, which aims to help readers analyze and improve their dysfunctional relationships with food. Eating should be a simple process, she asserts; the main reason to eat is hunger, and fullness is the cue to stop. What Ellis terms “Emotion-Triggered Eating” is often subconscious, however. Early humans lived in a time of food scarcity, she notes, and anxiety was once a function of survival, making people hardwired to overeat and self-soothe with food. Ellis mixes biological and psychological concepts with empathy. Using anonymized composites of her own clients, she offers relatable studies that show how past and present family dynamics can play a role in disordered eating: “Kavitha,” a “Less-Structured Eater,” is a busy mother who never gives herself time to eat, making her a “professional grazer.” Widowed Annamaria, a “Food Cuddler,” uses comfort food to give her “a big hug from within,” numbing her grief; as a child, she was encouraged to eat in times of sadness or disappointment. Ellis’ writing is brisk and engaging, and the book contains a quiz to gain awareness of one’s eating patterns. Advice includes keeping a food diary, using a hunger/fullness meter, engaging in mindful eating practices, and keeping a record of one’s moods. Ellis also includes comforting affirmations for each category, always emphasizing that an important part of healing is self-love. After readers narrow down their own eating styles, they would do well to read sections for other categories as well, as there’s much wisdom to be found in these pages.

A compassionate book that provides intriguing insights and useful strategies.

Pub Date: Jan. 9, 2024

ISBN: 9781636982090

Page Count: 226

Publisher: Morgan James Publishing

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2024

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

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. 3, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

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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 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 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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