by Mary Pipher ‧ RELEASE DATE: Jan. 15, 2019
Thoughtful, wise, and humane.
A distinguished clinical psychologist and bestselling author examines the personal and social issues that aging women face in modern American society.
For women in transition between late-middle and old age, life becomes more difficult. Loss, especially through death, becomes the new norm as women see their bodies and minds devalued by society. To help women navigate these late-life “turns in the river,” Pipher (The Green Boat: Reviving Ourselves in our Capsized Culture, 2013, etc.) offers practical wisdom based on interviews, research, and her own experiences as a therapist and aging woman. In the first section, the author highlights “the challenges of the journey,” which she illustrates with real-life anecdotes. As Pipher writes, TV, “movies, fashion, and advertising rarely reflect the needs and circumstances of older women.” Women who formerly felt attractive experience a “crisis of confidence,” and many women find their bodies becoming more limited due to illness or age. In the second section, Pipher focuses on “travel skills” women need to manage this part of the journey. The ability to accommodate change is key, as is creating a community of individuals with whom to communicate and deflect the isolation that too often comes with age. Reframing “situations in positive ways, being thankful, and giving to others” are also skills that can help ease the journey forward. In the third section, the author emphasizes the importance of relationships. Female friendships, in particular, can bring comfort and pleasure, and for those whose marriages have survived into old age, partners and families can become safe havens. But the most important relationship an aging woman has will always be with herself. As Pipher notes in the final section, one of the greatest gifts of old age is the loss of “false selves” carried earlier in the journey and the emergence of a whole and authentic self. Eloquently compassionate and sure to appeal to late-life women, Pipher’s book draws from a deep well of insight that is both refreshing and spiritually aware.Thoughtful, wise, and humane.
Pub Date: Jan. 15, 2019
Page Count: 272
Review Posted Online: Oct. 1, 2018
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2018
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by Daniel Kahneman ‧ RELEASE DATE: Nov. 1, 2011
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
Page Count: 512
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Review Posted Online: Sept. 3, 2011
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011
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by Bonnie Tsui ‧ RELEASE DATE: April 14, 2020
An absorbing, wide-ranging story of humans’ relationship with the water.
A study of swimming as sport, survival method, basis for community, and route to physical and mental well-being.
For Bay Area writer Tsui (American Chinatown: A People's History of Five Neighborhoods, 2009), swimming is in her blood. As she recounts, her parents met in a Hong Kong swimming pool, and she often visited the beach as a child and competed on a swim team in high school. Midway through the engaging narrative, the author explains how she rejoined the team at age 40, just as her 6-year-old was signing up for the first time. Chronicling her interviews with scientists and swimmers alike, Tsui notes the many health benefits of swimming, some of which are mental. Swimmers often achieve the “flow” state and get their best ideas while in the water. Her travels took her from the California coast, where she dove for abalone and swam from Alcatraz back to San Francisco, to Tokyo, where she heard about the “samurai swimming” martial arts tradition. In Iceland, she met Guðlaugur Friðþórsson, a local celebrity who, in 1984, survived six hours in a winter sea after his fishing vessel capsized, earning him the nickname “the human seal.” Although humans are generally adapted to life on land, the author discovered that some have extra advantages in the water. The Bajau people of Indonesia, for instance, can do 10-minute free dives while hunting because their spleens are 50% larger than average. For most, though, it’s simply a matter of practice. Tsui discussed swimming with Dara Torres, who became the oldest Olympic swimmer at age 41, and swam with Kim Chambers, one of the few people to complete the daunting Oceans Seven marathon swim challenge. Drawing on personal experience, history, biology, and social science, the author conveys the appeal of “an unflinching giving-over to an element” and makes a convincing case for broader access to swimming education (372,000 people still drown annually).An absorbing, wide-ranging story of humans’ relationship with the water.
Pub Date: April 14, 2020
Page Count: 288
Review Posted Online: Jan. 4, 2020
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020
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