Informative, entertaining, and enlightening research and personal reflections on the multifaceted ways children change a...

TO HAVE AND TO HOLD

MOTHERHOOD, MARRIAGE, AND THE MODERN DILEMMA

An intriguing perspective on the permanent physical and emotional changes a woman experiences after giving birth.

There are countless books on the physical and emotional fluctuations women experience as they go through pregnancy, but far fewer delve into how those same transformations affect a woman long after the birth of her child. Millwood (Psychology/Saint Michael’s Coll.), a clinical psychologist who focuses on marital therapy and intimate relationships, expertly combines research and her personal story into a book that she wished she could have read during her struggles as a new mother. The author discusses how postpartum depression can affect a woman years after giving birth, how the stress caused by lack of sleep is prevalent yet not often discussed, and how the body keeps the memories of trauma embedded in its cells, which can resurface unexpectedly and at odd moments. Throughout, Millwood shares her own journey as a mother, from the elation of being pregnant to the reality that sometimes things got boring while nursing or running after her toddler, with no adult interaction for hours at a time. She explores the shame and guilt women feel for not being as happy as they anticipated with their new child, often exacerbated by the loss of personal freedom and spontaneity. Millwood also relates how having a child can affect women’s marriages and/or long-term relationships. Women are often upset at the apparent lack of sacrifices made by their significant others when comparing their before-child life to their post-child life—not to mention the burden placed on mothers to know everything about caring for a child, with the spouse in the role of helper instead of equal partner in all duties and responsibilities. Mothers who are struggling to accept their new role have a definite advocate in Millwood.

Informative, entertaining, and enlightening research and personal reflections on the multifaceted ways children change a person forever.

Pub Date: March 26, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06-283865-0

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Harper Wave

Review Posted Online: Nov. 20, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2018

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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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