A moving, passionate personal narrative of trauma and healing.

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THE LIGHT IN HIS SOUL

LESSONS FROM MY BROTHER'S SCHIZOPHRENIA

A woman reconnects with her schizophrenic brother when he reappears in her life after a 20-year absence in this debut memoir, written with novelist Jones (Choke Hold, 2017, etc.).

Call Richmond Jr. disappeared from Greenville, Georgia, just days after his mother died from an overdose in 1977. He’d recently dropped out of Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina, and was thought of as a “cheerful but disturbed and misunderstood young man”; at the time, he’d not yet been diagnosed with schizophrenia. For the next two decades, he became a drifter, hopping trains and making rare contact with his family members, never divulging his whereabouts. His 1997 return to Greenville was as abrupt as his departure had been. Schaper, Call’s sister, received a telephone call from her mother-in-law, who told her that Call was on her doorstep. The memoir recalls the author’s efforts to help her sibling, including taking him to the barber and clipping his “half inch too long” toenails, making sure that he had the right medical care, and getting him set up in an apartment. Schaper filmed each of her meetings with him, which she incorporated into an award-winning 2012 documentary, A Sister’s Call. In this book, she reflects on those events and charts her own search for catharsis. Her writing expresses her unfaltering, sisterly devotion and her will to understand her brother: “I decided I had to be his voice until he was able to find his own.” The author addresses the stigma of mental illness head-on, even detailing how her own family was wary of Call. At the same time, she’s open about growing up with an abusive father who suffered from PTSD and a mother who, like Call, experienced auditory hallucinations, which she tried to suppress with alcohol. The book also addresses the hereditary component of mental illness when Schaper’s daughter is diagnosed with an eating disorder. The power of this memoir lies in the way it demystifies mental health issues by examining them from a deeply personal perspective. Individuals and families facing similar experiences will certainly find solace from it. (Includes black-and-white family photos.)

A moving, passionate personal narrative of trauma and healing.

Pub Date: April 28, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-9992771-4-0

Page Count: 232

Publisher: Grey Hawk Productions Inc.

Review Posted Online: May 9, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 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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