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AFTER THE DIAGNOSIS: A GUIDE FOR LIVING

THE TRANSFORMATIVE POWER OF LOVE DURING SICKNESS, DYING, AND DEATH

An expansive, richly sympathetic book about the last and least-understood phase of life.

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A faith-infused guide for the end of life.

Lynch, who oversees a large Catholic parish and has officiated at over 1,500 funerals, has extensive firsthand knowledge of the peculiar stresses and revelations that come to the dying and their loved ones. With co-author Mariconda, he’s written a manual on this strangest of times in anyone’s life—after a terminal diagnosis but before death itself. He attempts to assure his readers that the depth of their religious faith is irrelevant since an amorphous spiritual connection binds us all—“a natural thrust toward wholeness, rooted in our oneness with all that is, was, and will be.” But these assurances notwithstanding, the book abounds with Judeo-Christian assumptions and is probably best suited for that readership (“Regardless of spiritual practice or lack of it we are all, at the center of our being, one with God,” for example, will hardly do Hindus—to say nothing of atheists—much good). But even so, Lynch and Mariconda’s broad-based, narrative-driven work ranges from absorbing accounts of encounters with dying men and women (some of these encounters are tough reading; the dying can be their own harshest critics) to engaging meditations on the human reluctance to think about death. The string of personal anecdotes well-illustrates the variety of reactions people have when encountering the final months of their lives; these stories form a vital counterpoint to the authors’ more philosophical thoughts on the subjects of terminal illness, dying, death, and the meaning of life, which is never far from the main current of the book: “We’re all, in varying degrees, handicapped by the rubble that litters the inner fields of our hearts.”

An expansive, richly sympathetic book about the last and least-understood phase of life.

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2018

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KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON

THE OSAGE MURDERS AND THE BIRTH OF THE FBI

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

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Greed, depravity, and serial murder in 1920s Oklahoma.

During that time, enrolled members of the Osage Indian nation were among the wealthiest people per capita in the world. The rich oil fields beneath their reservation brought millions of dollars into the tribe annually, distributed to tribal members holding "headrights" that could not be bought or sold but only inherited. This vast wealth attracted the attention of unscrupulous whites who found ways to divert it to themselves by marrying Osage women or by having Osage declared legally incompetent so the whites could fleece them through the administration of their estates. For some, however, these deceptive tactics were not enough, and a plague of violent death—by shooting, poison, orchestrated automobile accident, and bombing—began to decimate the Osage in what they came to call the "Reign of Terror." Corrupt and incompetent law enforcement and judicial systems ensured that the perpetrators were never found or punished until the young J. Edgar Hoover saw cracking these cases as a means of burnishing the reputation of the newly professionalized FBI. Bestselling New Yorker staff writer Grann (The Devil and Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Madness, and Obsession, 2010, etc.) follows Special Agent Tom White and his assistants as they track the killers of one extended Osage family through a closed local culture of greed, bigotry, and lies in pursuit of protection for the survivors and justice for the dead. But he doesn't stop there; relying almost entirely on primary and unpublished sources, the author goes on to expose a web of conspiracy and corruption that extended far wider than even the FBI ever suspected. This page-turner surges forward with the pacing of a true-crime thriller, elevated by Grann's crisp and evocative prose and enhanced by dozens of period photographs.

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

Pub Date: April 18, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-385-53424-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Feb. 1, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2017

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THINKING, FAST AND SLOW

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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