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Skinny Dipping Into Books

I like the rain. I want to have a spring bookworming rain party full out with wellies—but not those Hunter Boots; absolutely not—, with yummy airy things like puffed pastries, meringues, mini fluffy cheese cakes, mousse dessert, macaroon, biscuits, crepe, and Earl Grey tea, definitely Earl Grey tea.  and Tillandsia. We'd have lots of "air plants". Lots! And We'd read, but not anything structured. We'd bring books, trade books, read out-loud, pass books around between sentences and paragraphs. We'd leave with books we hadn't discovered.


I like books like I like my Jazz; euphoric, dangerous, occasionally a bit manic, sorrowful, bleak, raging, mood-incongruent, mournful, unforgivingly ragged, symbolic in a quiet way, warm apple pie for the soul. Give me a Plath style. Yōko Ogawa, M. Roach,

Criteria: Not rated on likability of characters. Not objective. I like Moxie Soda; chances are you don't.

time spent in that before bed reading slot:

5-until blurry eye 4-Later than I intended, but I still kept to my extended, extended reading time 3-I really should have been to bed an hour ago  2-customary 30 minutes. 1-book. side table. eyes closed.

How are common themes handled?

5-With an aesthetic that repurposes everyday themes into something fresh. Think of Hole Celebrity Skin covered by Cat Power  4-there is a comfortable air of familiarly.
3-Deja Vu 2. No deviation from its mates  1. Devastatingly trite, redundant, and stale.

Where would you keep it post-reading?

5-Next to my bed.  4-it's the center piece of my favorite bookshelf 3. On my other favorite bookshelf, but it's a bit dusty over their 2-Great cheap bookends 1-It never made it out of the box marked 'moving'.

Emotional response-

5- Where is my teddy bear? Emotional-hangover 4- If I wasn't so emotionally stunted I'd cry.
3. Did James Cameron co-wrote this? Artfully contrived. 
2- calculative emotional manipulation. This was literally written by James Cameron.1- I…feel…..nothing.

Mechanics (plot structure, voice, presentation, word choice, sentence structure, characters, writing style, pacing, and consistency):

5-Chanel 4-Prada 3-J-Crew 2-Gap 1-Old Navy

Currently reading

The Complete Stories
Flannery O'Connor
I am No One You Know
Joyce Carol Oates
Unclean Jobs for Women and Girls
Alissa Nutting, Alissa Nutting

easy, brisk psych read

The Sociopath at the Breakfast Table: Recognizing and Dealing With Antisocial and Manipulative People - Jane McGregor,  Tim McGregor

netgalley arc

Right away, within the first page the authors notes that this won't be another book heavily invested in examining mental illness from the viewpoint of the DSM-V. This is a refreshing change, because most of these books are not person centered. Also valuable was the way it approached the subject. It was written in an ease not akin to a self-help book, nor a academic resource.

Unfortunately it seems that the bulk of studies around this group are done in areas of physical restriction, such as hospitals and jails, limiting our ability to fully canvas the amount of people afflicted by 'antisocial personality disorder'. This doesn't suggest a deficit in this work, because the authors' utilized what was available, but it is something to keep in mind.

You probably know someone who fits the category of sociopath, or at the very least know an individual who functions on his/her ability to manipulate beyond the degree that is socially expected and ethical. It isn't just their ability to manipulate, these individuals are hypnotic in their charming personalities allowing them to exact the full brunt of their chaotic patterns of social intercourse. Emotional abuse and aggression take there toll on individuals living, working, or socializing with 'sociopaths'. The sociopath's secret? their behaviors often mimic those commonly found in the general population—this presents its own diagnostic challenges, which are addressed in the book—, such as betrayal, outburst, disruptions in social intercourse, and lying. The difference, well that is easy… these individuals are on super-drive.

A nice chapter summary positioned at the front of the book informs the reader of the focus of each chapter. Case stories are offered throughout, which further the readers understanding of this complex topic.

It is framed through the lens of the impact of abuse and neglect, often functioning in a covert manner, on 'victims of sociopaths'. This presents an interesting angle of a topic that has received scant attention. The result is a more personable account of the disorder, with a primary focus on focusing on the human experience, rather than assaulting the reader with clinical information.  

However, there are consequences to embracing this point of view. Escaping from the traditional paradigm used to examine many mental health disorders has its positive aspects, but it also presents some challenges. Readers may lack a basic understanding of this disorder, and the authors' conscious efforts to avoid a heavy clinical perspective may present some difficulties in fully conceptualizing the topic. However, this isn't suggesting that this book negates current research or is founded on personal opinion. The backbone of this book is still very much research based.

Also, this approach does tend to offer only brief moments where the psychopath is examined from his/her perspective. This is only a thinly relevant complaint, as the blurb excludes this subtopic as a focus of extensive examination.