Who’s READING What?

Editor’s Note: This edition of Bookshelf shifts the focus from who’s writing what to who’s reading what.

I asked a few people what books they’ve read and which ones they would recommend to others. I received some interesting suggestions, and added a few of my own.

Judith Steward, Ph.D.

Anatomy of An Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America, by Robert Whitaker

“This is a well-written, well researched, and shocking book. In my opinion all psychologists should read it because it provides insight into the pros and cons of psychotropic medication and provides research on more effective means of helping patients, with important evidence from other countries. It clarifies the role of pharmaceutical companies and physicians in promoting drugs with inaccurate information.”

The TAO of Leadership: Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching Adapted for a New Age, by John Heider

“Wonderfully helped me to let go of my more confrontational methods of coping. And of course, everything changed.”

Mike Chafetz, Ph.D.

One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

“My favorite book of all time is: One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. It is magic! I recently re-read it for about the 10th time, and expect to read it again many more times. It is more nature than nurture, as we wander through the geneology beginning with Jose Arcadio Buendia and his wife, Ursula, the matriarch of this family who lives over the hundred year period. Her biggest fear is that, through inbreeding, one of the children of the family will be born with the tail of a pig. Colonel Aureliano Buendia starts the book with a future remembrance: !Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendia was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.” There’s plenty more wondrous discoveries in here. “

Kim VanGeffen, Ph.D.

Dial H for Hitchcock, by Susan Kandel

“I grew up reading the Nancy Drew mystery series and I still enjoy reading mysteries. I learned many life lessons following Nancy’s adventures such as the importance of being independent and resourceful and of always carrying a flashlight in your car.

The book which I just finished is called “Dial H for Hitchcock” which is the fifth in a series by Susan Kandel. The books follow the adventures of CeCe Caruso who writes biographies of mystery writers. While doing her research, she becomes embroiled in a mystery of her own. I became aware of the series when I read the first one called “Not a Girl Detective” which is about Carolyn Keene, the author of the Nancy Drew series. Other books have profiled writers such as Agatha Christie, Earl Stanley Gardner (of Perry Mason fame) and Dashiell Hammett. In “Dial H for Hitchcock,” the heroine is researching Alfred Hitchcock and becomes involved in a mystery in which many of the clues relate to Hitchcock’s movies. This is a fun, light series for mystery fans.”

Penny Dralle, Ph.D.

Letters from Yellowstone, by Diane Smith

“I read it while visiting Yellowstone. It is very interesting that it was done in letters and it is about the efforts to save Yellowstone from being totally commercialized. It is also about the early feminist efforts to be recognized as naturalists.”

Bryan Gros, Ph.D.

Treatments That Work With Children: Empirically Supported Strategies for Managing Childhood Problems, by Edward Christophersenand Susan Mortweet; and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Impulsive Children: Therapist Manual, by Philip Kendall

Marilyn Medoza, Ph.D. (Author, We Do Not Die Alone)

Many Lives, Many Masters: The True Story of A Prominent Psychiatrist, His Young Patient and the Past-Life Therapy That Changed Both Their Lives, by Brian Weiss

“It’s fascinating. It’s about past-life regression and one of my favorites.”

Julie Nelson, Ph.D.

Psychological Science, Current Directions in Psychological Science, Psychological Science in the Public Interest, and Perspectives on Psychological Science, comes with an APS (American Psychological Society) Membership

“For only $188 a year an APS membership gives you four super journals. You also get the online versions and the searchable database with back issues. It would make a fine present for a close colleague. My favorite is Perspectives on Psychological Science, but all four can (almost) keep you up with the explosion in research that’s going on”.

On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction, by William Zinsser

“This book is fun and provides enormously helpful writing advice. For $15 it should make a neat gift for colleagues and friends who want to write for the public, or write better. Zinsser sees Americans and maybe especially scholars, as being some of the worse offenders of good writing.”

John Adams, by David McCullough

“This Pulitzer winning book is a wonderful study of the man, the times, and the ideas that helped create our country. McCullough is, of course, a marvelous historian, but John Adams thought and wrote about everything. He journaled daily and that, along with his letters to Abigail and Jefferson, gave McCullough much of the raw material used for this very readable 800+ pager. Social and organizational psychologists will find it fascinating.”

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