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Welcome to Books R Us, a recommended reading blog from InfoSoup librarians and users and home to A Year of Listening Dangerously, the 2014 InfoSoup Reading Challenge! Find a great book to read next, add your own reviews, and check out our book related resources such as NoveList and BookLetters.

mental health

Author: Linda Lightsey Rice

I debated about how to rate this book, but decided it was worth 2 stars.

The entire book was almost lyrical in the writing, but at times I found it distracting and almost "too flowery". The author was so descriptive of the environment and buildings that I could visualize the settings. For this alone I gave it 2 stars.

In 1957, Lyra Copeland's mother, Louise, a schoolteacher, returns home to find that her very loving and gentle husband, a veteran of World War II, has slashed his wrists and all hell has broken loose in their home.  Lyra, age 6, doesn't understand what is happening.  Her once loving father is now someone she does not recognize and now fears.  It continues this way for many years.  His outbursts and erratic behavior is noted by law enforcement and neighbors, but nothing is ever done, until many years later.

While growing up Lyra's father's mental illness was disturbing, and her mother was in a constant state of denial. If she was that miserable, I didn't understand why she stayed in the marriage, being a martyr her entire life.  I understand that it was a different era, but he was a danger to his family and himself.

While her mother, Louise, is near dying, we are offered insight to her life through her thoughts. Nothing is ever verbalized as she is unable to speak. There was not a big "reveal" at the end of the book, nor was there any confrontation as to what tore the family apart ~ we know that at the beginning of the book.  There is an unexpected surprise at the end, but it wasn't worth reading the book!

When I make a decision to read a book, I read the synopsis, and others' opinions  I try to have no preconceived ideas as to how the story should go, I want to enjoy the book on its' own merit. Reading the other positive reviews, and respecting their opinions, in the end I just felt the book was a disappointment.

I wouldn't recommend this book.

Author: Jon Ronson

In The Psychopath Test, journalist and filmmaker Jon Ronson delves into the definition of insanity, eventually coming to question the methods that are currently utilized for diagnosing psychopaths –- methods which, in many cases, require nothing more than a score of 30 or more on a 20-point checklist of characteristics common to psychopaths: things like glib and superficial charm, grandiosity, manipulative behavior, and lack of remorse. When Ronson is interviewing a psychopathy researcher, as she expounds on psychopathic characteristics he asks her if there is anything she wants to be sure is shared with his readers. “Tell them,” she says, “if now you are sitting there worried that maybe you are a psychopath, that means you aren’t.” I had been worried!

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