The Courage to Be Disliked – book review

The focus of the book are the teachings of Alfred Adler, a contemporary of Freud’s who lived and taught together with him in Vienna. But Freud and Adler fell out, and while Freud became the superstar of psychology, Adler has been much less discussed, at least in popular culture. While Freud uses the idea of past trauma to unlock the secrets of the mind, Adler … Continue reading The Courage to Be Disliked – book review

John Guy’s “Mary Queen of Scots” – book review

I picked up this copy of  John Guy’s “Mary Queen of Scots” at Sainsbury’s for 4 pounds, with a film tie-in cover, and I do not regret it. The book was published originally as “My Heart is My Own” and won the Whitbread Biography Award in 2004. I had read David Starkey’s biography of the young Elizabeth when I was in my early teens, but … Continue reading John Guy’s “Mary Queen of Scots” – book review

Herodotus “The Histories” – book review

Herodotus The Histories is a brick of a book. It’s 750 pages of history and ethnography with a loose Greek- Persian theme to it. It’s definitely not always a page-turner. But I am so glad I read it, because there are moments in it that absolutely illuminated my understanding of ancient Greece. The reason I reached for Herodotus is Ryszard Kapuściński’s Travels with Herodotus. I took … Continue reading Herodotus “The Histories” – book review

Edward Bullmore’s “The Inflamed Mind” – book review

Professor Edward Bullmore is Head of the Department of Psychiatry and the Director of the Wolfson Brain Imaging Centre in the Department of Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Cambridge and a part-time consultant for GlaxoSmithKline. His book is a summary of the most recent research linking depression to physical inflammation. Here’s a link to an article summarizing his theory. I found this book absolutely … Continue reading Edward Bullmore’s “The Inflamed Mind” – book review

Henry James’s “What Maisie Knew” – book review

“Poor little monkey!” (…) the words were an epitaph for the tomb of Maisie’s childhood. She was abandoned to her fate. What was clear to any spectator was that the only link binding her to either parent was this lamentable fact of her being a ready vessel of bitterness, a deep little porcelain cup in which biting acids could be mixed. They had wanted her … Continue reading Henry James’s “What Maisie Knew” – book review

Yara Rodrigues Fowler “The Stubborn Archivist” – book review

Yara Rodrigues Fowler’s The Stubborn Archivist is not strictly speaking a novel. It has much more in common with a piece of poetic prose – and in fact, the first few pages seem almost to be toying with the idea of straightforward poetry – with bold headings and lots of white space surrounding many line breaks. But it manages to engage one’s attention much as … Continue reading Yara Rodrigues Fowler “The Stubborn Archivist” – book review