Archive for the ‘Psychology’ Category

New Focus on Mental Illness

Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

9780316341172_5cccaNo One Cares About Crazy People: The Chaos and Heartbreak of Mental Health in America, by Ron Powers (Hachette; Blackstone Audio; OverDrive Sample) is rising on Amazon after the author talked with Terry Gross on NPR’s Fresh Air. It moved from #9,883 to #54.

Powers was  the co-author of Flags Of Our Fathers, about the men who were featured in an iconic WWII photo as they raised the America flag on Iwo Jima. A long-running best seller, it was also the basis of a film directed by Clint Eastwood.

Powers’ new book, says Gross, “is both a memoir about his sons and a history of how the mentally ill have been treated medically, legally and socially.” Both of Powers’s sons suffer with schizophrenia, one of them committed suicide and the other attempted it.

The intimate and warm interview mixes personal story with medical explanation and the social history of the illness.

GRIT Gains

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016


As a result of a feature on NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday. Angela Duckworth’s  Grit: Passion, Perseverance, and the Science of Success by Angela Duckworth, (S&S/Scribner; S&S Audio) is rising quickly Amazon sales ranking. At #34 the day before it goes on sale, it’s likely to hit bestseller lists next week. Holds across libraries we checked are strong, reflecting high interest in the subject.

Grit posits that stick-to-itiveness is a fundamental key to success, a topic which Duckworth, a professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, has also detailed in a very popular TED Talk. On NPR, she describes grit as  “stamina. But it’s not just stamina in your effort. It’s also stamina in your direction, stamina in your interests … Grit is typically about an overarching, generally abstract goal that motivates everything that you do.”

Last month, on NPR’s Hidden Brain program, Duckworth gave a longer interview on the subject and her book was included on the “hot upcoming nonfiction” lists complied by The Washington Post, Forbes, and The Wall Street Journal [subscription may be required].

Curious as to your own grittiness? Duckworth has an online quiz.

Mental Health of the
Rich and Famous

Sunday, February 14th, 2016

Andy Warhol HoarderAndy Warhol Was a Hoarder: Inside the Minds of History’s Great Personalities by Claudia Kalb (PRH/National Geographic; OverDrive Sample) got a big boost after the author appeared on CBS This Morning, shooting the book to #35 on Amazon’s sales rankings.

Kalb investigates the mental health issues of celebrities and national figures including Charles Darwin, Abraham Lincoln, and Princess Diana, exploring such conditions as borderline personality disorder, hoarding, and depression. Using historical records and primary sources, and through discussions with experts, Kalb illustrates the symptoms of some common conditions in the hopes that the less famous will not feel so alone in their own diagnosis.

She goes into fascinating detail about Warhol in an interview on NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday, which aired a few weeks ago.

Several libraries show copies still on order, even though it was published nearly two weeks ago and holds are rising.

Parental Aid

Wednesday, February 10th, 2016

Untangled“Meanness peaks in the 7th grade,” says psychologist Lisa Damour, interviewed yesterday on CBS This Morning about her new book, Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls through the Seven Transitions into Adulthood, (PRH/Ballantine; BOT/RH Audio; OverDrive Sample).

As a result of the interview, the book shot up Amazon’s sales rankings and is now at #8. Holds are rising in many libraries.

The Washington Post‘s reviewer calls it, “the most down-to-earth, readable parenting book I’ve come across in a long time.”


Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

My Age of AnxietyScott Stossel tells Terry Gross about his many phobias on NPR’s Fresh Air yesterday. As a result, his book, My Age of Anxiety: Fear, Hope, Dread, And The Search For Peace Of Mind (RH/Knopf; RH Audio), rose to #14 on Amazon’s sales rankings.

StarlingThe book is receiving a mini media blitz, with coverage in the Wall Street Journal, the Boston Globe (which calls it a “first-rate study of anxiety and [the author’s] candid personal history as an acute sufferer”), The New Republic, and The Atlantic (where Stossel is the editor).

Last month, he and his sister, Sage Stossel, were profiled by The New York Times. She recently released a book of her own, the graphic novel Starling, (Penguin/InkLit), featuring a female superhero who “exhibits some of Sage’s own nervous qualities and frequently scarfs Xanax.”

Dismantling the D.S.M.-5

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

9780890425558_p0_v3_s600  The Book of Woe  Saving Normal

The new edition of the often-attacked “bible” of American psychiatry, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders known as  D.S.M., is about to be released and, predictably, it is being preceded by controversy.

The NYT ‘s Dwight Garner examines two books that lead the alarm, The Book of Woe: The DSM and the Unmaking of Psychiatry by Gary Greenberg, (Penguin/Blue Rider; Tantor Audio, 5/13) and Saving Normal: An Insider’s Revolt Against Out-of-Control Psychiatric Diagnosis, DSM-5, Big Pharma, and the Medicalization of Ordinary Life by Allen Frances, (HarperCollins/Morrow, 5/14) saying, they are “unalike yet deeply alike, as if they were vastly dissimilar Rube Goldberg devices that each ultimately drop the same antacid tablet into the same glass of water.”

Both, he says, are “repetitive and overlong,” and would have made better magazine articles, but, “Mr. Greenberg is a fresher, funnier writer. He paces the psychiatric stage as if he were part George Carlin, part Gregory House.”

Heavy Holds Alert: FAR FROM THE TREE

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

Andrew Solomon wrote the National Book Award Winner and  best seller The Noonday Demon, about his own debilitating depression. His new book, Far From the Tree (S&S/Scribner) examines how parents deal with children who are different from them.

The book is showing heavy holds in libraries where ordering was light. The author was profiled by Chip McGrath in the New York Times in Tuesday’s issue. The NYT also reviewed the 1,000 page book last week.

Solomon appeared two weeks ago on Rock Center with Brian Williams.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


Thursday, July 26th, 2012

Debuting at #10 on the new Indie Hardcover Nonfiction Best Seller list is Monkey Mind: A Memoir of Anxiety by Daniel Smith, a book that was called a classic in the making by the Psychiatric Times and named a People pick last week.

Many libraries are showing growing holds on light ordering.

Monkey Mind: A Memoir of Anxiety
Daniel Smith
Retail Price: $25.00
Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster – (2012-07-03)
ISBN / EAN: 1439177309/9781439177303

Blackstone Audio


Thursday, July 12th, 2012

It’s already been covered in a wide range of publications, from The Jewish Daily Forward to the Psychiatric Times. Now Monkey Mind: A Memoir of Anxiety by Daniel Smith (S&S, July; Blackstone Audio) gets the lead, four-star review in the new issue of People magazine and is named one of 8 People picks of the year. The reviewer calls it an “unforgettable, surprisingly hilarious memoir, [in which] journalist and professor Smith chronicles his head-changing, flop sweating battles with acute anxiety.”

The Psychiatric Times predicts it “will be recognized in the years to come as the preeminent first-person narrative of the anxiously lived life,” adding,”it is wonderful to have a narrative of Generalized Anxiety Disorder that can join the classic narratives already written for our other major diagnoses; William Styron’s Darkness Visible for depression, Redfield Jamison’s Unquiet Mind for bipolar disorder and Elyn Saks’s The Center Cannot Hold for schizophrenia.”

New Title Radar: June 11 – 17

Friday, June 8th, 2012

More media and librarian favorites land next week, as the summer reading season swings into gear. Some familiar names deliver new novels with big potential, including Alan Furst, Mark Haddon, Jess Walter, John Lanchester, and Robert Goolrick. There are also debuts to watch from Claire McMillan, Benjamin WoodMaggie Shipstead. Usual suspects include Robert Dugoni, Dorothea Benton Frank, Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus. And in nonfiction, there’s an intriguing look at what humans and animals have in common when it comes to health and healing by cardiologist and psychiatrist Barbara Natterson-Horowitz and science writer Kathryn Bowers.

Watch List

Mission to Paris by Alan Furst (Random House; Thorndike Large Print; S&S Audio) is set in Paris in the year leading up to Germany’s 1940 attack, as a Hollywood film star is drawn in to the Nazi propaganda war. It’s on Time magazine’s list of top ten picks for the year so far. In an early New York Times review, Janet Maslin says, “This particular Paris is the spy novelist Alan Furst’s home turf. He has been there many times in the course of 11 soignée, alluring novels. But he has never been there with a Hollywood movie star.”

The Gilded Age by Claire McMillan (S&S) follows a woman who returns to close-knit Shaker Heights, Ohio after a divorce and rehab, to find her next wealthy husband. It led the “women’s fiction” category on USA Today‘s Summer Books previewPublishers Weekly says that “while the novel tips its hat to House of Mirth, a simple comparison doesn’t do McMillan justice.”  More Edith Wharton-inspired novels are out this summer. The Innocents by Francesca Segal (Hyperion/Voice. 6/5/12) recasts Edith Wharton’s Age of Innocence in a close-knit North West London Jewish community and BEA Lbirarians Shout ‘n’ Share pickThe Age of Desire by Jenny Fields, Penguin/Pamela Dorman, 8/2/12, is about Edith Wharton’s love affair with a younger man.

The Bellwether Revivals by Benjamin Wood (Penguin/Viking; Brilliance Audio) is  told by caregiver Oscar Lowe, who becomes entangled with Cambridge students Iris and her brother Eden, who thinks he can heal others through music. It’s the second galley featured in our First Flights programBooklist says, “this first novel is most notable for its acute characterizations and flowing prose that engrosses the reader as initial foreboding fades only to grow again. Wood is definitely a writer to watch.”

Returning Favorite

The Red House by Mark Haddon (RH/Doubleday; Random House Audio) is a social novel about a brother who invites his sister, her husband and three children for week’s vacation with his new wife and step-daughter, by the author of the runaway bestseller The Curious Incident of a Dog in the Night.  Entertainment Weekly gives it a B+, saying in a review that sounds more like an A, “The story unfolds from all eight characters’ points of view, a tricky strategy that pays off, letting Haddon dig convincingly into all of the failures, worries, and weaknesses that they can’t leave behind during this pause in their lives.” It’s a June Indie Next pick.

GalleyChat Picks

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter (HarperCollins) is a bittersweet romance that begins when a starlet pregnant with Richard Burton’s baby is whisked from the set of Cleopatra to a tiny Italian seaside village in 1962, where the innkeeper falls in love with her, and looks her up in Hollywood years later.  Reviews have begun already, as we noted earlier.

Capital by John Lanchester (Norton) is set in former a working class London neighborhood where property values have skyrocketed, as the 2008 recession sets in. LJ says it “weaves together multiple stories in an uncanny microcosm of contemporary British life that’s incredibly rich and maybe just a bit heavy, like a pastry. Yet definitely worth a look.”  It’s also a June Indie Next pick.

Heading Out to Wonderful by Robert Goolrick (Workman/Algonquin Books; Highbridge AudioThorndike Large Print) is the story of a man who returns from WWII to a small Virginia town with a suitcase stuffed with cash and a set of butcher knives. LJ says, “this novel is not a straightforward Southern gothic thriller but primarily a lyrical meditation on the magnified elements of small-town life: friendship, trust, land, lust, and sin.” The author’s previous novel, A Reliable Wife, was a huge seller, especially in paperback. We’re expecting even more from this one. This one is the #2 June Indie Next pick

Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead (RH/Knopf), a debut novel, is the story of  “WASP wedding dysfunction at it’s most hilarious,” as librarian Jennifer Dayton of Darien, CT observed on our GalleyChat. It’s a June Indie Next pick and a B&N Best Book of the Month. Ron Charles in the Washington Post this week calls it “a perfect summer romp” and, “Shipstead’s weave of wit and observation continually delights.”

Usual Suspects

The Conviction by Robert Dugoni (S&S/Touchstone) is the fifth thriller featuring Seattle lawyer David Sloane, as he tries to spring his adopted son and his friend from a hellish juvenile detention center. Nancy Pearl is a Dugoni fan, as evidenced by this interview from 2011.

Porch Lights by Dorothea Benton Frank (Harper/ Morrow; HarperAudio; Thorndike Large Print) explores how a mother and son rekindle their faith in life after their beloved husband and father is killed in the line of duty as a fireman.

Between You and Me by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus (S&S/Atria Books; Wheeler Large Print; S&S/Audio) is the story of a young woman who escaped her unhappy Oklahoma childhood as an adult in New York City, but can’t refuse a request to assist her famous cousin, who proceeds to have a very public unraveling. LJ says, “while attempting to address deeper family bonds, the authors swing wide and miss their mark. The emotional ties never quite shine through.”


Zoobiquity: What Animals Can Teach Us About Health and the Science of Healing by Barbara Natterson-Horowitz and Kathryn Bowers (RH/Knopf; RH Audio) brings together cardiologist and psychiatrist Natterson-Horowitz and science writer Bowers to make the case that since animals and humans suffer the same diseases, doctors and veterinarians should work more closely together. Booklist calls it “as clarion and perception-altering as works by Oliver Sacks, Michael Pollan, and E. O. Wilson.”

Heavy Holds Alert; QUIET

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Rising to #10 on Amazon’s sales rankings after the author’s appearance at ALA Midwinter is Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain (RH/Crown; Random House Audio; OverDrive ebook and audio; Center Point Large Print). Many of the libraries we checked are showing heavy holds, as many as 9 to 1.

The Midwinter appearance may not be the only factor. The book, which released yesterday, was featured in yesterday’s USA Today, along with an introvert/extrovert quiz and Fast Company‘s “Expert Blog” offers “3 Reasons Every Extrovert Should Read The New Book Quiet.

Johnson and Chernow on the Rise

Friday, October 1st, 2010

Buzz is building for Where Good Ideas Come From by science writer Steven Johnson. The New York Times ran an early review in the Business section, praising Johnson’s storytelling ability in this exploration of innovative environments like the city and the Internet, and how a “series of shared properties and patterns… recur again and again in unusually fertile environments.”

At libraries we checked, current orders are in line with reserves, but this looks like one to watch, since Johnson was also a featured speaker at TED, the elite technology, entertainment and design conference, this summer. And his cool video trailer for the book appears to be going viral.

Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation
Steven Johnson
Retail Price: $26.95
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Riverhead Hardcover – (2010-10-05)
ISBN / EAN: 1594487715 / 9781594487712


Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow gets a respectful review from critic Janet Maslin in the New York Times, who finds that this biography is justified by new material unearthed from Washington’s papers at the University of Virginia.

At 900-odd densely packed pages, Washington can be arid at times. But it’s also deeply rewarding as a whole…. [and] offers a fresh sense of what a groundbreaking role Washington played, not only in physically embodying his new nation’s leadership but also in interpreting how its newly articulated constitutional principles would be applied.

Entertainment Weekly gives the book an “A-,” adding that Chernow

…makes excellent use of Washington’s own voice — the man’s angry letters are like thunderbolts — and turns constitutional debates and bureaucratic infighting into riveting reading.

Washington: A Life
Ron Chernow
Retail Price: $40.00
Hardcover: 928 pages
Publisher: Penguin Press HC, The – (2010-10-05)
ISBN / EAN: 1594202664 / 9781594202667

Notable Nonfiction on Sale Next Week

A Short History of Private Life by Bill Bryson (Random House) is “a wonderfully meandering journey through history, sociology, science, and more. The thread that connects it all is Bryson’s. . . home, a charming former church rectory in a small English village,” according to bookseller Christopher Rose in the October Indie Next Pick citation. NPR’s Morning Edition will feature the book on October 5, followed by  the New York Times Book Review on October 10. It is also the Amazon Spotlight Selection for the month of Oct.

Is It Just Me or Is It Nuts Out There? by Whoopi Goldberg (Hyperion) finds the actress and co-host of ABC’s The View sharing stories from her own life, when she’s been forced to deal with tough situations in family, marriage, friendship, and business.

Cesar’s Rules by Cesar Millan & Melissa Jo Peltier (Crown) is the bestselling dog trainer’s primer on establishing the rules of the house.

The Dog Who Couldn’t Stop Loving by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson (Harper) considers the far-reaching consequences of the co-evolution of dogs and humans, drawing from recent scientific research.

You: Raising Your Child by Michael F. Roizen & Mehmet C. Oz (Free Press) explores the biology and psychology of raising a child from birth to school age.

Trickle Up Poverty by Michael Savage (Morrow) is the author and conservative talk show host’s attack on President Obama’s agenda and his political tactics.

I’m Not High: (But I’ve Got a Lot of Crazy Stories about Life as a Goat Boy, a Dad, and a Spiritual Warrior) by Jim Breuer (Gotham/Penguin) is a memoir by the comedian and Sirius radio show host best known as “Goat Boy” on Saturday Night Live. He was also featured on the ALTAFF Humor Panel at ALA Annual.

Keep an Eye on Griswold

Friday, August 13th, 2010

The Tenth Parallel by Eliza Griswold was a Shout n Share pick for several librarians at Book Expo. At libraries we checked, holds are modest, but this account of the authors’ travels along the line of latitude 700 miles above the equator, where tensions run high between Christians and Muslims, may be one to keep an eye on.

For starters, it got a starred review from Booklist: “Griswold teases out the threads of a complex fabric of religious doctrine, capitalist economics, ethnic pride, and power politics… A compelling portrait of embattled human communities yearning for more-than-human succor.”

The Tenth Parallel: Dispatches from the Fault Line Between Christianity and Islam
Eliza Griswold
Retail Price: $27.00
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux – (2010-08-17)
ISBN / EAN: 0374273189 / 9780374273187

Blackstone Audio; UNABR

11 CDs; 1-4417-5360-1; $109
1 MP3CD; 1441753632; $29.95
10 Tapes; 1441753595; $79.95

Other Notable Nonfiction On Sale Next Week

Give Us Liberty: A Tea Party Manifesto by Dick Armey and Matt Kibbe (Morrow) FreedomWorks chairman Armey and CEO Kibbe outline the agenda of the Tea Party movement, including tips on organizing. Sure to be featured on the Glenn Beck Show.

Encounter by Milan Kundera (Harper) is a series of essays arguing the importance of art in a world that devalues beauty. In its reverent review, the Los Angeles Times observes that “the artists and writers with whom Kundera keeps company…produce counter-currents to the tide of kitsch and sentimentality in which we swim. They offer not only intellectual challenges but strong emotional attachments, no matter how crazy powerful feelings may seem in a world warped by banality, easy irony and noise.”

The Power by Rhonda Byrne (Atria) a followup to the Oprah-anointed The Secret.

Cash and Caldwell Memoirs Rising

Friday, August 6th, 2010

Two women’s memoirs are likely to get significant media attention next week.

Rosanne Cash‘s Composed, about her music career and life as Johnny Cash’s daughter, is already getting admiring attention, though holds are modest on light ordering at libraries we checked.

The Los Angeles Times calls it “one of the best accounts of an American life you’ll likely ever read. Yes, Cash comes from a well-known family and makes her living in the entertainment business, but ‘Composed’ is really about her spiritual growth as a daughter, a sister, a mother, a lover, a wife and an artist.”

New York Magazine profiles Cash and O, the Oprah Magazine selects it as one of 10 Books to Pick Up in August 2010.

Composed: A Memoir
Rosanne Cash
Retail Price: $26.95
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Viking Adult – (2010-08-10)
ISBN / EAN: 0670021962 / 9780670021963


Let’s Take the Long Way Home by Gail Caldwell is the Boston Globe book critic and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist’s account of her deep friendship with writer Caroline Knapp. Like Caldwell, Knapp was single by choice, dedicated to her writing and recovering from alcoholism, before she died of cancer in 2002.

Laura Miller in Salon calls it

…a slender and beautiful book… [Caldwell] never stoops to tear-jerking or sentiment. Which is not to say she won’t make you cry. It might be something as simple as her first-page description of love’s tempo that does it: “For years,” she writes, “we had played the easy daily game of catch that intimate connection implies. One ball, two gloves, equal joy in the throw and return.”

It was also a LA Times summer reading pick, and the #3 Indie Next pick for August .

Let’s Take the Long Way Home: A Memoir of Friendship
Gail Caldwell
Retail Price: $23.00
Hardcover: 208 pages
Publisher: Random House – (2010-08-10)
ISBN / EAN: 1400067383 / 9781400067381

Other Notable Nonfiction On Sale Next Week

Hollywood: A Third Memoir by Larry McMurtry (Simon & Schuster) is a new series of reminiscences from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author and screenwriter. Booklist says the chapters are “disconnected,” and “his descriptions are not always charitable, but they are consistently sharp, interesting, and enjoyable.”

Where There Is Love, There Is God: A Path to Closer Union with God and Greater Love for Others by Mother Teresa (Doubleday) offers more wisdom from Mother Teresa culled from private lessons she gave to fellow nuns.

The Murder Room: The Heirs of Sherlock Holmes Gather to Solve the World’s Most Perplexing Cold Cases by Michael Capuzzo (Gotham) is about the Vidocq Society, a real-life crime-solving group.  USA Today has a Q&A with the author. This one’s also an August Indie Next pick.

Fascinated by STUFF

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

Lately, I can’t stop talking about an adult galley I just read, Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things. Turns out I’m not the only fascinated by it. Last night, the authors, Randy Frost and Gail Steketee were featured on NPR’s Fresh Air. The book is now rising on Amazon and libraries are showing significant holds in libraries.

No wonder; it’s truly a compulsive read. Frost and Steketee write about people who collect stuff to the extent that it interferes with normal everyday living…no livable space due to piles and piles of things most people feel no need to collect, whole rooms filled, tunnels formed between dangerously tottering layers of clothing, books, newspapers and trash.

Frost and Steketee begin their examination of this psychological condition with by looking at one  of the most well-known case, the Collyer brothers of New York who died trapped in their piles of junk (they were the protagonists in E.L. Doctorow’s novel Homer and Langely).

These are not dry case studies but rather an empathetic exploration of theories and observations of why a person might become a hoarder. The book helps us examine our own hoarding tendencies and the triggers that may cause it. In addition to working with the individuals who are suffering, the authors devote a chapter to the effect excessive collecting has on relationships, especially with hoarders’ children who must learn to survive living with a parent who cannot stop creating chaos in the home.

Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things
Randy O. Frost, Gail Steketee
Retail Price: $27.00
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt – (2010-04-20)
ISBN / EAN: 015101423X / 9780151014231