During February I met my goal of reading and reviewing two books. I tackled one fiction and one nonfiction book.
Here’s what I read. (I recommend all books with four- or five-stars, although I give some caveats below.)
Truly Madly Guilty
***1/2 (recommend for Moriarty fans)
If you like Moriarty's other books, you'll like this one. The setup, however, feels gimmicky compared to the others.
Right away you're introduced to an incident that occurred at a barbecue, but what happened is a mystery. Frankly, I was irritated for much of the book.
Much like Moriarty's other novels, Truly Madly Guilty is set in upper-middle class Australia and is peppered with surprisingly complex characters. They're quirky and often difficult, but you like them anyway, which is why I'm glad I stuck this one out despite the annoying way the mystery unfolds.
The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure (pictured)
Greg Lukianoff, Jonathan Haidt
I give Coddling four stars because I agree with its basic tenets: we are overprotecting our children to their detriment (from toddlers up through college students); teaching people cognitive distortions is harmful; and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is the answer to many of our problems.
I also appreciate the thorough research that's presented in a relatively digestible format. But this book gets into the weeds a bit for me on the campus-related topics, although I understand those were the catalyst for the authors to write the book and the 2015 The Atlantic article on which it was based.
In fact, anyone who is generally interested in this topic and wants to know what they can do about it may want to skim the beginning and middle and focus on part IV, "Wising Up," for the authors' conclusions about how we can raise wiser kids, improve the university climate and build better societies. The appendix about CBT is also useful.
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Photo: Marisa Palmieri Shugrue (epigraph from The Coddling of the American Mind)