4 AM Book Club

4 AM Book Club

The 4 AM book club is for those early-to-risers (or never-to-bedders) who would like to read, along with me and the other club members, one book a month in the field of Psychology, including both fiction and non-fiction.

To join, send a request to the club’s private Facebook Page and subscribe to the newsletter. Here, members can share their thoughts on the month’s current book, and also receive links for our regular meetings on Friday at 4 AM IST, when we read together in silence for 120 minutes.

Book of the Month

  • April 2022

    About the Book The book is about the story of the Reading brain over centuries
    (1) It gives an early history of how our species learn to read
    (2) It elucidates the developmental life cycle of reading from childhood to adulthood
    (3) It tells us the story and science of what’s going on when the brain cannot learn to read

    The implications of understanding these systems go a long way. They provide us with pathways to teach reading especially to those with reading disabilities. I admit that it took me several hours over many years to read because although it’s content was useful, it was not written for a reader (if you know what I mean). It felt like the author took notes for herself and published them (technical notes, at that). Maryanne Wolf is the director - Centre for dyslexia, diverse learners and social justice at UCLA graduate School of education and information studies. Previously she taught at Tufts University and she has written several books on literacy, dyslexia and the brain. All in all, this book is for students of psychology or those working with children. Read time : 45 hours approximately Star Rating : 3 out of 5 stars Book publication Date : 2007 Publisher : HarperCollins Publishers Book Review : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ISMAjYZbTO8

    Proust and the Squid : the story and science of the Reading brain

    by Maryanne Wolf

    Buy Book

Additional Books

  • March 2022

    About the Book 25 year documentation of the lives of sadhus & sanyasis by an agnostic psychiatrist & epidemiologist RL Kapur

    This book is from meticulously documented notes by RL Kapur who was one of very few Indians to have worked on and published a monograph on psychiatric epidemiology. He was head of Department of psychiatry at NIMHANS from 1976 to 83. The book is the result of 25 years of remote high-altitude Himalayan treks and one month stays with ascetics with the sole purpose of exploring narratives on mans search for meaning and if a blissful state that is claimed to exist, really does? Towards this purpose he tries to address four question

    (1) Can people really change?
    (2) Is spirituality helpful to different kinds of people?
    (3) What if we looked at the holy people of India – sadhus & sanyasis - and follow their lives for three decades?
    (4) What about schizophrenics choosing a life of renunciation and withdrawal as a safe space?

    If you practice psychology in the community setting in India, this book is a must. Book Review : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGgL8gcDWrc

    Another way to live : A psychiatrist among Indian ascetics

    by RL Kapur (2009) (Malavika Kapur, Dorothy Buglass)

    Buy Book
  • March 2022

    About the Book This 300+ page book is the only Indian writing that addresses in such detail mindful attention or reflection as a medium to scaffold the Indian therapists learnings in their therapeutic work. The authors clearly delineate the process of reflection, with toolkits to boot, and highlight cultural contexts. This is so important because we know that cultures shape us. While we are well aware of “experiential niches,” most Indian psychology departments teach using textbooks from the West that neglect specific rules, scripts and goals contributing to our Indianness - that which influences our emotional, motivational, and learning experiences. While our profession studies human suffering, our textbooks omit physical and social settings, historically constituted customs and practices, ethnotheories and socioeconomics. This book addresses this gap and see’s India as a “whole” and a sum of its parts (It is inclusive, not exclusive). It helps you understand YOU as an Indian therapist, your Indian client, and the therapeutic alliance embedded within this context. Book Review : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5L49WIoETU

    Reflective practice and professional development in psychotherapy

    by Poornima Bhola, Chetna Duggal & Rathna Isaac (2022)

    Buy Book
  • March 2022

    About the Book Book Review : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sHaqgTthats&t=9s

    Understanding trauma : integrating biological, clinical, and cultural perspectives

    by Edited by Laurence Kirmayer, Robert Lemelson & Mark Barad

    Buy Book
  • January 2022

    About the Book Carl Jung’s forgotten lover, a true woman influencer of the early psychoanalyst movement #CarlJung’s forgotten lover, a true woman influencer of the early psychoanalyst movement This book is phenomenal by all standards. It should be an essential read for anyone studying psychology but certainly especially for those choosing to be psychodynamic or relational therapists. It is an intellectual history about (1) a forgotten woman psychoanalyst Sabina Spielrein, a pioneer - who influenced Jungs “anima” work, who worked under Freud, and first-hand influenced Luria, Vygotsky and Piaget. (She was tragically murdered in 1942, along with her two daughters by the SS, Nazi death squad. It is blashphemous that she isn’t mentioned in any of our “Personality” textbooks, nor did she receive the recognition that she deserved.) (2) It is also a history of the undoing of the Freud-Jung intimacy i.e. how they went from being like son and father to breaking-up. Read time : Approximately 100 hours Star Rating : 5 out of 5 stars Book publication Date : 1993 Publisher : Vintage Books a division of Random House, Inc, New York Book Review : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qD_3DHw_gvs

    A most dangerous method By John Kerr (1993)

    by John Kerr

    Buy Book
  • December 2021

    About the Book This 240 page book has a new take on time management. Rather than try to fit more into our schedules, it recommends the exact opposite. It asks that we stop trying to and instead clear the decks while explaining why. It does so via anecdotes and quotes that inspire us to feel less badly about trade-offs that indeed must be made. In making these choices we are asked to meditate on words such as “decide” - It’s etymology dating back to the original Latin “decidere” meaning “to cut off” - i.e. to slice away alternatives, that is. The author goes on to distinguish between the good and the bad procrastinator. The good one accepts the fact that she can’t get everything done, then decides which tasks to focus on and which to neglect. The bad one finds herself paralysed because she can’t bear the thought of confronting her limitations. Another interesting part of the book is the authors take on the inevitability of “settling” - i.e. settling for something (or someone). I won’t go into the details and will leave that bit for you to read. Finally, I enjoyed the authors elucidation of the age old adage “what you pay attention to will define for you what your reality is.” And so, “when you pay attention to something you don’t especially value, it’s not an exaggeration to say that you are paying with your life. The problem with distractions like the phone, especially when “scrolling” (which happens on autopilot), is that the distracted person (i.e. you and me) isn’t really choosing at all. Our attention has been commandeered by forces that don’t have our highest interests at heart (facebook-meta-like companies).”

    My main issue with the book was that some of it’s content was repetitive, and I might have wished that instead of the 240 pages that I read, I might have gained more had it been a concise 50 pages. Also, personally, I’m not the greatest fan of commandments or “lists” like “10 things to do before…” “12 ways to live your life….” “Six steps to enlightenment…” and so on. However, I can see how some people might really need or enjoy that.
    Overall, I think the book is for those who do not read hardcore philosophy and would much prefer a simplified version, as well as a divergent one on “time and how to manage it.”

    As a psychologist, I know I will be using quotes and some paragraphs with some of my clients, whom I know might benefit from it.
    Read time : 18 hours (approximately) Star Rating : 3 out of 5 stars Book publication Date : 2021 Publisher : Farrar, Straus and Giroux Book Review : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eUXc5HWyxsY

    Four Thousand Weeks: Embrace your limits. Change your life.

    by Oliver Burkeman

    Buy Book
  • November 2021

    About the Book This exhaustive 600 page memoir is written most eloquently but should come with a trigger warning. It was one of my top 10 reads of the decade and comes closely after Kay Jamison (An Unquiet Mind). The fact that Dr.Solomon has lived a privileged life as the son of a pharmaceutical mogul, has “made it” in his career as an author who writes for the New York Times, New Yorker, NPR etc; teaches at Columbia and Yale, has a solid support system AND access to good healthcare is precisely what made this book EVEN MORE appealing to me. Depression like diabetes does not discriminate. The book is a moving narrative of the authors breakdowns, his views on treatments - mainstream and alternative, his encumbrances and his insights into what has worked and what hasn’t worked for him, including the dilemma of medication, length of medication, going off medication, getting back on medication, frustration with finding the right psychiatrists and psychologists - trying to convince therapist or doctors that some medications are really not working (and one is not lying about it), etc. While the book is not an Atlas of depression as it lacks objectivity and as an Indian psychologist, it does not touch upon cultural (or gender) issues in much detail, it is a rather well-researched (for 2001) account of the goings-on in the field. A must-read for someone who plans to work in the fields of psychology/psychiatry and mental health. Read time : 70 hours approximately Star Rating : 4 out of 5 stars Book publication Date : 2001 and 2015 (New chapter) (English) Publisher : Simon and Schuster and Scribner Book Review : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7J3u9_EryE&t

    The Noonday Demon : an Atlas of Depression

    by Andrew Solomon

    Buy Book
  • October 2021

    About the Book This book takes on what are considered “unconventional” and holistic approaches to deal with all kinds of trauma - victims of rape, victims of war, the Holocaust, bomb blasts, accidents, domestic violence and the list goes on . It discussed in detai how the manifestations of trauma affect the human body in addition to the already well-documented psychological manifestations.

    It is not a self-help book. The book is for doctors, for psychotherapists, social workers and other mental health related professionals. Now the book takes you through the socioeconomics of trauma, which means how much money is made from pushing for medications alone rather than a more inclusive model to deal with the entire phenomena of trauma. It then discussed the neuroscience of trauma followed by theories of attachment, attunement, abuse and neglect. The author speaks at length about memory and the complications that arise from trauma imprints. He goes on to discuss the many pathways to recovery, highlighting the role of somatic therapies and somewhat criticising cognitive and behavioural approaches in this case. Van der Kolk gives you detailed references for all of his ground-breaking claims detailing therapeutic modalities such as eye movement desensitisation research, yoga, self-discovery, journaling in order to access our inner world of feelings, art, music and dance - wherever language has failed to help - which it has in trauma. Read time : 28-30 hours approximately Star Rating : 3 out of 5 stars Book publication Date : 2015 (English) Publisher : Penguin Books Book Review : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5KxJ5vpfrOk

    The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma

    by Bessel van der Kolk, MD

    Buy Book
  • September 2021

    About the Book This book is a memoir that also offers some amazing insights and counsel to those who are considering or going through or have gone through a divorce. It should be on the list of client recommendations for all mental health practitioners. It’s a self-help book with tools and exercises for heartbreak. The book also deals with really important emotions like the righteous anger that people feel on both sides of the divorce. It gives you concrete strategies to manage these tricky emotions. I use the word tricky because divorce can make you do things that are “not you”. Dr.Cohen writes on resentment and co-parenting alongside guilt and “moving on.” A must read. Read time : 10 hours approximately Star Rating : 4 out of 5 stars Book publication Date : 2021 (English) Book Review : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PpeKIpFhZIw

    Light on the other side of divorce, discovering the new you

    By Elizabeth Cohen, PhD

    Buy Book
  • August 2021

    “Evil consists in intentionally behaving in ways that harm, abuse, demean, dehumanize, or destroy innocent others - or using one’s authority and systematic power to encourage or permit others to do so on your behalf. In short, it is knowing better but doing worse”
    This book details the Stanford prison experiment followed by an analysis of the experiment. It explains the authors (Philip Zimbardo) views on what happened at the prisons in Abu Ghraib with pictures and what the government did and did not do. The last few chapters are mainly on heroism. The author argues that depending on circumstances, all of us who are bystanders can systematically, and incrementally small step by small step - act in brutal and barbaric ways. Students of social psychology should read this book in addition to Stanley Milgram's obedience experiment and Asch's conformity experiment.
    Read time : 15 hours approximately Star Rating : 3 out of 5 stars Book publication Date : 2007 (English) Book Review : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SybCBwMj4tI

    The Lucifer Effect : Understanding how good people turn evil

    by Philip Zimbardo

    Buy Book
  • July 2021

    About the Book This book is biographical and anecdotal and one of the greatest love stories you are going to read - not your boring run-of-the-mill “happily ever afters” but the forget-me-nots - the ones you always refer to in conversations. The book is an intimate look into the rapport between 2 great minds of our times - Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman both psychologists - who changed how we think about how we think.The book is an important one for novices and beginners in social sciences, medicine, law, business, philosophy and public policy. The Author of the book is Michael Lewis best known for his Moneyball and The Big Short - both of which are now movies. He has an undergraduate degree in art history and a Master's in economics and I loved his writing style. Read time : 20 hours approximately (since I took notes and cross-references a lot) Star Rating : 7 out of 5 stars Book publication Date : 2016 (English) Book Review : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNUrEIqSGLs

    The Undoing Project

    by Michael Lewis

    Buy Book
  • June 2021

    About the Book This book has these incredible and intense “truth-bombs” or “quotes” that are so articulately written and that I absolutely loved. I hope they convert this into a screenplay and a movie. If you’re the kind of person who does not enjoy quirky, or like me, is used to only non-fiction - the book might take some getting used to because some bits are juvenile. If you can overlook these and get to the part where the character Zara appears, you are going to have a lot of fun. Zara's relationship with her psychotherapist has been one of the highlights of this book, for me. It made me laugh and cry. Her sarcasm and contempt for people and her bringing that into therapy, with the reader knowing that she’s probably way smarter than her therapist entertained me no end. The author really knows how to write people and personalities.
    Read time : 8 hours approximately Star Rating : 3.5 out of 5 stars Book publication Date : 2020 (English) Book Review : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gS785WpGJcY

    Anxious people

    by Frederik Backman

    Buy Book
  • May 2021

    About the Book This is a MUST book for all mental health workers ! I wish they had included it in my undergraduate readings (but we didn’t have reading lists In Indian universities at the time!). The book is a personal memoir of a very well known figure in psychology circles - John Hopkins psychologist Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison who beautifully & candidly shares her “lived experience” with Mood disorder. While in 1995, terminology and medications were different than they are today, the book still resonates deeply with me - both, as someone who works with people who live with such pain, and as someone who has been a caregiver myself. If you want to understand better how a person lives with mood disorder, read this book!
    Read time : 5 hours approximately Star Rating : 6 out of 5 stars Book publication Date : 1995 Book Review : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUr6OOGsrzU

    An Unquiet Mind

    by Kay Redfield Jamison

    Buy Book
  • April 2021

    About the Book This is a book that needs to be read when you are stressed. The author @michellerial illustrates life’s little dilemmas whimsically through artful charts. It makes for a perfect gift but I take it to the loo with me a lot for my morning reads alongside that Sudoku.
    Book Review : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=US1cFG0h1iE

    Am I Overthinking this?

    by Michelle Rial

    Buy Book
  • March 2021

    About the review Shankar is a journalist and science correspondent for the podcast “The Hidden Brain” by National Public Radio or NPR, that I have been listening to for years and Bill Messler is a journalist.About the Book The book took me about four and a half hours to read and what particularly interested me were the notes at the end of the book which led me to looking up many cross-references - these included stories, other books that I might have missed out on reading and interviews that I have added on my list of “must listen to” So all in all I did take plenty of notes. The intended audience for the book is anyone interested in human behaviour and the social sciences. I give the book 3.5 out of 5 stars - because there were moments in the books that were really enjoyable although some parts dragged on.
    Book Review : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TcHxMA1DwSs

    Useful delusions : the Power and paradox of the self deceiving brain

    by Shankar Vedantam & Bill Messler

    Buy Book
  • March 2022

    About the Book 25 year documentation of the lives of sadhus & sanyasis by an agnostic psychiatrist & epidemiologist RL Kapur

    This book is from meticulously documented notes by RL Kapur who was one of very few Indians to have worked on and published a monograph on psychiatric epidemiology. He was head of Department of psychiatry at NIMHANS from 1976 to 83. The book is the result of 25 years of remote high-altitude Himalayan treks and one month stays with ascetics with the sole purpose of exploring narratives on mans search for meaning and if a blissful state that is claimed to exist, really does? Towards this purpose he tries to address four question

    (1) Can people really change?
    (2) Is spirituality helpful to different kinds of people?
    (3) What if we looked at the holy people of India – sadhus & sanyasis - and follow their lives for three decades?
    (4) What about schizophrenics choosing a life of renunciation and withdrawal as a safe space?

    If you practice psychology in the community setting in India, this book is a must. Book Review : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGgL8gcDWrc

    Another way to live : A psychiatrist among Indian ascetics

    by RL Kapur (2009) (Malavika Kapur, Dorothy Buglass)

    Buy Book
  • March 2022

    About the Book This 300+ page book is the only Indian writing that addresses in such detail mindful attention or reflection as a medium to scaffold the Indian therapists learnings in their therapeutic work. The authors clearly delineate the process of reflection, with toolkits to boot, and highlight cultural contexts. This is so important because we know that cultures shape us. While we are well aware of “experiential niches,” most Indian psychology departments teach using textbooks from the West that neglect specific rules, scripts and goals contributing to our Indianness - that which influences our emotional, motivational, and learning experiences. While our profession studies human suffering, our textbooks omit physical and social settings, historically constituted customs and practices, ethnotheories and socioeconomics. This book addresses this gap and see’s India as a “whole” and a sum of its parts (It is inclusive, not exclusive). It helps you understand YOU as an Indian therapist, your Indian client, and the therapeutic alliance embedded within this context. Book Review : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5L49WIoETU

    Reflective practice and professional development in psychotherapy

    by Poornima Bhola, Chetna Duggal & Rathna Isaac (2022)

    Buy Book
  • March 2022

    About the Book Book Review : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sHaqgTthats&t=9s

    Understanding trauma : integrating biological, clinical, and cultural perspectives

    by Edited by Laurence Kirmayer, Robert Lemelson & Mark Barad

    Buy Book
  • January 2022

    About the Book Carl Jung’s forgotten lover, a true woman influencer of the early psychoanalyst movement #CarlJung’s forgotten lover, a true woman influencer of the early psychoanalyst movement This book is phenomenal by all standards. It should be an essential read for anyone studying psychology but certainly especially for those choosing to be psychodynamic or relational therapists. It is an intellectual history about (1) a forgotten woman psychoanalyst Sabina Spielrein, a pioneer - who influenced Jungs “anima” work, who worked under Freud, and first-hand influenced Luria, Vygotsky and Piaget. (She was tragically murdered in 1942, along with her two daughters by the SS, Nazi death squad. It is blashphemous that she isn’t mentioned in any of our “Personality” textbooks, nor did she receive the recognition that she deserved.) (2) It is also a history of the undoing of the Freud-Jung intimacy i.e. how they went from being like son and father to breaking-up. Read time : Approximately 100 hours Star Rating : 5 out of 5 stars Book publication Date : 1993 Publisher : Vintage Books a division of Random House, Inc, New York Book Review : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qD_3DHw_gvs

    A most dangerous method By John Kerr (1993)

    by John Kerr

    Buy Book
  • December 2021

    About the Book This 240 page book has a new take on time management. Rather than try to fit more into our schedules, it recommends the exact opposite. It asks that we stop trying to and instead clear the decks while explaining why. It does so via anecdotes and quotes that inspire us to feel less badly about trade-offs that indeed must be made. In making these choices we are asked to meditate on words such as “decide” - It’s etymology dating back to the original Latin “decidere” meaning “to cut off” - i.e. to slice away alternatives, that is. The author goes on to distinguish between the good and the bad procrastinator. The good one accepts the fact that she can’t get everything done, then decides which tasks to focus on and which to neglect. The bad one finds herself paralysed because she can’t bear the thought of confronting her limitations. Another interesting part of the book is the authors take on the inevitability of “settling” - i.e. settling for something (or someone). I won’t go into the details and will leave that bit for you to read. Finally, I enjoyed the authors elucidation of the age old adage “what you pay attention to will define for you what your reality is.” And so, “when you pay attention to something you don’t especially value, it’s not an exaggeration to say that you are paying with your life. The problem with distractions like the phone, especially when “scrolling” (which happens on autopilot), is that the distracted person (i.e. you and me) isn’t really choosing at all. Our attention has been commandeered by forces that don’t have our highest interests at heart (facebook-meta-like companies).”

    My main issue with the book was that some of it’s content was repetitive, and I might have wished that instead of the 240 pages that I read, I might have gained more had it been a concise 50 pages. Also, personally, I’m not the greatest fan of commandments or “lists” like “10 things to do before…” “12 ways to live your life….” “Six steps to enlightenment…” and so on. However, I can see how some people might really need or enjoy that.
    Overall, I think the book is for those who do not read hardcore philosophy and would much prefer a simplified version, as well as a divergent one on “time and how to manage it.”

    As a psychologist, I know I will be using quotes and some paragraphs with some of my clients, whom I know might benefit from it.
    Read time : 18 hours (approximately) Star Rating : 3 out of 5 stars Book publication Date : 2021 Publisher : Farrar, Straus and Giroux Book Review : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eUXc5HWyxsY

    Four Thousand Weeks: Embrace your limits. Change your life.

    by Oliver Burkeman

    Buy Book
  • November 2021

    About the Book This exhaustive 600 page memoir is written most eloquently but should come with a trigger warning. It was one of my top 10 reads of the decade and comes closely after Kay Jamison (An Unquiet Mind). The fact that Dr.Solomon has lived a privileged life as the son of a pharmaceutical mogul, has “made it” in his career as an author who writes for the New York Times, New Yorker, NPR etc; teaches at Columbia and Yale, has a solid support system AND access to good healthcare is precisely what made this book EVEN MORE appealing to me. Depression like diabetes does not discriminate. The book is a moving narrative of the authors breakdowns, his views on treatments - mainstream and alternative, his encumbrances and his insights into what has worked and what hasn’t worked for him, including the dilemma of medication, length of medication, going off medication, getting back on medication, frustration with finding the right psychiatrists and psychologists - trying to convince therapist or doctors that some medications are really not working (and one is not lying about it), etc. While the book is not an Atlas of depression as it lacks objectivity and as an Indian psychologist, it does not touch upon cultural (or gender) issues in much detail, it is a rather well-researched (for 2001) account of the goings-on in the field. A must-read for someone who plans to work in the fields of psychology/psychiatry and mental health. Read time : 70 hours approximately Star Rating : 4 out of 5 stars Book publication Date : 2001 and 2015 (New chapter) (English) Publisher : Simon and Schuster and Scribner Book Review : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7J3u9_EryE&t

    The Noonday Demon : an Atlas of Depression

    by Andrew Solomon

    Buy Book
  • October 2021

    About the Book This book takes on what are considered “unconventional” and holistic approaches to deal with all kinds of trauma - victims of rape, victims of war, the Holocaust, bomb blasts, accidents, domestic violence and the list goes on . It discussed in detai how the manifestations of trauma affect the human body in addition to the already well-documented psychological manifestations.

    It is not a self-help book. The book is for doctors, for psychotherapists, social workers and other mental health related professionals. Now the book takes you through the socioeconomics of trauma, which means how much money is made from pushing for medications alone rather than a more inclusive model to deal with the entire phenomena of trauma. It then discussed the neuroscience of trauma followed by theories of attachment, attunement, abuse and neglect. The author speaks at length about memory and the complications that arise from trauma imprints. He goes on to discuss the many pathways to recovery, highlighting the role of somatic therapies and somewhat criticising cognitive and behavioural approaches in this case. Van der Kolk gives you detailed references for all of his ground-breaking claims detailing therapeutic modalities such as eye movement desensitisation research, yoga, self-discovery, journaling in order to access our inner world of feelings, art, music and dance - wherever language has failed to help - which it has in trauma. Read time : 28-30 hours approximately Star Rating : 3 out of 5 stars Book publication Date : 2015 (English) Publisher : Penguin Books Book Review : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5KxJ5vpfrOk

    The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma

    by Bessel van der Kolk, MD

    Buy Book
  • September 2021

    About the Book This book is a memoir that also offers some amazing insights and counsel to those who are considering or going through or have gone through a divorce. It should be on the list of client recommendations for all mental health practitioners. It’s a self-help book with tools and exercises for heartbreak. The book also deals with really important emotions like the righteous anger that people feel on both sides of the divorce. It gives you concrete strategies to manage these tricky emotions. I use the word tricky because divorce can make you do things that are “not you”. Dr.Cohen writes on resentment and co-parenting alongside guilt and “moving on.” A must read. Read time : 10 hours approximately Star Rating : 4 out of 5 stars Book publication Date : 2021 (English) Book Review : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PpeKIpFhZIw

    Light on the other side of divorce, discovering the new you

    By Elizabeth Cohen, PhD

    Buy Book
  • August 2021

    “Evil consists in intentionally behaving in ways that harm, abuse, demean, dehumanize, or destroy innocent others - or using one’s authority and systematic power to encourage or permit others to do so on your behalf. In short, it is knowing better but doing worse”
    This book details the Stanford prison experiment followed by an analysis of the experiment. It explains the authors (Philip Zimbardo) views on what happened at the prisons in Abu Ghraib with pictures and what the government did and did not do. The last few chapters are mainly on heroism. The author argues that depending on circumstances, all of us who are bystanders can systematically, and incrementally small step by small step - act in brutal and barbaric ways. Students of social psychology should read this book in addition to Stanley Milgram's obedience experiment and Asch's conformity experiment.
    Read time : 15 hours approximately Star Rating : 3 out of 5 stars Book publication Date : 2007 (English) Book Review : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SybCBwMj4tI

    The Lucifer Effect : Understanding how good people turn evil

    by Philip Zimbardo

    Buy Book
  • July 2021

    About the Book This book is biographical and anecdotal and one of the greatest love stories you are going to read - not your boring run-of-the-mill “happily ever afters” but the forget-me-nots - the ones you always refer to in conversations. The book is an intimate look into the rapport between 2 great minds of our times - Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman both psychologists - who changed how we think about how we think.The book is an important one for novices and beginners in social sciences, medicine, law, business, philosophy and public policy. The Author of the book is Michael Lewis best known for his Moneyball and The Big Short - both of which are now movies. He has an undergraduate degree in art history and a Master's in economics and I loved his writing style. Read time : 20 hours approximately (since I took notes and cross-references a lot) Star Rating : 7 out of 5 stars Book publication Date : 2016 (English) Book Review : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNUrEIqSGLs

    The Undoing Project

    by Michael Lewis

    Buy Book
  • June 2021

    About the Book This book has these incredible and intense “truth-bombs” or “quotes” that are so articulately written and that I absolutely loved. I hope they convert this into a screenplay and a movie. If you’re the kind of person who does not enjoy quirky, or like me, is used to only non-fiction - the book might take some getting used to because some bits are juvenile. If you can overlook these and get to the part where the character Zara appears, you are going to have a lot of fun. Zara's relationship with her psychotherapist has been one of the highlights of this book, for me. It made me laugh and cry. Her sarcasm and contempt for people and her bringing that into therapy, with the reader knowing that she’s probably way smarter than her therapist entertained me no end. The author really knows how to write people and personalities.
    Read time : 8 hours approximately Star Rating : 3.5 out of 5 stars Book publication Date : 2020 (English) Book Review : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gS785WpGJcY

    Anxious people

    by Frederik Backman

    Buy Book
  • May 2021

    About the Book This is a MUST book for all mental health workers ! I wish they had included it in my undergraduate readings (but we didn’t have reading lists In Indian universities at the time!). The book is a personal memoir of a very well known figure in psychology circles - John Hopkins psychologist Dr. Kay Redfield Jamison who beautifully & candidly shares her “lived experience” with Mood disorder. While in 1995, terminology and medications were different than they are today, the book still resonates deeply with me - both, as someone who works with people who live with such pain, and as someone who has been a caregiver myself. If you want to understand better how a person lives with mood disorder, read this book!
    Read time : 5 hours approximately Star Rating : 6 out of 5 stars Book publication Date : 1995 Book Review : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUr6OOGsrzU

    An Unquiet Mind

    by Kay Redfield Jamison

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  • April 2021

    About the Book This is a book that needs to be read when you are stressed. The author @michellerial illustrates life’s little dilemmas whimsically through artful charts. It makes for a perfect gift but I take it to the loo with me a lot for my morning reads alongside that Sudoku.
    Book Review : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=US1cFG0h1iE

    Am I Overthinking this?

    by Michelle Rial

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  • March 2021

    About the review Shankar is a journalist and science correspondent for the podcast “The Hidden Brain” by National Public Radio or NPR, that I have been listening to for years and Bill Messler is a journalist.About the Book The book took me about four and a half hours to read and what particularly interested me were the notes at the end of the book which led me to looking up many cross-references - these included stories, other books that I might have missed out on reading and interviews that I have added on my list of “must listen to” So all in all I did take plenty of notes. The intended audience for the book is anyone interested in human behaviour and the social sciences. I give the book 3.5 out of 5 stars - because there were moments in the books that were really enjoyable although some parts dragged on.
    Book Review : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TcHxMA1DwSs

    Useful delusions : the Power and paradox of the self deceiving brain

    by Shankar Vedantam & Bill Messler

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