Posted by Merry Mao on 11th May 2009
Title: The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement
Authors: Jean M. Twenge and W. Keith Campbell
Publisher: Free Press, April 2009
Summary: This fascinating (and disturbing) book focuses on what the authors feel is an alarming rise in narcissistic behavior in the United States. They argue that narcissists, long thought to behave in ways to cover up their lack of self-esteem, are in fact overflowing with self-regard, and that the emphasis placed on self-esteem training for young children and in schools has contributed to a culture where entitlement is rampant, and everyone really believes that they are so special that rules do not apply to them.
In describing the consequences this upswing in narcissism has for schools (cheating and grade inflation,) the workplace (young adults taking their parents into the office for performance reviews,) the economy (McMansions, debt, and the mortgage crisis,) culture (celebutants and Web 2.0) and the environment (SUVs and global warming,) Twenge (author of Generation Me) and Campbell paint a very upsetting picture. While some of their arguments might be a little far-fetched, you can pick and choose what chapters interest you.
All in all this is a book that will make you think twice when you see a baby dressed in a t-shirt that says “I’m the Boss.”
Who will like this book: General non-fiction readers and people with an interest in psychology and culture. If the world seems to you a little ruder and more competitive lately, this book is for you.
If you like this, try this: For more on celebrity narcissism, try The Mirror Effect by Drew Pinsky. For more on Milennials in the workplace, look for The Trophy Kids Grow Up by Ron Alsop. And for the effects of this cultural shift on girls and young women, read Female Chauvinist Pigs by Ariel Levy.
Recommended by: Nicole, Teen Librarian
Tags: 2009 Releases, Narcissism, Psychology, Sociology
Posted in Non-Fiction | No Comments »
Posted by Merry Mao on 19th September 2008
Title: The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes and Why
Author: Amanda Ripley
Publisher: Crown, June 2008
Summary: Ever wonder how you would react in a real emergency? You will keep asking that question throughout this interesting non-fiction book on surviving disasters. The author analyzes behavior in several disastrous situations to try and determine who survives – and why. The answers may surprise you.
Who will like this book?: Readers who are interested in human behavior.
If you like this, try this: Brain Rules by John Medina
Recommended by: Barb, Reference Librarian.
Tags: Disaster, Psychology, Sociology, Survival
Posted in Non-Fiction | No Comments »
Posted by Merry Mao on 25th August 2008
Title: Brain Rules
Author: John Medina
Publisher: Pear Press, March 2008
“If you wanted to create an education environment that was directly opposed to what the brain was good at doing, you probably would design something like a classroom. If you wanted to create a business environment that was directly opposed to what the brain was good at doing, you would probably design something like a cubicle.”
This is just one of John Medina’s interesting observations detailed in Brain Rules. Medina has narrowed his research down to 12 rules of brain function with a chapter designated for each.
In chapter 1, “Exercise Boosts Brain Power” we learn, among other things, that one of the greatest predictors of successful aging is the presence or lack of a sedentary lifestyle. I personally know a few people who could benefit by reading chapter 4, “We Don’t Pay Attention to Boring Things”. Chapters 7 and 8 detail the effects of sleep and stress on brain function, and Chapter 11 tells us (surprise, surprise), that male and female brains are different. If you are interested in learning why we think and behave the way we do, Medina does a great job explaining the “rules”.
Who will like this book? Anyone interested in human behavior.
Recommended by: Sue, Circulation Coordinator
Tags: Cognition, Learning, Memory, Neuroscience, Psychology
Posted in Non-Fiction, Science & Math | No Comments »