Sunday, September 23, 2012

Crevices of Beautiful Minds, Crevasses of Beautiful Souls by V. B. Kai-Rogers opens the heart and the mind with questions of faith and love through the exploration of religion, romance, mythology and human connection. Kai-Rogers travels the journey of self-discovery in thought provoking poems that take the reader into the depths of the soul and back again.  The beautifully written poems in Crevices of Beautiful Minds, Crevasses of Beautiful Souls fill in the gaps in the heart and mind with insights that challenge, comfort, and give hope all at once.

Friday, September 21, 2012

The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty by Dan Ariely

The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone - Especially to Ourselves is an interesting dissection and presentation of a number of studies conducted by Dan Ariely and his associates to determine when, how, and why people lie. By setting up a series of similar experiments by altering the conditions of the experiments Ariely discovered factors that influenced people's decisions to lie. He also delved into how people excuse lying to themselves. While I found his conclusions and his methodology compelling, I couldn't help but think that the results weren't as conclusive as they appeared. A number of other factors could've been at play in the thinking processes of the participants in the study. While I believe his premise that people figure out ways to lie and maintain their self-image of being honest, I thought that before I started reading The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty. Ariely confirmed much of what I already believed about lying, but I didn't have any "ah-ha" moments while reading the book. The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty is well-written, interesting, and engaging if at times a tad academic. Ariely's results have the odd effect of making me feel both better and worse about humanity with this presentation of his research into the human struggle to be honest in the face of temptation.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Addicted to Love by C. J. West

Addicted to Love by C. J. West creates a world that seems euphoric except for one minor detail. The basic premise of this story made me squirm in my seat even while the main character sought to figure out the cause behind both the euphoria and the craziness that followed it. Oddly, this exploration of love through an artificial perfection reminded me that given a choice, I'd choose reality over perfection any day. We quickly learn that even bliss has consequences when threatened. West's writing made me question my own ideas about blissful love and captured my imagination even when I questioned why the characters didn't make the connections sooner than they did. But then I remembered that we often only see what we want to see, a condition of human nature West also conveyed quite well in Addicted to Love.