Showing posts from September, 2018

The Emotional Wound Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Psychological Trauma by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi

The Emotional Would Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Psychological Trauma by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi lists a number of events that cause emotional wounds and provides a list of how those wounds affect one's psychological well-being and place in society. Acherman and Puglisi give insight into how to write characters who have been through a variety of traumatic situations. It's a reference book that any writer could find handy from time to time. While much more research might be necessary depending on the plotline, The Emotional Would Thesaurus offers a great starting point by giving a snapshot of each emotional wound it discusses. The appendix includes some helpful worksheets. Because of the similarities of some of the effects of the emotional wounds discussed, I found it easier to internalize each wound by giving myself time to think between reading each one. The Emotional Wound Thesaurus will stay on my shelves as a handy reference for those times when I need

The Bitter Season by Tami Hoag

The Bitter Season by Tami Hoag is a fast, engaging read. As she often does, Hoag tackles issues in depth that many authors shy away from or gloss over. She plays with gender roles, misogynistic attitudes, family dynamics, child abuse, and sexual assault in the midst of following two detectives solving seemingly separate murder cases. Hoag creates characters with enough depth to immerse the reader in their lives leading one to feel a sense of compassion that at times surprises the reader while eliciting enough anger at other times to keep the reader wanting a better outcome for  myriad characters in the book even when the reader knows the outcome must be what it is. The Bitter Season explores real life attitudes and behaviors in the context of a fictional world that both intrigues and provokes thought. Hoag's books, including The Bitter Season , are never merely mysteries to be solved but a look into the conditions that lead to human depravity and the consequences thereof.

Specimen Days by Michael Cunningham

I bought Specimen Days by Michael Cunningham quite a while ago without really knowing what it was about or what to expect. As I started reading, I felt strangely like I was hovering above the characters watching them go about their lives. The use of Walt Whitman's work to weave these three stories set in different times together intrigued me and kept me wondering where Cunningham was going. As I read what in many ways felt like three novellas tied together by some common elements I couldn't help but think about the remnants we leave behind as we travel through life, remnants that might mean the world to us and nothing to someone else or might feel like nothing to us but change someone else's life. Cunningham's characters aren't all necessarily likable but they are engaging and even relatable in an uncomfortable way that seems to bring to mind some of the less desirable aspects of one's self as one wonders what one would do in similar circumstances. Specimen D

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

Sometimes you read a book that makes you stop and think and then changes the way you think. Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman is one such book. I started reading with my skepticism hat on as I do with most research based material. As I read, Kahneman's descriptions of how we think and how our thinking is affected by the world around us deeply resonated with me. I read Thinking, Fast and Slow like a textbook for a class, a chapter at a time, giving what I'd read time to sink in before moving on to the next chapter. His discussion of "framing" really made me stop and think about how many times I've been manipulated by the wording of an "offer" that mostly benefits the person making the offer. I also stopped to think about how often I make snap judgments attributing my thoughts to intuition based on experience. Thinking, Fast and Slow examines how our brains so often take the easy answer instead of engaging in more thought to find more accurat