Book Review | 5 types of people who can ruin your life : identifying and dealing with narcissists, sociopaths, and other high-conflict personalities by Bill Eddy

5 types of people who can ruin your life.jpgEddy’s subtitle sums up the book he’s delivering. This quick read will help the reader in his/her daily interactions to identify individuals exhibiting characteristics of a personality disorder, to distinguish between various disorders, and to more aptly deal with these sometimes challenging people. Examples and anecdotes presented also serve to foster personality awareness that would likely be helpful to all readers. Eddy has clearly devoted a lot of time to working with challenging personalities and is sharing some of his important findings here.

Non-fiction psychology books are not something I would generally think of as enjoyable reads, but this text proved to be interesting and thought-provoking from the start. Although the text is repetitive at times, it seems Eddy is just trying to drive important points home since this will be most people’s first time addressing the subject matter. The book is appropriate for all audiences and all concepts are explained clearly. 5 Types of People Who Can Ruin Your Life would be a good read for anyone who is concerned they may be dealing with someone who has a personality disorder, those hoping to learn more about personality disorders, or those looking to gain general insights regarding interpersonal relationships. Check it out from a library near you.

I received an uncorrected proof of this book as a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to the author/publisher for participating in the giveaway.


Book Review | The Leaf Reader by Emily Arsenault

leaf reader cover.jpgProtagonist Marnie is not one of high school’s popular kids, but her hobby of tea leaf reading gets her involved with the in crowd after one of their own goes missing. Matt is attractive and popular, but something seems slightly off about him. As he searches for answers about his best friend’s disappearance, it’s unclear to Marnie whether he knows more than he’s letting on or has an ulterior motive. When Marnie begins having recurring dreams that involve her tea leaf readings and seeing images outside of the tea cups, she realizes she may be the only hope of solving the town’s mystery.

Definitely a YA book, The Leaf Reader was an enjoyable read. The writing is simple and straight-forward, with an easy to follow plot. The cast of characters is manageable, though somewhat flat. The mystery in this book is intriguing and certainly unpredictable. It’s a plot-driven, fast paced, quick and engaging read. Check it out from a library near you!

I received an advance uncopyedited edition of this book as a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to the author/publisher for participating in the giveaway.

*If you’ve enjoyed reading The Leaf Reader, you may be interested in The Clairvoyants by Karen Brown (2017).

Book Review | The Slave by Anand Dílvar

slave coverOriginally published in Spanish as El Esclavo, this English translation is set for publication in January 2018. The Slave, our narrator, finds himself in a coma after an accident. Trapped within his mind, unable to move or blink after a debilitating accident, he endures a range of emotions, eventually discovering a guide within himself. Though the plot may sound similar to Johnny Got His Gun, it is quite a different tale.

This book is on the unobtrusive end of self-help books. The idea is that through reading the book, you’ll join the narrator in his discoveries that help to “free” him from the guilt, blame, anger and other negative emotions experienced. It provides a way of coping with or reacting to stimuli in a more focused and proactive manner. The book is not clearly labeled fiction or non-fiction. It works as a novella in that it shares an experience with the reader in a somewhat engaging way. I could see how some people might benefit from ideas shared within, but to me it was just a quick read with nothing very profound or enlightening.

I received an advance reading copy of this book as a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to the author/publisher for participating in the giveaway.

Book Review | The Clairvoyants by Karen Brown

clairvoyants karen brown.jpgAfter growing up on the Connecticut coast, Martha moves to Ithaca to further her photography skills at Cornell. Before long, she is joined by her younger sister, Del, and they fall in with a group of gals from the neighboring town of Milton. Martha’s curiosity regarding the disappearance of one Milton girl grows after she sees the girl’s spirit outside her apartment. After thinking she’s found love, Martha is at a loss when she finds out she’s been courting the missing girl’s beau.

The Clairvoyants is an enjoyable and thought provoking read. Brown’s writing is clear, offering a plot that’s easy to get involved in. Though I didn’t particularly like any of the novel’s characters, their stories were interesting and kept me constantly engaged. The supernatural aspect of the plot, while ever-present, is not overdone. This book would appeal to fans of gothic or women’s fiction. Check it out from a library near you!

I received an advance reader’s edition of this book as a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to the author/publisher for participating in the giveaway.

*If you’ve enjoyed reading The Clairvoyants, you may be interested in An English Ghost Story by Kim Newman (2014).

Book Review | The Room : a novel by Jonas Karlsson

the room book coverUnder less than perfect circumstances, Björn transfers to a new job at the Authority in Stockholm. He sees himself as a man of the future who is destined for greatness, though his coworkers think he’s quite a jerk. Björn thinks he is better than the lot of them and plots his rise to management. When his colleagues report him for improper behavior, he is forced to examine his own mental state and choose a new path to the top – and balance the time he spends in a special room at work that the others claim doesn’t exist.

Karlsson has penned a winner with The Room. Although Björn is an unlikable protagonist, he serves as an entertaining narrator. This quick read starts strong and keeps the pages turning. The direct writing style clearly depicts scenes and settings. The book takes place in Sweden, but could easily have occurred elsewhere, as the cultural references are limited. The Room is an enjoyable office fiction read and would work quite well for book clubs or to spark a dialogue about workplace ethics. Check out this new release from a library near you.

Book Review | The Transcriptionist : a novel by Amy Rowland

book cover The transcriptionist : a novel / Amy Rowland.This debut novel by Amy Rowland of The New York Times examines a fictional slice of life of a transcriptionist working for a major NYC paper. Main character Lena is in her 30’s and single, living at a Salvation Army residence for women. Her simple life involves little human interaction as she walks and busses to and from her job as sole transcriptionist at renowned paper, The Record. Each day she listens to the recorded voices of strangers as she types their words in preparation for printing. Mostly Lena notices details that have been omitted from the final articles, but it is the inclusion of one article in particular, about a blind woman mauled by lions, that prompts her to reexamine her role and the role of the newspaper overall.

The Transcriptionist has received positive reviews from major sources including Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly and Library Journal. Personally, I’d give the book a 2 or 3 out of 5. It took a long time to get somewhat interesting. Around 70 pages in, I was still considering quitting. The story lines and main character are fairly plain and I just didn’t care what, if anything, was going to happen. Certain parts of this book reminded me of Téa Obreht’s novel The Tiger’s Wife, but that book was actually worth the struggle to get into it. If you’re still interested in this new book about a melancholy lady with a sense of ethics, check it out from a library near you.

Book Review | Il Silenzio dell’onda (The Silence of the Wave) by Gianrico Carofiglio

book cover Il Silenzio dell’onda (The Silence of the Wave) by Gianrico CarofiglioTold with alternating focus between a man and a boy, The Silence of the Wave is a story about a man’s struggle through a tough time in his life. After working for many years as an undercover agent involved in international organized crime, Roberto suffers a breakdown that renders him unable to continue his work. While frequenting a psychiatrist during his health leave in Rome, he meets a woman patient in whom he becomes interested. As they get to know each other, details from his past resurface while he deals with issues during therapy. The woman’s son Giacomo is the boy character with whom the protagonist is linked.

I was not expecting to enjoy this book as much as I did. It was a well written and interesting novel. The story of Roberto was a mostly straightforward, clear path to follow with events that were real and emotions that were understandable. Giacomo’s story was more surreal with him receiving information in his dreams. Carofiglio did an excellent job of describing those dreams realistically and I was even reminded of previous Haruki Murakami works I have read. The story constantly kept my attention and I would definitely consider reading other works by this author. Check a library near you for The Silence of the Wave.