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Saturday, November 5, 2016

The Writer's Life 11/5 - 50

Tom Butler-Bowdon, a Londoner, has done a series of seven works of non-fiction based on the number 50. I just finished 50 Psychology Classics: Who We Are, How We Think, What We Do. It features synopses of the most influential books on the subject, including best sellers such as Gail Sheehy's Passages and Eric Berne's Games People Play. It's convenient for those who don't want to take the time to read the books in their entirety, especially since many are difficult. I'd read only Freud's Interpretation of Dreams and Viktor Frankl's The Will to Meaning. The 50 is not an easy read, but it is valuable. The prose is so-so. The author uses "their" instead of "his/her." I know it's accepted by many these days, but it annoys me, especially since there are ways around it. Anyway, that's trivial. What distinguishes the work is the insights into great minds. Alfred Adler is quoted as having said: "...a thousand talents and capabilities arise from our feelings of inadequacy." I definitely relate to that. All of my books in large part derived from that. In the summary of A Guide to Rational Living by Albert Ellis and Robert A. Harper, the Butler-Bowdon writes: "How is it that human beings have conquered space and the atom, but most of us can't get ourselves out of bad moods?" I am frequently baffled by mine. In the piece on Brainsex by Anne Moir & David Jessel, it is noted that "in the French penal code, premenstrual tension is included in the category of 'temporary insanity.'" I'm sure there are many men who agree wholeheartedly that it should be. Gestalt Therapy by Fritz Perls, who believed people thought too much as opposed to experiencing, feeling, doing, contains this counter-culture gem: "Lose your mind and come to your senses." In The Paradox of Choice, Barry Schwartz makes the bold claim that the myriad options of the modern world have made people less free because many consume so much time and energy trying to find the best one. In a nutshell comment on Martin Seligman's Authentic Happiness, Butler-Bowdon states: "... has little to do with pleasure, and much to do with developing personal strengths and character." 62 readers have rated 50 Psychology Classics at Amazon, forging to a consensus of 4.5 of five. I'll go with 3.75, which may be more a reflection of my limitations than the book's. I doubt it would have been any easier had I read it when my mind was at its peak, decades ago. Besides, it was published only ten years ago. Here are the other books in the series:
50 Self-Help Classics: 50 Inspirational Books to Transform Your Life from Timeless Sages to Contemporary Gurus. 
50 Success Classics: Winning Wisdom for Work and Life from 50 Landmark Books.
50 Spiritual Classics: Timeless Wisdom From 50 Great Books on Inner Discovery, Enlightenment and Purpose. 
50 Prosperity Classics: Attract It, Create It, Manage It, Share It
50 Philosophy Classics:Thinking, Being, Acting, Seeing - Profound Insights and Powerful Thinking from Fifty Key Books. 
50 Politics Classics: Freedom Equality Power: Mind-Changing, World-Changing Ideas from Fifty Landmark Books 

I had no luck selling books today on Bay Parkway. The last two goose eggs have come there. The only one of my regulars I've seen there lately is Conspiracy Guy, who settled a third of his tab. My thanks.
Vic's Short Works:
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Vic's 3rd Novel:
Vic's Short Story on Kindle:
Vic's Short Story Collection:
Vic's 2nd Novel: Kindle:
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