PT bookshelf: on female sex and aggression, aging, nightmares and more. – new books

PT bookshelf: on female sex and aggression, aging, nightmares and more. – new books – book review

THE POP-UP BOOK OF NIGHTMARES St. Martins Press, $29.95

A pop-up book aimed at adults, this work illustrates in three dimensions every nightmare you’ve ever had, and some you don’t want to know about. (One, based on the Freudian interpretation of cars as phallic symbols, suggests that dreams about traffic accidents imply anxiety about impotence). But it’s the mobile graphics by Balvis Rubess and Matthew Reinhart that really make this book fun. Turn the page to the birthing dream, for instance, and you find yourself being presented with a newborn resembling William Donald Schaefer, former governor of Maryland. Horrors.

WHALE DONE! THE POWER OF POSITIVE RELATIONSHIPS Free Press, $19.95

In this management parable, Wes Kingsley is a no-nonsense manager of the “Gotcha!” school, where managing means pointing out mistakes. But the more conscientious he is, the worse things become. Thoroughly demoralized, he visits SeaWorld for some R&R. There he watches Shamu and other whales performing stunts for their human “managers” and learns that the trainers’ secret is positive reinforcement: Instead of focusing on errors, they focus on what the animals do right. This sounds obvious, but the bias toward “Gotcha!” is so innate in most of us that it will seem new to many readers. Written by businessman Ken Blanchard (author of The One Minute Manager) and three professional trainers, this book shows behavior modification as it was meant to be done.

THE FASTING GIRL: A TRUE VICTORIAN MEDICAL MYSTERY Tarcher/Putnam, $23.95

In 1865, 18-year-old Mollie Fancher was thrown from a horse cart. Thereafter, she complained of a variety of ailments, including paralysis and blindness, but she became most famous for thriving despite ostensibly refusing to eat. Doctors, journalists, spiritualists and the curious traveled worldwide to marvel at her 12-year fast, and many were convinced she truly survived without a bite of food. Though wiser souls called her claims ridiculous, Mollie managed to stay in or near the public eye for 50 years. Journalist Michelle Stacey argues that Mollie was as much a product of her era, when “hysteria” was in fashion, as are the anorexic women of today, now that thin is in.

THE SECRET LIVES OF GIRLS: THE REAL FEELINGS OF YOUNG GIRLS ABOUT SEX, VIOLENCE, PEER PRESSURE, AND MORALITY Free Press, $24

If you think girls are sugar and spice and everything nice, you’re in for a surprise. According to author Sharon Lamb, Ed.D., professor of psychology at Saint Michael’s College in Vermont, the recipe for girls also calls for vinegar and hot sauce. Drawing from 125 interviews with girls and women, Lamb provides a peek at sex games that involve kissing and pretend intercourse, as well as aggressive acts that include hurtful words and occasional blows. Girls of all ages may experience great relief at finding their own secret experiences shared by others, and boys of all ages may find themselves saying, “Hmm. Girls are a lot like us.”

KEEP YOUR BRAIN YOUNG: THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO PHYSICAL AND EMOTIONAL HEALTH AND LONGEVITY John Wiley & Sons, $24.95

Are your gray cells getting slightly sluggish? Age-proof your brain with this book by Guy McKhann, M.D., professor of neurology and neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and Marilyn Albert, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry and neurology at Harvard Medical School. They provide tips on dealing with everyday problems such as forgetfulness and depression, explain how to recognize and cope with serious brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s and offer advice on keeping your brain fit through diet and exercise.

COPYRIGHT 2002 Sussex Publishers, Inc.

COPYRIGHT 2002 Gale Group