The 10 Dumbest Mistakes Smart People Make And How To Avoid Them – Dr Arthur Freeman and Rose DeWolf

This was a very good book to read. It lists what it considers to be the 10
easiest mistakes for people to make in there thinking and gives very good every
day examples of people making the mistakes. It then goes on to list the basic
techniques for overcoming these problems. I got the book because I was looking
for something on Cognitive Therapy and I think this is probably a great book to
give to someone who has low self esteem, is a perfectionist to the point of
never completing anything or even has too much self esteem. There is a little
quiz in the first chapter to help you focus on which mistakes you are making
the most but all the chapters are a good read. I am not sure how it people will
react to it who do make these mistakes as I was rather surprised to mind I
already use most of the techniques mentioned here. I know many people that
don’t though so perhaps I make the 11 mistake of not knowing my faults!

Inside 25 Cromwell St – Stephen and Mae West

I was a bit disappointed to discover this book was a News Of The World publication.
I suppose I should have guessed as it was bound to be a bit sensationalist. Or
so I thought. Once I had actually read it I thought it was a fairly good
insight into what it must be like to have relations that become criminally
notorious. The book basically quotes lots of interviews with Stephen and more
often Mae and presents them in topics with a brief editorial explanation of the
circumstances. The authors seem genuine enough but since there is no outside
comment it is difficult too tell. My perception of Stephen also changed once we
got to the bodies being found and the trial (They were both obviously under a
lot of pressure). I think I would have preferred to buy a more general book on
the subject and will in all probability do so, so that I can compare it with
this book. This book was released straight after the verdict for Rose West’s
trial so is perhaps a little to close to the events. Given the books was not
quite what I was wanting I think it is a very good read all the same.

Web – John Wyndham

As you would expect from John Wyndham another excellent story that seems
quite well thought out. Since the novel is quite short (too short really) the
brief summary on the back gives almost all the plot away so don’t read it. Just
sit back and read the novel as it unfolds. In case like me you need to know
what the books basic premise is I will say that it is an expedition to an
island in order to create a new society.

The Whole Woman – Germaine Greer

3 out 5 – An Interesting but flawed book.

Well this is a hard book to review. I got it because I saw a program about
Greer and it’s imminent release. Since I have been chatting with a feminist
friend I thought I would see what I guessed was a feminist "leader"
had to say. The book is basically a series of essays on various aspects of
modern society. Some chapters are quite good some are appallingly bad. They are
all very negative and have little suggestion as to what should be done to
remedy the problems outlined. I started off thinking the book good. Then as no
solutions were suggested and Greer repeatedly took two partially true
statements and combined them in her lines of thinking to make ridiculous
assumptions about men I started getting fed up with her and wondered what had
happened to the seemingly intelligent and well thought out person portrayed on
TV. I stuck with the book and again found chapters full of common sense (but
still negative as no doubt a woman’s life can be) and I thought perhaps the
book will come up with some suggestions at the end. In fact it did in the final
chapter a long time after a lot of people might have given up on her. I noticed
a couple of times the books is written to a female audience (although it is
full with interesting but blatantly biased Statistics). It also mentioned that
feminists spend a long time arguing about their philosophies with each other.
It struck me this book would achieve more if it had been better aimed at both
sexes. If it put me, a liberal minded male, off at times there is no way she
will change the males she really wants to get through to and educate. She just
looks like a moaning woman and the book is worth a lot more than that.

To show you how it annoyed me here are some early notes :-

I got this book because I have been chatting to a fellow ME sufferer about
Gender and Feminism etc and I expected Greer to be a good person at putting
things a cross. But if she is no wonder she spends the book bleating about how
poor woman’s lot is compared men’s. I read the chapters on beauty, manmade
woman, womb, breasts and food and thought them all at least reasonable. Then I
got onto Pantomime dames which I knew would be interesting as she is against
Transexuals and my brother has recently worked out he/she is one. The argument
put seemed fairly reasonable from a logical level. I.e. Transexuals probably
would not exist to the same degree if men could get by with being
"feminine". The world is not perfect though and we do have all these
image problems with people so I don’t think that is a reason to reject these
people. She also barely mentions female to male Transexuals. I wonder why!
Abortion was where I started getting annoyed with her. She is just blaming men
because men happen to be the people running the world and giving woman what
they want or are manipulating into wanting. Each topic has an interesting point
of view in it and I was interested that she seems to be support woman’s rights
for self mutilation etc but by the time I got to the "Work" chapter
it was starting to get to the same boring themes. Woman are mugs that don’t
seem capable of organising themselves into decent paid jobs and Men are a lazy
idle good for nothings seems to be her main thrust. She gives all sort of
fascinating stats (I thought woman aren’t interested in stats? I heard a
leading female sports commentator says so only recently.) about how much more
woman do then men and then seems to defeat her arguments about unpaid work by
claiming even when woman aren’t doing the housework they are still working
because they working on their appearance.

A typical example of my problem with Greer is that she takes reasonable
interpretations of things and the builds on them on builds on them until she
comes out with statements like "we might find ourselves having to admit
that men are attracted to the infantile female in the same measure that they
are repelled and revolted by the adult child-bearing female." She seems to
take one negative view and then multiply it by another negative view to come up
with an even more negative view that she has no solutions for.

I have been reading Greer on Marriage today. She was using Marriage stats
the Most female divorces of Men are for unreasonable behaviour or adultery.
I.e. implying that fact men are bad. This is backed up by men not bothering to
defend themselves. It is this kind of false representation that makes the book
so dubious. These to methods are the fastest and it is a waste of money
disputing them as the divorce will still happen.

Guide to Transsexualism, Transgenderism and Gender Dysphoria By A.Purnell

This was a good basic guide to transexualily and the things a transexual
might face. It is written by a Medic so it did not really give me the
understanding I was looking for as a brother of a transexual. I have just read
Read My Lips By Riki Anne Wilchins (also reviewed) and that did cover this area
for me so it might have removed this edge for me a bit. I also found this book a
little less interesting to read. I would still recommend it as a general
sympathetic guide though.

Read My Lips By Riki Anne Wilchins

I got this book because my brother has recently broken down the walls he
built up around himself to find he is really a she. I had in the past read
Julia Grant’s "Just Julia" out of casual interest and lending her
this book in fact helped her identify herself. However I was after more details
on Transexuality and Gender in general. This book has met this need very nicely.
As someone from England I guess it is not the most relevant book since it deals
with the Politics going on in America. But once you get through the first half
of the book it really becomes mind challenging and I have to agree with a lot
of Riki’s points. As a new chapter start I would at first wonder what she was
going on about but as I got to the end I felt I had a pretty good understanding
and insight. The were lots of passages I thought I ought to remember and use
for examples in future should anyone feel like discussing Gender with me.

The Hunchback Of Notre-Dame By Victor Hugo

This one took me to two attempts two read as my mental abilities were
reduced by ill health and this at times can be a rather long winded book. The
book is actually broken into 11 books and I gave up after the first book last
time. This time I was determined to get to the end as I don’t like to be beaten
and in the end I think it was worth it. The story is a good one and although
the author goes of into what seem like long irrelevancies they mostly did have
a point in the end. The big exception seemed to be Book 3 which is seems to be
the authors views on the state of Architecture at the time (1850) and a
tourists guide to Paris at the end of the 15th century obviously
based on 1850. These two chapters did nothing for me at all and I think it is
safe to miss them unless you have a better knowledge of Paris or architecture
than me and find them interesting.

I have the Wordswoth Classics edition of the book and it is 397 pages long.
The typeface in the edition is rather small at about 44 lines per page so
beware.

The thing I did like about the writing style was it was very much like
reading a film. He seemed to give overviews of scenes and then focus in on the
detail. I don’t recall reading a descriptive book that had the same feel to it
before. It is certainly a completely different style to Wilkie Collins who was
the previous Classical Author I read.

I was interested to read the other reviews saying this was a great love
story. I am still not sure between who. Several characters seemed to love
Esmeralda. Claude Frollo seemed the strongest love to me but perhaps that
doesn’t count.

Countdown To The Millennium By Rodney Matthews

This is a book of Artwork by Rodney Matthews. I bought it because of my
interest in the Pictures he painted for Praying Mantis but this is a very nice
book and was a great pleasure to look at and read. It contains a round up of
nearly all the record covers Matthews has ever done. And a detailed explanation
of his covers between 1989-1995. It also contains a round up of his other work
in this period such as some Alice In Wonderland paintings and some of the
Biblical Book of Revelations. Early stuff having been covered in previous books
I would now like to check out. I recommend the book to anyone who likes
Matthews drawing style and especially fans of Hard Rock groups

Alice In Wonderland by Lewis Carol

What utter rubbish. Why is this book so popular? It is nonsense after
nonsense if this entertains children it shows how out of touch I am with them.
A complete waste of reading time. Thank goodness it is short. I had started
reading it to Zoe and Abbie but they seemed bored by the idea. I certainly
won’t give it to them to read of their own accord.

The Picture Of Dorian Gray By Oscar Wilde

This is a book I have heard as a Talking Classic and seen in an old B&W
film. It struck me as being very much written in the style of a play with lots
and lots of dialogue. I was interested to see that when Wilde described the
scene at the beginning in the Artists house he was using lots of colour. I did
not enjoy the chapter which link the start of his corruption to the end of it’s
life. It just seemed to be long and pointless description. I got bored after a
while and started skipping it. The story itself was excellent and I loved the
character of Lord Henry with his interesting views on the world.