Hicham Faraj Faraj itibaren Suslovo, Kemerovskaya oblast', Rusya, 652190
A very eye opening book about Canadian WW2 prisioner of war experiences. Great for any WW2 buff.
As someone who works with psychotic individuals, I would love to be able to better understand psychosis. This book was mildly helpful, but I still have more questions than answers. The topic of psychotic disorders isn't very popular among readers or writers, including those in the mental health and medical fields. Most of what is studied and written on this topic is focused on medications and brain functioning. Non-medicinal (or extra-medicinal) treatment of psychotic symptoms is one of the few areas of clinical psychology that hasn't been adequately addressed. In many ways, clinical psychology has plateaued in recent years. There hasn't been a major advance to the field since cognitive-behavioral therapy was developed (or, perhaps, reality therapy). The area of psychotic disorders doesn't necessarily require a new therapeutic modality, but it does need more interventions that are effective. Understanding Psychosis is a worthwhile read, and it did expand my knowledge about the topic, but I still don't really understand psychosis. I continue to believe something about psychosis that is ignored or dismissed by contemporary writers, that psychosis is (at least sometimes) a disorder of mind/brain and SPIRIT. I say this because almost every psychotic person I've talked to reports experiences/symptoms involving spirit-like entities. The disorder appears (to me) to be more than just brain circuits making mistakes. Some psychotic individuals do indeed appear to be "tuned in" to spirit-like entities that actually do exist - outside and inaccessible to the awareness of healthier minds. But I admit, this idea remains a mere theory without supportive scientific evidence. Plus, even if it is true, non-spiritual medications remain rather effective treatments, therefore, much of the disorder is definitely rooted in the physical brain.
I wanted to read this book because I enjoyed a short story I read by the author called the "Great Brit Book Tour". I should have known not to compare a short story with a novel. This book is about a young Italian-American woman trying to transform her grandma's small-time shoe-making operation into a bigger, corporate business while of course, searching for love and happiness. There were enjoyable moments in the book, especially the scenes with her Italian family. I also enjoyed reading the construction of shoes and the creative work that goes into it. But overall, the novel was tedious to read with so many details. I wanted it to be over half way through. And, the main character calls herself the funny one in her family, but the jokes weren't funny, not even cute - they were so cliche. If you are Italian, you may enjoy it more and pick up on the cultural references. Otherwise, if you're looking for a light, fun read, this book is definitely light in story, but hard to get through.