A health book recommendation: Labyrinths: Emma Jung, Her Marriage to Carl, and the Early Years of Psychoanalysis by Catrine Clay

A critic review (source Financial Times) can be read at: http://on.ft.com/2dkSwmg.
Labyrinths, Catrine Clay’s absorbing new biography, charts the twists and turns in some of the key lives involved in that historical moment, in particular those of Emma Jung and her more famous husband, Carl.
Book description from Google Books:
 A sensational, eye-opening account of Emma Jung’s complex marriage to Carl Gustav Jung and the hitherto unknown role she played in the early years of the psychoanalytic movement.Clever and ambitious, Emma Jung yearned to study the natural sciences at the University of Zurich. But the strict rules of proper Swiss society at the beginning of the twentieth century dictated that a woman of Emma’s stature—one of the richest heiresses in Switzerland—travel to Paris to “finish” her education, to prepare for marriage to a suitable man. Engaged to the son of one of her father’s wealthy business colleagues, Emma’s conventional and predictable life was upended when she met Carl Jung. The son of a penniless pastor working as an assistant physician in an insane asylum, Jung dazzled Emma with his intelligence, confidence, and good looks. More important, he offered her freedom from the confines of a traditional haute-bourgeois life. But Emma did not know that Jung’s charisma masked a dark interior—fostered by a strange, isolated childhood and the sexual abuse he’d suffered as a boy—as well as a compulsive philandering that would threaten their marriage. Using letters, family interviews, and rich, never-before-published archival material, Catrine Clay illuminates the Jungs’ unorthodox marriage and explores how it shaped—and was shaped by—the scandalous new movement of psychoanalysis. Most important, Clay reveals how Carl Jung could never have achieved what he did without Emma supporting him through his private torments. The Emma that emerges in the pages of Labyrinths is a strong, brilliant woman, who, with her husband’s encouragement, becomes a successful analyst in her own right.
The book is rated 3.70/5 at goodreads.com, from 66 ratings. See 19 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2cVuzSy.
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A law book recommendation: In Praise of Forgetting: Historical Memory and Its Ironies by David Rieff

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/2aekfGp.
This rich book provides a field guide to a more decent politics of forgiveness, in which Trump and Trumpism may one day be mercifully forgotten too.
Book description from Google Books:
The conventional wisdom about historical memory is summed up in George Santayana’s celebrated phrase, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Today, the consensus that it is moral to remember, immoral to forget, is nearly absolute. And yet is this right? David Rieff, an independent writer who has reported on bloody conflicts in Africa, the Balkans, and Central Asia, insists that things are not so simple. He poses hard questions about whether remembrance ever truly has, or indeed ever could, “inoculate” the present against repeating the crimes of the past. He argues that rubbing raw historical wounds–whether self-inflicted or imposed by outside forces–neither remedies injustice nor confers reconciliation. If he is right, then historical memory is not a moral imperative but rather a moral option–sometimes called for, sometimes not. Collective remembrance can be toxic. Sometimes, Rieff concludes, it may be more moral to forget.   Ranging widely across some of the defining conflicts of modern times–the Irish Troubles and the Easter Uprising of 1916, the white settlement of Australia, the American Civil War, the Balkan wars, the Holocaust, and 9/11–Rieff presents a pellucid examination of the uses and abuses of historical memory. His contentious, brilliant, and elegant essay is an indispensable work of moral philosophy.
The book is rated 3.46/5 at goodreads.com, from 81 ratings. See 17 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2adom2A.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2t9uXp1.

A crime book recommendation: True Believer: Stalin’s Last American Spy by Kati Marton

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/2dN6WyB.
As vividly reconstructed by Marton, Noel Field’s life is a window on the delusion and narcissism that fuel the self-radicalized of any era.
Book description from Google Books:
“Relevant…fascinating…vividly reconstructed.” —The New York Times Book Review “Riveting reading…a mesmerizing look at Cold War espionage.” —USA TODAY This astonishing real-life spy thriller, filled with danger, misplaced loyalties, betrayal, treachery, and pure evil, with a plot twist worthy of John le Carré, is relevant today as a tale of fanaticism and the lengths it takes us to.True Believer reveals the life of Noel Field, an American who betrayed his country and crushed his family. Field, once a well-meaning and privileged American, spied for Stalin during the 1930s and ’40s. Then, a pawn in Stalin’s sinister master strategy, Field was kidnapped and tortured by the KGB and forced to testify against his own Communist comrades. How does an Ivy League-educated, US State Department employee, deeply rooted in American culture and history, become a hardcore Stalinist? The 1930s, when Noel Field joined the secret underground of the International Communist Movement, were a time of national collapse: ten million Americans unemployed, rampant racism, retreat from the world just as fascism was gaining ground, and Washington—pre FDR—parched of fresh ideas. Communism promised the righting of social and political wrongs and many in Field’s generation were seduced by its siren song. Few, however, went as far as Noel Field in betraying their own country. With a reporter’s eye for detail, and a historian’s grasp of the cataclysmic events of the twentieth century, Kati Marton captures Field’s riveting quest for a life of meaning that went horribly wrong. True Believer is supported by unprecedented access to Field family correspondence, Soviet Secret Police records, and reporting on key players from Alger Hiss, CIA Director Allen Dulles, and World War II spy master, “Wild Bill” Donovan—to the most sinister of all: Josef Stalin. A story of another time, this is a tale relevant for all times.
The book is rated 3.74/5 at goodreads.com, from 242 ratings. See 49 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2dN91KT.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2szMwOB.
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A health book recommendation: The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit by Michael Finkel

A critic review (source NY Journal of Books) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2txuIre.
The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last Hermit may not appeal to everyone. But for those who desire an amazing true story that is told with immeasurable depth and compassion, it is an extraordinary glimpse into a world that defies much of what we think we know about people.
Book description from Google Books:
Many people dream of escaping modern life, but most will never act on it. This is the remarkable true story of a man who lived alone in the woods of Maine for 27 years, making this dream a reality–not out of anger at the world, but simply because he preferred to live on his own.  A New York Times bestseller In 1986, a shy and intelligent twenty-year-old named Christopher Knight left his home in Massachusetts, drove to Maine, and disappeared into the forest. He would not have a conversation with another human being until nearly three decades later, when he was arrested for stealing food. Living in a tent even through brutal winters, he had survived by his wits and courage, developing ingenious ways to store edibles and water, and to avoid freezing to death. He broke into nearby cottages for food, clothing, reading material, and other provisions, taking only what he needed but terrifying a community never able to solve the mysterious burglaries. Based on extensive interviews with Knight himself, this is a vividly detailed account of his secluded life–why did he leave? what did he learn?–as well as the challenges he has faced since returning to the world. It is a gripping story of survival that asks fundamental questions about solitude, community, and what makes a good life, and a deeply moving portrait of a man who was determined to live his own way, and succeeded.
The book is rated 3.90/5 at goodreads.com, from 9214 ratings. See 1591 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2paTfvV.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2paTU0h.

A cooking book recommendation: 100 Million Years of Food: What Our Ancestors Ate and Why It Matters Today by Stephen Le

A critic review (source Globe and Mail) can be read at: https://tgam.ca/1V0g3ef.
This kind of view, given our current cultural obsession with particular diets, leaves me hungry for more of his work.
Book description from Google Books:
A fascinating tour through the evolution of the human diet, and how we can improve our health by understanding our complicated history with food.There are few areas of modern life that are burdened by as much information and advice, often contradictory, as our diet and health: eat a lot of meat, eat no meat; whole-grains are healthy, whole-grains are a disaster; eat everything in moderation; eat only certain foods–and on and on. In 100 Million Years of Food biological anthropologist Stephen Le explains how cuisines of different cultures are a result of centuries of evolution, finely tuned to our biology and surroundings. Today many cultures have strayed from their ancestral diets, relying instead on mass-produced food often made with chemicals that may be contributing to a rise in so-called “Western diseases,” such as cancer, heart disease, and obesity. Travelling around the world to places as far-flung as Vietnam, Kenya, India, and the US, Stephen Le introduces us to people who are growing, cooking, and eating food using both traditional and modern methods, striving for a sustainable, healthy diet. In clear, compelling arguments based on scientific research, Le contends that our ancestral diets provide the best first line of defense in protecting our health and providing a balanced diet. Fast-food diets, as well as strict regimens like paleo or vegan, in effect highjack our biology and ignore the complex nature of our bodies. In 100 Million Years of Food Le takes us on a guided tour of evolution, demonstrating how our diets are the result of millions of years of history, and how we can return to a sustainable, healthier way of eating.
The book is rated 3.53/5 at goodreads.com, from 201 ratings. See 31 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/1V0g2H8.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2t934NJ.

An action book recommendation: War Porn by Roy Scranton

A critic review (source NY Times) can be read at: http://nyti.ms/2cQQdKl.
It’s a point of view that also comes through in this forceful and unsettling book, though the novel is at its most persuasive not when Mr. Scranton is laboriously trying to illustrate his arguments but when he trusts his own myriad gifts as a storyteller.
Book description from Google Books:
“War porn,” n. Videos, images, and narratives featuring graphic violence, often brought back from combat zones, viewed voyeuristically or for emotional gratification. Such media are often presented and circulated without context, though they may be used as evidence of war crimes.   War porn is also, in Roy Scranton’s searing debut novel, a metaphor for the experience of war in the age of the War on Terror, the fracturing and fragmentation of perspective, time, and self that afflicts soldiers and civilians alike, and the global networks and face-to-face moments that suture our fragmented lives together. In War Porn three lives fit inside one another like nesting dolls: a restless young woman at an end-of-summer barbecue in Utah; an American soldier in occupied Baghdad; and Qasim al-Zabadi, an Iraqi math professor, who faces the US invasion of his country with fear, denial, and perseverance. As War Porn cuts from America to Iraq and back again, as home and hell merge, we come to see America through the eyes of the occupied, even as we see Qasim become a prisoner of the occupation. Through the looking glass of War Porn, Scranton reveals the fragile humanity that connects Americans and Iraqis, torturers and the tortured, victors and their victims.
The book is rated 3.60/5 at goodreads.com, from 112 ratings. See 23 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2cQPM2Q.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2tPLKkm.