Categories
Romance Books

Can you keep a secret? * Sophie Kinsella

Meet Emma Corrigan, a young woman with a huge heart, an irrepressible spirit, and a few little secrets:

Secrets from her boyfriend: I’ve always thought Connor looks a bit like Ken. As in Barbie and Ken.

Secrets from her mother: I lost my virginity in the spare bedroom with Danny Nussbaum while Mum and Dad were downstairs watching Ben-Hur.

Secrets she wouldn’t share with anyone in the world: I have no idea what NATO stands for. Or even what it is.

Until she spills them all to a handsome stranger on a plane. At least, she thought he was a stranger. . . .

But come Monday morning, Emma’s office is abuzz about the arrival of Jack Harper, the company’s elusive CEO.  Suddenly Emma is face-to-face with the stranger from the plane, a man who knows every single humiliating detail about her. Things couldn’t possibly get worse. Or could they?

Categories
Book Reviews

Laugh and Learn – 95 Ways to Use Humor for More Effective Teaching and Training

Humor can be a valuable resource in the learning environment. It isn’t just about puns and one-liners, and even if you’re not a “funny” person, it’s easy to bring creactivity, entertainment, emotion, and yes, even some laughs to almost any educational setting. Here’s a book that will help trainers loosen up and create memorable programs that both they and their students will remember – and use.

Although this hardly constitutes a scientific study, to me it suggests that people instinctively see a difference between humor and joke telling. And there is a difference. Humour is a state or quality. Joke telling is an action—only one of many actions by which you might express humor. In other words (take a deep breath, now):You can use humour beautifully and expertly without telling a single joke.

Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Amacom (1 Dec. 2002)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0814407455
ISBN-13: 978-0814407455

Categories
Book Reviews

Jeffrey Archer * To Cut a Long Story Short Book review

I have never been so enthralled to hear 14 short stories of Jeffrey Archer again (after the deceptively good Cat O’Nine Tales). Had this as an audiobook playing in my car while driving up north and the entire journey was made ever so entertaining!

Short stories — To Cut a Long Story Short:

  • Death Speaks
  • The Expert Witness
  • The Endgame
  • The Letter
  • Crime Pays
  • Chalk and Cheese
  • A Change of Heart
  • Too Many Coincidences
  • Love at First Sight
  • Both Sides Against the Middle
  • A Weekend to Remember
  • Something for Nothing
  • Other Blighters’ Efforts
  • The Reclining Woman
  • The Grass is Always Greener
Categories
Psychology

Games People Play – The psychology of human relationships

Sensory Deprivation has been the cause of decline in a human’s functions. When in company, this deprivation can degenerate into games of acceptance. Read more!

SOCIAL INTERCOURSE
THE theory of social intercourse, which has been outlined at some length in Transnational Analysis may be summarized as follows.
Spitz has found that infants deprived of handling over a long period will tend at length to sink into an irreversible decline and are prone to succumb eventually to inter current disease. In effect, this means that what he calls emotional deprivation can have a fatal outcome. These observations give rise to the idea of stimulus-hunger, and indicate that the most favoured forms of stimuli are those provided by physical intimacy, a conclusion not hard to accept on the basis of everyday experience.
An allied phenomenon is seen in grown-ups subjected to sensory deprivation. Experimentally, such deprivation may call forth a transient psychosis, or at least give rise to temporary mental disturbances. In the past, social and sensory deprivation is noted to have had similar effects in individuals condemned to long periods of solitary imprisonment. Indeed, solitary confinement is one of the punishments most dreaded even by prisoners hardened to physical brutality, and is now a notorious procedure for inducing political compliance. (Conversely, the best of the known weapons against compliance is social organization.)
On that biological side, it is probable that emotional and sensory deprivation tends to bring about or encourage organic changes. If the reticular activating system of the brain stem is not sufficiently stimulated, degenerative changes in the nerve cells may follow, at least indirectly. This may be a secondary effect due to poor nutrition, but the poor nutrition itself may be a product of apathy, as in infants suffering from marasmus. Hence a biological chain may he postulated leading from emotional and sensory deprivation through apathy to degenerative changes and death. In this sense, stimulus-hunger has the same relationship to survival of the human organism as food-hunger.
Indeed, not only biologically but also psychologically and socially, stimulus-hunger in many ways parallels the hunger for food. Such terms as malnutrition, satiation, gourmet, gourmand, faddist, ascetic, culinary arts, and good cook are easily transferred from the field of nutrition to the field of sensation. Overstuffing has its parallel in over stimulation. In both spheres, under ordinary conditions where ample supplies are available and a diversified menu is possible, choices will be heavily influenced by an individual’s idiosyncrasies. It is possible that some or many of these idiosyncrasies are constitutionally determined, but this is irrelevant to the problems at issue here.Guenther_blog1
The social psychiatrist’s concern in the matter is with what happens after the infant is separated from his mother. in the normal course of growth. What has been said so far may be summarized by the “colloquialism”:7 “If you are not stroked, your spinal cord will shrivel up.” Hence, after the period of close intimacy with the mother is over, the individual for the rest of his life is confronted with a dilemma upon whose horns his destiny and survival are continually being tossed. One born is the social, psychological and biological forces which stand in the way of continued physical intimacy in the infant style; the other is his perpetual striving for its attainment. Under most conditions he will compromise. He learns to do with more subtle, even symbolic, forms of handling, until the merest nod of recognition may serve the purpose to some extent, although his original craving for physical contact may remain unabated.
This process of compromise may be called by various terms, such as sublimation; but whatever it is called, the result is a partial transformation of the infantile stimulus-hunger into something which may be termed recognition-hunger. As the complexities of compromise increase, each person becomes more and more individual in his quest for recognition, and it is these differentia which lend variety to social intercourse and which determine the individual’s destiny. A movie actor may require hundreds of strokes each week from anonymous and undifferentiated admirers to keep his spinal cord from shrivelling, while a scientist may keep physically and mentally healthy on one stroke a year from a respected master.
“Stroking” may be used as a general term for intimate physical contact; in practice it may take various forms. Some people literally stroke an infant; others hug or pat it, while some people pinch it playfully or flip it with a fingertip. These all have their analogues in conversation, so that it seems one might predict how an individual would handle a baby by listening to him talk. By an extension of meaning, “stroking” may be employed colloquially to denote any act implying recognition of another’s presence. Hence a stroke may be used as the fundamental unit of social action. An exchange of strokes constitutes a transaction, which is the unit of social intercourse.
As far as the theory of games is concerned, the principle which emerges here is that any social intercourse whatever has a biological advantage over no intercourse at all. This has been experimentally demonstrated in the case of rats through some remarkable experiments by S. Levine 8 in which not only physical, mental and emotional development but also the biochemistry of the brain and even resistance to leukaemia were favourably affected by handling. The significant feature of these experiments was that gentle handling and painful electric shocks were equally effective in promoting the health of the animals.
Categories
Book Reviews

Why Do We Have to Live with Men? Bernadette Strachan

8 Women decided to give up men for various reasons and to isolate themselves in a commune in next to Lyme Regis in England for six whole months. Their lives turn up-side-down as they discover the sense of belonging and friendship that can either bring people together or drive them apart for good.
151
Why do we have to live with men? As another evening with her best friends and a few bottles of wine comes to an end, Cat O’Connor is left pondering this very question. And, escaping from a ruined love affair, she is about to find the answer. When Cat joins a group of women in a huge, decaying farmhouse deep in the countryside, she prepares to embark on six months without men. Cat is promised a nirvana of serenity where the chores are done without mutinous mutterings, where nourishing food simmers on the Aga and where feelings are taken seriously. But Cat soon discovers that women are no saints either .

Jules’ review

I had this book for a while now and after a short attempt to read it a few months back, I put it on my nightstand with the determination to either read it to the end or abandon it and wrap it nicely as a present for the upcoming birthdays.
It’s a definite keep!
I caught myself laughing really hard and I’m a hard person to please! The female characters are convincing, though quirky, and they each had their share of “scum” men. Stealing from their purses, cheating with dumb bimbos, or hiding a pregnant wife at home… Well, with the last one, I could definitely identify myself.
Having been the “other woman” once in my life, I could definitely see why Cat would fall for a man of life, older, wiser, with a cracking charisma. Well, she had daddy issues, I did not.
And I had to cringe at the scene where the wife visits her lover at work and then demands that she is laid off. The pregnant wife. She wouldn’t be pregnant if her dedicated lover would not have been banging her still. Pardon my French.
At least, in my case, he was quick about it and parted ways with the wifey, but this…. this had to be hard to endure. Come on! A beautiful, sexy, slender and classy wife… and she was , well, Cat. Normal. Just some roll in the hay, never to be serious with.
I had to feel for all of them, even for the small alcoholic of the group. But I loved Dave the most.
Dave was a sow of delicate tail curliness and with a massive ass oiled with the finest Prada creams. 🙂
I loved the way the country side is described, Will the vet, the town “noise” about the women living together and I must say, this story has brought on an urge to go visit the southern part of England again.
And maybe find myself a better man down there.
Favorite parts: walking the pig
Least favorite parts: If Cat loved Will and Will loved Cat – why did she have to go back to London to earn a social studies degree which is worth jack in the country side? She could have gone to vet school too or medicine. And what happened after 10 years when her mom died and could not take care of her brother?
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Overall grade: 4.5/5