A lot less than normal this month & late to boot due to my preoccupation with cramming for my exams.
Psychopathology – John Stirling & Jonathan Hellewell
A Scottish Higher level textbook giving a whistlestop tour of some psychological disorders; schiz, depression, eating disorders, etc. Necessarily brief but the final chapter giving examples of poor exam answers and how they might be improved gave me a scare since one of the C-grade Higher essays was better than some of more panicked my degree essays!
The Cognitive Neuropsychology of Schizophrenia – Chris Frith
More a monograph than a book. Uta Frith’s husband lays out his theory that schizophrenia is consequence of faulty monitoring. The voices in your head appear not to originate there, attention and thought are confused. AN interesting theory that has entirely been corroborated in the 10-15 years it’s been around, but which extending the pioneering approach of Tim Crow has focused attention on the cognitive components of schizophrenia.. regaining ground from the medical obsession with disease and cure.
I’m not scared – Niccolo Ammaniti
One hot summer in rural southern Italy a little boy discovers something so scary it doesn’t seem real. And then the weather gets hotter and things get worse..
Flour Babies – Anne Fine
Aww, not Flour Babies, SIr! That has to be the worst science project ever! (Especially for a ‘problem’ class of 11 year old boys.) And yet it does something funny to the most problematic of them all, Simon Martin, whose father walked out when he was six weeks old. He will look after his 6 pound flour baby for the whole fortnight – well, he’ll try!
A worthy winner of the Smarties prize that i’d been meaning to read for years.
Autism (2nd Edition) – Uta Frith
A survey of the state of the art in autism research by Chris Frith’s wife. Blunted by being dumbed down slightly for a general readership and padded out with slightly spurious historical anecdotes (I really don’t think Kaspar Hauser was autistic.) Nonetheless, it covers well the three complementary cognitive theories of autism; weak central coherence (see the trees not the wood), executive dysfunction (poor planning of actions) & mind-blindness (the effortless ordinary mindreading we take for granted).
Between the two of them, the Friths show that there’s still life in the theory that autism is a early onset equivalent of schizophrenia with attendant developmental consequences. (If you never learn what ‘normal’ is you never go mad.)
– if only they’d asked about it in the exams >:(