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Book reviews

BOOK REVIEW: The Science of Evil

Reviewed by Joyce Alexander, RNP (Retired)

Simon Baron-Cohen, author of The Science of Evil: On Empathy and the Origins of Cruelty, is a professor of Developmental Psychology in the department of Experimental psychology and psychiatry at the University of Cambridge. He is director of the University’s Autism Research Center and has endless awards for his research and writing.

If you only read one book about empathy, this book should be it! Baron-Cohen explores the definition of empathy, or the lack of it, in humans, to answer his own questions about the Nazi atrocities in Germany before and during World War II. He also, as a scientist, wanted to explore why some people treat other as objects and … Read more

Book Review: The Psychopath Test

Reviewed by Joyce Alexander, RNP (Retired)

I bought The Psychopath Test—A Journey Through the Madness Industry, by John Ronson, based mainly on the title. Jon Ronson is a journalist and author of two previous books that were widely accepted. A movie was made about one of them, The Men Who Stare at Goats, starring George Clooney. The first couple of chapters of this book weren’t all that interesting to me, but before long I was hooked into the story he was writing.

Mr. Ronson looks at the “madness industry” from an outsider’s point of view. He actually took training from Dr. Robert “Bob” Hare in how to use the Psychopathic Check List-Revised to spot a psychopath. Ronson went … Read more

Book Review: Evil Genes

Reviewed by Joyce Alexander, RNP (Retired)

Dr. Barbara Oakley is the author of Evil Genes—Why Rome Fell, Hitler Rose, Enron Failed, and My Sister Stole My Mother’s Boyfriend. Oakley’s resume reads like something out of a spy novel: She worked as a translator on Russian fishing trawlers during the Cold War, went from a private to an officer in the military, met her husband while working as a radio operator at the South Pole,  and is now a professor of bio-engineering.

About this book, Gavin DeBecker writes, “Whatever you might believe about the role of genetics versus environment, Evil Genes will take you somewhere you haven’t been. Barbara Oakley brilliantly reveals the falseness of one of the … Read more

BOOK REVIEW: Cold-Blooded Kindness

Reviewed by Joyce Alexander, RNP (retired)

Cold-Blooded Kindness: Neuroquirks of a Codependent Killer, or Just Give Me a Shot at Loving You, Dear, and Other Reflections on Helping That Hurts is the tongue-in-cheek title of this book by Barbara Oakley, with a foreword by David Sloan Wilson. It belies the serious research and investigation done by this remarkable, highly educated and acclaimed woman.

Oakley is associate professor of engineering at Oakland University in Michigan, and her work focuses mainly on the complex relationship between neurocircuitry and social behavior. The list of her varied experiences reads like fiction ”¦ she worked for several years as a Russian language translator on Soviet fishing trawlers in the Bearing Sea during the … Read more

Discussing Love Fraud at book clubs

Two friends of mine invited me to discuss Love Fraud with their book clubs. Both conversations were interesting and thoughful, and I really enjoyed them.

All of the club members had read Love Fraud before my visit, and were ready with questions for me. They wanted to know more about how James Montgomery convinced me to marry him. They asked about my pets. They asked about sociopaths in general—and as I explained the disorder, many readers realized that they knew someone who seemed to have the traits.

To my surprise, most of the questions from both groups were about the spiritual aspects of my book. Actually, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised at that. My spiritual journey doesn’t … Read more

BOOK REVIEWS: Looking at love and fraud from both sides

By Ox Drover

I just finished reading the dueling autobiographies of the disgraced former governor of New Jersey, James E. McGreevey, and his ex-wife, Dino Matos McGreevey. His book is called The Confession and hers is called Silent Partner.

Former Governor McGreevey, as you may remember, publicly announced in 2004 that he was resigning as governor of New Jersey because he was being blackmailed by a former homosexual lover. As he pronounced to the world that he was a “gay American,” as he styled himself, his then-wife, Dina Matos McGreevey, stood beside him with a stricken deer-in-the-head-lights look.

Many times we get a book from one or the other of two aggrieved parties that surface in the … Read more

Review of ‘Love Fraud’ on the Psychopathy Awareness blog

Like us, Claudia Moscovici had her run-in with a psychopath, one that almost destroyed her marriage. Since then, like many of us, she has thoroughly researched this destructive personality disorder. She started a blog called “Psychopathy Awareness,” and wrote two books: a novel called The Seducer, and an upcoming nonfiction book called Dangerous Liaisons.

In her review of my book, Love Fraud—How marriage to a sociopath fulfilled my spiritual plan, Claudia writes, “I didn’t think I could learn much more about the subject, but Donna’s book proved me wrong.”

Read the entire review on Psychopathy Awareness.

Love Fraud is available in the Lovefraud Store.… Read more

BOOK REVIEW: A Mind of Its Own

By Ox Drover

I recently read A Mind of Its Own—How Your Brain Distorts and Deceives, by Cordelia Fine, Ph.D. Dr. Fine was awarded a degree in experimental psychology from Oxford University, an M.Phil. in criminology from Cambridge University, and a Ph.D. in psychology from University College in London. She is currently a research associate at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics at the University of Melbourne in Australia.

This book is very entertaining and as the book jacket says,

In recent years, we’ve heard a lot about the extraordinary workings of our hundred-billion-celled brain: its amazing capacities to regulate sensation, perception, thinking, and feeling, its ability to shape all experience and define our identity.

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LOVEFRAUD TO THE NEXT LEVEL: If you have read my book, please post a review

A sociopath ripped through my life, taking my money, cheating on me, shaking my soul to its core. It was a terrible, painful, humiliating experience. But it has also given me a new mission in life—spreading the word about these human predators, helping others to heal, or better yet, avoid them.

That’s why I launched Lovefraud.com. And that’s why I wrote my book, Love Fraud — How marriage to a sociopath fulfilled my spiritual plan.

My husband, Terry Kelly, believes in this mission. Together, we formed a publishing company, called Anderly Publishing, to get the message out. Love Fraud is our first book, and based on what I hear from all of you, I have a list of … Read more

BOOK REVIEW: The Gaslight Effect Redux

It’s amazing how people can have differing opinions of the same book. Last May, the Lovefraud Reader Ox Drover wrote a review of The Gaslight Effect, by Dr. Robin Stern. I am always on the lookout for books that will help readers understand, and recover from, a traumatic entanglement with a sociopath. Because Oxy was so complimentary about The Gaslight Effect, I was anxious to read it, and possibly recommend it to others.

Well, I read the book, but I’m not sure I can recommend it.

Oxy did point out that Dr. Stern never mentions the word, “sociopath,” referring to the perpetrator as the “gaslighter,” and the victim as the “gaslightee.” Although Oxy was willing to … Read more

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