Tag: Perv: The Sexual Deviant in All of Us

My Top Five Reads of 2013

Posted December 30, 2013 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Top 5 / 4 Comments

As 2013 comes to an end, it is time to do that “Best of” post. I know it’s one of those posts you are either sick of or love seeing but I have to share my favourites. It’s been a great year; over 160 books read, some amazing books and some painful ones (see Twilight and New Moon). Like last year I’m going to split my list into “Best of 2013 (released this year)” and all other novels, but as I want to focus more on Non-Fiction too I’m adding “Best Non-Fiction of 2013” to the mix.

Top Five Reads Released in 2013
5. The Unknowns by Gabriel Roth
4. Tenth of December by George Saunders
3. The Explorer by James Smythe
2. A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra
1. The Machine by James Smythe

Top Five Reads in 2013
5. The People of Forever Are Not Afraid by Shani Boianjiu
4. The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
3. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
2. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
1. If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino

Top 5 Non-Fiction Reads in 2013
5. The Monsters: Mary Shelley and the Curse of Frankenstein by Dorothy & Thomas Hoobler
4. Paddle Your Own Canoe: One Man’s Fundamentals for Delicious Living by Nick Offerman
3. Careless People: Murder, Mayhem and the Invention of The Great Gatsby by Sarah Churchwell
2. Perv: The Sexual Deviant in All of Us by Jesse Bering
1. 84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff

Now it’s your turn to let me know of your favourite books, the new releases and the older books. It doesn’t matter; just what you discovered and loved.

Perv: The Sexual Deviant in All of Us by Jesse Bering

Posted November 17, 2013 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Non-Fiction / 2 Comments

Perv: The Sexual Deviant in All of Us by Jesse BeringTitle: Perv: The Sexual Deviant in All of Us (Goodreads)
, 2013
Pages: 288
Buy: AmazonBook Depository (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

Jesse Bering, award-winning columnist and psychologist, wants to talk about perversions. We are deviants in one form or another; we may not be paedophiles, or into voyeurism and exhibitionism but there maybe something in our past we rather not discuss. In Perv, Jesse Bering looks at the psychology of having a fetish outside the norm and compares it to the difficulties he faced growing up in the 70s and 80s as a gay man.

This is an interesting book; it doesn’t condone sexual abuse or committing a sex crime. This rather looks at the psychology of paraphilia’s and makes the reader think about it in a different light. Just because someone has a fetish for something unusual doesn’t make them any less human. Bering looks at cultural thought, imprinting, conditioning and compares them to his own struggles as a homosexual.

While he looks at things like zoophiles, paedophiles and bestiality, he also looks at other perversions. Cross dressing, bondage, sadism and tries to get the reader to accept people as human. Just because they have this desire doesn’t mean they are committing crimes, these people are struggling and dealing with the guilt. As Bering states, sometimes they often feel like they have three options in life; depressive sleep, being institutionalised or suicide. Neither of these solutions seems effective at solving the problem.

I thought I had a decent understanding of the GSM (Gender and/or sexual minority or LGBT if you prefer) lifestyle but this just throws so many questions. I’m not comparing GSM with paedophilia, I’m just saying that the psychology of sex is so complicated and how can you treat people with paraphilia without a decent grasp on it. Especially a paraphilia that was so rare that no one bothered to find the Greek name for it.

There wasn’t much about paraphilia’s as I wanted; I was hoping to learn more about these ‘out of the norm’ sexual preferences. Not because I want to make fun of them, the whole thing is just fascinating. My favourite paraphilia discovered from this book is auto-plushophilia (look it up). I think this book looked at paraphilia’s in a new light, I hope this will help me understand them a little better and make it easier to accept them. I now think the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders approach to paraphilia’s are very dated and destructive. If psychologists don’t approach the treatment of these people struggling in a more accepting and human way then these people will never get the help they are seeking.

You Are Not So Smart by David McRaney

Posted November 13, 2013 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Non-Fiction / 2 Comments

You Are Not So Smart by David McRaneyTitle: You Are Not So Smart (Goodreads)
Author: David McRaney
Narrator: Don Hagen
Published: Gotham, 2011
Pages: 301
Genres: Non-Fiction
My Copy: Audiobook

Buy: AmazonBook DepositoryKindle (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

We all believe we are rational and logical beings but just how accurate is that? You Are Not So Smart explores a range of different psychological and sociological ideas to show how much we don’t know. From cognitive biases, confirmation biases to the spotlight effect this book explores many ideas in a light hearted and accessible way.

I don’t know much about psychology but this book really gave me an interesting insight into cognitive biases. This is what I would call pop psychology; little pieces of information to think about without going into great detail. I never read the You Are Not So Smart blog but this book seemed interesting and I was curious about how the mind works.

Now that I’ve read this book, I have started listening to the You Are Not So Smart podcast, but haven’t read much of the blog. From what I can see, every chapter is a blog post, same format, same style and word for word. Makes it easy to write a book and if you are passionate about a topic it seems to work well.

The book started off really bland for me, I thought I would struggle to get through the book but then I became accustomed to the style. Then I was fascinated and couldn’t stop talking and thinking about what I learnt. As many people know, I have this blog to blog about my autodidactic adventures. It  is weird; I thought going to university would give me more to blog about but it didn’t. This book has given me some good posts, and an interest in psychology.

I’m beginning to see the appeal to non-fiction, if it is fascinating, gets me thinking and gives me more blog posts from Knowledge Lost, then I’m happy. I’m going to try to read more non-fiction and I’m hoping to learn more about psychology. Yet another category to add to the blog that has been neglected for far too long.

This is easy to read and, as I said, took me a little while to get use to but I’m a fan. I’ll even read his next book; even if it is the same. I’ve been listening to the podcast and it has given me a few other books to read. Including the book I’ll be reviewing next, Perv: The Sexual Deviant in All of Us (review in a few days). Pop psychology, told in an easy and sometimes humorous way, but then again isn’t that what pop psychology is meant to be?