29 November 2010

building my home library

We've had cable since October 2nd. I am so over it. The saying is true, there is nothing on tv. And I end up watching the trash because it is easy when I could be reading, blogging, baking or catching up on the good series (that I always miss because I work evenings) online - Mad Men, Fringe, Dexter, 30 Rock, the Tudors, Breaking Bad, etc. The only positive comments I have are that I like watching the news as I get ready in the morning and the food network can usually inspire me. I am so not keeping up this tv game once the promotions run out.

Anyway, to show my tv who's boss, I've made an effort to pick up a book when the boob tube sucks. My brother lent me Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. It's sci-fi and geared to a more young adult audience but I still totally enjoyed it. Plus it was small! So I could bring it around with me and read in otherwise boring waiting room or transit situations.

Now I'm reading two books at the same time (my favourite). The first is titled Crazy Like Us: The Globalization of the American Psyche by Ethan Watters. If you ever read the magazine Adbusters, excerpts from this book have been featured a lot lately. The contents list reads as follows:

The Rise of Anorexia in Hong Kong
The Wave That Brought PTSD to Sri Lanka
The Shifting Mask of Schizophrenia in Zanzibar
The Mega-Marketing of Depression in Japan
The Global Economic Crisis and the Future of Mental Illness

Here's a brief introduction:

In teaching the rest of the world to think like us, we have been, for better or for worse, homogenizing the way the world goes mad.

Mental health professionals trained in the West, and in the United States in particular, create the official categories of mental diseases. The American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the DSM (the "bible" of the profession, as it is sometimes called), has become the worldwide standard.

Multibillion-dollar conglomerates [drug companies] have an incentive to promote universal disease categories because they can make fortunes selling the drugs that purport to cure those illnesses.

We should worry about this loss of diversity in the world's differing conceptions and treatments of mental illness in exactly the same way we worry about the loss of biological diversity in nature. Modes of healing and culturally specific beliefs about how to achieve mental health can be lost to humanity with the grim finality of an animal or plant lapsing into extinction.

The second book thrown carelessly beside my bed is Room by Emma Donoghue. (Oh how I love Irish authors). I can't really comment on it yet because I have no idea what is going on but I know it is going to be good. Oh, it is written from the point of view of a five year old.

All images from Google Images.

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