This month's suggested book for "Read the Month" has no connection to any pertinent occasions or events. It is merely a book I found intriguing due primarily to where I stumbled upon it.
One occasion, whilst waiting for my daughter, I was browsing in the library at Bath Spa University. I was extremely startled to find this book as it seemed more of a self-help book, which were very popular at the time, than a serious academic tome. My curiosity aroused I decided to ask my daughter if she would borrow the book from the library for me.
Despite my reservations about it;-
- First - I found the title disconcerting
- Second - It sounded a self-help book
- Third - The author was American (I am very skeptical about books written by Americans. Given a choice I will choose ones written by Brits).
Yes there is a self-help section towards the end of the book but it is definitely NOT the usual type of psychobabble book. It is a scientific work.
As a psychologist the author Martin Seligman was interested in the factors which caused people to respond differently to similar situations. This was exemplified by a friend of his who was a descendant of a 1917 Russian revolution emigre family. Of those affluent families who found themselves exiled in Austria after the revolution, how was it some adapted to their changed circumstances and forged successful lives whereas others did not.
Another interest was the seemingly surge of depression in the Western world. Rather than just treat the symptoms he thought finding the causes and establishing a preventative strategy was the way forward. His book recounts not only his scientific studies of depression but also his efforts to raise funds for the work and ongoing research.
I am generally skeptical of books like this. However I have no hesitation in recommending this for my Read of the Month especially if you are scientifically inclined.