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BLUEBIRD: WOMEN AND THE NEW PSYCHOLOGY OF HAPPINESS By Ariel Gore June 2, 2012

Posted by lycan librarian in book reviews, Books and reading.
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     Yes, even lycan librarians delve into bouts of depression, and this dismal mood well explains the lack of recent posts. Being of a species bent on survival, it was necessary to try to replace feeling of despair, helplessness and anxiety with those of hope and joy. As always, the librarian turned to books for help. While there are scores of selections about happiness, positive thinking, laws of attraction and self-love, BLUEBIRD offers a glimpse into how both happiness and depression are viewed differently when dealing with each sex, how women have been made to feel responsible for the happiness of others while neglecting their own, and how the disorder labeled depression was created to accommodate the cure — antidepressant drugs.

     The name Ariel Gore was familiar, and once I had the book in hand, I learned why. She is the author of THE TRAVELING DEATH AND RESURRECTION SHOW, a brilliant novel about a young woman with the stigmata who fails to recognize her own virtues and sees herself, instead, as a fraud. I loved this novel when I read it, but worried that it was a bit too controversial to bring to my somewhat conservative book discussion group. As the group was through the library, it was necessary to toe the line a bit. But it’s an enchanting read for those who are open-minded and adventurous in their reading.

     Back to BLUEBIRD. In this nonfiction account, Gore explores a cutlural history of happiness, divulges the fact that grumpy nuns actually die sooner than cheerful ones, studies emotional effects of having or not having children, and questions the very concept of happiness. I was charmed by the journal entires provided by hundreds of women who participated in Gore’s research, and just knowing others share ones emotions is healing.

     This is a library book, but it was mandatory to purchase a copy to highlight, underline, dog-ear and refer to again and again. Every woman, despite her present state of mind, should have a copy. Simply so she always knows that she isn’t alone.

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Comments»

1. Mikiel - June 2, 2012

Thank you for this review, having been an of/on depressed person for years I look forward to reading it.

lycan librarian - June 2, 2012

It cheered me up considerably and there were many statements that hit me like a sledge hammer and gave me much food for thought. I hope it helps you, but even more, I hope you don’t suffer through any more down times.


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