Reviews in the Wild Archive

Reviews in the Wild: Animal Madness by Laurel Braitman

In "Animal Madness: How Anxious Dogs, Compulsive Parrots, and Elephants in Recovery Help Us Understand Ourselves," Laurel Braitman shows that human beings are not the only animals who struggle with mental health.

Reviews in the Wild: Reign of Error

A short while back, Mother Jones ran a piece on privatized prisons that keep the money coming in when crime rates are lower. Occupancy rates are written into the contracts, leaving privatized prisons to make deals, including “mandating that local or state government keep those facilities between 80 and 100 percent full. In other

Reviews in the Wild: The Faithful Executioner

When watching The Tudors, I found that there was no shortage of episodes featuring an interrogator and/or executioner, complete with the condemned asking for a quick and painless death. Initially, I was always puzzled by the blood-thirsty crowd—men, yes, but women and children too—all clamoring for satisfaction. (There was, by the way, a time

Review in the Wild: The Testament of Mary

Mary Gordon is probably the first who comes to mind when I think of women writers writing fiction about women self-identifying in relation to their children, mothers, and lovers. See her haunting Pearl, for example, or the three novellas published together as The Rest of Life, which I’m currently reading. So it’s not surprising

Review in the Wild: Phi: A Voyage from the Brain to the Soul

If there ever was a frontier that poses the most questions in science, I imagine the idea of consciousness is one of them. Most books on consciousness are either from a religious perspective of the soul or look at neuroscience, discussing studies and experiments and what they may imply about the brain and perception.

Reviews in the Wild: Books about you

Below are three books about you. New scientist’s CultureLab has three short reviews up of books that encounter the question of personal identity (“Neuroscience clues to who you aren’t“). What I like about the selection of books being reviewed are the angles from which they come at the question, or at least the angle

Reviews in the Wild: Connectome by Sebastian Seung

According to Connectome by Sebastian Seung, you can teach an old dog new tricks. We are more than our genes, and life events and experiences can help our brains rewire our neurons. How much they get rewired may be based on the role our genes play in these new connections, but we are not

Reviews in the Wild: All That I Am by Anna Funder

Historical fiction is an intriguing creature because of its double nature: rooted in history, but executed in that wide spectrum known simply as “inspired by.” Characters in these novels may have only a tangential connection to the historical record or they may be based squarely on what is known. And since history is “told
In search of belief changing ideas