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Psychobook includes never-before-seen content from long-hidden archives, as well as reimagined tests from contemporary artists and writers, to try out yourself, at home or at parties. A great gift for the therapist in your life and the therapist in you, for anyone interested in the history of psychology and psychological paraphernalia, or for anyone who enjoys games and quizzes. Psychobook will brighten your day and outlook.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-07-18
- Reviewer: Staff
Rothenstein, an editor and designer and the founder of Redstone Press, has crafted an intriguing and meticulous literature of psychometrics with samples of over three dozen tests from the past hundred years. Rothenstein carefully elaborates on the history of the tests and provides compelling real-life examples, evocative photographs, and enlightening conclusions explaining the various meanings of the test results. Delectably illustrated with color photos, textbook clippings, and other archival material, the book showcases clinical methods as works of art: ink blots are carefully and vividly reproduced and given full-page treatment with explanations at the end of the book, and nonverbal intelligence tests with shapes and colors take on a Bauhaus-like quality. Though Rothenstein’s comprehensive history is meticulous, certain bizarre tests could benefit from further explanation (e.g., the Szondi Test). Some of the evaluations may feel humorously frivolous (e.g., the Digital Dependency Index Test), appear too self-evident (many of the pictorial tests), or seem no more revealing than a horoscope (the Color Test). However, many of the examples in this book are necessarily truncated, simplified adaptations that offer the gist of each test while adding to the entertainment value of the book. This book is a fun and informative look into the world of psychological testing and, foremost, a terrific and entertaining way to explore one’s own psyche. Color illus. (Sept.)
Just a little left of center
Looking for a gift for that oddball friend or family member? You may have a holiday hit on your hands if you wrap up one of these books.
Abbi Jacobson takes a peek into the bags, pockets and wallets of celebrities, fictional heroes and various notable people in Carry This Book. Jacobson is the co-creator and star of Comedy Central’s absurd and hilarious “Broad City,” which follows two best friends as they clumsily navigate life in New York City. But Jacobson isn’t just a comedy genius, she’s also a talented illustrator. This book takes readers on an anthropological journey, using colored-pen illustrations to depict items that Jacobson imagines might be revealed when people (both real and fictional) lay their baggage on the table. Oprah carries a notepad so she can scribble down inspiring quotes (from herself), Barbie carries her NASA astronaut card, Bernie Madoff carries a few spare $4,000 pens. Jacobson labels and annotates the detritus of her subjects with wry commentary on the secret worlds that are exposed by the things we carry around.
DON’T MENTION IT
When you think of the Victorian era, do you picture well-mannered women in dramatic dresses, à la The Phantom of the Opera, perhaps reading some Charlotte Brontë? If you want to keep that vision intact, skip Unmentionable: The Victorian Lady’s Guide to Sex, Marriage, and Manners. If you want to discover the truth, however, follow Therese Oneill, your guide to the intimate rituals of life as a Victorian woman, from painting your face with lead for a youthful (and highly toxic) glow to the fact that turning your gloves inside out means “I hate you” and dropping your parasol means you’re in love. Oneill doesn’t shy away from the unsavory aspects of Victorian life, such as the excrement-filled streets, the toxic water and the scarcity of proper bathrooms. Who knew toilets (or the lack of them) could be so entertaining?
WE’RE ALL MAD HERE
Get ready to discover the real you with Psycho-book: Games, Tests, Questionnaires, Histories edited by Julian Rothenstein. Within this book, you’ll find a full spectrum of psychological tests, dating from the conception of psychological testing to the present day. Each test is beautifully illustrated with examples, from the famous Rorschach inkblots to the less popular Odor Imagination Test, in which subjects were asked to tell a story after smelling various items—sour milk, for example. Feedback on the results of many of the tests is provided in the back of the book, although Psychobook warns against using personality tests as a tool for assessing mental health: The definition of what’s normal is (thankfully) very flexible. However, this book can be used as a tool to dive deep into your beliefs about yourself and others. You might want to bring some friends along for the journey—although you may discover more about them than you ever wanted to know.