Friday, April 26, 2013

Beating the Blues

Beating the Blues : A Complete Guide to Overcoming Depression
by Seema Hingorrany

Paperback, 224 pages
Published: 2012
Publisher:  Random House India
ISBN:  9788184002836

Blurb: Can’t sleep soundly? Don’t feel like stepping out of the house? Having suicidal thoughts? You might be depressed and don’t know it yet. According to a WHO study, a mindboggling 35.9 percent of India suffers from Major Depressive Episodes (MDE). Yet depression remains a much evaded topic, quietly brushed under the carpet by most of us. In Beating the Blues, India’s leading clinical psychologist, psychotherapist, and trauma researcher Seema Hingorrany provides a comprehensive, step-by-step guide to treating depression, examining what the term really means, its signs, causes, and symptoms. The book will equip you with: • Easy-to-follow self-help strategies and result-oriented solutions • Ways of preventing a depression relapse • Everyday examples, statistics, and interesting case-studies • Workbooks designed for Seema’s clients With clients ranging from celebrities and models to teenagers, married couples, and children, Seema decodes depression for you. Informative and user-friendly, with a foreword by Indu Shahani, the Sheriff of Mumbai, Beating the Blues is an invaluable guide for those who want to deal with depression but don’t know how.

A thing that is seen all over around us these days ubiquitously is depression and stress. People suffer from this noxious illness even without being aware of it for ages. Research has proved that about 35% of Indians suffer from depression. Many of them don’t know it, those who do either don’t take it seriously or don’t want to seek help professional help about it.  Here, Dr Seema Hingorrany comes to the rescue of such people.  

This book helps a person understand this under estimated disease better, and it would help you figure if you are a victim, and if you already know it, it’d make sure you see a doctor about it. The best thing about the book is that it tells us how to identify depression from normal life stress, for the term ‘depression’ gets misquotes a billion times in our day to day lives.

From explaining the symptoms to telling us stories of her own patients, Ms. Hingorrany had tried her best to get us acquainted to the malady and has made reading the book exceptionally interesting.

One more thing I would want to talk about Beating the Blues is the cover. Whether a person is suffering from depression or not, he would invariably get attracted to the book just seeing the cover. From my five year old cousin to my forty year old uncle, everybody would sneak a peek at the book just because of its cover, and most probably would comment on it.

This book is a bible for people who are under depression or know someone who is. It not only helps you understand the disease better, but it also helps you come out of it. It most importantly breaks the myth about shrinks. Dr. Hingorrany says that there have been times when a person would tell her that they didn’t see a psychologist because they were scared. Some would even fear that they would be given shock treatments right on the first day. Beating the Blues explains almost every step that comprises the treatment of depression. From Play Therapy to side effects of anti-depressants, the book has it all.

I recommend it to everyone who feels the need to know about the subject, and to the ones who wonder if they are the victims of the disease or know someone who is or might be. It is a Must Read!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Word Power Made Easy

Word Power Made Easy
by Norman Lewis

Paperback, 686 pages
Published in: 1978
Publisher: Pocket Books
ISBN: 9780671741907

Blurb: Do You Always Use the Right Word?
Can You Pronounce It -- and Spell It -- Correctly?
Do You Know How to Avoid Illiterate Expressions?
Do You Speak Grammatically, Without Embarrassing Mistakes? 
If the answer to any of these questions is NO, you ought to read Word Power Made Easy. Now thoroughly revised to eliminate outmoded references and to reflect current idioms, it remains the best and quickest means to a better vocabulary in the English language.
Each chapter ends with review. Each section ends with a progressive check. Numerous tests will help you increase and retain the knowledge you acquired. 
Word Power Made Easy does more than just ass words to you vocabulary. It teaches ideas and a method of broadening knowledge as an integral part of the vocabulary building process.

I didn’t have any exposure to vocabulary building books before I decided to pick Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis. Why I decided to pick this book is a reason very simple. I saw it in the best sellers list on Flipkart every time I checked the said page on the site. I wanted to see what was so good about the book that made it sell in a bigger quantity than Paulo Coelho’s books (For me he is the author everybody should read. Anyway, we’d discuss that some other time).

To be honest, this was one of the longest books i have read. I am not that used to reading books very big in size. A seven hundred page book is often a mammoth for me. But this was the book that keeps you completely gripped. It leaves you awestruck with the ability of the author to make you learn new words and with your own self learning them.

I always wondered what vocabulary building books would be like. Probably a lot of preaching and a bazillion words in a list that you are supposed to memorise kind of thing was what my imagination suggested. But Word Power Made Easy was nothing at all like that.

Norman Lewis interacts with you. He tells you stories, the histories, jokes with you, is sarcastic of several things, supporting many, and giving you wonderfully superb pieces of advice that you love to take. It is no preaching. It is a friendly relationship with the reader and making him learn many, many useful things.

The idea that Norman Lewis upholds in the entire book is “No Learning Words. But Learning the Ideas Behind the Words.” It is quite hard to guess what exactly he means by that initially, but as you leaf through the masterpiece, you realise that it is the ideas that you need to build your vocabulary, not a list of words.

Norman Lewis exposes to us the world we would never have given a thought about, normally. If there’s a word we use, how did it come to existence, and from where. Lewis tells us the stories behind innumerable words which are hard to forget. You might have a faulty memory about remembering words, but the idea stays with you and so does the word.

 I still remember many stories about the words that Norman Lewis tells us, and it still brings back the scintillating memories that I’d get while reading them.  

This ‘idea behind the word’ is Norman Lewis’ weapon to make you remember the words you have never heard of before. And the idea of the ideas simply rocks. Also, the way he puts them, is exceptionally witty and it compels you to fall in love with Lewis’ sense of humour. I haven’t smiled as much reading any book as I have smiled while reading this one.

Trust me, it is a treat to read this book.

One of my favourite ones is this, from the segment: How to Talk about Various Speech Habits:

Saying little – meaning much

There is an anecdote about Calvin Coolidge, who, when he was the president of USA, was often called (though probably not to his face) ‘Silent Cal’.
A Young newspaper woman was sitting next to him at a banquet, so the story goes, and turned to him mischievously.
“Mr. Coolidge,” she said, “I have a bet with my editor that I can get you to say more than two words to me this evening.”
“You lose,” Coolidge rejoined simply.

The adjective: laconic.

I would highly recommend this to everybody who loves words or wants to add to his vocabulary. This is certainly the best book you would find of its kinds out there. 
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...