The Inkblots by Damion Searls


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Swiss psychiatrist Hermann Rorschach believed that who we truly are can be found not in what we say, but in what we see. In 1917 he created an experiment that would go on to test this theory. The experiment consisted of ten carefully created inkblots.

In this book, the first biography written about Rorschach, Searls discusses the man, his life, and his work. We learn how culture shaped the test; how the test shaped culture (especially American culture); and how culture, in turn, reshaped the test, again and again.

The only thing that will stop me from giving this book five stars is that it became a bit stiff toward the end. What started as a writing style that felt more like storytelling turned more clinical and systematic. Perhaps it was unavoidable given the content, but it slowed my reading.

Otherwise, this is an excellent read. I knew nothing about Rorschach going into this book, and as I finished I left like I was leaving an old friend. Maybe because I see a bit of myself in him. He’s someone I think I would have enjoyed talking to.

It was Rorschach’s understanding and insight into both the human mind and the world around him that made the inkblots work. This was proven time and again through the years as changes were made to how the test was given and scored. It wasn’t something that could be quantified or standardized. Rorschach knew this, and expressed that he saw the inkblots more as an experiment than a test. Yet, he was able to use it, and teach others to use it, to uncover mental health issues and devise treatments.

The section of the book that interested me most was the use of the inkblots at Nuremburg on Nazi war criminals. The results were both fascinating and chilling, and something I’d like to read more about.

But Hermann Rorschach was a fascinating man himself. The book contains copies of a few of Rorschach’s inkblots, as well as some discussion of how scoring works. Searls also utilized many personal letters when covering Rorschach’s life, which adds a personal touch that drew me in, and the notes section is extensive. Searls did his research, and it shows.

1) Is it understandable = 4.5
2) Presentation of Information = 4
3) Quality of Writing = 4
4) Overall Enjoyability = 4.5

Average score of 4.25 out of 5

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Blogging for Books in return for an honest review.

Where to buy the book: Amazon | B&N

Reading Preview 3/23/17


Hey guys! I’ll be finishing The Inkblots over the next couple of days. You can look for that review this weekend. In the meantime, I wanted to share what’s coming up.

These will be the next two books I read. I’ve been waiting on Byrd’s new book for almost a year! I’ll be reading Cambron’s book for a review program, but I’m looking forward to it! I loved The Butterfly and the Violin, so I’m going in expecting to enjoy this one.

 

The next group of books are faith-based, non-fiction works.

 

Then there are a couple more fiction books on my shelf that I’m anxious to get to.

 

And the final book for this post (because there are SO many more I want to add) is a book on writing.

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What are you guys reading now? Have you read any of the ones on my list? Let me know in the comments.

A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir


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Laia and Elias are on the run from the Empire. They are hunted by old enemies and old friends, but Laia is determined to rescue her brother, and Elias is determined to keep his promise to help her.

This sequel picks up right where An Ember in the Ashes left off, and the pace doesn’t slow. We learn more about the characters we already know, and meet a few new ones along the way. Deciding who to trust is key.

Once again, Tahir pulls you into her world and doesn’t let you go. Rich characters, detailed plot, and adventure on every page. This second novel more than lives up to the first, and I sincerely hope there is a third in the works. Tahir is an amazing storyteller.

As with the first, this YA is definitely more suited for mature young adults: detailed, brutal violence; mild swearing; and a mild, cut-away love scene.

1) Overall Plot = 5
2) Characters = 5
3) Flow/Pace of the story = 5
4) Is the story easy to follow? = 5
5) Overall Enjoyability = 5

Average of score 5 out of 5

Where to buy the book: Amazon | B&N

A Time for Confidence by Stephen J. Nichols


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If you’re a Christian in America, you probably feel the change in our society. The culture is shifting further and further away from our Christian heritage. As time goes on, we may feel the pressure to compromise our beliefs to align with the culture of our day. But should we? Culture changes. Societies change. Nations and leaders rise and fall. But God’s word stands true forever.

In this timely book, Nichols reminds us where our confidence should rest: God, the Bible, Christ, the Gospel, and hope. As we stand firm in the Word we need to do so with confidence. Nichols brings us back to the early church, less than 100 years after Jesus died on the cross, to show us what that confidence looks like. It’s the same confidence we see over a thousand years later in the Reformers.

“This is not a time to cower, cave, or capitulate. It is a time for confidence, and our confidence must be in God. All else will disappoint.”

I highly recommend this book to all Christians. Especially anyone feeling the pressure to conform to this world.

1) Is it understandable = 4.5
2) Presentation of Information = 5
3) Quality of Writing = 5
4) Overall Enjoyability = 5

Average score of 4.9 out of 5

Where to buy the book: CBD | Amazon | B&N