I just finished:
Delusions of Normality: Sanity, Drugs, Sex, Money and Beliefs in America
by J.P. Harpignies
I thought it was pretty decent and an enjoyable read. It even shed a little light on some of the inconsistencies and irrationalities in some of my beliefs.
He goes through and gives a bunch of data that the ‘normal’ idea most people have of the ‘dominant’ cultural is a myth.
He shows that a significant percentage of Americans are seeking help for mental issues, gives some data and commentary on how the data was obtained and some bias in over or underreporting that occur w/ gathering the data.
The drug part was pretty good, and most people at one time or another have used illegal drugs. There is a large study going on that has been going on for awhile, and the most interesting thing is that people start to change their answers as they get older. They might admit it on a college survey, but when their older w/ careers, savings accounts, and kids, they start to change their answers.
There is a very large amount of sexual sub-cultures, fetishes, and perversions, that people don’t really talk about but they are pervasive.
The money and beliefs chapters were excellent as well. I don’t remember much of the money chapter, but I’m going to reread it. The belief chapter was great, and their is a very large amount of sub-cultures in the American populace. Most people have beliefs that are very irrational and inconsistent w/ the rest of their character/identity.
Pretty unbiased book, and the author doesn’t really let his beliefs and ideals bias his research findings. He does give some commentary, which is amusing and intelligent.
Great book overall, and it led me to examine some more of more irrational beliefs/character traits, that I really believed in and felt a great emotional response over and never really questioned.