Nicola Heath, Psychology Subject Advisor
Reading has always been one of my favourite ways to unwind and this March why not use World Book Day as an excellent excuse to relax with a good book. World Book Day is also a great time to promote a love of reading to those around us: friends, family, colleagues and students.
In this blog, I list five popular psychology related books that have been recommended by our psychology community. Some are factual, others are light-hearted fiction, but whatever you are interested in, I hope you find something that catches your attention.
Genie: A Scientific Tragedy describes one of the most famous case studies in the fields of psychology and linguistics. Genie was a girl who gave so much insight to science yet some would argue was ultimately let down by those working in these academic fields.
It can be quite a complicated read at times, but some previous psychological knowledge will more than help you navigate the story. With so much information out there on this case, it was good to read a succinct and fair representation of what occurred.
In typical Ronson style, The Psychopath Test leads the reader on a journey of discovery about the spectrum of psychopathy. He combines information gathered from research, interviews with psychopaths as well as anecdotes and reflections from his personal life. Not a serious piece of work, but an entertaining read for those who are interested in this area of psychology.
If you are a fan of The Wind in the Willows, you will enjoy this clever little book. Mr Toad is going through some troubles and despite their best efforts his friends are unable to cheer him up. They decide to get him counselling and from then we follow his journey with his therapist. Through these sessions and anecdotes, we learn the foundations of counselling and the principles behind how it works.
A mysterious phone call leads Iris to uncover that she has a great-aunt who is about to be released from a mental hospital where she has been for more than 60 years. The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox is a well-written book that keeps you guessing at every turn.
At times, the writing can be hard to read but this simply gives the reader an insight into the fragmented memories of two elderly ladies, one of whom has Alzheimer’s. Follow Iris as she uncovers more about her family history and the terrible way her great aunt was labelled as mentally ill, and then subsequently treated.
Amanda is an award-winning journalist who has researched a number of disasters that have occurred across the world in our recent history. From hostage situations to plane crashes, she has used interviews with survivors to piece together the factors that shape how we react in a crisis. This fascinating book allows the reader to self-reflect on their own ‘disaster personality’ and how they may react in similar situations.
Do you have any other favourite psychology books to share? Have you read any of these suggestions, and what did you think? Share your thoughts in the comments below. If you have any questions, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org call us on 01223 553998 or tweet us @OCR_Psychology. You can also sign up to receive subject updates and information about resources and support.
Nicola joined OCR in 2022 as the Subject Advisor for Psychology. Prior to joining OCR, she taught psychology for over 10 years and has had various other responsibilities in that time, including being Head of Year and Subject Leader. Outside of work, Nicola enjoys reading, baking and spending time outdoors.