Sunday, March 25, 2012
Book Review: A Mind of Its Own
As fascinating as this research may be, this is all material that has been covered equally well in a variety of other books, from Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink to Jonah Lehrer’s vastly superior How We Decide. For that reason, there is little to recommend Fine’s tome in particular. Not that the book is without strengths. Foremost among them is the straightforward organization of content, with chapters like “The Deluded Brain,” “The Weak-Willed Brain,” and “The Bigoted Brain” clearly demarcating the kinds of research that will be discussed therein. That being said, any advantage the book’s organization may hold is offset by Fine’s writing. The author is so determined to win over her audience that the first several chapters are virtually drowning in whimsy. The relentless and cloying cutesiness of Fine’s prose is almost unbearable, though, thankfully, it tapers off quite a bit as the volume continues.