A Bookaholic, Pro-life, Pro-Family, Pro-Oxford Comma, Catholic (with Asperger's) who reads and writes as her obsession. I've been reading over 400 books a year lately. These are my ramblings on some of the books I read. To read about all the books I read and comment on, visit me at LibraryThing or Goodreads.

I've been blogging since 2007 and at this point (July 2015) am trying my hand at turning the theme of this blog towards mystery, thriller, and crime, fiction and nonfiction. I have some special interest topics and categories within this broad genre which include (but are not limited to) serial killers, scandi-crime, Victorian history and historicals, history of the criminally insane and asylums, psychopathology, death, funerary practices and burial, corpses, true crime and anything dealing with the real life macabre, or that portrayed in fiction.

I also read a short story a day from various collections, sometimes anthologies othertimes collections of a single author's work. These reviews are also posted here and while they are of mixed genre the mystery, thriller, horror, gothic and macabre often appear within their pages as well.

I also blog about
graphic novels and manga on a separate BLOG.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

No Mercy: True Stories of Disaster, Survival and Brutality by Eleanor Learmonth & Jenny Tabakoff

No Mercy: True Stories of Disaster, Survival and Brutality by Eleanor Learmonth & Jenny Tabakoff
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Paperback, 272 pages
Published July 24th 2013 by The Text Publishing Company

Epically fascinating. The authors take a look at the group dynamics of (mostly) men who meet disaster and the neurological factors that play an important role into whether the group will survive or not. Starting off with "The Lord of the Flies Principle" and the "Robber's Cave Experiment" as examples of group survival decay they examine several shipwrecks from the 1700s and 1800s which all had atrocious survivor rates except one which had 100% success. They discuss how our brain reacts in these situations, typical feelings and almost always shared situations and problems. While discussing these topics many other survivor disasters are referenced, sometimes in full, as well. So while the book is very heavy on shipwrecks others are regularly mentioned such as the Andes Mountain Flight Disaster in '73 and the 2010 Chilean Miner Rescue. I found the book absolutely fascinating and unique. It's about 50/50 history of the disaster vs neurology/psychology of the brain and group dynamics. Topics covered are fear, panic, alcohol, leadership, stupidity and inertia, race, suicide, cannibalism and murder to name a few. My only problem with the book is that it didn't seem to have a natural orderly organization, not chronological, not thematic. It went back and forth both in time and on themes and while the information held me engrossed forgiving this faux-pas, it would have been a much stronger treatise with a progressive order.

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