Sunday, May 27, 2007

Anatomy of a Secret Life: The Psychology of Living a Lie

Author: Gail Saltz, MD

First line: A woman in the doctor's waiting room natters on about the weather, oblivious to the fact that no one's really listening.

Why you should read this book: A lightweight and somewhat exhibitionistic overview of the lies people tell themselves and those around them. Case studies of typical liars--tax cheats, shoplifters, alcoholics--are interspersed with historical accounts of famous people who led double, triple, even quadruple lives. The psychology here seems somewhat superficial and perhaps too easy, but it's a good volume for someone with no psychological background whose life has been recently upended by the revelation or suspicious of a dark secret.

Why you shouldn't read this book: You never lie. Or, at least, that's what you want yourself to think.

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