Department of Psychology Title The Ohio State University

Psychology Book Club


Small Group Discussions of Popular Topics in Psychology

Do you have a passion for reading? Would you like to delve deeper into current trends and popular concepts in psychology? If so, the Psychology Book Club may be for you! Participation in Psychology Book Club involves a commitment to reading two titles per semester, the topics of which center on a psychology concept or subject. A Psychology faculty member will select a book, then participants will meet in a small group setting with that faculty supervisor to discuss the book in detail. The books are provided to participating members free of charge, and dinner is also provided at the group discussions.

Please look out for an e-mail in the beginning of the semester inviting Psychology Majors to participate. The e-mail will include instructors about how to submit a short personal statement explaining your interest in book club and confirming availability for the time commitment involved.


Spring 2017 Titles

The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry


The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through Madness

Author: Jon Ronson

They say one out of every hundred people is a psychopath. You probably passed one on the street today. These are people who have no empathy, who are manipulative, deceitful, charming, seductive, and delusional. The Psychopath Test is the New York Times bestselling exploration of their world and the madness industry.

Ronson discovers that relatively ordinary people are, more and more, defined by their most insane edges. The Psychopath Test is a fascinating adventure through the minds of madness.

The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry

Patient H.M.: A Story of Memory, Madness, and Family Secrets

Author: Luke Dittrich

In 1953, a twenty-seven-year-old factory worker named Henry Molaison—who suffered from severe epilepsy—received a radical new version of the then-common lobotomy, targeting the most mysterious structures in the brain. The operation failed to eliminate Henry’s seizures, but it did have an unintended effect: Henry was left profoundly amnesic, unable to create long-term memories. Over the next sixty years, Patient H.M., as Henry was known, became the most studied individual in the history of neuroscience, a human guinea pig who would teach us much of what we know about memory today.

Patient H.M.
combines the best of biography, memoir, and science journalism to create a haunting, endlessly fascinating story, one that reveals the wondrous and devastating things that can happen when hubris, ambition, and human imperfection collide.



Past Titles

Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America

Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America

Author: Linda Tirado


We in America have certain ideas of what it means to be poor. Linda Tirado, in her signature brutally honest yet personable voice, takes all of these preconceived notions and smashes them to bits. She articulates not only what it is to be working poor in America (yes, you can be poor and live in a house and have a job, even two), but what poverty is truly like—on all levels. 

Frankly and boldly, Tirado discusses openly how she went from lower-middle class, to sometimes middle class, to poor and everything in between, and in doing so reveals why “poor people don’t always behave the way middle-class America thinks they should.”

Madness: A Bipolar Life

Madness: A Bipolar Life

Author: Marya Hornbacher


In Madness, in her trademark wry and utterly self-revealing voice, Hornbacher tells her story. Through scenes of astonishing visceral and emotional power, she takes us inside her own desperate attempts to counteract violently careening mood swings by self-starvation, substance abuse, numbing sex, and self-mutilation. How Hornbacher fights her way up from a madness that all but destroys her, and what it is like to live in a difficult and sometimes beautiful life and marriage -- where bipolar always beckons -- is at the center of this brave and heart-stopping memoir.

Brain on Fire


Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness

Author: Susannah Cahalan


A gripping memoir and medical suspense story about a young New York Post reporter’s struggle with a rare and terrifying disease, opening a new window into the fascinating world of brain science.

With sharp reporting drawn from hospital records, scientific research, and interviews with doctors and family, Brain on Fire is a crackling mystery and an unflinching, gripping personal story that marks the debut of an extraordinary writer.


Nurture Assumption

The Nurture Assumption: Why Children Turn Out the Way They Do

Author: Judith Harris


How much credit do parents deserve when their children turn out welt? How much blame when they turn out badly? Judith Rich Harris has a message that will change parents' lives: The "nurture assumption" -- the belief that what makes children turn out the way they do, aside from their genes, is the way their parents bring them up -- is nothing more than a cultural myth.


This electrifying book explodes some of our unquestioned beliefs about children and parents and gives us a radically new view of childhood.