I got this as a free audiobook from audible.com. I am a chemical engineer/chemist by trade and thought this sounded like an interesting read. The book is narrated by the author Candace Pert.
The very first thing I noticed is that the author is incredibly conceited, she spends a lot of time bragging about her accomplishments right away. This book is more of an autobiography than an actually book behind the science of emotion.
There are some interesting theories in this book, that I think many people would agree with. The main theory is that emotional state is caused by a variety of chemicals, particularly peptids. These molecules not only have an influence on your emotions but on your overall physical health as well, you can't really separate the two. I think this theory was groundbreaking at the time, but much more widely accepted now.
There is a also a lot of discussion about the male domination of science and how hard the author had to work to get recognized. I think maybe this might have been more true in the 70's than today. The author also comes to the realization by the end that maybe it was her aggressive attitude and combativeness that caused some of her issues with her male cohorts and I couldn't agree more.
Working as a female in a male dominated field I have found that the opinion of those around you (male or otherwise) is fed by your attitude towards them. I have never had a ton of issue with my male coworkers respecting me and treating me as an equal. I had some issues in college, but now that I am working with the people I want to work with and in a field I am comfortable in it just hasn't been an issue. If you have an attitude of competence, but aren't completely arrogant, I don't think you will have much of an issue.
Okay stepping off my soapbox now...
Overall this was an interesting read, but not exactly what I was hoping for or expecting. It is more an autobiography of Perts work and a treatise on the struggles of female scientists than an explanation behind the chemicals that guide our emotional and physical health. It was free so I cant really complain, but I wouldnt really recommend it either.
This book is more about Dr. Pert's personal life and involvement in the discoveries related to learning about what she calls "the molecules of emotion" than it is about the science itself. That is to say, half of the book is about the science, while the other half is about Dr. Pert's behind-the-scenes love life and struggles that went on during her years of scientific work. Personally, I could have done without the gushing, hand wringing, self-congratulation and self-righteous indignation that keeps her swinging between chapters and moods.
Nancy O. reviewed Molecules Of Emotion: The Science Behind Mind-Body Medicine on
I loved this book. Not only was it a friendly read, but I learned a lot about the Scientific community and how it works. When people ask me about this book, I find it hard to categorize. It's a little bit memoir, a little bit scientific and understanding of the human body, and a little bit personal philosophy on healing. But overall, I found it to be an educational and uplifting read.
I used this book for a presentation I gave at my Cognitive Science class, the professor suggested it otherwise, I probably would not have thought of using it. I learned a good deal about how emotions behave at a molecular level -what goes on in your brain and throughout the entire nervous system in the body not only the brain, that makes one feel happy, sad, excited, etc. It was a good lesson on how our state of mind can affect ones health! I had no idea that if one keeps a good, happy attitude, then it is more difficult to even catch a cold.