This review appeared in nb71.
“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity. An optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” In Elaine Fox’s Rainy Brain, Sunny Brain she explores these two diametric systems of thinking through reference to the latest research and scientific discoveries. Full of interesting, surprising and thought-provoking information, Fox uncovers the science of optimism and pessimism, in an easily accessible yet factual account. Much of the research is truly astonishing and challenges accepted beliefs about whether optimism and pessimism are really hard-wired and whether or not we can choose to be happy. Although couched in hard research and scientific data, the book is a real pleasure to read and never becomes too dense. Fox engages with the reader throughout, encouraging them to test their own outlooks through her accessible writing style and anecdotes. As such, on a personal level, this is a wonderful, and potentially even beneficial, read, and I think its impact and suitability is perhaps better aimed at an individual than group read.
Overall, it is a fascinating and interesting study that really leaves you with new knowledge, and, dare I say, optimism.