Tag Archives: philosophical

Sexuality Beyond Consent: Risk, Race, Traumatophilia by Avgi Saketopoulou Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Author and Dr. Avgi Saketopoulou give an in-depth, thought-provoking look into the complicated world of sexuality, consent, and trauma in the book “Sexuality Beyond Consent: Risk, Race, Traumatophilia.


The Synopsis

Radical alternatives to consent and trauma

Arguing that we have become culturally obsessed with healing trauma, Sexuality Beyond Consent calls attention to what traumatized subjects do with their pain. The erotics of racism offers a paradigmatic example of how what is proximal to violation may become an unexpected site of flourishing. Central to the transformational possibilities of trauma is a queer form of consent, limit consent, that is not about guarding the self but about risking experience. Saketopoulou thereby shows why sexualities beyond consent may be worth risking-and how risk can solicit the future.

Moving between clinical and cultural case studies, Saketopoulou takes up theatrical and cinematic works such as Slave Play and The Night Porter, to chart how trauma and sexuality join forces to surge through the aesthetic domain. Putting the psychoanalytic theory of Jean Laplanche in conversation with queer of color critique, performance studies, and philosophy, Sexuality Beyond Consent proposes that enduring the strange in ourselves, not to master trauma but to rub up against it, can open us up to encounters with opacity. The book concludes by theorizing currents of sadism that, when pursued ethically, can animate unique forms of interpersonal and social care.

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The Review

This was quite a compelling, thoughtful, and engaging read. The author expertly crafts a philosophical, analytical, and professional examination of the current culture of consent, especially with the rise of the MeToo movement, and the differences between that type of consent and the unknowable, unrecognized experiences during sexual or intimate moments that both shock and pleasure people. The use of case studies and personal conversations with others in her field, as well as the in-depth research the author conducted, allowed the reader to get a sense of the themes the book was dissecting and bringing to life.

Now I will be honest, this is quite a challenging book, in that it challenges the readers to keep an open mind and not only explore new and radical ideas that can flip our ideas on their heads but to explore our own minds and the experiences we have. The idea of not sweeping away trauma but learning to work with it and push ourselves through that trauma to discover new aspects of ourselves was quite an interesting idea, and one of many such notions the author explores in this book.

The Verdict

Memorable, enlightening, and thoughtful, author Avgi Saketopoulou’s “Sexuality Beyond Consent: Risk, Race, Traumatophilia” is a must-read nonfiction book on sexuality and consent. The morality, psychoanalytical, and introspective themes the author explores in this book will push readers to really think about life and the impact that trauma and sexuality can have on a person’s life altogether. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

Dr. Avgi Saketopoulou is a Cypriot and Greek psychoanalyst based in New York. She is on faculty at the NYU Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, where she also trained, and teaches in other psychoanalytic institutes. Her published work has received several psychoanalytic awards, such as the annual JAPA Essay Prize, the Ruth Stein Prize, the Symonds Essay Prize, and the Ralph Roughton Award while her interview on relational psychoanalysis is in the permanent collection of the Freud Museum in Vienna. In 2022, she received Div.39’s Scholarship and Research Award and her essay, co-authored with Dr. Ann Pellegrini, received the first Tiresias Essay Prize from the IPA’s Sexual and Gender Diversities Studies Committee. That work will appear in a forthcoming volume titled “Gender Without Identity” coming out in Spring 2023 from the Unconscious in Translation Press. Dr. Saketopoulou’s monograph, “Sexuality Beyond Consent: Risk, Race, Traumatophilia” is published by the Sexual Cultures Series, NYU Press.

More information about her can be found on her website www.avgisaketopoulou.com

Just City by Olga Tymofiyeva Review 

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

In an effort to gain the funds to help build a new startup with his friend, a young man will discover the unjust nature of life in another’s shoes through a realistic virtual reality game and begin a journey of morality that could drive apart his friendship forever in author Olga Tymofiyeva’s “Just City”.


The Synopsis

Just City is a story of 21-year-old Nathan who dreams about creating a cool start-up with his friend Jack. To get money for the start-up Nathan starts playing a virtual reality game as part of a scientific experiment. The game forces Nathan to discover what it is like to be in the skin of somebody else, for whom the cards have been dealt differently. The depressing experiences of playing the game make Nathan question his belief in meritocracy and pick a fight with Jack. What is just and what do we really deserve? This is only the beginning of Nathan’s search for a new life credo that will have both love and reason at its core.

The Review

The author did such a stupendous job of crafting a YA read that felt both entertaining and enlightening all at once. The thought-provoking themes of social status and what it means to be human are quite profound throughout the novel and keep the reader invested in the narrative as the line between reality and virtual reality blur for the characters.

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To me, the heart of this story rests in the loaded character development the author brings to life in the narrative. The evolution of Nathan’s journey was remarkable to see, as he begins as a pretty ignorant and closed-off-minded individual but through the events of the novel he finds his world opening up far greater thanks to this virtual world. The tension that stems from his friendship with Jack and the others in his group as he befriends others who share his new views were profound, and yet it was his bond with his grandmother who kept him grounded and gave him a great philosophical inner monologue throughout the novel that made his story so moving and engaging.

The Verdict

Hauntingly beautiful, entertaining, yet thought-provoking in its delivery, author Olga Tymofiyeva’s “Just City” is a must-read YA novel! The heart and passion for which the author wrote this book seeped their way into every chapter, and the profoundly moving themes elevated this narrative to new heights as each twist and turn in the plot kept the reader on the edge of their seat. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

Olga Tymofiyeva, PhD, was born in 1981 in Kyiv, Ukraine. After having lived in Ukraine and Germany, she now lives in the US and works as an Associate Professor of Neuroimaging at the University of California in San Francisco. Just City is Olga’s first fiction book, which reflects her passion for science and critical thinking.



I’m writing this in August of 2022, as my home country is under a brutal, inhumane, and unjustified attack by Russia.

I pledge that as soon as the royalties from this book reach $5,000, this money will be donated to support the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

Thank you for making your contribution to this goal.

If you’d like to make a direct donation, you can do it here:


Book Spotlight: Most Famous Short Film of All Time by Tucker Lieberman 

Hey guys! I’m so excited to share with you guys today a special book spotlight for author Tucker Lieberman and his novel, “Most Famous Short Film of All Time”, a nonfiction/fiction hybrid that you won’t be able to put down. Below you will find some information on the book, an excerpt from the book, and some info on the author himself. 

I will be reviewing this book in a few weeks, so be sure to follow my blog to receive updates on my site, including daily blog posts, and you will see my thoughts on this book soon. Until then, please enjoy this look at “Most Famous Short Film of All Time”.


Book Info and Purchase Links:

Most Famous Short Film of All Time

by Tucker Lieberman

Munich: tRaum Books, 2022

Publisher’s website: https://traumbooks.com/most-famous-short-film-of-all-time/

Author’s website: https://tuckerlieberman.com/most-famous-short-film-of-all-time/

Booklife: https://booklife.com/project/most-famous-short-film-of-all-time-80120


 $23.25 US: Bookshop

 £21.99 UK: Waterstones

 $25 US: Barnes & Noble

 $25 US: Amazon


 $11.99 Kindle

 $11.99 Kobo

 $8 Itch

 $8 Gumroad


Book Description

Ghosts and goddesses beckon Lev Ockenshaw. Oh, bother. Fortunately, he’s got a pill for that. In 2014, Lev is happily telling campfire stories in Boston with his longtime friend, Stanley, and his coworker, Aparna. One day, he receives an anonymous, threatening email referring to the company where he and Aparna work. Lev reports the threat to his boss, but is not believed.

Invoking over 250 books, songs, and movies, Most Famous Short Film of All Time is a non/fiction-hybrid philosophical novel about:

  • the nature of time
  • the ever-present threat of gun violence in the United States
  • the unhelpfulness of institutions and systems
  • the importance of solidarity and transparency and being excellent to your friends
  • belonging to Gen X or the Millennial generation
  • being a fictional character and realizing you’re stuck in your own story
  • the hazards of disclosing or not disclosing a gender transition you’ve already completed
  • the neverendingness of the journey
  • all 486 frames of the Zapruder film of the JFK assassination
  • belief and unbelief
  • prejudice, perception, and ethical action/inaction
  • undoing/redoing decisions and trying harder
  • reading as many books as you possibly can
  • the role of playfulness, irony, and absurdity
  • burning things that do not serve

Excerpt from the book

[introductory remark to explain that it’s an excerpt]

“Flyleaf — By Which I Do Not Mean Myself” is one of the character’s Lev Ockenshaw’s musings in Most Famous Short Film of All Time. Here, he’s thinking about The Lord of the Rings and is indirectly wondering who’s telling his story.

[here’s the excerpt]

J. R. R. Tolkien, author of The Lord of the Rings, wrote in a letter (categorized as Letter 192) that “Frodo deserved all honour because he spent every drop of his power of will and body, and that was just sufficient to bring him to the destined point, and no further. Few others, possibly no others of his time, would have got so far.” Frodo’s destination was Mount Doom, but he could not muster the energy to throw the ring into the lava. Tolkien continued: “The Other Power then took over: the Writer of the Story (by which I do not mean myself), ‘that one ever-present Person who is never absent and never named’ (as one critic has said).” A boss within the novel, directing Frodo’s story. A writer who isn’t the writer.


About the Author

Tucker Lieberman is the author of the nonfiction Painting Dragons, Bad Fire, andTen Past Noon, as well as a bilingual poetry collection, Enkidu Is Dead and Not Dead / Enkidu está muerto y no lo está, recognized as a finalist in the 2020 Grayson Books Poetry Contest and nominated for the 2022 Elgin Award by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association.

His essay on a horror film appears in It Came From the Closet (Feminist Press, 2022). He’s contributed to three anthologies recognized by Lambda Literary: Balancing on the Mechitza (North Atlantic Books, 2011 Lambda winner), Letters For My Brothers (Wilgefortis, 2012 Lambda finalist), and Trans-Galactic Bike Ride (Microcosm, 2021 Lambda finalist). His flash fiction was recognized in the 2019 STORGY Magazine Flash Fiction Competition.

His husband is the science fiction writer Arturo Serrano, author of To Climates Unknown (2021) and contributor to the Hugo-winning blog nerds of a feather, flock together. They live in Bogotá, Colombia.


I’m @tuckerlieberman everywhere. 

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Live for Joy by Anne Scottlin Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Author Anne Scottlin takes readers on a journey of spirituality and self-growth in her book, “Live for Joy”.


The Synopsis

Anne Scottlin delivers fresh motivational insights and succinct morsels of philosophy to help inspire your practice of self-awareness and to cultivate a mindset of authenticity and joy. Paired with extraordinary art and photography, these inspirational messages create a visually stunning feast for the senses.

Whether you consume this book in one sitting or keep it close-at-hand for quick infusions of courage or moments of contemplation, you will find it an indispensable tool to support you in tapping into your best version of yourself.

The Review

This was a powerful and moving work of philosophy and introspective work that blended nuggets of thought-provoking sentiments with artwork and photography that captured the essence and tone that the author was going for in this book. The imagery and tone always brought the reader to the present moment, taking away the worries of the past and future and instead focusing on moments as they were happening. 

What really stood out was the philosophical wellbeing that the author employed in the reader’s minds and how the author’s messages of hope and fulfillment spoke to the reader in a personal way. The balance of the images and inspirational messages found with one another struck quite the emotional chord and expanded upon several aspects of life that readers will find relevant to them, from relaxing and taking one’s time in life, to connecting with your creative force and so much more. 

The Verdict

A memorable, thoughtful, and engaging read, author Anne Scottlin’s “Live for Joy” is a remarkable philosophy and spiritual read. The emotional pull of the author’s messages and the theme of living in the moment and finding fulfillment in one’s present life was such a beautiful message that inspires hope and love in the reader’s hearts. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

ANNE SCOTTLIN is an author, consultant and specialist in emotional well-being. She leads innovative corporate training on work-life integration and individual fulfillment. A podcaster and influencer, Scottlin’s popular Twitter feed draws millions of views a month and she produces a compelling weekly show. Her energy and enthusiasm attract clients worldwide to her workshops, retreats and her flagship program, The Power of Joy Transformation.

A uniquely gifted teacher, Anne’s singularity springs from the blend of her academic background, entrepreneurial experience, and unusual upbringing. She also draws from her personal quest for joy, self-actualization and global vision. An aesthete deeply inspired by nature, mindfulness and excellence, Anne’s approach is one of compassion, honesty and high standards.

Anne lives in Santa Monica, California, with her husband and two Mini Schnauzers. When she’s not working with her clients or writing a new book she enjoys wilderness hiking, world travel, and recharging outdoors in her favorite hammock. One of her best kept secrets is that she is a Medieval history hobbyist with a special interest in medieval women writers.