No, I don't live in a house where goat-paths thread among stacks of newspapers, magazines, and assorted junk. But even as I listened to Caron's excellent reading of this well-written book, I couldn't help but notice how many of the traits of the sufferers of extreme cases of hoarding I had, or could recognize in friends and family members - though never so out-of-control. The authors never overclaim - they are genuine scientists who remain cautious and skeptical of their own tentative conclusions. The result is a book that is both fascinating and reliable. It's a happy coincidence when first rate science is done by first rate writers.
The problem with a book about rationalization of mistakes is that everything depends on your judgment of what actions were mistakes, and what explanations are mere rationalizations. If one person believes he made the right choice, but the authors disagree, then they call his explanations "rationalizations," while if the authors agree, then of course it's not rationalization at all.
The result is that it is the authors who are rationalizing their own biases, and the book is essentially worthless as anything but feel-good reassurance if your views happen to coincide exactly with the authors'.
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