self-help

Jun 20, 2018

We've all heard the phrase, "I'll sleep when I'm dead," but Why We Sleep shines much-needed light on not only the benefits of slumber, but also the dire--and sometimes fatal--consequences of avoiding it.


As with many who have read this book, I first heard Dr. Walker on the wonderful, multi-faceted, Joe Rogan Experience podcast. If Walker's revelatory words in that interview were such to pique my curiosity, his book was enough to make me a determined, devoted acolyte. Why We Sleep contains information on scientific studies, personal experiences, and keen observation on our current society's

Oct 22, 2017

There’s no denying that women have made great strides since the days when Joan Cleaver dominated our stereotype. Today’s women can have it all—a successful and demanding career, a passionate, healthy marriage, and a rewarding home life complete with 2.3 children and a white picket fence. We can be power CEO’s during the day and domestic queens by night. Or can we? Women’s Liberation gave this freedom to women, but as we learned in the late 80’s from Hochschild and Machung and their theory of the Second Shift, this isn’t quite the emancipation we had imagined. In Dropping the Ball, Chief

Oct 17, 2017

Here’s a familiar situation that we’ve all been in -  you see someone you know that has recently lost a loved one, or is going through a serious illness, or recently got divorced and that little voice in your head says “do I say something or not . . .  I don’t know them that well . . . what do I say that won’t make matters worse . . . . " Well, here’s a practical and humorous guide encouraging us to go ahead, reach out and fumble; it’s better than not reaching out at all!


In short, colorful chapters, the authors share examples of their “Three Touchstones of Showing Up” – your kindness is

Sep 23, 2017

Hoda Kotb, winner of a Daytime Emmy Award as part of The Today Show, has penned Where We Belong, a collection of stories about people who were feeling unfulfilled, yet were able to get things back on track by simply following their own desires and passions. While some of the examples she shares are about extraordinary people with money and connections, there are also instances of everyday people with seemingly nothing more than a burning ambition to change their lives and the lives of others for the better.


You’ll come away inspired and testing your own feelings and asking yourself if you

Apr 6, 2017

We have all taken personality tests that put us into one box or another in an attempt to better understand ourselves. In Susan Cain’s book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking, Cain analyzes the introvert/extrovert dichotomy with a particular focus on how introverts think and what motivates them. Cain argues that we live in an extrovert-centric society that values and praises the high achieving socialites over the less outgoing thinkers. Cain speaks up for and defends those whose voices have gone unheard for far too long.


Quiet reads like a text book, analyzing

Apr 5, 2016

I cannot figure out why this book is such an overwhelming success. I am very torn in my opinion of Marie Condo’s “konmari” method to declutter one’s life, finding some of the teachings notable, but overall unnecessarily extreme and impractically harsh. The main theme of the book is to simplify by ridding oneself of everything that does not “spark joy.” By going through possessions item by item, the konmari method will strip away all unused, superfluous and sentimental items that serve no immediate, direct purpose. Taking to heart the books methodology, I’d like to systematically go through

Jan 10, 2016

There are some downsides to HBO’s Enlightened. It is painfully sincere. It riffs on commercialized, New Age-y self-help. It satirizes corporate America in a way that makes you wonder if it is really satire after all. But I find myself recommending the show anyway.


I haven’t really seen anything like it. I cringed a lot. I felt uncomfortable. But I didn’t stop watching. There’s a tension in the show, which totters between rage and earnestness. These extremes are broadcasted on the face of the protagonist, Amy, played by Laura Dern. Everyone is a bit of a caricature, which is the show’s main

The Bounce Back Book

By Karen Salmansohn
5
Rated by Hope H.
Jun 4, 2015

Sometimes you feel yourself spiraling downward, and you don't know what to do next. Or maybe next has involved seeking comfort all too frequently in your chocolate stash. I hear you. Recommended to me by a good friend, I picked up this book.


The Bounce Back Book: How to Thrive in the Face of Adversity, Setback, and Losses is packed with nuggets of uplifting, empowering, actionable wisdom. Salmansohn uses a conversational tone and plenty of humor to share her 75 tips for bouncing back from one (or a multitude – what she calls "The Vortex") of life's challenges: life and death, career

The Five Love Languages

By Gary Chapman
4
Rated by Caitlin T.
Apr 20, 2015

Quality time. Words of affirmation. Physical touch. Receiving gifts. Acts of service. These are the five ways that people give and receive love according to relationship counselor Dr. Gary Chapman. This book guides you in how to “fill the love tank,” as Chapman words it, of your partner by learning how to assess the way your partner wants to receive love. By knowing which love language your partner speaks (i.e. which way they want to receive love), you can improve even the healthiest of relationships.


Originally written in 1992, the book still remains relevant today. The success of this

The Art of Asking

By Amanda Palmer
5
Rated by Josh N.
Feb 1, 2015

I've been a fan of Amanda Palmer, her music and her personality, for a while now. I admire how open, honest, brash, and brave she is. The Art of Asking is based on a TED talk she gave in 2013, expanded here to talk about her life as an artist and musician along with musings on why it's important to ask for help, why we often find it difficult to ask, and why sometimes asking for help doesn't get us what we asked for. (If you listen to the audiobook, you also get Amanda singing with her ukulele and some bonus songs by her and some of her friends.)


This is one of those books that smacked me

Nov 6, 2014

Imagine, at the age of 30, discovering you're not typical — or rather, not neurotypical. What could have been a scary diagnosis turned out to be very empowering for David Finch. His personal story of coping with Asperger Syndrome and saving his marriage paints a picture of hard-earned possibility. Finch may be at the milder end of the Asperger/autism spectrum, but for a neurotypical like myself, I learned a lot about the life of someone whose brain works very differently from my own. At the same time, I also saw aspects of myself in his behaviors, a reminder that common ground can still be

Sep 26, 2014

Dr. Wes Crenshaw is very straightforward when talking about the difficulties of living with ADD/ADHD and how to manage the disorder and be successful at work, school, and in relationships.  With the use of thirteen principles to live by Dr. Wes coaches individuals into successful living and helps their parents, teachers, friends and partners to understand why those individuals do the things they do and how best to help them.  The principles include the following: learn to be where you're at right now, make mindful decisions, make the right choice not the easy one, small decisions matter, don't

Sep 9, 2012

Gretchen realized at one point that her life was passing by like a fast train and that she was not focusing on things that are important or that matter to her. She reminds her audience that a person does not need to divorce a spouse and travel the globe to look for happiness or the real “self.”

She derived a strategy on how to recognize what is important to her and how to incorporate it into her everyday life.  This book chronicles her one year attempt of self discovery and self improvements. Part of the book is a memoir of her life, as Rubin ruminates over the life lived so far. With an

Mar 29, 2011

In A Complaint Free World Kansas City Pastor Will Bowen describes how his parishioners have changed their lives through the simple act of not complaining. They use bracelets that they slip from wrist to wrist when they catch themselves voicing negative thoughts to remind themselves of the impact of their words.

After describing how the movement began, Bowen’s parishioners provide testimonial of how becoming complaint free has affected their lives. Fans of Byrne’s The Secret will find practical and actionable advice in Complaint Free World.

My only complaint with the book (*Snort*) is that I