Recommended books to read and their reviews.

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A New Earth

By Eckhart Tolle 

With his bestselling spiritual guide The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle inspired millions of readers to discover the freedom and joy of a life “in the now.”  In a New Earth, Tolle expands on these powerful ideas to show how transcending our ego-based state of consciousness is not only essential to personal happiness, but also the key to ending conflict and suffering throughout the world.

Just Who Will You Be?

By Maria Shriver 

Just Who Will You Be? Is a candid, heartfelt, and inspirational book for seekers of all ages.  Inspired by a speech she gave, Maria Shriver’s message is that what you do in your life isn’t what matters.  It’s who you are.  It’s an important lesson that will appeal to anyone of any age looking for a life of meaning.

The Last Lecture

By Randy Pausch 

When Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon, was asked to give such a lecture, he didn’t have to imagine it as his last, since he had recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer.  But the lecture he gave – “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams” – wasn’t about dying, it was about the importance of overcoming obstacles, of enabling the dreams of others, of seizing every moment (because “time is all you have…and you may find one day that you have less than you think”).  It was a summation of everything Randy had come to believe.  It was about living.

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Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill

By Lt. Col. Dave Grossman / Gloria DeGaetano 

There is perhaps no bigger or more important issue in America at present than youth violence.  Jonesboro; Paducah; Pearl, Mississippi; Stamps, Arkansas; Conyers, Georgia; and, of course, Littleton, Colorado.  We know them all too well, and for all the wrong reasons: kids, some as young as eleven yours old, taking up arms and, with deadly, frightening accuracy, murdering anyone in their paths.    What is going on?  According to the authors of Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill, there is blame to be laid right at the feet of the makers of violent video games (called “murder trainers” by one expert), the TV networks, and the Hollywood movie studios – the people responsible for the fact that children often witness literally hundreds of violent images a day.

Queen Bees and Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends and Other Realities of Adolescence

By Rosalind Wiseman 

This groundbreaking book takes you inside the secret world of girls' friendships, translating and decoding them, so parents can better understand and help their daughters navigate through these crucial years. Rosalind Wiseman has spent more than a decade listening to thousands of girls talk about the powerful role cliques play in shaping what they wear and say, how they feel about school, how they respond to boys, and how they feel about themselves.

A Bright Red Scream

By  Marilee Strong 

Why do some people need to inflict pain on themselves?  At least two million Americans, and millions more worldwide, are cutters – notably, the late Princess  Diana.  Yet, the reasons behind the need to self-mutilate are profoundly complex and largely misunderstood.  Marilee Strong shatters the stereotypes and dispels the myths surrounding the phenomenon of self-mutilation and gets to the heart of the matter by way of her subjects.  The voices of cutters themselves, combined with Strong’s own astute observation, make for an unparalleled exploration of the disorder that has been called the “addiction of the nineties.”

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Waking Up Climbing Through the Darkness

By Terry L. Wise 

Widowed at 35, Wise recollects her near-fatal suicide attempt following her young husband’s death from Lou Gehrig’s Disease.  This gripping account of the entire process navigated during therapy is told from the rare perspective of the patient, yet is written for people who sit on both sides of the couch.

Tourette Syndrome

By Mary M. Robertson / Simon Baron-Cohen 

This book, written by a psychologist and psychiatrist who have been researching Tourette syndrome for many years, explains the causes of the syndrome, how it is diagnosed, and the ways in which it can be treated.  It includes a section providing clear answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about the disorder, and another chapter devoted to discussion of coping strategies for close relatives of people diagnosed as having Tourette syndrome.

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Courage After Fire Coping Strategies for Troops Returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and Their Families

By Keith Armstrong, L.S.W.S./ Suzanne Best, Ph.D./ Paula Domenici, Ph.D. 

This book does not treat readjustment challenges as a disorder, as a weakness, or as an artifact of selfishness.  It simply addresses the challenges commonly faced by returning veterans, and provides thoughtful and practical strategies for dealing with them.  Its three authors bring extensive experience to the table.

I Can’t Get Over It

A Handbook for Trauma Survivors

By Aphrodite Matsakis, Ph.D. 

In this ground-breaking book, Dr. Matsakis explains that post-traumatic stress disorder affects not just soldier, but also survivors of many other types of trauma including:

  • Crime                                                
  • Vehicular accidents
  • Rape
  • Family violence
  • Sexual abuse
  • Natural catastrophes
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Widow to Widow

By Genevieve Davis Ginsburg, M.S. 

Widow to Widow answers the most urgent question asked by new widows: “Why didn’t anyone ever tell me it would be like this?”  Writing from her own experience as a widow, author and therapist Genevieve Davis Ginsburg is frankly honest as she dispels the myths and disputes the rules, encouraging each widow to begin her new life in her own way and time.

Coping When Life is Threatened

By Karin M Buchanan 

Coping when life is threatened is one of those rare and valuable books that is able to speak informatively and eloquently not only to health care professionals and social scientists, but also to those people directly and indirectly affected by loss of health.  This book instructs its readers at the same time as it moves, entertains, saddens, and touches them.  The knowledge, guidance, and understanding provided here are relevant to us all.  For who of us today can take for granted our perpetual immunity from the devastating impact of life-threatening illness or accident?

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