Book Lists Articles

Some Small, Good Changes in Your Everyday Diet

Saturday, January 7th, 2012

[On Saturdays my topic of focus is A Small, Good Thing, inspired by one of my favorite Raymond Carver stories.]

Some people like to make large, dramatic life changes, while others aspire to gradual, incremental improvements. (Personally, I’m of that second camp.)

Joel Fuhrman’s excellent book, Eat to Live, contains valuable nutrition advice for everyone.

A Small, Good Resolution: Stop Lying (Even the “White” Lies)

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

[On Saturdays my topic of focus is A Small, Good Thing, inspired by one of my favorite Raymond Carver stories.]

A big part of my identity is rooted in thinking of myself as a kind, caring, gentle and optimistic person…one who says supportive, positive things…a Tigger, not an Eeyore.

I’m uncomfortable saying anything that might come across as negative or unnice.  I hate the thought of hurting someone’s feelings or having them get angry at me.

Empathy vs. Understanding

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

I’m going to devote my Tuesday blog posts to the topic of Psychology, Human Behavior and Relationships. What makes people tick?

When I have the time, I like to do book reviews. For one thing, yay! I get a free book! And I get to read about and learn something I wouldn’t have necessarily found on my own.

This last go-round I was feeling especially adventurous, so I told the book-sending folks to Surprise Me!…and here’s what arrived in my mailbox:

Understanding Before Advice

Friday, November 18th, 2011

I’m going to devote my Friday blog posts to the topic of Learning What We Already Know. There’s a ton of wisdom out there in the world, and lots of it has been known for quite a long time but it needs to be passed along.

November is a special month for me, because both of my parents happened to have been born in, and passed away in, the month of November.

My mom and I loved each other very much. We also had a very stormy relationship which was especially turbulent and painful when I was a teenager.

Solace Sex: An Attempt to Gain Safety Through Touch

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

Right now I’m reading Hold Me Tight, by Sue Johnson.

Dr Johnson brilliantly thought to apply Bowlby’s attachment theory (infant/parent bonding, the need for touch in order to thrive, etc) to adults, and developed her Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy.

Johnson talks about “Solace Sex” in her chapter entitled Bonding Through Sex and Touch:

When Your Loved One Turns Away

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

I’m reading Hold Me Tight, by Sue Johnson, and this passage, about the trauma we feel when a loved one turns away from us at a time of great need, really got me. Why would someone who loves us abandon us as the very moment we need them most?

For World Mental Health Day: Reading What John Gottman Reads

Monday, October 10th, 2011

I am a huge fan of John and Julie Gottman, the couple who founded The Gottman Institute and have created so many effective, evidence-based interventions for couple therapy.

I pre-order John Gottman’s latest book, The Science of Trust, and devoured it as soon as it came out this summer.

When I really admire an author, I get curious about what they read and who they admire. And Gottman is very open about naming the people who have had an impact on his own work and discussing their ideas at length.

John Gottman considers the psychologist Dan Wile his mentor, so of course I wanted to read Wile, whose book, After the Honeymoon, turns out to be a treasure trove of wisdom and reassurance.

Five Life-Changing Mental Health Books

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

For Mental Health Awareness Day, I’ve picked out five of the most amazingly informative, life-changing mental health books I’ve ever read:

Loneliness; Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection
by John Cacioppo and William Patrick

The Noonday Demon; an Atlas of Depression
by Andrew Solomon

Against Depression
by Peter D. Kramer

Woman; an Intimate Geography
by Natalie Angiers

Parenting Books for the Non-Tiger Mothers

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

I did a talk last month on parent-child dynamics, and of course we talked a great deal about Amy Chua’s view that “Chinese mothers are superior” because they set high standards, don’t coddle, and don’t allow their kids to waste time on valueless pursuits such as school plays and sleep-over parties.

So I guess I was a Teddy Bear Mother, but I did all of the above and still produced two extremely successful, multi-talented, now-grown kids. And here are my favorite parenting books:


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