Archives for Book Lists

Book Lists

The Wisdom to Know the Difference (Day Twelve: Twelve Days of Wisdom)

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.
-The Serenity Prayer
I like Victorian-era cemeteries, and whenever I visit one the Serenity Prayer enters my mind.

In those days there was no cure for tuberculosis, which was romantically called "consumption" and which along with other infectious diseases filled the churchyards and necessitated the creation of vast new burying grounds.

Victorian cemeteries were intended as parks where families could picnic and visit their departed loved ones on Sunday afternoons.
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Book Lists

You Can Become a Better Person (Day Seven: Twelve Days of Wisdom)

It’s not about how to achieve your dreams. It’s about how to lead your life. If you lead your life the right way, the karma will take care of itself. The dreams will come to you. -Randy Pausch

I make my living working with kids, and it’s my impression that most of them have little clue as to what they want to do with their lives, and that they find the very question terrifying.
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Book Lists

Twelve Days of Wisdom

If I ever write my memoirs, I’ll devote one chapter to each of the books that changed my life, by authors including Dan Ariely, Judith Rich Harris, Steven Pinker, Martin Seligman, Shirley Glass, John and Julie Gottman and Haim Ginott.

I’ve always been a reader and a learner, and it’s no coincidence that I wound up in the education field. I believe in the power of knowledge to solve problems and make life comprehensible and happier.

I love this time of the year; time to think about a fresh start and renewed goals. For the past two years I’ve curated collections of favorite TED talks, which you can view here:
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Book Lists

Empathy vs. Understanding

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:
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Book Lists

Understanding Before Advice

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.
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Book Lists

For World Mental Health Day: Reading What John Gottman Reads

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,
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Book Lists

Five Life-Changing Mental Health Books

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
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Book Lists

Parenting Books for the Non-Tiger Mothers

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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