Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Narrowing it down (part 3)

Here's my last post about the books I read this year. Someone has pointed out that I don't actually read that much in my field and in a sense, that's true. I have a large stack of books that I'm currently skimming and even more that I use for research and I have a favorite journal (The Psychotherapy Networker) but I'm not typically reading books in counseling/psychology. A few exceptions: The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog was terrific for professionals and lay readers alike. The author, who was the psychiatrist who treated the Branch Davidian children as well as other notable traumatized children, explores the role of trauma in the child development. Revisiting Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Golman was also important to me this year--and it is as interesting and as relevant as it was when it came out more than a decade ago. An Unquiet Mind by Kay Jamison was given to me by a client who said that it described her struggle with bipolar disorder perfectly and I can see why. And all the books I read about marriage were excellent--I'm not sure why I didn't list them. Anyway, the Marriage Makeover by Joshua Coleman is great for partners who are staying in unhappy marriages that are unlikely to change (for example, for the children or for religious reasons) and How To Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It by Love and Stosny is also excellent.

All the rest of the books I enjoyed fit no particular category, so I'll just give them their own random paragraph. Parting the Waters: The King Years by Taylor Branch was fascinating to me. I wish it had been shorter and more concise but the parts that were powerful were really powerful: the spiritual dimensions of the civil rights movement, the factions within the movement and the leadership King had to provide in the midst of that, the stories of brutality I had never heard, the "behind the scenes" of the "I Have A Dream" speech at the Lincoln Memorial. Lincoln's Melancholy was another historical book that I would have rather read in a condensed version but was a fascinating description of Lincoln's likely depressive illness and the way his culture and his personality gave him the tools to rise above it. Also, The Year of Living Biblically was fun and interesting: What would it be like to follow the Old Testament law perfectly, to the letter, for a year? It made me deeply grateful for grace. A beautiful book given me by a dear friend is The Beautiful Ache by Leigh McLeroy--definitely the kind of book that has to be reread before it can be fully absorbed. Two more challenged me spiritually: Live the Life by Bill Hull (see my review here) continues to challenge me, as does Amish Grace, which explores the Amish school shooting and the subsequent forgiveness as a response made possible by the consistency of Amish culture.

As you know, I love to read. Reading nourishes me, entertains me, challenges me and transforms me. I'll try to keep the recommendations coming.

1 comment:

Cara Gilger said...

Hey, on marriage books, do you have any that are good for couples to read that are preparing for marriage?