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    1. Women Food and God: An Unexpected
    2. Getting Things Done: The Art of
    3. The Happiness Project: Or, Why
    4. Gunn's Golden Rules: Life's Little
    5. You Mean I'm Not Lazy, Stupid
    6. The Feelings Book: The Care &
    7. Man's Search for Meaning
    8. The Four Agreements: A Practical
    9. Codependent No More: How to Stop
    10. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual
    11. The Emotion Code
    12. Buddha's Brain: The Practical
    13. Thrive: Finding Happiness the
    14. Change Your Brain, Change Your
    15. Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy
    16. Why Men Love Bitches: From Doormat
    17. The Book of Awesome: Snow Days,
    18. The Language of Letting Go (Hazelden
    19. Emotions Revealed, Second Edition:
    20. The Gospel According to Coco Chanel:

    1. Women Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything
    by Geneen Roth
    list price: $24.00 -- our price: $10.97
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 1416543074
    Publisher: Scribner
    Sales Rank: 333
    Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    No matter how sophisticated or wealthy or broke or enlightened you are, how you eat tells all.

    If you suffer about your relationship with food -- you eat too much or too little, think about what you will eat constantly or try not to think about it at all -- you can be free. Just look down at your plate. The answers are there. Don't run. Look. Because when we welcome what we most want to avoid, we contact the part of ourselves that is fresh and alive. We touch the life we truly want and evoke divinity itself.

    Since adolescence, Geneen Roth has gained and lost more than a thousand pounds. She has been dangerously overweight and dangerously underweight. She has been plagued by feelings of shame and self-hatred and she has felt euphoric after losing a quick few pounds on a fad diet. Then one day, on the verge of suicide, she did something radical: She dropped the struggle, ended the war, stopped trying to fix, deprive and shame herself. She began trusting her body and questioning her beliefs.

    It worked. And losing weight was only the beginning.

    She wrote about her discoveries in When Food Is Love, her first New York Times bestseller. She gave huge numbers of women their first insights into compulsive eating and she changed huge numbers of lives for the better.

    Now, after more than three decades of studying, teaching and writing about what drives our compul-sions with food, Geneen adds a profound new dimension to her work in Women, Food and God. She begins with her most basic concept: The way you eat is inseparable from your core beliefs about being alive. Your relationship with food is an exact mirror of your feelings about love, fear, anger, meaning, transformation and, yes, even God. But it doesn't stop there. Geneen shows how going beyond both the food and feelings takes you deeper into realms of spirit and soul to the bright center of your own life.

    With penetrating insight and irreverent humor, Roth traces food compulsions from subtle beginnings to unexpected ends. She teaches personal examination, showing readers how to use their relationship with food to discover the fulfillment they long for.

    Your relationship with food, no matter how conflicted, is the doorway to freedom, says Roth. What you most want to get rid of is itself the doorway to what you want most: the demystification of weight loss and the luminous presence that so many of us call "God."

    Packed with revelations on every page, this book is a knock-your-socks-off ride to a deeply fulfilling relationship with food, your body...and almost everything else. Women, Food and God is, quite simply, a guide for life. ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars "How We Eat is How We Live"--A Spiritual Perspective on Overeating, March 2, 2010
    Geneen Roth hits a home run with her latest book about overeating and so much more in "Women Food and God". The theme of the book is that the way we eat, the way we think about food and handle ourselves around it is the way we do everything. The author then shows us how and why this is the case. She describes the food retreats she runs and the women who attend them, and as a reader you will surely identify in some way with every single person--and with the lesson she illustrates from their lives. This is a more complex book than her earlier books because of the spiritual dimension; she sees problems with overeating as gateways to spiritual enlightenment. She convinced me (and will convince you as well) that instead of trying to get rid of or fix our eating problems, we need to use them to see within ourselves, to learn important spiritual life lessons from our feelings, and to grow and heal so that we will end up eating as a spiritual practice. And so that we'll have a permanent end to the misery of always struggling with our weight and self-image, and always striving to improve our relationship with food.

    The book is so good that for me, just reading it was like a spiritual awakening in this area of my life. I found it motivational, inspirational, and scary in a good way--and the author makes the whole process doable with descriptions of practices that can be used on the food healing/awakening journey such as meditation, inquiry, and eating guidelines. These practices are all specific to the process and they are described in detail. This spiritual dimension is generic and does not require a particular religious belief, or even any religious belief. It would be compatible with any type of spirituality. The type of eating practiced is intuitive eating (listening to your body to discern what it wants), and no matter what your way of eating, you can apply an intuitive approach to it--this book is about a way of living and relating to food, not about a food plan.

    If you have read the author's other books (as I have) you will find much new information here. Other key themes of the book include mindfulness, presence, and feeling your feelings. The author is brutal but honest in describing how destructive the dieting industry is to women. Again, this is definitely not a diet book or eating plan, but instead a way of experiencing life which allows you to be present and aware so that you are able to listen to your body and choose food based on nourishment and self-care.

    Although it is a quick read (I read it in one evening), this book is so valuable that you will want to refer back to it, highlight it for future reference, take notes in the margins, and use parts for journal prompts. There is only one negative, and it is a biggy: the paper in this hardback book is similar to super cheap mass market paperback-type paper. I have never seen an actual book of any type with such paper, though! I tried to highlight sections and the highlighter not only would bleed through to the reverse side of the page, but sometimes onto the previous page! It is hard to describe how frustrating this was---a book that is a true keeper on throw-away paper. I highlighted anyway and my book is a mess, but I decided to rebuy it on Kindle when it comes out. I've never done this before, but it's that good of a book--worth months (or maybe years) of therapy. I also would buy it again if it is reprinted (and I'll bet it will be) with a paper that matches the quality of the book.

    That flaw aside, I'm so glad I bought this book. I have read many, many books on overeating, diet and nutrition, self-help, styles of eating, and more, and this book stands apart from the crowd. The message is an important one for any woman who wants to handle her relationship with food, her weight, and her spirituality in a healthy way, and to become whole. If that is you, you will not be disappointed, I promise.

    Highest recommendation.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Read This and Start to Really Live Again, March 30, 2010
    Wow, this book was wonderful. So well written, with humor and spiritual wisdom. Very powerful sentences throughout.
    I have had eating disorders since my first diet at the age of 14. I remember getting a bit of approval for losing weight; even though I wasn't overweight to begin with. Thus started my long, sad, disordered eating story. I never did get the real love from my parents; but boy did I try to look good striving for it.
    I continued to eat everything on my plate and be a "good girl". Certain foods were BAD, others GOOD. I was an excellent student. So, by the time I was an adult I am exactly as Geneen Roth describes herself - eating for every reason besides hunger. If I felt angry or lonely I'd eat. I'd binge when I couldn't express myself to those I wanted to be close to - family members and boyfriends. I was living on a field of death. I would get so tired of the yo yo, up and down with the weight gain and sorrow, then a time of eating healthy, and then cravings, and more binges.
    Finally I understand more about this illness: Geneen makes it clear that I am distracting myself with the focus on this yo yo story. I now want to look at the truth, at all of me (short comings and positive traits), and start living. I don't need to be stuck in this compulsive eating hell. I no longer need my mom's approval, or anyone else's - just my own self- validation will do, thank you.
    The guidelines and suggestions are helpful and yet, not so easy to follow; but well worth it for me. The spiritual guidelines and love throughout are priceless. Hello, I can really learn to love Eileen on a daily basis, around food, around work, my friends and family, anything (as long as I'm in the moment). Food is not love, but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy it, and eat it when I'm hungry and when I'm craving something. It all comes down to what Geneen calls THE VOICE; and I know very well that mine needed to change. I have started that change. My voice speaks slower now, and with more kindness towards myself. I don't judge food and I don't judge myself eating food (all kinds of food). I find that I am even being kinder to my husband lately; he noticed as well.
    I have heard a lot of these ideas before, but the way they are presented in this book; it's like a Bible for compulsive overeaters. Keep it handy; I will refer to this book, and read it many times - as it is helping me create the habits I want, to be as close to God, and to a normal eater as I can get.
    Thank you so much Ms.Roth for this creative work of art and compassion!

    4-0 out of 5 stars THE Book About Relationships, March 21, 2010
    What is happening in your life is reflected in your relationship with food. This is my one sentence summary of this book. When you think of it you realize that this is actually true and obvious, yet we needed the insight of Geneen Roth to open our eyes and point that obvious fact to most of us. The most eating disorders, whether starving or overeating, stem from our psychological problems and our inability to cope with them. If we are unhappy or broken-hearted, food is often relied upon as a quick and temporary fix to the underlying bigger problem that we are not able to deal with at this particular point in time.

    This book is for all food addicts, which means for most of us. In our culture food is not only there for you when you are hungry. It also plays a major role in our social life. When you want to meet someone, you often meet them for lunch, dinner, coffee, tea, desert, etc. Wherever we go, whatever we do, we surround ourselves with food and this becomes a major problem when food turns to a drug to hide from our feelings, to anesthetize ourselves, or to escape.

    But this is not all the book is about. The author shows the reader how going beyond the food and the feelings will take you into spirituality -- "to the bright center of your own life."

    It is true that the way we eat mirrors the way we feel. But the opposite is also true. The author of the book titled "Your Body Maintenance Handbook" states that "by reducing sugar, meat, and coffee in our diet we can reduce aggressive behavior by 50%" He further cites old Japanese joke: "If a couple starts their day with a fight, they should recall what they ate the previous day"

    1-0 out of 5 stars Doesn't Do It For Me, July 13, 2010
    I am very happy for the people who find this book helpful, but I am not one of them. Some of this is quite logical, and it is certainly important to examine what your emotional motivation is for eating, but mindful eating is nothing new. I do not believe that every single thing you eat, you are eating for some deep, emotional reason. Sometimes, a piece of cake is just a piece of cake and I want it because it tastes phenomenal.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Inspiring, but Hard to Grasp, April 23, 2010
    Women, Food & God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything is a book that could help you stop overeating. However, Roth's ethereal language can make the concepts hard to grasp in practical terms. Plenty of "aha" moments, but these can be fleeting with Roth's airy way of nailing it down and applying it to your life.

    If you want a tool to reinforce what you've learned after reading the book, try downloading Geneen Roth's MP3s. Be forewarned, I don't recommend listening to the MP3s unless you've read the book, and it can be an expensive proposition to purchase each track at almost $14 a piece.

    Ultimately, the book opened my eyes for the first time to certain patterns of overeating. While the book forces you to be more thoughtful, it's still up to you to reinforce the patterns and learn the new habits she introduces. I wish there were a workbook or some kind of lesson plan we could use to help make everything stick.

    Update! Since my complaint about the book is that it's too hard to put into practice by myself, I hope Geneen Roth's weekly Women Food & God online retreat from May 25 to June 29 might address that issue. Check out my site for weekly reviews of Roth's online seminar.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Pedantic & Verbose, September 29, 2010
    This material might have been better presented in a magazine article - and I still would not have liked it, but I would have wasted less time.

    While I do not disagree with all of the author's ideas, I am immediately irritated by her delivery. Instead of, "This is my experience, perhaps you will find something useful in it," she seems to say, "This is my experience. This is the truth, and if you do not agree then you are in denial."

    I'm glad I lent it from the library and did not run out and buy it as an enthusiastic friend suggested.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Total disappointment, July 20, 2010
    I just finished this book. I knew from the first page that it wasn't something that would resonate with me. My heart bleeds for the women in Geneen's retreats. It sounds as if they all need some major couch time with a good psychologist. The book is full of comments about these women's childhoods, mostly aimed at their mother's who did these women wrong and are the source of their eating disorders. Geneen herself seems to have been raised by a real doozy of a Mother....

    I'm not trying to dismiss the correlation between self esteem issues caused by inept parents and all kinds of disorders (including eating disorders), but NOT everyone has the issues that the author seems to believe are the sole source of over-eating. Not everyone had a horrible Mother, or was abused or stuffs their feelings or is lonely. The list of sheer misery goes on....and on...and on in this book. I kept hoping it would end but it was there, from start to finish.
    There are some of us out there that REALLY just like food. People like myself who had a very loving, supportive Mother that told me how wonderful I was and how much she loved me every day....who has been in a great relationship, married for nearly 30 years to her best friend...has 2 kids that never have her a minute of heartache.
    So where do the 'unscarred' women fit into this equation??
    As for God...God was hardly a part of this book. Geneen briefly talks about meditation, but that's about it.

    If you have baggage...LOTS of it, or mother issues or have suffered abuses in any way, then this book is for you.
    If you love food, love to cook, love to feed people and are just passionate about food and have battled with 40 pounds because of it, but otherwise have a pretty dang nice life and actually like yourself, SKIP this book. There are eating guidelines posted at the very end of the book...10 common sense things that are the only redeeming feature to the book, and if you can pick the book up in the store and find those, take 10 seconds to read through them, you'll have all the information that was worth reading.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Enlightening, Healing, and Nourishing for Disregulated Eaters, April 1, 2010
    As a long-time fan of Roth's, as a recovered chronic dieter and binge-eater, and as someone writing, counseling and teaching in the same field, I wondered she could say that she hadn't said before. The answer is not so much about brilliant new material as it is her way of pulling it altogether and writing with such clarity, humor, and beautiful language. Roth is wise, no doubt about it. Her wisdom comes from working through her own struggles with food (and life) and from experiential study of what makes for health and happiness. As a secular-leaning person, my one fear about the book was that it was going to be about spirituality or religion. It isn't. It is about finding and loving the best in yourself. Whether you're an overeater, undereater or yo-yo back in forth, you will be moved and changed by reading this book.
    Karen R. Koenig, LCSW, M.Ed.
    The Rules of "Normal" Eating: A Commonsense Approach for Dieters, Overeaters, Undereaters, Emotional Eaters, and Everyone in Between!, Nice Girls Finish Fat: Put Yourself First and Change Your Eating Forever, The Food and Feelings Workbook: A Full Course Meal on Emotional Health, What Every Therapist Needs to Know about Treating Eating and Weight Issues

    1-0 out of 5 stars boring book, September 17, 2010
    This book was so boring and repitiious that I eventually gave up trying to read it. Paragraph after paragraph it repeated the same ideas and concepts. Definitely not worth purchasing.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Great Publicist, Bad Book, August 13, 2010
    After having read over 50% of this book and having the same idea presented in at least 20 different versions, I gave up...I got it the first time. There are no new ideas here folks. Just a great publicist that got her on Oprah. If it was at least well written I would feel a bit better about it, but she apparently believes her audience is incredibly dense and must be spoken to like 10 year olds to understand her "oh so deep" concepts.

    I came home yesterday to find that my dog had taken this book off of my nightstand and ripped it to shreds. Smart Boy! I will not be replacing it so I can finish it. ... Read more

    2. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
    by David Allen
    Paperback (2002-12-31)
    list price: $16.00 -- our price: $8.45
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0142000280
    Publisher: Penguin (Non-Classics)
    Sales Rank: 386
    Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    In today's world, yesterday's methods just don't work. In Getting Things Done, veteran coach and management consultant David Allen shares the breakthrough methods for stress-free performance that he has introduced to tens of thousands of people across the country. Allen's premise is simple: our productivity is directly proportional to our ability to relax. Only when our minds are clear and our thoughts are organized can we achieve effective productivity and unleash our creative potential. In Getting Things Done Allen shows how to:

    € Apply the "do it, delegate it, defer it, drop it" rule to get your in-box to empty
    € Reassess goals and stay focused in changing situations
    € Plan projects as well as get them unstuck
    € Overcome feelings of confusion, anxiety, and being overwhelmed
    € Feel fine about what you're not doing

    From core principles to proven tricks, Getting Things Done can transform the way you work, showing you how to pick up the pace without wearing yourself down.
    ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars Best I've found.
    OK, first I have to admit I picked up the book at a local Border's where I had a copy on reserve. Having said that... I think I've tried every 'system' for organizing yourself out there. In the 80's it was Day-Timer and Day-Runner. Good calenders and address books, but not much else. 90's was Covey, and Franklin planning. Now we have 'roles and goals' which helps with long term planning but both systems were very inflexible when it came to planning your day to day stuff. I can remember Covey wanting me to plan out my entire week in advance. Nice in theory, but nowhere near reality for those of us whose jobs tend to be more 'crisis-oriented'. I've also tried Agenda, Ecco, Outlook, etc. but its hard to lug around your PC or laptop all the time. About two years ago I came across David Allen's tape seminar and I have to say its the best system I've ever found for organizing 'all' of your life. I can't say it's changed my life (I still have the same job, wife and kids and I still procrastinate too much The book covers just about the same material that I learned in the tape series. The tapes have more anecdotes and 'real-life' examples in them, but the book has a few new pearls and tricks that tells me David's been refining and polishing this system since the tape series.

    Two last quick points: first, it requires no special binders or refills. You could use a cheap spiral notebook if you want. Personally, I use a palmpilot, which works well. Second, (IMHO) the Weekly Review is the cornerstone of making this system work, and its worked for me for two years. Remember that; it'll make sense once you read the book :) Now if I could only get David to come up with a system for procrastination....

    5-0 out of 5 stars Flow from Angst to Action . . . and Relax!
    This book is for all those who are overwhelmed with too many things to do, too little time to do them, and a general sense of unease that something important is being missed.

    Everyone has experienced times when everything seemed effortless, and progress limitless. David Allen has captured ways for you to achieve that wonderful state of mind and consciousness more often.

    His key concept is that every task, promise, or assignment has a place and a time. With everything in its proper place and time, you feel in control and replace the time spent on vague worrying with effective, timely action. As a result, the accomplishments grow while the pressure to accomplish decreases. As a result, the book contains many insights into "how to have more energy, be more relaxed, and get a lot more accomplished with much less effort."

    The key psychological insight of this book is that rapid progress occurs when you take large, unformed tasks, and break them down and organize them into smaller, sequential steps for exactly what to do and when. The book provides lots of guidance and examples for how to do this.

    The book is organized into three sections. The first gives you an overview of the whole process for how to get more done in a relaxed way. The second spells out the details of how to implement that process, in a way that a personal coach might use. The third provides subtle insights that help you appreciate the benefits that follow from using the process. Like all good coaches, Mr. Allen understands that appreciating a subject from several perspectives and getting lots of practice with it are critical steps in learning.

    The process advocated by this book is described with lots of systems flow charts that will appeal to all of the engineers and left-brained people. The right-brained people will find lots of discussions about emotions, feelings, and stress. So both types of thinkers should do well with this material.

    The essence of the process is that you write down a note about everything when you take on a new responsibility, make a new commitment, or have a useful thought. All of this ends up in some kind of "in" box. You then go through your "in" box and decide what needs to be done next for each item. For simple issues, this includes identifying the action you should take first and when to take it. For tougher issues, you schedule an appropriate time to work the problem in more detail. You organize the results of this thinking, and review your options for what you should be doing weekly. Then you take what you choose to do, and act. Think of this process as the following five steps: (1) collect (2) process (3) organize (4) decide (5) act.

    For the tougher problems, you start with identifying your purpose and principles so you know why you care how it all turns out. Then you imagine the potential good outcomes that you would like. Following that, you brainstorm with others the best way to get those outcomes. Then you organize the best pathway. Finally, you identify the first actions you need to take. Then you act, as in step 5 above.

    From this outline, I hope that you can see that this is not rocket science. It is simple common sense, but with discipline. The critical part is the discipline because that is what focuses your attention where it will do the most good. For example, rather than sitting on something you have no idea how to get started, you can decide right away to get ideas from others on what the purpose and principles are that should be used in selecting a solution. So, you are in motion, and you have saved much time and anxiety.

    What I learned from this book is that many people allow a lot of time to pass without taking any useful steps because they cannot imagine what to do next. This process should usually overcome that problem by showing you what to work on, providing methods to accomplish that step in the process, and guiding you to places where you can get appropriate help. As a result, this book should help overcome the bureaucracy and communications stalls that bedevil most organizations.

    This fits from my own experience in helping people solve problems. If you simplify the questions and make them into familiar ones, everyone soon finds powerful alternatives drawn from a lifetime of experiences and memories. Keep things broad, abstract, and vague, and peoples' eyes glaze over while they struggle for a place to begin.

    After you have finished reading and applying this book, I suggest that you share your new learning with those you see around you who are the most stressed out. By helping them gain relaxed control of their activities, you will also be able to enjoy the benefits of their increased effectiveness in supporting your own efforts.

    May you always get the tools you need, understand what to do next, and move swiftly through timely actions!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Time Tested Principals
    I attended one of David's seminars in 1986. As a result, I was able to successfully manage 101 concurrent projects, finishing on time and under budget. Fast forward to 2001. I keep this book by my side at all times (David publish it in Ebook form so it's easier to carry!). The company I'm with now wonders how I get the "impossible" projects done. Using David's techniques in the book, it seems like I can complete a full work day in fewer hours because I know what all my "next actions" are, and do them promptly. Gives me a lot of worry free time.

    This is a book you "DO" not just read. Be prepared to work when you start out, but when the initial work is done, that's when the fun begins.

    I cleaned my inbox and email box of 300 items in less than 15 minutes, filtering out the junk, the things that needed immediate attention, and the "someday maybe" things (like buying my first Harley).

    This works for my personal life too. No more missed anniversaries, birthdays, phone calls, errands, etc.

    Do you ever think about work projects at home? Do you ever think about home projects when you're at the office? Ever worry about that phone call you need to make or that errand you need to run? Forget it! Get the book. It's awesome. Get the book - period. If you don't, you deserve your stress.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Make it Up and Get it Done
    Is the methodology from Getting Things Done the silver bullet? Does David Allen's system really differ from other "time management" systems? I would say an unqualified yes based on my experience with the GTD process so far. In the one week since the book's been out I have made more progress with regard to collecting my stuff than previous attempts I have made in the past 6 years. I have actually started a filing system. More importantly, I am starting to deal with the "stuff" in my life faster and more efficiently. Just learning how to deal with "stuff" is a pretty big deal to me. My problem is that I have obsessive compulsive disorder, and it shows up in my life as compulsive hoarding. Couple the hoarding with attention deficit disorder and you have the ingredients for potentially disastrous living. In short, I have a damn difficult time staying on top of things and tend to struggle at times. David's method offers a practical yet elegant solution to staying on top of things. It starts with collecting the stuff, or as David calls it the "incomplete" and getting them out of your head into an external system that can be trusted. Then you process what's collected and then you organize it. Trust me, collecting and processing stuff is tough, really really tough for someone like. me. I am not used to making decisions on things that I collect. Now I am collecting the clutter and making decisions on it. More importantly, I am learning to let go of stuff I don't need and taking action on things I need to deal with. I have a long road to travel, but thanks to the common sense wisdom David Allen shares, I am on the road to a more sane way of living. ... Read more

    3. The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun
    by Gretchen Rubin
    Hardcover (2010-01-01)
    list price: $25.99 -- our price: $11.49
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0061583251
    Publisher: Harper
    Sales Rank: 302
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    Gretchen Rubin had an epiphany one rainy afternoon in the unlikeliest of places: a city bus. "The days are long, but the years are short," she realized. "Time is passing, and I'm not focusing enough on the things that really matter." In that moment, she decided to dedicate a year to her happiness project.

    In this lively and compelling account of that year, Rubin carves out her place alongside the authors of bestselling memoirs such as Julie and Julia, The Year of Living Biblically, and Eat, Pray, Love. With humor and insight, she chronicles her adventures during the twelve months she spent test-driving the wisdom of the ages, current scientific research, and lessons from popular culture about how to be happier.

    Rubin didn't have the option to uproot herself, nor did she really want to; instead she focused on improving her life as it was. Each month she tackled a new set of resolutions: give proofs of love, ask for help, find more fun, keep a gratitude notebook, forget about results. She immersed herself in principles set forth by all manner of experts, from Epicurus to Thoreau to Oprah to Martin Seligman to the Dalai Lama to see what worked for her—and what didn't.

    Her conclusions are sometimes surprising—she finds that money can buy happiness, when spent wisely; that novelty and challenge are powerful sources of happiness; that "treating" yourself can make you feel worse; that venting bad feelings doesn't relieve them; that the very smallest of changes can make the biggest difference—and they range from the practical to the profound.

    Written with charm and wit, The Happiness Project is illuminating yet entertaining, thought-provoking yet compulsively readable. Gretchen Rubin's passion for her subject jumps off the page, and reading just a few chapters of this book will inspire you to start your own happiness project.

    ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars Finding Happiness (and a Great Read)
    I bought this book for my mother, who grew up during the Depression and has not had an easy life. I'm glad I read it first, because it would have been an insult to give this to a genuine person who's experienced some hard knocks.

    According to Ms Rubin, the origin of this book is an epiphany she had watching a woman yakking on a cell phone, crossing a Manhattan street with a toddler and a stroller. She identified with this person, because for Ms. Rubin, that is the very picture of a sad, harried person who's life is just passing her by. Yeah, life's pretty tough when you've got to walk your kids home to the nanny between your pedicure and yoga class.

    I found Ms Rubin's solution system humorous. Evidently, her problems were all of the sort that can be fixed by things like an orange scented candle, reading random magazines, a laminator, tossing out frayed underpants, shopping for bluebird collectibles and so on. That is, after she walked away from her high pay attorney job, thanks to her hedge fund manager husband's income. (It is sad to think some other applicant was refused a seat at Yale, so that this woman could squander her degree to make herself happy at an unrelated fantasy career.)

    I also enjoyed the occasional insights on her neurotic personality and private life. M&Ms make her cranky, she prefers to wear yoga pants and her idea of fun in bed is reading Tolstoy, she considers herself fortunate because she has naturally red hair. She's quick to scold her husband, and while she buys her T shirts at Bloomingdales, she thinks a $[...] pen is an extravagance. She wore coke bottle glasses as a kid. I got the picture of a self-centered, controlling nerd with a quick temper, little appreciation for how insular and privileged her life has been, and lacking the self-realization to pick a more appropriate topic to write about.

    I guess if any of that describes you, this trite little book might be helpful and insightful, if not, save your money. I quit half way through and give it two stars for the cheap laughs I got imagining this manhattanite's yoga pants lifestyle.

    Hey, what's up with the cover? She doesn't live in a tenement and its nearly identical to this bookNaked City: The Death and Life of Authentic Urban Places

    ... Read more

    4. Gunn's Golden Rules: Life's Little Lessons for Making It Work
    by Tim Gunn
    list price: $23.99 -- our price: $16.31
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 1439176566
    Publisher: Gallery
    Sales Rank: 540
    Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    On the runway of life, Tim Gunn is the perfect life coach.  You’ve watched him mentor talented designers on the hit television show Project Runway. Now the inimitable Tim Gunn shares his personal secrets for “making it work”—in your career, relationships, and life. Filled with delightfully dishy stories of fashion’s greatest divas, behind-the-scenes glimpses of Runway’s biggest drama queens, and never-before-revealed insights into Tim’s private life, Gunn’s Golden Rules is like no other how-to book you’ve ever read. In the world according to Tim, there are no shortcuts to success. Hard work, creativity, and skill are just the beginning. By following eighteen tried-and-true principles, you can apply Tim’s rules to anything you set your mind to. You’ll learn why Tim frowns on displays of bad behavior, like the vitriolic outburst by Martha Stewart’s daughter about her mother’s name-brand merchandise. You’ll discover the downfalls of divadom as he describes Vogue’s André Leon Talley being hand-fed grapes and Anna Wintour being carried downstairs by her bodyguards. And you’ll get Tim’s view on the backstabbing by one designer on Project Runway and how it brilliantly backfired. Then there are his down-to-earth guidelines for making life better—for yourself and others—in small and large ways, especially in an age that favors comfort over politeness, ease over style. Texting at the dinner table? Wearing shorts to the theater? Not in Tim’s book. Living a well-mannered life of integrity and character is hard work, he admits, but the rewards are many: being a good friend, being glamorous and attractive, and being a success— much like Tim himself! He is never one to mince words. But Tim Gunn is always warm, witty, wise, and wonderfully supportive— just the mentor you need to design a happy, creative, and fulfilling life that will never go out of style. ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars Carry On!, September 7, 2010
    Tim Gunn, from 'Project Runway' has written a book filled with tidbits of advice about life, love, celebrities, family and how to be your own person. It is an easy, fun book to read. Tim is a man of his word, he gives it to us straight, and tells the truth to whomever is asking. He doesn't play games, and the interesting stories of celebrities may be a seller for this book, but his advice and stories of his life are the real gold.

    Tim grew up in Washington, D.C., the son of the ghostwriter for J. Edgar Hoover. The stories he could tell, and he does give us a few. One interesting bit is the day he and his sister were invited to see Vivian Vance in J Edgar Hoover's office. Tim loved Ethel Mertz from 'I Love Lucy' and was ecstatic at the meeting. A lovely lady but upon reflection she had a similarity in looks to Mr Hoover. Could it be that the rumors that Mr Hoover liked to cross dress were true, and Vivian was in reality the lovely J Edgar Hoover? Tim's dad never told any stories from his life with the FBI. His dad died from Alzheimer's disease, and his mother is still alive and driving him crazy in a loving sort of way. Tim knew at a young age he was different. He suffered from a stutter and was picked on. At one time he attempted suicide, and this opened the door to therapy, and that may have been a saving grace for Tim Gunn. Tim moved to New York and started his career in fashion. He was on the faculty of Parsons The New School for Design, and was chair of fashion design at the school from August 2000 to March 2007, after which he joined Liz Claiborne as its Chief Creative Officer.

    His most famous role is that of on-air mentor to designers on 'Project Runway', and that role has led to Bravo's Tim Gunn's Guide to Style. He is such a leader of fashion advice and style that he is in great demand. Personally he would prefer to stay at home. He is a loner and loves his life. He had one great love, and that turned out badly. He is not sure that he won't meet someone, but he is happy with his life as it is. He has a sister and a niece, Wallace, whom he adores. The book is filled with amusing incidents with celebrities, e.g Issac Mizrahi and the 'Diva from Vogue', Anna Wintour. He likes Martha Stewart but thinks her daughter is perpetually angry. Tim Gunn believes in being nice to everyone unless someone cuts him off. He offers much good advice and gives examples-one issue that I wholeheartedly agree with is the manner is which we treat waiters and wait staff. To be mean and surly shows off your true personality, and those who under tip are sometimes the worst. The book is divided into chapters, and the heading sets the tone for the chapter. Tim Gunn has led a life of hard work but filled with such a quality of fun and good times. He is well respected and always well dressed. He is a handsome man and has the air and tone of someone who would be such a good friend.

    Tim said in a recent interview for the 'Daily Beast' "It's easier to ask forgiveness than permission. In the fashion industry and the entertainment industry, there's a class system. I find it offensive. ... If one were to sit with me in a quiet little bistro somewhere, one would get these stories out of me pretty quickly. It's not as though I needed a sodium pentathol and a glass of room-temp gin to do it." His book is the quiet little bistro, and we have heard the stories. The dirt gets all the attention, but Tim Gunn's life and advice is the real book. As Tim Gunn frequently says 'Carry On'.

    Highly Recommended. prisrob 09-07-10

    Tim Gunn: A Guide to Quality, Taste and Style (Tim Gunn's Guide to Style)

    92Y - Tim Gunn in Conversation with Budd Mishkin (March 11, 2008)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Tim Gunn is The Real Deal, September 10, 2010
    Gunn's Golden Rules: Life's Little Lessons for Making It Work is a real jewel. For those of you who have seen Tim Gunn on Project Runaway, on talk shows like Bonnie Hunt or in other venues, his voice comes out strongly in the book. Gunn radiates warmth and a genuine spirit--seemingly an oxymoron in the cut-throat fashion world.

    Which just proves that nice guys can finish first--that you need not be nasty, mean or impolite to climb to the top in any profession. With 18 rules, this book shows you how you can succeed in life--while being nice.

    Gunn doesn't believe in luck to succeed--he believes in hard work, skill, dedication and creatively. One of his phrases that he uses on Project Runaway in in life is: "Make it work". He says: "You should use what you have on hand to transform your situation." In other words, if you wait until everything is perfect before proceeding, it ain't gonna happen!

    He believes in politeness and in being kind to others. This book, he writes, is a "manifesto for kindness, generosity and integrity."

    What I like about this book most is that, unlike so many recently published, Gunn emphasizes hard work, perseverance and creatively to reach goals--not magical thinking. Obviously, not all of us will reach the level of success that Gunn has. Bit the book is motivational, fun (the dishing--delightful!) and a guide to good living.

    I also like the fact that he tells us that the world owes us nothing. There are far too many people who feel, for whatever reason, that they are entitled. Gunn does NOT like these people....These are usually the same people who are rude to waiters and other people (something Gunn rails against. Yes! I used to wait tables and couldn't stand people who were rude just because.)

    Highly recommend.

    While this is not a fashion/lifestyle book, you may be interested in it because you are a fan of Tim Gunn. If so, I recommend

    Tim Gunn: A Guide to Quality, Taste and Style. As an interior designer, I would also like to recommend Harmonious Environment to add some style and beauty to your home!

    Love the book!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Why I really enjoyed this book, September 10, 2010
    As stated in the product summary, this is book is part memoir, part observations about life.

    I am not a big TV watcher, but I got hooked on watching Project Runway around 5 years ago. Part of the reason was Tim Gunn. There is something so fundamentally decent and kind about that man, and you cannot help but feel affection towards him.

    I am usually a fiction reader, but I picked up this book and started reading it and couldn't put it down. It's not simply clever commentary on fashion and etiquette but also replete with Tim's observations about such subjects as varied as child rearing, schooling, and therapy.

    And did I mention it's laugh-out-loud funny? I must've woke my husband up a dozen times with my outbursts. One of the parts that really had me cackling were Tim's descriptions of eating (from foreign foods that have animals that are still alive and crawl off your plate) to the topic of vegetarianism.

    If you are a fan of Tim Gunn, I don't have to sell you on this book - you'll probably be interested in reading it. And yes, he does dish on some of the designers as well as the judges. But I do believe that anyone could benefit from reading this - his decency, his honestly, and his integrity shine through every page. For those of you who are familiar with Tim Gunn, and for those of you who aren't, here's just a brief quote from the book that so well catches his wit and personality:

    "I hold doors open for women, and I also hold them for men. When I'm at Macy's, I don't let the door slam behind me when I walk through. It has nothing to do with gender. I would hold a door open for anyone.

    Would I hold the door for a dog? Okay, may not, because a dog shouldn't be at Macy's."


    4-0 out of 5 stars Golden Rules Never Out of Style, September 10, 2010

    I picked up Gunn's Golden Rules: Life's Lessons for Making It Work as a gift for a friend who is a big fan of Project Runway, the show on which author Tim Gunn serves as a mentor. I've only seen an episode or two of the show myself, but when I started thumbing through the book before wrapping it up, I ended up sitting down and reading the whole thing. Gunn and his collaborator Ada Calhoun have penned an eminently readable and very entertaining book outlining Gunn's rules for living a life of integrity.

    Gunn argues that those rules - working hard, treating others with respect, knowing when to speak up and when to keep your mouth shut, etc. - are not now and never will be out of fashion. Into his rules, Gunn has woven a number of great anecdotes centering around Project Runway and around some well known names in the fashion and entertainment industry, helping to keep the overall tone of the book light and amusing.

    Gunn's Golden Rules: Life's Lessons for Making It Work isn't the type of book I usually read - fiction is more my thing - but I found it both a lot of fun and nicely inspiring. Even though I wasn't familiar with Gunn before reading this, after finishing, I felt I had come to understand the essence of the man and to admire the manners and methods that guide his life. It was nice to read something from someone with whom I apparently share a good many values and who can eloquently communicate them without sounding the least bit preachy!


    5-0 out of 5 stars Would that I were more like him, September 24, 2010
    Tim Gunn is, from start to finish, from his marrow to his crisply pressed blazer, a gentleman of the first order. Here's to a man who sets a higher standard, yet helps us see that we are able to achieve them.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Some interesting parts, but.., November 30, 2010
    I loved his first book, and still read it from time to time. This book however was a bit confusing, as a chapter's moral wouldn't necessarily stay on track, he would go off on tangents. It also seemed more like ranting and raving about the rudeness of certain people and even people in general. Which I think could be summed up in one chapter--yet each chapter seemed to end up in the same place as the chapter before, which is that people can be rude and obnoxious and how much better it is to be nice. Sort of like having road rage in print. The sort of things we say to ourselves every day when we come across nasty people. A whole book filled with just this sentiment--it was a bit random and a bit much. I still love Tim Gunn and will surely buy his next book if he writes another. Maybe better editing and more organization to the chapters and a distinct message in each chapter would be better. Still, an entertaining read in many places, with a little juicy gossip tossed in.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Gunn is Fun, September 16, 2010
    I downloaded a sample of this book on my Kindle, and had to buy the whole book right away. It's a charming read that's almost like spending an evening with Tim. I didn't buy it to read his golden rules so much as I did just because I like Tim Gunn so darn much and wanted to see what he had to say. I'm glad I did--what an enjoyable read! Even if you care not a whit about fashion, you will like spending time with Tim Gunn.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Made it Work, October 25, 2010
    Tim Gunn's new book was enjoyable, funny & really quite good. There was something to learn in every chapter.
    i have always found him to be a sweet and gentle man. He made this book work just fine.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Good Manners by Tim., October 4, 2010
    Love the Tim Gunn. he is such a nice man, just reading the book made me feel better about myself. Plus, he makes a lot of valid points about behavior and manners.

    5-0 out of 5 stars WWTGD?, September 26, 2010
    What Would Tim Gunn Do? You'll know the answer to that after reading this! Tim Gunn has put together a highly readable book that is all at once an autobiography, a plea for better manners, and a gossipy little tell-all that will have you laughing aloud at times. New York fashion icons; Project Runway behind the scenes; popular celebrities; even J. Edgar Hoover get mentioned. But, Tim's own personal story is probably the most compelling reason of all to read the book.

    A fun, intelligent, and at times painfully honest book. I wasn't prepared to like it as much as I did. An inspiring read. ... Read more

    5. You Mean I'm Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy?!: The Classic Self-Help Book for Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder
    by Kate Kelly, Peggy Ramundo
    list price: $17.00 -- our price: $11.56
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0743264487
    Publisher: Scribner
    Sales Rank: 434
    Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    With over a quarter million copies in print, You Mean I'm Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy?! is one of the bestselling books on attention deficit disorder (ADD) ever written. There is a great deal of literature about children with ADD. But what do you do if you have ADD and aren't a child anymore? This indispensable reference -- the first of its kind written for adults with ADD by adults with ADD -- focuses on the experiences of adults, offering updated information, practical how-tos and moral support to help readers deal with ADD. It also explains the diagnostic process that distinguishes ADD symptoms from normal lapses in memory, lack of concentration or impulsive behavior. Here's what's new:

    • The new medications and their effectiveness
    • The effects of ADD on human sexuality
    • The differences between male and female ADD -- including falling estrogen levels and its impact on cognitive function
    • The power of meditation
    • How to move forward with coaching

    And the book still includes advice about:

    • Achieving balance by analyzing one's strengths and weaknesses
    • Getting along in groups, at work and in intimate and family relationships -- including how to decrease discord and chaos
    • Learning the mechanics and methods for getting organized and improving memory
    • Seeking professional help, including therapy and medication
    ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars Know you're smart but think you're nuts? Then read this!, January 5, 1997
    I first bought this book strictly because of it's title. Having spent 45 years feeling crazy & stupid and being accused of laziness most of my life, I decided this book was for me. I didn't realize how very right I was! When I started to read I realized I was reading about myself. I identified with many of the descriptions of ADD from childhood through to adulthood. It was incredible to learn I was not alone in my daily frustration. This wonderful, informative book started me on a road of self-discovery. I was subsequently tested and diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder. The authors describe this "disability" as an "ADD-ed dimension" and they are so right! I now have self-esteem and self pride. My intelligence has been tested and verified .. I'm not lazy, crazy or stupid and I thank the authors of this book for that discovery. This book has changed my life. I can now read a page without losing my place. I don't forget what I'm saying or lose things as often. I have learned that I am one of many who use an additional area of my brain & must therefore learn to "process things differently". I no longer feel timid, ashamed, afraid or just plain different. I can now accept and like myself for the first time in my life.

    This book is written in a very "easy-reading" style. There is a wonderful blending of research facts and referenced stories and quips. As an adult diagnosed with ADD at the age of 45, I can attest to the value of this book. I highly recommend "You mean I'm not lazy, stupid or crazy" to anyone who has ever felt they were!

    3-0 out of 5 stars Needs updating, March 10, 2006
    While reading some of the previous reviews, I saw one that mentioned "contemporary science" - written in 1999. The first customer review for this book is from 1997. If I'd read it then, I would have rated it higher. But a book that deals with anything medical needs to be updated long before it's a decade old, which this one now is. The chapter on medication is completely outdated; it shouldn't be referred to by anyone who wants to know what options are available now. And while all the scientific/medical questions about ADD/ADHD haven't been answered, more is known now than when this book was written.

    The fact that this book has helped many people understand themselves better is great, and I'm not one who equates wanting to understand yourself with looking for excuses. This book has been recommended not only doctor to patient but friend to friend for a long time, and what it has can be helpful - the reason I gave it three stars. But I hope a second edition isn't being held back by the fact that the first one is still being recommended and purchased; it could be so much better if the information were updated.

    I personally had a more general problem with the book, which may also be related to its age. I'm primarily inattentive type ADD, and felt like I was a real outsider while reading this book. Some things applied to me, but a lot didn't. And anytime there was a statement like, "We all remember from our childhood..." I'd think, "Nope. Not me." Not that there's anything wrong with a book aimed at people with combined or primarily hyperactive ADD, and I didn't take away a star because of it, but "nowadays" that would probably be stated more clearly in the information about the book, or even on the cover. But back in 1996, that might have been less likely. (I told my doctor that reading this book reminded me of my experience of going to a support group for people with depression and being the only unipolar one there. You're "supposed to" fit in, and you kind of do, but not really.)

    If this is the first book about ADD someone reads, it would be eye-opening, and it was probably the best around 10 years ago. But I don't think that's true anymore. A second edition of it would be very useful.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A TERRIFIC resource!, January 18, 2000
    "You Mean I'm Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy! " belongs on the bedside table of every ADDer and of every parent, spouse or teacher who is trying to understand the ADDers in their lives. It was cutting edge when it was written and its information is still right on target.

    As an ADDer, ADD Coach, and founder of a company that trains ADD Coaches, I not only recommend "Lazy/Crazy" to anyone who asks for an ADD book recommendation, it has been required reading for OFI's 18-month ADD Coach Training program since the first beta classes in 1994. (Kate joined us several years later and is now President of OFI; Peggy joined us in 1999 and now heads up OFI's Sliding-Scale Coaching Clinic -- all the more reason I can recommend this book WITHOUT reservation!)

    An extremely readable book, obviously written from an "insiders" viewpoint, this book made me feel understood and validated -- like great advice from good friends. When I stumbled across it on the "New Books" table at a large Manhattan Bookstore (before I had met either of these authors) I started reading immediately. It was almost an hour before I finally forced myself to close the book, pay for it, and take it home. My copy is well-worn and multi-colored from all the highlighting I do to focus my attention.

    DO take the time, as the authors advise, to carefully read the first chapter. Although it is a little "heavier" reading than the rest of the book, the ADD information it provides will prove well worth the concentration it may take to go through it.

    (Helpful Hint: If your dominant modality is visual you will either LOVE the graphics or hate them. For my clients in the latter group, a sticky-note covering the graphics allowed them to focus more easily on the text.)

    Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC -- founder & CEO of The Optimal Functioning Institute�

    Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
    Was this review helpful to you? YesNo

    58 of 59 people found the following review helpful:
    5.0 out of 5 stars The most useful book I've found, April 4, 2005
    I was diagnosed with ADD at the age of 9. In the seven-plus years since then, I've read a great deal of books about ADD. Almost all of them rely on the same "You're a unique and special snowflake!" attitude, and the same generalizations about people with ADD.
    After I was given this book as a gift, I put off reading this book for a while, sure thatit would be more of the same. Instead, it was incredable in its honesty. Instead of playing up the benefits of ADD, making it sound like a wonderful blessing, Kelly understands that, sometimes, it's also a curse. Those recently diagnosed need may reassurance, of course. However, when that's ALL a book is, it loses its value as a resource. That's why this book was so great- it stated that there's nothing wrong with ADD in the first couple chapters, then moved right along (giving it a more believable tone than most books, whose constant "There's nothing wrong at all!" statments make me suspect that maybe the author is trying to hide something) to talking about theories involving ADD (which was pretty cool).
    My favorite thing about this book is that it talks about the problems ADD can cause in various aspects of your life, and how ADD can manifest itself in different people. Rather than make general assumptions about people with ADD, the authors recognize that ADD is a complex, varied condition. Before this, I'd no idea that my sluggish periods might be part of my ADD, that it manifests itself verbally, and that my tactile defensivness (an occasional aversion to physical contact) wasn't because I was aggressive or weird- I was just overstimulated! No other book had even MENTIONED this kind of thing.
    Keeping with the diversity of problems, the authors offer a diversity of possible ways to deal with problems arising from ADD. Each idea can easily be altered to fit your needs- another big plus.
    Honestly, if you or your teenage child have ADD or ADHD, you should not be without this book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A classic that I often recommend to newly diagnosed adults, January 15, 2005
    First, I want to start with the title: It is so reassuring and affirming. How many adults and older teens have thought this when they first realized that they had AD/HD? Even the illustrations have a humorous, comfy, reassuring feel.

    This book deals with the every day practicalities of living with AD/HD. First, the authors reassure the reader that he or she is not bad or blameworthy. This is good, but then they go on to help the individual to take charge. Ultimately this leads to a new sense of empowerment and an enlightened sense of responsibility. The book deals with the often overlooked issues of scheduling, spirituality, adequate sleep and maintaining social supports.

    My favorite chapter is the one on how to organize your workspace. This chapter is worth the price of the book. So often people waste time getting up and looking for the stapler or the stamps when a few organizational tips could give them less reason to get up and get distracted.

    Best of all for this book: It also comes as an audiocassette!! I personally prefer the book because you can refer back to the individual chapters. If you are not a book reader, consider getting the cassette, and then buying the book so that you can refer to pertinent chapters.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Thought-provoking and common sense, May 24, 2001
    I found the book rather practical.

    First three chapters talk a lot about the symptoms and describe the nature of ADD. For a person who is not well acquainted with attention deficit disorder these three chapters would be a great jump-start.

    The rest of the book gives very common-sense, down-to-earth recommendations and ideas on how to "get used" to living an ADD life. A lot of time is spent on dealing with depression and anxiety thoughts. Various portions of the book are devoted to issues like ADD vs. work-place environment, family relations, and social interactions.

    I personally do not believe you have to be an MD or a professional of any other kind to have a sound and solid opinion on a subject as some of the reviewers have mentioned here. On the contrary - the most brilliant, the most ingenious, if you wish, ideas frequently come from "outsiders" who are not caught in the "routine thinking pattern" of a discipline or a field of studies. I express this opinion as a professional who worked with "outsiders" a lot and found their fresh thoughts very encouraging and breaking-through.

    Read this book and let it challenge you to think over the ways you live your ADD life, let it open some doors you were scared to open before, and find peace in acting in the ways you never thought you would ever act.

    Would make an intricate and a valuable gift for a person with an ADD! Will not offend your buddy in any way.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Good but can be hard to get through, February 2, 2003
    My daughter has ADD, and I probably do as well, so I've read quite a bit on this subject. While the book is very informative and does give personal accounts of what it's like to live w/ AD/HD, I found it hard to get through. It seems to ramble a bit at times and the organization and even the choice of print size and font made it hard for me to stay interested after a while. Basically, it reads as if was written by someone with AD/HD-- (which of course, it was), but that's what makes it hard to get through at times! I found Driven to Distraction by Hallowell and even Women With Attention Deficit Disorder by Solden much easier to read and just as (if not more) informative, especially for an ADDer with a tendency to lose interest if the book doesn't captivate me early on. Also, if you are very well informed on the biology/neurology etc. of ADD the first three chapters don't offer anything new. Bottom line, worth reading, but there are better choices out there.

    5-0 out of 5 stars GOOD REALISTIC ACCOUNT..., July 11, 2001
    I have ADD. I am 36 yrs old, female. I LIKED this book because it was written from a "Regular-Joes" perspective. Don't pay any mind to the guy who gave it "one star". He missed the point of this kind of book. He may not know it, but not everyone wants to read a hoity-toity physician's perspecitve on a complex condition. My experience has been, I think the people who actually HAVE it tend to have the most accurate information. It was very nice to just RELATE to what these 2 women journaled and observed through their own experiences - on the job and personally. I know ALOT about ADD ADHD and I appreciate ALL types of materials on this subject. Even when I don't agree with them sometimes, the only way you learn is by learning others perspectives. And this book is really - just that. I felt it was pretty much on target - quite honestly. I purchased the book about 5 years ago, and still use it as part of my ADD library. I find it very helpful and useful.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Where was this book when I needed it 20 years ago?, December 27, 2001
    How much of this scenario sounds familiar to you?
    I'm in my mid-thirties and have floundered my whole life....not just in one arena of life....but in many (if not all). For 20 years, one thought has been weighing excrutiatingly on my brain: "Why am I so (explitive deleted)different?" Does any of this sound like you?
    This book...this wonderful book has finally given me some kind of validation, by eerily describing MY life....hell, I'm even an advertising copywiter....I have no idea how they got that one right. I'm telling anybody who is interested in finally getting real answers to those frustating questions that never got asked, "Read this book, friend." I have already wasted well over 20 years because I didn't know what the hell was "wrong with me." And, yes, for 20 years, I KNEW I wasn't stupid....I KNEW I wasn't crazy (well...a little crazy, but NOT insane), so that left me with feelings that I was must be lazy. I honestly didn't think I was lazy, but since that what everybody said, it must have been true. And that only made me feel guilty!
    People, if you have something to be gained by conquering ADD, I highly suggest that you read this book. If for no other reason than for personal validation that you're not lazy, stupid or crazy.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Most Helpful Book on ADD I have ever read....!!!, August 26, 2001
    This book has really changed my life in so many ways. Having ADD as an adult is one thing....but being able to do something about it in a positive way is yet another challenge. This book enabled me to make some really fundamental changes in the way I operate to take advantage of the skills I have. It really helps in enabling you to rationalize your "lazy/crazy" behaviours by giving you a pseudo-scientific explanation for why you do the things you do. It does this by relating your actions to they way the brain works in an ADD vs. non-ADD person. Also, it relates brain functionality with day-to-day examples such as filing cabinets, etc... Best part of the book is that it doesn't give you specific answers, since there is a different solution for every individual. Rather, it arms you with the fundamental facts/issues/consequences so you can formulate something that works best for you. As a well-educated adult in a challenging profession, this book has helped me cope with my limitations due to ADD very effectively. I can't thank the authors enough...and that is why I am writing this review so that others may benefit. ... Read more

    6. The Feelings Book: The Care & Keeping of Your Emotions (American Girl)
    by Dr. Lynda Madison
    list price: $8.95 -- our price: $8.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 1584855282
    Publisher: American Girl Publishing Inc
    Sales Rank: 754
    Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    FOR USE IN SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES ONLY. This companion to The Care and Keeping of You helps girls understand their emotions and learn to deal with them. ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars A must-have for parents of pre-teen girls, April 16, 2005
    I can't recommend this book highly enough. I agree with an earlier reviewer that it's really not a book for a 12-13 year old; it's perfect for those pre-pubescent 8-11 kids. My daughter, age 9, and I worked through this book together and she learned a lot and is really putting her new knowledge to good use. With rates of depression, suicide, eating disorders, etc., growing so frighteningly among teenagers and young women, it's incumbent on us as parents to give our kids a good grounding before they hit the really hard years of the early teens. This book is an excellent tool to help us do just that.

    5-0 out of 5 stars how to deal with your emotions, November 7, 2004
    This book has everything you need to be able to deal with your emotions. It has techniques for you to use when you have a certain feeling that you really can't control. The advice this book gives you is very helpful, and there's even a part in the book of how to deal with your feelings when your parents are getting divorced. If you're embarrassed, scared, happy, sad, mad, or WHATEVER, this book tells you how to handle good feelings, and BAD. It'll really take you through the process, and YOU have to pick the choices you think are right. If you're confused about your feelings in this period of your life, you should read this book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A must have for all pre-teen girls, June 28, 2004
    I can't recommend this book enough for girls ages 8 - 12.
    My daughter has it & loves it. It is a great reference for young girls who are embarassed to talk about their feelings.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Pretty Good, January 4, 2005
    As the older sister of a girl almost 13, I thought this book would be a good gift. While the advice is pretty good and sound, the book itself and the illustrations are too young for her. At 12, she is already on to older books. This book is pretty good for 11 and under. But by 12, probably need something more sophisticated.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book, August 28, 2006
    My daughter is 13 and has ocd with anxiety. This book has brought her comfort. There are some many emotions at 13 and then add ocd on top it.. this book gave her ways to cope when she was feeling nervous. It also helps with all the moods of being 13.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent for the 12 and under crowd, January 21, 2006
    This book is fantastic. It addresses most of the social problems girls have at this age and outlines positive ACTION that they can take to overcome it. The illustrations and questions make it very approachable, they aren't intimidating and don't give off a condescending feel that books such as the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens gives off. (Although 7 Habits is a good book if you can convince the teen to read it).

    I wouldn't give it to a girl above 13, but I'd leave it on the coffee table or on my reading table. Even though it'd be a bit young for her, she could get some good information that isn't taught or mentioned in school.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great, November 25, 2006
    I`m 10 and I like how this book tells me how to handle my changing emotions. In the help section,some girls have the same problems as me,so I got the answers.I reccomend this book,and The Care and Keeping of You to go with it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This book is awsome!, August 26, 2006
    This book is not just for pre-teens. I'm 13 and I read it everyday. So any one can read not just kids 12 and under. So none should thinks its for pre-teens only.Don't listen to people who says its a bad book becaues it can be used for all ages . So I HIGHLY RECCOMEND THIS BOOK!!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent - VERY Helpful!, December 31, 2007
    Our family went through some real tragedy this year and we bought this book for our 9yo daughter on the advice of her counselor. It was an excellent book - it really helped my daughter understand and deal with her emotions. She worked through the book and it really seemed to give her insight into herself and how to cope with all the [very normal but quite overwhelming] emotions she was having.

    This is an excellent book and I think it would be helpful for ANY girl as she approaches puberty and starts to mature into a young lady.

    5-0 out of 5 stars GREAT BOOK!!!!!!!!, September 22, 2007
    Great 7 yr old and I read it together. It allowed me to see & experience some of her true feelings about some things without her realizing it. It has a number of activities and exercises that we did throughout the book that really helped her open up about things she would normally feel a bit embarassed about sharing with me. A great book to read together during that precious parent/child time. ... Read more

    7. Man's Search for Meaning
    by Viktor E. Frankl
    Paperback (2006-06-15)
    list price: $13.00 -- our price: $10.40
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0807014273
    Publisher: Beacon Press
    Sales Rank: 728
    Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl's memoir has riveted generations of readers with its descriptions of life in Nazi death camps and its lessons for spiritual survival. Between 1942 and 1945 Frankl labored in four different camps, including Auschwitz, while his parents, brother, and pregnant wife perished. Based on his own experience and the experiences of those he treated in his practice, Frankl argues that we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose. Frankl's theory—known as logotherapy, from the Greek word logos ("meaning")—holds that our primary drive in life is not pleasure, as Freud maintained, but the discovery and pursuit of what we personally find meaningful.

    At the time of Frankl's death in 1997, Man's Search for Meaning had sold more than 10 million copies in twenty-four languages. A 1991 reader survey by the Library of Congress and the Book-of-the-Month Club that asked readers to name a "book that made a difference in your life" found Man's Search for Meaning among the ten most influential books in America.

    Born in Vienna in 1905 Viktor E. Frankl earned an M.D. and a Ph.D. from the University of Vienna. He published more than thirty books on theoretical and clinical psychology and served as a visiting professor and lecturer at Harvard, Stanford, and elsewhere. In 1977 a fellow survivor, Joseph Fabry, founded the Viktor Frankl Institute of Logotherapy. Frankl died in 1997.

    Harold S. Kushner is rabbi emeritus at Temple Israel in Natick, Massachusetts, and the author of several best-selling books, including When Bad Things Happen to Good People.

    William J. Winslade is a philosopher, lawyer, and psychoanalyst at the University of Texas Medical School in Galveston.
    ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant account...., November 25, 2001
    The first section of this book (which makes up over half of the text) consist of Victor Frankl's account of his experiences in the concentration camp. This section seems unique among the Holocaust accounts that I've seen and read because Dr. Frankl approaches the topic from a psychological perspective. He discusses the ways in which the different prisoners react to their (note: men and women were seperated at the camps, so Frankl is mainly disscussing his experiences with the men in Auschwitz) imprissonment. He writes about the psychological effects of being completely dehumanized; of losing even your name, and becoming simply a number. Also he disscusses the effects of not being able to contact loved ones, or even know is they are still living. Another issue that Dr. Frankl talks about in this book is the idea that none of the prisoners of the concentration camp had an idea as to when there imprissonment would end (if ever). Thus, they were faced with the thought of living the rest of their lives as workers at the camps. Dr. Frankl discusses how people can find meaning to life in these conditions. He also describes how finding meaning in life, or a reason to live, was extraordinarilly important to surviving the camp.

    One of the most interesting, and disturbing, issues in the book was the idea of the Capo. These were were people put in charge of their fellow prisoners, in order to keep them in line. Dr. Frankl describes these people as, often, being more harsh than the actual guards. This seems to be a disturbing lesson in the abuse of power. This also goes along with Dr. Frankl's discussion of how the camps brought out the true personality of the people within it (after all the social trapping had been stripped away): The cretins, the saints, and all of those in between.

    The second half of the book is made up of two sections "Logotherapy in a Nutshell," and "The Case for Tragic Optimsism." These two sections basically describe Dr. Frankl's theory on as to how to conduct therapy (Logotherapy). The idea behind this therapy is that man is driven by his search for a meaning in life. This differs from the psychoanalysis perspective (driven, at this time, by the ideas of Sigmund Freud) in that the psychoanalytic school believed that humans were driven by their unconscious desires. For Frankl, the need for meaning seems to outway the unconscious. In fact, he goes into detail about the negative effects that the abscence of meaning, or what he calls the "existential Vacuum," has on people. To illustrate many ideas, he often uses his experiences in the concentration camps, as well as various cases for treatment (which help to solidify his view of life, and therapy).

    I would recomend this book to almost anybody. I feel that it's interesting, and worthwhile. I would especially recomend this to people interested in psychology, as well as those who wish to learn something about the experiences within the concentration camps.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This book could change your life, January 8, 2000
    Dr. Frankl's logotherapy is straightforward and easy to understand. It is also a useful antidote to the rather frightening drift in psychology during the past two decades toward strict biological determinism.

    This particular work is one I keep at hand and re-read on a regular basis. I read it for the first time a few months after I started medical treatment and therapy for life-long depression. I get more from it each time I go back to it.

    Logotherapy manages an incredible balance. It does not put man himself at the center of the universe, thus avoiding the kind of narcissistic self-reflection common to much of the therapeutic literature today. Yet, it does not sweep man aside as irrelevant. Instead, Frankl argues that we have an incredible power to shape our attitudes and responses to the challenges life presents us and that we inevitably grow thanks to these challenges.

    This is a quick read and could conceivably change your life. Man is more than the sum of his biology and his environment. We inevitably choose to be who we are. Frankl's argument is that, if we choose wisely, we can triumph even in tragedy. It's a truth many of us have lost sight of in our cynicism.

    5-0 out of 5 stars How to be Worthy of One's Suffering, September 1, 2006
    Frankl, who survived the concentration camps, writes that suffering is inevitable and that avoiding suffering is futile. Rather, one should be worthy of one's suffering and make meaning of it instead of surrendering to nihilism, bitterness and despair. He uses poetic, moving anecdotes from the concentration camps to illustrate those souls who find a deeper humanity from their suffering or who become animals relegated to nothing more than teeth-clenched self-preservation. Though not specifically religious, this masterpiece has a religious purpose--to help us find meaning. This book succeeds immeasurably.

    *** Why no voting buttons? We do

    5-0 out of 5 stars Much food for thought, January 16, 2004
    Several years ago a friend had an operation for a cancerous growth behind his eye yet today is well and tells of the importance of the right mental attitude when facing adversity. Another friend faces a similar experience but appears to be in the process of succumbing in ignorance of the importance of mental attitude. Seeking guidance as to what I might do to help, I turned to this book.

    After recounting the horrors of everyday life in a work camp - the initial selection process in which 90% were sent to the gas chambers while 10% were kept to extract the last ounce of work as slaves for construction firms; the Capos selected from the most brutal who had lost all scruples in order to save their life; how everything was subservient to keeping oneself and one's closest friends alive - Viktor Frankl tells of the psychological problems they met.

    The most important seems to be the hope of release as shown by the very high death rate in his camp in the week between Christmas 1944 and new year 1945 which had no explanation in food, treatment, weather, disease or working conditions; it was that the majority had lived in the na�ve hope that they would be home again by Christmas. In the absence of encouraging news, the prisoners lost courage; disappointment overcame them and their powers of resistance dropped. Frankl noticed that it was the men who comforted others, who gave away their last piece of bread who survived longest and who offered proof that everything can be taken but one thing - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances.

    In the camp every decision determined whether or not you would submit to loss of inner freedom. The sort of person the prisoner became was the result of an inner decision and not of camp influences alone. It is this spiritual freedom which cannot be taken away which makes life meaningful and purposeful. Only those who allowed their inner hold on their moral and spiritual selves to subside eventually fell victim to the camp's degenerating influences. Most inmates believed that the real opportunities of life had passed. In reality, however, one could make a victory of those experiences, turning them into an inner triumph.

    Frankl saw himself giving a lecture on the psychology of the concentration camp, living Spinoza's observation that "Emotion, which is suffering, ceases to be suffering as soon as we form a clear and precise picture of it." Armed with the insight that any attempt to restore man's inner strength had first to succeed in showing him some future goal he tried to help would-be suicides to realize that life was still expecting something from them - a loving son awaiting his return, an unfinished work to complete. When the impossibility of replacing you is realized it is impossible to throw your life away. When you know the why of your existence you will be able to bear almost any how.

    Frankl had to learn and then teach that it really did not matter what we expect from life but rather what life expects from us. The answer lies in right action and in right conduct; life ultimately means taking responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill tasks that it constantly sets for each individual. These tasks, and therefore the meaning of life, differ from man to man and from moment to moment, making it impossible to define in general terms or in sweeping statements. No man and no destiny can be compared to any other man or destiny. It may require a man to shape his own fate, contemplate or accept his fate. There is only one right answer to the situation at hand.

    When a man finds that it is his destiny to suffer, he will have to accept his suffering as his single, unique task. His unique opportunity lies in the way he bears his burden. Once the meaning of suffering has been revealed, suffering has hidden opportunities for achievement. When he had the opportunity to address a group of prisoners his purpose was to help each man to find a full meaning to their life in that practically hopeless situation by pointing out the joys each had experienced in the past and that no one had suffered irreplaceable losses. Whoever was still alive had reason for hope; health, family, happiness, professional abilities, fortune, position in society, could all be restored. Life never ceases to have meaning and this infinite meaning includes suffering and dying, privation and death. God or someone alive or dead would hope to find them suffering proudly.

    After the war, Frankl introduced Logotherapy, which focuses on the meanings of life to be fulfilled by the patient in the future. The patient is confronted with the meaning of his life. The meaning of human existence as well as man's search for such a meaning is unique and specific and can be fulfilled by him alone. He is able to live and even to die for the sake of his ideals and values. The more that you forget yourself by giving to a cause or serving in love, the more you actualize yourself. We can discover meaning in three ways - creating a work or doing a deed; by experiencing something or encountering someone; and by the attitude we take to unavoidable suffering.

    When we are no longer able to change a situation such as inoperable cancer we have to change our attitude. He asks his patients to project themselves forward to their deathbed and look back on the meaningful things in their lives. Man does not simply exist but always decides what his existence will be; he has control over what he will become in the next moment.

    This book has certainly provided much food for thought!

    5-0 out of 5 stars It has given me hope, August 21, 1999
    I was recently diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. I am 41 years old with two small children. I was finding it hard to find something to hold on to after getting the news. This book has helped put the cancer in perspective and is giving me the courage and encouragement to keep on matter what. And if I die, then there has to be meaning in my life before then. I am now beginning to understand that I should not ask what can I get out of life, but what does life expect from me.

    This is a WONDERFUL and INSPIRATIONAL book that I recommend for anyone suffering from any tragic cirucmstance...cancer, death in the family, divorce, etc. All of the phsychiatric nonsense might help (I doubt it), but this book will get you on the right road.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and thought provoking, September 6, 2006
    There is something to be said of a person who can go through a horrific journey such as the atrocities of Auschwitz and recall it with such clarity in order to help others. I was completely emotionally overwhelmed by the first half of the book-which is a narrative of what he experienced and fascinated with the next half which is an explanation of logotherapy.
    This is not an overly long or hard book to read in spite of some of the subject matter. My version was a thin paperback that I finished in a few days. It took me longer to fully appreciate because I hung onto each page and felt a responsibility to make sure I understood his journey and how he came to his conclusions.
    I recommend this book for anyone.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Inspiring Book, June 19, 2007
    I originally bought this book knowing nothing about Frankl, his experiences, or psychological theories. I simply read the description and a few of the overwhelmingly positive reviews here on Amazon and decided that it sounded interesting. What a life-changing book. Merely reading it at any given time has a marked positive influence on my attitude towards life.

    What's most interesting about it, as Frankl says himself, is that what he's propounding are not abstract ideas developed by some academic at a university or in some research laboratory. He uses his direct experience in one of the most adverse circumstances possible--a Nazi concentration camp--to relate the ideas of logotherapy (his own school of psychotherapy) to the reader.

    In a nutshell, the three most important tenets of logotherapy are as follows: (1) Life has meaning under all circumstances--even the most miserable ones; (2) Our main motivation for living is our will to find meaning in life; and (3) We have the freedom to find meaning in what we do, and what we experience, or at least in the stand we take when faced with a situation of unchangeable suffering. These principles are put directly to the test, and Frankl demonstrates their validity in a way that no social scientist has conceived of (or been able to) ever before.

    From the afterword:

    "Frankl was once asked to express in one sentence the meaning of his own life. He wrote the response on paper and asked his students to guess what he had written. After some moments of quiet reflection, a student surprised Frankl by saying, 'The meaning of your life is to help others find the meaning of theirs.'

    'That was it, exactly,' Frankl said. 'Those are the very words I had written.'"

    5-0 out of 5 stars a "why" to live..., February 10, 2001
    An American doctor once asked Viktor Frankl to explain the difference between conventional psychoanalysis and logotherapy. Before answering, Frankl asked the doctor for his definition of psychoanalysis. The man said, "During psychoanalysis, the patient must lie down on a couch and tell you things which sometimes are very disagreeable to tell." Frankl immediately replied by saying: "Now, in logotherapy the patient may remain sitting erect but he must hear things which sometimes are very disagreeable to hear." By this he meant that in logotherapy the patient is actually confronted with and reoriented toward the MEANING of his life. The role of the therapist, then, is to help the patient discover a purposefulness in his life. Frankl's theory is that man's search for meaning is the primary motivation in his life and not a "secondary rationalization" of instinctual drives. Whereas Freudian psychoanalysis focuses on the "will to pleasure" and Adlerian psychology focuses on the "will to power" it can be said that Frankl's logotherapy focuses on the "will to meaning." Does man give in to to conditions or stand up to them? According to Frankl, the strength of a person's sense of meaning, responsibility, and purpose is the greatest determining factor in how that question will be answered. He believed that "man is ultimately self-determining" and as such, "does not simply exist but always decides what his existence will be, what he will become in the next moment."

    The first (and largest) section of this book is the searing autobiographical account of the author's experience as a longtime prisoner in a concentration camp. These camps claimed the lives of his father, mother, brother, and wife. Frankl's survival and the subsequent miracle of this book are a testimony to man's capacity to rise above his outward fate. As Gordon W. Allport states in the preface, "A psychiatrist who personally has faced such extremity is a psychiatrist worth listening to."

    I agree, and highly reccommend this book. As the sub-title says, it is an "introduction" to logotherapy, and anyone who wants to go deeper into the principles and practical application of Frankl's existential psychiatry should go to his excellent "The Doctor And The Soul".

    Frankl was fond of quoting Nietzsche's dictum..."He who has a WHY to live can bear with almost any HOW."

    5-0 out of 5 stars A new approach to life, April 1, 2007
    This book is a true classic in that it speaks to every generation. Even though it was written in the immediate post-Holocaust period and was one of the first personal accounts of the Nazi death camps, Frankl's brief account has new meaning today. In today's world, many people are constantly pursuing pleasure in the form of wealth, success, or sexual fulfillment. Although there is nothing intrinsically wrong with these, Frankl's point is that life must have meaning. A person can inject meaning into even the most degraded life conditions by clinging to his values. But without meaning, life can drag on, seemingly without end. The "purpose-driven life" is the only life that leads to true fulfillment.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Weaving Meaning, May 24, 2001
    "Instead of possibilities, I have realities in my past, not only the reality of work done, and of love loved but of sufferings bravely suffered." (p. 123)

    My connection to Viktor Frankl dates back to a Hannukah party in which I found myself conversing with a baker who used to deliver his bread. It took me a few more years to discover this absolute gem of a book, itself both bread for the soul and leaven for the mind.

    The first half of this book consists of Frankl's reflection on his time in a Nazi concentration camp. "An abnormal reaction to an abnormal situation is normal behavior," (p. 18) he notices, "Yet it is possible to practice the art of living even in a concentration camp, although suffering is omnipresent." (p. 43) Distilling the essence of his experience at the hands of the Nazis and the resilience of his soul, he states, "If there is a meaning in life at all, then there must be a meaning in suffering." (p. 67) Finally, he notes that "Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms--to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way." (p. 65)

    He segues into the second part of the book, a description of "logotherapy," based on the challenge learned behind barbed wire, downwind from the ovens "Whenever there was an opportunity for it, one had to give them a why--an aim--for their lives, in order to strengthen them to bear the terrible _how_ of their existence." (p. 76)

    Frankl states that "Man's search for meaning is a primary force in his life and not a 'secondary rationalization' of instinctual drives." (p. 99) He finds this meaning specific & unique to each individual. Logotherapy focuses on the future, the assignments and meanings to be fulfilled by the patient in _his_ future, breaking up the self-centeredness of the neurotic instead of fostering and reinforcing it.

    He believes that "the meaning of our existence is not invented by ourselves, but rather detected," (p. 101) that "_logos_, or 'meaning', is not only an emerging from existence itself but rather something confronting existence." (p. 100) This _logos_ frustrates by not being available to finite minds, but nevertheless continues to confront man. In wrestling with this confrontation, each individual enacts their "will to meaning," defining a "meaning of life [that] differs from man to man, from day to day and from hour to hour. What matters, therefore, is not the meaning of life in general but rather the specific meaning of a person's life at a given moment." (p. 110) Logotherapy sees responsibility as the very essence of human existence: "each man is questioned by life; and he can only answer to life by _answering_ _for_ his own life; to life he can only respond by being responsible." (p. 111) Thus, the "categorical imperative" of logotherapy is "Live as if you were living already for the second time and as if you had acted the first time as wrongly as you are about to act now!" (p. 111)

    Beyond the philosophy of logotherapy, Frankl discusses technique briefly, addressing anticipatory anxiety, "it characteristic of this fear that it produces precisely that of which the patient is afraid." (p. 123) The mechanism for this is "hyper-intention," which, by focusing on the problem, magnifies the problem. He confronts this with "paradoxical intention," suggesting that the insomniac try to stay awake and that the phobic patient "intend, if only for a moment, precisely that which he fears." (p. 125)

    He concludes the book with "Our generation is realistic for we have come to know man as he really is. After all, man is that being who has invented the gas chambers of Auschwitz; however, he is also that being who has entered those gas chambers upright, with the Lord's Prayer or the Shema Yisrael on his lips." (p. 136)

    I find this short book incredibly full of life and meaning; it's one of the most powerful I've ever read. The act of creating a philosophy and psychology of life out of the horrors of Auschwitz confronts my own whinings about the discomforts I find in life. I find courage here, not just Dr. Frankl's courage, but an inspiration to my own courage, and a challenge to live more fully, to create more meaning, instead of simply accepting the meanings thrust upon me by TV sitcoms, billboards, and internet banality.

    The epitome of a five star book. Worthy of more if Amazon would allow it.

    (If you'd like to dialogue about this book, please click on the "about me" link & drop me an email. Thanks!) ... Read more

    8. The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (A Toltec Wisdom Book)
    by Don Miguel Ruiz
    list price: $12.95 -- our price: $7.77
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 1878424319
    Publisher: Amber-Allen Publishing
    Sales Rank: 1047
    Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Rooted in traditional Toltec wisdom beliefs, four agreements in life are essential steps on the path to personal freedom. As beliefs are transformed through maintaining these agreements, shamanic teacher and healer don Miguel Ruiz asserts lives will "become filled with grace, peace, and unconditional love." Author workshops. ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars A Must-Have Book If You Want To Be Free, October 28, 2003
    Don Miguel Ruiz is known as a nagual, or shaman, of the Toltec tradition. The Toltecs were an ancient group of scientists and artists that was formed to explore and preserve the practices and spiritual knowledge of the ancient ones. It is not a religion, but a way of life that embraces spirit and honors all the spiritual masters who have taught on the earth. Toltec wisdom arises from the same essential unity of truth as other sacred esoteric traditions that are found all over the world.

    The Four Agreements are very simple, but very profound. To embrace and live each of the Four Agreements is to find yourself experiencing personal freedom--possibly as never before. The Four Agreements are:

    Be Impeccable With Your Words
    Don't Take Anything Personally
    Don't Make Assumptions
    Always Do Your Best

    From the cover of the book:

    Be Impeccable With Your Word: Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

    Don't Take Anything Personally: Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering.

    Don't Make Assumptions: Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

    Always Do Your Best: Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.

    This book may be small in size, but it packs a hefty punch in terms of shattering personal illusions and opening up a path to personal freedom. I consider this book a must-have for anyone wanting to become more conscious and wanting freedom from personal stories and agreements that cause suffering.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A beautiful guide to achieve a life of freedom and happiness, May 29, 1998
    I have read so many books promising joy in my life, yet I have read none so simple and practical as that of the Four Agreements by don Miguel Ruiz. The book is a beautiful instruction guide to achieve a life of freedom and happiness. He teaches four lifestyle commitments, which can transform life into the realization of your own personal dream. Written from his heart, the Four Agreements has made profound changes in my life. What seemed insurmountable challenges became powerful lessons which I was able to embrace with faith and love. What is the dream that you hold for yourself? Allow the magic of don Miguel's wisdom to shift your life into a masterful awareness of all you want for yourself.Become the power that you want in yourlife, realize the opportunites before you and then you can live in a heaven created from the beauty of your own heart. I have given the book to many people, who, only reading it once, have initiated life changes. My personal experience with don Miguel is that no matter how little you are exposed to him, your heart will always be touched. He and his words are the touch of an angel. Treat yourself to a world without limits!

    5-0 out of 5 stars How well does it work., October 16, 2004
    The author says the we have chosen to believe what we have been programmed to believe. Recognizing how difficult it is to change core beliefs, he merely makes practical suggestions about how one can view things differently. All of the rhetoric, pro and con, about this book may stimulate the intellect; however, the ultimate question to ask about new ideas is `How well do they work". These Four Agreements work. This is precisely why an open mind is so important for spiritual growth. With an open mind one can experiment with new ideas instead of sitting around debating the merits of the ideas.

    If you doubt the validity of what this author says, I would invite you to call up any one of your friends and see if they can carry on a conversation for 10 minutes without engaging in character assignation. The author says they can't, and I discovered he was right.

    If you are open to new ideas, this book will be beneficial to you.

    If you have the courage to further question what you have been programmed to believe, I would strongly recommend the book An Encounter with a Prophet by Clyde A. Lewis. An Encounter with a Prophet enabled me to give up my programmed beliefs about God -beliefs that were causing me a good deal of disturbance. The book also provided practical suggestions that I could experiment with. Those suggestions also worked.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An Enlightening Experience, April 11, 2000
    Naomi Salvarezza, English 100 4/11/00 The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz is a very special book. Don Miguel puts forth many teachings which are very enlightening. These agreements in the book are a guide to personal freedom and happiness. Don Miguel writes "Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won't be the victum of needless suffering." Don Miguel smoothly blends his native teachings with the hectic pace of the modern world. Teaching us how to live without all the useless stress and worries and how we can be clean in clear in our energy, living a positive life. Another beautiful quote from Don Miguel is "Find the courage to ask questions and express what you really want. Communicate with others clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, drama. With just one agreement, you can completly change your life." I highly reccomend this book to anyone. It has helped me to become stronger in my spirituality and path. I know you all will find this book to be equally powerful and lovely. My thanks to the author for putting out such a good and beautiful message.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Four Agreements Can Change Your Life, November 17, 2000
    This book s interesting but enlightening:

    1. Be impeccable with your words 2. Don't take things personally 3. Don't make assumptions 4. Always do your best

    Sounds simple huh? Not so quick! Rooted in Toltec beliefs, Miguel Ruiz has done us all a great favor to explain and illustrate the above four agreements. This book serves as a practical guide to how we live daily. Language: Words, assumptions, thoughts, pre-occupation can always lead to misunderstanding and a break of relationship. Miguel Ruiz goes step-by-step, with practicals and examples, to help us achieve these four agreements. Say what you really mean to say. Don't circumvent or evade. Don't make assumptions because assumptions always lead to misunderstanding. Ruiz has so much to offer in this brillantly written book. Highly recommended.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Feeling is Believing., October 24, 2000
    I've been poring through books about personal growth for years and I've found that if a book doesn't touch me, as in actually make me feel more alive, then all the words and ideas are just words and ideas. So when I read a review of Don Miguel Ruiz's "THE FOUR AGREEMENTS" where the reviewer actually said it felt good to read, I knew it was a book for me. The book is like taking a walk with a compassionate shaman who describes and lives simple truths. I particularly liked a passage on the third agreement ("Don't make assumptions") in which Ruiz describes a husband and a wife who fall out of relationship not because they don't love each other, but because they make assumptions such as the other member of the couple should be able to read their mind if they really loved them. How familiar! It really underscored the value of truthful communication for me.

    The same reviewer also recommended "WORKING ON YOURSELF DOESN'T WORK" by Ariel and Shya Kane. This is an excellent book about REALLY living your life fully. And a perfect example of how the words are secondary to the feeling of well-being that jump off this book's pages. Thank you, kind reviewer, for two great gifts.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent, July 3, 2001
    This book is indeed excellent. If you combine the wisdom in this book with the book insight contained in the book An Encounter With A Prophet you will most certailly attain a new and wonderful outlook on life.

    5-0 out of 5 stars It just feels right, April 16, 2001
    Reading this book is like talking with a wise and individual who seems to know your inner thoughts. It, much like the book An Encounter with A Prophet just plainly feels right. If you would like to get rid of some of your negative thinking, I would suggest reading both books..

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Simple Guide to Bettering Your Relationships, July 18, 2000
    A friend tore an article about this book out of Oprah Winfrey's magazine and sent it to me.

    I purchased the book and read it the same night. Then I re-read it. I am still in the process of reading it once again!

    This is a practical book that can be adapted across many religious and spiritual belief systems. Although I may not agree that all of life is a dream, as the author says is the Toltec way, I am more than ready to apply the Four Agreements to my life.

    Don Miguel Ruiz writes very simply and beautifully about the Four Agreements, and what he writes about builds upon itself and weaves together to create an ideal way of perceiving ourselves, others, and the world at large.

    Each of the Agreements is a separate statement, yet they must all be considered together as one large agreement.

    What affected me most in this book is what Don Miguel Ruiz wrote about not taking things personally. For years, I have been stung and hurt by what people have said to me. After reading this book, what has stayed with me is that what people say about me is not WHO I AM. It is merely their opinion based on years of their own experiences and reactions. I no longer base my perception of myself on others' opinions. This has stopped all the negative grudging I had against those I perceived were against me.

    I recommend this book to anyone in any walk of life. You will view your world and yourself differently after reading it. It does not ask you to join an organization, change your religion, or become something you aren't. It will, however, change your way of thinking about how you live your life. You will realize the impact of your words, thoughts, and deeds in a way you never have.

    If the whole world chose to live their lives this way, what a wonderfully enriching, nourishing place it would be! Improve your corner of the world and study the simply profound wisdom shared within these pages. If you're selfish, read it anyway, change yourself through reading it-those around you will appreciate it!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Guide For Looking Inside Yourself, July 23, 2000
    "The Four Agreements" by Don Miguel Ruiz is some of the best money I have ever spent. For such a small book this one could certainly change many more lives that people I'll ever meet in mine. It breaks everything all down and lets your soul be your guide. The four basic agreements are:

    1. Be Impeccable With Your Words.

    2. Don't Take Anything Personally.

    3. Don't Make Assumptions.

    4. Always Do Your Best.

    You can't break it down much more than that. These basic goals and hopes are wonderfully helpful and a path to making ones life a bit easier.

    While, I'm not one for a lot of self-awareness books, self-help, etc....but, I certainly found this one helpful, honest and forceful. It made me take a good look at myself and make some changes in how I plan to proceed from this day. If nothing else, give yourself a chance and read this book. It might be helpful. ... Read more

    9. Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself
    by Melody Beattie
    list price: $15.95 -- our price: $10.85
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0894864025
    Publisher: Hazelden Publishing
    Sales Rank: 971
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    recovery has begun for millions of individuals with this straightforward guide.through personal examples and exercises, readers are shown how controlling others forces them to lose sight of their own needs and happiness. ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars A codependent person let's another's behavior affect them..., March 8, 2001
    This book is good for people who find themselves depressed and needing some insight on why they feel the way they do. After reading this book the other book by Melody Beattie "Beyond Codepedency" will help you fix the codependent problem. These books will help anyone who is dealing with an alcoholic relationship or any other dependent relationship. If you find yourself caretaking all the time, ie: thinking or feeling responsible for other people, feel it is your responsiblity to help other people solve their problems, feel needy people are always attracted to you, and feeling unappreciated or used; or you have weak boundaries with the people in your life; you have dependency issues; poor communication; and low self-worth- you are codependent. I didn't think I was, but this book laied my life out perfectly. If you are feeling crazy for the way you are feeling read this book and you will understand why you are feeling the way you are. It is normal it is just you are a codependent person and you need to fix that.

    5-0 out of 5 stars My Upside-Down Life Found Balance and I'm Back On My Feet!, February 28, 2005
    Instead of spending hours of your time, expressing how anxious and depressed I was, and for so many years, I'd share a few things that might tell my story of recovery in a more concise mode.

    I had everything but had nothing. I had been Senior Class President, Top 2% in the Country during College, successful in modeling and acting, selected as Volunteer of the Year for the State of Iowa and the list of "stuff" could go on an on. I was so empty inside myself that I didn't any longer know how I felt inside. I was losing any sense of who I was.

    I'd become someone that functioned to serve, protect, nurture, encourage, forgive and love someone that couldn't love back. I was with the same person, in a marriage, for almost 5 years, and woke up one morning and realized that the person next to me was a stranger who didn't know the real me. The person that my life revolved around, the person that I chose to take care of and "cover" for, just liked having me around so I could pick up the pieces and paint a picture of a relationship and a family that was like "Ozzie and Harriet" so that others would think that everything was just fine. I can't stand the word "fine" anymore. Nothing in my life was fine and it wasn't until I hit bottom and read "Codependent No More:How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself", that my life began to change. The book answered all of my questions and caused me to look deeply at myself and my situation and evalute how sick I was. Yes, I was the sick one in the relationship too.

    I thought that I was doing everything right or doing what was right for my relationship. But I didn't ever consider that my own personal cup was empty and the only person who could fill it with healthy things was me. I didn't know that I was controlling others as I only saw myself as a caring and loving person. What had happened is that I went overboard-WAY overboard to the point that I had stopped eating, started using pills to medicate my pain and refused to make changes in my life.

    I was scared. I didn't want to be alone in life. What I didn't realize is that I was already alone. I wanted to love and be loved. After reading this incredible book, I realized that I wasn't being loved. I was being used and abused and I needed to hit this emotional bottom before I would accept help. My therapist advised me to purchase "Codependent No More", by Melody Beattie AND to read it. I almost felt odd going into the self-help are of the book store. Little did I know that the healthiest place in any book store is the aisle that reads "Self Help"!

    I owe my life to this book and I thank all of the wonderful people who contributed to the stories in this book, that allowed me to move out of my relationship and to enter a long recovery period. I am still in the care of a therapist. Sometimes I act in a codependent fashion. The difference, however, is that I now see red flags that prevent me from getting too deep into relationships that I reach a point where I lose myself.

    I offer this review to you as a gift. May this book help you, no matter what your circumstance, and may you take hold of your life again. You deserve to learn how to care for yourself. You deserve to be loved and to learn how to accept the beauty that comes with a healthy relationship.

    My Warmest Regards to ALL!

    Peter Cannice
    Scottsdale, Arizona

    4-0 out of 5 stars A terrific first step towards happier living, December 20, 2002
    So far as I can tell, very few people could ever read this book without taking something positive away from it. And you don't have to be the product of a broken home, child abuse, neglect, or other serious trauma to see how the machinery of so-called "codependency" tweaks your life; always for the worse.

    Having read other peoples' reviews, I'm not sure where some of the negative "cult" comments and rancor come from. I recognized a lot of these behaviors in mysef and in my family, and I'm not from an abusive, alcoholic, or otherwise chemically shattered upbringing. I have good parents and I had a good childhood. Just the same, even good parents and a good childhood are no guarantee against developing unhealthy relationship habits, as well as damaging internal emotional processes.

    If you're like me, you shy away from "self help" literature because it all seems way too touchy-feely. I don't see myself as a victim, and I refuse to adopt the victim mentality. But nobody gives parents a rule book on setting healthy emotional boundaries with their kids, and kids that grow up in a home without healthy emotional boundaries become adults without healthy emotional boundaries. This can really get you into trouble when you start trying to form a family of your own, and is the reason why I sought out this book with urgency.

    Does it seem like your hapiness is too connected to how other people live their lives? Do you get really upset and depressed because those whom you love engage in behavior you see as risky or damaging? Feel powerless to stop your loved one from using or abusing mind altering substances? Tired of always feeling like "the bad guy" when you're just trying to get your partner to "be good"? Has your own social circle dwindled or vanished, so that now only your partner and his/her friends are 'your' social group? Would you like to know why it's so hard to get out of bed every morning, and why you spend so much time worrying about that certain person in your life, while worrying too little about yourself?

    The problem called "co-odependency" is not a catch-all, nor is it remedied over night. But I'd dare say that at least half or more of American adults--indeed adults across the entire world--struggle with some form of co-dependent-like behavior. And if you want a deeper insight into this problem, what it is, what it is not, and how it messes with your life, then read this book, and gain strength from understanding.

    Now, having said all this, and having dealt with these issues for a few years, I think I need to be honest and say that a book like this is only the FIRST STEP. Nothing replaces a good therapist or psychologist. If you feel like you really are that messed up or are "going bonkers", please, see about getting some professional counseling. When your car is broken do you try to fix it yourself? No, most of us do not. Not even those of us who are handy with cars. The same is true for psychological and emotional disturbances. Many companies now offer Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) that offset or eliminate the costs of counseling. If your company has an EAP, by all means, use it!

    Barring counseling, I would HIGHLY SUGGEST another book, once you have passed through the bowels of "Codependent No More" and are ready to move beyond merely identifying your problems, and are anxious to work on SOLVING them.

    To merely gaze at one's navel and bemoan the sorry state of one's broken or damaged history is to remain trapped in emotional and mental amber. You're not REALLY going to "get better" until you attack the unhealthy mental habits at the heart of the problem. Understanding the root of the trouble is just a first step, making changes for the better is what happens next, and ought to be the logical goal of EVERY person seeking relief from abnormal or extreme emotional and psychological disturbance.

    Which is why I highly, highly, highly, suggest seeking out the classic "A Guide to Rational Living" by PhD. Albert Ellis and PhD. Robert A. Harper. Whereas Beattie is good at giving a layman's view of co-dependent problems and guiding the unkowing through a tour of co-dependent issues, where they might come from, and how they affect our lives in the present, she is not technically a TRAINED professional in mental health care. Without seeking that kind of professional-level knowledge, one is very likely to fall into the "Twelve Step Trap" wherein 'recovery' becomes an asymptotic hell of forever progressing towards wellness, without actually attaining wellness.

    Doctors Ellis and Harper have the goods on making changes in your life RIGHT NOW, without facing a daunting and endless program of eternal Anonymous-type meetings and couch sessions with your shrink. Refreshingly pragmatic and frank, Ellis and Harper give you a toolbox full of solid instruments to help you start dismantling that co-dependent house you've built for yourself (yes, I said YOU built for YOURSELF), and avoiding taking on "group" and perpetual "recovery" as just another set of addictions or ways to avoid truly attaining mental and emotional health.

    Thanks for reading. Best of luck on your journey, as I continue my own.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Not Like Any Other Self-Improvement Book, May 31, 1999
    This book saved my sanity, my relationship, maybe even my life. I was going through major upsets in my relationship due to a partner's addiction. I was trying to "fix the world" one painful day at a time. When nothing happened except for me to lose hope, trust, faith and love, I turned to a friend for advice. She recommended this book to me. I was skeptical to try yet another DO IT YOURSELF book to fix what was wrong with me, but this one opened my eyes. For the first time ever, I saw the patterns of my actions leading me straight to heartache and frustration. The descriptions were right on target, I saw myself in every list. It was scary, yet encouraging, because I did not feel alone, nor did I feel I was too far gone to be helped. This book will be a fixture on my nightstand to get me through the weaker points in my life. Whenever I need to take a reality check and think of ME instead of that other person, I open the pages and let it heal me. Thank you, Ms. Beattie!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Just what I needed to hear, April 10, 2001
    I read this book to help me to understand why I could not seem to fully separate myself from an extremely dysfunctional relationship that I had been in for almost 8 years. While Melody frequently uses alcoholics and drug addicts as her examples of co-dependents, that was not the case for me. I was in a relationship with a person that was/is clinically depressed (and not doing anything about it) and who would take their anger out on me. Our home life revolved around how he was feeling from day to day, as it does also with alcoholics. This book helped me realize how I had ended up essentially taking care of a grown man because he didn't want to do it himself. There were lots of other problems with the relathionship, but the main thing is after reading this book I finally woke up. I can honestly say that I have been able to detach from that person (not an easy task) and my life has been so much better for it. This new knowledge has also helped my other relationships with friends and family. I am learning how not to get over-involved and feel a need to 'fix' someone else's problems that they have created for themselves. This book definitely has set me on the right path and I hope to be able to continue to look out for ME.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fully develope your owm life, December 23, 2000
    This book is about living your own life instead of living your life for your significant other. It is a wonderful book. It changed my life. I would also highly recommend the book An Encounter With A Prophet which helped me become more reliant on God.

    2-0 out of 5 stars lacked anything practical, June 22, 2006
    This was an interesting book to read, and perhaps an appropriate introduction, but at the end I felt like I was wallowing in codependency, not moving on and learning practical ways to heal. This book merely identifies the problem, but fails move to the next step of becoming "Codependent No More".

    I felt this book was more theoretical than practical. Additionally, I don't like Beattie's overall philosophy, extracted from work with alcoholism, that once Codependent, Always Codependent.

    A better foundation for beginning to work through these issues has been one of continually self-awareness, healing and breaking old codependent habits.

    Instead of Beatie, I would recommend Breaking Free From the Codependency Trap, which provides a brief overview of codependency, but incredibly practical solutions for individuals, couples, therapy sessions and group therapy.Breaking Free of the Co-Dependency Trap

    5-0 out of 5 stars BREAKING THE CHAINS OF CODEPENDENCY, June 28, 2001
    As a counsellor with thirty years experience, I can assure you that, contrary to what at least one other reviewer has indicated, loving yourself is NOT easy for everyone. If life was that simple, counsellor's case loads would be much lighter and the world a much happier place.

    This book is an excellent starting point and great self-help book for those who are codependent. It is not simply a matter of "starting to love yourself," but a matter of going back through the years, generally to the formative years of childhood, and discovering why you have developed the need to be codependent. In other words, it helps to know where you came from before mapping a route to where you are going. I did find the book made considerable reference to drug and alcohol addiction. While that is a major form of codependency, it is not the only form, but others received less priority. For that reason, the book lost a star in the rating. "Codependent No More" is written in an honest, straight-forward manner; therefore, if it evokes anger or negativism in the reader, it is likely because the reader sees at least a partial reflection of themself in the book.

    Like any self-help book, the advice given only works if the individual is prepared to make long-term changes and has the commitment to work at the root of the problem. For those who are codependent to a minor degree, this book provides helpful insight on how to deal with the problem; however, if the problem is a more serious one, opting for professional counselling is likely still the best course of action. Often old habits are difficult to change on one's own. Freeing yourself from the chains of codependency can result in newfound freedom, peace of mind and a happier, less stressful lifestyle. I do recommend this book for the valuable information it contains.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Codependent No More, April 12, 2000
    Finding myself a soon to be divorced woman and mother of four, I entered counseling and after one session, this book was recommended to me. It truly changed my life. I returned to school, became a registered nurse and turned my life around. That was 6+ years ago; my children are learning healthy lifetime behaviours that I didn't have available from my family; and sad to say, my ex-husband is still as lost as ever. This book changed my life and I have bought and given away more than 2 cases to others. Thank you, Melody, for your insight and direction. Its there for the taking, if you only open yourself to change.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This book CAN save your life, March 10, 2003
    I read a review on here that said calling codependency "a progressive disease which can eventually lead to death is absolutely ludicrous, sky-high rhetoric." I am glad this reviewer has never felt the overwhelming depression and despair of codependency that can lead to thoughts of suicide but I am here to tell you that I have felt it and this book did save my life. Fortunately, I read it at a time when I needed it most. For anyone to say that you just need to "get a life" or grow up, they are obviously not people who need this book.

    If you feel that you are constantly going in circles trying to please everyone in your life, this is the book for you. If you feel that you are not "good enough" to be around other people, this book is for you. Even if you are not surrounded by chemically-dependent people you can still be codependent.

    I read this book for the first time about 12 years ago. I have bought and given away many copies and don't even own my own copy at this point. Getting past being a people-pleaser does not make you nasty or selfish or an egomaniac. Instead it allows you to give of yourself fully to those things that YOU want to give fully to. You learn to say yes to what you really want to do instead of being a doormat who can never say no because it just isn't nice.

    Read this book for yourself. Please don't let the naysayers persuade you against this book. You don't have to be a fan of 12-step programs to read this book. I tried that route and it did not work for me but this book did. Good luck to everyone becoming the person you were meant to be! ... Read more

    10. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-IV-TR Fourth Edition (Text Revision)
    list price: $99.00 -- our price: $79.80
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0890420254
    Publisher: American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc.
    Sales Rank: 992
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Since the DSM-IV® was published in 1994, we’ve seen many advances in our knowledge of psychiatric illness. This Text Revision incorporates information culled from a comprehensive literature review of research about mental disorders published since DSM-IV® was completed in 1994. Updated information is included about the associated features, culture, age, and gender features, prevalence, course, and familial pattern of mental disorders.

    The DSM-IV® brings this essential diagnostic tool up-to-date, to promote effective diagnosis, treatment, and quality of care. Now you can get all the essential diagnostic information you rely on from the DSM-IV® along with important updates not found in the 1994 edition.

    Stay current with important updates to the DSM-IV®:

    • Benefit from new research into Schizophrenia, Asperger’s Disorder, and other conditions

    • Utilize additional information about the epidemiology and other facets of DSM conditions

    • Update ICD-9-CM codes implemented since 1994 (including Conduct Disorder, Dementia, Somatoform Disorders)

    DSM-IV-TR, the handheld version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision, is now available for both Palm OS and PocketPC handhelds. This Text Revision incorporates information culled from a comprehensive literature review of research about mental disorders and includes associated features, culture, age, and gender features, prevalence, course, and familial pattern of mental disorders. And with Skyscape's patented smARTlink™ technology, DSM-IV-TR can easily cross-index with other clinical and drug prescription products from Skyscape to provide a powerful and integrated source of clinical information that you can carry with you wherever you go! ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars Not much new..., June 2, 2003
    Like other reviewers, I agree that if you own DSM-IV (burgundy cover), there is absolutely no reason for you to purchase the DSM-IV-TR (silver cover). Might as well wait for DSM-V (won't that be a treat). If you are not a mental health professional or graduate student, I can't imagine why you would want to own this book. It is essentially a compilation of symptom and behavior checklists that help clinicians make reliable diagnoses of mental disorders.

    I would recommend strongly (for both professionals, students, and the lay public), DSM-IV Made Easy by James Morrison. Morrison's book makes the DSM come alive. He illustrates technical points well, and provides interesting case examples that make you think of people when you read the diagnosis, not just symptoms.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Informative, but don't buy it if you have the original DSM-4, December 23, 2001
    The text-revised version is virtually identical to the 1994 version of the DSM-IV and not worth buying if you have the 1994 version. Along with the DSM-IV, the DSM-IV Text Revised version is, however, an informative book that provides good introductory information, especially in the "Diagnostic Features" section, about a wide variety of mental disorders. A problem of the manual, in my opinion, is its use of a categorical classification system while ignoring the dimensional nature of psychological phenomena.

    Lee J. Markowitz, Department of Psychology, University of Waterloo (Ontario, Canada)

    4-0 out of 5 stars specific value only, February 27, 2003
    The diagnostic sections remain largely unchanged. Only significant changes were to the text portion, hence the TR designation-- text revised. This is important if you are a student or in a research position. They produced this version in response to the fact that many graduate programs are using the DSM as a text book in their Pathology courses. In this regard, the new version is worthwhile and clearly justified. It also buys them a little more time in development of the DSM V. For clinical purposes, don't bother, it's not worth the money. If you are getting your first copy, or are looking for class, then you want this edition.

    5-0 out of 5 stars IF YOU ARE BUYING THIS BOOK, READ THIS!!!!!, September 23, 2008
    Let me start by saying if you find this useful, please click on the "Yes" next to the question "Did you find this review uesful". The reason i ask is because i think this is important information and with enough yes's, it can move to the top of the reviews.

    My review is to do with the quality of the book. You will see some people complain about the quality of this book. The reason is because there are 2 editions out there in English, the US release and the India release. The main way you can tell is from the cover as the Indian version has "Jaypee" as the publisher. Now, the Jaypee version is legal to buy and sell in the USA, but is of lesser quality (print and paper) than the US version and thats fine as long as you know thats what you are buying. Some people think they are buying a US release and pay US prices, but get a cheaper version.

    As a result, i have created a new listing for the International edition, which can be found using B001GLFCUK in the search box. If it does not work, it is in the process of being accepted by Amazon.

    If you thought you were getting a US verion and your copy says "Jaypee", contact the seller who has to accept it back.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Great for Psychologists, disappointing for Psychiatrists, December 19, 2002
    Of course, this is the bible of mental disorder diagnoses, at least in the U.S. The diagnoses are pretty inclusive, but there are several problems with this book as it pertains to the practice of Psychiatry. First, the book offers about 900 pages on symptom diagnosis, and about half a paragraph on the types of psychiatric medications that are effective for the particular diagnosis. 95% of diagnoses have absolutely no recommendations for treatment.

    This leads to the second problem: differentiation of primary vs. secondary symptoms. The primary symptoms are the cornerstone of diagnosis. The secondary symptoms take way too much space in this book, and are generally not helpful in making a diagnosis, because the vast majority of secondary symptoms overlap in most mental illnesses. The important use for secondary symptoms is for the type of therapy that should be used (psychotherapy or pharmacotherapy). For example, if two patients are depressed, the diagnosis is made from primary symptoms (tiredness, irritability, difficulty concentrating, psychomotor retardation). However, if patient "A" has no significant secondary symptoms like anxiety or insomnia, they can take a high dose of SSRI or Effexor. But if patient "B" has the secondary symptoms of prominent anxiety and insomnia, Remeron or Serzone may be more helpful, and perhaps a benzodiazepine can be added.

    The DSM IV does nothing to further the practicality of psychiatry. And that's a shame, because only a few hundred extra pages of pharmacotherapy recommendations would make the book so much more helpful to psychiatrists, who currently waste a lot of time experienting with every drug for the treatment-resistant patients. Some drugs work better for some people based on secondary symptoms, which cannot be ignored in the choice of drug treatment. A good book that does match secondary symptoms to drug treatment is The Failures of American Medicine.

    2-0 out of 5 stars One Small Step for Man, One Giant Leap For the Insurance Industry, September 19, 2005
    The DSM is very clearly written and can be understood by anyone no matter what his or her educational level. It also contains an exceptional psychiatric glossary and an exceptional psychoanalytically oriented section describing the "defense mechanisms." The public is ambivalent about psychiatry but has embraced the DSM because it provides readers with the illusion that if you read this book you can diagnosis yourself and your acquaintances. What most mental health professional know is that this book is a political document as well as a scientific one. It advances the cause of the psychobioligists (over the environmentalists) and the alliance of drug companies, insurance companies and psychopharmacologists. What the sub-committees who wrote each section of the DSM have done is to organize the vast array of life problems that we have long thought of as "neurotic" (and stemming from early family experience) and placed them side by side with clearly biological diseases like schizophrenia and manic-depression. Why? The aim is to create the impression that all of the ordinary habitual problems in love and work that pretty much everyone agrees come from the way you were brought up in your family are in fact biological - and probably inherited - illnesses. Chronic unhappiness, for example, is coded with the "mood disorders" like classic manic depressive illness. Another facet of the DSM that is pernicisous is that each problem the patient has must be coded separately. There is no way to describe the patient in holistic terms. The patient as described by the DSM (and treated by the psychiatrist guided by this document) ends up looking something like a cubist painting by Picasso. What is discouraged is trying to understand the person's various problems as interrelated parts of a comprehensible whole that has developed over a lifetime from a continual ongoing interaction between the person's life experience and their biology. Among the most pernicious effects of the DSM has been its influence on psychiatric education. Psychiatric trainees are encouraged to use the DSM as their first approach to the patient. It is very sad to see these fledglings struggle to make diagnosis rather than to understand their patient. Do they ask whether the patient has a brother or a sister or was born rich or poor. No! Conference after conference is devoted to figuring out which DSM category the patient fits into. No one dares tells the trainee the little secret of the DSM, which is that about half of patients don't fit into any category at all. Some of us, of course, do have OCD or ADD or are narcissistic or suffer from moderate autism (Asperger's Syndrome) but most of us are not so neatly described. Most people have to be squeezed into categories that we don't fit into. The overall chairman of the committee that wrote the DSM IV (Dr. Allen Frances) has, to his credit, acknowledged (in a New Yorker magazine interview) that the DSM IV categories are neither valid nor reliable and don't describe (in his words) "reality." All of this said, the DSM is a crystalline clearly written document that well summarizes contemporary descriptive psychiatry.

    5-0 out of 5 stars DSM IV TR PAPERBACK, August 11, 2000
    The study of mental disorders is an ever evolving process. It is good to see a revision of the old DSM IV which has been in use for the past five years. The book is printed in a easy to read print size and the layout has been updated. There will be other revisions so this is the first of many, until DSM V.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An extraordinary window into the mechanisms of social ordering, May 17, 2009
    We live in increasingly complex societies where knowledge is endlessly expanding. Unless it is ordered, of course, information itself does us no good. The medical profession was among the first to recognize the need for ordered, cataloged information.

    I became involved with DSM by accident: one of my projects required me to include a few pages copied from the DSM, well within the limits of Fair Use. Normally I would have hopped over to the library, copied the pages and been on my way. One of the local libraries, however, had a circulating copy so I spent more time with the volume than I would have otherwise.

    Consider that there is no small amount of controversy surrounding the DSM (which, by the wsy, stands for "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders"). Many point wagging fingers at it for becoming involved with political issues, such as its well publicized dropping some years back of homosexuality as a "mental disorder". Others claim it is a make-word project for psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, social workers and others who are presented with an ever expanding array of mental disorders which are, in turn, covered by insurance and become cash flow producers for practitioners.

    For the practitioner, however, it is easy to see that it provides a framework within which to compare their observations of a specific client against the collective knowledge of the American Psychiatric Association and its DSM publication committee.

    Leafing through it is a solid reminder of how fortunate many of us are: we don't have any of the major disorders described here. On the other hand, it is interesting to see how inventive the mental health professionals have been in turning so many seemingly commonplace conditions into "mental disorders" for which they can be paid to treat. (Like many, I have a somewhat jaundiced view of psychotherapy. I have know two women who spent more than 25 years each in therapy - before deciding to become therapists.)

    The introductory description of how the DSM came to be, how it is compiled and how it should be applied is fascinating in itself. The 1840 U.S. Census recorded only one variety of mental illness: "idiocy/insanity". By 1870, seven categories were listed. There are now, counting sub-divisions, hundreds of categories.

    It is indeed fascinating to read the descriptions of the disorders and the diagnostic criteria. It is possible - with a little stretching - to see that the future of such medicine may rest in automated diagnostics. The computer program Eliza and other experiments gave a foretaste of that.

    All in all, from a layman's perspective, a fascinating look at the human penchant for collecting, organizing, preserving and disseminating knowledge in action.


    3-0 out of 5 stars Blue Shirt, Partially-Untucked, Red Tie, Ushanka Bedecked Disorder, July 12, 2006
    Hey, it is what it is. I've heard people discuss DSM-IV-TR as if it were the bible of psychiatry, the ultimate textbook of psychiatric pathology. On the other side are the people who would throw it out completely in fear that any label applied to anyone dehumanizes them, reduces them to a category, dooms them to a lifetime of struggling with their new pathological identity.

    DSM is for research purposes. It is a collection of constellations of symptoms, compiled by clinicians, organized into categories by vote of committee, and it does make convenient shorthand for describing patients. If you want to do a study looking at how people respond to a certain medication versus placebo, you need some kind of criteria for deciding which people are appropriate to include in the study, some kind of rigorous way to establish the parameters so that each subject isn't a soft call, and that is what DSM is appropriate for. It's big on reliability, low on validity. Its inter-rater reliability is also what makes it a convenient shorthand for describing patients to other clinicians (or, more often and more urgently, to insurance utilization reviewers). I'm not going to review hours of process notes in a presentation, but if I say someone suffers from recurrent severe major depression with psychosis, you quickly know some relevant things about what the problems are. Even with the big garbage bin categories of schizoaffective disorder or cognitive brain disorder not otherwise specified, you can at least characterize someone within the right ballpark. But that's as far as it is useful for and that's as far as it should be used. Diagnosis is a tricky part of individual patient care and often the hunt for diagnostic precision is a distracter. It plays into to reification myths, the idea that attaching a name to something makes it a distinct, concrete entity. All of these symptoms exist on spectrums, most psychiatric symptoms in their mild to moderate forms can be a normal part of life, and the search for concrete categories can lead us down the wrong road when it drives the treatment rather than being one piece in the formulation of an individual patient. By the way, if there is any doubt that DSM categories are nothing more than descriptions of observations, let the diagnosis "intermittent explosive disorder" illustrate the case, the mostly inanely concrete and pointless reification of anger and/or impulsiveness as a distinct syndrome. It's not just impractical, it's downright embarrassing. An article appeared in the local paper about a proposed link between road rage and intermittent explosive disorder, and two separate patients brought it into session, mockingly questioning me on the authenticity of this diagnosis.

    It is what it is. Worth studying and being very familiar with since it serves as an oft referenced interface between research, Big Pharm, the clinical world, and the business world. Worth studying as, just as the acronym suggests, a statistical manual of carved out syndromes negotiated by mostly dull men sitting through dull meetings. I've never been involved, but I picture constipated men, with coffee and stale non-dairy creamer breath intermingled with a musty smell from their clothes. And these men are passionately arguing and negotiating, with their prides on the line. But that's not really the point, sorry. The point is, if DSM categories are anything other than a minor factor in guiding how you care for your patients, that is your sloppiness. Let's not blame an inert stack of papers for not living up to the sacredness that's been fallaciously imposed on it.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Not the simple, useful nosology you're looking for., August 29, 2001
    I quote Karl Menninger, on the publication of the DSM-II in 1968:
    "This year [1968] the APA took a great step backward when it abandoned the principles used in the simple useful nosology [DSM-I]. In the interest of uniformity, in the interest of having some kind of international code of designation for different kinds of human troubles, in the interest of statistics and computers, the American medical scientists were asked to repudiate some of the advances they had made in conceptualization and in the designation of mental illness."
    Since then, it's gotten worse, not better, with thousands of symptom checklists and numbered diagnoses, conveniently correlated to the ICD-9 standard diagnosis codes for easier billing.
    But people, medical students and physicians included, will insist on treating DSM-IV as a textbook in psychiatry. It's nothing of the sort - it never touches on the essential topics of etiology, prognosis, and treatment. People memorize the checklists and think they understand psychiatry, when in fact they have entirely failed to grasp the noble and great endeavor: riddling out the first causes and mechanisms of our humanity, and how those mechanisms go awry.
    Well, then, you say, what about diagnosis? Isn't this a diagnostic manual?
    In my opinion, for that purpose DSM-IV is worse than useless to a lay person. Consider the previous reviewer who thought the book made a good party game, diagnosing his healthy friends with all sorts of 'disorders'. It wouldn't take much experience in a psychiatric emergency room to realize that psychiatric illness is no party game - but it would take some. Without the context provided by direct, caring relationships with the mentally ill, the jargon and symptoms discussed in this book are meaningless. This book will not teach you to be a psychiatric diagnostician! Only experience can do that. It's intended as a quick reference guide for people with that experience, and a reference concerned with very practical matters not relevant to the patient-physician relationship (such as the standardized conduct and reporting of clinical trials, or how to justify billled services).
    I'd disagree strongly with the prior reviewer who felt psychiatric patients should read their DSM-IV. If you're a psychiatric patient "on the same page" as your health care practictioner, get off the page and get on top of your life! You have more pressing concerns than making yourself into an expert psychiatric diagnostician and quibbling over the learned APA's compilation of symptom checklists - you need to heal.
    In short, I can't imagine recommending this tome to anyone for any purpose - people who need it don't need me to tell them so.
    If you're interested, however, in psychiatry, I urge you to read the classics - Freud for the grounding of psychodynamics, Skinner on behaviorism, Menninger's superb "Man Against Himself" on suicide and depression, Erich Fromm's "Escape From Freedom" and "Man For Himself" for academic psychophilosophy, Kraepelin on dementia praecox (what we now call 'schizophrenia' - I prefer his original term), Wundt on introspective self-analysis, Kraft-Ebbing's "Psychopathia Sexualis" for a laugh and for a serious understanding of the social construction of sexual "disorder" - if you're really interested in these topics, you'll find these authors far more stimulating, I guarantee! ... Read more

    11. The Emotion Code
    by Bradley Nelson
    list price: $19.95 -- our price: $13.57
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0979553709
    Publisher: Wellness Unmasked Publishing
    Sales Rank: 1969
    Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    In The Emotion Code, renowned holistic physician and lecturer Dr. Bradley Nelson skillfully lays bare the inner workings of the subconscious mind. He reveals how emotionally-charged events from your past can still be haunting you in the form of "trapped emotions"; emotional energies that literally inhabit your body.Dr. Nelson explains clearly and concisely how trapped emotions can create pain, malfunction and eventual disease. In addition, trapped emotions can exert a dramatic effect on how you think, the choices that you make, and how successful you will be.Perhaps the most important discovery that Dr. Nelson has made is that trapped emotional energies will often gather around the heart, creating a "Heart-Wall" that may block you from giving and receiving love freely.The Emotion Code is a powerful and simple way to rid yourself of unseen baggage. Releasing trapped emotions often results in the sudden disappearance of physical problems, self-sabotage, and recurring relationship difficulties.Filled with real-world examples from many years of clinical practice, The Emotion Code is a distinct and authoritative new work that is destined to become an instant classic on self-healing. ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars A Unique New Approach to Healing Emotional Hurts, July 22, 2007
    As complementary and alternative approaches to healing began to gain ground, many of us began to notice something strange.

    Some conventional treatments that worked well in the past were often not as effective today. Conversely, treatments that once worked only occasionally started to become more stable.

    Over the last three decades we have seen a lengthening list of new forms of successful physical and psychotherapy treatments are Thought Field Therapy, Emotional Freedom Technique, Quantum-Touch, The Reconnection, Tapas Acupressure Technique and Matrix Assessment Profile. Though there are some therapies that rely on novel technology, many of these new techniques seem to have been discoveries rather than new inventions.

    Physicians and therapists have been pushing and prodding people for millennia. Their powers of observation were often astonishing. So it is unlikely that they would have failed to notice that touching someone here or applying intention there could be an effective form of therapy. Unless these techniques did not work in the past. The emergence of these new, and often very effective therapies, is one of the reasons for believing that the laws of healing are changing and evolving as we are changing and evolving as a species.

    To this list of new therapies we now need to add "The Body Code" of which the Emotion Code is a part.

    So what is it all about? Based on a his observations in practice, Brad Nelson has come to believe that much human suffering is due to negative emotional "energies" that have become "trapped" within us, most commonly around the heart, where they can create a "Heart-Wall" that may block our ability freely to give and receive love. Anyone who has done much body work has seen something similar. I once treated a woman with acupuncture. She had an exquisitely tender knot along the inner border of her shoulder blade. It felt like a small hard miniature person. It turned out to be the signature left by an abusive ex-husband. As she was treated, the knot vanished and with it many years of negative emotions flowed out of her. This is precisely the kind of thing that Brad has observed, but he has devised a series of simple steps that almost anyone can try to help themselves, as an adjunct, rather than a replacement for medical care.

    Though there is a small amount of theory, this is essentially a self-help book for identifying and treating blocked emotions. And it is that second part: the "treating" that is unique. The main tools are muscle testing, magnets (even fridge magnets seem to work) and a willingness to listen to the answer that you body and mind might give you

    Though the techniques described in this fascinating book have not yet been subjected to formal empirical study, I have four reasons for being excited about this new form of treatment.
    First is that the theory makes perfectly good sense: it is entirely consistent with findings garnered in a number of fields of "energy medicine," often more accurately referred to as "information medicine."

    Second, is that there is already an impressive number of people who have been helped by the technique.

    Third, I saw the author and his wife using the technique on an individual and could easily see the flow of energy and the positive impact that it was having on the "patient."

    Fourth is the author himself. I spent many years as a "quack buster," and I am pretty good at sniffing out the real from the, ahem, less so. Brad Nelson is smart, well educated and a poster child for integrity and compassion. He has discovered the things that he has because of his humility and willingness to listen to his patients and listen to the answers that they - and the Universe - were giving him.

    Highly recommended.

    Richard G. Petty, MD, author of Healing, Meaning and Purpose: The Magical Power of the Emerging Laws of Life

    5-0 out of 5 stars This book has the power to change everything!, December 12, 2007
    There is actually a book out there that will, quite possibly, save your life! It's called The Emotion Code and it's author is Dr. Bradley Nelson.

    There have been few books that have left me with a feeling that there is so much more to this life than what meets the eye. In fact, I don't think I have been this excited about a book in years. That is why I felt it appropriate to put a book review on an indie music review site. After all, this book is about as indie as you can get.

    Within the pages of The Emotion Code Dr. Nelson explains the inner workings of the subconscious mind and lays it bare for all to see. He writes simply so you, the readers, are not left scratching your heads in complete bewilderment. This book makes so much sense that it's scary. Why do we have phobias? Why does it seem certain people can't seem to loose weight? Why can't some people seem to ever find someone to love? Why are some people always sick and the doctors can never find the answers? The answers are all within The Emotion Code.

    Dr. Nelson also teaches his readers and patients how to become healers themselves by releasing what are called Trapped Emotions - trapped emotions boil down to an emotional event in our lives that becomes trapped within our energy field/body - yes, we are all made of energy and all energy vibrates at different frequencies. We all send out our own unique frequencies. Have you ever felt like someone was staring at the back of your head so you turn around and someone is staring right at you? Yup, that's what I'm talking about. Well a small part of it anyway. Actually, everything that you can and can't see on this earth is made of energy. Sometimes our trapped emotions get caught in the energy field of our body and can have any number of effects on us. But don't worry, we can all learn how to release them through a technique called muscle testing, which has been around for a while now, but Dr. Bradley has come up with his own techniques. I have tried all of them and they all work (for me some are easier than others). Learning how to find my trapped emotions and release them has been one of the more eye opening experiences in my life, not to mention seeing other people have their emotions released from them is amazing. It can be a lot of fun to release these emotions and at the same time very spiritual.

    Yes, there is a whole theory of medicine in this book. For the most part it's new (Dr. Nelson calls it "Future Medicine") but if we open our minds just a bit, this book can be totally change the lives of every living being on this planet. Every problem that occurs on this earth can be looked at in a totally different light once you have read, studied and understand The Emotion Code.

    Some people, the narrow minded ones might call The Emotion Code "hokey", to those people I say, times are changing. We are learning new things everyday and this book and it's teaching could quite possibly lie in all of our future's. This book has positively affected so many people in my life that I am truly grateful for Dr. Bradley's life changing methods. There are numerous testimonials in The Emotion Code and on his site to give further street cred for his teachings.

    If there is a "Must" book of the year, it's The Emotion Code! - BEAR

    5-0 out of 5 stars Intriguing, informative, and just makes sense!, October 15, 2007
    So interesting and intriguing, I read the entire book cover to cover in one sitting. Dr. Nelson's theories on healing the body just make sense. Our bodies are intelligent and know what they need to be healthy, we just need to know how to ask them, and Dr. Nelson's techniques make it so simple. This book is written in an easy-to-understand format, with lots of real-life experiences and testimonials. Clearly, Dr. Nelson sincerely wants to help people heal themselves and others. I highly recommend this book.

    3-0 out of 5 stars the jury is out, October 20, 2010
    This book explains a potentially superb and relatively simple system of mental/emotional and physical healing by using a small magnet - even a fridge magnet - plus kinesiology (muscle testing for answers, a process related to dowsing) plus an emotion chart. Having tried the process on myself for a frozen shoulder and on a colleague who has been suffering acute arthritic attacks for the last 3 weeks, there have been no measurable or even noticeable improvements. Oddly, my shoulder was actually a little worse the next day.

    I trained in several different kinesiology schools for over 5 years (by the end I was considered an expert, particularly in emotional healing, by many of my fellow students) but did not take it up professionally because my (perhaps unreasonable?) very high standards - for clear, measurable and long-term benefits in the majority of clients - were not met by any program. Most were thorough, some quite sophisticated, but none produced the virtual miracles that they sold themselves by, whether in my fellow trainees or when I had treatments from graduates or even teachers - and I gave and received many sessions indeed.

    So, unlike many others who may try the process in this book, I have few concerns about whether my kinesiology testing part of the process is working or not (and neither kinesiology or dowsing are as easy as they seem, if you insist on accuracy). All I can say is that, while it seems feasible, and I don't really want to discourage anyone interested in trying it, the first results of using the Emotion Code were not encouraging.

    In the last ten years alone I have read about and/or experimented with so many processes for healing: numerous books on nutritional healing, allergies&intolerances, "Miracle Mineral Supplement" - MMS (did not work for anyone I know) & MMS2 (worked for some, but not others), natural remedies, iridology, flower remedies, light/color/sun/earth healings, books on breathing, dowsing, life coaching, etc, etc. So many more books: positive thinking healing including "The Intention Experiment" and many other kinds of healing, such as "Conscious Healing, "Instant Healing", "Quantum Touch", "The Secret of Quantum Living", anything on water by Emoto, "The Healing Power of the Past", "Trauma Release", "The Healing Code", "Matrix Energetics", and not least many different types of emotional healing, such as "The Ultramind Solution", EmoTrance and EFT (dozens of EFT books, including a very sophisticated version in the "Matrix Reimprinting" book).

    The previous decade was just as intensive, with more emphasis on psychotherapy and counseling, none of which helped much (and there are good, research-based books out now explaining just why most of it doesn't work) as well as more alternative therapies like iridology, flower remedies, crystal healing, sound/voice/gong/Tibetan bowl healings, aromatherapy, hypnotherapy, massage, reiki, shiatsu, voice dialogue, shamanic healing including soul retrieval & past lives, rebirthing, dream healing, meditation, yoga - as well as the 5 years of kinesiology trainings in various schools. I'm not even going to start listing the numerous happiness/gratitude books I've read or the endless spiritual books, tapes, CDs and DVDs including (and this is just a partial list) those by Walsch, Marciniak, King, Villoldo, Millman, Clow, Rasha, Osho, Aurobindo, Braden, Hicks, Long, Carey/Zoosh, Carroll, Hubbard, Perkins, Kybalion, Hall, Hawkins (David, not Stephen), de Mello, Redfield, Tolle, Renard and A Course in Miracles.

    Have I read thousands of claims of amazing successes? Yes. Have I met many practitioners who thought they did wonderful work? Also, yes. Have I personally seen, or even known anyone claim, a miraculous healing? No.

    The key to working with long-term illness and serious disease is persistence and patience. In over 3 decades of researching, training in, and consulting professionals on hundreds (yes, truly) of alternative therapies, I have seen small but long-term benefits only from body adjustments (Rolfing & Reflexology but not chiropractic), from acupuncture and other Chinese Traditional Medicine, from natural thyroid (but not the synthetic version), from one Herbal Master (but not any other "expert" in herbal medicine), from a few homeopaths, from 2 psychics specializing in psychic attack/spirit attachment-or-possession/soul retrieval, and from a few of Stewart Swerdlow's processes.

    [Later note: Also impressed with the new mental/emotional healing process explained in "The Healing Code" by Loyd/Johnson/Eble. There are many, many personal successes listed in the reviews on For myself, in the first few weeks there were no improvements in physical symptoms but I did clear some long-standing old upsets. As emotional blockage is at the root of all illness, completely - and quickly - removing mental/emotional fears/anxieties and horrible memories is an impressive start, especially when none of the more famous processes, for instance EFT and Heartmath, have worked that well for me.]

    Nowadays, before entering into trainings and courses I am thinking of taking, I make sure to pay for three sessions with a teacher or expert in the process. If I do not see measurable benefits, I do not enroll. I haven't enrolled in anything in the last 3 years.

    As far as I know, every one who is ardently, and long-term, following a healing path has similar stories of mainly disappointment and a very few small successes. And no one is sorrier than I am to have to write this. My time, money and alternating hope&despair have added up to paying a high price to reach this sad conclusion. Yet I go on seeking: because even now I believe there is nothing better than healing (at all levels) that I could invest in.

    1-0 out of 5 stars BE CAREFUL!, October 29, 2010
    I bought the Emotion Code and tried it for an extended period of time. It did lessen my negative emotions, but they always seemed to come back. I began to get headaches that I had never had before. The entire premise of this program is using magnets (some of them large and powerful, because I bought one) on your brain to lessen the emotions. An M.D. advised me to stop using the magnets on my brain. I did, and the headaches stopped. I recently had the opportunity to ask the same thing of another M.D. who knew nothing about my headaches. I was simply asking about any health risks related to using magnets repeatedly and long term on your brain. He said the same thing - that he would advise any person NOT to do that. The last time I went in to see my Chiropractor, I asked the same thing of him and his partner (another Chiropractor) - they were familiar with the book and Dr. Nelson. They said they thought highly of Dr. Nelson as a person, but they would agree with the M.D.'s about the long term, repeated use of magnets on the brain. They remarked about how many times people do things, with good intention, thinking that there is no health risk, and then sometimes years later people start having all sorts of health problems from it. They said that, in their opinion, the daily, long term use of magnets on the brain would definitely be in the "risk" area - regardless of how much it seems to be safe or help right now. I know Dr. Nelson is a Chiropractor and obviously has a difference of opinion on this, and states this in the book. However, of four health professionals I have asked about this, all four said the same thing - they did not advise the long term, repeated use of magnets on the brain, for safety reasons. There are other techniques that can quickly lessen negative emotions without putting yourself at any risk - that's exactly what the two Chiropractors said to me. Just one persons experience and opinion.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Discovery - try it, January 24, 2009
    I thank Dr. Bradley Nelson for sharing this method of getting in touch with our subconcious mind.

    When I tried the method on myself my biggest suspicion was that my concious thoughts would influence my results. But they didn't. I assumed an emotion would be about a particular event, but my subconcious took me back to totally different memories.

    The only thing the book does not do is warn us that this method will truly makes us face ourselves and our true feelings, about ourselves and others. It is a door to personal growth and peace. It is an opportnity to forgive ourselves, love ourselves, and heal ourselves in places that we had forgotten about and levels that we cannot imagine.

    I do not know of anything else like this.

    I found this to be a very easy book to read. It is organised very well and takes the reader step by step, which I appreciate.

    I believe that Dr. Bradley has explained a very important thing very easily. He carefully and openly says he is not promising all-out-cures. He also points out what this can be used for, and what not.

    To do justice to it, one has to try it for themselves.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Heartfelt and Informative, August 31, 2007
    I haven't finished The Emotion Code yet, but at the rate I'm going, I'll be done with it shortly. It's obvious how much time and research Dr. Nelson has put into this book, but it doesn't read like a boring journal article or preachy self-help title. The tone is genuine and heartfelt, and the message is one of healing. I highly recommend this book to ppl who have chronic pain or illness that lowers their quality of life and to anyone who is interested in furthering their spiritual and emotional development.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, simple and life changing!, June 13, 2009
    I could hardly put this book down! For those who wish to learn a simple technique for releasing hidden or trapped emotions, this is the quickest way that I have ever experienced. The book teaches you everything that you need to know to do this for yourself or for others with no expensive additional purchases necessary. The author recommends the use of a Nikken magnet to facilitate the process, but says that even a business card size refrigerator magnet would work effectively. I was so impressed with this book and the technique that it teaches that I sent out an e-mail to family and friends with a link back to so that they, too, can purchase this book and enjoy the benefits of greater health and peace of mind.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Energy flows where attention goes, November 19, 2010
    I have bought many different energy based books, and used different energy based techniques, with great results.

    Quantum Touch taught me the importance of breath and how to move energy, and the principles of resonance and entrainment. EFT taught me how to release negative emotions within two minutes by tapping on specific energy points. Reiki taught me the importance of healing touch, and using Universal Life Force energy effortlessly.

    Matrix Energetics taught me the importance of intention, and active imagination. I could go on, Qigong, Reiki, Touch of healing, Yoga, Tibetans, Huna..

    A few months ago I attended a Donna Eden seminar, and saw The Emotion Code on sale with her products. I thought, hmm, this is the only product by any other author on sale, so it's recommended by her and must be pretty good.

    It's an easy read, easy to learn, and easy to do the emotion code process. I was able to make it work with a fridge magnet. In fact it's similar to the energy zip up technique used by Donna Eden in which you trace your fingers up the central meridian to your mouth while holding an affirmation in mind, except that here you are tracing backwards over the governing meridian, to release trapped emotions and self testing to see the effect of what you are doing. This may very well be the quickest process work I have done.

    This book contains every thing I like in a good book. There are numerous specific examples and case studies of how this process has worked on many people, and testimonials. I particularly like how he explained that certain emotions are tied to certain organs. Anger to the liver, sadness to the lungs and colon, anxiety to the heart, and peeved to the bladder meridian. What's another word for peeved? Although an emotion is not necessarily limited to a specific organ.

    Not all of our emotions are conscious. Usually, if I am doing change work or people I might ask them what emotion they wish to release, so I was somewhat surprised at the intuitive method he uses to discover what emotion is really troubling the person. In fact not only did I read the book, I noted that he was doing a seminar in San Francisco, and I went. I wished to test this process on someone. I worked on several people, but one young lady in particular, who had been troubled by a knee pain since she was 16. Using the intuitive process we discerned the trapped emotion was blaming. I asked her if this made sense. She said yes. We backtracked to the root cause of the emotion, and I ran a powerful magnet down her spine three times, with an extra one or two passes for good luck. We tested her for the emotion and it was gone, and the pain had disappeared, in fact she felt warm sensations down her right leg as it released.

    One of the intriguing chapters in the book is about heart walls. Almost all of us have them, in which the wall, designed to protect us operates as a barrier to connecting with people, and to intimacy. Mine was about one and a half feet thick, and made of wood. Many of the cases in the book had much bigger heart walls.

    I find many parallels the Emotion Code process and TimeLine Therapy, in which I am trained, and there is a testimonial about a near death experience from someone who also did nlp and nlp and Timeline Therapy.

    One of the other reviewers mentioned a concern about magnets. First, most of the magic of the process is in the intention of the magician not the wand he uses. This process requires you only to move the magnet over the meridian several times. Nowhere in the book does he recommend using a magnet for a prolonged period, and with a rolling magnet like the Nissen magnet you are getting both north and south exposure. You can read more about magnets in Donna Eden's Energy Medicine. Prolonged exposure to one pole for say 8 to 10 hours could be detrimental, and the magnets you can get at Radio Shack are probably powerful enough for your purpose.

    If you wish to explore energy medicine more, I recommend:

    The Energy Medicine Kit [With 43 Energy, Medicine Cards and 1-Inch Cut Glass Crystal and CD and DVD and 28-Page Booklet] [ENERGY MEDICINE KIT] by Donna Eden, which shows energy testing being demonstrated, energy zipup technique, and more advanced techniques, including a five minute daily routine to boost your energy.

    Quantum-Touch: The Power to Heal (Third Edition): The Power to Heal (Third Edition) by Richard Gordon.

    Life Energy: Using the Meridians to Unlock the Hidden Power of Your Emotions: by John Diamond MD, one of the best books I have read on energy medicine, and a complete manual.

    The Touch of Healing: Energizing the Body, Mind, and Spirit With Jin Shin Jyutsu. It's Jin Shin Jitsu, a complete system, very easy to learn and use.

    The EFT Manual (Everyday Eft: Emotional Freedom Techniques) (EFT: Emotional Freedom Techniques)by Gary Craig is a simple tapping process useful for letting go of troubling emotions. Imagine easily letting go of issues such as anger, anxiety, fear, forgiveness, stress, procrastination, traumas, and buy various books on Amazon.

    The Subtle Body: An Encyclopedia of Your Energetic Anatomy is a beatifully illustrated encyclopedic book about energy medicine.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Healer's Manual, May 28, 2009
    The Emotion Code is an excellent source for those who are either in healing business or want to learn about healing. It is all about emotions and how to get rid of blocked emotions. It is an introduction of a technology available to easily remove blockage, which otherwise create physical ailments and hindrances in progress of a person. It is a good guide and easy to understand book, even for novice. The book not only explains the method and techniques to remove blocked emotions, but it also explains the philosophy behind the ideas. For advance learners, it is a good source and a reference guide, which can be kept for regular reference. ... Read more

    12. Buddha's Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom
    by Rick Hanson
    list price: $17.95 -- our price: $12.21
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 1572246952
    Publisher: New Harbinger Publications
    Sales Rank: 1146
    Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and other great teachers were born with brains built essentially like anyone else s. Then they used their minds to change their brains in ways that changed history.

    With the new breakthroughs in neuroscience, combined with the insights from thousands of years of contemplative practice, you, too, can shape your own brain for greater happiness, love, and wisdom.

    Buddha's Brain joins the forces of modern science with ancient teachings to show readers how to have greater emotional balance in turbulent times, as well as healthier relationships, more effective actions, and a deeper religious or spiritual practice.

    Well-referenced and grounded in science, the book is full of practical tools and skills readers can use in daily life to tap the unused potential of the brain and rewire it over time for greater peace and well-being.

    If you can change your brain, you can change your life. ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended, November 23, 2009
    We have often been told that by altering our thoughts, deeds and words, we can create a happier, more fulfilled life. This book, at the intersection between psychology, neuroscience, and Buddhism, offers effective methods to show us how to live such a life by being fully present in the moment.

    Hanson and Mendius, a neuropsychologist and a neurologist and both practicing Buddhists, show us just how the brain programs us to experience the world a certain way by combining information from the external world with information held in neural pathways within the brain. These pathways operate in the background of our awareness, influencing our conscious mental activity. Unless we consciously interrupt this process, we are destined to develop deeper neural networks and even stronger programming.

    The argument that the brain has the ability to simulate the world is not new. What is interesting is how Hanson and Mendius link Buddhist teachings on the causes of suffering (painful situations cannot be avoided but our emotional responses to them can) to the deep programming in our brains caused by ancestral survival strategies. They suggest that this hardwiring helped us survive constant life-threatening situations but is based on erroneous beliefs that we are separate, that it is possible to stabilize an ever changing world, that we can avoid situations that create pain and pursue only those that give us pleasure. None of these beliefs are true or can be attained. Their inherent contradictions cause us to live with an underlying feeling of anxiety taking us away from our true ground of being and causing much physical and psychological ill-health.

    The main part of the book is a practical guide and is packed with useful exercises and guided meditations to help us develop a more loving, happier, and wiser state of being. The methods Hanson and Mendius suggest are informed by their experiences as therapists and management consultants, and are rooted in Buddhist teachings on mindfulness, virtue, and wisdom. I particularly liked the way they use neuroscience to underpin the tools they offer, only choosing "methods that have a plausible scientific explanation for how they light up neural networks of contentment, kindness and peace." Now I know why taking five deep inhalations and exhalations calms me.

    Many of their methods show how to activate desired brain states by consciously changing the association between an event and its painful or pleasurable feelings. This can take a long time. Understanding the neuroscience behind the process can help us be compassionate with ourselves when "swimming against ancient currents within our nervous system."

    This book is very informative, with helpful summaries at the end of each chapter. The authors' writing, even when explaining the intricacies of neuroscience, is infused with humor and fun to read. This is a good working manual to help us to become who we already are, and an important contribution to the growing body of knowledge on the relationship between mind, brain, and consciousness. Highly Recommended.

    Review by Marta Freundlich

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Click and Clack of the Frontal Lobe, December 9, 2009
    "If I know one thing for sure, it's that you can do small things inside your mind that will lead to big changes in your brain and your experience of living. I've seen this happen again and again with people I've known as a psychologist and meditation teacher . . ."
    - Rick Hanson

    Buddha's Brain will not only explain 'why' you should take in the good but 'how' you can achieve a more positive outlook with some basic awareness skills. The authors, Neuropsychologist, Rick Hanson and neurologist, Richard Mendius are the Click and Clack (Car Talk) of the brain. These two brainiacs/meditation teachers will show you how to create positive feelings that have many emotional and health benefits such as a stronger immune system and a cardiovascular system that is less reactive to stress. You'll learn how to create a positive cycle of good feelings that you can then spread to others. Enough with all the negativity out there! Haven't we all had enough?

    As a Type-A New Yorker, one of my favorite exercises in the book is 'Hush the Verbal Centers.' Here you use the power of prefrontal intention to politely (or impolitely) suggest that the verbal activity (voices in your head) shut the hell up. Tell them if they are quiet and well-behaved you will invite them to come yammer away later on after the job interview/tax return/golf putt/midterm exam. For us control freaks this is especially wonderful because now we can control our brains, as well as everything else. Who knew life could be so swell!?!

    Last, Hanson's wife, acupuncturist Jan Hanson writes an appendix on nutritional neurochemistry recommending nutrients, supplements and dietary basics to support brain function. "I've repeatedly seen that small, thoughtful, sensible changes in what you put in your mouth each day can gradually produce significant benefits," writes Hanson.

    The authors have simplified the latest neuroscientific research and presented it in a wise and compassionate style that comforts and educates at the same time. Read this book and then pass it on to the cranky person in your life!
    For more about Buddha's Brain or articles, talks and other educational resources, [...]

    3-0 out of 5 stars Not for everybody, April 24, 2010
    This is a very good book in many ways, but it has one drawback that I think is very serious. Basically, the authors do not explain that the exercises they describe may lead to pain and frustration instead of increased well-being. They do point out, briefly, that if doing one of the exercises is uncomfortable, the reader should "feel free" to stop. This is not, however, nearly enough.

    Let me explain.

    The aim of the book is to guide people to increase the frequency and power of positive emotions in their lives--emotions like equanimity, compassion, gratitude and joy. (And, of course, to decrease the power of negative emotions like fear and hate.) There are a number of ways to do this, but the technique which the authors describe in the most detail is guided imagery. In guided imagery one imagines a situation that will trigger the desired emotion. Each time one creates these emotions, one strengthens their pathways in the brain/mind and thus makes oneself a happier/better person.

    The problem is that when some people do this imagery they are unable to generate the intended feelings. Instead they feel disappointment and frustration at being unable to do what comes so easily (it seems) to other people. If the person has a history of failure at trying to improve her mood, and if the person has been told all her life to cheer up, look at the bright side, etc., than this can be quite painful, and, ultimately, psychologically harmful.

    To see if these methods will work for you, try calling up some happy memory and see if it makes you feel happy. If it does, buy this book. There's a lot of good stuff here. If it doesn't, I recommend trying "The Mindful Way Through Depression". It has much of the same material but it is directed at people who have experienced long-term mental pain--not just depressives, but also people suffering from anxiety, chronic pain, and so forth. It is a tremendously good, useful, insightful book. (No, I have no connection with the book or its authors. I just think it's a great book.)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The authors deserve a nobel prize, March 8, 2010
    This is one of the most amazing, life changing books I've ever read, and I've read a LOT in my 51 years. It's the only book I've ever taken the time to review on Amazon and I'd give it 100 stars if I could. Bringing together wisdom from the fields of psychology, neurology, and contemplative practice, they teach how we can create greater happiness, joy, & love in our lives. This is all based on recent western scientific research and thousands-of-years old wisdom, and not fluff created in the imagination of a new age entrepreneur. The authors describe how thousands of generations of social and environmental evolutionary pressures have wired our brains & bodies to work they way they do, and how we can use our mind to change our brain so that we handle stress better, and experience greater peace and joy. The implications of doing the work suggested by this book has the potential to profoundly improve the quality of one's life, and all those one contacts, and to change the course of the evolution of our species. As Rick says (in an interview), we have the brain of a cave-man with nuclear weapon capabilities. We need to learn how to be more loving, aware, compassionate, and self disciplined in how we treat the earth if we are to flourish as a species, and this book gives some practical tools on how to do this. I've been sharing some of these ideas in the classes I teach and many of my students have bought the book also. The authors also have a website with many great, free, down-loadable articles that elaborate on the ideas.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A great resource to assist the Western, logic-driven mind to make sense of it's "Self", January 27, 2010
    I am a Soto Zen Buddhist living the corporate life. Having studied
    physiology and now working as a coach and organisational change
    consultant I found this book perfectly meets me where my western mind
    is and succinctly points a guiding finger to help me understand
    my Self. Many times I come back from meditation retreats and struggle
    to make sense of and integrate my mindfulness practice within the
    context of my ordinary life. This book helps A LOT!

    The chapter on the self is worth the cover price alone. This chapter
    beautifully brings together neuroscience, psychology and Buddhism into
    a clear description on how we cause ourselves to suffer.

    Highly recommended.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Buddha's Brain on My Mind!, November 3, 2009
    "Buddha'a Brain" is a highly practical, no-nonsense manual to your brain that teaches you to drive your brain using the gearbox of your mind. This very well researched book trains you to fire up your brain, to cool it down, and even to expand your "consciousness workspace." The neuro-anatomical commentary that accompanies the Sunyuata doctrine of "no fixed self" is masterful! "Buddha's Brain" is a laconic, pragmatic cousin to James Austin's "Zen and the Brain." Bound to be a classic!

    Pavel Somov, Ph.D.
    author of "Eating the Moment," "Present Perfect: a Mindfulness Approach to Overcoming Perfectionism and the Need to Control," & "The Lotus Effect"

    5-0 out of 5 stars A pithy, pragmatic introduction to brain science & meditation, February 18, 2010
    I started using this book in my life coaching work and personal meditation practice before even finishing it! Authors Rick Hanson and Richard Mendius have published a gem: This is a highly readable guide to actually using scientific knowledge about the brain in meditation and daily life. Buddha's Brain is written for ease of learning and retention. It's chapter synopses, guided meditations, and pithy, memorable language make it a joy to read and easy to apply.

    I would have been happy with this book based on the chapters on The Evolution of Suffering, Mindfulness, Concentration, and Self alone. In the Foundations of Mindfulness chapter, the authors introduce the notion of neurological diversity, providing pragmatic examples of how each of us can adjust meditation practice to our own situations and attentional tendencies. The chapter on concentration,like the rest of of this book, strikes an elegant balance between touching on neurological factors (in this case the role of hormones and gamma waves) with very useful techniques for training the mind. The chapter on Self is beautifully written, weaving together neurology, social factors, and practical tips for relaxing into just being -- and being happier.

    Buddha's Brain is a wise, accessible, and fascinating practitioner's companion. It is a resource I'll return to again and again, and is an excellent complement to two other books on my meditation and neurology bookshelf, Train Your Mind Change Your Brain and Being a Brain-Wise Therapist: A Practical Guide to Interpersonal Neurobiology (Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology).

    Highly recommended!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Enlightenment 101 !, December 12, 2009
    This book is a perfect balance of what I have been looking for. It merges Spirituality with Science, which is not an easy task. It seems that this book has been taylor made to all my personal likings of what a book should be. The chapters are powerful and to the point, packing a lot of information, paragraph for paragraph. Furthermore, chapters are segmented into even smaller sections, which makes it easy to read and come back to. There is also a chapter summary of key points made at the end of each chapter. Key points explain how your brain works, how you can pay better attention to the way you think, and with practice, how changing your thoughts can change your life. Let it be understood, its no easy task to change old thinking patterns, but this book has been very insightful in helping to allow you to clearly see how the law of "cause and effect" within your own thinking patters shape and form the life you live today. This book is not a typical self improvement book... Id rather categorize it as a book to healthy thinking, based on Eastern philosophy. Id been waiting for this book to come out for a long time, and I give it a 10/10. Rick Hanson and Richard Mendius have a way of explaining very complicated things in very simple ways. If you take the time to consistently apply the principals in this book to your life, you will see changes.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Loved Buddha's Brain!, May 1, 2010
    I was interviewing Rick on the radio (Mind Matters; KKNW 1150 AM) and I read Buddha's Brain for the interview. I read a lot of books and enjoy many of them, but this was outstanding, especially if you have an interest in understanding the scientific perspective on the mechanics of spiritual growth. Rick writes clearly of the challenges anyone faces who is interested in developing self-awareness and greater love, compassion, and happiness. To this discussion, he artfully weaves the latest findings in neuropsychology with traditional spiritual practices, showing that West and East are indeed meeting in meaningful ground important to all of us. It's a fascinating read and I highly recommend it. This book assures you that you not only can grow spiritually; you can actually change the way your brain functions.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great Job!, February 1, 2010
    "Buddha's Brain" is a book that is similar to the works of Dr. B. Allan Wallace, in that it attempts to conflate ancient contemplative practice with hard science, in this case: Neurophysiology. The authors successfully demonstrate that the older parts of our brain (the brain stem and mid brain) are evolutionary holdovers that served the purpose of increasing the chances of survival (and therefore the ability to procreate) yet, in this time and place we no longer have to be subservient to them. That is; we do not have to spend our lives chasing carrots (and being disappointed when we don't recover any) or avoiding sticks (and being disappointed when we get clocked in the head by one.) The crux of the argument is that we have newer, more evolved portions of the brain PFC, ACC etc., that can serve as bridges to other states of being and/or consciousness which will allow for a more unified, empathetic and compassionate life for all.

    The most profound portion of this volume, for me anyway, was the prospect that there really is no physiological "hard wiring" of a distinct self. That is: the self which we refer to as "I" may just be another creation of the mind, a montage of distinct "nows" that the mind stitches together in a relatively seamless pattern with "self" or "I" at the center, which doesn't have a physiologic counter part. "Buddha's Brain" is a new, refreshing piece that discusses arcane wisdom in contemporary parlance. 4 and � stars from me, with a 4 on the board.
    ... Read more

    13. Thrive: Finding Happiness the Blue Zones Way
    by Dan Buettner
    list price: $26.00 -- our price: $17.16
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 1426205155
    Publisher: National Geographic
    Sales Rank: 1625
    Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    What makes us happy? It's not wealth, youth, beauty, or intelligence, says Dan Buettner. In fact, most of us have the keys within our grasp. Circling the globe to study the world's happiest populations, Buettner has spotted several common principles that can unlock the doors to true contentment with our lives.

    Working with leading researchers, Buettner identifies the happiest region on each of four continents. He explores why these populations say they are happier than anyone else, and what they can teach the rest of us about finding contentment. His conclusions debunk some commonly believed myths: Are people who have children happier than those who don't? Not necessarily—in Western societies, parenthood actually makes the happiness level drop. Is gender equality a factor? Are the world's happiest places to be found on tropical islands with beautiful beaches? You may be surprised at what Buettner's research indicates.

    Unraveling the story of each "hotspot" like a good mystery, Buettner reveals how he discovered each location and then travels to meet folks who embody each particular brand of happiness. He introduces content, thriving people in Denmark, in Singapore, in northeastern Mexico, and in a composite "happiest place in America." In addition, he interviews economists, psychologists, sociologists, politicians, writers, and other experts to get at what contributes to each region's happiness.

    Buettner's findings result in a credible, cross-cultural formula and a practical plan to help us stack the deck for happiness and get more satisfaction out of life. According to Buettner's advisory team, the average person can control about forty percent of his or her individual happiness by optimizing life choices. These aren't unreasonable demands on a person's lifestyle, and they often require only slight changes. They fall into three categories that make up the way we live our lives: the food we eat, the way we exercise, and the social networks we foster. It's all about nourishing the body and the spirit. Heeding the secrets of the world's happiness all-stars can help us make the right choices to find more contentment in our own lives and learn how to thrive.

    ... Read more


    4-0 out of 5 stars A Mix of Messages about Happiness, October 31, 2010

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    Thrive has at its core a very interesting idea. Based on a number of surveys, Dan Buettner identified four areas of the world which are each known for their high happiness levels. These are Denmark, Singapore, Monterrey Mexico, and San Louis Obispo California. That's not to say that people in Singapore are happier than various locations in Europe and the US - but Buettner wanted to examine a range of cultures, so he was looking at "the happiest in their region".

    Buettner began with Denmark. Apparently the reason people are happy there is that they are all white, rich, and have self-funded a beautiful social network, sort of like setting up an ideal boarding school that you live in. Oh, and their motto is "well it could be worse". I oversimplify a bit :) But it does seem to boil down to these ideas. Everyone feels like their neighbors are just like them, they all have good money and job opportunities, and they are OK with paying high taxes because it invests right into their fairly small community. Denmark has about 5.3 million people - smaller than New York City.

    Now, to be fair, the schools in Denmark encourage them to learn fun, artistic skills. They have beautiful nature around them, they all enjoy riding bikes and stay healthy. Their economy runs smoothly. And again, with their way of life being "This is good enough, be happy it's not sliding downhill," they end up being content with what they have. Which certainly is a lesson that everybody can learn. The average happiness level here was 8/10.

    On to Singapore. This is perhaps an "opposite case" to Denmark. Rather than being all the same, Singapore has many different cultures intermingled. Because many of these were foreigners, the government felt the best way to have coexistence happen smoothly was to create strict laws about everything. No gum. No trash. Every person felt as if they could strive and succeed, by following those rules. They feel safe, and that makes them serene.

    Where in Denmark they think about how things are OK compared to the alternatives, in Singapore they focus on the things they can get. They're jealous of those with more money and drive to get that money for themselves. Buettner talks to people with 300 shoes who go to wild parties. Where in Denmark it seemed people were low key and quiet, here it's about glitz and glamour. Interestingly, this "happiest place" in the Asian region is only 6.6 on the happiness scale.

    On to Mexico. This is yet another situation entirely. The Mexicans feel their government is incredibly corrupt and have no sense of security there. They certainly do not have lots of money or ample jobs. Instead, what makes the Monterrey group happy is family, community, and religion. They have the sense that they are all in this together - this bleak state - and as long as they can laugh, sing, and enjoy what they have, they can get through it. Their average income is $11,000 a year - certainly not enough to buy 300 pairs of shoes, but enough to stay fed and sheltered. Their community is their main source of support. They don't crave high def TVs or fancy cars. They enjoy dancing together at the local celebration.

    It's worth noting though that Monterrey is the most wealthy area of Mexico. So they know they are better off than all other Mexicans, which can certainly effect how content you are with what you have.

    Last we come to San Louis Obispo. We have circled around to a rich, exclusive area again. Apparently students who go to school here are warned that while they will fall in love with the beauty of the surrounding nature and the great arts and social scene of the town, that it's unlikely they'll be able to afford living here. It is a wealthy retreat that many desire to join. People come here who love the scenery and who appreciate the artistic offerings. It is almost back to the "boarding school" idea, that you have a lot of money and you use that money to create an enclosed world of your dreams.

    Buettner tries to sum up these four different locations with some ideals that we can all live by. Some of them make sense. If you're self employed, you have some of the highest chances of happiness. Sure, because you can work on what you want to work on, you can direct your own life, and you reap all the rewards. In Okinawa there is no word for "retire". People do not stop doing what they love just because they hit an arbitrary age limit. Sure, they might change their interests over time, but they stay engaged and active in them.

    Other suggestions seem very iffy though. "Join a church"? While in Mexico their religion gives them a common support system to fight the government's corruption, the book also says that there are many very religious locations that are the most miserable on earth. It hardly seems that going to church, if you're not interested, can inject happiness into your life. Quite the opposite.

    Also, Buettner apparently is against living together before marriage. He says people more likely to live together are more likely to divorce. Sure, and you can also say that people who are adamantly against living together are also the ones who will stay in abusive relationships because "divorce is wrong". With stats saying that almost 1/3rd of women are abused by their husband or boyfriend, I wouldn't be so quick to jump on the "stay together at all costs" bandwagon.

    I also had an issue with how gleefully Buettner seemed to enjoy finding wealthy people in these different locations and living the high life with them. I had to wade through details of sake parties, Champagne parties, and the famous people he met. I really didn't read the book to learn about Buettner's party life. I wanted to know how average people lived - not how the rich and famous hob-nobbed with nobility.

    Still, there was a lot of valuable information here to learn from the different cultures. You could of course take away the thought that being wealthy can buy you happiness and let you live somewhere that's beautiful and well taken care of. You can imagine that the fun of making money and buying lots of things can keep fueling your happiness. The book seems to say all of these things. However, I like to look at the various scenarios a bit differently.

    In Denmark, they were all happy with what they had. Sure, again, they were wealthy! They were in a calm, no-ethnic-strife, beautiful location. But even so, a key part of their contentment was that they appreciated what they had, and did not chase additional wealth or items.

    In Singapore, a key seemed to be that they felt safe and secure. One woman said she could go walking through the city at midnight and feel no concern. Their world was organized to help them thrive, based on their energies and efforts.

    In Monterrey, the community provided their pleasure. They thrilled with family and friends, spending time together, and simply having fun. It wasn't about money or buying things - it was about relationships.

    In California, it was about appreciating natural beauty and the arts. If you give yourself time to walk quietly through the forest, and then relax in the evening by listening to beautiful music, it brings joy to your heart.

    I recommend reading Thrive to learn more about these different groups of people, but be aware that sometimes you'll have to sift through what Buettner is saying in order to figure out what is important to you.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wish he had covered more countries like in The Blue Zones, September 20, 2010

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    Having read The Blue Zones and learned a lot from that book, I was eager to read this book. And it hasn't disappointed. Knowing the one area, San Luis Obispo here in California which he writes about, and knowing what he writes is true, made me believe the rest of the book as well.

    Although his chapter on Denmark/Danmark was interesting for what it didn't say. Yes, they pay something around 68% in taxes, but in 2010 they unlike many countries, are still heavily Caucasian, and many studies show that when your neighbor looks more like you and has the same values etc that its not as hard to deny them needed services, and in doing so you have a more stable country/society.

    Same with the other countries like Mexico and Singapore which are also covered in the book. Although I wonder if Mexico which has been in the news so much and has regions where drug killings are the norm, would be seen as a happy country in late 2010.

    I recommend The Blue Zone book more because it covers many more countries and shows that the simpler the lifestyle the happier people tend to be. Am also intrigued that in most happy countries people ride bikes more, eat simpler native foods, sleep more, and are more family oriented. Something Americans are just now rediscovering.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Is the American system good for productivity, but not for the soul?, October 3, 2010

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    Mr. Buettner, New York Times author of the bestseller "The Blue Zones" used happiness research and National Geographic's dime to identify and visit the four exceedingly happy places on earth; Jutland Peninsula in Denmark, Singapore, Mexican state of Nuevo Leon, and San Louis Obispo of California. Through interactions and interviews with "writers, economists, social scientists, demographers, physiologists, anthropologists, prime ministers, and even comedians" in these regions, he concocted a list of "subtle changes in your surroundings" to set the reader on the path of a happy and fulfilled life. Many myths are debunked along this journey. Not only does more money only marginally impact happiness, any amount beyond the capacity to obtain the necessities of life is deemed as unnecessary and often harmful to the mental state. Scientific evidence has shown that "physical beauty, financial success, or the recognition of peers" are not true sources of happiness.

    "During the past 35 years, while Americans have worked to increase our income by 70 percent and the size of our houses have doubled, we've become no happier as a nation." In the last chapter, Mr. Buettner delves into the "subtle" changes to improve your happiness. Except, most of these "subtle" recommendations were anything but subtle. If you live in Moldova, move to Denmark?! Okay, so the author admitted most of us do not have that luxury. So instead, limit your shopping hours and your workweek which means your high consumption life style will experience a drastic reduction (hardly a subtle change). Other recommendations are meant for policy makers, not individuals: Grant maternity leave, provide more community space, e.g. parks, vibrant city centers, restaurants etc. Some of the advices are not widely applicable: Consider not having children, pay off your house, avoid credit cards. While paying off your house and credit cards is a great idea, most people should focus first on paying off credit card debt with lone shark level interest rates than paying off home mortgages.

    Many of the practical tips were not covered in Mr. Buettner's journey to the four happiest world regions, and yet, they mysteriously made the cut in the "Conclusion" chapter. Each chapter had a nicely summarized takeaway lessons section, and Mr. Beuttner would have served the readers better by leaving all of the advice to these sections alone. This would have been a four star book sans the "Conclusions" chapter. Still a very useful and entertaining book.

    3-0 out of 5 stars interesting, but...., November 12, 2010

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    Dan Buettner researched "happiness hot spots" for this book - Denmark, Singapore, Mexico and San Luis Obispo. Very different places indeed, yet the people living there are considered the happiest in the world. So Mr Buettner decided to find out what causes happiness among these people.

    He starts with Denmark. Denmark has the highest suicide rate in the world but the people are the happiest. Seems like an odd contradiction, but the theory is the Danish report suicides honestly whereas other countries do not. I have no way of knowing if it's true, but I would venture to guess the Danes don't know if it's true, either.
    And when you compare the Danish lifestyle with the American lifestyle, there's just no comparison. Lifelong health care, free education, being paid to go to the university is just something the Danes take for granted. If you're an American, you know that none of these things happen in the USA. So what if you pay 68% of your wages in taxes? You're actually ahead of the game compared to the USA with taxes and health insurance taken out of your paycheck.

    And that's where I find it hard not to consider. Mr Buettner talks about the people in Mexico being so happy, but they have a very high crime rate. It would seem to me that would make you less happy to live in a place with a high crime rate, where violent and bloody drug wars go on, but apparently the Mexicans don't let it stop them from being happy.

    There are a few good points, but you probably know them. Money, prestige, titles will not make you happy. Living in a huge house or driving the most expensive car won't make you happy. But exactly what will make you happy? A committed relationship, work that is fulfilling, and feeling secure is some of what makes a person happy. It is totally at odds with the high divorce rate and the high desire for material goods in the USA. Most of us want the expensive house, car and clothes (notice I say most, not everybody does) and wanting those things makes happiness almost impossible to achieve. After all, the fully loaded 2010 Lexus is "old" on January 1, 2011. There's always a new gizmo to buy.
    So while I know what makes people in other countries happy, I'm not really sure how to use that knowledge to improve my own (or anybody else's) life. Many people are unhappy in their jobs, but they can't just quit and get re-educated for a job that is a better fit for them. Or just quit and take something with less pay or less benefits.

    I recommend this book if you want to see how other countries judge happiness, but for me, it didn't give me the tools I need to become happier. Perhaps I'm just a grumpypants, but there you are. You may get something totally different from the book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent tune-up manual, but I am a suspect reviewer., November 18, 2010
    Since I have written about Dan Buettner in The Washington Post for about thirty years, and since I am also in this book in a brief passage about Denmark, please hold this review up for close scrutiny. If you do, I think you may still find it of value.

    THRIVE is a valuable book for those of us who want to tune up our happiness because it doesn't preach at the reader, it allows us to travel with Dan as he listens to those who in small and at times large measure are examples of traits and qualities that can make a person happy. Dan's great strength--in all of his research projects over the decades--has been the ability to ask the questions we need answered, and then allow us most of the time to discover the answers ourselves.

    Dan is also an extraordinarily descriptive writer. His description of my home and life in Denmark made me homesick (I am in the states as I write this). Reading THRIVE is like being there, which is a writing trait that seldom happens in a how-to-book.

    You probably won't see this Buettner trait unless you spend time with him: Dan is a living example of what this book preaches, rather than an author who writes about something but doesn't live it. Take the importance of family. Last month, after reading THRIVE and seeing the importance it puts on family, I spent two weeks with Dan and his three kids in Minneapolis. It was a very glam time in many ways: a movie star, a famous director, elegant gatherings of very bright people. But at night, when the big party was gathering steam and growing, Dan's comment to me without even thinking was, "Actually, I miss my kids. Let's go home."

    THRIVE is an honest book and an elegant book on a complex issue. You'll enjoy taking this journey with Dan.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A perfect balance of story and science..., November 17, 2010
    In Thrive Dan Buettner strikes the perfect balance of story and science.
    Too much of the former and we're in the bad part of the self-help aisle; too much of the latter and it's all numbers in Yawnsville.
    But Buettner makes this journey an entertaining and informative one, never losing sight of the big picture - defining, and ultimately finding, what has heretofore been ineffable: happiness. This book makes me happier. Literally.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Finding your happy place, October 2, 2010

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    What is it about some places that make them happier than other places? Author Buettner identifies Denmark, Singapore, and Monterrey Mexico as the happiest places on their respective continents, and then throws in San Luis Obispo, California as the second happiest place in the U.S. (The happiest is Provo, Utah, but for some unknown reason he didn't go there, physically or otherwise.)

    On the surface, this seemed at first to be a book about how we need socialism to be happy, but its analysis is a lot deeper than that. The question for me, and apparently also for the author, is what is it about these particular social environments that make their people happier than most other places on Earth no matter where they are on the political spectrum.

    A follow-up question, is how can we bring that happiness to other places? One of the keys to happiness in Denmark and Singapore, for example, is minimal ethical corruption. And that makes tons of sense. If the tax rate in Denmark is 68% of income, in return for a wide variety of social benefits and a real economic safety net for citizens, then the key to that working is trust by the people that the money taken in taxes truly will be spent efficiently in providing the promised services.

    Personally, I think that's why folks in the U.S. are currently so unhappy with the idea of bigger government - because there is very little trust that added taxes would be returned in added benefits.

    Singapore addressed that issue head on, deciding corruption could only be reduced from the top. This is done via a combination of high pay for top administrators (so they won't need bribes), and strict enforcement of stringent laws. The price is freedom, but Singapore feels people are happier in a place where a woman can walk anywhere at night without being bothered, than in a place with a viable two party electoral process. In other words, personal safety and economic freedom may be more important to happiness than other freedoms.

    In Denmark, the population is less diverse, achieving the same goal via shared Protestant values. Denmark aims to be a place where few are rich, and even fewer are poor.

    Singapore has more truly wealthy people, but also ensures work opportunities and other non-consumption benefits for the poor (called workfare, not welfare.)

    Mexico is a bit of a special case, in that corrupt officials are still a factor, but people in Monterrey have found ways to be happy anyway, through family, friends, and faith. Like the Danes, they work hard, but not too hard. And they know how to laugh in situations that might otherwise bring tears. They also illustrate that being rich only adds to happiness up to a fairly low point.

    I was happy to see the author bring this home with a final section on how to improve your own happiness. One suggestion is obvious: move where folks are happy. More usefully, we are given many suggestions on how to make any place healthier and happier (such as making it easy for folks to walk and bike, and harder for them to smoke or to load up on unhealthy food), as well as many suggestions for making our individual lives happier (such as finding work we love that doesn't involve long commutes.)

    Highly recommended!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Not Just Getting By, But Thriving, December 4, 2010

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    I enjoyed Dan Buettner's previous book, "Blue Zones," which identified regions that promoted longevity, a lot. When I found out he'd written a new book that looks at the world's happiest areas, I was intrigued. Americans, in spite of our great wealth and consumption, still remain generally unhappy. I was hoping Buettner could provide insights into what makes a culture happy and how to apply these findings to the United States.

    The book begins with a general look at happiness. Buettner helpfully interviews experts on happiness to solicit their thoughts before he launches into his own research. This section was helpful, but not too eye opening personally.

    Next he dives right into the meat of the book: an examination of four of the happiest regions in the world: Denmark, Singapore, the Monterrey area of Mexico, and San Luis Obispo (California). In every case, he examines the general qualities that make each place the happiest while focusing on stories and interviews that prove his point. After discussing each region, Buettner sums up the primary reasons for each place's happiness.

    For a conclusion, he discusses a general "how-to" guide to happiness based on his previous research. Since the places are so different (e.g. Singapore and Denmark), this must not have been an easy task. But, he does a fine job of summing up the general principles that lead to happy people. This section was the most useful since it distilled the whole book into a practical guide.

    Overall, I enjoyed "Thrive: Finding Happiness the Blue Zones Way." It confirmed a few of my ideas and challenged others. The book's anecdotal nature may fail to convince everyone, but then again, happiness is a very subjective topic. Buettner deserves credit for tackling such an important topic. I recommend it to anyone concerned with how the US can become a happier, better functioning place.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Many Paths to Happiness, November 21, 2010

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    60% of happiness is not under our control, it is a point set at birth as happiness set point, largely due to our genes. Like buying a thermostat whose temperature you can change only so much. This book is about the remaining 40% in thermostat that you can change - what can we do to improve happiness.

    Thriving is a condition of 8/10 happiness score and having the optimism that the score will remain so in future. The book starts with the premise that scientific studies alone cannot capture what makes us happy, and to capture that, Dan Buettner goes to "four of the places identified by researchers as world leaders in happiness". He does not really clarify, how these places were picked as "world leaders in happiness". The Gallup happiness score of Denmark is 8/10 and Singapore is 6.6, a big spread between the four happiest places. Looks like that he picked the happiest place in each region of the world. The happiest places he chose are akin to what he calls the Blue zones - areas of highest longevity - largest number of centenarians per capita

    The author goes to each of the four places in the world, talks to a variety of people, and then summarizes his impressions of what makes people happy in that part of the world. There is no common thread in all these four places and he attributes the happiness in each region to different reasons. In Denmark, it is the security of cradle to grave welfare system, having the ability to have their say, and enjoying the interests and hobbies. The author attributes the happiness of Singapore to safety, security, cleanliness, and high employment despite citizens having limited say in running of the state. In Monterrey region of Mexico, it is the family, social circle, and religion that makes people happy despite the high crime and inefficient government. Natural beauty and the arts make people happy in San Luis Obispo. So, happiness has a cultural and individual context. People from Denmark will not be happy in Singapore and those from Singapore will not be happy in Mexico.

    Some contradictions are difficult to reconcile: Denmark is the happiest place but it also has the highest suicide rate in the world. In places, where there is gender equality, the men tend to be happier; in the places with the gender inequality, women are happier!

    Some factors that we think will make us happy, actually do not, for example, weather and wealth: people in Denmark are the happiest despite cold winters with long nights. "Sunshine bonus" is very little in Mexico. People in cold freezing Minnesota are happier than those in sunny Florida. How rich you are, depends on how few your needs are. And appreciating few things that you have brings a lot more contentment. Quality of social interaction is more important than the quantity - happy friends will make you happy and depressed friends will make you unhappy. Deep conversations with friends help us make sense and meaning of the chaotic world.

    In the last chapter, based on his visits to these four regions, scientific evidence, and talking to the experts in the field of happiness, Dan Buettner lists a variety of factors that universally make people happy, amongst others: safety, security, health, some basic amount of money to meet minimum needs, social circle and support, self-employment, and flow - enjoying activities that you forget about yourself. Work for contentment and happiness will follow. There is a long list of recommendations he makes to increase happiness, divided into the categories "Thriving Centers"- community, social life, workplace, home, financial life and self.

    Overall the book is well written and an easy read, my quibbles with this book are that he does not really clarify on what basis are these places are considered "happiest" and there are no references. Repeatedly I found myself saying hmm? Where does he get that from? Like 60% happiness is non flexible and 40 flexible etc. etc. I would have liked to look at the sources to see the quality and credibility of information. Therefore it is hard to sort out what is science, what is experiential and what is anecdotal.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Looking for happiness...., October 4, 2010

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    Overall, I think most people want to find happiness and what Dan Buettner has done in his book, "Thrive, Finding Happiness the Blue Zones Way" is to travel the world, to bring insight into how some areas of the world seem to find it and how we may be able to learn from these "blue zones". In the book he covers Denmark, Singapore, Mexico & San Luis Obispo, CA.

    I would say this was a pretty interesting book. I enjoyed reading the individual stories the most, where people seemed to have nearly nothing, but felt grateful and happy. Clearly, money did not create happiness. Their lives were, however, rich in other ways-the love of family, friends, time to be together, time for hobbies and interests, social time and a good work-life balance. Seems very simple, but oftentimes, what we are looking for is not too far from where we are looking, we just have to be tuned in.

    Each chapter was about a certain region that Mr. Dan Buettner had found to be a blue zone, where happiness is rated higher than other parts of the world. Each chapter was interesting because though a few of them had some of the same characteristics that make them happier, each was a stand alone. Denmark, with a very high tax rate, trusts their government and their citizens, they feel secure and taken care of. They value the arts and though they work hard, they do not work long, at approx. 37 hours per week. They value family and time to enjoy their time, including 6 weeks of vacation a year. Singapore, seems to be very strict, and a sterile environment, but people feel safe there and secure in knowing that there are consequences to their actions. There is less of a gap between rich and poor and they feel this to be a good thing, so each citizen's needs are met. They value security over freedom.
    In Mexico, we find a culture of family, faith and social interaction. They feel free and are grateful for what they have, which fosters happiness. Lastly, we visit San Luis Obispo, CA, a small town half way between San Francisco and Los Angeles. In this town, health helps to spur happiness. They have created hiking and biking trails, have anti-smoking policies and have minimized extended growth, signs and fast food. People in SLO, as it is called support the arts and have a town square to socialize in and enjoy their off-time.

    As you can see, there is some cross over between the four places and then each also held their own reasons for why they garner happier citizens.

    I felt that this was an interesting read about the dynamics of happiness around the world and what makes some people happier than others. If you are looking for a book that will make YOU happier, this is probably not it. If you are interested in reading about other cultures and places and how they have found a secret to happiness you will find this an interesting read.

    ... Read more

    14. Change Your Brain, Change Your Life: The Breakthrough Program for Conquering Anxiety, Depression, Obsessiveness, Anger, and Impulsiveness
    by Daniel G. Amen
    list price: $16.00 -- our price: $9.60
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0812929985
    Publisher: Three Rivers Press
    Sales Rank: 1304
    Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    In this breakthrough bestseller, you'll see scientific evidence that your anxiety, depression, anger, obsessiveness, or impulsiveness could be related to how specific structures in your brain work. You're not stuck with the brain you're born with. Here are just a few of neuropsychiatrist Dr. Daniel Amen's surprising--and effective--"brain prescriptions" that can help heal your brain and change your life:
    To Quell Anxiety and Panic:
    Use simple breathing techniques to immediately calm inner turmoil
    To Fight Depression:
    Learn how to kill ANTs (automatic negative thoughts)
    To Curb Anger:
    Follow the Amen anti-anger diet and learn the nutrients that calm rage
    To Conquer Impulsiveness and Learn to Focus:
    Develop total focus with the "One-Page Miracle"
    To Stop Obsessive Worrying:
    Follow the "get unstuck" writing exercise and learn other problem-solving exercises
    ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars A 1st -hand view, April 22, 2001
    Since both myself and a loved one have been diagnosed and treated at Amen's clinic, I'd like to respond to this book from the view of my actual experience.

    First, I agree with most of the what is said in the other positive reviews. The book is engaging, informative, and most importantly, it offers a great deal of hope. It breaks new ground, and it allows the layman to make better sense of the complexities of brain biology, personality, and behavior. To those few reviewers who insisted that Amen does not actually tell us "how to change your brain" - this is simply not true. Amen offers a variety of options including traditional meds, (even a nice chart to help with the benefits of each), and alternative treatments such as herbal and dietary suggestions.

    As many know, Amen's use of SPECT scans is very controversial. Although he has a following of professionals, he is also careful to say that the scans are NOT a primary diagnostic tool - only a way to confirm a tentative diagnosis. This may be because SPECT is not approved by the DSM, nor the APA(to my knowledge), as an accepted and reliable diagnostic tool for ADD or any of the other problems Amen discusses. Given the stodgy psychiatric mentality in the US toward new approaches, this should not be a problem in and of itself. Yet given the controversy, a serious flaw of the book is that it does not address the number and types of cases in which this approach does NOT work.

    But I also want to offer some cautions to those who might be tempted to passively accept the book in its entirety.

    1) In my own case, two Drs and a thrapist in Amen's own office had different interpretations of my loved-one's SPECT scan, yet there was no consultation among them to resolve the issue. 2) In this layman's view, the book also seems to show some inconsistency in interpreting the scans. Why does the same over-active image area become the diagnostic key in one case, but then seems irrelevant in another ? 3) Again in my personal case, the drug protocol for my loved-one was the opposite as that described in the book. Despite my questions, this was never explained to me. 4) A recent read of another book by a different author using PET scans showed completely different parts of the brain producing some of the same symptoms as Amen describes. But I suppose this doesnt matter as long as the treatment works.

    So what is the upshot of my review? My experience causes me to question the credibility of some parts of the book. Interpretation of these scans needs refinement, and Amen may need to get his own house in order as well. Yet, I have found no other professional who understands the intricacies of ADD and the associated problemsas well as he does. Amen truly cares, and this book is a 'must-read'. Regardless of the imperfections, his approach DOES work for many, many people. But do not be lulled into a passive acceptance by the enticing simplicity of the diagnosis and explanation.

    Feel free to email me your thoughts. And to those dealing with the pain of ADD its related problems, I wish you peace and comfort. Remember that the heros in a race are not only those who win, but also those who continue to struggle until they finish.

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of the Most Important Books I have Ever Read, August 12, 2001
    This book shows you that there is hope for everyone! Though the title is a little silly, it is appropriate. This book actually shows you pictures of brains with different emotional/chemical imbalances. Give it to anyone who questions whether diet or medication really affect their feelings and relationships. Many people believe that medication is for weak people and that they should be able to conquer their problems through sheer will. I have known countless people who have tried everything to overcome emotional issues but actually changing their physiology. This book gives indisputable evidence that problems like depression, aggression, ADD and Alzheimers are physically based. The changes in patients' brains before and after treatment (often, but not always medication-based) are phenomenal. It demonstrates with the SPECT series brain scans that our brain chemistry rules our emotions.

    I learned that even minor bumps to the head can change people's personalities and ability to learn. Dr. Amen shows pictures of brains with little or no activity in areas that have been injured, mirroring the patients' emotional or intellectual difficulties.

    Amen is very clear that he always uses talk therapy and teaching communication skills before he contemplates having a SPECT series done. His point is that many people can benefit from learning new skills and ways of looking at life, but some are truly stuck because their brain activity keeps them looping on negative thoughts, reacting with extreme anger, obsessing about limited situations, or shutting down when they try to concentrate. When medication is used these patients can finally put the communication and coping skills they have learned to good use.

    This book helped me understand people in my life who have seemed hopeless, shallow and even vicious. It showed me that there is hope for everyone who is willing to open their mind, get proper treatment, and challenge how they have viewed the world up until now. The exercises he gives the reader are very specific and helpful. If another reviewer thinks that there is nothing concrete in the book, then they aren't willing to look at their diet, their habitual way of thinking, and herbal and medical treatments. The prescriptions are plentiful and very specific.

    It is an easy read, very accessible, with fascinating stories that pull you in. It is not academic or inaccessible. Quite the opposite. It's a great book for anyone who wants to know more about themselves and how their body works.

    5-0 out of 5 stars In the past 3 weeks I have lived the title of this book., March 23, 1999
    I read this book three weeks ago and am performing as an actor in a stage musical for the first time in over a decade. I have to admit that I first took it from the shelf in the "new books" section of the library because it struck me as having (my apologies to the designer) the ugliest cover I had ever seen! In spite of my having been on Prozac since 1996, I have experienced continual mental problems which resulted in periods of severe depression. The first sentence on the inside cover grabbed me: "Do you panic at the thought of walking into a room full of people you don't know?" I checked out the book. I am, as I write this, in the process of ordering my own copy and one to send to my sister. I am a 45 year old male teacher/ actor/writer. I hold a Master of Fine Arts degree in Theater Arts and have previously made my living as a working actor as well as having had books, plays and songs published since 1976. My spouse of twelve years died in 1994. Suicidal, I returned to my hometown of Birmingham, Alabama, after living fifteen years in New York City and Los Angeles. I have not been able to work on a regular basis since. Going back on stage and working as an actor was not even a consideration. Since 1995, I have only been successful at doing sporadic tutorial work with English Composition students at local colleges and universities.

    The suicidal tendencies I was suffering stopped with the administration of Prozac, but I have spent the past two and one-half years wondering what was wrong with me because I could not focus long enough to complete any of the dozens of projects I would start. I had no patience and could not even keep still long enough to attend a film. I have been in grief counseling during this period, but have not seen a psychiatrist (poor insurance). Fortunately, my regular physician is very receptive and listens to his patients.

    I did not know adults suffer from Attention Deficit Disorder. I thought it was something children suffered but outgrew (I have no children, but have four out of nine neices and nephews on Ritalin). I took the test for Cingulate problems at the end of Chapter 9 in Dr. Amen's book by asking myself what I had been like, before I began taking Prozac, compared to my present state of mind. I went from almost all 3s and 4s, indicating serious problems with worry and obsessiveness, to 0s, 1s, and 2s. This was an obviously improved state, and very much in line with Dr. Amen's findings. I read the entire book in two nights, and did the remaining four checklists. I had very few 3s and 4s with the exception of a huge majority of those numbers on the Prefrontal Cortex Checklist. Not only did I discover adults can have ADD, but that there may be a genetic tendency. I spoke with my Mother who said the pediatrician had her give my brother and myself coffee in the early sixties before sending us to school and it seemed to help, to a small extent, with our behavioral problems. I immediately made an appointment with my doctor and showed him where Dr. Amen had used the combination of Prozac and Ritalin. He prescribed Adderall and I began to see results in only two or three days. My doctor immediately ordered a copy of the book from He was going to have his daughter read it. Her son is on Ritalin. She is on Prozac, but suffers many of the same problems I described.

    I began taking the Adderall with the Prozac three weeks ago. During that time I have submitted lyrics to the composer with whom I had written songs, but not been in touch for several years. I have completed a play upon which I began working in 1992, and it is being produced at the local University in May.. I had been offered a number of stage roles by local directors since my return to Birmingham, but turned them down. As previously mentioned, I have just agreed to perform in a musical this summer for the first time since 1988.

    Dr. Amen offers many, many suggestions for ways to change your brain and your life which have nothing to do with prescription medication, but he convinced me to explore every possible avenue available, without any of the reservations I originally had about going on Prozac. Just knowing my debilitaions can be physiological instead of "all in my head" has made me view my total self differently than at any time since realizing I was "different" around the age of twelve years. I have, at this point in time, had the most productive, fulfilling three weeks of my adult, possibly entire, life. I am literally able to maintain a peace of mind I truly believed impossible.

    Dr. Amen's writing style is most accessible to the "lay-reader". The book is a blessing. Anyone who has ever doubted his or her "sanity" should read this work, and find a doctor willing to listen to its message!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Freedom from Negativity, October 2, 2008
    This fascinating book is filled with scientific proof that our thoughts directly affect our physical, mental and
    spiritual lives. Thoughts release a chemical reaction that is directly linked to our deep limbic system, the part of our brain that allows us to experience and express emotion. Through the use of imaging technology Dr. Amen shows us what a healthy brain looks like, and compares it to pictures of a myriad of disorders such as ADD, Alzheimer's, and depression. These brain pictures show the results our thoughts have upon our bodies when we experience depression and anxiety. Dr. Amen has named our "Automatic Negative Thoughts" ANTs. These ANTS don't always tell the truth and, just like at a picnic, they multiply quickly and can take over. Our brains don't know we are being lied to. We believe these ANTs are telling us the truth.

    This book is a perfect companion to the work of Ariel and Shya Kane. They are masters at teaching the skill set of how to live in the moment without guilt, fear or worry. Their books: Working on Yourself Doesn't Work: The 3 Simple Ideas That Can Instantaneously Transform Your Life,Being Here: Modern Day Tales of Enlightenment,and How to Create a Magical Relationship, offer an effortless path to freedom from those nagging ANTs.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Quackery - 1st Hand Experience, March 29, 2008
    Dr. Amen should have his medical license taken away. I spent $5,000 going to his clinic for supposedly severe ADHD, ingested a radioactive solution, performed mental agility tests, and then went under an MRI machine. The purpose was to show where my brain was deficient and take certain drugs to cure these deficiencies. Over the course of 3 years in San Francisco, I must have ingested 12 to 15 drugs to help me though none of them did.

    Thank god I came back to NYC and saw a Columbia-trained psychiatrist who not only said that I was mis-diagnosed with ADHD but had anxiety which he immediately alleviated with Lexapro and ordered me to stop taking the other meds. He politely chuckled at the photos of my so called brain deficiencies and explained that the brain does not work that way. Also, he showed me numerous articles published in psychiatry journals and textbooks to support what he was saying.

    Dr. Amen is a quack who scares desperate people with his book and treatments to make money. Sure, you read the book and say "yeah, that's me" or "I have that." It human nature to want to understand what your problem is and there is certain relief when you find certain symptoms that match yours. His book has these syptoms. If I could have given the book a zero especially in hindsight, I would have. Unfortunately, Amazon doesn't have a zero rating.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Informative, provocative and sometimes controversial..., July 31, 2007
    I admire Dr. Amen's ability to explain the complex interworkings and relationships between different parts of the brain. I also appreciate his ability to relate these concepts to practical everyday problems and common psychological pathologies such as anxiety, ADD and depression. He even talks about some case study information on relationship dynamics.

    While Amen is a controversial figure in some ways, he still has much to stay about keeping your brain healthy and he has the credentials and clinical experience to go along with fact that he has scanned more brains than anyone else. This does not make him infallible, but it certainly makes him an important player in pushing the frontiers of knowledge forward. On the other hand, he seems to have a bias toward SPECT scans that is not fully warranted based on other scientist and clinician's work. It's difficult to reduce the functioning of the brain to an in the moment scan or even multiple scans over time.

    Suprisingly, this book is very readable for the average layman and equally fascinating. It has a number of quizzes and checklists for determining the strength of functioning of various areas of the brain and useful supplement suggestions. While this book is about 10 years old, it certainly contains lots of useful information. If you want an updated version of this, then I recommend his other book Making a Good Brain Great: The Amen Clinic Program for Achieving and Sustaining Optimal Mental Performance. This book is aimed less at pathology and more about what you can do to improve and take care of your brain in general. While not brain specific, Andrew Weil's book Healthy Aging: A Lifelong Guide to Your Well-Being is a nice compliment to both of these books and focuses on the health of the entire body.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This book helped save my sons life!, August 10, 1999
    My 12 year old son was attacked at school, he was hit in the back of the head with a river rock. The changes in him since then have been unreal. After reading Dr. Amen's Change Your Brain, Change Your Life, I was so amazed. I thought he wrote the chapter about head injuries about my son. After emailing Dr. Amen, he was kind enough to respond back, and referred us to a doctor near our home. Since then, and after a SPECT scan, we now know what happened to our son and is finally getting the treatment he needs. What a difference in all our lives. I finally got back "my" son. All I can say is don't give up, there is hope, and it's at the Amen Clinic! Dr. Amen, I owe you my heart-felt thanks for caring enough to write this well needed book and for writing me back. I know that there will be a special place for you in heaven. God Bless You!

    1-0 out of 5 stars Pseudo-scientific hubris, April 30, 2008
    While the notion of brain evaluation to heal psychological conditions is very appealing to all of us, this is yet another "prophet" (more like profit), whose time has not come. The theory and research behind this work are idiosyncratic. Dr. Amen is the author, the theoretician, the writer and the prescriber of formulas for success in, what is simply, way too broad a range of areas to be meaningful. His research has not been replicated by anyone outside of his office and his theories are not supported by the scientific community at large. He has created an approach that looks and sounds too good to be true, and is too good to be true. I hope that the underlying intent of his work is to help and heal others and if that is the case, would expect him to begin collaborating with universities and research laboratories that are genuinely independent and able to evaluate his assessment tools and his diagnostic approaches on their own, and thereby help to hone what he is doing, so that it can be determined whether there is more to his approach than smoke and mirrors. I'm not especially comfortable being this caustic about a fellow professional's work, but I've seen the "breakthroughs" purported by many others along the way, and have dealt with the consequences of disappointed patients and family members, who have often spent substantial amounts of time and money, only to be more frustrated and confused than ever afterwards.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Change your brain change your life, May 25, 2000
    Dr Amen's findings, of how the brain functions, is a 'must read' for everyone, but particularly for people living with troubled loved ones. Check out chapter 13: The Dark Side. It will clarify many misconceptions on why some people's behavior is out of bounds, and how they are led to commit strange and/or violent acts no matter how old they are. Biological factors are indeed a major part of the problem faced by troubled minds.Psychological and social factors are certainly there, but the abnormalities within the brain system, whether decreased activitities, increased activities or both at the same time in a portion of the brain, definitely lead the troubled mind to commit tragical and devastating acts. The lack of a chemical substance: 'Serotin' plays a definite role. Medical advice is given by Dr.Amen and detailed definitions of each medical solution is discussed. This book is an eye opener.Read it more than once.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Powerful stories, amazing images., March 3, 1999
    I just finished reading Change Your Brain. It is so exciting to learn that I can actually change the physical functioning of my brain by what I think and eat, and how I behave. There are so many ideas, based in science, that I have to rethink many of my day-to-day behaviors. Since I read the book I have stopped caffeine, started to meditate, and started cleaning the house of ANTs (my automatic negative thoughts). I showed the marijuana brain to my best friend who always says marijuana is medicine and no big deal (yet he is worse now than when we were in high school). I showed the drug brains to my teenage kids -- they paid close attention. Overall, I found this book easy-to-read, moving, and very helpful. Thanks Dr. Amen! ... Read more

    15. Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy Revised and Updated
    by David D. Burns
    Mass Market Paperback
    list price: $7.99 -- our price: $7.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0380810336
    Publisher: Harper
    Sales Rank: 1508
    Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    The good news is that anxiety, guilt, pessimism, procrastination, low self-esteem, and other "black holes" of depression can be cured without drugs.In FEELING GOOD, eminent psychiatrist, David D. Burns, M.D., outlines the remarkable, scientifically proven techniques that will immediately lift your spirits and help you develop a positive outlook on life.Now, in this updated edition, Dr. Burns adds an ALL-NEW CONSUMER'S GUIDE TO ANTIDEPRESSANT DRUGS as well as a new introduction to help answer your questions about the many options available for treating depression.

    - Recognize what causes your mood swings
    - Nip negative feelings in the bud
    - Deal with guilt
    - Handle hostility and criticism
    - Overcome addiction to love and approval
    - Build self-esteem
    - Feel good everyday



    5-0 out of 5 stars A classic...but a lot to read at 736 pages, November 7, 2010
    Feeling Good is a classic for treating depression with cognitive behavior therapy - learning to think better thoughts and thus create a better mood. However, this book is a LOT to read (736 pages), and some people just can't wade through it and apply all the techniques.

    I found Laughing Again: A Survivor's Guide to Healing Depression much more helpful. It's a personal story of healing, so it's really engaging. It's a quick, easy read. And, it addresses 7 lifestyle changes that are clinically proven to heal depression (CBT is only one of these lifestyle changes).

    Feeling Good is definitely a great resource on the CBT aspect of healing depression, but if you can pick only one book to read, make it Laughing Again. It's inspiring AND comprehensive; it touches on ALL the ways your lifestyle can heal your anxious, stressed-out, depressed brain.

    For more indepth and comprehensive look at CBT, I really liked Dr. Ilardi's The Depression Cure: The 6-Step Program to Beat Depression without Drugs as well.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Think Good, Feel Good, November 14, 2009
    The title of my review is actually a summary of how this book plans to make you feel better.

    The book is authored by a someone who has had a lot of experience using cognitive therapy techniques to try and improve people's depression. Cognitive therapy's premise is that your thinking (messages that you are giving yourself all day long) directly inflences your moods and how you feel. Therefore, if you are thinking negatively, you're going to feel that way. Likewise, if you think positive and optimistically, well, you're going to feel good!

    And that's what the book is about- getting you to get rid of negative thoughts and replacing them with good ones. Does it work? Well, the book has been around since 1980, and there's actually been some good solid research that has actually taken the book, given it to depressed patients.....and they've improved!

    With its easy writing style and research-backed techniques, Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy +Revised and Updated is definitely worth the read- just know you've got over 500+ pages ahead of you. If this seems too daunting, or this approach doesn't appeal to you, try something like Exercise Beats Depression- which has been shown to be just as effective as cognitive therapy or drugs in controlled trials. Good luck!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best of the Self-Help Books, July 11, 2000
    I have been dealing with anxiety and depression for many years and have read just about every type of book imaginable. The only reason I'm writing this review is that I found this book to be the best overall work I have ever read in the realm of self-help psychology.

    One of the greatest parts about the book is that Dr. Burns' model of cognitive behavioral therapy is very thorough, yet it is easy to understand and incorporate into one's daily living. He recommends cognitive behavioral therapy as the first line defense in dealing with mood disorders. However, the beauty of the book lies in the fact that Dr. Burns does not simply dismiss psychotropic medications. He clearly states that medications in addition to his therapeutic techniques are wholly appropriate for many people. In fact, it this updated edition he goes into detail about the different classes and types of drug options available on the market today. This approach is refreshing for someone who is benefitting from the use of medication and wanting to incorporate cognitive behavioral therapy into their recovery without having to read a book which outright dismisses the role of medication in treatment.

    Also of special significance is his list of 10 'Cognitive Distortions'. Here, he lays out a plan for recognizing faulty thinking, how these thoughts affect our moods, and how to correct these distortions.

    In summation, Dr. Burns' book is a practical encapsulation of the ideas and theories of some of the great pioneers in the field of mental health such as Drs. Abraham Low, Albert Ellis, and Aaron Beck.

    If you made it this far to decide whether or not to buy this book, read some of the other reviews then put it in your cart.

    5-0 out of 5 stars It really works!, October 28, 2003
    I've tried talk therapy and antidepressants. The talk therapy was mildly helpful, but I still felt depressed after several months of once-weekly visits. I was also prescribed an antidepressant, which actually made me feel worse. I felt hyperactive and nervous in the beginning, and eventually ended up feeling like an emotionless zombie who needed to sleep 12 hours per day. As a last resort, I read Feeling Good and started doing the written exercises. The improvement was almost immediate! Unlike a lot of people, it didn't take me months to feel better. Probably within a week of applying the techniques from the book, my score on the BDI was reduced to 5, which means no depression! I still apply the techniques on a regular basis to keep myself depression free, but the chapters on changing your whole outlook on life and self esteem have made such a difference for me that I never get anywhere near as depressed as I used to, no matter what's going on in my life.
    By using cognitive therapy instead of drugs, I have a whole range of emotions. But I'm able to control my emotions, and am overall a happy person. When I was using antidepressants, I sometimes didn't feel depressed, but I didn't feel good either--basically I had no emotions. I believe the drug companies would like us to believe that that drug-induced emotionless state is the way we're supposed to feel, but based on my experience, it's simply not worth it to have no negative (or positive) emotions. I'd rather experience the whole range of emotions and control them without the use of chemicals. Is depression an organic brain disorder? Perhaps for some, but surely not for as many people as the drug manufacturers would lead us to belive. That's my experience with this wonderful book.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Good Intro to CBT and Antidepressants, July 17, 2005
    Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a proven self-help method for improving two conditions that afflict more people every decade: (1) depression, and (2) anxiety. As a self-help book, I found other self-help books to be clearly superior: E.g., Albert Ellis' "A Guide to Rational Living," and Elliot Cohen's "What Would Aristotle Do?"

    Burns' book is good, but these two other books are substantially better. According to CBT and REBT (which is a variant of CBT), our pattern of thinking often leads us into depressive moods and high anxiety. Retooling our thinking process does much to alleviate moods and reduce anxiety. Obviously, endogenous depression still requires medication, but many people who experience exogenous depression are apparently able to avoid all medication with the help from these books. For that reason alone, these books are goldmines.

    Our destructive thinking, whether or not one is depressed or anxious, often leads us into blind alleys and self-destructive behavior. Burns', Cohen's, and Ellis' books make great strides in helping one overcome the destructive thought processes by helping one think more critically. By shining light on our thinking process and how to think critically, many people's depression and anxiety are significantly assauged.

    What these the Cohen and Ellis books lack, Burns appropriately provides: Probably the best general information on antidepressant and antianxiety medications in print. If you are on, or are considering, antidepressant or antianxiety medications, Burns' book is one of the best lay resources available.

    Surprisingly, many physicians who prescribe these medications lack the basic information that Burns fortunately provides. He distinguishes between SSRIs, TCAs, MAOs, etc. (Don't worry if you don't know these acronyms. Burns explains them thoroughly, and just as importantly, provides profiles of their side effects.) No naive patient of antidepressants ought overlook this very helpful book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Only Self-Help Book You Will Ever Need...EVER!!, December 9, 2006
    Dr. Albert Ellis once opined that the goal of therapy should be not only to help the patient "feel better," but also to "get better." This book not only does both, it also will help you stay better.

    Dr. Burns is a cognitive-behavioral therapist who believes that the first-line treatment for Axis I mood disorders should be CBT. He is not big on psychpharmacology, however, he is not wanting to hearken back to the "stone ages" before such medication was invented. He simply believes that CBT, which has been empiracally proven to be efficacious by studies too numerous to mention, is the type of therapy that works best, lasts longer, and is healthier for the client.

    CBT holds that it is maladaptive thinking that is to blame for what psychologically ails us. It is not the events themselves which are the cause of mood maladies, but rather our perception of them; distorted thinking and information processing.

    This book is not a quick read, as are so many self-help books. There are no easy answer, nor are there easy solutions that are proffered. Rather, Dr. Burns, methodically, logically, and cogently lays out strategies that will not only help you feel better, get better, but also say better because after reading this book (carefully and mindfully) you will be equipped to be your own therapist, which is the main goal of CBT.

    This is the type of book that the layman can use over and over again as a reference/refresher in case they relapse.

    Dr. Burns has performed a great public health service by sharing his expertise in this book as Depression, and its concomitant, related mood disorders are one of the most pressing public health issues of our time.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Walking My Talk..., November 9, 2000
    ...This book is the "IT" book of psychiatry and
    psychology. More psychiatrists recommend this book to their clients
    than any other. It is also the bestselling book on psychology or
    psychiatry that exists! Instead of writing another review on this
    book, I decided to "Do It" so to speak. If this review can
    help anybody, than it was worth the writing.

    In the forward, Burns
    talks in detail about a comprehensive study that was made on this
    book. This is in the 1999 forward. Eighty people were given this book
    to read in twenty-eight days. 70% recovered from a major depressive
    episode from just reading this book in that time. The exercises were
    optional. Before you order this book, Burns does stipulate that if you
    have even had "moderate depression" for several weeks, than
    you will need professional help in order to help you get through the
    program. Also, any suicidal thoughts or tendencies. I am fortunate. I
    took the BDC on page 20 and scored 58. Now, this is "severe
    depression". The BDC is the "Burns Depression
    Checklist". I have also been diagnosed as having a "Major
    Depressive Disorder" by many psychiatrists. But I have help. Both
    a therapist and a psychiatrist. So intead of just writing yet one more
    review based on my opinions, why not do the program and pass on the
    results? I e-mailed a daily report to my friend and follow
    reviewer, Edgar Bridges. I began both reading and doing the exercises
    on October 12th, 2000. I scored a 55 on the BDC one week after
    starting the program. This is still "severe" depression. Two
    weeks after starting, I got a 35 on the BDC!!! This is "moderate
    depression". Yes. I was very happy. But more suprised than
    happy. A little bit shocked. That is the good news. After the third
    week, I scored a 54. Bad news. I finished the entire program yesterday
    and I scored a 56. A 3% decrease in depression. I did the "triple
    column" technique everyday for twenty-eight days straight. I did
    two of the "anti-procrastination" techniques as well for 14
    days. I had memorized the ten distortions entirely and used them daily
    when they arose. So it failed. I am sorry to say. But it might work
    for you. After going to only one Alcoholics Anonymous meeting during
    this time, my score dropped the next day to 35! Then in several days,
    it was back up again to "severe depression". Why? I took the
    BDC everyday and examined the score for the days after I talked to
    people and got outside and so forth. No decrease in the score. I can
    only assume, and perhaps quite wrongly, that it is "human
    intimacy" that did it. That's my review on this book. Based on
    experience rather than conjecture.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent cognitive-behavioral therapy for depression, July 9, 1999
    A very useful book. While depression has been associated with chemical changes in the brain, there is no proof that depression is caused by these changes. It could equally well be that depression is what is making the changes occur, and that we can in fact manage our depression without drugs.

    I have personally found this to be the case. With the help of this book I have been able to stop taking antidepressants. I find dealing with the issues that caused my depression to be much more useful than medically treating the symptoms. David Burns offers practical methods of dealing with your sadness and despair without having to endlessly dredge up your past. You can acknowledge your past and its unfairness, while dealing with your depression in the present.

    Cognitive-behavioral therapy is the only type of therapy that has been proven useful in dealing with depression. Burns offers an excellent example, and a much cheaper one than medication for those without health insurance (and a safer one for those with -- after all, the newer drug therapies haven't been around long enough yet for doctors to know about long-term side effects).

    I recommend this book most highly.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Feel Good Today., January 11, 2010
    Feeling Good is not only a great self-help book, it's a way of thinking. And by that I mean, it's your thoughts that usually cause the problems, right? Well, this book will discuss that and tell you how to use congnitve behavior therapy to get through this and onto feeling good. I liked it very much and would defintely recommend it to those who do suffer from nervous disorders. It's a great read that can generate great results. I also would recommend What if.? My Story of Panic Attacks.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Changed the way I live my life..., December 12, 2008
    I went through a real "rock bottom" point and turned to this book for guidance and hope. I'm in my mid 20's and just needed something/someone to direct me into literally - feeling good. This book taught me so many simple things like turning off the negative side of my brain and to focus on the positive, something I thought was impossible. Within the book there are worksheets to help you manage your thoughts to really get you started on "feeling good" asap. I highly recommend this book from people that are severely depressed to just feeling down. If you cant afford a shrink, or just need some guidance... THIS BOOK IS FOR YOU! It honestly has changed my life, I'm so thankful for this find!! ... Read more

    16. Why Men Love Bitches: From Doormat to Dreamgirl - A Woman's Guide to Holding Her Own in a Relationship
    by Sherry Argov
    list price: $15.95 -- our price: $9.57
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 1580627560
    Publisher: Adams Media
    Sales Rank: 1720
    Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Do you feel like you are too nice?

    Sherry Argov’s Why Men Love Bitches delivers a unique perspective as to why men are attracted to a strong woman who stands up for herself. With saucy detail on every page, this no-nonsense guide reveals why a strong woman is much more desirable than a "yes woman" who routinely sacrifices herself. The author provides compelling answers to the tough questions women often ask:

    -Why are men so romantic in the beginning and why do they change?

    -Why do men take nice girls for granted?

    -Why does a man respect a woman when she stands up for herself?

    Full of much-needed advice, hilarious real-life relationship scenarios, "she says/he thinks" tables, and the author’s unique "Attraction Principles," Why Men Love Bitches gives you bottom-line answers. It helps you know who you are, stand your ground, and relate to men on a whole new level. Once you’ve discovered the feisty attitude men find so magnetic, you’ll not only increase the romantic chemistry in the relationship-you’ll gain your man’s love and respect with far less effort. ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars A Man's Perspective on this Book, January 23, 2004
    As a man who read this book, I have a new understanding of how and why my last girlfriend acted the way she did. She must have read this book!

    I have to say, I chased after her, just like the book says a man will do if you follow the rules it describes. But, (and this is a big BUT), eventually, I got tired of chasing her. Eventually I came to the huge realization that I didn't want to live the rest of my life this way, under her thumb, with her making all the rules for our relationship.

    Women have put up with men that act this way, and it drives you crazy, doesn't it? Don't you hate it when a guy doesn't call and acts like other things are more important than you are? This book could just as well have been written for men, and been titled, "Why Women Love Jerks."

    As I read this book, I thought that if everyone, men and women alike, followed the rules contained in it, this world would be full of a lot of single people. Mainly because it's all about one person in the relationship (in this case, women) acting aloof, not chasing men, and not showing men that they're afraid to lose them. If both sexes acted this way, no one would get in a relationship because both would never chase the other. (In the hopes that the other one will first. It's not going to happen!)

    All in all, this book seems to be written for women who have been hurt badly in the past and don't want to be hurt (or at least show that they're hurt) again. Anyone who has ever had the good fortune to have been in a GOOD relationship would never think of treating their mate like Sherry Argov suggests.

    I gave this book 2 stars, because what's in it WILL work. But if you have to use "trickery" like this to get a man to chase you, you'll get a relationship to match. It's better to be honest with one another. If it doesn't work out, then move on until you find that NICE person who will treat you right, "games" or not!

    5-0 out of 5 stars She understands the male mind.. ..a guy's view, January 1, 2006
    Firstly, in this book BITCH means Babe In Total Control Of Herself.

    She gives you priciples not 'rules' to transform from ignored or taken for granted doormat to relentlessly pursued dreamgirl, who is independent, strong, and not needy.

    Initially, I wondered if Sherry is a guy, because she is so onto us. To her credit she did interview many men, to get these deep insights. In fact she has compiled our secret playbook.

    I wonder if it is a good thing to have too many of our deep secrets in female hands, because it forces us to change our lazy relationship ways.

    There is a self improvement principle - you teach people how to treat you. So do what you have always done, and get what you always got, or teach them how to treat you right.

    So when Sherry suggests, acting a little aloof at first, this may seem counterintuitive, but it works. Staying out of relationship mode for a while, bypasses our natural defenses, and it works. Not giving away your personal power by being too much of a pleaser works. Communicating succinctly, I like that one.

    Probably the most important lesson from this book is the importance of communication. A woman who calls a guy on his behavior, is showing several powerful things, she demonstrates higher value by not accepting bad behavior, she is not afraid to convey her feelings even if this might offend the guy, she is not timid and unassertive, she keeps the lines of communication honest, and open.

    You will win some and lose some by following the advice in this book. Following this advice too rigidly will not work. It is a matter of finding a balance, and using what works for you. Think of this book as training wheels.

    This book, is very good, and I probably should not recommend it but I do.

    The bit about faking the orgasm, some reviewers don't like. As Sherry is a stand up comedian, this piece is just supposed to be humorous. In reality, you are teaching the guy that is he is already good enough, whereas some improvement might be required.

    Some of the anecdotal advice is funny but extreme. The booty call guy left standing in the rain outside his apartment got his just desserts, but the red panties in the laundry tactic was too much.

    My personal opinion, is we men are not that smart at non verbal communication, so things need to be spelled out more.

    We also have a limited capacity for processing verbal information, in fact we go into safety shut down after about 30 seconds of talking. After that point, we just nod and grunt as if we are following along. I hope you find this review helpful, and the book enjoyable.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Tool For Specific Cases, March 19, 2004
    I've read a lot of relationship self help books including "The Rules". This books is excellent. This book is for those women who have, yes...been burned or who have a tendency to lose themselves in a relationship. If you've been with someone for years and everything is fine..then you don't need help. If you've a string of great relationships then you probably don't need this book either. Unfortunately for many women out there...they have been burned or have a tendency to bend over backwards for a man and lose their self respect for the sake of their relationship. This book is for these women. It can serve as a tool for internalizing positive messages and methods for not being conducive for trampling via feet.

    Argov emphasies the time tested idea that you come first before anyone else. I've noticed that it is men who have given low marks to this book moreso than women. Once your read this book for yourself, you might see why. However, There are specific "tactics" she explains. It is far from trickery. And as even men have responded...her tactics work. Call them what you will, but there is little interaction between people which doesn't involve at least a little pre-planning, special manuvering, or cunning. Is this to say that when we read books about business...that those books are terrible because they use "trickery", manuvering and cunning to achieve company goals? Come on.

    Someone else mentioned that they didn't agree with a chapter about "faking an orgasm". Don't listen to that. Obviously that person did not even read the book or is not very bright because in that chapter, Argov is cleary making fun of the concept. She writes "I don't recommend that a woman fake an orgasm. This little lesson is a satire on the pressures women feel to perform...It is much more of a turn-on to a man when a woman is able to be herself and she's honest about what she likes and dislikes."(71)

    Finally, this book is not about playing games. Its about putting yourself first and taking responsibility for your own happiness, health, financial well-being, and rhythm. It is empowering and should be given to every woman who is having difficulty putting themself first and has a streak of nonfullfilling or short relationships (due to trying to be someone they are not or simply attracting feet).

    4-0 out of 5 stars Don't be a doormat -- read this book!, March 6, 2004
    This is such a great book that I've been recommending it to all of my female friends and family. It illustrates to you why your relationships current and past have failed miserably and lets you know what you're doing wrong as well as how to approach it from a better standpoint.

    Basically, the author explains that women have been taught to be nurturers; A woman finds a man worth loving, showers everything and anything on them and *surprise!* they're abandoned. Why does this happen? Because women expect men to give back what they're giving them and it just doesn't work that way -- at least not in the beginning of any relationship -- it has to be built to that point (my parents were like this after years of marriage.) This extreme generosity on womens' parts comes across as if they're strictly living for their man's happiness (sometimes that's true, too, unfortunately) and unfortunately that tells the man that they're doormats. Plain and simple.

    The book explains that men want an independent woman. They don't want a mother, a babysitter or a slave -- they lose interest in them way too fast and the mystery is gone. Sounds easy enough to understand but if you read the examples and follow a few tips you'll be very surprised with the results.

    For example, the old telephone bit. DON'T wait by the telephone for the guy you're seeing. Go out, have a life outside of him and call back when it fits YOUR schedule, not his. Don't rearrange your plans around him and most of all don't leave all decisions up to him. I've had friends I'm with that when the phone rings, they ignore all their guests to go suck up to the guy they're after on the phone. Wrong. You make time for your man when you have the time -- not stopping your life.
    The two things I was surprised to discover is: 1.) Women have been taught in the past that appearance is everything they need to find a man -- and nothing else matters. No wonder women have been treated like doormats! If personality and ambition are ignored there's nothing left but appearance and 2.) Women need to be taught to have a life outside of their boyfriends/mates/husbands. Women have been taught by society that they need a man to complete their lives SO MUCH that they end up desperate and it shows to the man they're dating. Plus, it's the reason you feel that emptiness in a relationship -- you've lived so much for him that you forgot about yourself. It's really sad when you realize how passive society has made women unconsciously or consciously and you need to take that back.

    I'll give you an example I used: A guy who asked me out called me up and said: "Well, you can drive over here since I'm closer to where we're going." The passive/old me who was desperate would say: "Okay! Anything to make you happy because God forbid, I don't want to lose you -- that's how desperate I am." What I said instead was: "No, you asked me out so come pick me up." Lo and behold what did he do? He picked me up. Don't be afraid to put your foot down -- of course, be cool about it, not nasty and it ALWAYS works.

    Making plans? Don't drop them because he asked you out, plan around him. I have a friend who lives for her boyfriend and really could use this book but she's so far gone that I've given up hope. I can't tell you how many times she's cancelled on me at the last second because he decided he wanted to go out at that time. Wrong. You hate when your friends do that to you and you're disgusted with them for their attitudes -- so why on earth would you do it? Besides, he's more likely to call back when you don't offer everything on a platter at once -- including your heart; You lose mystery with him when you do that and he loses interest.

    Then we come to a very important chapter: If he knows you're not putting him in a cage -- he'll try and put you in one. This is where the mother/babysitter aspect comes in. He calls the shots -- with everything. What movies you watch, where you go, how you live your life and quite frankly this is where women get into relationships and suddenly realize they're unhappy -- but don't know why. It's because they've made themselves become little slaves to their men's happiness and they're not getting it back. In my opinion, if you're in this kind of a relationship it's hardly fixable but there are ways around that. Another example in the book was one woman let a man do his wash at her place and he ended up expecting her to do it all the time. He would just bring it over and not even ask. So, one time she dropped a pair of red panties in with his whites and when everything came out pink she said: "Oh, I'm just not good at this kind of thing." What was the result? He said: "You are NEVER doing my wash again." Problem solved.

    In fact, I gave this to my mother (who is a widow dating) and she was very surprised to realize how much advantage her boyfriend was taking over her. He would plan parties at HER HOUSE and she would do all the cooking and he never helped her pay for any of it. When she began to protest, he fought her on it. What ended up happening is she booted him out the door. In some instances, like I said, it's not fixable. But, was he worth keeping? She decided "No" and she has told me she is much happier.

    Have a guy tell you that he wants to see you and other people? Don't get on the floor and beg for him -- tell him: "Don't let the door hit you on the ***. I had one guy do that to me. We went out and he told me that he was going to see this girl he knew at work. So, when we were driving back to my place I said: "I understand about your needs to see other people," and he nodded and got this smile on his face. Then I said: "So since you're going to see someone else on Saturday I just wanted you to know that I have a date, too." That smile melted off his face so fast I could have died laughing. What ended up happening? He was so distracted by the fact that I was going out on a date that he didn't enjoy his at all. The VERY next morning he called immediately and asked if I wanted to go out. I hemmed and hawed and said: "Well, I'm pretty tired from last night, so no, but I can go out Monday evening." I was showered with attention Monday. Trust me - it works.

    Now, in defense of some of the male postings here (which make me laugh of course) NOT ALL MEN ARE LIKE THIS. But unfortunately, there are guys out there who are. Think of this book as a great guideline to weed those out. If guys like this are playing games, the best thing to do is to play YOUR WAY. You may not end up with the right guy if you have to but your self esteem won't be shot in the end when it's over and that little player will have learned something. Real men DON'T play these games, but do love independence in women.

    The only chapter I don't agree with would be the one on faking an orgasm once you get to an intimate point in the relationship. If you can't be honest with your lover and are more worried about his ego then you're setting a trap for yourself. Healthy, sexual relationships are all about honesty -- each of you telling each other what you want. Neither one of you are going to figure it out eventually. That never happens. I got this info from "Mars and Venus in the Bedroom" which you can find on Explain what works, what doesn't, don't be harsh about it and it will all fall into place. Trust me on this one.

    So get this book if you've had your heart broken too many times. Remember, not all guys are like this but you can figure out which ones are (and... have a little fun with them in the meantime *devil grin here*) Real men don't play games with women and you'll figure out the real men from the weasels with this book. A MUST READ for you women out there sick of the games -- play them your own way! And trust me, it works!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Witty Wake-up Call, October 11, 2002
    This is a must read book for all those women who find themselves being treated like yesterdays meatloaf. You know, you'll take it only if you can't have anything better, or you may just say forget it and chuck into the garbage. The author really hits home when she talks about the male appetite for a Bitchy Woman. It's true they do get more respect. I shared this book some friends of mine both male and female and I can't get it back. They keep asking me, "do you mind if I let my friend check it out?" So I fiqured out what everyone is getting for Christmas this year. It truely is an instruction manual to transform a doormat to dreamgirl. It's not always about looks. Attitude is why you see some women getting what they want while little Miss Nicey is home alone thinking "maybe if I bake these cookies just right..." As a man I say GO FOR IT LADIES! Check out the book and use the information to change your way of thinking. Heck, I'm even going to apply some of the techniques to my relationship. I hope they post this review, because I really, really enjoyed this book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars stop chasing him, make him chase you!!, September 18, 2002
    Sherry Argov is awesome! I've read a lot of relationship books and this is the first one that makes any real-life sense. Have you ever noticed how when you're not interested in a guy, you can't get him to leave you alone??! But the ones that you ARE into constantly play games.

    This book essentially teaches you how to reverse that pattern. The author shows you how to get the guy you want to chase after you, instead of the other way around. The best part is that it requires almost no effort on your part!

    This book really works. It was tough at first to follow the advice, because I kept wanting to try to please him. But we all know that men aren't like women, they don't appreciate all you do for them and they take it for granted. As soon as I stopped acting interested, he got his act together. Now he's calling all the time, taking me out to dinner, chasing after me . . . and I just sit back and enjoy it!

    4-0 out of 5 stars This book explains a lot, October 27, 2004
    Wow! Good advice. I know from experience that its always the guy you aren't that crazy about who persues you the most. Men love a challenge, why not have a little fun with it? I am a divorced 40 year old woman, and the men my age who are single seem to think that every woman wants to marry them. They are probably right, but I know that I'm a great catch too. Any man would be lucky to have me. This book introduces women to that concept, we as women need to place more value on ourselves. Think about it.. Are you pretty? Are you a good cook? Do you have a career? Are you funny? Are you caring? Are you an all-around good honest person? Then why shouldn't a man show you the respect that you deserve? Why should you have to bend over backwards to try to convince him that you are worth his time? This book isn't about tricking a man, or being mean or bitchy, it's about not selling yourself short. It's about knowing your worth, and having some self respect. Most of all, it's about getting him to give you the love and respect that all of us women deserve.
    I loved this book, it's being passed around to all of my single girlfriends, most can read it in a day or two. It's funny, interesting and insightful. It's one of those books that you just cant put down.

    4-0 out of 5 stars a new view, April 7, 2004
    OK! I was in a long term relationship and ended it because it wasn't working anymore. I was down and feeling sorry for myself when a friend said that I should read this book. I laughed when she told me the title. But I went out the next morning and bought it. I finished it in two days. It made me laugh and it opened my eyes to the guys point of view. When you buy this book (and you should) just remember that you dont want a guy to play games with you, so don't play games with them. You still have to be yourself no matter what. This book has a lot of good advise for everybody. My only advise is KEEP IT REAL, DON'T PRETEND TO BE SOMEONE YOU AREN'T!! You won't feel comfortable and you would only be hurting yourself.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This book saved my relationship! Thanks Sherry I owe you!!!, March 12, 2003
    I want to first thank Sherry Argov for writing this honest and very practical book on how to make your man change his attitude and not take you for granted. I have read many books on relationships, and this one is the only one that gives practical suggestions in plain language that you can actually understand. Not psychobabble like other books that I have tried to read and put down because I fell asleep. This book I read in one day and have been reading over and over again. Here's the 411: I am a clingy needy partner who nags and nags and nags because my man used to treat me well but all of a sudden changed almost overnight. I had no idea that what I was doing was causing him to tune me out. Men don't react to words, they react to actions. I stopped my nagging, and become a more independent person. And on top of that, have been acting like I don't care about the relationship. It has caught him off guard and now he is going out of his way to be with me and paying attention to me. The important points that I've learned from this book are; put yourself first, act as though you don't care too much about the relationship, do your own thing without him and he'll start thinking that he's losing you. Then sit back and watch him come to you and treat you better. The other thing is, you will feel better about yourself. Yes, this book gave me something that I needed all my life....Self Confidence!

    2-0 out of 5 stars A Man's Bad Experience from this book, March 20, 2005
    I had a girlfriend that I really liked. Then she started acting different, unavailable, and the sweetness I really liked in her changed to indifference.

    I saw this book in her house, and decided to read it myself.

    Advice to the ladies: If you think you're going to get anywhere with a man from playing games, you won't.

    Becaue I know how to be honest, I had a LONG talk with her about her sudden new behavior. She started to cry, and we were able to resolve it all, by really talking.

    This book does not teach a woman how to be real. It teaches you how to avoid pathetic men that treat women like trash.

    So if you want to have a great relationship, stop the games. If you are seeing a guy that treats you like trash, then move on.
    ... Read more

    17. The Book of Awesome: Snow Days, Bakery Air, Finding Money in Your Pocket, and Other Simple, Brilliant Things
    by Neil Pasricha
    list price: $22.95 -- our price: $15.61
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0399156518
    Publisher: Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam
    Sales Rank: 1622
    Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    The author behind celebrates the good things in life- by the sheer power of their awesomeness.

    Based on the award-winning blog, The Book of Awesome is a high five for humanity and a big celebration of life's little moments and the underappreciated, simple things that make us happy, from popping bubble wrap to hitting a bunch of green lights in a row, to waking up thinking it's Monday and realizing it's Saturday. With wise, witty observations from writer Neil Pasricha, this treasure trove is filled with smile-inducing musings that make readers feel like kids looking at the world for the first time: AWESOME!
    ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars He had me at "Snow Days", February 25, 2010

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    Daily life in the twenty-first century can be overwhelming. Issues of global warming, health care reform, a strangled economy, and the latest celebrity shenanigans fill our media outlets and our heads until they just about burst. It is all too much to bear. No wonder we seek solace in the tiny triumphs of life: in our own small successes and in the personal interactions, the soothing sights, the tempting tastes, and the sensational smells we find in the world around us.

    Neil Pasricha is the author of the award-winning blog, "1000 Awesome Things." His online success translates well into the format of this book, which outlines 200 of those Awesome Things. Things like "That one really good pen that never gets lost;" "The sound of ice cubes cracking in a drink;" "Licking the batter off the beaters of a cake mixer;" "The smell and sound of a campfire;" and "That friendly nod between strangers out doing the same thing." In these pages you'll also learn the most successful strategies for trick-or-treating and for making the most of an all-you-can-eat buffet. You'll even learn exactly what functions are attached to your colon. But this is not a book of mere lists. Mr. Pasricha provides an explanation for each one, and some of those pieces are several pages in length. His observations are spot-on, and his writing style is friendly and funny. This is an entertaining and feel-good read.

    I had to wait until page 342 to find my most favorite Awesome Thing: Snow days. The author breaks this phenomenon into three types: The Pre-Planned Snow Day, The High-Probability Snow Day, and The Surprise Snow Day. But Neil, there's a fourth one to consider, and that's the "We're already here. Will we get enough snow for them to send us home early?" kind. That one may be the most frustrating of all. When the crucial announcement comes, that joyful event becomes yet another (albeit, shortened) Awesome Thing. Assuming you can make it home safely in the storm.

    "The Book of Awesome" is the kind of paperback that you can scan through quickly. You can catch the headlines and say "Yes!" to particular ones. Or you can take a single lovely, rainy weekend to devour this volume from cover to cover. Keep it on your bedside table or coffee table for a pick-me-up. Read passages aloud to a living room full of friends, and your group will come up with even more possibilities. You don't have to agree with all of the entries. ("Using all the different shampoos and soaps in someone else's shower" didn't resonate with me, and neither did "Neighbors with pools.") Just keep turning pages, and it won't be too long before you find several more Awesome Things that you can relate to. And you will probably find yourself smiling, nodding, and laughing out loud.

    Once you get into this mode, you may pay closer attention to those magic moments in your own life. Like sliding a key perfectly into a lock in the dark, without fumbling and without turning on the light. Watching a squirrel figure out how to invade a rodent-proof bird feeder. The smell of tea that wafts up when you unwrap a brand-new box of it. It's all good ... and Awesome. Thanks, Neil. [This review was based on seeing the pre-pub galley proof.]

    5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome is opening this book to any random page and getting a big grin on your face, March 5, 2010

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    This is a great book to open up when you're depressed or anxious or bored or just any old time. The topics of "awsomeness" are mostly simple, familiar things that you don't often stop to appreciate. Things like "Pulling off your wet bathing suit and putting on dry clothes after a long swim" or "The smell of books" or "The sound of rain from inside the tent". But not only does Neil Pasricha, the author, suggest these awesome moments in life, but he expands on them with little descriptions and stories describing them. For example, under "Remembering what movie that guy is from" he talks about seeing a character in a movie that you know you've seen somewhere before, in some other movie, but which one? Was it in Shawshank Redemption? Or Miracle on 34th Street? No! He was the knife guy in Once Upon a Time in Mexico! Awesome!

    I don't think there has been one time that I've opened this book that it hasn't made me smile. And there are a lot of times when I'm bummed out about something and I don't have a lot of time to figure out why I'm bummed or read some long philosophy book about what to do about it. I can just open this book and instantly relate to at least a couple of the topic pages and it takes me to a different place, a place where I can smile in spite of myself or giggle about the fact that someone else finds the same things as I do pretty amazing and can relate.

    Picking up this book when I'm unhappy and then finding myself in a not so bad mood after all? AWESOME!

    4-0 out of 5 stars A feel-good book, March 13, 2010

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    This is a tome for browsing, a pick-me-up for when you're feeling down. If puppies and cupcakes and cheerful smiles don't lift your spirits, then put on some Goth music and try another book, but the rest of us can appreciate the nearly 400 pages of brief, well-written personal reflections on subjects that make most people happy.

    Some of these essays are only a few words long (one, entitled "When you push the button for the elevator and realize it's already there" consists of just two words: "Ding! AWESOME!") and some are several pages long (such as "Mastering the art of the all-you-can-eat buffet," or "Smiling and thinking of good friends who are gone"). They're sure to start discussions -- and perhaps even arguments (if you enjoy that sort of thing).

    For me, Pasricha's topics seem to fall into four categories. The majority are quite quotidian: popping bubble wrap, hitting green lights, finding prime seats, free refills, free samples, untangling knots, locating your keys, friendly nods, getting a bargain, sharing umbrellas, fireworks, salt, breakfast in bed, campires, perfectly popped popcorn, Saturday mornings, sweatpants, the smell of books, fast food, exact change, silence, your pillow, showers, long hugs, freshly mown grass, remembering names.

    A few of the topics seem like rather vain attempts at making unpleasant things pleasant: dangerous playground equipment, dropping food on the floor, cleaning the lint trap, really old Tupperware, a stranger's fart, the smell of gasoline, your colon, gym pain, putting potato chips on a sandwich, grass stains, crying, rain hair, locking people out of the car and pretending to drive away.

    The most interesting disquisitions deal with odd situations that give one a delicious frisson of recognition. A number of them are youthful memories: when you get the milk-to-cereal ratio just right, when someone lands on the hotel you just built in Monopoly, the sound of scissors cutting construction paper, when you're really tired and about to fall asleep and someone throws a blanket on you, the first scoop out of a jar of peanut butter, blowing out all the candles on your first try, wearing underwear just out of the dryer, that one square in the waffle that's most loaded with butter and syrup, getting a trucker to blow his horn, pushing those little buttons on the soft drink cup lid, dangling your feet in water, the last day of school.

    There are also many adult experiences but, like the childhood variety, most are sudden sense memories with long titles: when the socks from the dryer all match up perfectly, when the vending machine gives you two things instead of one, finding a mix tape given to you by an old boyfriend or girlfriend, when you arrive at your destination just as a great song ends on the radio, when you nudge the person snoring next to you and it makes them stop, when the guy at the border doesn't ask any questions, finally clipping your fingernails after you've been meaning to do it all week, when your suitcase tumbles down the luggage chute first after a long flight, when you're driving late at night on an empty gas tank and a gas station appears on the horizon.

    The book ends with the longest essay of the collection. Entitled "Remembering how lucky we are to be here right now," it's a wry reflection on the amazing, improbable fact of our own existence and an exhortation to feel gratitude and joy for it.

    Because it is so personal, what The Book of Awesome doesn't address could fill many other volumes, so it's safe to assume that the first of several sequels is already in the works (snow angels, anyone?), and you, dear reader, could well be its author. Better get cracking!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Marvel at the Simple Things in Life, April 22, 2010
    The word "awesome" recently has been much overused and its precise and important meaning brought down to the immanent and finite. Yet with today's generational employment of the term one can find great delight in the alluring book: "The Book of Awesome: Snow Days, Bakery Air, Finding Money in Your Pocket, and Other Simple, Brilliant Things" by Neil Pasricha. Aspects of this volume are essential in one living a life of gratitude and joy. If you find yourself not appreciating life and all the things therein, grab this book and dig in with a cup or tea or coffee; it will assist you in finding the charm, thrill, delight, and enchantment in life we all too often take for granted.

    Subjects brought to light include the routine and the inspiring, such as:

    - Driving through green lights
    - Beauty in small things
    - Popcorn
    - Tripping without a witness
    - Power and uplifting emotions from your miscellaneous relationships
    - Silence
    - Campfires
    - The scent of new books
    - Opening new electronic devises
    - Pillows
    - Showers.

    If you habitually fail to savor the small seemingly unimportant portions of life perhaps you should read "The Book of Awesome." Pasricha writes: "Maybe we all love snowy days, peeling an orange ... and popping bubble wrap" and we just need to be reminded about all the fascinating simple joys in life.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Accentuating the Positive, March 7, 2010

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    It seems like there's a lot of discontentment going around these days. People get so caught up in their busy lives, focusing so much on what's wrong, what they don't have, that they forget to appreciate the good things. That's where "The Book of AWESOME" comes in. This wonderful little book (based on a popular website) lists the simple pleasures that we all tend to overlook, like snow days and warm underwear, then describes why they're so awesome.

    Unlike a lot of other self-help books, reading "The Book of AWESOME" really can change your attitude. It doesn't ask you to change your life, just to pay attention to the good things. It's really not hard at all. It's impossible to read this book and not find at least one entry that makes you shout "YES!" in agreement. It's a great feeling when you see that other people appreciate the same little things you do. But that's not the best part. The best part is that this book gets you to start looking for the awesome things in your own life. After I finished it, I started thinking of all the things that I thought should have made the list, and it made me want to write my very own "Book of AWESOME." This is also a great book to share with friends. You'll end up sharing ideas, getting excited over the things you have in common and the things that maybe you hadn't thought of before.

    I liked the writing style, too. It's fun and easy to read. This could have ended up being a really schmultzy, nicey-nice book, but thankfully, it never takes itself too seriously. This is a book that embraces its own dorkiness. It uses lots of silly rhymes, and all but one entry ends with "AWESOME!" It's like it's saying to let go and have fun, and quit worrying about how you'll look. Embrace your own inner dork! It had a very warm feeling, and I could tell that the author put a lot of himself into it.

    In this cynical age, we often forget how wonderful life really is, and "The Book of AWESOME" is a much needed remedy. It doesn't try to overwhelm your emotions with sappiness, just shows you the great things you might be overlooking. Its message is that no matter how bad things seem, there are always things to enjoy in life, and it rings so true. This is something I've always believed myself, but even we optimists can use a reminder now and then. It's easy to forget to appreciate the little things, so this book is great to pull out over and over. Read a little when you're having a bad day or when you're going through a tough times. Its reminders will lift your spirits, and its personable writing will just make you smile. AWESOME!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Gem of a Book, March 4, 2010

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    This is not a book you read from front to back. This is the sort of book you open up and just start reading. This book is basically a list of things that are kind of silly, but they make you feel great anyway. Examples: "Using Rock-Paper-Scissors to Settle Anything"; "Blowing out all the Candles on Your First Try"; "Getting in a Line before it gets really long". Each of these things has a short description, just in case you need a hint of why these things are so Awesome. Here's one that I just experienced: "When you spill something on your shirt that doesn't leave a stain". Yep, that's enough to put a smile on my face, and on some days, that's enough to make my day.

    This is a fun book. Highly recommended!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome!, April 25, 2010
    I defy anybody to be in a bad mood and read this book. And I don't mean from beginning to end either. Just crack it open to a random page, read and smile. Wash rinse repeat. Neil has an uncanny ability to find things that are universally loved, though not always talked about. Who has never found "The Man Couch" in a women's clothing store and gotten giddy inside? And how much less fun would bowling be if we didn't all have our own well-rehearsed celebrations? Neil Pasricha struck gold, and to share it with the world is the most awesome thing of all!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Nice Little Picker Upper, April 20, 2010

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    I usually keep two books by my bed, one that is heavier reading and one just for fun, like a book of poetry or short stories. I thought I'd try this little book because I liked the name (and the cover). It has mini-chapters of things in our lives that we all experience but tend to overlook or take for granted. Like warm underwear from the dryer. I think we all live happier lives when we count our blessings, and this book helps you think of blessings you might not think of otherwise. Definitely a good book for the nightstand or doctor's waiting room (or anytime you just need cheering up!)

    5-0 out of 5 stars This book is a DELIGHT!, February 25, 2010

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    In this world of bad news on the television, newspapers, magazines and just about anywhere else you can imagine, this delightful book of AWESOME things is just, well...awesome! Every little thing put a smile on my face, and that's just what this tired old girl needs! It's not something you need to read all at's rather like one of those bathroom readers people are so nuts over. It's the perfect pick me up after a bad hair day! Bravo!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Pretty Awesome, June 16, 2010

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    You gotta love the concept of this book. It's optimistic, it's good-natured, and it's funny. "Awesome" is a collection of short essays (sometimes one-liner short) about the little things in life that are just awesome. Not the 'wow, I know God exists now' kind of awesome, but the 'huh, life is pretty good' kind of awesome.

    The essays started in blog post format on the author's on-a-whim website (1000 awesome things) and they translate fairly well to the printed page. And you have to love the content: why yes, it is awesome to fix electronics just by smacking them (I did this very thing a week before I saw this book, so I had to get it). And yes it is awesome to breathe in that bakery air. While some of the essays sound a bit like a cheap skate (picking the perfect nacho off of someone else's plate or Using all the different shampoos and soaps in someone else's shower), most just sound like a happy kid in an adult's body.

    My personal favorite: Nodding at the runner when you're running - hey we're doing the same thing! Awesome ... Read more

    18. The Language of Letting Go (Hazelden Meditation Series)
    by Melody Beattie
    list price: $16.95 -- our price: $11.53
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0894866370
    Publisher: Hazelden Publishing
    Sales Rank: 1883
    Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Reflecting on the core issues of codependency, Melody Beattie encourages readers to trust themselves on their journey to self-care.Each meditation is filled with the personal warmth and insight Beattie brings to all of her books. ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars This book has great sentimental value for me., March 29, 2002
    I had just read Ms. Beattie's famous/infamous "Codependent No More" and was inspired by her revolutionary ideas: I didn't have to depend on others for approval; I didn't have to base my self-worth on how helpful I was to friends; I didn't have to over-react to everything that happened in my life; I didn't have to think negatively about myself; if I didn't cause the problem then it wasn't my responsibility to fix it.

    As a teenager about to enter the "real world," it seemed all I heard from others was what I was "not" doing right. I should know more than I did and be more grateful for what I have; what college did I want to attend? Why wasn't I more ambitious? What's more, I was odd for being frightened by the fact that the world as I knew it was about to fall apart when all my friends moved away to college. Raised among drug addicts and alcoholics, it had been a difficult life thus far. And apparently, if what teachers told me was any indication, it would only get more difficult as I took on the responsibilities of being an adult. Melody's book gave me something that I so desperately needed and could find nowhere else: compassion.

    "Codependent No More" was so comforting that I wanted to "live" in its pages. I felt I had entered a new world, and I didn't want to leave. I wanted a way to remember everything I had learned from Melody Beattie about "owning my power" and being compassionate with myself. I wanted a way to "stay on track." I wanted a "guide," something of a daily ritual to keep myself mindful of the liberation she had introduced me to. To that end, I sent Melody Beattie a letter thanking her for her work and asking if she knew anything about "Codependents Anonymous" groups. I was honored to receive a reply, and she directed me to the national headquarters for CoDA. I began to go to the meetings at the now closed "Journey's Bookstore" in Beaverton, Oregon, and that is where I found this book, "The Language of Letting Go". These meditations helped keep me focused on what I had learned, and the meetings allowed me to share what I had learned. And this all enabled me to do what I had wanted: "live" in the pages of Melody's compassion.

    Melody is a poet. These meditations are not "scientific" or technical, and they are not even really "meditations" per se - they are more daily reminders, notes from Melody, on how to find happiness within oneself, and how to be compassionate with oneself when such happiness seems impossible. There is no "fancy" language that will necessitate a dictionary, and no unattainable goals are suggested. There are no come-ons to suggest that your life will not be complete unless you buy her other books. These meditations feel like letters from a friend, a friend who enjoys her life and is happy to share her personal insights and situations she has learned from; that is one of the most enjoyable things about this book, the personal stories Melody shares. There is no "finger pointing" in this book. I very faithfully read one meditation per day during the remainder of my last year of High School, and it made life bearable and gave me hope that things would get better (they did). The underlying message of this book could be: breathe, smile, relax, let go.

    If you are looking for a structured way to practice what you have learned from Melody's other books, I would recommend these meditations.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A lifeline, August 8, 1999
    I'll admit it -- I read this book through a crisis and a time of life that saw transitions everywhere. And while I'm still reeling from pain, and disbelief of the events that have happened to me in the past few years, I am already so much better from reading this book.

    When I find myself tempted by defeating behaviors, reading one passage reminds me why I don't want to continue down that road any longer.

    The funny thing is, I never saw myself as a codependent or as an addictive person. It doesn't matter what type of turmoil you're going through -- this book WILL remind you of a better way of life.

    It truly is a lifeline. I keep a copy at work and am discovering I'll need one at home to. If you struggle with any type of negativity, this book can help remind you that it's really going to be okay.

    4-0 out of 5 stars An excellent reference, April 11, 2006
    I had been thinking about buying a book on this topic for some time to further my self improvement process.

    This book is about so much more than letting go. It is also about personal power. When you let go of something, it loses its power to control you, and you move forward with your life in a more empowering way.

    This book is set up with daily meditations on different issues. If you were to open any page at random, you would probably find something very useful. It is easily read, and as you read can feel the shift in your perception, as these simple to follow principles make a lot of sense.

    If you are like most people, there are plenty of things you need to let go of, and you probably have no idea what some of these are. The first step is to identify that a change needs to be made.

    Here are many ideas you can use to improve your life. There are too many for me to list in a review, but here are a few biggies:

    Attachment, guilt, blame, seeking appoval, codependency, fear, doubt, controlling, family issues, perfection, martyrdom, denial, grief, anger, victimhood.

    You replace these non serving beliefs with something more empowering, as you start to practice detachment, self approval, develop an abundance mentality, an attitude of gratitude etc.

    There is a principle in psychology that if you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always gotten.

    So,let go and move forward. Imagine how pleased you will be when you have made a lasting change in your life. All lasting changes in your outer reality are accompanied by changes in internal perception.

    I highly recommend this book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Language of Letting Go, September 28, 2001
    I have owned a copy of 'The Language of Letting Go' since its original publication in 1996 and am still finding it useful and pertinent to my daily living. I bought the book at a time when I needed some guidance and this book provided this and more. It has allowed me to understand that what I feel is both normal and natural and that I should not deny emotions and thoughts that inevitably surface.

    I have suffered from post-viral depression, stress from studying, loneliness and yes, co-dependency. Melody Beattie, in this book has helped me to realise that I shouldn't try to push my fears and needy emotions aside. Rather I have come to realise I should just let the feelings go, and realise I can't control everything in my life.

    I am still using the book, not everyday but when I feel I need to. Inevitably I find what I need in each daily meditation. This has always been a daily tonic to me.

    Recently I lent my book to a good friend who is going through a very rough time - She was involved in a bad car accident she was told she should have died in. Since that time she has suffered from an eating disorder and has tried to push her closest friends and family away from her, afraid that she could hurt us with her pain. I know this book has helped her enormously, she told me so. Now I'm buying one for her. I think this is probably the best gift I could give her.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This book keeps me inspired to be a better person., August 6, 1999
    I found this book not long after joining Al-Anon and establishing a daily devotional time. I was stuck in a long term emotionally abusive relationship and attempting to escape it. The Language of Letting Go showed me I deserved to be happy. It gave me so much hope for a better future. I still read it daily, its my bible. Thanks Melodie, this book helped me create a life!

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Language of Letting Go Cards - 50 Card Deck, June 15, 2005
    (Note: Amazon lumps all Language of Letting Go products together. This review refers to ISBN#1401903479 which is a 50 card deck based on the book of the same name.)

    "Today I will trust that the events occurring in my life are not random. My experiences aren't mistakes, and the Universe, my Higher Power, and life are not picking on me. I'm going through exactly what I need to go through to learn something valuable-something that will prepare me for the joy and love that I'm seeking." -from the Trusting in Life card

    Melody Beattie, the bestselling author of The Language of Letting Go, has created a 50 card deck reminding us that we can ask for and accept the healing energy of God and the Universe each and every day. Based on her bestselling book, this beautifully illustrated deck inspires both self empowerment and present moment awareness. By truly living in the present moment, we can allow life to happen instead of trying to force outcomes. Relinquishing regrets over the past and fears about the future, we can make the most of every day. The Language of Letting Go Cards gently prods us to take a closer look at the limiting beliefs we've adopted, providing an empowering affirmation on each card.

    A few of examples from the deck:

    Accepting Change

    "Today I will be open to the process of change. I will trust my Higher Power and believe that the place where I'll be dropped off is better than the place where I was picked up. I know that change is necessary to take me wherever I need to go."

    Approving of Myself

    "I will let go of my need for approval and my need to be liked. Instead, I will choose to like and approve of myself. The people who count (including me) will respect me when I'm true to who I really am."

    Maintaining Boundaries

    "Today I will gain a new awareness of those areas where I need healthier boundaries. I will release my na�ve assumption that the other person is always right. I will exchange that view for trusting and listening to myself, and setting and maintaining healthy boundaries."

    Rescuing Myself

    "Today I will not wait for someone to come to my aid. I'm not helpless. Although help may come, I'm my own rescuer. My relationships will dramatically improve when I stop rescuing others and stop expecting others to rescue me."

    The Language of Letting Go Cards are 5.7 x 3.9 x 1.3 inches on thick, sturdy card stock. The vibrant glossy images feature the unique artwork of Elizabeth Rosen, and capture the thematic essence of each message. There is no companion booklet for these cards, and it's not necessary to have read the book to use this inspiring deck. I recommend these cards for meditation and affirmation, and for use in conjunction with self-inquiry and journaling.

    (To see 6 card images from this deck, visit the Reviews section of

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Language of Letting Go, December 5, 1999
    This book of meditations gives you inspirational thoughts to begin your day with. A must read for anyone dealing with codependancy issues. In her words, Melody Beattie gives me a spoonful of wisdom every morning; a tonic to support me all day! For those busy people who don't have time: Slow down, relax, and take 5 minutes a day to do yourself some good!

    5-0 out of 5 stars I carry this book with me like a bible!, October 29, 1997
    Having read the book 5 years ago, I still pick up the book everyday, especially when I feel those codependent controlling emotions resurfacing. The book literally saved me from myself the self-defeating behavoirs of trying to control life. It has changed my life. My book is falling apart from use, it is my daily spiritual guidance and encouragement. I couldn't live without it. Thank you from a very codependent who was brought across that bridge into the light. This book has saved me, in financial crisis', in my love relationship, in every aspect of my life. It has taught me that I cannot control life. My screen saver here at work says, "You cannot control people or events... trust, believe and let it go, just let it go"! This book is powerful, a life saver.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Life on Lifes Terms, August 17, 2002
    Hello All,

    I bought this book on the advice of a 27yr veteran in Alanon. I've never regretted purchasing this book. The readings are insightful, and go hand in hand with another great read "The Courage To Change". I've yet to discover why Alanon has yet not recommended this book?! Trust me, this is one of the best daily readers you can get!

    I like this book so much, that I've given SEVERAL away as gifts to those that I love dearly. To this date, I've NEVER received a single complaint, only compliments on the depth and wisdom, of the words written by Melody Beatie. So, if you want a great daily reader, then I HIGHLY recommend this book. On yet another note, I just purchased "More language Of Letting Go" so, as soon as I've read a bit of it, I'll post my comments here.

    Ciao All!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Nice to find I am not the ONLY ONE, April 10, 1999
    Co Dependent No More helped me greatly. It was like a slap in the face and a big wake up call. So I had to buy this book as well! Because ,I could not let go of relationships in my life that had died long ago. I was obsessed with any and all people,upon knowing them for two minutes. This guide is very inspiring and helpful,helps you get through the day. Melody's books were suggested to me by an excellent Therapist. ... Read more

    19. Emotions Revealed, Second Edition: Recognizing Faces and Feelings to Improve Communication and Emotional Life
    by Paul Ekman Ph.D.
    list price: $16.00 -- our price: $10.88
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0805083391
    Publisher: Holt Paperbacks
    Sales Rank: 2082
    Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    "A tour de force. If you read this book, you'll never look at other people in quite the same way again."--Malcolm Gladwell
    Renowned psychologist Paul Ekman explains the roots of our emotions--anger, fear, disgust, sadness, and happiness--and shows how they cascade across our faces, providing clear signals to those who can identify the clues. As featured in Malcolm Gladwell's bestseller Blink, Ekman's Facial Action Coding System offers intense training in recognizing feelings in spouses, children, colleagues, even strangers on the street.

    In Emotions Revealed, Ekman distills decades of research into a practical, mind-opening, and life-changing guide to reading the emotions of those around us. He answers such questions as: How does our body signal to others whether we are slightly sad or anguished, peeved or enraged? Can we learn to distinguish between a polite smile and the genuine thing? Can we ever truly control our emotions? Packed with unique exercises and photographs, and a new chapter on emotions and lying that encompasses security and terrorism as well as gut decisions, Emotions Revealed is an indispensable resource for navigating our emotional world.
    ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Excellent book on Concealed Emotions, March 14, 2009
    btw I'm Susan Gill's son.

    Dr Ekman has been getting alot of attention lately, due to the fact that he is the scientific consultant for the new show on Fox "Lie to Me". The show is even based off of his science. In fact, it's the reason I got into this type of behavioral science. So if like me you want to strengthen your ability to catch liars or see hidden emotions in the face, this book is without a doubt your best bet.

    What makes this book so good is that Ekman includes pictures of every single emotion, and describes them in detail so that you should know which emotion should be felt at which time. Pictures are abundant in each chapter for each specific emotion On top of that, the book even has a test you can take to see how well you can read emotions before, and after you read the book.

    Another very helpful thing is that he even gives a negation signal people can make in the face called "mouth shrugs", and the difference between a mouth shrug and sadness. This was an issue if you've seen the "Moral Waiver", because it was hard to spot in that particular episode what exactly a mouth shrug looked like. In fact, I know what a mouth shrug looks like and I STILL have a harder time seeing what they did with it, so on that note this book is very useful.

    As for using it for lie detection, the extra chapter included in this edition is extremely useful. It describes the two types of errors a person can make when interpreting signals for lying, but not in so much detail that it kills you (I.E "Telling Lies"). It's almost as if it summarizes some of what "Telling Lies" says, so it's really good after you read "Telling Lies" to read that chapter if you're having any issues.

    My only complaints for the book is mostly the way Ekman set up the chapters. He wrote why and when we feel the emotion BEFORE you learn to recognize it. This was a problem for me because it made me want to get to the faces and how to read them. If he had done that first, I may have been more interested in understanding WHY or WHEN certain emotions occur.

    On a different note, Ekman really makes it seem that he doesn't have a lot of confidence in his lie detection system, but if you watch "Lie to Me" you can see clearly that his research can be well over 90 % accurate based on the context of the situations, and looking for changes in behavior instead of just one sign of lying only.

    One last thing, if you to want to learn how to detect lies and how to read faces and body language like the people on "Lie to Me" (and like Ekman), this isn't the only book you should get. It's more of a concentration on the Face instead of the "whole picture" you'll be looking at.

    This is my opinion, but you should really get Ekman's book "Telling Lies" and Alan and Barbara Pease's book "The Definitive Book of Body Language" if you want to get really serious about lie detection. Each book contains certain information that's more in depth on each subject. Like the use of Manipulators is alot more in depth in the Body language book than in any of Ekmans books (which is really needed because Ekman barely covers that topic). On top of that, reading body language can give you a better assesment of a person's behavior based on their positive and negative body language. Coupled with the "Tells" that Ekman describes, you should have a really good understanding of how the system works.

    Ekman's other book, "Telling Lies" is a bit of a tougher read, but it includes valuable information on the body and lying that none of the other books have. It goes more in-depth on the two errors a Lie catcher can make, and give you a much deeper understanding on how and why people lie (make sure you buy the 2009 remake version though, it has the best information, and makes it sound more conclusive about his studies towards the end of the book).

    So if you're interested in concealed emotions, buy this book immediately. If you're interested in lie detection however, buy this book, and "Telling Lies" (Paul Ekman) and "The Definitive Book of Body Language" (Allan, Barbara Pease) and to watch "Lie to Me" every week to get a better understanding of how to use his science.

    *****EDITED NOTES*****

    Just to let you know, I've edited my review to make it easier to read, and that I've written a review on "Telling Lies" if you'd like more information on that book.

    ALSO, new to this Edit is the newest reccomended book on body language. "What Every Body Says" is my all time favorite book on body language. It's written by an ex FBI agent. While I was turned off by that fact at first, I read into it and found that the author is VERY exceptional at what he does. If you can, get that book instead of Alan and Barbara Pease's book. It's still an excellent book, but I found "What Every Body Says" to be a bit better =)

    4-0 out of 5 stars An intriguing look at our faces and emotions, September 15, 2008
    In Emotions Revealed, Ekman discusses how a person's face can be "read" to determine what kind of emotions s/he is feeling. The author then proceeds to focus on emotions such as contempt, disgust, sadness, happiness, and anger. In each chapter he has a model who shows different expressions. He explains in great detail how to read the facial expressions as well as what they seem to mean. He also has an exercise that people can do to use facial expressions to invoke feelings. Overall, it's a fascinating read, which shows how much the face is integral to feeling emotion as well as expressing it. At times, the book is dry and can be a bit of a slog to read through, but Ekman does a fairly comprehensive job of explaining the subject. I'm already eager to see how I can apply the concepts in my everyday communication.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Detailed and Informative, February 10, 2009
    On the topic of body language and the display of emotions, Dr. Ekman is probably the most knowledgeable man alive. His writings are based on decades of real, scientific research and experimentation. In this second edition, he does a great job of explaining the root causes of emotions and then showing how emotions are displayed on the individual's face.

    Dr. Ekman was among the first to identify micro-expressions, which he first identified as he studied a tape of a suicidal woman who was filmed denying her intent to commit suicide. By identifying her micro expressions, he was able to determine that, contrary to her verbal statements, she remained suicidal and in need of care and supervision.

    Dr. Ekman peppers the book with many examples and anecdotes. For example, he shows how John Dean, Counselor to President Nixon, undercut his own credibility with an overly detailed memory description. The book is full of these kinds of anecdotes and examples.

    Bonus: The appendix provides a visual test that the reader can use to determine their own proficiency in recognizing and reading emotions. I found the test to be interesting and instructive.

    This book is a well-researched, scholarly work that will benefit any person interested in learning more about how to read and recognize the emotions of others. If you are looking for something with more entertainment value and more illustrations, you might check out The Definitive Book of Body Language by Allan and Barbara Pease.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great information, Tough read, June 25, 2009
    Dr. Ekman is the father of micro-expressions and has done decades of research to back up most of his claims. The book is a wealth of information. However, it is a very boring, slow read.

    If you are looking for a book that reads fast and can be applied instantly, then check out "The Definitive Book of Body Language." This book reads very fast and has many examples that can be helpful towards learning. They also reference Ekman and his findings, so it is a nice blend between facial expressions and the rest of the body.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating work, June 6, 2009
    This is fascinating book, with some interesting stories about his early days in PNG investigating the universality of facial expression. If he seems uncertain in many areas as mentioned by another reviewer, this is presumably because he has high regard for the level of scientific evidence needed before answering 'why is it so'!

    Worth also purchasing are the METT and SETT training cd's. I have used them both and also as a learning activity in high school science.

    I think the book could be improved with some diagrams illustrating key concepts i.e. mapping similar emotional themes that he talks about.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Likely Good Information Poorly Shown, September 11, 2009
    I'm sure the author is an expert and knows his material, but the book is very poor. Poor in that the pictures are disjointed with the subject matter; too much referenced material from others that is descriptive but not very explanatory in just the textual sense, i.e., telling me what something looks like is difficult for me to understand when I've never seen it before - and I believe that's the key to micro expressions - observing the face and how it looks in order to be able to interpret it!

    The section on how to tell if someone is lying is useless in respect to actually being able to use micro expressions to do that. Define it - show me - then test me. There is an overkill in defining IT, awful and poor trying to show me, and the real test you have to buy on-line for more money! In my opinion, the entire book was like a teaser so you'd have to buy another book or his on-line "training."

    Bottom Line - I would not recommend this book for someone believing that after reading this book (even multiple times) one could put any of the information in it to real use - other than to talk about it in a very high level conceptual manner. I gave it a two star rating because I'm sure the Author knows how to use the material that HE couldn't explain so that I COULD (even) begin to use it. A total waste of money and time.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Just enough to make you dangerous., June 22, 2009
    I first heard of Paul Ekman after watch Lie to Me a few times. I wanted to see if this show had any scientific truth to it. This led me to Dr. Ekman and his books. This book does open your eyes to different things about people, but only just enough to make you pay more attention. You aren't going to become an expert on reading people by this book alone. This subject is a very interesting read though.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Just enough to make you dangerous, February 4, 2008
    This book is very well written. It's not a difficult read, and it's packed with content. At the end of each chapter, the author provides a brief description of how to detect emotions in others and be aware of them in yourself. I bought it for more of the former function, but can now see the utility of being more self-aware.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Too much Information, November 9, 2010
    I read the first one hundred pages but had to stop because it gave me so much information on the research that it bored me to death. It has good stuff but you will have to dig in order to find it. I think this book is more geared for psychologist or people in the research field who wants to know other facts that ordinary people wouldn't care that much about.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Understanding emotions, October 8, 2009
    It is very interesting that I can now understand how someone is feeling from the face muscles. Since I liked what author says, I bought his second book titled "Telling Lies". This book is on a "niche" area. For those who are interested, they will definitely like it. ... Read more

    20. The Gospel According to Coco Chanel: Life Lessons from the World's Most Elegant Woman
    by Karen Karbo
    Hardcover (2009-09-01)
    list price: $19.95 -- our price: $12.57
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 1599215233
    Publisher: skirt!
    Sales Rank: 1634
    Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    Delving into the long, extraordinary life of renowned French fashion designer Coco Chanel, Karen Karbo has written a new kind of book, exploring Chanel's philosophy on a range of universal themes - from style to passion, from money and success to femininity and living life on your own terms.
    For a live viewing of Chesley McLaren's illustrations you can visit The 4th Wall Gallery.
    Click here for more info.
    ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars Un Bijou for You
    I read this book the way I read Ms. Karbo's book on Katharine Hepburn: greedily, with an eye to what was in it for me. I plundered every chapter heading: On Style, On Self-Invention, On Fearlessness... does this fit me? Could I/should I adopt this for my own? With some, like On Embracing the Moment, I thought, Oh sure, I've already got that; with others, like On Living Life on Your Own Terms, I was stopped short, and I thought Yeah! I've gotta cultivate that!

    The other compelling thing about this book is that once you get past self-interest, you discover that Coco Chanel was an amazing woman. She invented modern fashion, and to do so had to rise above poverty and an actual orphanage. This was great material to draw on and reshape, which she did: Ms. Karbo says Chanel "lied about or embellished everything in her childhood...she had no respect for anything she didn't create, and that included her own history." Her trajectory included being a shopgirl, seamstress, cafe singer, and kept woman before she got to couturiere extraordinaire, and she owed nothing to anyone but herself. She was self-made and a revolutionary.

    Karen Karbo tells Coco Chanel's story in a lively way and mines it for usable wisdom. I recommend this book for any fashionista, for sure, and for any francophile, and for any woman who loves the struggle. I especially like it for women who make things or strive to make things, like books or sculpture or businesses or anything else. The Gospel According to Coco Chanel is heartening and a lot of fun.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Mais oui...
    I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed this book... I loved Ms. Karbo's previous book about Katherine Hepburn, but as a longtime -- and unabashed -- fan of Chanel, I was really looking forward to this book when I read about it a few months ago in Bazaar.

    Like Chanel herself, Ms. Karbo does not disappoint. Her writing style is tremendous -- witty and fun, moving and historically insightful, she is like a terrific dinner party guest you want to stay for the weekend (and tell nonstop Coco Chanel stories, of course).

    I picked this book up as an impulse on one of the front tables of B+N, and read it over the course of two days.

    As a modern woman who loves Chanel, I am suggesting it to all my stylish girlfriends, it would make a perfect hostess gift.

    And by the way, I HOPE that Karbo gets that real Chanel jacket she is dreaming of.

    5-0 out of 5 stars a mini-biography, with great dish and helpful wisdom
    Coco Chanel couldn't be making a star turn in media at a better time.

    Start with Anne Fontaine's film "Coco Before Chanel", coming to American theaters this fall after dazzling audiences in Europe. It's the right film about Chanel: the early years. And though the facts are as murky about pre-Chanel Chanel as about the fashion icon, the theme --- a woman born without advantages, making her way in the world --- is more universal.

    But the better reason for women --- and the men who love them --- to pay attention to Chanel is because she was a cheerleader for self-sufficiency, in good times and bad. So skip over the fashion. Consider only the politics. I mean: ours.

    Is this a great time to be a woman in America? I'm not so sure. More American women may now be going to college than men, but when they graduate, they're still looking at salaries as much as 30% lower than men get for the same work. The anti-choice movement, always noisy, has upped the volume --- and the violence. And it seems that a sizable number of American men won't be happy until all women are homebound mothers, wearing the equivalent of the burqa.

    No writer has a better understanding of what it means to be Chanel and what it means to be a woman who admires Chanel than Karen Karbo, author of the short (240 pages) and addictive The Gospel According to Coco Chanel. Karbo is the granddaughter of Emilia Karbowski, known as "Luma of California" for the clothes she designed for the wives of movie moguls in the 1950s. Which is to say: Karen Karbo is real and unashamed of it: "I am the average consumer." She looks for Chanel jackets on eBay. And she writes as if she's having a conversation with a close friend over double-shot lattes.

    Who is Chanel to Karbo?

    Chain-smoker. Workaholic, though she could stay in bed all morning with a newspaper. Leo, with a Pisces moon. Born nobody. Fell in love once, but not again. Her bigger love: money. "Money was more than her security blanket. It was her ongoing victory lap." And restrained: "Even though Chanel insisted on having the best of everything, she didn't insist on having everything."

    Are you hearing "Sisters Are Doing It for Themselves" in the background? You should be.

    Karbo delivers a mini-biography, with perceptive and amusing commentary:

    "She looked like the girl at school who conned you into breaking the rules with her, then let you take all the blame."

    "Her childhood was the Belle �poque version of a country-and-western song. The only thing she lacked was a dead dog and a wasting disease."

    "She compulsively lied about her past, and then lied about having lied, and then disavowed the lie about the lie."

    Along the way, great trivia abounds. Yes, French women wore hats adorned with feathers --- but did you know that, in 1911, in France, 300 million birds were killed to provide those feathers?

    And, because Karbo really is your new best friend, she even labels the punch line: "Cut to the chase, don't waste time doing stuff that seems essential to your life and business, just because other people do it."

    Just so. The fashion is merely fascinating, a means to an end. The life lessons? For a woman trying to find a safe haven in America, this book delivers more wisdom --- and wit --- per page than Dr. Phil will dispense in a lifetime.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Getting Centered with Coco
    There is something intrinsically refreshing in reading about a woman who was completely herself. This wonderful book is such a reminder to me and to women in general to live life on their own terms, to get on with living and being and loving, forget what everyone else thinks you should be or become. Personally, it felt centering to me. Karbo gets it right. She extracts from Chanel's life the jewels of wisdom that might not be evident in the broader picture. Maybe it would be more accurate to say pearls of wisdom as Coco made pearls de rigeur for anyone with her sense of style. With wit, insight and clarity Karbo makes sense of how one woman changed so much about the world, not just about fashion, but also about love, sex, color, comfort, design and scent. Clearly, we have entered a time of a Coco resurgence and I hope we get to learn the lessons more fully and pass them on to more generations.

    5-0 out of 5 stars ""The best color in the whole world, is the one that looks good, on you!" - Chanel
    In 225 pages, Karen Karbo manages to give one a real sense of who Coco Chanel was as well as her acerbic sense of humor, her passionate sense of style, and a sense of what made this enigmatic woman tick!

    Chanel permanently changed fashion through a driving vision of what she wanted. You'll find nuggets of her off beat wisdom scattered among the various chapters on style, self-invention, fearlessness, surviving passion, on success, money and more! Throughout the book Karbo interweaves her quest to acquire (fair means or foul) a genuine Chanel jacket!

    There are other biographies of Chanel that are more indepth, but Karbo's wit and humor gives you a picture of Chanel that somehow makes you think of her as if she is sitting beside you advising you on life. As Chanel once said, "A style does not go out of style as long as it adapts itself to its period. When there is an incompatibility between the style and a certain state of mind, it is never the style that triumphs." Somehow, Chanel has managed to transcend decades and adapts to each generation as the yard stick for class, style, and relevance.

    5-0 out of 5 stars "Classy and Fabulous"
    Fashionistas beware, once you crack the front cover of Karen Karbo's "The Gospel According to Coco Chanel" there's no turning back. Chronicling the rags-to-riches story of the woman who revolutionized how we think about clothing, Karbo's narrative is compelling, witty, humorous, and peppered with poignant advice on how to live life like Mademoiselle Chanel.

    Built on a framework of Chanel's incredible history, "The Gospel" tackles everything from self-invention, to embracing the moment, to, most importantly, living life on your own terms. From style tips to speaking your mind and not giving a damn, Karbo effortlessly blends narrative and life lessons to create a book which is, in a word, fabulous.

    I LOVED this book and would highly recommend it to anyone interested in fashion, Chanel, or simply becoming a stronger, more independent, and successful woman.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Read, Learn, Enjoy
    I thoroughly enjoyed this book about Coco Chanel. It was fun, informative and did not gloss over Chanel's less than perfect life and personality. The author writes as a friend talking to you and is never overbearing or condescending. The line drawings added a great deal to my enjoyment of this book. The bibliography at the end is very helpful. I don't usually buy hardback books, but I highly recommend this book to those who love fashion, fashion history and quirky personalities. ... Read more

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