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    1. Women Food and God: An Unexpected
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    2. Codependent No More: How to Stop
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    3. The Language of Letting Go (Hazelden
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    4. Happiness: A Guide to Developing
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    5. The Easy Way to Stop Smoking:
    6. Alcoholics Anonymous: the "Big
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    9. Small Means and Great Ends
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    10. The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test
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    11. Drinking: A Love Story
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    12. Beyond Belief: Finding the Strength
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    13. Save Me from Myself: How I Found
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    14. Courage to Change: One Day at
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    15. Motivational Interviewing, Second
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    16. 50 Ways to Soothe Yourself Without
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    17. Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary
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    18. Adult Children of Alcoholics
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    19. Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey
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    20. Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

    1. Women Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything
    by Geneen Roth
    Hardcover
    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
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    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

    Reviews

    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!
    Eileen

    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??
    Nowhere.
    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. Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself
    by Melody Beattie
    Paperback
    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
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    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

    Reviews

    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
    Email: Horsepete@aol.com

    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


    3. The Language of Letting Go (Hazelden Meditation Series)
    by Melody Beattie
    Paperback
    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
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    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

    Reviews

    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 JanetBoyer.com)

    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


    4. Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life's Most Important Skill
    by Matthieu Ricard
    Paperback
    list price: $14.99 -- our price: $10.19
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0316167258
    Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
    Sales Rank: 3513
    Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    "You may not find happiness in a book, but if reading a book can precipitate a tectonic shift in your life and mind toward robust, genuine, deeply rooted happiness, this would be the book." --JON KABAT-ZINN, AUTHOR OF COMING TO OUR SENSESThis is a revolutionary look at happiness, deeply philo-sophical and tremendously engaging, from one of the world's most compelling voices on the subject. Drawing from works of fiction and poetry, contemporary Western philosophy, Buddhist thought, current psychological and scientific research, and personal experience, Ricard weaves an inspirational and forward-looking account of how we can begin to rethink our realities in a fast-moving modern world. With revelatory lessons and exercises that blaze a clear path for readers, this book offers an eloquent and practical guide to a happier life. ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars An Intelligent Guide to Well-being and Happiness, April 15, 2006
    Review of "Happiness: A guide to Developing Life's Most Important Skill" by Matthieu Ricard. Published by Little Brown.


    What a joy to find such an intelligent and creative approach to the universal quest for happiness and well-being! Matthieu Ricard begins by examining our definitions of happiness and then leads us on a journey that explores the causes and conditions for happiness, our own inner mechanisms that do or don't create happiness, how to deal with death and difficulties, the sociology of happiness, and so on.

    The book's emphasis is on how to develop inner resources for a sense of happiness and fulfillment that is not dependent on outer circumstances. There is real freedom in the knowledge that we can move towards an authentic sense of well-being by working with our ways of relating and processing the obstacles and circumstances that present themselves. This is all helped along by the short enjoyable exercises that lead the reader through a process of getting to know the mind and how it works.

    Matthieu Ricard's voice is quite unique and I liked his use of metaphor to describe various emotional states and how to deal with them. I also found the sociology of happiness an interesting chapter, revealing the trends of our society, and I especially liked learning "first-hand about the work of neuroscience and the brain.

    5-0 out of 5 stars please read this book, October 3, 2006
    Few books clearly articulate the richness of Buddhist psychology for the general reader. Few books can inspire the reader to live more skillfully and empower her with teachings and tools to cultivate true happiness. Sure there are any number of "self-help" books on "how to feel happy," etc., but Ricard's book teaches about a much deeper, transformative happiness, which is within the reach of every human being.

    Buddhist psychology, developed over many centuries, is consistent with much that we have recently learned and continue to learn about our minds and our brains from neuroscience, cognitive science, and "western" psychology. Ricard, a Tibetan monk, is equally at home in Buddhist teachings and contemporary science--he was a scientist before his days as a monk.

    In a world with so much violence, so much sadness, and so much negativity, Ricard teaches us how to cultivate happiness, not by blinding ourselves to reality or by looking to some other world above and beyond our own, but by looking upon ourselves and others with the loving eyes of the Buddha. And these teachings have nothing to do with believing any doctrines or even "the truth" of Buddhism. They are practical teachings to be applied in everyday life. The "truth" is in the practice. The Buddha did not want anyone to believe anything just because he said it. He invited people to see for themselves. So see for yourself.

    Even if you are not and have no interest in "becoming a Buddhist," I highly recommend this book. I would not consider myself a Buddhist, but the values expressed by Ricard are values I cherish and aspire to embody in my day to day life.

    The chapters are also relatively short, so each one can be read and fully digested before moving to the next. (Perfect for reading in bed or on public transportation.)

    If taken to heart, this book will surely benefit you. I hope that it does.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Happiness Is A Skill, June 14, 2006
    Matthieu Ricard was born and raised in France. He had the makings of a stellar career in science, studying in his student days with a Nobel-prize winning scientist. But throughout his 20's, he shifted his interests more and more towards spirituality. For the past 30 years, he has lived and studied as a Tibetan Buddhist, in Nepal. He often serves as the French translator for the Dalai Llama.

    Ricard is a man who knows science. And, as a Frenchman, is deeply familiar with pessimism. He says, in France, happiness is considered boring, while pessimism and misery is considered quite interesting. "Happiness is only for the naive" is a common Western mindset. However, Ricard says: "Not true."

    Not only is happiness interesting - it is a skill, a challenging skill to be acquired only through intense practice. Pessimism, on the other hand, is boring - for it creates apathy, and a general lack of zest for life.

    As a man deeply interested in science, Ricard knows what he's talking about. He explains amazing discoveries made by the Mind & Life Institute. Placed under MRI brain imaging, Tibetan monks have shown to experience far greater happiness and are more emotionally balanced than any 'average' person. Scientists can gauge happiness by the amount of activity in the frontal lobe related to positive emotions. (There's also a section of the brain related to negative emotion, and criticism, which remains relatively dormant.)

    In one experiment, testing what's called a "startle" reflex - something that every human has (it's an uncontrolled flinch of one's facial muscles that occurs whenever a loud noise goes off) - a spiritually advanced monk was monitored for this reflex. When the loud noise went off, unlike anyone else ever tested, he did NOT flinch. The heart rate still went up, but the fear and flinch reflex were less apparent than in any experiment to date. Meaning: there is scientific proof that meditation grants a person peace of mind.

    This feat is accomplished through a sort of mind jujitsu - a way of keeping one's thoughts in balance. And one can accomplish it through egolessness and unattachment. Not that Ricard promotes sitting on a mat, and meditating all day. He promotes ambition, a strong willingness to help others, and a general enthusiasm in taking up various activities. But acquiring emotional equilibrium can be difficult, but ultimately rewards the person who practices it. This discipline, Ricard explains, is the "secret" to life-long happiness.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Enlightening book but with a few flaws, February 8, 2008
    I think a lot of the other reviews clearly explain why this is a wonderful book. It definitely has added a lot of perspective to my outlook on things. I believe as Ricard explains, that tweaks to the way we think and our attitude will definitely foster happier thoughts in our minds. There are some very memorable thoughts from this book - the one I liked most was the fact that happiness can never be based on external circumstances for they are fleeting. A loss of a loved one or a job can plunge a man from happiness to despair and darkness in an instant. If like Ricard, you believe that happiness can be a permanent state of mind, it has to be on the inside and all ephemeral, external circumstances will flutter the mind like lines written on water.

    But there are limitations and not-so-great things about the book which could have been improved.

    - Too much quoting philosophers and famous people
    Almost every chapter is filled with various philosopher's take on things like happiness, emotions etc. I was more interested in Ricard's own experience and his Gurus' opinions (which were also there at places) rather than a big collection of differing thoughts of other philosophers.

    - Lack of explanation on 'how to do'
    There is a clear lack of explanation of how to deal practically with the issues Ricard brings up. His theory that negative thoughts like hatred need antidotes like patience is great, but there is not much detail on how to cultivate them. Ricard says the solution is meditation, but how and what to exactly meditate on is short in content.
    A recurring theme is that when say, you are very angry, look at the anger itself without attaching it to the target of the anger and meditate, and it will melt away. Look at the emotion itself without the object it is related to and it will melt away like 'snow under the sun'.
    It sounds good to read but I find it tough to implement. While one is meditating, how is it possible to 'look' at something without giving it an image or a mental picture? How to 'look' at an abstract entity is mentioned nowhere in the book. Maybe it comes naturally to advanced spiritual practitioners, but for a layman like me, I need more explanation on how to do these things than just a vague paragraph and impressive metaphors.

    In spite of these limitations, I found it an enlightening book to read.

    5-0 out of 5 stars a book that has helped true transformation in people I know (excuse the hyperbole), June 23, 2007
    Here is an example of a message that I received from a friend who read Happiness...
    "I'm flying. The two big things for me have been: While I know I'm a responsible person toward my friends and people I interact with, I hadn't recognized how much I had emotionally blocked out other people in general and the effect it was having on my mind. From a purely selfish perspective, I now see that the more I focus on empathizing with people who I have no connection with, the calmer and clearer my mind is and the happier I am. I didn't recognize the price I was paying for not wanting to empathize with people who don't have a direct bearing on my life.

    Secondly, I hadn't really conceptualized the difference between pleasure and happiness. Upon reading it in Ricard's book, it was immediately apparent to me and I realize how much my emphasis on the former at the expense of the latter has been a mistake. I think I viewed emotionally being engaged with strangers and people "out there" in general as a distraction and waste of time, at best, but hadn't realized that all the time I was engaging with them, albeit in a negative way.

    Guy, between 'The Joy of Living, Unlocking the Secrets and Science' and "Happiness" I'm now in a total blissed-out state. A couple of the things I've realized is that in terms of my own sustained happiness it's in my strong self-interest to try to be more compassionate toward people. Just starting to think that way has allowed me to exorcise a lot of petty conflicts and tensions that unnecessarily clutter my mind. I am so much calmer now. "

    This book is VERY well worth reading. It is a must read for anyone who wants to reach beyond their material goals, and realizes that the underlying goal is happiness. It is written in a clear manner that seems to resonate with many readers.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Need for Practice, March 30, 2008
    This is just a footnote to the other reviews, especially the one that wants more of the "how" to implement the author's suggestions.
    Ricard is one of the finest students of one of the finest teachers of the Tibetan tradition as is, for example, the very popular author Pema Ch�dr�n.
    Ch�dr�n's books and "Happiness" by Ricard share the same characteristic: they make great inspirational reading BUT in the absence of a regular meditative discipline they remain only that.
    There is a great abundance of excellent books (which by the way are not enough on their own), and there are even quite a lot of excellent teachers, who can guide one with regard to that regular practice.
    Of course what "practice" is is something that must be investigated by you yourself. The many exercises found throughout Ricard's book, if assiduously undertaken, are material enough for a thorough familiarization with practice as I understand it.
    I wish you the very best in your quest,
    Richard Wrigley.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A deep and wide-ranging guide to building the happiness skill, November 19, 2007
    Matthieu Ricard's subtitle reveals his premise - that 'achieving durable happiness as a way of being is a skill' (page 7). Although some people are happier than others, he notes, such happiness is not durable and complete.

    How then is the skill of durable happiness achieved? Ricard - a Buddhist monk and both monk and son in the popular book The Monk and the Philosopher: A Father and Son Discuss the Meaning of Life - advocates ongoing mind training and the development of qualities including inner peace, altruistic love and mindfulness.

    But this is not a Buddhist book so much as 'Buddhist in spirit' (page 14). It's written for 'anyone who aspires to a little more joie de vivre and to let wisdom and compassion reign in his or her life' (page 15).

    As such, the book synthesizes ancient Buddhist wisdom with current research findings to offer a happiness program built on spiritual awareness, scientific knowledge and simple exercises. It explores conditions that support happiness - like a deep sense of wellbeing, wisdom, and love for fellow beings - and those that undermine it - including ignorance, mental toxins and disturbing emotions like desire, hatred and envy. In this way, it leads readers away from a life built on grasping for pleasure and self-absorption toward one of contentment and altruism.

    In short:

    Ricard's approach to cultivating happiness is deep but wonderfully wide-ranging. It takes findings from neuroscience, psychology, positive psychology, sociology and economics and ideas from philosophy and ethics, and presents them through a prism of ancient Buddhist wisdom. The result is a gentle, wise and motivating guide to happiness that spans suffering, death, emotions, time and ego.

    Please note that all of Ricard's share in the book's proceeds go to humanitarian and educational projects in Tibet, Nepal, India and Bhutan.

    5-0 out of 5 stars As only a practicioner could say it...., July 11, 2007
    This is an amazing book. The minute I finished, I started over again. This book is about the pathways to happiness as understood and explained by a Buddhist monk (Ricard). Ricard's explanations and insights are extremely valuable and practical. Even more, Ricard has consulted all the leading research associated with the "science of happiness."

    This book is for anyone who believes that happiness is a learned behavior that requires daily practice. Its greatest strengths are its clearity, practical applications, and scientific base. It is a very rational approach to the subject of well-being. Plus, Ricard consults the leaders in the positive psychology movement-- a very good move.

    Read this book if you truly want to be happier.

    [...]

    5-0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking, September 27, 2006
    Happiness - A Guide to Developing Life's Most Important Skill covers so much territory.

    This is my first introduction to Matthieu Ricard but woven in the book is the story of his life. Ricard traces his early adult life in France and a promising career in cellular genetics. A career he gave up to study Buddihism. He is now a Buddhist Monk and writes from that perspective.
    There is no question that Buddhism has some valuable insights into what life is all about and how best to live a fulfilled life.

    One of the most contrasting differences between Buddhism and Western society is the way we view death. For the most part, Western society deals with death in a very unsatisfactory manner. Buddhism on the other hand understand and accepts death as a normal and natural end to life. I think our society would be better off if we could handle death better.

    There is another sharp difference in how Western society carries so much mental baggage throughout life, while the Buddhist work to clear their mind of guilt, resentment, hatred and other negative emotions. "What a relief it is for the burdened man who has long walked through the world of suffereing to lay down his heavy and useless load."

    Although the book deals with some very deep and complex subject matter, it is well written and easy to understand. There is extensive citing of the source material in the appendix.

    While the answer to so many of life's puzzles seem so clear, it is also clear that very few in Western society will ever dig deeply into these concepts. Unfortunately we are always looking for the quick fix. We seem to want to take a magic pill and make things right. Ricard shows us a way to achieve what ever human strives for. But it is very doubtful that many will be willing to make the changes necessary to achieve true happiness.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wise & Enlightening, June 16, 2007
    It is rare that I would read a book more than once (except when studying for exams decades ago), this is one of them & I'm keen to do so. By beautifully integrating wisdom from scientific, philosophical, & religious perspectives, Ricard has not simply offered me enlightening insight about what happiness is about, he also illustrated how one could lead a fulfilling & compassionate life. I look forward to learn more from Ricard, practice his advice, & lead my mind to where serenity resides. ... Read more


    5. The Easy Way to Stop Smoking: Join the Millions Who Have Become Non-smokers Using Allen Carr's Easy Way Method
    by Allen Carr
    Paperback
    list price: $12.95 -- our price: $10.28
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 1402771630
    Publisher: Sterling
    Sales Rank: 1979
    Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    A new paperback edition of the revolutionary bestseller, with four million copies in print

     

    Allen Carr’s innovative Easyway method—which he developed after his own 100-cigarette-a-day habit nearly drove him to despair—has helped millions kick smoking without feeling anxious and deprived. That’s because he helps smokers discover the psychological reasons behind their dependency, handle the withdrawal symptoms, avoid situations when temptation might become too strong, and stay smoke-free. Carr discusses issues such as nicotine addiction; the social “brainwashing” that encourages smoking; the false belief that a cigarette relieves stress; the role boredom plays in sabotaging efforts to quit; and the main reasons for failure. With this proven program, smokers will throw away their packs for good.

     

    ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars How to Quit Smoking- no if, ands, or butts., December 14, 2007
    No need for a long review here. About the first three quarters of the book is spent exploding various myths and delusions about smoking (such as smoking relaxing you or getting rid of stress), which sets you up and gets you into the right frame of mind for actually quitting. At this point, the book wants you to continue smoking while you read it. In a nutshell, the easy way to stop smoking involves two things: one, deciding you are never going to smoke again, and two, don't mope about it anymore, rejoice. Sounds too simple, but after reading the first part of the book, this strategy will make more sense to you.

    Lastly, the book cites two main reasons why you will fail: the influence of other smokers, and having a bad day. Having been around for 20 some years and being able to refine it with twenty years of feedback, I feel like this is one of the better books out there on non-smoking.

    Also helpful: The Sixty-Second Motivator -short, to the point, and practical.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Another happy ex-smoker checking in, November 14, 2001
    I quit after 40 years of smoking at least one pack a day, and it was just as easy as Allen Carr said it would be. I think the key is to give in and accept what Carr is telling you.

    I didn't think I was ready to quit. I thought I enjoyed smoking, and some days, a cigarette was my only incentive to get out of bed. I had bought the book on a whim, for some day far off in the future when I'd be "ready" to quit. I had bought a carton of cigarettes on Saturday, and then on Sunday I was bored and decided to read the book. Had my last cigarette before I was halfway through. Next morning at work, a friend asked me if I was ready to go outside for a smoke break and I said "Well, I don't smoke anymore, but I'll go outside with you."

    No withdrawal pangs, just a feeling of relief that I didn't have to smoke any more, and that it wasn't going to be hard at all. All the smoking triggers that I worried about -- car trips, after meals, phone calls, stressful times at work or at home, leaving work and lighting up, having a beer at the bar -- none of those things triggered the urge. The urge is gone.

    Wish I had found the book earlier.

    5-0 out of 5 stars When are committed to quit, this book will make it happen, October 28, 2004
    My wife tried every technique including the LungUSA program (Freedom from Smoking), counselors, the gum, willpower, etc. I came across this book in the mall, she read it, and quit. And she did it decisively. Don't buy this for someone you want to quit -- reserve it for when they are committed and struggling and need something to help them. The psychology is subtle but highly effective. I even bought a copy to put in the public library. It begs the question -- why hasn't it become popular here already?

    5-0 out of 5 stars Knowledge is power., July 14, 2006
    UPDATE: May 18, 2008--Almost two years now. Happier than ever. My small circle of fellow-quitters-by-this-book: still a 100% success rate, most of them for almost as long as me.

    Read my long, rambling review if you like, but I'd rather you'd spend as much time reading as many DIFFERENT reviews here as possible, then...BELIEVE IT.

    Trust me, I know that as a smoker, it seems absolutely unbelievable. I was exactly the same way. Just do it, give it a shot. 359 out of 406 said FIVE STARS. That's no accident. You'll see some patterns in these reviews...believe what you're reading. Do it now.

    Ten bucks for this book? That's two packs of smokes! So worth it. So easy. Don't waste another day. Don't even wait for it from Amazon...drive to the store and get it NOW. You can read it in two or three days...you'll be free.

    UPDATE: September 22, 2006--it's now been three months since I quit, I haven't stumbled once, and the thought of smoking doesn't even enter my mind. I can happily and easily be around smokers without wanting a cigarette. For example: a friend of mine forgot I'd quit and asked me to HOLD HER BURNING CIGARETTE while she went inside the house...I did so with no desire to puff on it...no kidding...I never would have believed it if I hadn't experienced it myself.

    A couple of reviews above contend that you will still have cravings. I'm of the opinion that those people weren't mentally in the right place when they read this book. Here's how I explain it: you can't crave or miss something that you truly don't want, right? (Case in point: non-smokers don't crave cigarettes.) For about a week, yes, I did impulsively reach for the spot on the coffee table where the pack usually was, but I'd quickly remember that I'd quit, and had no struggle. In fact, so easily beating the impulse was empowering.

    Read the avalanche of positive reviews, and believe it. You know you shouldn't smoke, but deep down inside, you think you want it, that you enjoy it...you think you will miss it, you think you'll keep wanting it. Allen Carr will convince you of why you don't want to smoke. I've recommended this book to four other people, all of whom have quit without a problem. All of them (including me), and two other people who haven't finished the book yet, have stopped reading in the middle, or delayed starting it because they're afraid that they will continue to want the thing that they know is bad for them...they BELIEVE that they enjoy and want cigarettes. After you read the book, you simply no longer believe the LIES you've been telling yourself: that you want it, that you enjoy it, that you'll miss it. THAT'S why it's painless. Do you have to talk yourself out of eating cardboard? Do you have to exercise willpower not to chow down on it? Why not? Because you have no desire for it. That's what this book does for smoking. It's COMPLETELY DIFFERENT from any other approach to quitting.

    Smoke four more days, and you've spent the price of the book. My original review from July 14th follows........

    My smoking resume: I quit smoking three weeks ago today, after reading Allen Carr's book. I averaged a pack and a half a day for almost twenty years. During that time I quit smoking several times, once for six months. As with the vast majority of the people who have written reviews here, I quit smoking when I finished reading the book and have had no desire to smoke again. First, I want to address two recent reviews (that you will find below)...

    Anthony (three stars on July 6th) makes the point that a person's commitment to quitting is a factor, and whatever book you're reading at the time you decide to quit might/could work. That's sort of true, but I disagree with him on another point: this book's approach to quitting is vastly different from anything else out there, and I, like most, have tried almost everything. Nicotine gum, regular gum, holding empty cigarettes, sheer force of will, the list goes on and on. This book explains, one by one, why each method of quitting generally fails, and even when successful, how people who haven't smoked for long periods can go back to it. It doesn't, as Anthony says, "acknowledge that it is the determination that ultimately makes it happen". Carr does note that you have to want to quit, for sure, but he equips you differently that any other method. Interestingly, simply, elegantly: knowledge is the power. Simply and truly understanding smoking for what it is gives you the strength, and I guarantee that you've never heard it explained like this. If you're reading these reviews, you're probably trying and wanting to quit for good yourself (or for a loved one to quit), and you know how common, and painful, the failure can be.

    Okay, two big stars from Kenneth on July 5th. Kenneth, my man, ease up a bit. We all admire your Viking-like strength and ease of quitting by not whining and "just doing it", "just not smoking". You are truly a man of great intestinal fortitude. But most of the smokers who are reading these reviews will probably tell you it's not that easy for them, and they cannot explain why. My best friend, who still smokes but just started reading the book, said, "but I just...want one." He couldn't explain why. And Kenneth, before you disagree too strongly, o ye of infinite willpower, why, then, did you ever smoke at all? How long were you a smoker? A day? I'm happy for your success, but you seem like you might even be angry about quitting. The other eighty-some people who wrote positive reviews here don't seem mad at all. At least be happy for us, and avoid coaching little league.

    When I've quit in the past:
    1) I always decided I'd quit the following day, because I had to be able to smoke a few more before I actually stopped--y'know, otherwise, it would just feel like I'd run out--then I'd destroy any remaining cigarettes before I went to sleep (after clogging my lungs and stinging my eyes with as many as I physically could), and "not smoke" when I got up the next day. I'd wake up feeling ill, and would be smoking by noon, typically.
    2) I rarely tell anyone else I was quitting ('cause the looming fear of failure made me want to make sure I had really quit before I broadcast it, so as not to embarrass myself publicly with my weakness...I would at least want to get past noon).
    3) I had to make sure there were not any smoke-able butts anywhere, because I'd definitely fire one up if I found it. Had to spray water in the trash cans, because otherwise, I'd dig through the trash looking for butts. Y'know, you're not REALLY failing to quit if you don't actually go BUY a pack, right?
    4) I was frustrated, irritable with people I loved and enraged with people I didn't even know, and was always thinking about the cigarette I wished I was having but knew I couldn't. After doing that a few times, I was able to consider how miserable quitting was before I would even make an attempt. Talk about a discouragement...that would begin several more months or years of puffing away before I'd think about trying to quit again.

    Does any of that sound familiar?

    This time--and I'm not kidding:
    1) I quit when I finished reading the book. It was around one in the afternoon. I stopped at that moment with no regrets or worries about what I'd do with my hands for the rest of the day. Matter of fact, an hour after I put out my last cigarette, my mom called to tell me that her doctor needed her and my dad to come in together to look at a CAT scan from earlier that week, didn't tell them why, but it sounded serious. Mom just called to let me know and ask for prayers. This was ONE HOUR after my last cigarette. She's okay, by the way...a chronic sinus infection, not the big "C"...but I never even felt close to wanting a cig.
    2) I have been telling everyone I talk to, from day one, that I've quit smoking.
    3) I've walked by lots of leftover cig butts (I'm something of a slob, I guess) and sometimes I toss them in the trash, but sometimes I just shrug it off, leave it there, and have no desire whatsoever to spark it. I've had some moments where, simply out of habit, I reach for the place on the coffee table where they were, but I'm equipped to deal with it, and Allen Carr's not kidding, either--it's actually fun to beat the brief urge to smoke, and so easily.
    4) I was not frustrated or irritable (no more than a normal, non-smoking human, anyway), and now when I think about the cigarette I'm not having, I smile rather than sweat.

    Read more of these reviews...these people aren't making it up. There's a reason that the average rating is five stars instead of two and a half. No accident. I didn't believe it until I read the book. I would read a review and think, "yeah, you haven't smoked in five days, I've done that lots of times." But after I finished the book, I realized that I was looking at things completely differently than I ever had before, from the moment I put out the last one. One of these reviews says something like, "I read two-thirds of this book and then stopped reading it because I was afraid if I finished it, I'd quit smoking." Basically, he was afraid that by simply finishing the book, his cigarettes would forever vanish from his life. HE WASN'T AFRAID OF FAILURE, HE WAS AFRAID HE'D SUCCEED. How cool is that? (and if that doesn't demonstrate how twisted smoking is, I don't know what does.)

    The final selling point that got me to buy this book: you get to smoke all the way until the very end, no guilt, no pressure. So you won't have to miss any of that smooth, full, smoking pleasure if the book doesn't work. But it will work, in spite of you. That's what's so great about it.

    Do It Now.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I READ THIS BOOK 4 YRS AGO, HAVENT SMOKED SINCE, September 9, 2002
    I was recommended this book by an ex-heavy smoker (40 a day). he said it worked for him and gave me a copy. I smoked for 10 years, and have been a non-smoker again for 4 years.
    I tried to read it once (out of peer pressure) and never got to the end of it. 6 months later I retried reading it, this time I finished reading it. I havent smoked since.
    I dont miss smoking at all. Yet I'm not a smoker.. I like the smell of fresh smoke, I can see why the ritual of smoking appeals to smokers, I dont mind if others smoke but I have absolutely NO desire to smoke.
    Its a cheap painless way to quit. Try it.The book is an easy common sense read but really does change your perception.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The TRULY easy way!, March 27, 2006
    This book is AMAZING! I started smoking when I was 13 (I turned 25 twenty days ago and quit a week before that) and have quit numerous times. Of course, as they say, "quitting is easy, it's staying quite that's hard." Most of these attempts only lasted a day or two, and every time I started again I felt like such a weakling. Once, I quit for four months, only to break down in a time of stress, picking up right where I left off. After reading Easy Way, I quit without feeling like I was losing something from my life. I actually have waited a month to write a review just to make sure that the program worked. I've never had an easier time quitting or staying quit. Allan encourages readers to smoke until they finish the book, which I think was very important for me. Being "allowed" to continue actually made me eager to stop; I threw the rest of my pack away before finishing. Allan also doesn't discourage you from thinking about cigarettes, which I do. BUT I think about them in a "thank God I don't smoke anymore!" way. On occasion (maybe 3 times) I've wanted a cigatette, but through the positive techniques and patterns established in the book (not to mention actually seeing the tar in my phlegm a week after I quit) helped me say no. I can't believe such an effective method is only $15! I've tried hypnosis and Nicorette, cold turkey, prayer and willpower, but nothing has been this effective. Strangely, nothing in the book is particularly revolutionary, it's the presentation, occasional repetition and tone that really provided the break-through. I haven't gained any weight (in fact, I think I've lost some)and my persistant acne is nearly gone. I look younger, my clothes don't stink, and I don't always have to leave my friends or the party to go out and smoke. Yay!

    Update: November 2007: Still smoke free and happy! This book is also great if you have a relapse.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Someone give this man a medal., April 9, 2005
    10 years I smoked, 1 - 2 packs a day, and in spite of several attempts to quit, and thoughts of hypnotism, I decided I quite liked smoking, and that was that.

    Never in a million years did I think this would work. I didn't even want to quit. I only read it cos my sister gave it to me and I'd run out of other books. (Although it worked for her, and the person who gave it to her...)

    3 days I took to read it, thought it was all a bit obvious and that I could have written it myself, and was still seriously skeptical when I finished it.

    But here's the thing.... that was last June. And I still haven't had even one puff of a cigarette. Nor do I want one. In fact after 9 months, I think smoking's kind of gross. It smells horrible, it interferes with your day, and it truly is like kissing an ashtray.

    How did this happen? You stopped me instantly, Mr Carr, and I didn't even want to stop! So strange. So amazing. Never have the thoughts of one man had such a massive, and such a permanent, impact on my life.

    I salute this man. The governemt should give a copy of this book to every smoker. The tobacco industry would collapse within the week.

    It truly truly works. Buy it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Buy it!, December 11, 2004
    I knew four people who read the book and they all quit. Most impressive though was that they were not suffering over it -- they were happy and carefree! I was scared to death to even read the book and did not want to quit at all, but my doctor told me to. Well, now I know five people who have read the book and quit. The book does not scare you into stopping with health warnings. Instead, one by one, it removes all the fears you have about stopping. (I won't enjoy myself at a party... I'll gain weight...I'll be miserable forever...) Once you lose all those fears, it really is easy to stop. It's been over a year now and I know I will never smoke another cigarette. Thank you Allen Carr!

    5-0 out of 5 stars IT JUST WORKS!, September 1, 2007
    I don't even know where to begin, but THIS BOOK JUST WORKS!
    It seems weird to read a book and "just quit", but that's what happened.
    Trust me, it won't be "different for you"... it will work. Buy it.
    I've read the hundreds of reviews on the last book's edition, and it inspired me to purchase this latest (2006) edition.
    A friend of mine who quit (after reading to pg. 95 of this book...it took me longer, by the way) recommended it to me about 8 months ago.
    It's taken me that long to buy the book because
    I WAS AFRAID TO QUIT!
    I mean, I'm 41 (just had a birthday)and I've been smoking for 25 years and I "like it" (or so I thought)!
    I kind of didn't want to quit smoking, but thought I should.
    I smoked for 25 years (that's plenty). ...At least one pack/day for 23 of those years. Of course, I stopped while pregnant (didn't have the urge, thank God) and slowly started again, only this time (for the last 3 years) it's only been 5 cigs./day (or more if I was "out" partying).

    I bought the book and didn't really think I'd quit and wasn't really "ready" or anything and I started reading the book and it just happened anyway!
    I smoked my last cigarette on Monday, August 13, 2007 (while I was still 40)! I just had a birthday... this was my gift to myself.
    I know it's only been shy of three weeks, but it was pretty EASY! And, I know I'm done. You can just tell. (like when I met my husband, you "just know")

    The first week was only very slightly bothersome, but I was EASILY able to talk myself out of it (surprisingly). I really shock myself. Honestly, it's an easy read and I'm sure you'll quit. Seriously.
    I know your thinking, "It sounds good, but it probably won't work for me"
    ... I said THE SAME THING! AND IT WORKED! (I thought I was "different") Boo hoo.

    I've been telling EVERYBODY!
    The book says that if after reading it, you have any urge at all, whatsoever to smoke, then you should also read the larger book (which I'm doing, just for reinforcement)and you will never think about another smoke again (most people feel this way after reading the first one)
    This is the second (very long) book: Allen Carr's "Only way to stop smoking permanently".

    It's funny that it occassionally occurs to me that maybe I wasn't committed enough to quitting, when I read it, so it didn't work with just the one book.
    It only took me one time to think, "I'll have just one more"
    ... how stupid!
    I smoked for 25 YEARS, but one more was going to do it! HA!
    I EASILY talked myself out of that one.

    Additionally, I have never tried to quit, before. He says it's easier if you HAVE tried before, for some reason.

    Also, it is VERY important to smoke while you're reading this book! (I didn't, enough, probably)
    He actually tells you on a few occassions while reading to light up (if you're not, already).

    My last cigarette was the one that he told me to light. I had just finished one about 20 minutes before and didn't really want another one but I lit it anyway, because he told me to. (I wanted to follow the directions exactly)
    It did NOTHING for me.
    I didn't even think when I tossed it in the fireplace that that was going to be my last one. Turns out, it just was. Probably this is best.
    Funny, I remember my first one, too, and it was equally distasteful.
    Interesting.

    So, no. After 25 years of smoking, I don't really need another ONE to "make sure". Now, I could really care less.
    It's so cool.
    It is a little strange to me (the fact) that I haven't smoked in three weeks.
    That's NEVER happened before (except when pregnant)!
    I couldn't even imagine that, before.

    I'd even smoke when I was so sick I didn't want to get out of bed or eat anything, let alone smoke.
    But there I was, sitting at the fireplace, stuffed up and ache-y all over, puffing away. What a moron.
    You're only laughing because you've done the same thing!
    That's 'cause we're smokers and that's what smokers do. Pathetic, I know. But true.
    I remember putting those "sick-time" cigarettes out and saying,
    "That didn't really help anything", but at least I didn't go a whole day without smoking, that would be too weird. Crazy.

    Read this book. Please read this book. Pretty please, read this book.
    You'll be glad you did.

    I am such an advocate now that I feel like running a stop smoking clinic. But I'm too busy, so I'm writing this for you.

    Anyway, just get the book.
    You'll really be glad you did, and so will your kids, your parents, your friends or anyone else you tell!

    Sometimes I just tell strangers so that I can see the happy look on their faces and get compliments.
    Smoking is the only thing that when you are doing it, you kind of wish you weren't and when you're not, you wished you were. ridiculous!

    Every day since I quit has been a good day. I was literally giddy and bubbly the day I quit... and that's not really my personality.

    I take deep breaths, now.. (because I can) and it feels SO good!

    On occassion, I think of the act of smoking at different moments like getting into my car.
    I would always light up if I was alone in my car, because I knew I could smoke there without getting any dirty looks. Sometimes, I would even try to hide it while driving... like when kids were in the car next to me, especially.

    Now, I wouldn't say I "crave" a smoke, but there are still times when it occurs to me that I'd be smoking now, if I were a smoker. Like in my car or having a beer, etc. (this is why I'm reading the next book)
    The difference is, I can EASILY talk myself out of it and in about 10 seconds, I forget about that thought and it literally "doesn't matter" anymore.
    I don't care if people smoke around me, or if everyone in the room is.
    You'll see.
    It even works for "secret smokers"... those who say they've quit but then get up at 3:00 am and sneak outside for one or make up stupid errands to have an exuse to drive somewhere alone. (ridiculous, but true)
    Those smokers are actually the ones who REALLY need this book, too!

    I'm so thankful and indebted to Allen Carr (I wish he were alive to tell him, myself) for setting me free.
    (He went from chain smoking 100 cigaretts/day to zero with NO PROBLEMS)!
    So, see, he was worse than you!
    (regretably, he died this year from lung cancer, by the way, but was able to enjoy many years as a non-smoker before he died)

    I haven't told my parents yet, but I can't wait to see the excitement on their faces when I tell them.

    Having a beautiful three year old daughter, myself, it just KILLS ME to imagine her with a cigarette in her mouth!

    I CAN'T BELIEVE I DID THAT TO MY MOM!

    The best way I can rectify all those painful years they watched me, is to relieve them with the great news.
    I can't wait.

    Honestly, if I were any happier, I wouldn't know what to do with myself. I want you to feel that way too.
    Thanks for reading.
    Anastasia

    5-0 out of 5 stars Nothing stopped me until I picked up this BIBLE!, January 17, 2006
    Im a 23 year old female and I've been smoking for 9 years about a pack and a half a day. Never went more than a few hours without a smoke until one day I was in the bookstore and saw a table with a stack of these lying on it. I had a 20 dollar bill in my skirt pocket so i bought it. when i started reading it , the book has such a profound effect on my mind that sometimes i had to put it down and think. It doesnt use shock treatment or health scare facts it just deals with smoking on a mental and subconcious level. I dont know but whatever it does by the time i read the last page I laughed at my pack of Newports. Im 5 days clean and I dont know what I woulda done without this book. Im telling you its a LIFESAVER! Even if you are skeptical just get it from the library or something. Im giving to my whole family and I thank god for letting me find this book. It has truly changed my life.
    ... Read more


    6. Alcoholics Anonymous: the "Big Book" (The key text of Alcoholics Anonymous)
    by Anonymous
    Kindle Edition
    list price: $0.99
    Asin: B002H9W08M
    Publisher: ignacio hills press (TM) IgnacioHillsPress.com and e-Pulp Adventures (TM)
    Sales Rank: 983
    Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    NOTE: This edition has a linked "Table of Contents" and has been beautifully formatted (searchable and interlinked) to work on your Amazon e-book reader, Amazon Desktop Reader, and your ipod e-book reader.

    This is the key text of Alcoholics Anonymous, and was a seminal work in the development of 12-step programmes to treat addictions.

    Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is a worldwide fellowship of men and women who share a desire to stop drinking alcohol. AA suggests members completely abstain from alcohol, regularly attend meetings with other members, and follow its program to help each other with their common purpose; to help members "stay sober and help other alcoholics achieve sobriety."

    AA created the twelve-step program used by similar recovery groups like Al-Anon, an auxiliary group for friends and family members of alcoholics; and Narcotics Anonymous, a group for substance abusers who may or may not also identify as alcoholics.
    ... Read more

    Reviews

    4-0 out of 5 stars Not the current edition of this book . . ., September 15, 2009
    This is not the 4th (current) edition of this book revised in 2001 or even the 3rd edition, revised in 1976. I think it may be the 2nd. If you want to follow along with your group reading the stories you may want to get an up to date edition. If you just want to get sober this will do!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Big Book Second Edition, February 10, 2010
    This is the second edition version. I love having the Big Book on my Kindle, however, the lack of page numbering is frustrating at times - this is a Kindle issue not a book issue.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Electronic 'Big Book' to Go, January 13, 2010
    This is the indispensable basic text book of recovery. The stories in this copy of Alcoholics Anonymous are from the 2nd Edition, and therefore may present some 'new' stories to readers of the 3rd or 4th Edition. What a bonus!

    Textbooks are for studying, and it's wonderful to have this indispensable material available for review in a variety of forms. Kindle is just one more way that the message of hope is being carried.

    "If recovery doesn't come first, nothing comes second."

    4-0 out of 5 stars good, December 23, 2009
    this book will do if you just want to get and stay sober. saved my life. candy m.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Alcoholics Anonymous, October 2, 2010
    difficult to use in this format as a quick reference. key phrases or even chapter titles were not recognized in search queries.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great work, March 14, 2010
    I've been useing this book for over 40 years. This digital form makes it more portable. ... Read more


    7. The Book That Started It All: The Original Working Manuscript of Alcoholics Anonymous
    by Anonymous Anonymous
    Hardcover
    list price: $65.00 -- our price: $35.10
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 159285947X
    Publisher: Hazelden Publishing
    Sales Rank: 4664
    Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Born from one of the most significant collaborative writing projects of all time, this extraordinary, never-before-published copy of the original working manuscript of the Big Book offers fresh insights into the history and foundation of the revolutionary Alcoholics Anonymous program.

    Reproduced in this elegant gift edition with an introduction and notes by a panel of celebrated AA historians, the original working manuscript is the missing link in our understanding of what transpired between AA founder Bill Wilson's first draft of Alcoholics Anonymous and the first published edition. In January 1939, Wilson and other AA founders distributed 400 copies of his typescript to everyone they could think of 'who might be concerned with the problem of alcoholism,' to test out the program. As the loan copies were returned, suggestions for revision were considered and written out in colored pencil on one master copy that was eventually submitted for publication.

    The many changes made in black, green, and red on page after page are shown here in their original form, revealing the opinions, debates, and discussions that went into making the Big Book.

    ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars fantastic, September 30, 2010
    I was awe struck reading this book. Not only were the manuscript comments absolutely fascinating, the reproduction techniques used were of such a high quality that it really made me think I was in the room with Bill W. as he was reviewing edits. And, the commentary from the AA historians really put the manuscript in context. Hats off Hazelden!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Images, September 30, 2010
    I purchased my copy from Hazelden a few weeks ago. The images of the original manuscripts are amazing. The book is much larger then I envisioned it would be and it's a very good quality. I highly recommend this book to all AA readers. If you can't wait for your copy it's available from Hazelden, they offer free shipping as well.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Phenominal!!!, September 30, 2010
    I was absolutely AMAZED after reading this book. The careful thought and discussions that went into creating the first Alcoholics Anonymous book is unbelievable. I would highly recommend that others take a look!

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Missing Link in AA History, October 14, 2010
    As a member of AA for 30+ years, I have been fascinated with its turbulent history: from the manuscrpt version through the 1st ed., to the present edition 4th, which has slight but significant changes in subsequent printings [The 4th edition,1st printing, talked about internet use approvingly, which was removed from subsequent printings.] See my lists on Amazon. Copies of the unedited manuscript have been available from GSO without the redactions. Incidentally Hazelden charges $65 plus P&H for this. The Amazon price [which was $38, but which has been removed by Hazelden(?)] WAS a bargain for Good Old Timers in arguements with Bleeding Deacons who insist upon an authoritative progam for newcomers.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A matter of perspective!, October 29, 2010
    I've shared my copy of this book with several friends --- along with the points that Dick B. makes in his review (and I've printed those out to stick into my copy of the book), the thing that I find important to point out to people as they are "browsing" the contents of the book (i.e., not sitting down and really reading the text) is to remember that the most sobriety anyone in the program had at the time of the writing and the reviews was Bill W. with about 4 years . . . it has been helpful to suggest that individuals think about where they were (or where friends in the program are) when they had 3 (or fewer) years of sobriety and were they capable of putting together a book (or even editing a book) that has held up for over 70 years and helped millions of people to save their lives and the lives of others (and then to make those lives worth living)!

    The fun part is that, almost without exception, nearly everyone with whom I've shared my copy of the book has wanted to get a copy for themselves (or as a gift for a friend, sponsor, etc.). I'm grateful that I ordered a pre-publication copy through Amazon!


    5-0 out of 5 stars awesome!, October 26, 2010
    As I sat reading this book, especially Bill W's speech to the Texas State Convention in 1954 where he told his own history of how the book came into being, I was overwhelmed with emotion. I couldn't help but believe all of this was divinely guided. I was in the food court of my local mall with tears in my eyes, absolutely grateful for the brave men and women who started AA and their determination to carry the message to the rest of us.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely AWESOME, October 30, 2010
    I don't know whether I would have purchased this book for $65 sight unseen--I bought it at Amazon at a substantial discount.

    Nevertheless, having obtained the finished product, it is well worth the $65 for which it is being sold by Hazelden (pre-orders for the next shipment are discounted there until around the end of November).

    The book is VERY high quality, with color plates for each and every page of the manuscript, at actual size. This is a very large, and very heavy book. AA history buffs will absolutely LOVE it. The commentaries help to put the edits in context, and whether you agree or disagree with some of the editorial decisions made, these are what shaped the book that became the foundation of the Fellowship.

    I don't doubt that there will be more books to come, each with their own gloss on what is reproduced here. GREAT holiday gift for anyone in AA who loves the Big Book. ... Read more


    8. The Alcoholism and Addiction Cure: A Holistic Approach to Total Recovery
    by Chris Prentiss
    Paperback
    list price: $15.95 -- our price: $10.85
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0943015448
    Publisher: Power Press
    Sales Rank: 2868
    Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    The Alcoholism and Addiction Cure contains the powerful three-step program to total recovery that is the basis of the miraculous success of the Passages Addiction Cure Center in Malibu, California. You'll learn the three steps to permanent sobriety; the four causes of dependency; how your thoughts, emotions, and beliefs are key factors in your recovery; and how to create your own personalized treatment program with the help of health professionals where you live--one that gets to the real, underlying causes of dependency. A visionary and an innovator, Chris Prentiss brings new hope to people everywhere who are dependent on drugs, alcohol, or addictive behaviors. This groundbreaking approach will show you how to end relapse, end your craving, end addictive behavior, and end your suffering. ... Read more

    Reviews

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great Recovery Story, But Who Can Afford Their Plan?, June 17, 2008
    The story that the son, Pax, wrote about his addiction and recovery was great. It rang brutally true. I was into the book and ready to see how they could translate their $50,000/month Malibu treatment plan to the masses. The answer? They can't. They recommend hiring a western medical doctor, a clinical pyschologist, a massage therapist, a nutrionist, an acupuncturist, a hypnotist, and a doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine as the minimum "holistic treatment team". They recommend going to clinical pyschologist at least 3 times/week. During a question/answer part of the book, it was asked "What if I can't afford all of this?" The answer? Ask to be treated for free. Tell them that they'd be part of a "Passages model team".

    Okay...

    My HMO pays for 10 counseling sessions per year with a social worker. And the copay for that is $40 per visit. Somehow I don't think I'm going to be able to assemble this psychological dream team without a load of cash and a lot of free time.

    Oh, and what should you do if your dream team doesn't live in your small town? MOVE to a big city (just for a month).

    I'm not a big fan of AA and their dogmatic religiosity, but at least they're free and close by!

    1-0 out of 5 stars THE BIG BUCKS ADDICTION SCAM, April 8, 2009
    Do not expect too much help with your addiction from reading this book. While there were some worthwhile, warmed over insights this book is essentially a lengthy promotion for their in-patient recovery program costing tens of thousands of dollars. There is nothing in the book that helps you get unhooked from your addiction without their clinic and/or a myriad of experts trained in their methodology. If you visit their web site they have quite an array of goods for sale to "assist" in your recovery. This is a product mill, for sure. Lot's of promise, no delivery.

    1-0 out of 5 stars DO NOT BUY! SCAM!, November 26, 2009
    This book is a real scam. After chapter upon chapter of stories and then more stories, the author finally gets to the major point of the cure which is: "alcoholism is related to something that happened in your past and you must either visit their clinic or find a psychiatrist in town and get him to buy the book too so you both can discover what the underlying problem is." I promise, this is what the book is all about. When you get to the final chapter and read this, it's like, "I can't believe I wasted time reading this rubbish" - DO NOT BUY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and if you do, please say I'm right after you've read it.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Not a self help book, January 9, 2009
    This book is a 300+ page advertisement for the author's treatment center.
    Few if any could afford to hire the staff they recommend to complete the program

    2-0 out of 5 stars Weird and illogical, April 17, 2009
    I suspect that this book will resonate for some people and not others. If it resonates for someone, then I think that's great. One takes help where one finds it.

    For me, though, this book reads like new-agey warmed over 12 step, plus vitamins, acupuncture and massage. I don't see any basis for Passage's claims of being the most successful treatment program in the US; it looks to me as if they do the same thing that 12 step rehabs do--they measure their success by counting only the clients who are successful. You can come up with a great number when you say "it works for all the people it works for." What I want to know is if a person walks in the front door, how likely is it that person is sober a couple of years later? But they never tell you THAT number!

    I also have to say that I was not terribly moved by all the angst-riddled material about Pax Prentiss's addiction. It's not that I don't think his situation was horrible, it's just that it's not unique. Every one of us who has been addicted or has had an addicted family member knows the drill, knows how bad it gets and how frustrating it is, and it gets old. If I wanted to hear a drunkalog I could go to an AA meeting and hear one any day of the week...C'mon.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Marketing at its best, Research at its worst, March 29, 2009
    I am a Licensed Psychologist with expertise in Substance Abuse and Mental Illness. I am not bias in any way for or against the book. However, it is not very scientific and sound. The author makes very contradictory statements. He allows his son, Pax, to write about when he was in the throes of his addiction. Pax's 10 years of active addiction underscores that it is a disease and that you are powerless without intervention. The author goes on to say that addiction is not a "brain" disease. But, his son's behavior said otherwise. In addition, the author acknowledges that one cannot drink or drug again, once "cured." How does this differ from addiction being a disease? Semantics? The author doesn't believe in the saying," once an addict, always an addict." However, the notion that once you've been addicted, you cannot use the drug or substance again, implies the same thing.

    I agree that underlying issues maintain addictions. I am a proponent of Dual Diagnosis. However, that does not negate the fact that once the individual has crossed over to addiction, the brain has been altered (for most, permanently). The recovery process should consist of symptom reduction as well as exploration of underlying issues.

    I did not find this book to be research based or helpful. Maybe for a layman, unfamiliar with the field of substance abuse or mental health, this book could be found innovative and useful. The most interesting chapter was Pax's chapter as he underscored the "disease of addiction."

    1-0 out of 5 stars What a crock!, February 6, 2009
    How can you "cure" what is NOT a disease?!? I tried holistic, psychological, religious and "behavior mod" attempts to get sober for 8 years!!! They nearly killed me! Until I accepted that I could not accurately and consistently predict the outcome of any "drinking episode" (ie I am powerless...) I continued to attempt to control my drinking. Accepting my condition enabled me to begin to deal with it effectively. I have 22 years sober! This is a fancy book to sell a $50,000.00 a month TREATMENT program that is NOT based on the latest research! Do not be fooled by good marketing, hype and drummed up controversy!

    4-0 out of 5 stars A Contradiction to the "Rule", August 28, 2008
    I too, am a "recovering" alcoholic with 23 years of sobriety, and I am very grateful for the gift of finding the treatment that worked for me. I stumbled across Chris Prentiss quite by mistake today, after taping a 30 minute program on the subject "Alcoholism and Addiction Cure." I felt like I had found someone who heard the same "voice" that I had heard within myself for the past 20 years. I too, consider myself an intelligent (I cannot tell you what my IQ is and I am still going to college, part time, and working full time for a large healthcare concern, but I consider myself extremely intelligent and open to new ideas)and open minded individual.
    What I do know? I come from a family of addicts; my father's father emigrated from Germany before Hitler's control over that country was irrevocable and he was an alcoholic who passed the "disease" down to his sons - my father, the youngest son, died an alcoholic at the young age of 58. I will not go into detail about my childhood traumas other than to say that I began my journey into my own addiction (lucky me, my drug of choice was alcohol) when I was 15 years old. It culminated with my experiencing panic attacks in my early 20s and subsequent heavier drinking ensued in my desperate attempt to quell my rising panic attacks - I was running away from my childhood pain and I was self-medicating.
    What I discovered, quite by accident and to my great relief and immense gratitude was a therapist, who was one of, if not "the," early humanistic therapists in the treatment arena. This woman walked with me through my treatment, unpeeling the layers of protection that I had wrapped by battered and abused psyche within and, after seven years of on again, off again, therapy (each new level, each new unveiling, opened doorways that I had shut and hidden behind) I walked into my first Al Anon meeting and within a month's time, my first AA meeting. I remember the intense self loathing and reluctance that I felt at having to go to that meeting where I had to admit to myself and others that I WAS AN ALCOHOLIC - the one thing that I hated my father for I had become.
    The main reason I began my road to recovery in AA was, I knew I needed the strength and support of a fellowship where meeting and talking to others, who were traveling the same lonely, frightening path that I was on, would help me to "stay sober," while I continued with my individual therapy. But as much as I cherish those first couple of years in AA, I came to the realization that there had to come a time where not drinking became a personal choice and not just the choice of the group. I saw too many people who switched their addiction from the drugs or alcohol, to the group and who wouldn't miss a meeting if their lives depended on it and for many it did. And then there were the ones who moved on to other 12 step programs because they were sober but now they were attending Overeaters Anonymous or Workaholics Anonymous or Co-Dependents Anonymous because the root causes for their original addiction remained. Yes, it was healthier than being in the addiction but they still seemed frozen in time because they were still "dependent" on something outside of themselves for validation and strength or had simply switched addictions.
    I left AA, but I stayed sober because I began my journey in one-on-one therapy where I was willing to do the work, no matter how painful, to heal my wounded psyche. And I did it with a therapist who allowed me to heal at my own pace and who never, ever, led or told me what I should feel, think or do. She was my guide, my mentor, my belief system when I did not believe in myself, and she let me go when it was my time to go.
    When I was in my addiction I always felt like I didn't fit in with the rest of the world; but when I left AA with the belief that one had to finally make their choice not to use, a personal choice and stop being co-dependent on an outside source, I felt like I was different, there, too, and did not "fit in" with the traditional treatment for addicts. I truly believe the reason for relapse is because AA cannot provide the intense therapy necessary to find the root cause of an individual's addiction - I think "getting sober" is the easy part, staying sober, is the hardest thing to do, because then all you have is this open, gaping wound and you will eventually return to the original addiction or find another one to cover the untreated wound.
    Today, I feel exonerated and I would encourage anybody who is struggling with recovery to read the book and go find a good therapist, preferably one who is humanistic or holistic (I truly believe you have to treat the mind, the body and spirit because ALL of you is involved in the addiction not just your diseased physical being) and be willing to do the work - not just counting 12 steps and giving it all up to an outside source. I am a deeply spiritual being and I believe addiction stands between you and that spirituality but you must find your own path and be willing to go it alone while in therapy, but know that you are never alone in healing. And by all means, incorporate the individual therapy with a group, such as AA, because it is extremely healing to hear your fears, pain, anger and frustrations, echoed in others - it depletes that sense of aloneness.
    I am grateful for 23 years of sobriety and I am grateful that there are those in recovery programs who finally "get it" and are working on treating the mind, body, spirit! Don't give up on yourself or someone you love in addiction - I only wish those who came before, and lost to addiction, had the same opportunity.
    "Seek not the favor of the multitude, for it is seldom got by honest and lawful means. But seek the testimony of the few, and number not the voices, but weigh them." Immanuel Kant

    5-0 out of 5 stars For those who are 'white knuckling their way through sobriety...', February 13, 2007
    As a talk show host I am accustom to being inundated with requests from PR folks trying to get me to book their particular client on my show to plug their book. Since I didn't like my current events show to be a blatant advertisement for a writer, I generally delete these types of solicitation ...25 times a day. In fact I had hit delete on the email regarding Chris Prentiss's book just as my eye caught a phrase and I had to actually retrieve the message. It was the cure rate of better than 80% that got my attention, and triggered my skepticism...along with a tiny sliver of hope since I knew how many times friends and members of my own family had fallen off the wagon. I booked Chris for 15 minutes and they sent me the book. A few days beforehand I thought I better skim the book so I could ask him some tough questions. I read the entire book and called the pr representative back and booked Chris for the entire show. I think what hooked me was Chris's comment about observing an AA meeting where people were `white knuckling their way through sobriety". Controversial statement. And true for too many. The book was specific about the path. Find the underlying cause(s). Work on that. The true story of his son's journey was engaging and encouraging. For weeks and months after the show I received emails and phone calls from listeners: "What was the name of that guy again? What's the name of his book?" Of all the shows and topics I have covered in 17 years on air, I have never received such a response.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Please don't fall for this.., December 11, 2010
    First of all, I want you to know that I did try to write a "patient review" for the actual "treatment center" website, however it was never posted. So I decided rather than trying to beat that dead horse that I'd try my luck here.

    Someone gave me this book a couple years ago, I fell for it, and entered the program. I thought the book was supposed to teach me how to stay sober. But no, it just leads those who are so desperate to get better into their trap, much like a cult recruits it's members. When I finally called someone there out on it, I was asked then what the difference was between their program and AA? I told them that AA didn't ask for money (if you can afford to put in a dollar at a meeting to help with the overhead, great; if not, no worries). I told them that AA doesn't advertise or recruit memebers (it's about "attraction, not promotion"). I told them that once at a meeting, AA does not use deceptive means to keep us there (AA has free literature that offers suggestions only which do not involve turning your money over to anyone; it also doesn't say anywhere that the ONLY way you can stay sober is if you follow AA's twelve steps). I was asked to leave. Go figure.

    The techiniques that this book touts are complete BS if you ask me. Like many addicts and alcoholics, we are always looking for the easier way out. That's why people like me fall for this BS. We don't want to do the real hard work of being brutally honest with ourselves and others. We don't want to stop drinking and using. We don't want to admit we're alcoholics and addicts. (Ironically, in doing so, that's where we find the courage and strength to get sober. Not by continuing to deny it for the sake of ego.)

    I had been sober 28 years before relapsing in the wake of my husband and son's tragic and sudden death. I was so ashamed at my relapse that I did not want to go back to the meetings I had gone to for 28 years and say that I'd failed. See? Ego.

    So a well-meaning friend at work (who did not understand the nature of addiction) gave me this book and I thought to myself, what the hell? This way I don't have to face anyone in my meetings with my failure. What I didn't take into consideration was that would mean walking away from the people and the program that allowed me to get healthy in the first place, to meet and marry a wonderful sober man who did not hurt me or abuse me or tear me down (like all previous relationships I had while drinking and using), and have a beautiful son who was about to graduate from Harvard Medical School. But when both my husband and son were killed by a drunk driver picking up a pizza for dinner, all that gratitude for and understanding of what made my life so worthy over the last 28 years went out the window in my grief. And then my ego came back and wouldn't allow me to reach out for help, or accept the help of the very people who had lifted me up in the first place.

    I don't mean to get into my "story" here, but what I guess I'm really trying to tell you is that there's no easy way out. But there are hundreds of thousands of people out there who will tell you there are if you just do what they say. I'm not saying "rehab programs" don't work. I, in fact, went to a fabulous rehab in Malibu when I got sober. And it was actually in Malibu (along with many succesful rehab programs which don't include "Passages Malibu" which, by the way, isn't even in Malibu! Gosh, I wonder why they would call themselves that then?), that I got sober. I've also volunteered at many rehabs in Southern LA over the years and what I've found is, that while none of them teach "AA", they do encourage using AA's twelve steps as they are a PROVEN and time-tested means of staying sober if you are honest about doing them (AA is not a treatment program, it's a non-profit organization offers free meetings around the world in which alcoholics get together and help one another stay sober through sharing and fellowship; it does not advertise and it relies solely on word-of-mouth; there are no CEOs, nor is there any AA hierarchy; every worker is a volunteer and all monies go to cover overhead, free literature, temporary housing, free meals, etc. for both recovering alcoholics and those who still suffer); and everyone has just as much a right to be there as the next guy - members and volunteers - as long as they want to be sober; no one is required to pay money, nor are they told they must go out and recruit others - again, it's attraction, not promotion that makes it work). To suggest, as the book does, that you don't need AA to stay sober, well, that is true. There is no scientific evidence that AA will make and keep anyone sober. But to disregard the millions of success stories of the people around the world who have gotten and maintained thier sobriety to by "working" an honest AA program, or those who have gotten and maintained their sobriety, relapsed, but got back on the AA saddle again (as I did), is doing a real disservice to humanity in the name of making big bucks off the vulnerable people who are simply afraid of what AA does require in order to begin the twelve steps - which is to "admit your powerless over alcohol and that your life has become unmanagable". Who wants to admit defeat? But it's simply an admission. But an empowering admission to anyone who is truly ready to get sober. It empowers them to do what they never thought they would ever to next, which is to admit they are not in charge, that a higher power is (and that doesn't have to be God), and turn over their will and their lives to that higher power. Scary, but oh so empowering (ironic, I know!).

    Sure, there a lots of things we can do to keep ourselves sober today, and the next, and maybe even the next. But why take the word of someone who uses manipulation in order to get you to sign up for their mega-bucks "treatment program", when AA's twelve steps are free? And time-proven if you work the steps honestly. You really think that if you spend $50K, that'll make you more honest? Think about all those times you spent money on health clubs telling yourself that if you spend the money you'll use it. It's called denial, folks.

    Please don't even tempt yourself to listen to their plan by buying this book (or reading it if it's a gift!). There's no fellowship after their program. There's no built-in support group wherever you go around the world (I go to Puerto Vallarta every year and go to an AA meeting in an old movie theatre where both locals and tourists go everyday to help one another stay sober in the land of swim-up bars!). I've been to meetings in Milan, New Zealand, Australia, London, small towns in Iowa, Montana, NYC, the Hamptons. I've made friends all over the world because of this fellowship, friends who get what it's like to be an addict. Friends who remind me on a daily basis that it's a day at a time and that every day is a new day. That sobriety is fun, and it allows me to do things like travel and not miss my plane because I'm falling down drunk in the airport bar. I can travel and not wind up in scary situations anymore. I can travel and not lose my luggage, my hotel keys, my moeny, my passport, my dignity. This is what I get because of AA, the fellowship, and the confidence that even though it may be hard sometimes, that as long as I am honest with myself and others, I will stay sober.

    So I suggest stopping by your local AA home office and asking for the Big Book, the Twelve and Twelve, and a local meeting guide. They're only a couple bucks and if you can't afford them, no worries. And the thing is, there's no committment. You don't have to do anything. You don't owe anyone anything. Except yourself. When you're ready.


    ... Read more


    9. Small Means and Great Ends
    by N/A
    Kindle Edition
    list price: $0.00
    Asin: B000JML47W
    Publisher: Public Domain Books
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery. ... Read more

    Reviews

    4-0 out of 5 stars Well worth a read..., July 9, 2010
    I love the way people used to speak. They are much more precise, and use grammar and clear thinking in the literature in ways we don't see so much now. This is a helpful book as a motivator and thought provoker. ... Read more


    10. The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test
    by Tom Wolfe
    Paperback
    list price: $16.00 -- our price: $10.88
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 031242759X
    Publisher: Picador
    Sales Rank: 2515
    Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    "An American classic" (Newsweek) that defined a generation. “An astonishing book” (The New York Times Book Review) and an unflinching portrait of Ken Kesey, his Merry Pranksters, and the 1960s.

    ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars Pure Reading Enjoyment, June 23, 2000
    I've savored just about every word this man's ever written. I still vividly recall him at a lecture he gave in Berkley in 1972 standing at the lectern in his white Gatsby suit, starched pink shirt and nattily knotted tie. I can't recall the ostensible topic. He covered so much ground and had such a wealth of ideas and insights that the topic was irrelevent anyway. He's always been our keenest observer of American culture, on subjects ranging from hippies, art snobs, wall street, the space race, to the Southern nouveau-riches.

    In terms of unadulterated reading enjoyment, however, this book is still my favorite. He captures the era perfectly. This was the period in the mid-sixties when the hippie philosophy and lifestyle was still genuine, before it had become commercially exploited by the mass media, before Manson and Altamont and the seeds of evil. It was an uncorrupted, pure, joyous movement and moment. Owsley was the bay area chemist who produced hits of Sandoz-quality acid that sent the children out dancing blissfully through the night and into the purple dawn. It truly looked like a brave new world. If you are young and can't undertand why former hippies wax nostalgic about it, it's primarily (at least to me) because that tiny era of innocence can never be recreated.

    If ever there were a work of either fiction or non fiction that captured the essence, freedom, and expectation of a marvelous era, this is it!

    One of the great non fiction works of the 20th century!

    BEK

    5-0 out of 5 stars Get on the bus!, February 1, 1997
    "You're either on the bus...or off the bus." This is the choice facing you as you begin to read Tom Wolfe's classic saga of Ken Kesey's Merry Pranksters as they test the boundries of consciousness and test the limits of other human's patience. What is almost as amazing as the lengths to which the pranksters went to enjoy their existence on Earth, is the style that Wolfe has chosen to narrate the adventures. Brillliantly blending stream of consciousness writing and a journalistic sense of description, Wolfe immerses himself in Kesey's world in an attempt to understand the thoughts of a group of adults who would paint a school bus with day-glo colors and trek across the United States with pitchers full of acid and a video camera keeping an eye on it all. Who could resist a chance to find out what it was like to spend a quaint evening in the woods reaching altered states of consciousness with a group of Hell's Angels, or taking a peek inside the world of the budding hippie stars led by a youthful Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead. Whether or not you approve of massive drug use will not impact your liking of this book, and for anyone who takes an interest in the counterculture movement this book is a must-read. Also acts as a perfect companion to Kesey's "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," and Jack Kerouac's "On the Road." Now you must decide, "Can YOU pass the acid test?"

    5-0 out of 5 stars Being There, June 23, 2000
    I've savored just about every word this man's ever written. I still vividly recall him at a lecture he gave in Berkley in 1972 standing at the lectern in his white Gatsby suit, starched pink shirt and nattily knotted tie. I can't recall the ostensible topic. He covered so much ground and had such a wealth of ideas and insights that the topic was irrelevent anyway. He's always been our keenest observer of American culture, on subjects ranging from hippies, art snobs, wall street, the space race, to the Southern nouveau-riches.

    In terms of unadulterated reading enjoyment, however, this book is still my favorite. He captures the era perfectly. This was the period in the mid-sixties when the hippie philosophy and lifestyle was still genuine, before it had become commercially exploited by the mass media, before Manson and Altamont and the seeds of evil. It was an uncorrupted, pure, joyous movement and moment. Owsley was the bay area chemist who produced hits of Sandoz-quality acid that sent the children out dancing blissfully through the night and into the purple dawn. It truly looked like a brave new world. If you are young and can't undertand why former hippies wax nostalgic about it, it's primarily (at least to me) because that tiny era of innocence can never be recreated. The waters of cynisism have washed away all the bridges to that idyllic past. The era can, however, thanks to Tom Wolfe, be revisited. I urge you to take the tour.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Acid Test a trip, lesson in literary genius, July 7, 2000
    Let me preface this review by saying I was not alive in the 60's, and I never talked to my parents about their experiences, yet through this book, I feel as though I shared in the madness that were the Acid Tests. Tom Wolfe's masterpiece "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test," is an absolutely amazing book written about a group of Hippies hell-bent on spreading they're organized chaos throughout the nation. Apart from the subject matter (which I'll get to) this book is as well written as you could imagine. Somehow, Wolfe captured the experiences of the Merry Pranksters with his writing style. His use of the elipses (...), run on sentances, and his insightful commentary actually puts the reader into this experience. The experience itself is a whirlwind journey accross the US, in a cloud of pot-smoke, a rush of speed and a series of mescaline and lsd induced hallucinations. All the while, this seemingly nonsensical journey is carefully laid out as only Wolfe could have done. To read a book about 15 men and women that travel the nation not knowing right from left, Wolfe explains everything in stunning imagery and intense detail. Whether or not you approve or liked the hippies movement, and even if your offended by drug related subject matter, you should read this book. As a purely literary work, it's easily top 10, and as a story of the acid movement and a historical look at the 60's, there's none better.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Electric? It Sure Was, April 8, 2000
    This book probably gives the most detailed and essential guide to the sixties. Being a teenager now, i have no idea what the time period was like, but after reading Tom Wolfes book, i have a pretty good idea.

    The book delves into the heart of 60's America, giving (in as much detail as possible i think) a wierd and wonderful account of people, pranks and LSD. The book is written in a style i have never come across before, Wolfe using very inventive terms. The style itself is used mainly to re-create the feel of the time period, getting the feel of being 'On The Bus', and providing fantastic results.

    Kesey and the Merry Pranksters aren't given bias either. They aren't praised or put down and that gives the book an extra strength. Wolfe using a 3rd person account, simply tells a story (and what a story).

    Some parts of the book are somewhat longwinded, but on a whole its a masterpiece, quite simply a classic. Its certainly different, sometimes providing a somewhat LSD account of things, but wasn't that the sixties in a nut-shell? Probably. This is what Tom Wolfe set out to create, and how well he manages it.

    Reading it now you'll think, "Wouldn't it be great to experiance the sixties for myself. Being on the bus, grooving with Kesey and the Pranksters, playing the cops and robbers game..." and then you realise you only went and got born in the 80's!

    Still, opening the book again will transport there in the comfort of your own home. 'ELECTRIC' and 'KOOL', a must-read.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant reporting and stunning writing!, November 8, 2001
    Regardless of one's ultimate attitudes about the permissive atmosphere that prevailed during the Pandora's Box that became the 1960's, Thomas Wolfe's detailed, passionate and fascinating portrait of Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters makes for required reading.

    Whether for ill or well, Kesey and the Pranksters are responsible for creating much of what the popular masses call "The 60's". While reading this book, that mere (and ironic) fact becomes ever so clear.

    When I recently visited Kesey at his ranch in Oregon, I asked him if Wolfe "got it right". Kesey's response? "Yes he did. But understand that he (Wolfe) gives a real East Coast version of what was essentially a West Coast phenomenon."

    What I think that means essentialy validates many of the other positive reviews of this book: Wolfe uncannily possesses the ability to be "in the Pranster's world, but not of it".

    This means that while Wolfe is fully willing and able to passionately incorperate the unique linguistic acrobatics of Kesey and the Pranksters in relating the narrative, he maintains somehow a cool, objective distance from all the proceedings. Kesey might be saying that while Wolfe was certainly "on the bus", he was never "ON THE BUS!".

    This distance is communicated and maintained by Wolfe's refusal to judge the shennanigans. He never really says "yay" or "nay" to the invention of the "counter culture" (whatever in the hell that means). He relates the consequences both natural and man-made that befalls on such behavior, but never comes out from behind the page and says "booh!"

    He wisely leaves all moral judgement in the place where it rightly belongs: in the hearts and minds of the readers.

    It is not a book for the weak of back, heart or mind. It will challenge the reader as well as entertain for Wolfe pulls no punches and that is a treatment most appropriate for the Hemingway-esque machismo frat boy jock mentality that underlies all of Kesey's art.

    The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test is a excellent example of brilliant reporting. It combines stunning writing with cool logic and impassioned empathetic distance. This is a must read.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I Never Learned So Much About Acid, February 25, 2003
    Wow. I really did not realize the social, economical, and cultural importance of the drug acid. Tom Wolfe brilliantly explains how the once legal drug influenced a whole generation of "merry pranksters," expanding their minds and consciousness. "Electric Kool-Aid" describes the travels of the Merry Pranksters (a group of "hippies" on a pilgrimage from Cali to New York) and the colorful characters that join them. From the Hell's Angels to Ginsberg, Wolfe informs the reader of various "acid tests" and how the life of Ken Kesey and Neal Cassady influenced this genre of living. Even the Grateful Dead are included (prior to reading this book, I did not realize that the drug acid also produced the genre of music titled "acid rock").
    I would reccommend this book to anyone seeking the thrill of an acid trip without the acid. Wolfe's formal writing aspects deliever a message that perhaps, yes, the 60s was indeed a horror show, mirroring such events as Vietnam and lousy political leaders such as Nixon. Despite all of the chaos, a group of intelligent and charasmatic patrons decided to expand their horizons and indeed imerse themselves in the "Electric Kool Aid Test."

    4-0 out of 5 stars Exceptional Summary of the Oncoming Hippie/Acid Culture, February 16, 2007
    Two chapters in I'm heading to Wikipedia to see if this is fiction like other Wolfe novels I have enjoyed or a true story. This is the quisistential book of the 60s, the influence of LSD and how America drastically changed from the conservative 50s to the forgettable 70s. This is not a quick read, and frankly, I could have stood about 50 pages fewer. But it is so bizarre, so unbelievable, and so well documented that it is a must read.

    From a personal perspective, I list my minor LSD experiences of the early 70s as one of the top 10 most important experiences of my life. This book completes the story and shows the actual history of LSD and the glorious years before it was a crime and before the drug had been widely discovered. The crux of the book is that Ken Kesey, leader of the Merry Pranksters, chooses to turn on America including the Hells Angels, to an alternative lifestyle, the self discovery of LSD phase of mind enhancing. Such is the journey that Kesey attempts to introduce to his band and to America on a cross country journey aboard a 1939 International Harvester bus painted in neon colors. Yes, welcome back to the beginning of the hippie culture.

    While I do not consider the book in my Top 10 list as suggested by so many, this is a worthwhile read I recommend by anyone wanting to explore America culture and one of our greatest writers of the last 50 years.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Tom Wolfe--The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, December 22, 1999
    Boy, where to begin. To start I must say Tom Wolfe is truly a gifted writer, this book works because is was written by a non-judgemental third party, in this case Wolfe, who told you how it was. Wolfe lets you form your own opinion, without his getting in the way, though on most points you would tend to agree with him. This is not just a story of Kesey and the Pranksters, Wolfe gets all of the little nuances,i.e the passages on Hesse, Nietzche etc. could they have fit the bill for a prankster? The book only has one major flaw, but it is not Tom Wolfe's or Ken Kesey's fault. The fault is the book came out in 1968, or it was published in a magazine I dont know I was not alive then, acid experimentation was pretty new and hardly anyone, at least no one in the book, experienced a flashback. So in turn the book seems like an add for acid use, which will turn off so more conservative readers, and it doesnt bring to light some of the possible detremental effects, but its no fault of Wolfe, so read this great piece of literature, not propganda.

    5-0 out of 5 stars What a Trip!, July 25, 2005
    I felt like I fell right into the acid scene circa 1960+ as I read through this delirious adventure. It seems too outrageous to be true at times, coming from the personal accounts of the Pranksters and the author, but mostly from the Prankster's written and video records. The great thing about the Merry Pranksters is that they took video and sound equipment everywhere with them and many were writers so the records of their adventures exist beyond the almost certainly hazy personal recollections.

    So the acid tests were really conducted, and the Merry Pranksters were a real group of crazy intellectuals. As many reviewers have said, this book has by far the best descriptions of acid trips than any I've ever read before. Yes, there is some gobbledy-gook and strange punctuation but it all adds to the overall uniquely dramatic effect of the book. You can't expect a High School English teacher's grammar in a book detailing acid adventures.

    This book is also an excellent insight into birth of the hippies' drug culture and the events that led up to the peak and eventual downfall of the hippy pandemonium in the sixties. What is special about this story is that it details and explains the events leading up to the mass consumption and popularity of acid, prior the late 60's and prior to it being made illegal in most states. Nobody even knew what the stuff was or that anything like it existed at the time the Merry Pranksters first got hold of it. I would venture to say most people would have no idea how the acid revolution started and this is the key to finding out, while having a great time reading a book about the spawning of a unique American culture, which reads pretty fast for 400+ pages.
    ... Read more


    11. Drinking: A Love Story
    by Caroline Knapp
    Paperback
    list price: $16.00 -- our price: $10.88
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0385315546
    Publisher: Dial Press Trade Paperback
    Sales Rank: 4983
    Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    A journalist describes her twenty years as a functioning alcoholic, explaining how she used alcohol to escape the realities of life and personal relationships, until a series of personal crises forced her to confront her problem. Reprint. 90,000 first printing." ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wow, December 31, 2001
    This book changed my life, and I just wish I could thank Caroline Knapp personally. I guess I was in denial for a long time. While in a bookstore, I plucked her book off the shelf, feeling the need for some sort of literary intervention and thinking it was a short read. I started reading it with a glass of wine in my hand. As I read, I realized with horror and some degree of sadness that she was describing me, along with countless other women in the same position. From the recyling bin to the lies, I could relate on almost every level (I was not one to end up in bed with strange men). It took courage for me to read the book through to its end, and to realize what I had to do. I called my mother and told her that I was an alcoholic. It was one of the hardest things I've had to do. Both my grandfathers were alcoholics, and my mother has always "wondered" if this were passed on to any of us. I decided that I would quit, with the help of family and friends, before I got to the point where I hurt or destroyed someone I love. I haven't had a drink since. I urge anyone who feels that they might be in denial to read this book and see if they can identify with the author's point of view. I thank Caroline Knaff for opening my eyes and pointing me in the right direction. I'm not sure that people who DON'T drink to excess will get anything out of this book ... I wouldn't believe half of it if I hadn't done these crazy things myself......

    5-0 out of 5 stars The best book on the psychological effects of alcoholism, December 8, 2004
    As much as I loved this book, I doubt it will impress people who aren't alcoholic or dealing with an alcoholic. Had I read this book in college, I would probably have sympathized with her problems but ultimately thought she was simply flaky and needed to just stop doing the stupid things she describes - not that complicated.

    As it is, I read this book when I had become fully aware that my own relationship with alcohol had ceased to be simply "great when it's around - like a good meal" and begun to be compulsive. The absence of a drink became an 800 pound elephant in the room, and I noticed that at some point I had stopped enjoying being sober. For me, that was when I realized I had crossed a line and that drinking was no longer cute or funny. Somewhere along the way, it had managed to insinuate itself as the center of my life, even though I never would have admitted it out loud. My first thought when invited to a social event was whether alcohol would be served. My first thought when going out to a meal in the evening was whether they had a liquor license. I had mentally divided my friends into drinkers and non-drinkers, and I had managed to do so without believing there was anything weird about this.

    That is the subtle tug of alcoholism that Ms. Knapp exposes. To everyone around the alcoholic, it is obvious that there is a problem. To the alcoholic, he simply wants to suck the marrow out of life, and can't understand why people aren't with him. Yet, if pressed, most alcoholics will admit that their life stopped being happy right around the time they started drinking regularly (it is a depressant, after all. This shouldn't be surprising). They will have what Ms. Knapp describes as that "a-ha" moment when alcoholics consider the possibility - obvious to everyone else but new and original to them - that they do not drink because they are unhappy. They are unhappy because they drink.

    Ms. Knapp's book is ideal, and potentially life-saving, for the intelligent, highly-functioning alcoholic who has not yet done anything so stupid that they are forced to recognize what everyone else in their life probably knows. This book could be the catalyst that allows them to head their problems off at the pass, because alcoholism ONLY gets worse. There's a well-known speech about alcoholics in AA that includes a memorable phrase about what it feels like to be alcoholic - "the worst part is, people will never know how hard we tried". Many an alcoholic can identify with this - no matter how many times alcohol has kicked you, it is the hardest thing you'll ever do in your life to quit. Trust me on this and respect the next recovered alcoholic you meet. Had they had a choice, they would rather have walked across the Sahara. But they took a deep breath and tried to do the right thing for themselves and others.

    Like so many reviewers of this book, I regret that the author died before I could personally thank her for the insights this book provides. However, she is in my prayers, and I hope she's enjoying a very sober, happy existence with the same Higher Power that watched out for her here on earth.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I was 12-stepped by this book, June 5, 2002
    I was browsing in a bookstore waiting for my comet photos to be developed when I saw this book on the "New" shelf. I started reading, and then put it back when it was time to pick up my pictures. But I couldn't stop thinking about this book, so I went back and bought it. I read it at the kitchen table while drinking a glass of wine. Alarm bells kept clanging and clanging. When I got halfway through, I realized I was just like her--a highly educated writer with a drinking problem. She has a great line in there--that sometimes insight is just a reversal of cause and effect. I don't drink because I have all these problems, I have all these problems because I drink! With horror and tears, I called a friend I knew in AA who brought me to a meeting. I've been clean and sober now for 5 years. I read in the NY Times today that Carolyn Knapp died yesterday from lung cancer at only 42 years of age. That makes me very sad. I feel very grateful to her and her wonderful book. It changed my life.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Loved "A Love Story", June 21, 2001
    Once I started reading it, I had trouble putting this book down (kind of like my experience with alcohol!). This book is powerful and compelling. Alcoholism claims many victims, as any Friday night visit to an ER will show. However, this book gives a most insightful look at the emotional and physical damage this disease causes to the alcoholic and loved ones closest to them. Non-alcoholics may not "get" the descriptiions of compulsions, mind games, and sense of powerlessness felt by alcoholics, but they can certainly understand the pain caused to lovers, parents, and others close to the addicted person.

    This book is sometimes funny, often sad, occasionally verges on shocking - pretty standard experiences of alcoholics, but often misunderstood by others. Although it drags a bit in the middle, time will likely make this work a classic narritive of the alcoholic experience.

    I encourage anyone who has been touched by this disease, either alcoholics or those close to them, to read this book. Due to the detailed description of drinking situations, I would not suggest someone in the first few weeks of recovery to read this, however.

    Thank you Caroline, for your courage to share your experience, strength, and hope with us.

    5-0 out of 5 stars In Memory of Carolyn Knapp, June 16, 2002
    I was told by my mother earlier this week that Carolyn Knapp, author of 'Drinking: A Love Story", had died of cancer at age 42. I immedietly broke down a cried- which is hard for me to do. But Ms Knapp's autobiographical book about alcoholism was so important to me, my family and my therapist, in understanding and recognizing the thinking/feelings in a functional alcoholic. I had always wanted to read more from her, but don't see that she published another book....and, of course, I always had wanted the opportunity of either meeting her at a book signing, or writing to her, to thank her for her honesty and insight into this problem.....now it is to late to say this to her directly, and I grieve...but I also celebrate the life she had, and her courage and strength in overcoming this most maddening of problems. To anyone interested in a true and thoughtful book on functional alcoholics (of which there are many of us), or to anyone who is in a close relationship with such a person, this is THE book to read.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Gold Standard for anyone who questions their drinking or lives with an alcoholic, November 15, 2005
    I'm always dismayed when I read reviews of this book that say "Knapp had the most privileged upbringing and she still wants to whine about her alcoholism and her eating disorder." That is precisely the point of this book! Alcoholism happens to the privileged, to the rich, to the high-functioning, to the very successful. Pain and alcoholism are not limited to any social class or type of profession. For anyone who questions their drinking, who is an alcoholic, and especially for the millions who suffer the pain of loving/living with an alcoholic, recognition of Knapp's actions and emotions will leap of the page. Another review I read claimed the book was boring and there was no scintillating rock-bottom low to make it interesting-"Knapp just sat at home and drank." Once again, anyone who has lived the life will recognize the pain and the turmoil of rock bottom without some Hollywood-type incident.

    The difference between this book and something like Augusten Burrough's Dry (also an excellent read) is that Knapp is no amateur describing her experience. Her book, while composed mainly of a heart-wrenching narrative, is also jam packed with research to support her statements, alcoholism statistics (with footnotes), references to other memoirs of alcoholism, and most important, a list of questions for those who are questioning their drinking. She describes how her answers to the tell-tale questions changed as her disease progressed.

    There is no cookie-cutter picture of an alcoholic, but Knapp's story is so comprehensive that many people will find bits and pieces that they identify with or relate to. This is a book to re-read every couple of years. I first read it in January, and I plan to pick it up every year from now one. Caroline Knapp, thank you for your everlasting legacy.

    5-0 out of 5 stars If you think you have a drinking problem ....read this book!, October 9, 2002
    I cannot say enough about this book. This was THE book that helped me see that I was an alcoholic. As a woman I read this book and thanked God that Carolyn had the courage to write it. I recognized myself in almost every page. If you have ever stayed awake at night wondering if you have a drinking problem ......you do! Carolyn describes the living hell that it is to be an alcoholic.....in a way that ONLY somebody who has been there can. Her passing so early in life is very sad and so is the fact that we will never get a chance to grow in sobriety along with her. She leaves an extremely powerful book as a legacy and I strongly recommend it to all addiction counselors as a way to really feel, and maybe understand, what it is like to suffer this addiction. Alcoholism is a devastating disease, and especially so for women......I encourage women who drink, or know someone who drinks too much......please read this remarkable book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best Alcoholism Book I've Read!, December 28, 2002
    I've spent 26 of the past 28 years as a sober, happy, recovering alcoholic. This is the best-written account I've seen of how it feels, how we deceive ourselves and others, the struggle of secrecy and denial, the battle of recovery, etc.
    I found it very much like a long, heart to heart conversation with Caroline, and was sad when she stopped talking to me. I wanted more!
    I loved it so much I immediately ordered eight copies for friends and family, and planned to write Caroline to thank her. Sounds like she'd be a delightful dinner companion! Broke my heart to read tonight that she died of lung cancer last summer...alas, probably from all those cigarettes with the booze.
    I find it fascinating that 95% of reviewers think it is very well-written, magnificent,compelling---and 5% think it is awful, repetitious, boring. Can't help wondering which are alcoholic!
    If you or anyone in your family has a problem, or thinks they may have a problem with alcohol, this book may save your life.

    5-0 out of 5 stars You guys that know so much, tell me again, how does a REAL alcoholic act?, November 14, 2005
    I hadn't read this (again) for several years when I pulled it out last week. Of course it's a little different now, knowing Ms. Knapp has passed. Yet the same message. The same denial systems. The same clinging to rationalization. The same system of blame. But a great honest, truthful, candid story of the journey.

    What did stun me however was the number of negative reviews. Why did you pick up the book to begin with? Did you leave your reading glasses in your purse and you thought the author was Danielle Steel? You misread "Caroline Knapp" and thought it said "Sue Grafton?" James Patterson? Is that how you were mislead? Did you write your review before you read the book?

    I speak with some considerable insight about the experience, strength and hope of someone telling 'their' story. And no, I don't believe that AA is the only answer to staying sober if you have the disease. There are other ways to do it. Dyer and Bradshaw have some other suggestions. There are rehab joints that don't push you into AA. There are halfway houses that don't assume or demand attendance at AA. A lot of Judges sentence you to 90 in 90 at AA and you have to come back with signed sheets when you are on your 2nd or 3rd DUI or DWI. Those judges probably know something you don't but I wouldn't venture a guess what that is.

    But what I am certain of is that there is no one picture, not one behavior, not one description, not one story, not one event of an alcoholic. Some are abused, some are arrogant, some are quiet, some don't get it, some don't stay sober, some don't care about the "why," and some just find peace in telling their story. That's it. You see for those of you fighting the program, they have to tell their story in order to keep sober for the next 24 hours.

    So Caroline Knapp tells her story and Holy Cow, you just want to stand up and applaud. You Lady Macbeth protesters, it's not about the what and the how she got here, it's about being here.

    I'll continue to read 'her' story every couple of years. It's not my story but it's inspirarational. I find strength in it. I find hope in it. And those of you who think she's being melodramatic, that she's on the pity-pot, that she's using her poor wealthy childhood to sell books, well, we'll save a chair for you at the tables. 5 stars. Larry Scantlebury

    5-0 out of 5 stars Requred reading., January 6, 2000
    This wonderful book was instrumental in getting me to rehab and a life of sobriety....it described my drinking to a tee, and helped cut through my unbelievable conviction that I, who drank to get drunk every other day, kept thinking I could drink! For every woman who is an active drinker, but has the gnawing wish for help, this is required reading! As for those who are long in recovery, may be it is not so helpful....but if for those unhappy drinkers, who try and try to stop, but can't, this may be the proverbial hammer that will deal a fatal blow to the vicious cycle of "...just one little glass of wine...." Thank you, Ms. Knapp! ... Read more


    12. Beyond Belief: Finding the Strength to Come Back
    by Josh Hamilton
    Hardcover
    list price: $23.99 -- our price: $16.31
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 1599951614
    Publisher: FaithWords
    Sales Rank: 5542
    Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    Josh Hamilton was the first player chosen in the first round of the 1999 baseball draft. He was destined to be one of those rare "high-character " superstars.But in 2001, working his way from the minors to the majors, all of the plans for Josh went off the rails in a moment of weakness.What followed was a 4-year nightmare of drugs and alcohol, estrangement from friends and family, and his eventual suspension from baseball.

    BEYOND BELIEF details the events that led up to the derailment. Josh explains how a young man destined for fame and wealth could allow his life to be taken over by drugs and alcohol. But it is also the memoir of a spiritual journey that breaks through pain and heartbreak and leads to the rebirth of his major-league career.

    Josh Hamilton makes no excuses and places no blame on anyone other than himself.He takes responsibility for his poor decisions and believes his story can help millions who battle the same demons."I have been given a platform to tell my story" he says. "I pray every night I am a good messenger."
    ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars Beyond Belief Connects, October 11, 2008
    I just finished reading "Beyond Belief: Finding the Strength to Come Back."

    Now, I know what you're probably thinking here; and, it's "How can someone who is just 27-years old author their biography?" Or, [if you know me] maybe it's "Aren't you a little old to be reading baseball `puff piece' books?" Then again, maybe you're thinking both of these things?

    Well, let me tell you..."Beyond Belief" may only cover the first 27 years of Hamilton's life. However, there's a very interesting story to tell within those first 27 years. And, trust me, this book is far from being a `puff piece.'

    As I was reading Hamilton's story, all I could think about was "Wow. This is `The Natural' - just like the movie. Except, as entertaining as that movie was, the story seemed too far-fetched to be true...and, now, here's the same story...and it's all true!"

    First, some background on Hamilton. When he was six-years old, Josh was playing on youth baseball teams for boys between the ages of eleven and twelve. Picture that...a 6-year old playing against 12-year olds. And, regardless of that age gap, he was one of the best players on the field during the games. Hamilton's talent, even at that young age, was off-the-charts.

    And, Josh Hamilton's talent never fell back to the pack. Related, he was the first overall pick in Major League Baseball's 1999 Amateur Player Draft - at the age of 18. At that time, Josh was considered as being as good as Alex Rodriguez was at the same age.

    However, in 2001, when he was just 20-years old, Hamilton - who, up until this time, was a squeaky-clean All-American boy in an Opie Taylor type way - started abusing alcohol and using illegal drugs. And, his habits became so bad that he became low-life crack addict...hitting absolute rock-bottom. In the process, he nearly destroyed the lives of several loving family members and threw away millions of dollars.

    And, we're not talking about a blip on the radar here. Josh Hamilton's slide towards destruction was a five year journey through hell. During this time, he went through eight different drug treatment and rehabiliation centers.

    We've seen stories like this in baseball before...names like Rod Scurry, Steve Howe and Ken Caminiti come to mind...and many times they have ended in tragedy. Yet, through his faith, Hamilton was able to gain control of his life...and get back into baseball as a 25-year old (in 2006) and bring his career to the point where he was the highlight of the Homerun Derby at the 2008 big league All-Star Game.

    But, forget the baseball-side of the Josh Hamiliton story. And, just focus on the "person" angle here...as that's what's so riveting when you're reading "Beyond Belief: Finding the Strength to Come Back."

    This book tells the story of a great talent - perhaps one of the greatest talents ever - falling so low, and out of control, to where the talent is wasted and its host becomes one of the dregs of society. And, once at the bottom, there are years of struggle to become whole again...with repeated rounds ending in failure after failure. And, then, finally, there's redemption. But, it's tempered with the fact that there's no guarantee of permanence - and that everyday is a new battle. Yet, on the flipside, everyday is also a chance to use lessons-learned to help others.

    Human nature being what it is, "these types of stories" just resonate well with us...and Josh Hamilton's story is one of the best out there...in terms of "these types of stories."

    I would recommend "Beyond Belief: Finding the Strength to Come Back" to anyone who wants to read a great, true, and inspirational tale - regardless of whether or not they're a baseball fan. I was very happy to read Hamilton's book. It's extremely well done.

    This one connects - and it goes a long way.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable rebirth of talent, October 12, 2008
    This was a fabulous book that I had a hard time putting down. I knew most of the story, from magazine articles, but I had missed the religious component of the tale. I could even recommend this to a men's bible study.

    It was awful that so many people misunderstood the relationship between Josh and his parents. How numerous rehabs could blame his parents for Josh's addiction amazed me.

    He was and is a prodigy. That was a big part of his problem. No one seemed to realize that and MLB wanted him to fit into a cookie cutter experience. He couldn't do that.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Gallagher's Beyond Belief Review, March 28, 2009
    Beyond Belief: The Josh Hamilton Story

    I had never heard of Josh Hamilton until the Home Run Derby last year. His massive swings of the bat hit a record number of baseballs of the fence and the name Josh Hamilton found its way into the homes of baseball fans across the country! Even though the Home Run Derby set Josh Hamilton apart, there is a better story behind the man.

    Beyond Belief is a thrilling story of a man seeking to find peace and grace in the eyes of God. His journey from a highly touted High School baseball prospect to a drugged out- tattooed-trouble soul is clearly projected in the words of Josh Hamilton. Even the places and people are brought to life through the story of Mr. Hamilton's rise and fall then his rise again.

    Josh Hamilton could be called the "Prodigal Son" of baseball. His life as headed for the Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mi, until a fateful day when he allowed the troubles of the world to infect his life. His parents struggled with their child as they saw his troubles and his bank account quickly dwindling because of addiction. His wife struggled through the years, but she kept hope in this North Carolina baseball star. Young children had looked up to him, his drug habits caused young people to read his suspensions, and slowly his name was fading from the books.

    One day, his life was going to change. The ways and ideals he had grown up believing were coming back...but how long would it take? His family was behind him and his wife was praying...then the day came! The crack of the bat felt the way it used to and the story was changing. He looked at his wife, saw her face and he knew he was back!

    Josh Hamilton's story is an amazing one and every year it seems to get better. His life is becoming whole with the grace of God and he is still seeking the presence of the Savior. Beyond Belief is an excellent book for baseball fans and anyone who has a passing interest in reading true stories of the possible!

    Take a moment and enjoy the story of Josh Hamilton. When you are done you will say, "Yes, it is Beyond Belief."

    A special thanks to Faith Words for allowing me to have a copy of this book. Also thanks to my brother Aaron, who stood hours in a line at Barnes and Noble to meet Josh Hamilton and get my book signed.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Much more about baseball, great book, July 18, 2009
    the story of Josh Hamilton has been well publicized, but reading his first hand account of what he went through and how he is still here today is amazing.

    think about this...

    -Hamilton was considered the best high school baseball player ever[...]
    -he beat Jose Canseco in home run derby as an 18 year old kid fresh out of the draft
    -Hamilton got involved in drugs when he started hanging out with the people at the tattoo shop

    Hamilton's drug use became so extensive, he knew the tips and tricks to get a fixed high. He blew his entire bonus on drugs, left his wife who had just given birth to go and get high (she sent him to the drug store), would wake up in homes surrounded by complete strangers, and at one point, even gave up his wife's wedding ring to score drugs.

    Hamilton was on the very brink of losing everything, but as he says over and over, he gave up his life to the Lord, and that changed everything.

    His grandma took him in and through Christ, she helped nurture Josh back into good health both spiritually, physcially, and mentally.

    through the Lord, Hamilton slowly got back into baseball, one day at a time, until he finally got the call he hoped for so long, the call that Hamilton was back in baseball.

    MLB lifted their suspension and rather than work his way through the minors, Hamilton started with the Reds, making the opening day roster.

    Think about this....Hamilton went almost 3 years without any baseball or minor league experience, from the suspension list, through the drug use, 8 different rehab centers, to letting go and finding Christ, straight to the Pros.

    you could not write a movie script as corny as that, yet it happened to Josh Hamilton, living proof that letting go and having faith, anything was possible.

    The Hamilton story is much more than about baseball, it's about life and having faith in Christ. It's an amazing story for any baseball fan, or anybody who wants some real life inspiration.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Similar Road, April 3, 2009
    This book was sheer awesome. I went down the same road as Josh Hamilton. Reading his story gives me more strength and encouragment to go on and succeed in life. To be able to identify personally with someone of his calibur is truly up-lifting. He is one of my favorite baseball players and now after reading this book, he is one of my favorite people.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Time well spent., February 5, 2009
    Although reading what Josh went through (and put his family through) can be tough to take at times, this was a very good read and quite inspiring. I've read a number of faith-based memoirs written by athletes and others lately and this was the best. I'm certainly rooting for Josh to stay clean and excel at what he does so well (although he can take it easy against the Indians).

    5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing Story from an Amazing Man, December 30, 2008
    Incredible story that I could not stop reading. This book will be an inspiration to anyone who picks it up. Josh is a rare commodity in baseball, not just because he has "Mickey Mantle talent," but also because he is not afraid to put himself out there for all the world to see and judge. Hopefully there will be people who read this book and realize that if Josh can fight his way back from the hell he lived, they can too, or even better...maybe by reading this book the reader will learn from Josh's mistakes without making the same ones he made.

    4-0 out of 5 stars An Honest Confession, November 17, 2008
    How many ballplayers have an autobiorgraphy out, even though they've played less than two years of Major League Baseball? Just Josh Hamilton, as far as I know....and it's justified. He has a pretty unique story.

    Hamilton became a nationwide sports "celebrity" in July of 2008 after putting on an incredible display of power hitting at the MLB's "Home Run Derby" at the All-Star Game in Yankee Stadium. Suddenly, the rest of the baseball world wanted to hear his story, so here is his autobiography.
    Suffice to say,it's not a pretty one but at least he's honest.

    Josh had everything, including the world of baseball right where he wanted it, but ruined his life and almost killed himself with drugs, only to rise from ashes and be the star he is right now. This is a human interest story, an inspiring story, not a baseball book.

    Hamilton pulls no punches and takes the blame for his actions. In today's world, that's refreshing. This book is almost like one, long confession, but it's also meant to inspire others who feel there is no way they can beat their drug addiction. Included here is his relationship with Jesus Christ and how that helped him clean up his act. For those wary of being preached to, that's not what this book is. Hamilton is also clear about that, too.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Beyond Belief, October 19, 2008
    I loved Josh Hamilton's story. After following Josh's season in 2008, I was curious to know what type of obstacles he had to overcome to reach the major leagues. This guy went through everything. The way he describes, you can still tell that he goes through a little bit of pain everytime he retells the story. Josh has worked hard to become the quality man that he is today. He makes it very clear that the number one thing he uses to keep himself clean is through Faith. This is a very good story and inspirational. It is amazing how someone can turn their lives around almost 360 degrees and be able to do what Josh is doing for a living.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Josh Hamilton Beyond Belief Is a 5 Star Must Read Book, May 28, 2009
    Talk about inspirational you don't have to go any further than this book right here. Josh Hamilton's life has had so many ups and yet at the same time so many downs. Josh is the true story was it doesn't matter how far down you are in your life if you put your mind to the task at hand you can accomplish it. Josh was actually a good kid growing up and how he became a great baseball player was disciplining himself to not go out use drugs and alcohol like most of his friends did. He even went as far to not go to his senior prom because he did not want to get mixed up in activity afterwards that might affect his draft status. That takes true determination to discipline yourself like that. For all joshes hard work it paid off as he was drafted by the devil rays in the first round with the first pick. Unfortunately lots of injuries put Josh on the shelf for a lot of baseball time that it eventually drove him to use drugs for the first time. He states the first time he used coke it was a high he never experienced and he was hooked. As bad as drugs are he is being totally honest with that statement. He reached the lowest point in his life but thanks to the help of his grandmother and god he was able to pull out of it. I was so glad for Josh especially when I saw him in the 2008 homerun derby and he put on a performance of a lifetime. Josh shows you what true determinate is. I truly believe if Josh would have been able to avoid injuries and eventually using drugs to relieve the pain he would be an all star in this league and maybe become one of the best ever. I know that may be a little too much but a guy that can come back after 3 years away from major league baseball almost win the homerun derby and have a great season with the reds and Texas rangers you know he's got talent. Josh Hamilton should be an inspiration for all of us and it proves no matter how doubtful something looks you can accomplish it if you put your mind to it. ... Read more


    13. Save Me from Myself: How I Found God, Quit Korn, Kicked Drugs, and Lived to Tell My Story
    by Brian Welch
    Paperback
    list price: $13.99 -- our price: $11.19
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0061431648
    Publisher: HarperOne
    Sales Rank: 6482
    Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    The incredible story of a controversial rock star, his secret addiction to methamphetamines, and his miraculous salvation through Jesus Christ. Candid and inspiring, Save Me from Myself is a rock 'n' roll journey unlike any other.

    ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars Now I understand, July 5, 2007
    I now understand why Head left the band. All this time, we had nothing to go on but what the media had to say, and a few interviews. They still left me feeling a little discouraged as to why one of my idols would just drop off the face of the planet. This book definitely puts Head's Korn experience into perspective. Although I'd like to see him reunite with the band, sober of course, this confirms it will never happen. The book becomes very hard to put down once you've started, especially since I'm a Korn fan. I recommend this book not only to Korn fans, but to people who want to see real life experiences that prove there is always something more out there.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Brian Welch - A Rockers Real Inspiration to Transform Addiction & Misery, July 6, 2007
    In Save Me from Myself, Brian Welch former rock lead guitarist of the band Korn shares so openly, humbly and completely honestly about his life, growing up in "Bako" (Bakersfield, CA), his family life and the living hell he experienced, to finding his way to a sane stable life, free of drug addiction, with his connection to Jesus Christ.

    Brian is a real hero for the millions of fans of his former rock group. The teens who also feel isolated, hurt, misunderstood and angry can now (finally) learn the real truth about the downward spiral of drug addiction, and how they can turn it around to have a much happier life.

    The book reads as if you're listening to a real, down-to-earth friend, who just tells it like it is. Brian isn't looking for glory here, he's sharing from his heart. By the courageous example he sets, this book should be a MUST READ for anyone who can relate to the life Brian used to have, and how to positively turn that around.

    5-0 out of 5 stars True Believer with an Awesome Testimony, August 6, 2007
    I purchased this book for my 19 year old son but after meeting Brian at a book signing decided to read it for myself before sending it to my son. I could not put it down. I read the book cover to cover in a matter of hours. Brian has the sweetest spirit and writes from his heart. While he is honest about his choices he does not condemn or judge others. I also appreciated that he was modest in describing his former lifestyle and didn't get overly detailed or graphic. You get the picture without being grossed out with unnecessary detail. My only concern is that Christian fundamentalists will freak out when he challenges the effectiveness of organized religion in reaching souls for Christ, however, I completely AGREE with him that FIRST you get right with God by asking Jesus to come into your heart and life and save you from your(self) and your sins in order to have a right relationship with God. Church is part of learning and growing in fellowship and in understanding God's Word but it is NOT essential in saving grace. I loved this book and I am praying for the success of Brian's ministry. Furthermore, my 19 year old son, who is a heavy metal guitar player and a born again Christian, told me that he feels closer to God as a result of reading Brian's story. I believe it will also really be an inspiration to him as he navigates some of the trappings of the music industry. The world needs this man's perspective on Jesus and I am grateful to him for sharing his story.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Compelling Story, less desirable read, August 5, 2007
    Head shows us an amazing story of how the power of a relationship with God can transform your life. Though I do not agree with all of his ideas, and I can tell his walk with God has been short so far, I enjoyed not only hearing about his step into faith, but his honest with where he is, how life with God is, and where he was. His story is one that mirrors many peoples story, and it shows how much the relationship with God can fill that addiction that we so desperately needed. That those addictions are in place of something that we know is missing. For myself it was porn. For Head it was Drugs.

    The unfortunate part of the book is that you can tell that he is not a writer or a reader. At times he is confusing, as to what subject he is writing about, and he moves back and forth through his story without consistancy. I am not sure if that is his fault, or the fault of his editors who didn't seem to tighten up his writing to be more coherient at times.

    Over all I was compelled by the book. I enjoyed the fact that he wasn't afraid to say things like they where, to say things like he felt, to use the words that he used at the time, and to be honest with his heart. There are many revealing things in this book. Many things I am not sure anyone would admit doing, and he does. I can feel the sorrow that is left in his heart for some of the terrible things he does. He makes no excuse, and he doesn't say "Oh it was the drugs" but "this is how far gone I was". That to me, is compelling and I read it all the way through.

    The only last thing I would like to say is to those of you that may not know a relationship with God, is that it's a journey, and Head has just started that Journey. I encourage you, that if you get a little "wigged" out by some of the things he says, continue to read on. There are times that it seems like he is getting a little over the top to me, even as a Christian. However, he is seeking God in all things as we are called to do, and he, like every Christian is stumbling along the way.

    Blessings,

    Mike

    5-0 out of 5 stars This book surprised in in a profound way!, July 15, 2007
    I had never heard of the name Brian "Head" Welch or Korn for that matter until last week when I saw Brian in an interview. Something about him intrigued me and I found myself driving to the bookstore to purchase his book. I read it in one day and was extremely touched by it. His honesty jumps off the pages and his devotion to his new faith is very refreshing. I have been a believer of Christ for a long time and even attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. His thirst for a true, authentic walk with the Lord is very inspiring. I have not witnessed that level of heart and mind driven devotion in a long time, (not even when I was embedded in a sea of believers in seminary!)Surprisingly, I never once got the discernment that Brian had just simply replaced one addiction for another, or that his devotion was too radical or "fringe". On the contary, I was really inspired to have a similar pursuit of Christ and his teachings as well. I really believe that Brian is annointed to be an ambassador for Christ, and not just for the alternative, tattooed, skateboarding set either. Trust me, I am very far removed from that generation and yet I have been more deeply inspired to thirst for a greater, more passionate walk with Chirst since reading his book. God does indeed work in mysterious and marvelous ways! I highly recommend the book for all, no matter what your generation, musical tastes, background, religious background, etc. happens to be. Trust me, if you read the book with an open heart, you WILL be moved by his testimony and God - willing inspired in a new, fresh way. God Bless you Brian!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best Book I've Read in a Long Time, July 11, 2007
    I bought this book for my 19 year old son. He read it, and was really moved by it. I read the book myself, and Brian made me look over some areas in my Christian walk that needed to be re-examined. This book is so honest and down-to-earth. We are just common people, not rock stars, rich, or famous, but we were able to relate to so many of the things that Brian went through before he was walking with the Lord, and what he goes through while walking with the Lord. I've never met Brian, but feel he's already a friend and brother. If you know Jesus as your personal savior, then this book will uplift you, and encourage you. If you don't know Jesus as your personal savior, then this book will show you how real Jesus is.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Very Inspiring - Loved this Book!, August 14, 2007
    I purchased this book for my son who is a Korn/heavy metal listener. I wanted to read the book first so I'd know exactly what the message was. I read the book in one day - I couldn't put it down. It was so easy to read - like he was sitting there just telling the story. Love that it's written the way it is - simple and to the point, in his own words. He's not (I dont think) an author out to win some kind of literary award - so to criticize him for his writing skills means you may have missed the point (which is sad). Love that he did not make his former life sound exciting - it was a constant and horrible battle and that's clear all the way through the book. What is also clear is that when he started trying to walk away from his old life and walk toward the Lord, Satan tried his best to keep his hold on him and pull him right back. He certainly could not have ever been free of that life without God. What an awesome story - I highly recommend this book. (And I have to add .. for those who say he wrote the book only for the money or that he isn't sincere - shame on you. It's not your place to judge what's in his heart. I'm proud of him for knowing there'd be people like you out there criticizing him - and writing the book anyway!)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book, July 10, 2007
    I thought that this book was awesome...

    I just graduated from high school so reading isn't exactly my favorite thing to do. But as soon as I seen the article in 'Guitar World' for it i jumped up from my chair and pre-ordered it, a little over a month early...and the book couldn't come soon enough.

    When the book got to my house i was stoked...i couldn't wait to come home from work and start reading it. And I read the hell out of that book finishing it in a matter of days.

    The book was an amazing look into Brian "Head" Welch's life. I remember back when 'Korn' was just starting to get big and my brother and their friends were listeneing to them and I even listend to them, but to hear what really went on behind the scenes was VERY interesting.

    Not to mention the whole recovery process that he had to go through to help his daughter and himself...

    I never really understood why 'Head' left 'Korn'...the only thing that I really knew was that he was going to find god. But reading this i understood more about why he did it and the hard time he had doing it.

    **I just want to say that i give Brian "Head" Welch all the credit in the world, along with everyone else who has gone through the same struggle in life and succeded.**

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great reading for anyone that wants to see what a transormed life looks like!, July 11, 2007
    I will preface this review that it isn't the best writing in the world but I think Brian would admit that himself and if you're too critical of the writing then you are missing the point. This is an excellent portrayal of how a person can turn their life around through their faith in Christ. Head's experience makes the cliche true: If I can do it, anyone can! He had been through so much pain, suffering, drugs and excessive alcohol that it's amazing his body can still function. I believe this book was as therepeutic for him as it is for us readers. I look forward to see how many lives he can affect through his celebrity, talents and experiences.

    My favorite line in the book, "He had a lot of hell to squeeze out of me, and belive me-when the hell leaves you, sometimes it screeams at God on the way out." Page 213. Very true words.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Execellent Book!, July 23, 2007
    Brian did an excellent job of keeping the reader glued to the book. It was very interesting and very insightful. Good book! Read it, enjoy it, worth the money. ... Read more


    14. Courage to Change: One Day at a Time in Al-Anon II
    by Al-Anon Family Group Head Inc
    Hardcover
    list price: $14.50 -- our price: $14.50
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0910034796
    Publisher: Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc.
    Sales Rank: 4949
    Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars a beautiful, hopeful, well-written book, December 29, 2000
    as a daily reader, i feel this is the best, and a step up from al-anon's also-great "one day at a time" reader from the sixties, the predecessor of "the courage to change". the philosophy is powerful yet simple, positive but not squishy at all, the readings are comprehensive (as is the index - and you can look up just about any emotion you happen to be feeling and find a strong reading on it), the quotations are excellent, there's no gender bias, there's no attacking the alcoholic, and it's gentle from start to finish - but firm throughout.

    i would recommend this book to anyone whether you're in al-anon or not. it's a prime book in my library and life.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A quick daily dose of focus, January 17, 2000
    This little book helps me focus on something positive (or a lesson I'm working on) in very bite-size pieces. Sometimes it's all I have time to read (each day is only 3-4 paragraphs), but it's effective.

    From the Preface: Taking life one day at a time has proven essential in the Al-Anon program of recovery for those whose lives have been adversely affected by the problem of alcoholism in a relative or a friend. This book, like it's companion volume _One Day at a Time in Al-Anon_, is designed to keep our focus on today and give us the courage ot change the things we can. ...Because these selections are based on sharings from individuals, they contain references to gender and to specific relationships, but the thoughts are applicable to people of all walks of life.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The best daily reader I've found, April 8, 2004
    This is the best daily reader I've found so far, even among the other Al-Anon books. I struggle with depression, tiredness, and having grown up the child of generations of alcoholics. Sometimes I don't feel that Al-Anon fits what I'm struggling with, and that leaves me feeling lonely - but this book almost always has something that soothes me in a deep way (which I'm despretely seeking when depression tears at me) and helps me feel stronger in that particular moment.

    I read a page a day (when I remember), but mostly I use the index. I look up whatever topic I feel fits at that time - acceptance, anxiety, detatchment, fear, gratitude, mistakes, self-acceptance, self-esteem, and so on - and read all the pages on that topic. If I still feel torn up inside I look up another topic and read those pages. By the end of reading, although my problems haven't been solved, I feel a more able to deal with the world.

    I've found there are a lot of useful quotes, not just the ones at the bottom of the pages but within the text. All of my copies are dog-eared and underlined, and I write a lot of quotes down to help later because often a simple phrase clicks within me whereas a torrent of wise words cannot.

    In summary, this book has helped more than the many self-help books I've bought, probably because I've made it a part of my life. No book can answer my problems and the fact that I inevitably have to deal with them - difficult when I feel I just don't know how. But that's why this book is perfect; it exists to help people survive, one day at a time. It's straight-forward simplicity, without the too-sweet, new-age feel other books can have, is why it is personally indispensible.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Helpful and Inspiring, July 24, 2006
    If you have ever lived with an addict or alcoholic, this book gives you inspiration and courage to learn how to be independent in your growth as a person.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Life Saver, November 2, 2006
    I have owned this book since the year it was published in 1992. I have read it almost every night for the last 14 years off and on but mostly on. I am always amazed and brought to tears as to how accurate the message is on any given day. I had a breif relationship with an addict that ended over 10 years ago but this book is the one true gift that I was given from that experience as it truly is a daily message from God and has given me more comfort, solace and strength than I can describe. I plan on purchasing 2 more copies tonight.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing, October 22, 2003
    This inspirational daily reader helped me to get through every minute of every day for the first 5 years in Nar-anon. The fact that it is written by people who came before me and they share their information and experience, makes it so much easier to read. Not some clinical Dr. telling you what to do to fix your life, just people helping other people.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This little book was a great help, May 19, 1998
    This little book was a great help to me while I was coming to terms with having grown up with Alcoholic parents. I highly recommend it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Gives me much needed hope......, December 27, 2005
    After many many years of suffering with my husband through his addiction and then facing the hard-hitting rock bottom he went through...this book has given me the hope that I need so much.
    Thankfully, my husband has since found the path to recovery "Courage to Change" helps me go through the day when I feel like I just want to call it quits.
    It is also helping me through my own 12 step program...to stop being a co-dependant and living for myself.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Not as good as One Day at a Time., April 19, 2009
    May be more appropriate for those who are more secular. Not much of a spiritual perspective. All in all it is definitely a life saver.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent, Lovely and Comforting Meditation Book, November 26, 2008
    This book is a joy and a delight and is oh so helpful. I bought it for a friend who asked me for information about what to do as her husband began attending AA meetings. It is a wonderful book for co-dependency. I grew up as I learned huge amounts about myself as I read it daily for three years. ... Read more


    15. Motivational Interviewing, Second Edition: Preparing People for Change
    by William R. Miller Phd, Stephen P Rollnick PhD, William R. Miller, Stephen Rollnick
    Hardcover
    list price: $55.00 -- our price: $32.66
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 1572305630
    Publisher: The Guilford Press
    Sales Rank: 4186
    Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    Since the initial publication of this breakthrough work, motivational interviewing (MI) has been used by countless clinicians. Theory and methods have evolved apace, reflecting new knowledge on the process of behavior change, a growing body of outcome research, and the development of new applications within and beyond the addictions field. Extensively rewritten, this revised and expanded second edition now brings MI practitioners and trainees fully up to date. William R. Miller and Stephen Rollnick explain how to work through ambivalence to facilitate change, present detailed guidelines for using their approach, and reflect on the process of learning MI. Chapters contributed by other leading experts then address such special topics as MI and the stages-of-change model, applications in medical, public health, and criminal justice settings, and using the approach with groups, couples, and adolescents.

    ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars An Essential Guide to Exploring and Resolving Ambivalence, October 10, 2003
    When do you use a Motivational Interviewing approach? Whenever there is ambivalence for change. How often does ambivalence for change occur? At almost any time people are considering some kind of change. In this 2nd edition of Motivational Interviewing, the authors are very clear that MI is not an approach that obviates the use of other therapy approaches, such as CBT, but is an approach that prepares people for change.

    I have been a trainer in Motivational Interviewing since 1995 (see http://www.cathycoletraining.com) and am privileged to have received my training from the authors, Drs. Miller and Rollnick. The first edition, Motivational Interviewing, Preparing People to Change Addictive Behavior, provided information that has helped many professionals working in addictions a way to more effectively engage clients in the process of change. The 2nd edition is written so that professionals working with clients around any issues...mental health, health behavior, addictions, health promotion, life coaching...are able to apply the methods for exploring and resolving ambivalence for change.

    The first three chapters of the book set the stage for understanding the nature of change and ambivalence for change so that the reader is more fully prepared to understand the value of fully understanding the client situation and eliciting desire, ability, reasons, need and committment for change from the client. This approach differs from the often tendency to understand the client's situation and then in a well meaning way, prescribe the needed steps for change. The strategies for interacting with clients via the use of open ended questions and the use of reflective responses is clearly discussed. Methods for eliciting change talk and responding to the concept of resistance are easily understood and examples are provided that will assist readers in considering how this approach will fit into their unique situations.

    Of great value to me has been the expanded view of the concept of client resistance. From the MI approach, resistance is seen as occuring in context and is conceived of as dissonance...just a lack of harmony, or being on the same page together. When viewed in this way, it just signals the professional that another approach is needed. How to 'roll with resistance' is then illustrated very clearly.

    This edition of Motivational Interviewing has expanded my ability to provide training. Even more importantly, the emphasis of this edition has underscored even more for me,that in my provision of psychotherapy, MI is not an approach to be pulled out for special occasions but is the treatment philosophy from which I approach all clients, despite the particular therapy modality utilized in the specific work.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Very helpful instructional manual, January 9, 2007
    I love this book. The second edition is a big improvement over the first as it makes the MI approach more generic (as it should be) and less tied specifically to substance abuse. I regularly use this book when teaching beginning therapy skills to doctoral students in clinical psychology, but it's not just a book for beginners. What I like is the way Miller & Rollnick spend a lot of time talking about generic skills fundamental to any healthy therapeutic relationship -- and especially their discussions about different types of reflective listening and dealing with resistance. The MI approach is especially helpful in dealing with clients who are struggling with ambivalence about their problems (or about being in therapy) -- which happens with great frequency in any practice (not just with substance abusers or court-ordered clients). I wish I had had this book 30 years ago when I was starting out as a therapist. I love teaching from it because I can still pick out gems even now. MI fits well with all sorts of other psychotherapy techniques, including client-centered, cognitive-behavioral, and strategic/structural.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Motivational Interviewing, November 24, 2007
    What a wonderful book. I recently completed an introductory course in Motivational Interviewing and found the book an invaluable companion. My primary theoretical orientation is Reality Therapy but have found Motivaitonal Interviewing to be an easily integrated set of techniques for virtually any counseling style. Most importantly, MI appears to offer a set of techniques that fit well with the limitations often placed on counselors by managed care. I have found through personal experience that once people are motivated to change, progress is relativly fast. It's getting them ready that often presents the challenge; this book meets that challenge head on.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Kudos for Miller and Rollnick, November 28, 2005
    As a longtime clinician and trainer of clinicians, I found Miller and Rollnick's "Motivational Interviewing" (2d edition) extremely sound, helpful and thoughtful. A great book for clinicians to read who are tempted to push one side of a patient's ambivalence ("But can't you see you have to leave him -- he's no good for you!")and not to respect the other side of it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Must Read, March 22, 2007
    Excellent resourse for the person interested in helping others in a host of different treatment settings. For people in the helping fields, this technique offers new ways of viewing treatment resistance, goal ambivalence, and goal achievement. In utilizing this technique, we enable the client/consumer to be able to formulate plans and goals for themselves in the future, returning them to an increased level of functioning in the community. The adaption of MI in various treatment settings with divergent clients has long been awaited.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Motivational Interviewing, February 8, 2007
    This is a good book to read and keep. The chapters are easy to read because they are not too long. The information is easy to grasp, apply and retain. I definitely recommend this book.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Motivational Interviewing, June 11, 2009
    I was pleasantly surprised at the value of this book. I serve on a committee whose mission is to increase the levels of physical activity in our group. I learned some basic and important concepts about what makes change. Let's face it, if change were easy and a rational decision, we would all be healthier, thinner, non-smokers and non-alcohol drinkers. This book is a must for those who are trying to institute real change. This book is of value to those who are tired of doing ineffictive things that make little real change in any arena of life.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Motivated, July 8, 2008
    The book is written by academics for academics, but I think it is well written for the layperson who is interested in the topic. This is a good book for anyone who is interested in methods for changing behavior.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Bible of Ambivalence, March 4, 2010
    Motivational Interviewing (MI) is defined as: a client-centered, directive method for enhancing intrinsic motivation to chance by exploring and resolving ambivalence.

    Motivational Interviewing, Second Edition: Preparing People for Change is an excellent resource for anyone working with individuals or groups of people who are facing ambivalence regarding change. The change can range from drug/alcohol abuse, quitting smoking, medical issues, losing weight, relationship changes, starting an exercise program, changing careers, etc.

    The book begins with a chapter on "Why do people change?" People tend to be creatures of habit and change can be a very difficult and disturbing process to go through. There is also a discussion on whether people are ready, willing and able to change along with issues that trigger change. The book then moves on to the topic of ambivalence and why people have such a difficult time with making changes especially if the changes are beneficial such as in quitting smoking, dealing with addictions, taking necessary medications, etc. Facilitating change is difficult and can be a lengthy process. One often develops discrepancy, deals with self-motivating change talk and dealing with the status quo.

    Part II of the book enters the practice of Motivational Interviewing and delves into the four general principles:

    1. Express empathy
    2. Develop discrepancy
    3. Roll with resistance
    4. Support self-efficacy

    Then there is a discussion on change and resistance which is essentially the consonance and dissonance of change. Interviewing traps are discussed and plenty of examples are provided.

    Five specific methods are then reviewed in depth:

    1. Ask open ended questions
    2. Listen reflectively
    3. Affirmations
    4. Summarizations
    5. Eliciting change talk
    Once again plenty of examples are provided.

    There are following chapters on responding to change talk, responding to resistance, enhancing confidence to strengthening commitments. There is also a chapter on Motivational Interviewing and the Stages of Change. MI techniques are to be applied differently depending on which Stage of Change a person is in.

    Originally, MI was developed for use by counselors but these techniques can be utilized by many other professions. The techniques are very easy to learn but very difficult to apply. Don't be fooled by the apparent simplicity as it does take a lot of practice to become familiar with the spirit and essence of Motivational Interviewing and then have the skill to apply the different techniques. MI is a great skill for police officers, corrections officers, detention officers, probation and parole officers, managers, military investigators, military interrogators, sports coaches and anyone who regularly deals with individuals who have ambivalence.

    Motivational Interviewing, Second Edition: Preparing People for Change is an excellent resource that has many practical uses and applications both professionally and personally. Plenty of examples are utilized throughout the book that will guide you along.

    5-0 out of 5 stars motivationa interviewing, second edition: preparing people for change, August 19, 2009
    This textbook will be useful to help motivate me, offering reminders that it is the counselor that needs to change his/her approach when stumbling blocks cut off the flow of communication. A great resource/reference to have. ... Read more


    16. 50 Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food
    by Susan Albers
    Paperback
    list price: $16.95 -- our price: $11.53
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 1572246766
    Publisher: New Harbinger Pubns
    Sales Rank: 5976
    Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    Food has the power to temporarily alleviate stress and sadness, enhance joy, and bring us comfort when we need it most. It's no wonder experts estimate that 75 percent of overeating is triggered by our emotions, not physical hunger. The good news is you can instead soothe yourself through dozens of mindful activities that are healthy for both body and mind.

    Susan Albers, author of Eating Mindfully, offers this collection of 50 mindfulness skills and practices for relaxing the body in times of stress and ending your dependence on eating as a means of coping with difficult emotions. You'll not only discover easy ways to soothe urges to overeat, you'll also learn how to differentiate emotion-driven hunger from healthy hunger. Reach for this book instead of the refrigerator next time you feel the urge to snack-these alternatives are just as satisfying!

    A thoughtful volume filled with practical solutions for emotional eaters everywhere.
    -Madelyn H. Fernstrom, Ph.D., CNS, founding director of UPMC Weight Management Center, professor at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

    Albers's soup-to-nuts list of creative, accessible, self-soothing tips will undoubtedly help anyone who has struggled with dieting, food, or body image. Beyond that, her exercises in mindfulness, deep breathing, and journaling are top-notch tools for finding balance in life overall.
    -Leslie Goldman, author of Locker Room Diaries

    Albers has done it again! 50 Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food makes complex psychological concepts simple and accessible. I highly recommend you buy this book if you have ever turned to food for comfort and want to learn a new way of coping.
    Kathleen Burns Kingsbury, LMHC, CPCC, coauthor of Weight Wisdom and founder of KBK Connections, Inc.

    You don't have to be worried about your waistline to reap life-changing benefits from Albers s easy-to-follow guidance. Reading this little book will boost your mood, reduce stress, and provide soothing alternatives to that next dessert! I highly recommend it. .
    Amy Weintraub, author of Yoga for Depression and director of the LifeForce Yoga Healing Institute ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars A great resource to help stop mindless eating, October 30, 2009
    As a psychologist, I'm frequently on the lookout for books that can help the people I work with. Dr. Albers's book is an excellent resource for people who are struggling with eating issues. As many people struggle with eating mindlessly (when they're not hungry or are upset, for example), it is important to learn other ways to cope with difficult emotions. She gives an overview of mindfulness and then details 50 exercises focusing on different ways to redirect the impulse towards self-destructive behavior. Many of the exercises in this book would work well for people dealing with other problems too, such as substance abuse.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Book for Stress Eaters, October 18, 2009
    I saw this book in the Washington Post. A few days later I actually hear the author on the radio. She seemed to make a lot of sense. I was surprised at how much this book described my stress eating to a tee. I can identify with many of the stories. I keep the book in the kitchen and read it when I'm tempted to eat because I'm nervous or stressed out (which is often!). It's helped me a lot.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Helpful Suggestions!, October 18, 2009
    I am writing my from our family Amazon account. I am a fan of Dr. Albers' first book, Eating Mindfully, so I bought this one. This book is ideal for stress and boredom eaters. I am a mom who has a lot of stress and a zillon things to do. I don't have much time to take care of myself. I found that this is the perfect book for me. It is filled with easy, quick and inexpensive things to do when I am having a donut craving. These techniques really helped me.

    5-0 out of 5 stars No god? No "Secret"? No angels? No problem!!, June 20, 2010
    I love this book! It gets to the heart of mindful eating without invoking God or angels or the Secret or deep Buddhist philosophy. The writer give solid, concrete ways to self-soothe so that the reader becomes enabled to eat mindfully. There is no delving into any dieting theory, just practical tools to end the problem of emotional overeating immediately. Isn't that what we are all looking for in weight loss books?

    5-0 out of 5 stars Some "Reader-Friendly" hints on Being Kind to Yourself!, March 21, 2010
    Susan Albers,after explaining various reasons for eating...other than the obvious,
    allows us to pick and choose among fifty reasons why we might have purchased
    this book.
    We can learn how to handle situations that lead us to unhealthy eating.
    Easy to understand, practical suggestions! A great approach to those of us
    intrigued by the term "Behavioral Modification"!
    Now, to put it into practice!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A choice pick for self-help collections, January 16, 2010
    Comfort food is a common fall back in rough times. "50 Ways to Sooth Yourself Without Food" is a guide for those who want to stop looking towards food for their security blanket when times get tough for them. With tips on how to fight the temptation of stress eating and how to find an alternative that works, Susan Albers presents plenty of non-food based activities. "50 Ways to Sooth Yourself Without Food" is a choice pick for self-help collections.

    3-0 out of 5 stars WORDY, October 12, 2009
    This turned out to be more "dense" than I expected.
    It was just OK. ... Read more


    17. Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program That Works
    by Evelyn Tribole, Elyse Resch
    Paperback
    list price: $15.99 -- our price: $10.87
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0312321236
    Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
    Sales Rank: 7611
    Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    We've all been there-angry with ourselves for overeating, for our lack of willpower, for failing at yet another diet that was supposed to be the last one. But the problem is not you, it's that dieting, with its emphasis on rules and regulations, has stopped you from listening to your body.

    Written by two prominent nutritionists, Intuitive Eating focuses on nurturing your body rather than starving it, encourages natural weight loss, and helps you find the weight you were meant to be.

    Learn:
    *How to reject diet mentality forever
    *How our three Eating Personalities define our eating difficulties
    *How to feel your feelings without using food
    *How to honor hunger and feel fullness
    *How to follow the ten principles of Intuitive Eating, step-by-step
    *How to achieve a new and safe relationship with food and, ultimately, your body

    With much more compassionate, thoughtful advice on satisfying, healthy living, this newly revised edition also includes a chapter on how the Intuitive Eating philosophy can be a safe and effective model on the path to recovery from an eating disorder.
    ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent book, May 2, 2005
    I really have to disagree with Yvonne's comment "But obese people do not start being overweight due to dieting!" As a child I always enjoyed eating, but I was not overweight. In fact, I didn't think too much about food at all. I went on my first diet at age 15, with the goal of losing 5 lbs. After I lost 5 lbs by eating a lot of salad and little else, I could fit into all my jeans and a few people commented on how good I looked. I was hooked.....I lost another 5 lbs. and looked great (probably too thin, but I thought I looked great!), but the constant restricting and hunger made me start to obsess about food! I would end a 2 day fast by eating an entire bag of cookies....My first diet was the beginning of a 20 year cycle of fasting and compulsive eating that left me 75 lbs overweight. I've been in lots of Compulsive Eating support groups over the years and I've heard the same story. If you put a child in a room filled with candy and junk food and tell her to eat whatever she wants, the food will quickly lose much of it's appeal......or tell her not to eat one bite and see how important that food becomes....

    This book addresses many of the issues behind compulsive eating, and with lots of work on my part, it made me sane again (and 60 lbs lighter).

    5-0 out of 5 stars Your dieting days are over!, December 31, 2004
    Imagine never having to worry about what you eat. Imagine being one of "those" people who can eat whatever they want whenever they want and never gain a pound -- even lose weight! Don't you hate those people? What if you could be just like them? What if you knew their secret (that even they probably don't know)?

    This book is the only "plan" you'll ever need to get off the dieting roller coaster and become a healthy eater. Skeptical? So was I. However, after a year of practicing Intuitive Eating, I am a COMPLETELY different person.

    Be warned: it is not a quick fix. In fact, quick fixes are PRECISELY the reason we end up yo-yo dieting. Intuitive eating is not a diet at all. I know you've heard this before -- even from actual "diets" like Weight Watchers -- but, in fact, there is NO PLAN to intuitive eating. That's the whole point! You learn to eat what you want, what you need, and what feels good to your body. Your body already knows what's healthy for it and when you get rid of your emotional baggage about food, your shame, hidden eating, and all the other food behaviors you wish you could stop but feel enslaved to, you actually begin to enjoy food again!

    Since I live in Southern California, I've had the privilege of consulting with Ms. Tribole (one of the authors) as a dietitian and nutritionist in my quest to overcome compulsive overeating. This book completely changed my life. I will be forever grateful to the authors.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Changing My Life, September 9, 2006
    This is the first book I read on intuitive eating. It really made a lot of sense to me. I researched intuitive eating online, looking at the relevent studies. There's not much research, yet, but the research does support intuitive eating. Just knowing that diets fail 95% of the time, on average, tells the story right there.

    I jumped right into this eating approach with both feet about a month ago. When I started this diet I was a restrictive eater/binge eater. I was about 10-15 pounds overweight. I weighed myself one to four times a day. I never kept any food in the house that might truly make me want to eat a lof of it. Then, when I was out and had access to food that I craved, I would binge heartily. I'm extremely knowledgeable about nutrition, and only allowed myself to keep whole grains, no trans-fats, etc. in the house.

    I really thought that I had a very healthy approach toward food. Then, I started intuitive eating a month ago. At first, it was stadium franks, hot dogs, chocolate, cream horns, turnovers, and a lot of them. I weighed myself recently, and found that I had only gained 3 pounds after eating this way to my heart's content. I stopped when I felt satisfied, and only ate when I felt hungry.

    Just recently, do I feel the need for sugar/fat tapering. I'm starting to crave strawberries and cooked cabbage. I'm down to 2 cream horns a day, instead of 5. I don't even care to eat most of the other sugary food I keep around. I have to throw it out. My pants are starting to feel like they're loosening back up slowly.

    I can't believe it. I'm 33. I've obsessed about my eating, dieted and binged (sometimes on a daily basis) for the past 18 years, only to weigh more than ever.

    Now, to be surrounded by the food I always craved and binged on, and to not even want it is amazing!!!!

    I can't support this concept enough.

    Trust you body!!!! It knows what it's doing!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book to help you get in tune with your eating, July 10, 2004
    It is amazing how in the United States we have such an unhealthy relationship with the pleasures of eating. Either we are overstuffing ourselves with unreasonable restaraunt portions, or we are on a strict diet with a long list of "good" and "bad" foods. This wonderful book guides us into returning to our own natural instinct to eat when we are hungry and stop when we feel comfortably full or satiated. It is not about a diet "plan", there are no good foods, or bad .It is about getting in touch with what our bodies are telling us to eat and when. It is about regaining the pleasure and enjoyment of eating without guilt and punishment. It is about letting go of the diet mentality that has overtaken this country. This book has helped me realize the guilt and overindulgence I have experienced from the world of dieting. It is helping me to respect my body and do what's right for me.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I lost weight after reading this, December 1, 2008
    I've read several comments that said that no one who reviewed this book mentioned that they had actually lost weight, and that therefore, this book is just giving overweight people permission to eat badly. So let me just clear that up right now. I read this book (an earlier edition) in 2000, and lost 40 pounds in the next 2 years. In the 4 years after that, I lost an additional 25. And...I've kept it off.

    This book does give readers permission to eat what they want, but not to eat AS MUCH as they want. It teaches you to pay attention to your body, to your hunger and fullness signals, and to how certain foods make you feel. And once you've got that down, then it goes into nutrition.

    My biggest problem was eating food just because it was there--and adding to that, the habit of ordering the largest size at restaurants. Once I learned to pay attention to what I was eating, and experimenting with smaller servings, the weight just dropped off. It may not work for everyone, but here is one woman who it did work for.

    Let's face it, in this day and age it IS virtually impossible to eat 100% intuitively--we all have times when we eat for reasons other than hunger--many of us have jobs where we have set meal times, we are guests at other people's houses, etc. But even if you are able to learn to eat intuitively 50% of the time, it is an improvement.

    So it goes without saying that I highly recommend this book. It's not conventional diet wisdom, but if that was what worked, we wouldn't have a multi-billion dollar weight loss industry, would we?

    5-0 out of 5 stars Simple Stuff - But It Really Does Work, January 18, 2004
    I've read quite a few diet books, and in the past ten years I never was at my desired weight. But now I am actually at the weight where I want to be (155), and partly it's because of this great book. I've also made some other changes, but this book was a big help. It's all simple stuff that you have probably heard somewhere before. But the authors have collected what I think is the key to getting to a healthy weight and being happy with it. (And that's what it is about for me: health and acceptance.) Simple example: Eat what you like in moderation. On previous diets, I tried to cut out chocolate, which I love. Now I eat lots of chocolate, probably a little bit too much if a certified dietician looked at my diet. But it's a good tradeoff for me. I am satisfied, and it's easy for me to stay at my current weight. Another example: accept and love your body. Health and self-acceptance should be the goals, not some billboard picture of a different body type.

    As I said, it's simple stuff. But I haven't found it anywhere in such a good package, and it worked for me. As opposed to calorie counting, forbidden foods, and making your life miserable.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I feel liberated already!, May 5, 2004
    I'm only on chapter 5 and I can only say that I have been totally amazed and uplifted at what I have read!

    I decided to make 2004 the "year of me". I'm overweight and just didn't have time for me. So I started 2004 with the goal that I was going on a journey of self-awareness and discovery. I started with massages and therapy. I decided to stop beating myself up over my body image, to start paying attention to me and to try and unravel why I eat. I have found I am much happier and contented-- then a friend (overcoming bulemia) recommended this book for me.

    I was ready for this book. I don't know if this book will be helpful if you are in a bad spot still because I think some people will interpret the "eat what you want" as permission to go all out on a regular basis. In the foreward the authors mention this book is best used in conjunction with therapy and perhaps antidepressants. You need to be open-minded enough to WANT to figure out why you eat what you do. Let's face it... we didn't get to be 50++ pounds overweight because we like to feel so miserable. This is a journey and you have to be ready for the discovery, the challenge, the rewards, the set backs and then finally the end destination.

    Anyone who has ever dieted, and especially those who lived in eating-disordered households (not just talking about the biggies of anorexia and bulemia...) will see, as I did, their disfunctional dieting attitudes spread out in black and white. I saw myself in the first 22 pages, and just seeing it all there written out.. it is just so obvious how rooted my horrible dieting "logic" (or lack thereof) is in me.

    Have you ever said you were going to have a farewell to food just before your diet? Have you ever made up little rules with yourself like "don't eat past 6" or "you can't eat what you didn't buy"? I did and it all seems so sick now.

    The book does an excellent job at showing how to get rid of these NEGATIVE emotions and feelings about food. Food shouldn't be the major part of your day. Life should be the major part of your day.

    As I mentioned, I'm only in chapter 5 and already I feel so positive, so empowered and finally-- FINALLY-- I am starting to feel like I can rid myself of this obsessive, complicated, negative diet logic.

    Thank you for this book!!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best book to help with eating disordered people, February 1, 2007
    I have been battling bulimia on and off for about 15 years. I have read many books and have been through many therapist, but this book just MADE SENSE!!! As I read this book it brought back so many memories of how your mind gets so warped when you diet. I would always tell myself that on Monday I was starting a diet and not eating anything but veggies, fruit, etc.... Then, come Thursday I would start my bingeing and eat until Sunday until I felt like I was going to explode, while taking laxatives and over-exercising literally in between bites. I will NEVER diet again. This book tells you how dieting DOES NOT WORK!!!!! We have seen to many friends and family members join dieting programs and end up larger after they go off the diet. This book tells you to EAT IN MODERATION whatever you want....you honestly DO NOT eat nowhere near as much when you tell yourself you can have ANYTHING you want. I LOVED this book and reccomend it to anyone who has ever dieted and failed, has suffered from and eating disorder, or just plain overeats!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A very good book, December 9, 2007
    In the past, I never really cared about my diet. I ate what I want, and when I wanted. I never really gained or lost a lot of weight, but suddenly one day, I decided to get a gym membership to begin getting back in shape. I did well. I paid attention to my diet, and my exercise. Never before in my life had I been able to swim a mile, or run a mile for that matter. I felt better than ever. I lost quite a lot of weight, bought new sets of clothes, and life was good, or so I thought.

    Little did I know, my world suddenly came down. I was hit with a major eating disorder. I was never into any particular diet. My rule was simple: eat natural food that you can think of in the wild, and any processed food is bad for you. I thought this concept was a very healthy concept. I wrote down all my calories per day in a journal, and at any point and time I had a craving, I would suppress it by exercise, drinking water, or punishing myself by eating fruits or veggies instead. However, about 7 months of this, I suddenly came into constant concern with food. One day, I spent nearly 1 and a half hour at a super market picking things up, reading the calories and fat contents, putting it back, picking it up wishing I could eat it, then not being able to eat it. Never before in my life, I had weird cravings: I wanted fried food (I never really liked fried food even before I started a diet), I wanted pop-tarts (again, I never really eaten pop-tarts before my diet), I wanted things like oeros, cupcakes, and many other things. I wondered to myself why did I want these things. I started to not enjoy myself with things I loved to do, exercise became a chore and I wasn't enjoying it because I figured I wasn't burning enough calories, and I started to go on binges. I would eat a whole box of "bad" things, and when I blew it, I figured, "Oh well, might as well eat everything else I can't eat, and tomorrow, I will restart." This started happening for about 3-4 weeks, when I started researching it deeply. I thought at first it was a major depression, so I read over depressions. I thought it was an eating disorder, and I read it over and I had some of the symptoms, but it didn't quite feel like a major eating disorder yet, as it's been only several weeks. Then, I asked around forums, and other places, when I realized it was because of my diet. I was too preoccupied with my diet, and therefore, it was my enemy. This book was recommended to me by a forum member. The first things I did were throw out my calories counter book, and I started reading this book. After reading halfway through and thinking over the concepts, I felt better about myself. I went out and bought all my "bad" food, and to my amazement, I didn't eat the whole box. I just ate one or two, and I didn't think about it all day long. I started enjoying my exercises, and I didn't constantly worry about calories, or fat grams. I just ate a bit here and there, and enjoyed it.

    I'm still reading over the book, and I'm finding it superb. It seems like the book is mainly geared towards women (I'm a guy), but I think this book can help anyone. I say if you have a eating disorder, or if you've been dieting and now you want to maintain but you're constantly worried about food or cravings, or if you just dieted and failed over and over again, I recommend this book.

    Hopefully I can keep the weight off, and I'm wishing that my relationship with food can be restored. Just less than a week of following this book put my mind at ease.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Trust Your Body's Intuition, July 21, 2005
    This is a GREAT book that has helped me a lot! Now, I listen to what my body wants, and much to my surprise, it wants things like fresh fruit, vegetables, chocolate, and I am losing weight!
    I tried so many diets, and once I let go of trying so hard, I found that my body knows what it needs, naturally!
    This is a great book, and it has worked well for me. I feel free now to just eat what my body is telling me it needs, and the guilt, along with the few extra pounds are gone! Thank you for this book! ... Read more


    18. Adult Children of Alcoholics
    by Janet G. Woititz
    Paperback
    list price: $12.95 -- our price: $10.36
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 1558741127
    Publisher: HCI
    Sales Rank: 10726
    Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    This book provides wisdom and information for all Adult Children of dysfunctional families. ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars A gentle start on the road to recovery, March 29, 2001
    Excellent book for those who don't know why their lives are a mess, why they keep getting into abusive relationships, why they don't laugh & have fun like other people, people who tear themselves apart for every imagined or real mistake, those who feel inferior and worthless, those like me who have always guessed (often incorrectly) at what normal is. Finally here are the answers millions of people need to let go of their crippling past and rediscover their future--one they want to be part of instead of dreading more of the same misery. The authors have been where we are, they know what they are talking about, they are US too. They have experience, compassion & empathy. They lovingly & gently open the doors to the truth for us, and this book could cause you to feel sad, angry, bitter, depressed but the next page will fill you with realistic hope (not the irrational hopes we're used to), belief in a happy future for yourself, motivation to start the journey of recovery from childhood abuse, neglect, trauma, denial, pain, etc. There is a thorough section on recovery groups and what to expect, how it works and so on, so that strangers to recovery will know what to expect, and maybe feel better about taking that 1st step--going to a meeting, finding a therapist, joining a group, reading books & workbooks, reaching out to safe others for support & more. I highly recommend this book to any one from a substance-abuse type family background, but also to people from dysfunctional families as well since all of the same principles apply. I also recommend Adult Children: The Secrets of Dysfunctional Families to those who can't relate to an alcoholic background at all, but who maybe grew up with an over-eating parent, an absent father, a mentally ill caretaker, etc. This is a gentle start for even the most recovery-resistant person. For myself, this book helped me see myself as that little terrified, abused child who was helpless, needy, neglected & denied, and begin to want to love, hug & heal MY inner self instead of running to rescue everyone else, for a change. It's my turn, and thanks to that book I finally believe in my journey and my future. I hope you will take the step and see for yourself what truths lay waiting to bring you relief & understanding.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Not a good first book on the subject, September 30, 2005
    I've read a number of books on this subject. I wouldn't say this book was unhelpful but is too absolute in its information to be anything but alarming to anyone tentatively looking for answers. It's also not very well written. I would suggest reading either "Recovery, A Guide for Adult Children of Alcoholics" by Gravitz & Bowden (an excellent first book) along with "A Primer on Adult Children of Alcoholics" by Cermak for an added layer; and then, absolutely essential as a more in-depth book: "Children of Alcoholism - A Survivor's Manual" by Seixas & Youcha. Leave the Woititz book for more information. By all means, read it. It does have excellent information; just remember the adage "Take what you need and leave the rest". Something she unfortunately forgot to include.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Opened my eyes, February 28, 2003
    I swear this book was written about me. It opened my eyes to ways I deal with and approach life, so that now I feel clearer and have some answers. Anyone who has an alcoholic parent should read this book, because even if you think it didn't effect you, you might be wrong.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Just Perfect, September 5, 1999
    I cry every time I read this bok, because everything it says is true. I always knew that I had problems but I couldn't link them with anything. Now that I have this book, however, I can relate to everything and now I know why I have such a low self esteem. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK TO ANYONE WHO HAS GONE THROUGH THE EXPERIENCE OF BEING AN ADULT CHILD OF AN ALCOHOLIC! You would never think that your problems aren't your fault, but this book shows you otherwise! This book tells you So much about yourself that you would never ever know otherwise. It is a perfect work of literature.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The catalyst for a personal paradigm shift, February 7, 1999
    Before reading this book I had taken the terrifying step of seeing a therapist for my chronic depression and low self-esteem. Until you read a book like this it seems an alien concept that there might be people out there having almost exactly the same experiences. It's a short book so you have no excuse for not reading it. This book, so simple and accurate, will change the way you look at your life and perhaps change the way you live it. If you're the adult child of an alcoholic and you haven't looked for help do that first or do that in conjunction with reading this book. You have the rest of your life to live and this book brings to light a common problem in our society long left unrecognized and ignored.

    5-0 out of 5 stars For ACoAs, those in relationships with them, & therapists, March 1, 1999
    This book was instrumental in helping me link current behaviors to past events experienced as a child of an alcoholic family. I always new unhealthy behaviors I practice today were a result of my early experiences, but I had never thought through the correlations thoroughly. This book did that for me. Now instead of thinking in general terms such as "I act like this because I'm from a dysfunctional family," I can think, "I act like x,y, or z, because I experienced/learned/internalized x, y, or z." It enabled me to view my current behaviors as normal for someone who experienced what I did...discovering the specific correlations and that I was normal provided a big relief. As a beginning psychotherapist, it synthesized the signs that may enable me to recognize a client who is an ACoA, as many individuals, unfortunately, are not forthcoming with this information, and a therapist unfamiliar with characteristics of ACoAs may misdiagnosis what is going on with his/her client if s/he is not aware that the client comes from this type of background. If you are an ACoA, give this book to significant others in your life so that they can understand why you behave the way you do at times.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Simple and easy to read - an excellent book, August 25, 2000
    A book, any book is only a collection of words on paper; it's the thoughts and beliefs of another person. As such a book can't change the way you behave. However, what it can do is provide you with the tools to enable you to make your own changes. For those who were children in a family where alcohol was used in an unhealthy manner there are a select groups of books that help provided the tools for such change - Adult Children of Alcoholics by Janet Geringer Woititz is one of those books.

    This is a simple book, it avoids jargon and academic theories and as a result is clear to read and therefore easy to understand. The book will mean different things to different people, depending on experience and perspective. Therefore, Woititz herself suggests the book may be useful in a number of ways:

    To gain greater knowledge and understanding of what it means to be a child harmfully effected by a parent's use of alcohol.

    As a self-help guide, for use in an individual's move towards development and growth.

    As a basis for discussion groups for adult children of alcoholics.

    The book is broken down into four linked chapters: What happened to you as a child, What is happening to you now, Breaking the cycle and What about your children. Each chapter is short yet to the point (indeed the book is only 106 pages long) and gives the reader an insight into the there and thens, the here and nows and possibilities of the future.

    I grew up in a family where one of my parents used alcohol in a way that was destructive not only to her but to her children. As a child I had no idea of what to expect in my family - the only constant that I knew was that on a regular basis my mum would be drunk when I came home from school. I took on the role of the hero in my family - perhaps by my achievements somehow my family would be normal. My mum stopped drinking when I was ten but the seeds had already been sown for me, my patterns had been established. My script was to achieve and that's what I did: good in school and at sports, a Degree and a Masters, a counselling qualification, a series of relationships where I was the helper. And then it stopped, I began to realise that my life was shaped and often directed by the events of my childhood. Along with some therapy, books like Adult Children of Alcoholics enabled me to make some healthy and liberating changes in my life.

    I now work as a Counsellor for individuals with alcohol related problems. I use a lot of what is in this book as a theme to my work. I do this because there are truths in the book that will apply to many people who could be defined as adult children of alcoholics. My only criticism is that the book could be longer. It feels like the first part of a book about Adult Children of Alcoholics with the second part - an in-depth exploration into working through some of the major issues - mentioned but not expanded on. That aside, this is an excellent book. Use it as a signpost for the changes that you want to make in your life.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This summed up my whole life and helped me heal, February 1, 2003
    This book crossed my path in my early twenties and helped me
    recognize a life pattern as the result of being born into
    a family of alcoholics. Due to its guidance, I joined the
    12-step programs adult children of alcoholics and codependents
    anonymous (among others).
    Twenty years later, I am happily married and successfully
    dealing with my codependency patterns. I now set boundaries,
    now have self-esteem, and am able to discern whats "my stuff"
    and "your baggage" and don't take yours on as "my problem" any
    more. Thank you very much Janet Woititz! By the way, I have
    recommended this book to more than 500 people in my counseling
    work over the years. No one ever reported back that it was a
    waste of time.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Adult Children of Alcoholics, February 18, 2002
    My counselor gave me this book to read and it's been the best material I have come across so far. I have identified with so many things in this book and see certain traits in myself that have been written in the book. I am finally able to recognize some of my traits and patterns and am aware of the changes I need to make in order to hopefully have healthy relationships in the future. I recommend this book to anyone who is delving into the Adult Child area. I don't remember a lot of my childhood, but through the help of this book, I am able to see a lot of things that I missed out on and how those little things have impacted me throughout life thus far. I will carry this book with me everywhere for quite some time probably and refer to it often.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I am eternally grateful for this book, January 14, 2002
    This book literally saved my life! Even though I am college educated with an advanced degree in social work, I always thought I was "crazy". When I worked professioanlly with truly "crazy" people, I lived in fear that one day, I too, would be diagnosed as crazy.

    I was introduced to this life altering book through an Adult Childrenof Alcoholics group. I devoured the book as soon as I got my hands on it. I couldn't believe what I was reading...it described MY LIFE, and more importantly, it described MY FEELINGS, which I had never been able to sort out.

    Thank God I know I am not crazy. I now realize I was not responsible for my parents' behavior. This book gave me tools to use to change my life. My life is so much better after reading this book. If you can only read one book, read this one. In my opinion, it's the best there is. ... Read more


    19. Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey Through His Son's Addiction
    by David Sheff
    Paperback
    list price: $14.95 -- our price: $9.26
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0547203888
    Publisher: Mariner Books
    Sales Rank: 5103
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    What had happened to my beautiful boy? To our family? What did I do wrong? Those are the wrenching questions that haunted every moment of David Sheff’s journey through his son Nic’s addiction to drugs and tentative steps toward recovery. Before Nic Sheff became addicted to crystal meth, he was a charming boy, joyous and funny, a varsity athlete and honor student adored by his two younger siblings. After meth, he was a trembling wraith who lied, stole, and lived on the streets. David Sheff traces the first subtle warning signs: the denial, the 3 A.M. phone calls (is it Nic? the police? the hospital?), the rehabs. His preoccupation with Nic became an addiction in itself, and the obsessive worry and stress took a tremendous toll. But as a journalist, he instinctively researched every avenue of treatment that might save his son and refused to give up on Nic.
    Beautiful Boy is a fiercely candid memoir that brings immediacy to the emotional rollercoaster of loving a child who seems beyond help.

    ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and Moving Parental Memoir, February 26, 2008
    *****
    This is a stunningly written, intense and emotional memoir of a father's struggle to deal with his brilliant, charismatic, and caring son's addiction to methamphetamine. It is honest and authentic and raw and heart-rending and fascinating. It is unforgettable. As I read, I felt many emotions for both the father and son---everything from anger to sadness to grief to fear. I felt as though I was right there on the emotional roller coaster with the author.

    Even if you have no personal experience of a loved one's addiction, you will be moved by this father's struggle to cope with his son's substance abuse turmoils. Despite methamphetamine being this country's most problematic drug, many of us, including me, know very little about it, and may not initially feel too interested in finding out. However, the author's struggles and emotional journey are so poignant and compelling that any reader will find themselves caught up in this memoir, will benefit from what they learn and most of all, will be glad that they read it. If you know and/or love an addict, this book will be even more important---it will be vital---as you will find much to identify with and perhaps even be able to better process some of your own emotions.

    Highly recommended.
    *****

    5-0 out of 5 stars Harrowing and redemptive, February 26, 2008
    As a parent, I was transfixed by this harrowing story of a charming, intelligent boy's addiction and what it does to his family. You instantly like the boy, Nic Sheff, yet you can feel the father's pain.

    The drug problems begin when author David Sheff finds a bag of marijuana in his 12-year-old's backpack. By age 17 Nic is hooked on crystal meth, and he spirals into a decade-long pattern of drug abuse. He lies, steals, lives on the street and nearly dies. His heartbroken family takes the journey with him.

    At the end, with Nic in a shaky recovery, David Sheff has a life-changing moment when he realizes that "my children will live with or without me. It is a staggering realization for a parent, but one that ultimately frees us to let our children grow up."

    Sheff has good practical advice in this book, starting and ending with talking with your child early and often about drugs. There is also a huge amount of information about methamphetamines and how dangerous and pervasive their abuse is in this country. I learned a lot of scary information in this book, and I'm sure it will be a lifesaver for many.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An incredible, incredible book, May 27, 2008
    Being that I'm currently going through much the same thing that David Sheff went through--albeit on a smaller scale (if there is such a thing as a "smaller scale" of addiction when your own kid is the addict)--Beautiful Boy made me cry like a baby many, many times. I'm sure if you read it, it will affect you, too. So many of the thoughts the dad has are dead on with what I've experienced over the last four years. And the realization that he finally came to--that one way or another, your child will live or die with or without you, and it's really out of your control, so you have to let go of it--is the one thing that I just haven't been able to get my arms around yet. I totally understand what he's saying. But letting go is so, so, so hard. I get daily updates from my kid's counselor at rehab (my son signed a full disclosure agreement). And I cry after reading them. I never in a million years thought that I'd have an addict for a son who would be in rehab 360 miles away from home at age 18. It's tough. To everyone who is reading this review and has a younger child: Talk to them about drugs. Talk about the dangers, talk about alternatives to self-medication, etc. You do NOT want to go through what David Sheff went through and what my wife and I are going through and have gone through for 4+ years. You'll just have to trust me on that one. Kudos to Mr. Sheff for writing one of the best books I've ever read. I wish nothing but the best for him and his son, Nic.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Bravo!, March 16, 2008
    As someone who is in recovery for crystal meth addiction, I highly recommend this book to those with addiction issues, their family members and to addiction specialists. David Sheff's insight into the disease of addiction and particularly the insidious nature of crystal meth is pitch perfect. I would also like to add that I attribute any "success" to my recovery process to having done many of the "best practices" outlined in his meticulous research of treatment options. I don't think I would have made it (thus far) if I had not gone to a treatment center with a specialized program for crystal meth (using the Matrix) which lasted for more than 4 months. I also went directly from there to a 2-year recovery home where I still reside. As Sheff has learned and written so eloquently, recovery (both for addicts and their families) is a process not an event, and it never ends.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Heartbreaking on so many levels, April 19, 2008
    This book has gotten a lot of publicity, and ultimately I couldn't resist the urge to read this book, even though I am blessed and fortunate to say that neither of my kids are in any sort of situation like the author describes here (knock on wood).

    In "Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey Through His Son's Addiction" (326 pages), author David Sheff tells the story of how his teanage son descends in the hell of meth-addiction (after having gone through a bunch of other drug-related issues). The feelings described by the father are complex, many of them having to do with guilt (the author describes his younger days of ample drug use), shame and an utter sense of frustration. "I torment myself with the same unanwerable questions: Did I spoil him? Was I too lenient? Did I give him too little attention? Too much? If only I never used drugs. If only his mother and I had stayed together. If only and if only and if only..."

    It is something that I don't wish on anyone, and I pray I won't have to deal with that ever in my family. I must say, though, that one thing struck me in this book as completely incomprehensible and foreign, namely the relaxed attitude that many figures of authority (including in schools) had when the son was found to be smoking/selling pot. "They all do it." Say what? What kind of an environment or community is that? That aside, "Beautiful Boy" is a page-turner from start to finish, and I can't wait to pick up the book that the son has written (it was released simultaneously with this book).

    5-0 out of 5 stars Compelling and Courageous, March 13, 2008
    David Sheff is a courageous man. Beautiful Boy is a great read, a horror story, and great reference material. It pulses with the unconditional love of a father in a way that makes me admire him and the guts it took to tell this story. For those of us with practicing and/or recovering alcoholics and addicts in our families, David's story is our story. Different drug, different town, different path....but same shame, frustration, anger, and the relentlessness of a disease with no bottom. I couldn't put this book down. Thank you, David Sheff, for your humanity and your gift of putting into words the unthinkable and the untouchable emotions in lives impacted by addiction.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Recovering Alcoholics Review, March 10, 2008
    As a woman in recovery with more than 16 years of continuous sobriety and a memoir junkie I found Beautiful Boy to be dead on in summing up the cycle of addiction. I felt as if I was sitting in a meeting and listening to someone share experience, strength and hope. Wisely written to convey the recovery process for the family of addicts, I will be recommending Beautiful Boy to many.

    Thank you for sharing your story with us.

    Gwen R
    TwelveBeads.com

    4-0 out of 5 stars A Father's Great Love, March 2, 2008
    Beautiful Boy is often times repetitive and much slower than Tweak, Nic Sheff's memoir of his own addiction. David Sheff's story is one of fearful anticipation and waiting. Waiting to hear from the police about Nic's latest crime. Waiting to hear from the hospital to see if Nic survived the night. Waiting to hear from Nic to know that he is alive. It took three days for me to read Beautiful Boy. I just couldn't stay inside David Sheff's anguish for too long at a time. David really loves his son, and Nic really loves his father, but against methamphetamines, their love is just not strong enough. All David Sheff can do is cautiously hope that his son will be one of the ones to beat his addiction. All David Sheff can do is "step back, be supportive, but let Nic's recovery be his recovery as we work on creating healthy, as Nic describes them, loving and supportive but independent relationships." He has no choice but to let his beautiful boy go and find his own life.

    For the rest of this review and others, see my site.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The most important book this year!, March 6, 2008
    Being the parent of an addict is one of the most difficult things a person can go through. David Sheff was able to share his story in a remarkable way. This book was not only suspenseful; I could have read it in one night if I didn't have to work in the morning, but it was highly informative. I learned so much about meth, drugs, addiction, alanon, etc. David really did his research. But, most importantly he gave a voice to all the crazy emotions I have been feeling for the last six months. I found out that I am not alone. Anyone who knows an addict or has kids should read this book. It will change the way you look at addicts and the parents of addicts! We must treat addiction as a disease so that we can start helping the youth of today get treatment they deserve.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I am living your life., April 27, 2008
    This could have been written by me. I have lived though the same lies and deceit as David. Many years of pain and anguish. Tens of thousands of dollars in cash and property stolen for Heroin. I'm Trying everything to get and keep my son sober. In and out of rehab centers, In and out of jail. As with David, I keep trying and trying, hoping that someday it will sink in. In the mean-time I'm watching my son kill himself with Heroin.
    This is a must read for anyone who's family member is an addict. David Sheff tells it like it is. And those of us who have or are living it, appreciate David Sheff for having the courage to put it in print.
    It helps to know that I'm not alone in my frustration, my fears, my guilt, my depression. It's encouraging to know that there is hope, however remote, of recovery. Thank you, David, ... Read more


    20. Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
    by AA Services AA Services
    Paperback
    list price: $15.95 -- our price: $10.85
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Isbn: 0916856291
    Publisher: AA World Services, Inc.
    Sales Rank: 7349
    Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    Originally published in 1952, this classic book is used by A.A. members and groups around the world. It lays out the principles by which A.A. members recover and by which the fellowship functions. The basic text clarifies the Steps which constitute the A.A. way of life and the Traditions, by which A.A. maintains its unity. ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Must for Your Recovery Toolbox, March 30, 2000
    This is a real must for anyone in any of the of the 12 step programs who is wishing to understand the traditions and steps more completly. The vinyettes are heartfelt and identifyable.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A life-changing book., May 7, 2007
    I have tried to follow the 12 steps and 12 traditions for many years, but haven't really known what they are before I began working them with a sponsor. He keeps me honest -- and honesty is a necessity in any program designed to change lives. Without honesty, we refuse to accept the need for improvement or change -- and thus we don't change -- we stay in the "bad old place" which has become our virtual prison -- and condedmns us to a life of living hell.

    Anyone who knows the misery of being trapped in a compulsive lifestyle which guarantees pain and often leads to death -- will find that honesty and perserverance in following the steps leads to a miracle of transformation. Transformation into a life of freedom from addiction through a life changing spiritual experience.

    The AA 12 and 12 are the first in a number of incarnations of these steps focused on various addictions. Alcoholism, gambling addiction, drug addiction, compulsive over eating and many other addictive diseases are addressed and arrested by these steps as they are applied in particular ways for individual types of addiction.

    This book is worth following, adjusting the language to fit the particular disease confrunted by the reader. It is, however not a self-help book. It does not work as only an educational tool -- if it did we would not need others' help. No, each person's transformation is definately associated with systematic group participation and one-on-one support with a sponsor. The relationship dimension of this process is accentuated by the descreption of the process by one of the co-founders of AA. Bill W. writes of this spiritual program in practical terms -- as this is the way it works -- it has worked for me and others. Try the process and see if it works for you.

    Yes, read and study the book -- but join with others in the process of working the steps if you expect the process to be continuously beneficial to you. One of the secrets of success of those who follow the steps is the concept -- we are helped by helping others. The only way to avoid addictive behavior is by helping others onto the spiritual wagon with the destination of traveling the road to recovery, helping others on the way.

    Bill H.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I Really USE This Book, August 20, 2004
    I have an old copy of this book that I have read several times. In addition to the Big Book, it is almost a "must read" for anyone conducting or starting AA, Al-Anon, or Serenity Groups meetings. I help conduct Serenity Groups meetings, and I have found this book to be invaluable (visit SerenityGroups.org). In addition, I recommend the book "Prayer Steps to Serenity." Based on the 12 Steps, "Prayer Steps to Serenity" does discuss some different traditions because it seeks to encourage inclusive support groups and existing support groups to be more inclusive. ISBN 0595313043

    5-0 out of 5 stars A neccesity for any addict, September 30, 2007
    This book is very helpful in enriching your life if you are in a 12 step program and suffer from an addiction.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Twelve Step Help, June 6, 2009
    This is a great book. You hear about the steps and traditions in meetings. This book really breaks them down for the reader. It makes going to Step Mtgs easier.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Road to Recovery, June 11, 2008
    This book has a wealth of knowledge in it based on recovery from chemical dependecy and alcoholism. Its detailed view of the twelve steps and twelve traditions can be applied to any problem that anyone faces in there journey thru life. I would recommend this book to anyone looking to find the road to recovery from any life altering addiction or chemical dependency. ... Read more


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