Tag Archives: bookshelf

Katie’s Bookshelf: Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis

Wash face“Girl, Wash Your Face” by Rachel Hollis is a book about the lies we believe and how to stop believing them in order to live your most full life.  Rachel owns an event planning company in LA as well as runs a lifestyle blog.  She uses her own experience growing up to explore the lies we are told by our parents, friends, society, media.  Her influence primarily comes from interaction with her blog and social media followers to expose what real life is like without the curated stuff.

“It also might be helpful to remember that someone else is praying to have the kind of  chaos you’re currently crying about.  What I mean is, the things you think  are so difficult could be someone else’s dream come true.”

Each chapter is titled with a lie, explored through Rachel’s life and lens, and ends with what has helped her overcome and shed that lie.  She comes from a Christian perspective so if that is your jam, this will resonate with you.

Overall, it’s a cute, easy to read book.  I did not love the book as I feel I’ve heard a lot of the same things before in other books with more research behind it.  I think the book is probably fairly popular with her social media followers.  Hollis tries to make herself relatable, but in some ways, she is hard to connect with for the regular person, as she leads a life very different than most of us.  I did appreciate some of her messages, her approach and her vulnerability.

Read this book if:

  • You are a woman looking for empowerment

Buy it Here

Hollis, R. (2018). Girl, wash your face. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson on Brilliance Audio.

Katie’s Bookshelf: The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer

Untethered“The Untethered Soul; The Journey Beyond Yourself” by Michael A Singer explores the mind and our thoughts and how they create suffering in life.  We tend to attach to our thoughts and believe them to be truth; truth about other, the world, circumstances, and ourselves.  Singer calls our thoughts our “inner roommate.”  He emphasizes the importance of being a non-judgmental observer of our thoughts in order to avoid attachment.

“Through meditation, through awareness and willful efforts, you can learn to keep your {energy} centers open.  You do this by just relaxing and releasing.  You do this by not buying into the concept that there is anything worth closing over.  Remember, if you love life, nothing is worth closing over.  Nothing, ever, is worth closing your heart over.”

This book is a great compliment to Yoga and Meditation.  In both practices, the “monkey mind” is what we are really working with.  During Yoga(especially Restorative and Yin) and Meditation, we still our bodies and become aware of the mind.  The mind is always moving and bouncing, we just are not aware of it during the day because we are over stimulated.  Being a witness to the activity of the mind without creating a story or judgement is challenging.  Singer’s book brings awareness to how much energy and suffering there is when we identify with our thoughts and judgments.

“You are not your thoughts; you are aware of your thoughts.  You are not your emotions; you feel your emotions.  You are not your body; you look at it in the mirror and experience this world through its eyes and ears.  You are the conscious being who is aware of all these inner and outer things.”

Overall, this book resonated with me.  As a Therapist, Yoga Instructor, lover of Yogic Philosophy, and Yogi, the concepts align well with what I talk about and practice.  I feel as if we are all looking for a way to live more peacefully within ourselves without the burden of the mind.

Read this book if:

  • You practice Yoga or Meditation
  • Love Yoga Philosophy
  • Interested in detaching from your thoughts
  • Want to deepen your relationship and understanding of the Self

Buy it Here

Singer, M. A. (2013). The untethered soul: The journey beyond yourself. Oakland, CA: Noetic Books, Institute of Noetic Sciences, New Harbinger Publications.

Katie’s Bookshelf: The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown

brenebrownletgo“The Gifts of Imperfection” by Brene Brown is one of her earlier works but such a “go to.”  It’s a book on letting go of our perceptions and “shoulds” of who we are supposed to be and cultivating who we are.  Much of Brown’s work focuses on shame, vulnerability, authenticity, and empathy.  One of her messages about dealing with the shame monster is to “share your shame with someone who has earned the right to hear it.”

The book starts off exploring Courage, Compassion, and Connection.  I think this ties in nicely with her common themes as we need courage to be vulnerable and share our shame, which breeds compassion, and drives connection.  The next section is on Love, Belonging, and Being Enough.  Sit with that for a minute.

“It’s as simple and complicated as this: If we want to fully experience love and belonging, we must believe that we are worthy of love and belonging.”

The remainder of the book is filled with 10 Guideposts of cultivating and letting go.  She has chapters on topics such as self-compassion, resiliency, creativity, and calm and stillness.  I just love the topics that she chooses and how she frames them as what we need to cultivate more of and what we need to let go of.  At the end of each chapter, she has a section called, “Dig Deep” where she provides suggestions on practicing what we are cultivating.

Overall, I loved this book!  It’s such a simple read and can be read at various times not necessarily succinctly.  Brene Brown’s work is so hot right now and she does an incredible job of making the material so relatable and easily digestible.  You cannot go wrong with any of her books!

Read this book if:

  • You are a human.

Buy it here

Brown, B. (2010). The Gifts of Imperfection. Center City, Minnesota: Hazelden.

Katie’s Bookshelf: The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout

IMG_2974“The Sociopath Next Door” by Martha Stout is an eye-opening book not about the people we typically think of with this personality trait.  Upon hearing “sociopath,” we tend to think about serial killers, con-artists, and criminals.  Yes, those types of people are sociopathic, but so are these others that Stout describes in the book.  She claims that 4/100 Americans are actually sociopaths and could be a coworker, neighbor, or significant other.  They are people absent of a conscience, unable to attach emotionally, and only interested in winning or dominating over others.

Stout provides several vignettes of sociopaths of different forms such as a harmful neighbor, high powered executive, and a high school principal.  All fiction of course since she is a Psychotherapist, but descriptive enough to understand the various ways sociopathy can show up.  She explores various ideas of how it is developed, moral development, and cultural issues.  I found it interesting that Eastern cultures that practice Mindfulness tend to have fewer sociopaths as even if some do not have a conscience, they can develop one from a thinking brain.

“Sociopaths are infamous for their refusal to acknowledge responsibility for the decisions they make, or for the outcomes of their decisions.”

Overall, I was interested in her perspective of the more “covert” sociopath as I typically have thought of the more “overt” ones described earlier.  She provided types on identifying as well as the “Thirteen Rules for Dealing with Sociopaths in Everyday Life.”  The statistics she provided, show us that there are more people out there than we have expected and most likely have interacted with many throughout our lives.

Read this book if:

  • You are a Psychotherapist
  • Feel you may have encountered or currently encountering a sociopath
  • Interested in personality traits

Buy it here

Stout, M. (2006). The sociopath next door: The ruthless versus the rest of us. New York: Broadway Books.

Katie’s Bookshelf: The Heart Speaks by Mimi Guarneri

heart speaksThe Heart Speaks by Mimi Guarneri is written by a cardiologist who lost several family members to heart disease.  She began her career as a cardiologist inserting stents in her patients to aid in blockages.  She began to notice that the same people continue to return for the same issues.  Simultaneously, a few of her patients began utilizing alternative medicine in conjunction with the western medicine she was applying.  Dr. Guarneri was skeptical at first but began to see progress in her patients who were using these methods.  She then founded the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine in San Diego where holistic healing methods such as acupuncture, group therapy, biofeedback, and yoga were combined with conventional methods to aid in healing.

The book is divided into 3 parts and the second part was the most appealing to me as it went into the emotions of stress, anger, depression, and grief and how they affect the heart.  Dr. Guarneri noticed that when people began to open up and share themselves as well as what they are carrying around, the healing can truly begin.  Lastly, Guarneri states that “compassion, patience, and empathy” have shifted in the medical field and are desperately needed from doctors to their patients.

This book is fairly quick to read and not geared towards medical professionals so it can benefit the lay person.

Read this book if: 

  • You are interested in more information on the intersection of conventional and complementary medicine with a focus on heart disease
  • You are a practitioner of conventional or complementary medicine
  • You have been diagnosed with any type of heart disease, high blood pressure, or experienced a heart attack

Buy it Here

Guarneri, M. (2006). The Heart Speaks: A Cardiologist Reveals the Secret Language of Healing. New York, NY: Simon & Shuster.