Overcoming Your Difficult Family: 8 Skills for Thriving in Any Family Situation

By Eric Maisel, PhD New World Library Maisel is an author and retired family therapist. In the first part of the book he provides eight strategies to deal successfully with family life and “survive difficult family life and sometimes even improve it for everyone involved.” He describes how to focus on being smart, strong, calm, clear, aware, brave, present and resilient. He includes a variety of individual’s stories to demonstrate the process. Each chapter closes with a ceremony suggestion and “Food for Thought” questions for reflection. The second part of the book includes ten difficult family types and how to … Continue reading

The Wisdom of the Universe: Essential Truths from the Beloved Conversations with God Trilogy

By Neale Donald Walsch Tarcher Perigee Walsch is well known for his previous books on “contemporary spirituality and its practical application in everyday life.” With full-color photographs and quotes from Walsch’s Conversations with God Trilogy, this book is a wonderful example of how combining short essays and beautiful photos can help a reader explore and contemplate the deeper meaning of life. The reader is provided a question for reflection and its correlating answer for consideration. The book closes with the message: “I will not leave you. Call on Me, therefore, wherever and whenever you are separate from the peace that … Continue reading

Compassion is the Key to Everything: Find Your Own Path

By Alexandra Chauran Llewellyn Chauran describes how she tried to live for one full year and “harm none.” This book is the results of a New Year’s resolution to do that. She describes her struggle to create her own personal code of ethics. For example, she refrains from reading blogs and accessing other media sources of “snark and rudeness” for three days before each of the sacred holidays she observes. Readers will find well thought out practical suggestions for increasing compassion, kindness, generosity, humility, and trust. She encourages readers to find peace and make the world a peaceful place. If … Continue reading

The Heart and Science of Yoga: Empowering Self-Care Program for a Happy, Healthy, Joyful Life

By Leonard T. Perlmutter with Jenness Cortez Perlmutter AMI Publishers In this revised and expanded edition, readers will find a well-documented introduction to Yoga Science and how it can benefit one physically and mentally as well as emotionally and spiritually. For example, it can help relieve stress, enhance the immune system, lower blood pressure and reduce pain. Additionally, practitioners may learn how to love themselves, cultivate loving and nurturing relationships, as well as learn their life’s purpose. Perlmutter describes the basic tools needed and step-by-step instructions for a practice to help reduce distractions by stretching (pictures showing how are included) … Continue reading

Emotional Rescue: How to Work with Your Emotions to Transform Hurt and Confusion into Energy That Empowers You

By Dzogchen Ponlop Tarcher Perigee Do you use your emotions and harness their power or are you at their mercy? Rather than letting emotions control you, Ponlop, a Buddhist teacher, recommends that readers learn to relate to their emotions so they can benefit from that knowledge. He shares his own experiences as well as those of students and teachers he has worked with. He suggests writing mindfully and reflectively. At the end of each chapter there are short mindful practices with an Ask Yourself Questions to reflect on, such as “How do my thoughts and feelings interact?” There are also … Continue reading

The Mind Illuminated: A Complete Meditation Guide Integrating Buddhist Wisdom and Brain Science for Greater Mindfulness

By Culadasa (John Yates), and Matthew Immergut, with Jeremy Graves Dharma Treasure Press The authors believe that anyone can learn to meditate and improve their lives. They encourage the reader to use meditation to practice mindfulness and describe what the body and mind go through during the process. They provide the ten stages of meditation to help a meditator advance from the novice meditator to the skilled meditator to the adept meditator. Their step-by-step process is easy for anyone who wants to start or improve their meditation practice. The first steps to prepare to meditate include: “Fire up your motivation, … Continue reading

Trust, Living Spontaneously and Embracing Life

By Osho St. Martin’s Press Osho, deceased since 1990, was a philosopher and writer known for his provocative and inspiring spiritual teachings. This is the 11th volume in the Insights for a New Way of Living series. In this text, Osho discusses the history of trust and re-evaluates the idea of trust. He encourages the reader to identify and think about trust and faith and then question those definitions and beliefs. He uses anecdotal stories and quotes to help with the process. Readers who respond to Osho’s revolutionary way of questioning things will enjoy this book. If you have a … Continue reading

The Call of the Day

By Jodi Hershey Hershey encourages readers to always ask, “Am I coming from love or fear?” She helps readers connect through self-reflection with who they really are and how to move forward in their lives. The most important practice, in Hershey’s mind, is connecting daily with Universal Source. This can be done by meditation and prayer. Hershey states, “Act ‘As if’ while you are becoming, then one day you wake up and you are!” Readers may be interested in transitioning from the Third Dimension to achieving the Fourth Dimension which means going from being dense in feeling to light in … Continue reading

Illuminating Wisdom: Words of Wisdom, Works of Art

By Deirdre Hassed and Craig Hassed Exisle Publishing The Hasseds bring art and wise sayings together. This beautifully illustrated book connects inspiring philosophical and spiritual quotes to beautiful calligraphy while explaining the meaning or background of the text or its author. Their essays and art address science, artists, literary figures, Vedic traditions and Buddhism. Artists and philosophers will enjoy this book of over 80 inspiring quotes demonstrated through calligraphy and collage. If you have a book you’d like reviewed or have an old favorite you’d like to share with others, please contact barbara.kummerreviews@gmail.com

Carpe Diem, Seizing the Day in a Distracted World

By Roman Krznaric TarcherPerigee Krznaric is a social philosopher. He encourages readers to look at the history of the phrase “Carpe Diem” and how it is applicable in today’s world. He explores the underlying message to“live each day as if it were your last.” Readers will learn how, over the years, the phrase has been used as the path to opportunity, presence, hedonism, spontaneity or politics. In medieval times, it was a call to action. Today, Krznaric challenges us to decide if we should live each day as it if were our last-or our first! If you have a book … Continue reading

Sex in Recovery: A Meeting Between the Covers

By Jennifer Matesa Hazelden Publishing Are you in recovery? Are you struggling with how to have sexual relationships and still maintain your sobriety? This book looks at how addiction, recovery, and sexuality are related. Matesa interviewed over 30 people in recovery who were willing to discuss sex and sexuality with her. This book contains their candid conversations and “topic chapters” where Matesa offers her own personal story and observations. Topic chapters end with “Queries for Discussion” questions specific to the topic, such as “How long has it been since someone else last touched my skin?” in the chapter on Touch. … Continue reading

Clearing Emotional Clutter: Mindfulness Practices for Letting Go of What’s Blocking Your Fulfillment and Transformation

By Donald Altman New World Library Emotional clutter can appear in our personal and professional lives. Ongoing toxic habits can create patterns that impact the level of emotional clutter we experience. Altman is a psychotherapist, author, and former Buddhist monk. He proposes mindfulness activities to cut through the clutter and change the way we process information so that the past and present can be dealt with in a healthier manner. He says, “I like to think of it as a mindful lifestyle reboot—a way of clearing out the old, habitual methods of living and thinking that keep us stuck in … Continue reading

Dropping The Struggle: Seven Ways to Love the Life You Have

By Roger Housden New World Library Struggling with your life? Housden was until several years ago when he realized that he was making his life unnecessarily difficult. He uses stories and poems to tell how one’s internal mental struggle can be managed and help with letting go and surrendering to peacefulness. Readers will find techniques which help with how to drop the struggles to be special (true humility), for a perfect life (being kind to ourselves), and for love (unconditional trust). What will your life become once you surrender to it? If you have a book you’d like reviewed or … Continue reading

The Little Black Book of Suicide Notes

Little Black Book of Suicide Notes by Adele Paula Royce

By Adele Paula Royce Live Your Light Publishing, Inc. A person dies by suicide approximately every 14 minutes in the U.S. alone. Royce hopes her semi-fictional book will help people considering suicide to reconsider it. She wants readers to know they are not alone in their aloneness. She reveals her own battle with suicide ideation, and in doing so, she sheds light on a dark topic while offering hope. Her nonjudgmental message includes 27 essays that she calls notes which are broken into The Reward of Death, The Ten Commandments of Suicide, and The Final Farewell. This book is the … Continue reading

Soul Courage

By Tara-Jenelle Walsch Rainbow Ridge Books Do you believe that everything you desire to know is already inside of you, in your soul? Walsch does and she wants readers to “live through the magnificence of your Soul Courage.” Soul courage is defined as daring to be and own all of you without shame, judgment, or excuses. She says that everyone already has Soul Courage and her process makes it accessible. Readers are given a formula to facilitate getting in touch with their True Self. Then, using the components of Feeling, Expressing, and Connecting to do that, supported by stories and … Continue reading

From Stressed to Centered: A Practical Guide to a Healthier and Happier You

By Dana A. Gionta, Ph.D. and Dan Guerra, Psy.D. Sea Hill Press, Inc. Both authors are psychologists who share their personal stories and experiences. They describe their paths to self-care, whether it was initiated as a stress reducer or a coping mechanism for dealing with trauma. Gionta and Guerra provide a step-by-step guide to help readers practice good stress management and self-care which will generate long term health and well-being. The book includes a questionnaire to help readers evaluate their stressors and determine their stress levels. Determining an individual’s stress level, and how it shows up in one’s life, is … Continue reading