Recommended Reads

It Takes A Family: A Cooperative Approach to Lasting Sobriety

Addiction, Alcohol

Book description

Counselor and interventionist Debra Jay shows alcoholics, other addicts, and their loved ones how to work collaboratively and as individuals to take on the roles and responsibilities that support long-term sobriety. Most books on recovery from addiction focus either on the addict or the family. While most alcoholics and addicts coming out of treatment have a recovery plan, families are often left to figure things out for themselves. In It Takes a Family, Debra Jay takes a fresh approach to the recovery process by making family members and friends part of the recovery team, beginning in the early stages of sobriety. In straightforward, compassionate language, she outlines a structured model that shows family members both how to take personal responsibility and to build a circle of support to meet the obstacles common to the first year of recovery. Together, family members address the challenges of enabling, denial, and pain while developing their communication skills through practical, easy-to-follow strategies and exercises designed to create transparency and accountability. With this invaluable guide, family members work together as they reinvent their relationships without the all-consuming dysfunction of active addiction.

About the Author

Debra Jay is the coauthor of Love First: A New Approach to Intervention. She is also the author of No More Letting Go: The Spirituality of Taking Action Against Alcoholism and Drug Addiction, and co-wrote Aging and Addiction: Helping Older Adults Overcome Alcohol or Medication Dependence. Debra is in private practice with Jeff Jay, providing intervention training and consultation services for families. She specializes in older adult intervention. She previously worked as an addiction specialist. She is a nationally known speaker and has been writing a newspaper column on alcohol and drugs since 1996. Debra has regularly appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Debra lives in Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan.


"...invaluable for clinicians who are looking for ways to extend support and monitoring. More importantly, this book empowers families and addicts to do it themselves."
- Jason Schwartz, addiction and recovery news

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life


Book description

New York Times Bestseller

In this generation-defining self-help guide, a superstar blogger cuts through the crap to show us how to stop trying to be "positive" all the time so that we can truly become better, happier people.

For decades, we’ve been told that positive thinking is the key to a happy, rich life. "F**k positivity," Mark Manson says. "Let’s be honest, shit is f**ked and we have to live with it." In his wildly popular Internet blog, Manson doesn’t sugar-coat or equivocate. He tells it like it is—a dose of raw, refreshing, honest truth that is sorely lacking today. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k is his antidote to the coddling, let’s-all-feel-good mindset that has infected American society and spoiled a generation, rewarding them with gold medals just for showing up.

Manson makes the argument, backed both by academic research and well-timed poop jokes, that improving our lives hinges not on our ability to turn lemons into lemonade, but on learning to stomach lemons better. Human beings are flawed and limited—"not everybody can be extraordinary, there are winners and losers in society, and some of it is not fair or your fault." Manson advises us to get to know our limitations and accept them. Once we embrace our fears, faults, and uncertainties, once we stop running and avoiding and start confronting painful truths, we can begin to find the courage, perseverance, honesty, responsibility, curiosity, and forgiveness we seek.

There are only so many things we can give a f**k about so we need to figure out which ones really matter, Manson makes clear. While money is nice, caring about what you do with your life is better, because true wealth is about experience. A much-needed grab-you-by-the-shoulders-and-look-you-in-the-eye moment of real-talk, filled with entertaining stories and profane, ruthless humor, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k is a refreshing slap for a generation to help them lead contented, grounded lives.

About the Author

Mark Manson is a star blogger with more than two million readers. He lives in New York City.


“An in-your-face guide to living with integrity and finding happiness in sometimes-painful places… This book, full of counterintuitive suggestions that often make great sense, is a pleasure to read and worthy of rereading. A good yardstick by which self-improvement books should be measured.”
-Editorial Review

Wherever You Go There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life

Mindfulness, Self-Care

Book description

In this book, the author maps out a simple path for cultivating mindfulness in one's own life. It speaks both to those coming to meditation for the first time and to long-time practitioners, anyone who cares deeply about reclaiming the richness of his or her moments.

About the Author

Jon Kabat-Zinn is the founder and former director of the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. He also travels across the country teaching workshops on stress reduction and mindfulness. He lives with his family in Lexington, MA.


". . . add my name to . . . [the] infinite list of grateful people who have discovered the transformative power of your work."
-Nicole Krakora

"I have . . . read it many times and refer to various sections quite frequently . . . What a life saver you are."
-Joe Erickson

Whose Life Is It Anyway? Living Through Your 20s on Your Own Terms

Self-Care, Women

Book description

Life is full of opportunity for 20-somethings, but it's also far more pressured than ever before. Whether it's the proliferation or the homogeneity of images of beauty and success that wallpaper our world, we know what a beautiful woman looks like - and we know what a perfect life looks like too. We live in a world that floods us with expectations about everything - from what we should weigh to what we should wear to how often we should be having sex and how much money we should be making. As a consequence, we begin to feel that we need to tick all these boxes in order to have 'the Perfect Life'. When we inevitably fall short, we feel anxious - we feel that we are failing and have the sense we are losing control. As a result, increasing numbers of young women are battling with issues such as anxiety, low self-esteem, bullying, perfectionism, toxic friendships and relationships, pressure to succeed or conform, and poor body image. At an age when life should be exciting, fun and relatively care-free, more and more young women are adrift and struggling.

Dr. Linda Papadopoulos understands the issues and has the experience to guide and support young women to help get their lives back on track so they can feel happier, more confident, more in control. Whose Life Is It Anyway? offers valuable insight and practical self-help to empower women to throw off the burden of expectation and start leading the lives they want to lead.

About the Author

Dr. Linda Papadopoulos is one of the most well-known and respected Psychologists working in the UK today. As well as an accomplished academic career, she is also an active researcher and has published widely in peer-reviewed academic journals. Her work has informed government policy: in 2010 she headed up a highly acclaimed independent review for the Home Office on the effects of sexualization on young people. Over the past decade Dr. Linda has become one of the most well recognised faces on TV. Her comments regarding the psychology behind news and current events are often syndicated by the press and discussed by TV and radio networks both in the UK and the US. Dr. Linda is the resident psychologist for Cosmopolitan UK where her very popular monthly advice column has been running for 12 years. Dr. Linda has a private practice in London, where she lives with her husband and daughter.


"Much more a feminist exploration of the challenges facing female 20-somethings today than a handbook of strategies for getting through them, but that is by no means a criticism! This book was a pleasantly surprising case of 'not what I expected', and certainly does still offer help and encouragement, just not in the way I thought it would. Well worth a read."

The Mastery of Love: A Practical Guide to the Art of Relationship, A Toltec Wisdom Book

Couples, Self-Care, Women

Book description

In The Mastery of Love, don Miguel Ruiz illuminates the fear-based beliefs and assumptions that undermine love and lead to suffering and drama in our relationships. Using insightful stories to bring his message to life, Ruiz shows us how to heal our emotional wounds, recover the freedom and joy that are our birthright, and restore the spirit of playfulness that is vital to loving relationships. The Mastery of Love includes:

- Why domestication" and the "image of perfection" lead to self-rejection
- The war of control that slowly destroys most relationships
- Why we hunt for love in others, and how to capture the love inside us
- How to finally accept and forgive ourselves and others

"Happiness can only come from inside of you and is the result of your love. When you are aware that no one else can make you happy, and that happiness is the result of your love, this becomes the greatest mastery of the Toltec: the Mastery of Love." - don Miguel Ruiz

About the Author

Don Miguel Ruiz lives in San Diego, CA.

Don Miguel Ruiz is dedicated to sharing his knowledge of the ancient Toltec teachings. For more than two decades, he has worked to impart this wisdom to others through lectures, workshops, and journeys to sacred sites around the world. He lives in San Diego.


"This book explains why we suffer but also as a guide to finding peace, joy, love and happiness in life. The work takes practice but in the end it’s the truth."
-Sandra Weatherall

"Awesome book. I got it as a gift from my best friend. I started reading it and was so moved, so changed, in a positive way. My daughter listened as I read to her and she ended up borrowing the book to take home with her. I immediately ordered another copy and starting re-reading it. I have ordered it for other women as gifts because it has a powerful and positive message for anyone who's interested in living true, authentic and love filled lives!"
-D.E. Graham

The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are

Self-Care, Women

Book description

New York Times best-selling author and professor Brené Brown offers a powerful and inspiring book that explores how to cultivate the courage, compassion, and connection to embrace your imperfections and to recognize that you are enough.

Each day we face a barrage of images and messages from society and the media telling us who, what, and how we should be. We are led to believe that if we could only look perfect and lead perfect lives, we'd no longer feel inadequate. So most of us perform, please, and perfect, all the while thinking, What if I can't keep all of these balls in the air? Why isn't everyone else working harder and living up to my expectations? What will people think if I fail or give up? When can I stop proving myself? In The Gifts of Imperfection, Brené Brown, PhD, a leading expert on shame, authenticity and belonging, shares what she's learned from a decade of research on the power of Wholehearted Living--a way of engaging with the world from a place of worthiness. In her ten guideposts, Brown engages our minds, hearts, and spirits as she explores how we can cultivate the courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough, and to go to bed at night thinking, Yes, I am sometimes afraid, but I am also brave. And, yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable, but that doesn't change the truth that I am worthy of love and belonging.

About the Author

Dr. Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston where she holds the Huffington Foundation-Brené Brown Endowed Chair at The Graduate College of Social Work.

She has spent the past sixteen years studying courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy and is the author of three #1 New York Times bestsellers – The Gifts of Imperfection, Daring Greatly, and Rising Strong. Her latest book, Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and The Courage to Stand Alone, will be released Fall 2017.

Brené’s TED talk – The Power of Vulnerability – is one of the top five most viewed TED talks in the world with over 30 million views.

In addition to her research and writing, Brené is the Founder and CEO of BRAVE LEADERS INC - an organization that brings evidence-based courage building programs to teams, leaders, entrepreneurs, change makers, and culture shifters.

Brené lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband, Steve, and their children, Ellen and Charlie.


"This important book is about the lifelong journey from 'What will people think?' to 'I am enough.' Brown's unique ability to blend original research with honest storytelling makes reading The Gifts of Imperfection like having a long, uplifting conversation with a very wise friend who offers compassion, wisdom, and great advice."
--Harriet Lerner, New York Times best-selling author of The Dance of Anger and The Dance of Connection

"Brené Brown courageously tackles the dark emotions that get in the way of leading a fuller life; read this book and let some of that courage rub off on you."
--Daniel H. Pink, New York Times best-selling author of A Whole New Mind

"Courage, compassion, and connection: Through Brené's research, observations, and guidance, these three little words can open the door to amazing change in your life."
--Ali Edwards, author of Life Artist

20-Something, 20-Everything: A Quarter-Life Women’s Guide to Balance and Direction

Self-Care, Women

Book description

The mid-20s through the mid-30s can be a time of difficult transition: the security blanket of college and parents is gone, and it's suddenly time to make far-reaching decisions about career, investments, even adult identity. When author Christine Hassler experienced such a quarter-life crisis, she found that she was not alone. In fact, an entire generation of young women is questioning their choices, unsure if what they've been striving for is what they really want. They're eager to set anew course for their lives, even if that means giving up what they have.
Hassler herself left a fast-moving career that wasn't right for her and instead took the risk of starting her own business. Now, based on her own experience and interviews with hundreds of women, she shares heartfelt stories on issues from career to parents to boyfriends to babies. Yet she provides practical exercises, too, to enable the woman of today to chart a new direction for her own life.

About the Author

Christine Hassler lives in Los Angeles, CA, where she has formed a popular support group for 20-something women and continues to speak and teach on the topic of quarter-life crisis.


This is an amazing book. I am not the biggest book reader (not since college). I prefer articles on health & news. Anyways, I got this book because while I enjoy my life and I've done many things I'm proud of, I wanted to know what my next step was. My profession is great, but up until this point in my life I was always studying to get to a desired result, certification, or degree. I was and am used to studying something.

But right now, I'm truly enjoying the fruits of my labor, taking time for me, & not studying anything. But I got to a point where I wanted more than just 'enjoying life' and want to work towards some type of goal whether it be career or persona-wise because there's always room for improvement. I just didn't know what that next step of progression in my career or sense of self should be. So I got this book because I wanted to delve into the reasons as to why I was feeling this way.

This book has opened my eyes to my feelings and things/events in my past or in my family tree that contribute to my personality, work ethic, thinking patterns, etc.

I definitely recommend this book to 20-something women whether they are self-proclaimed readers or not. This book makes you reflect on yourself and makes for amazing conversation with your friends, significant other, siblings, mentors, and parents.

Saving Her, Saving Me

Illness, Women

Book description

In this compelling and emotionally resonant memoir, Bonita carries readers through her nightmare of almost losing her first born child and a lonely marriage, to rise up and reinvent herself. Her journey was supported by a major lifestyle shift and a change of attitude and by taking control of her life. By losing weight and getting physically healthy, she became strong from the outside in. Bonita - now a strong warrior - powered through many heart- wrenching challenges to rise victorious.

About the Author

International best-selling author Bonita Lehmann lives in Alberta, Canada, with her two daughters and Odie, their wonderful Miniature Schnauzer. Her career has been varied: from a dental technician and a college instructor to an educator and a trainer for a large dental manufacturing company. Recently, having changed careers midlife, she is enjoying being a playground designer. Bonita loves inspiring others by speaking and sharing her story. She was interviewed by Natalie Ledwell on "The Inspiration Show" ( and by Joel Boggess and Dr. Pei on their "ReLaunch Radio Show" ( She was also interviewed for an article in "Performance" magazine (Winter 2014) (an Animas® Canada publication). Bonita is a coauthor with Aimee Hutton and 29 other authors of the international best-selling book, "Inch by Inch—Growing in Life." She supports, mentors, and inspires audiences to find their inner warrior as well as something magnificent for themselves. Giving back to the community, Bonita loves volunteering and supports the local Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Bonita enjoys a high level of physical fitness by working out in the gym with kettlebells and weights. She loves the outdoors and, in the warmer months, she can be found on her hometown river valley trails, searching for mud on her mountain bike. In winter, she braves the weather by cross-country skiing. She also loves the mountains and has been known to hike, bike, and kayak all in the same weekend!


A story of hope, courage and resilience. Bonita's memoir is one that will inspire and give hope to people facing challenges and change in their life. Saving Her. Saving Me is one woman's journey to creating a magnificent life and what I appreciated most was the depth of honesty and personal learning that Bonita shares with the reader. Thanks Bonita for sharing your story with us, and for reminding us the importance of resilience.
-Charmaine Hammond
Best Selling author &
Professional Speaker

This is on of those books I just could not put down. I love the honesty and truth behind the story. Bonita bares all in this story of love and compassion. I am not a mother but I could totally relate to the writer story of life and it's challenges. I would recommend this a book to anyone.

-Sheila S

I took this book on vacation, and couldn't put it down. A wonderful, deep and intimate story of a women's struggle to become who she was meant to be while being devoted to being a great mom and caregiver to a child with an illness. So many lessons to be learned from this book. So much courage to put her stories and struggles for all to read.

-Diana B.

The Porn Trap: The Essential Guide to Overcoming Problems caused by Pornography

Couples, Sexuality

Book Description:

Breaking the silence, removing the shame.

In this highly acclaimed recovery guide, renowned sex and relationship therapists Wendy and Larry Maltz shed new light on the compelling nature and destructive power of today's instantly available pornography. Weaving together poignant real-life stories with innovative exercises, checklists, and expert advice, this groundbreaking resource provides a comprehensive for understanding and healing porn addiction and other serious consequences of porn use.

The Porn Trap will help you:

  • Decide whether it's time to quit using porn.
  • Learn how to stop using porn and deal with cravings.
  • Improve self-esteem and personal integrity.
  • Heal an intimate relationship harmed by porn use.
  • Develop a healthy sex life.

About the Author(s):

Wendy Maltz (LCSW, DST), is an internationally recognized sex and relationship therapist at a private practice in Eugene, Oregon. She is a frequent lecturer and media guest, and her other books include Private Thoughts, Passionate Hearts, and Intimate Kisses.

Larry Maltz is an experienced therapist and the executive director of Maltz Counselling Associates in Eugene, Oregon.

Book Reviews:

“An excellent, thoughtful, and hopeful guide providing effective help for those who struggle with our newest and most challenging mental health problem--pornography addiction.” (Patrick Carnes, Ph.D., author of Don't Call It Love and In the Shadows of the Net)

“Larry and Wendy have done a masterful job of defining the problem of porn and giving the reader a marvelous plethora of treatment options. This is a must read for anyone who cares about someone hurt by porn addiction. For those struggling themselves, this book is a lifesaver!” (Dr. Ted Roberts, pastor, counselor, and author of Pure Desire)

“An extremely helpful and much needed resource for a very destructive addiction. The Porn Trap includes clear and practical guidance for healing the emptiness caused by porn. I highly recommend it.” (Harville Hendrix, Ph.D., author of Getting the Love You Want and Receiving Love)

“This intelligent book brings a healing voice to an issue that too often divides and devastates partners-it goes way beyond ‘just say no,’ to offer heart-opening guidance that will help you explore new dimensions of sexual desire and intimacy.” (Gina Ogden, Ph.D., author of The Heart and Soul of Sex and The Return of Desire)

“With clarity, compassion, and understanding, Wendy and Larry Maltz help readers comprehend the magnitude of the problem and porn’s highly addictive nature. Their vast knowledge of healing and regaining a healthy sexuality embedded in a true relationship, provides readers with a wise and helpful guide.” (Charlotte Sophia Kasl, Ph.D., author of Women, Sex, and Addiction and If the Buddha Dated)

“Groundbreaking. This is the best book on the market to help compulsive porn users and the people who love them to confront and change this destructive pattern.” (Barry McCarthy, Ph.D., author of Men's Sexual Health and Rekindling Desire)

Rewire Your Brain for Love: Creating Vibrant Relationships Using the Science of Mindfulness

Couples, Marriage, Mindfulness

Book Description:

In 'Rewire Your Brain for Love,' neuropsychologist and psychotherapist Marsha Lucas, PhD, helps you untangle those relationship snarls, bringing together the latest neuroscience with a practice consistently heralded by top academic institutions for its effectiveness in changing the brain: the practice of mindfulness meditation.

Dr. Lucas's clear, unintimidating, often laugh-out-loud style invites you to explore how the brain functions in relationships, helping you understand how your current relationship wiring developed and showing you how you can rewire your relationship brain through mindfulness meditation.

A down-to-earth therapist and self-described neuroscience geek, Dr. Lucas has written a chapter-by-chapter guide with compassion, wisdom, and humor. In 'Rewire Your Brain for Love', she takes you on a journey through seven high-voltage relationship benefits-everything from keeping your fear from running the show to cultivating healthy, balanced empathy-and offers specific mindfulness practices to help bring those benefits into your life.

With a few minutes of practice a day, you can change the way you interact with everyone around you . . . especially those closest to you. You can transform your brain from an enemy to an ally in all matters of the heart, creating more loving communication, building emotional resilience, and reducing overreactivity-not to mention enjoying better sex.

You don't have to become a monk, or a vegetarian, or spend hours contemplating your navel-you just need to update the relationship wiring of your brain. The simple practice of mindfulness can help get you there, with Dr. Lucas showing you how.

About the Author:

Marsha Lucas, PhD., is a licensed psychologist and neuropsychologist, and has been practicing psychotherapy and studying the brain-behavior relationship for nearly twenty years. Prior to entering private practice, she was a neuropsychologist on the faculty at the Emory University School of Medicine.

She fell in love with interpersonal neurobiology in a conference room full of 750 other people-finding herself getting some odd looks when she had tears of joy rolling down her face at the mention of the anterior cingulate and the insula in the same sentence as "greater empathy." She appreciates the integration of mindfulness, neuroscience, and relationships as a perfect confluence of many of the previously unintegrated aspects of her life.


"Rewire Your Brain for Love is delightfully engaging and easy to read. Everyone will find something life-enhancing inside these pages. Christiane Northrup, MD, author of the New York Times bestsellers Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom and The Wisdom of Menopause Honest, warmhearted, and funny. Marsha Lucas explains neuroscience in plain English and gives us a wonderful introduction to mindfulness meditation and its benefits." -Sharon Salzberg, author of Real Happiness