Reviews of two books: Organize Your Mind, Organize Your Life: Train Your Brain to Get More Done in Less Time by Paul Hammerness, M.D. and Margaret Moore, with John Hanc; and Situations Matter: Understanding How Context Transforms Your World by Sam Sommers.
Tag Archives: self-help books
A Place of Yes: 10 Rules for Getting Everything You Want Out of Life by Bethenny Frankel with Eve Adamson (Touchstone; $24.99; 336 pages) or The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brenne Brown (Hazelden Publishing; $14.95; 260 pages)
Let’s be practical and admit that one size does not fit all. For that matter, one approach to self-realization is not the answer for everyone. With that in mind these two books are being reviewed in a comparison of sorts.
Each of the authors is a well-known figure with their own realm. Bethenny Frankel has accomplished the following: hosting her own reality TV show – Bethenny Ever After, developing a wildly popular beverage line – Skinny Girl Margaritas, which she has recently sold to the big boys of the adult beverage industry, and writing several well-received books relating to her expertise in dieting and healthy cooking. Dr. Brenne Brown is also the author of several books, a university professor and a licensed social worker in the state of Texas. She is an expert in the area of shame and her findings have been featured on Public Broadcasting as well as on commercial television, including the Oprah Show.Both women are mothers and profess to be very happily married to their respective husbands. They share the need to overcome traumas from their childhoods that have had great impact on their adult lives. The reader is presented with 10 steps to use in moving toward a better life that the author has crafted based on her own growth and development. In Bethenny’s case, the 10 rules for living are dished up with a generous helping of her life story and in Brene’s, they are guideposts based on her qualitative research of the notion of wholehearted living along with glimpses into her life.
You may be seeking a wholehearted life or wish to come from a place of yes. These are the two concepts featured in the books. The reader is addressed directly by the authors and made privy to rather personal information that serves to create a somewhat therapeutic relationship. Both of them provide insights into the notion of leading a satisfying and fulfilling life. Here is where the similarities end.
Bethenny sounds like the New Yorker she is and comes off as a combination cheerleader/Dutch uncle – in a good way. There’s plenty of straight talk offered in a smart, funny convincing style. Her freewheeling, no guts, no glory approach to life’s challenges is blunt and direct. She urges the reader to break the chain that anchors the reader to the past. Yes, s**t happens and something happened to you. The reader is told to quit looking back letting what happened then shape your life now.
Brene uses a voice as one would imagine coming from a credentialed university professor and lecturer. Moreover, her publisher, Hazelden, is a well-respected institution in the field of addiction treatment and recovery. Her style can best be described as reporting out, speaking directly to the reader using conclusions she has reached after years of carefully conducted research. The gently encouraging guideposts are clearly non-threatening. A sense of disclosure reminiscent of a Twelve-Step meeting permeates the book.
The choice is up to you! Regardless of your style preference, the book you choose will be quite engaging and may even get you to move your life in a better direction. Highly recommended are both books.
Review copies were provided by the publisher.
The takeaway from this densely-packed guide to overcoming anxiety attacks can be summed up in the statement, “Positive action gets results.” Author Reid Wilson, PhD, is the director of the Anxiety Disorders Treatment Center in Chapel Hill and Durham, North Carolina. Dr. Wilson provides a wealth of information as he treats the subject with the seriousness it deserves. He begins by describing a wide array of anxiety disorders, any one of which can reduce a person’s world to shambles.
For example, the reader is brought slowly into the real world of agoraphobia and the panic-prone personality by wayof scenarios that describe the cases of Donna, Dorothy Ann, and Sheryll. Dr. Wilson speaks directly to his reader, whom he considers to be a person with some form of panic disorder. He makes it known on several occasions that professional guidance in dealing with panic disorder and agoraphobia will be beneficial.
All possibilities and permutations of anxiety attacks are laid out in great detail. As the reader progresses through the discussion, promises of helpful and practical activities are referenced as being detailed in later chapters of the book. This method of slow, deliberate unfolding of assistance was a bit annoying; however, for someone who needs this type of guidance and assistance, it is likely the best approach.
The key to success in dealing with anxiety may very well be using Dr. Wilson’s techniques for changing the brain’s interpretation of events from stressful and threatening (calling forth an emergency response) to a much more manageable but annoying situation. Don’t Panic is intended for the dedicated reader who truly wants to get better.
Collins Living, $17.99, 400 pages.
This review was written by Joseph Arellano. Reprinted courtesy of Sacramento Book Review.