The New Codependency by Melody Beattie

The New CodependencyI just can’t recommend this book highly enough. The ‘baby-boomers’ probably remember the first major book on this topic about 30 years ago by the same author. And baby-boomers, who now may have grandchildren, adult children, elderly parents, friends, and others whom they love, could really take a new look at this book all about taking care of one’s own emotional needs.

New ideas to ponder from Ms. Beattie: one can be co-dependent without anyone else in the picture if one is not taking care of oneself! one doesn’t have to call oneself ‘codependent’ to benefit from the wisdom in these teachings! and the concept that guilt is a ‘stage of grief’ that often accompanies loss (“what could I have done to prevent this?”) – and one should be very careful as we often had no power to prevent the tragedies of life.

Helpful, short self-quizzes at the end of the book can be sources of affirmations (e.g., “I surrender to, and release, fear instead of letting fear turn into control.”) This book could make a valuable addition to a personal library.

Reviewed by Laura R.

The Traveler’s Gift by Andy Andrews

The Traveler's GiftThe Traveler’s Gift contains the imagination of an excellent writer, blended with a provoking element that most “self help” books offer.

I started to read this book wondering how a story can motivate me to think deeply about my intentions, emotions, and attitudes. However, the connection to learning (or re-learning) good life lessons and my attitudes toward “circumstances” was made very clear in the passing of each chapter.

As a woman, I enjoyed the book and the discoveries and travels David (lead character) endeavored. However, I would like to believe that this book is a wonderful book for any male who is needing encouragement. The male perspective of loosing control, job, and heart are so magnificently written, I often read chapters aloud with my husband present.

Being a Christian, I wondered if this book would become “new age” savvy. I looked for the progressive enlightenments with every leap David made. I was pleasantly surprised of the integrity of the writer when I read the last place David traveled to was Heaven.

I’ll not share the details, but I was inspired to freshen my view of circumstances and began to adjust my reactions to the situations I thought were bad.

I encourage everyone (male or female, Christian or not) to look at this book as a story; reserving the motivational content when desired and enjoying David’s life.

Reviewed by Teri

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff…And It’s All Small Stuff: simple ways to keep the little things from taking over your life by Richard Carlson

This book is the BEST self improvement book I have ever read. I am a past survivor of child abuse. I was beaten and locked in the trunk of a car for five years as a child, but this book has helped me expand and open my mind.

Reviewed by Thomas

Grief Recovery Handbook by J. James and R. Friedman

For me, this book ranks up there with those that have a good probability of being life-changing. It’s a great self-help book in which very specific guidelines are given bit-by-bit to help the reader find peace for emotionally ‘incomplete’ relationships or experiences with significant others. Writing is involved, and it is strongly advised to find a trustworthy listening partner; however, it can be done on one’s own.  If you find a quiet, beautiful spot in which to read and write as you go through the book slowly, you may find the satisfaction I did in completing the exercises. I hesitate to say more, but at the end you will have written down your previously unspoken truths, in a constructive and clear manner, and in doing so given yourself more tools to deal with repetitive pain.  Blessings.

P.S. I’d recommend the Library’s 20th anniversary reprint as it contains addendums.

Reviewed by Laura R.