Mind and Body Fitness
"Fear, worry, stress, and compulsivity, the unpleasant and unproductive states known collectively as anxiety, are even more common than depression."
~ from Henry Emmons' The Chemistry of Calm
What to Feed Your Baby: A Pediatrician's Guide to the Eleven Essential Foods...
by Tanya Remer Altmann with Beth Saltz
In What to Feed Your Baby, pediatrician Tanya Altmann provides a one-stop guide for feeding your infant, toddler, or pre-schooler. Starting with an explanation of the 11 "foundation foods," she proceeds to give details about nutrition for babies, toddlers, and young kids. Subsequent chapters deal with a range of "Tricky Issues," including food sensitivities, vegetarian and vegan diets, and picky eating. Forty pages of recipes help you put the book's advice into action. Whether you're expecting your first or want to improve your family's eating habits, try this comprehensive and user-friendly book.
Life Reimagined: The Science, Art, and Opportunity of Midlife
by Barbara Bradley Hagerty
After a heart-attack scare at age 53, NPR reporter Barbara Bradley Hagerty decided to study "midlife" and find out about the "crisis" it's widely rumored to bring on. She traveled around the U.S. to interview ordinary people, scientists, psychologists, master athletes, and others to find out what they knew about aging and what they were doing with their lives. Her surprising finding: "Midlife is not flyover territory," rather, as in younger decades, important things happen, interesting choices determine the future, and people are creative and productive. In Life Reimagined, Hagerty serves as a "rousing cheerleader" (Kirkus Reviews) for the over-40 crowd.
Vitamin N: The Essential Guide to a Nature-Rich Life
by Richard Louv
Following up on his call back to nature in Last Child in the Woods, author Richard Louv supplies a comprehensive handbook for parents who want to know how to get their children to enjoy the outdoors. Just in time for summer breaks from school, Louv provides a wide variety of approaches suitable for environments from wilderness to inner city; the activities and projects can accommodate a range of budgets. He also explains the purpose and expected outcomes of each experience. For more ideas, try Scott Sampson's How to Raise a Wild Child.
Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools
by Monique W. Morris
In Pushout, author Monique Morris examines the status of African American girls in the U.S. educational system. Most studies of the "school-to-prison pipeline" phenomenon focus on young black males, but similar conditions affect young black females. While Morris broadly covers these issues, she focuses specifically on how school systems contribute to the marginalization of African American girls; personal accounts of particular students' experiences add impact to her presentation. She proposes that schools should offer havens of positive community and healing in order to offer girls a better future. Suggesting specific institutional solutions, she also provides concrete resources for students, parents, and educators.
The Prodigy's Cousin: The Family Link Between Autism and Extraordinary Talent
by Joanne Ruthsatz and Kimberly Stephens
While she was in graduate school in the 1990s, psychologist Joanne Ruthsatz was studying prodigies. She happened to meet one prodigy's cousin, who had autism. She began to wonder if there might be a family connection between prodigies and people with autism, so she embarked on a small but thorough study. The Prodigy's Cousin reports on her work, relating the fascinating stories of nine prodigies and their families. Ruthsatz's thought-provoking conclusions point towards the need for additional research into autism and early intervention. For another engaging and accessible book on people with neurological differences, check out Steve Silberman's NeuroTribes.
The Chemistry of Calm: A Powerful, Drug-Free Plan to Quiet Your Fears and...
by Henry Emmons
Anxiety disorders affect millions of people, but even stressed-out individuals who haven't been diagnosed may find The Chemistry of Calm helpful. Using a process called Resilience Training, psychiatrist Henry Emmons teaches anxiety sufferers how to manage their moods and prevent recurrences of anxiety. Emmons believes that while medication can help in extreme cases, many of us could benefit considerably from lifestyle changes such as a healthier diet, nutritional supplements, more exercise, and mindfulness meditation. In this book, he presents a multimodal approach that "reinforces a sweetly generous and drug-free way to tame the wild mind within" (Publishers Weekly).
Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me
by Ellen Forney
Award-winning cartoonist Ellen Forney learned that she had bipolar disorder just before she turned 30. In Marbles, she chronicles her illness and treatment while relating accounts of other creative people throughout history who were mentally ill. She explores various concerns, including whether medicines dull creativity, the costs of treatment, and limitations on health insurance coverage. She also shows how the right combination of therapies really did make her life better. Using eye-catching black and white drawings, she vividly contrasts her inner depressive and manic states with her outer life. This is a witty, insightful, and informative look at mental illness.
Until Tuesday: A Wounded Warrior and the Golden Retriever Who Saved Him
by Luis Carlos Montalván
Meet Luis Montalván, a decorated war veteran with devastating physical and psychological pain. And meet Tuesday, a golden retriever trained as a service dog, who transformed Montalván's life. Author Montalván had cut himself off from family and friends and could barely keep himself alive until Tuesday came into his life. In this "gripping, timely, and poignant" account (Booklist), Montalván details both the challenges he faced after returning from Iraq and the resistance he encountered while seeking assistance. He also makes crystal clear the benefits of service dogs to people with mental illness. Readers interested in various aspects of mental illness, especially PTSD, will find Until Tuesday both informative and inspiring. The picture book version, Tuesday Tucks Me In, offers an engaging photographic account of Tuesday's work.
The Insanity Offense: How America's Failure to Treat the Seriously Mentally Ill...
by E. Fuller Torrey
In the 1960s, deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill became popular both with governments trying to save money and advocates for patients' rights. As a result, thousands of people with severe psychiatric disorders were left without recourse. Many were and still are a danger to themselves and others, and several have committed mass shootings. In The Insanity Offense, psychiatrist Fuller Torrey argues that major policy changes are necessary, providing case studies and statistics-based analyses of deinstitutionalization's effects to support his contentions. He offers clear, though not simple, solutions in this "chilling and well documented" (Publishers Weekly) book.
The 10 Best-Ever Depression Management Techniques: Understanding...
by Margaret Wehrenberg
If you're struggling with depression -- whether or not you're seeing a therapist or taking medication -- this guide offers "excellent step-by-step suggestions" (Library Journal) that can help you take control and change your life for the better. In addition, there's a meticulous description of how the brain and its chemical processes (and the medications that address these) affect emotions. While author and licensed psychologist Margaret Wehrenberg does recommend talk therapy, she also offers guidance to those who may not have access to it, detailing ten specific techniques that lead from "Identify Triggers" to "Learn to Live Fully."
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