Sunday, 23 December 2012

My top books of 2012 (and 2013)!

Hi all!

Giving we are nearing the end of 2012 and that Christmas is very nearly upon us (there's no escaping it now), I thought I'd share with you my reading highlights of 2012 and ones I am looking forward to in 2013.

My top 3 books of 2012

The Gift of Therapy by Irvin Yalom.... this for me is a must read for any therapist or trainee. The book consists of 85 short chapters each consisting of individual pieces of advice such as "Engage in personal therapy", "Talk about Death" and "Do home visits".  Yalom's style is incredibly accessible and enjoyable to read (I highly recommend his other books, especially Love's Executioner). 

If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him! by Sheldon Kopp....... Not only is this a great title (yes, I am one of those people who judges a book by its cover) but it also is a great read for anyone setting out on a journey of self exploration. As Kopp writes "All of the truly important battles are wages within the self".

How to stay sane by Philippa Perry..... Perry is one of my favourite psychotherapists, (check her out on Twitter and her monthly client case studies in Psychologies magazine) and in this book she doesn't disappoint. It's a really simple, well presented pocket book which delves into the spectrum of mental health, with chaos at one end and rigidity at the other (and with most of us somewhere in between the two). Perry includes some useful exercises, including one linked to meditation and another about tracing your family tree through social connections.

And for 2013....

Daring Greatly by Brene Brown....this is a New York Times bestseller and I've loved her talks on TED and her podcasts so am looking forward to reading this. Brene's central message is if we allow ourselves to be vulnerable, then we can create real connections with others and that it takes true courage to be vulnerable, its a sign of strength not weakness (here, here I hear you say). As a taster, here's a link to one of Brene's TED talks, (it's fab).

An Anthropologist on Mars by Oliver Sacks..... I read this, all be it very briefly, on my way to my university interview, so this book holds some sentimental value for me. The book consists of various short stories regarding different case studies including people with autism. As with Yalom, Sacks is another great accessible writer. Plus am hoping Santa might be bringing me Sacks's new book, Hallucinations!

Be a Free Range Human by Marianne Cantwell...... This comes out in January (I have already pre-ordered my copy on Amazon). The Free Range philosophy is about designing your life and work to suit your needs and passions and breaking out of the whole 9-5 corporate cage (yeah)! I first came across Marianne through a great organisation called Career Shifters and have since then completed several of her courses. So am looking forward to reading her book and seeing what more I can gleam. Here's the Free Range Humans website in case you want to know more

To add a tiny little bit more culture to my blog this month, I though I'd finish with a couple of funny,festive poems from one of my favourite poets, Wendy Cope (a local Kent girl who went to the same school as me):

A Christmas Poem

At Christmas little children sing and merry bells jingle,
The cold winter air makes our hands and faces tingle
And happy families go to church and cheerily they mingle
And the whole business is unbelievably dreadful, if you're single.

Another Christmas Poem

Bloody Christmas, here again.
Let us raise a loving cup:
Peace on earth, goodwill to men,
And make them do the washing-up.

So that's it for another year (sob, sob). I hope you all have a lovely Christmas and I will be back in the new year!

Take care

Love and peace to all!