Sunday, November 21, 2010

Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart by Gordon Livingston, M.D.

Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart by Gordon Livingston, M.D.

The book is cute, small, and almost invites you to read it just by looking at it. What struck me off the bat is that Dr. Livingston lives in Columbia, MD which means he’s a local to me. Overall, I found his writing dry however I do like the idea of using a chapter for each 30 pieces of advice he has to share. His experience as a psychiatrist is highly evident in his writing style and I would advise anyone who wants to be a psychiatrist or counselor…to read this book. Dry writing or not, I found myself with pages of quotes that I wrote down in my journal which to a sign of a good motivational and inspirational book. Dr. Livingston offers a lot of sound advice that is based in psychological theory.

“Past behavior is the most reliable predictor of future behavior.”

“The 3 components of happiness are something to do, someone to love, and something to look forward to.”

“If you love someone, would you take a bullet for them?”

“Love is demonstrated behaviorally.”

“Feelings of love or lack thereof are noticeable in all the mundane ways we show that someone matters to us, especially in the amount and quality of the time we are willing to give them.”

“We are entitled to receive only that which we are prepared to give.”

“Most of our dissatisfaction with others reflect limitations in ourselves.”

“Criticism begets anger and unhappiness.”

“While it takes 2 people to create a relationships, it only takes one to end it.”

“The statue of limitations has expired on most of our childhood traumas.”

“Does difficult and impossible mean the same thing to you?”

“What is the biggest chance you have taken?”

“No one would expect to become good at skiing without falling down. And yet many people are surprised at the hurt that routinely accompanies our efforts to find someone worthy of our love.”

“Everything we are afraid to try, all our unfulfilled dreams, constitute a limitation on what we are and could become.”

“You must take concrete steps to change your life.”

“People mistake thoughts, wishes, and intentions for actual change.”

“The only communication that can be trusted is behavior.”

“The most confusing thing that people tell you is I LOVE YOU. Without being supported by consistent loving behavior, this is a lie or a promise unlikely to be fulfilled.”


Monday, November 15, 2010

Dare to Dream by Florence Littauer

Dare to Dream by Florence Littauer

This book started off on a high note. I love how the author gives lots of stories of success and even touches on the subject of reading to educate yourself (which is along the lines of this personal reading journey of mine). About halfway through the book, it gets not as exciting. Florence is a HUGE believer in the 4 personality themes inspired by Hippocrates. She spends more than enough chapters going through a personality exam, how to recognize the personalities, testing you on them, explaining them again and again until it feels like she is beating a dead horse. She talks a lot about her brother who is a famous DJ in TX. He is a success story and I enjoyed reading about his life however she seems to beat this dead horse as well. I did find some of the information helpful but it’s a little jagged and hops all over the place. By the middle of the book…I forgot I was reading a book with the subtitle of “Beat the odds and win personal success” and thought maybe I was transported to a book on the personalities of political figures through the ages. Although Littauer provides information on focusing on a goal, expanding your vocabulary, following your dream, and inspires you through true stories…I don’t feel that I have taken much away from reading the book. It could have done better in my opinion or perhaps should have been more appropriately titled. I do like Florence though..and her little ramblings. She is humorous in a soft delightful manner.

UPDATE: I have noticed that this book stuck out to me over the last couple of days prior to posting this. I have been thinking more and more about Florence’s inspirations of Creating the Dream, Preparing for the Dream, Wearing the Dream, and Sharing the Dream. I have decided that I liked this more than I initially did. I would recommend reading it. I am actually looking forward to coming across more of Florence’s book during the project.

“Learn the sweet magic of a cheerful face.”

“If you get up in the morning exposed to people having fun, it’s hard to stay down.”

“Having an idea is a positive start but will wishful thinking be rewarded?”

“Intrinsically, ideas have little value. It’s only when they are implemented by determined people that they become influential.”

“Wake up and say “This is going to be a tremendous day!”

“Ask yourself, what do you do well? Do you have a special talent? Where have you been successful? What excites you?”

“The Success of your dream isn’t measured by dollars but rather the quantity and quality of personal satisfaction it brings you.”

“When the economy is down, it’s time for you to look around, find a need, and fill it.”

“We must not allow failures, or rejection, or personal handicap, or even lack of education to keep us from our daring to dream.”

“Great visions often start with small dreams.”

“With a single-minded goal in life, you can sift out these things that won’t help and excel in those that would provide practice for the future.”

“Personality merges you and you only reach your real identity, when you are merged with another person- Love is the outpouring of one personality in fellowship with another personality.”

“As we prepare to dream, we need to do all that we can to get ourselves ready to wear that dream. If there are classes we can take to educate ourselves, then we should enroll to study.”


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I’m Dysfunctional, You’re Dysfunctional by Wendy Kaminer

I’m Dysfunctional, You’re Dysfunctional by Wendy Kaminer

Ok..this was another one I so poorly judged by the cover. I was judgmental and classified this one as a book I was “dreading to read”. I was pleasantly surprised by the author’s wonderful style of writing, the informative facts of the book, and even what the book was about. I assumed since it was in the self-help section of the library that it was a “how to save yourself” kind of book. Boy, was I ever wrong! The author Wendy Kaminer is a political she is probably used to being pegged as a controversial author who attacks with sheer passion whatever she fixates her educational studies on. The fact that she tore apart something so HUGE in our culture gave her props in my book. Kaminer walks into the self-help and 12 step program industry armed with weapons of insight and skeptics and I LOVE IT. I am for one…a HUGE fan of self-help books and have thrown down my share of twenties for books at the store. I adore that this book questioned why everyone is being labeled as an addict or codependent. It really makes you think of the million dollar market for these kinds of books. I found myself writing down the quotes the author used as examples of silliness from these so-called self-help books because I enjoyed them so much. I guess I am just a sucker for new age psycho-pop healing like Wendy Kaminer assumed. Overall, it was a good read till about the last 2 chapters where it fell flat…and abruptly. I would recommend this book for anyone studying psychology though as it did offer some interesting insights into our culture's obsession with self-help and labels.

“Codependency is advertised as a national epidemic, partly because every conceivable form of arguably compulsive behavior is classified as an addiction. We are a nation of sexaholics, rageholics, shopaholics, and rushaholics. What were once billed as bad habits and dilemmas – Cinderella and Peter Pan complexes, smart women loving too much and making foolish choices about men who hate them- are now considered addictions too, or reactions to addictions to others, or both. Like drug and alcohol abuse, they are considered codependent diseases. If the self-help industry is any measure of our state of mind in the 1990’s, we are indeed obsessed with disease and our capacity to defeat it. All codependency books stress the curative power of faith, introspection, and abstinence. It’s morning after in America. We want to be in recovery.”

“Inner child theory is an equally eclectic blend of Jung, New Age mysticism. Holy child mythology, pop psychology, and psychoanalytic theories about narcissism and the creation of a false self that wears emotions without experiencing them.”

“Demanding self-surrender, the recovery movement is essentially religious, non-psychotherapeutic, and most closely resembles nineteenth-century revivalism, with a little Christian Science thrown in. “


Monday, November 1, 2010

Next trip to Library

Well just another update here....I have one book left to read from my first set. The one that conveniently fell under my bed and never made it with me when I went out of town. That one is "I'm Dysfunctional. - You're Dysfunctional". Not really looking forward to this book...seems like it might be a dry read. The back jacket claims the book will change the way I think about we will see. I went to the library this evening and picked up my next 4 books. I will take a pic of them tomorrow morning..something I regret not doing with the first 4. So the next four are - Dare to Dream by Florence Littauer, Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart by Gordon Livingston, And Never Stop Dancing by Gordon Livingston, and Why Do I Need You To Love Me In Order To Like Myself by Barry Lubetkin and Elena Oumano. To be honest, not excited by the covers alone on these. I would NEVER have picked these on my own...but then again, that's the point of the Library-fi-cation Project.

I went to my daughter's first grade parent teacher conference today and the teacher explained how they will be doing an author series soon. Each child will be reading a book by the author, learning about the author's life and then drawing their own picture and writing a story to convey what they learned. I thought this might be a fun addition to do along with my reviews...minus the drawing..but just learning what I can about the authors might be interesting.

I loved this so much from one of my books......

so I am reposting here

Kirshenbaum Seven-Step Method for Overcoming Fear

1. What am I really afraid of?

2. What’s the worst that can happen?

3. How likely is it?

4. Can I prevent this?

5. Can I insure myself against this?

6. Could I cope with it if the thing I’m afraid of came to pass?

7. Who can I talk to about this?

Kick Up Your Heels…Before You’re Too Short to Wear Them: How to Live a Long, Healthy, Juicy Life by Loretta LaRoche

Kick Up Your Heels…Before You’re Too Short to Wear Them: How to Live a Long, Healthy, Juicy Life by Loretta LaRoche

Perhaps I am just out of the age bracket for this book but it appears Loretta’s market is definitely women in their 50’s and 60’s. I remember seeing a movie of her lecturing on stage when I was in college. I didn’t find it too funny then either. I personally thought this is a good self-help book if self-help is not your cup of tea. It’s a very superficial book that does not go deep and barely touches the surface of providing you with anything substantial to walk away with. I am sure there are huge Loretta Laroche fans out there but I am guessing they fall in the same category of the Red Hat Society. Loretta does try to keep the book peppy and upbeat which I can give her credit it for. It never fell entirely flat but I found a lot of the information for me (someone who is more spiritual/self-help geared) to not really be was almost old, recycled news. In the line of self-help books…this would be considered a child’s primer. She does provide a lot of websites and studies that can fill you with your need for trivial information but nothing really went straight to my heart. I am the kind of dork that likes to keep a collection of quotes from books that really struck me. I didn’t find anything to take from this book that I hadn’t already heard before. The only other thing that I can give credit for is that this is a Hay House book. I simply adore Hay House and if Louise Hay finds this book to be worthy of her label, then I gotta get down with that. I think Ms. LaRoche earned this by being cutesy, strictly marketing her books to a certain age range (who might I add are big spenders and can attend her lectures), and by attempting to add humor. I have not read any of her other books but she has not hooked me in any manner that would want me to go out and buy all of the others. I do feel sympathy for her life experiences and I can respect her and relate to her in that manner.

To be fair, I will always find something good in a book to pull to share with you. Here are some of the better quotes from the book.

Loretta believes that by changing your vocabulary from “withered words” to “juicy words” will change your whole attitude. Some of the juicy words were juicy, moist, astronomical, succulent, dewy, amazing, and brilliant. She suggests using these words to brighten your day and live a more “juicy” life.

“In order to be happy, upbeat, and successful, you need to become an actor or actress who has been given a juicy script.”