In Synch with the Opposite Sex by Alison Armstrong All three of my picks were game-changers for me. Alison Armstrong is dazzling. She simplifies nearly all relationship miseries into simple misunderstandings of biology and anthropology. Most women view men as “hairy women who know the rules and are behaving badly”—when they’re actually just doing “men.” Armstrong’s workshops are popular and pricey—you can get quite a bit from her affordable Audible downloads.
Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker My jaw dropped on reading nearly every other page of this book. Scientists now know why we dream! They also know that lack of sleep hurts our bodies—how this is implicated in so many diseases. Just one night of insufficient sleep has profound effects on our wellbeing the next day—among them, we can’t read the emotions on people’s faces, which makes us feel cranky and alone. We also eat more carbohydrates after one night of not-enough sleep. Learn why Silicon Valley CEOs are now bragging about how many hours they sleep each night. This book is a gift to humanity. If you’re a fan of high quality self-care, you’ll want this on your bookshelf.
The Plant Paradox by Steven R. Gundry If you’ve ever asked yourself this question—“How come I feel so bad when my diet is so healthy?”—read this book! Dr. Gundry’s work is based on decades of research that eventually led him to a critical food error humans made 12,000 years ago, when we stopped our hunting and gathering and became stationary farmers. This shift took us afoul of “lectins”—the natural insecticides most plants produce to ensure their survival. Farming introduced most of our modern diseases (absent from hunter gatherer skeletons). I had begun to accept my own extra weight, confusion, fatigue and aching joints as the creeping effects of age, until I read this book. I used Gundry’s list of lectin-free veggies and within two weeks, all “aging” symptoms disappeared. It’s been a real game changer for me. A year later, I still feel great!
Care of the Soul by Thomas Moore. I return to this book again and again, to be reminded of what matters most – the need to take exquisite care of my own soul as well as others’. Reading this book is like being held in a gentle embrace by a warm, wise and loving father. You feel that everything is going to be okay.
Making the Gods Work for You by Caroline Casey. This is the astrology book I wish I’d written! And the one I recommend most often to clients, especially newcomers. Casey ranges far and wide with myths, humorous anecdotes, obscure but fascinating facts and clever, potent rituals to each planetary god. Brilliant!
Moon Magic by Dion Fortune. This is another book I re-read periodically—to steep in the palpable magic that Fortune conjures. She claimed that her unforgettable priestess character, Vivian le Fay, dictated the book to her – and I don’t doubt it. It is full of compelling, arcane lunar knowledge that calls forth remembrance from deep in your bones.
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain. I’m getting huge validation from this book for my style. My inner “quiet kid” always felt like she didn’t fit in. In a world where the loudest, most charismatic voice and personality wins, I still struggle with being different in this regard. Yet as Cain points out, our society wasn’t always built around the cult of personality; once it was the cult of character. Yes, I said character. I think this book could really be a saving grace for our modern times. Introverts, rise up (quietly, gently)!
Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind To Yourself by Kristin Neff When I was going through a really hard and emotional time recently, I would open up this book and it would remind me of this most important truth: life is not about what you experience, it’s about how you hold yourself through it. The author makes a well-researched case for self-compassion. I personally find it odd that so many of us have had compassion for others drilled into us, but so few of us even know how to begin to act that way towards our selves. This book helps immensely.
Circe by Madeline Miller (audio version) I’m reading more “self-help” books than normal right now, but this is pure pleasure. Half mortal half goddess, Circe, grows up believing she is different and unremarkable … yet despite having no guidance, surrounded by cruelty and vanity, discovers she has powerful witch magic. If you are a fan of Greek myth (and The Odyssey), many are delightfully retold in this epic book. As a writer, the writing is *awesome*, and (I listened to the audio version while traveling) the narrators silky smooth voice delightful.
Your Body and the Stars by Stephanie Marango MD and Rebecca Gordon-This book came out while I was finishing writing my own book and it thrilled me to see an MD embracing astrology and being open to this observation of the body through the cycles and astrological influences! It is such a lovely resource to learn the regions of the body through an astrological lens, as well as some of the history behind it all.
Heart Roar: a book of tiny prayers by Bryonie Wise -I am such a lover of good poetry…and Bryonie presents writing that really gets to the feelings we all feel underneath it all. This book is always with me for a heart boost.
Daring Greatly: How the courage to be vulnerable transforms the way we live, love, parent and lead by Brene Brown -Brene’s work has changed so many of us, and this book has been the most profound for me so far. In our current society…her wisdom is potent information to keep growing and doing the work for more love.