Recommended Books

​A random list of books I like and you might find helpful

How to be an Adult in Relationship

by David Richo, Ph.D.

This book is a fresh perspective on love and relationships - one that focuses not on finding the ideal mate, but on becoming a more loving and realiatic one person.  Drawing on Buddhist concepts of mindfulness, Richo explores five hallmarks of mindful loving and how they play a key role in our relationships throughout life.  They are:  attention, acceptance, appreciation, affection, and allowing.  The five A's are not extras, but essential components to being a healthy, mature adult. Attention from others leads to self-respect. Acceptance engenders a sense of being inherently a good person.  Affection makes us feel lovable.  Allowing gives us freedom to pursue our own deepest needs, values, and wishes.      


Hold Me Tight:  Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love

by Sue Johnson

A road map  through Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy.  A superb book of science, humor, and clinical wisdom. Forget about how to argue better, analyze your early childhood, making grand romantic gestures, or experimenting with new sexual positions. Instead, get to know the emotional underpinnings of your relationship by recognizing that you are emotionally attached to and dependent on your partner in much the same way a child is on a parent for nurturing, soothing, and protection.  Dr. Johnson teaches that the way to enhance or save a relationship is to be open, attuned, and responsive to each other and to reestablish emotional connection. 

  - One of the best self-help books for couple.  


Mating in Captivity- Unlocking Erotic Intelligence

by Esther Perel

A bold, provocative take on intimacy and sex.  Perel invites us to explore the paradoxical union of domesticity and sexual desire, and explains what it takes to bring lust home. 

And - check out her TED talk on the same topic - a condensed version of the book.

Depression Is Contagious
How the Most Common Mood Disorder Is Spreading Around the World and How to Stop It
by Michael D. Yapko, Ph.D.   

Depression is the world's most common mood disorder, and it's spreading fast: at the current rate, the World Health Organization predicts it will leap from the fourth to the second greatest cause of human suffering and disability in the world by the year 2020. And the shocking spread of this debilitating disorder isn't fated by brain chemistry, genes, diet, or personal weakness, as we're too often taught -- rather, the latest research provides overwhelming evidence that depression is far more a social problem than a medical disease. Depression doesn't just infect a single individual and then stay contained within him or her. Depression's effects reach into the interactions you have with others, rippling destructively through marriages, families, work environments, and communities like a viral contagion. Drugs can't repair or protect your relationship from depression, but the skills expert psychologist Dr. Michael D. Yapko teaches us in this powerful book can. 

Dr. Yapko has identified the types of relationship patterns that lead to negative ways of thinking, feeling, and relating to others and culls from the latest findings in neuroscience, social psychology, epidemiology, and genetics to provide a practical, proven plan for developing the skills and insights you need to forge stronger, healthier social connections -- and enjoy an enriching, interconnected life. 

While commonly prescribed drugs address some of depression's symptoms, they cannot change the social factors that cause and perpetuate the disorder. Indeed, by treating a social condition as though it's a disease, the problems compound rather than diminish. The foundation for recovery is to build a healthy social life based on understanding what to expect from our relationships, what we should give, and how to relate to and accept others -- skills that have been neglected by modern society. 
When Things Fall Apart
by Pema Chodron

There is a fundamental happiness right within our reach, y et we usually miss it --ironically, while caught up in attempts to escape pain and suffering. Pema Chodron's radical and compassionate advice for what to do when things fall apart in our lives goes against the grain of our usual habits and expectations and confronts us with traditional Buddhist wisdom. Included in the book are:

  • ways to use painful emotions to cultivate wisdom, compassion, and courage
  • ways to communicate that lead to openness and true intimacy with others
  • practices for reversing our negative habitual patterns
  • methods for working with chaotic situations
  • ways to cultivate compassionate, energetic social action.

Start Where You Are
by Pema Chodron

This is an indispensable handbook for cultivating fearlessness and awakening a compassionate heart. Chodrom provides us down-to-earth guidance on how to make friends with ourselves and develop genuine compassion toward others. Among the maxims covered in this book:

  • Always apply a joyful state of mind
  • Don't seek others' pain as the limbs of your own happiness
  • Always meditate on whatever provokes resentment
  • Be grateful to everyone

Kitchen Table Wisdom: Stories that Heal
Rachel Naomi Remem, M.D.

"Despite the awesome powers of technology, many of us still do not live well," says Dr. Rachel Remen. "We need to listen to one another's stories again." Dr. Remem, a physician, professor of medicine, therapist, and long-term survivor of chronic illness, invites us to listen from the soul. This remarkable collection of true stories draws on the concept of "kitchen table wisdom" - the human tradition of shared experience that shows us life in all its power and mystery and reminds us that the things we cannot measure may be the things that ultimately sustain and enrich our lives.
The Miracle of Mindfulness: A Manual on Meditation
by Thich Nhat Hanh

. . .gentle anecdotes and practical exercises for being mindful .. from washing the dishes to answering the telephone to drinking tea.

Peace is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life
by Thich Nhat Hanh

. . commentaries and mediations and stories . exercises to increase our awareness of our own body and mind through conscious breathing, which can bring immediate joy and peace.
Call to Connection: Bringing Sacred Tribal Values into Modern Life
by Carole Kammen & Jodi Gold

"Call to Connection is an important book for our times. It reminds us how far we have strayed from our essential need for community and then gives us the keys we need to recreate it for ourselves, our families, and each other." In these modern and complex times, many of us feel isolated and alone. Much of society has lost the sense of belonging, a feeling of connectedness to community, to the earth and to the sacred. Many of us long for simpler times when people lived in villages, depended on one another, engaged in sacred rituals, and honored the spirit of life.
Daring Greatly:  How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead.

by Brene Brown

Drawing on extensive research and personal experience, Brene Brown explores the paradoxes of courage:  We become strong by embracing vulnerability, we dare more greatly when we acknowledge our fear. A reviewer said that this book is a timely warning about the danger of pursuing certainty and control above all - and the real reward of vulnerability:  greater courage.

The Gifts of Imperfection

by Brene Brown

 "Let go of who you think you are supposed to be and embrace who you are:  A guide to a wholehearted life"  

Crazy Time: Surviving Divorce and Building a New Life
by Abigail Trafford

In this intelligent and insightful book, Abigail Trafford charts the emotional journey, identifying the common phases in the evolution from marriage to separation to divorce, and eventually to a new life. Based upon her personal experience, extensive research, and interviews with hundreds of divorced men and women.
To Bless the Space Between Us

 - A Book of Blessings

by John O'Donahue
A delightful book of that blends elegant, poetic language with spiritual insights to offer readers comfort and encouragement on their journey through life. For O'Donahue, "blessing" is a way of life, as a lens through which the whole world is transformed.  

Anam Cara:  A Book of Celtic Wisdom

by John O'Donahue

- A rare synthesis of philosophy, poetry, and spirituality.  A trip through the spiritual landscape of the Irish imagination.  Anam Cara in Gaelic is "soul friend" - and this small volume contains ancient teachings, stories, and blessings of Gaelic wisdom on such universal themes of friendship, solitude, love, and death.  
Lying: Moral Choice in Public and Private Life
by Sissela Bok

A penetrating and thoughtful examination of lying -- in both private and public life. She looks at everything from white lies, lies to the sick and dying, lies of parents to children, lies to enemies, to lies to protect clients and peers. The consequences of such lies are then explored through a number of concrete situation in which people are involved, either as liars or as the victims of the lie.
Secrets: On the Ethics of Concealment and Revelation
by Sissela Bok

What kinds of moral issues are raised when we have closely guarded secrets -- either as individuals, families, or a nation? She asks such questions as: Under what circumstances is it wrong to pry into secrets? Are there times when a promise of secrecy must be broken? What about journalists' protection of sources, government suppression of information, covert police activity, scientific secrecy?
The 48 Laws of Power
by Robert Greene and Joost Elffers

"For those who want power, watch power, or want to arm themselves against power .. ."Amoral, cunning, ruthless, and instructive, The 48 Laws of Power is a piercing distillation of three thousand years of the history of power. From such thinkers, rulers as Sun-tzu, Machiavelli, Queen Elizabeth I, Henry Kissinger, P.T. Barnum. Example: Conceal you intentions; Learn to keep people dependent on you; When asking for help, appeal to people's self-interest, never to their mercy or gratitude; Know who you're dealing with, do not offend the wrong person; Play a sucker to catch a sucker -- seem dumber than your mark; Use the surrender tactic: Transform weakness into power; Never appear too perfect; Master the art of timing .. and many more.

A great read. Instructive, fascinating, and highly useful in arming yourself against power, or getting power for yourself.
Where to find these books?

Magers & Quinn Booksellers 
3038 Hennepin Ave S, Minneapolis
612/822-4611 or toll-free at 1-866/912-6657

Magers and Quinn is an independently owned new and used bookseller located in the heart of the popular Uptown neighborhood in Minneapolis, near the lakes for which the city is famous.