Encouraging people to evolve and create new opportunities at any age.


Hey!  Thanks so much for your generous and prompt responses to our June newsletter and your book recommendations. 
It just happens that my 16 year-old grand-daughter, Eleanor, is visiting me from England and I asked that she write the introduction to our discussion about favorite books.  It follows:
For this month’s newsletter I was asked to consider why reading can be so important, and to discuss why I read.  As someone who has always loved to read, it surprised me when I was unable to come up with an immediate answer to the question of why I love books.
For several of my friends, reading is a necessary but mundane chore- something demanded by teachers to be avoided if possible. For others, reading becomes a way to acquire knowledge. My brother- for instance- would always choose to explore a book of bizarre animal facts over reading a fictional tale. For me, neither is true. I suppose there is weight to the old cliché:  books offer escapism and adventure that is both thrilling and contained safely between two covers. Reading also offers perhaps the ultimate relaxation, and never fails to calm a racing mind.  
But I think what I love most is the way books explore characters, dispositions and raw personal stories. Through reading, you can see into the lives of hundreds and catch a glimpse of another’s mind. And timing matters too. Sometimes a book seems to enter your life at just the right time, the story aligning with your own and changing your outlook in the real world. To me, that’s something really special, something to be celebrated.   Eleanor Cousins-Brown
Now, for your recommendations (and again – “Thanks!”)

Here are two from my friend, Barb, who has just retired from a wonderful career as a nurse midwife. 
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi:  it provides incredible insights into death and dying.   The Birth House by Ami McKay:  it tells the story of a midwife during WW1 in rural Nova Scotia and speaks to women's rights:  how they choose to have their babies. Both books were real page turners in a time in my life when I have not sat down just to read in a while. The first one helped me understand a little better what a friend may be going through in Hospice. The medical person was the one with the terminal diagnosis and the one with the grace and wisdom and insight. The second book made me smile as I learned that many of the struggles faced by midwives through the ages have not changed. 
From Edie Donohue, one of the “Pages” from Eavesdropping.  Although Edie has moved from Florida, she reports she’s still active in two book clubs and has read ALL of our June choices!  Edie recommends Dante’s Divine Comedy, some Greek tragedies as well as some comedies.  She comments:  “The comedies are R rated. Truly!”
From Gail, my friend from high school in Chattanooga: 
“My favorite book is When All The World Was Young by Farrel Sams.  It is the last of a series he wrote.  Sams was a Doctor in Atlanta Georgia.  His main character is Porter Osborn, Jr. a young man who grew up in Georgia raised Right-----Baptist.  This book is about Porter going to Medical School. It is set in Atlanta, Georgia and it talks about Peachtree Street and Buckhead and all the familiar areas.  I have a hard time sitting down to read, but this book I had no problem with. “
“Some of Sam's other books were Run with the HorsemenThe Whisper of the River, and The Widows Mite.”
P.S. on these from Kendra: Thanks so much for reminding me of these, Gail.  Run With Horsemen was recommended to me by my favorite professor in graduate school, who said, "Read something besides all that psychology stuff!"  Later, I read with great pleasure many of the others Gail described.    

From Meg Kinane, MCD CCC-SLP (Terry’s sister).  Meg  is a Speech and Language Pathologist in Fort Mill, SC.  She is often asked for book recommendations related to Autism.  Here are a few good ones.
-Carly's Voice: Breaking Through Autism by Arthur and Carly Fleischmann
-Elijah's Cup by Valerie Paradiz
-Why I Jump by Naoki Higashida and Ka Yoshida
-Dylan's Story by Cristin Fergus
From JoBeth, a member of the Gail Borden Library Walking Book Club in the Chicago area.
“One of my favorites is: The One and Magic Life by Anne George. I like how it addresses life and loss. “

From Ellen, a School Psychologist and a friend
In response to your request, I am sending 4 of my most recent, favorite books.   The purpose of the content is to expand the readers’ knowledge to assist in self growth.  I cannot describe them as fun-reading, but I can say that they all have helped me arrive at a better place after some very hard times.
By the way, two of the books are research-based which, I think, makes them that much more credible.  Bibliotherapy can help heal.  The authors of these books address issues that are frequently confronted by mature readers who seek answers within themselves. 
1.  Advocacy Heals U  by Joni Aldrich with Christopher S. Jerry (2015).  "A wise man learns from others' mistakes, a fool hardly from his own." (D. Arozian).  This book focuses on the basics of advocacy, the hazards of our medical system, and the information to be learned before becoming a caregiver.  It is well written and includes real life stories.  I regret not having this essential guide when I needed it.  I could have been better prepared to be a more effective caregiver had I read this book before tragedy struck.
2.  Are You the Placebo- Making Your Mind Matter, by Dr. Joe Dispenza (2014).  I loved this book because it emphasizes the great power of the mind and the potential for self- induced healing.  The science and research support the theory that a person has the power to enhance and change their health and lives.
3.  Healing After Loss- Daily Meditations for Working Through Grief, by Martha Whitmore Hickman (2002). This book is invaluable to someone who has lost a loved one.  It does not preach to you or tell you what to think or feel.  The words offer strength, inspiration, and comfort.
4.  The Book of Awakening, by Mark Nepo (2011). The author of Awakening is a wise teacher and poet.  He guides the reader through daily reflections, practices, and stories to remind us of life's beauty and the depth of the human spirit.
The above-mentioned books are gifts of hope and renewal. Enjoy!”
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