The Transformation by James S. Gordon, MD |HarperOne {Book Review}

Book Review-76

The Transformation by James Gordon

Book Summary:

 A world-recognized authority and acclaimed mind-body medicine pioneer presents the first evidence-based program to reverse the psychological and biological damage caused by trauma.

In his role as the founder and director of The Center for Mind-Body Medicine (CMBM), the worlds largest and most effective program for healing population-wide trauma, Harvard-trained psychiatrist James Gordon has taught a curriculum that has alleviated trauma to populations as diverse as refugees and survivors of war in Bosnia, Kosovo, Israel, Gaza, and Syria, as well as Native Americans on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, New York City firefighters and their families, and members of the U. S. military. Dr. Gordon and his team have also used their work to help middle-class professionals, stay-at-home mothers, inner-city children of color, White House officials, medical students, and people struggling with severe emotional and physical illnesses.

The Transformation represents the culmination of Dr. Gordon’s fifty years as a mind-body medicine pioneer and an advocate of integrative approaches to overcoming psychological trauma and stress. Offering inspirational stories, eye-opening research, and innovative prescriptive support, The Transformation makes accessible for the first time the methods that Dr. Gordon—with the help of his faculty of 160, and 6,000 trained clinicians, educators, and community leaders—has developed and used to relieve the suffering of hundreds of thousands of adults and children around the world.

Publication Date:

September 10th, 2019

Genre:

Self-Help, Healing, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Book Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

My Review:

discovering wholeness and healing after trauma

When I was offered a copy of The Transformation in exchange for an honest review, I jumped at the chance. Trauma is often misunderstood and not only does Dr. Gordon give a wonderful explanation about what it can look like, but he also shares how we can indeed heal from it.

This book is readable while also being informative. Gordon shares a wonderful balance of stories, research, and techniques which as the reader can help you feel heard while also feeling like a proactive step in your own healing. His writing is also very accessible as someone who does not work in the medical field.

Gordon starts off by discussing the misconceptions of psychological trauma. He has a wonderful way of explaining that while it may look very different for people, it is something that can or will affect almost everyone in some capacity throughout one’s life. While this may sound dire, it can also help someone feel less alone.

“Trauma comes to all of us, and its consequences can be terrible. That’s the truth and the bad news. The good news is that all of us can use tools of self-awareness and self-care to heal our trauma and, indeed, to become healthier and more whole than we’ve ever been. If we accept the pain that trauma inflicts, it can open our minds and bodies to healing change-Our broken hearts can be open with tender consideration and new love for others, as well as ourselves.” -James Gordon, MD

Instead of subduing our fears, anger, and sadness, which can cause us to feel stuck, Gordon teaches us that there are alternatives. These new processes allow us to express emotions, become aware and deal with these emotions and also learn from them. When we learn how to use this emotion cycle, it can become a way for us to not only deal with past trauma but navigate it in the future.

trauma healing

Gordon incorporates many things like soft belly breathing, movement(shaking and dancing), connecting with nature and diet into his practices and it was fascinating how powerful these tools can be.

As someone who successfully uses medication for anxiety, I also appreciated that while Gordon emphasizes the importance of these more natural coping mechanisms, he isn’t against medication which can often be a very important part of someone’s healing and ongoing wellbeing. His approach is well rounded and I appreciated his balance between both traditional and more holistic practices.

I loved learning more about this thoughtful and compassionate approach towards something that has affected not only my life but many people around me and I highly recommend this.

Thank you to Dr. Gordon and FSB Associates for an advanced copy of this book. All opinions are my own. 

self-help books, healing

Kindle Book Deals! | $2.99 or less | {September 8th, 2019}

Gen The Bookworm Kindle Deals

Kindle Book Deals!

I am a big Kindle reader but I tend to read most of them through the Libby app or Kindle deals. When I buy a full-priced book, I would much rather buy a hard copy that I can then have in my physical library to read again or share with friends. You can read my post tips to reading on a Kindle HERE and my post about reading on a budget HERE.

One of my favorite things is scrolling through the kindle deals over a big mug of coffee. Through my experience, I have found the best deals are posted on Sundays when there tends to be the largest selection of Kindle deals of the day!

September 8th, 2019 Kindle Book Deals:

Today there is an especially amazing selection, which includes some of my favorite books like The Dream Daughter and The Sound of Gravel and some that have been on my own  TBR list! It’s a great day to stock up on some great reading and I hope you find some that fit your reading preferences…

Diane Chamberlain Kindle Deal

The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain

Link to KINDLE DEAL

*You can read my full Gen The Bookworm review HERE. It is one of my favorite books ever!

kindle deals

The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

Link to KINDLE DEAL

recommended memoir

The Sound of Gravel: A Memoir by Ruth Wariner

Link to KINDLE DEAL

*For more suggestions…you can find my Favorite Memoirs Recommendation List HERE.

Reese's Book Club

The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo

Link to KINDLE DEAL

kindle book deal

The Sun Does Shine by Anthony Ray Hinton

Link to KINDLE DEAL

Introverted Mom by Jamie Martin

Introverted Mom by Jamie Martin

Link to KINDLE DEAL

kindle book deal

The Guest Book by Sarah Blake

Link to KINDLE DEAL


Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links. This means if you click through and make a purchase, a small percentage helps support this blog at no cost to you. Thank you!

The Other’s Gold by Elizabeth Ames | Viking Books {Book Review}

The Other's Gold by Elizabeth Ames book review

The Other’s Gold by Elizabeth Ames

Book Summary:

“An insightful and sparkling novel that opens on a college campus and follows the friendship of four women across life-defining turning points

Assigned to the same suite during their freshman year at Quincy-Hawthorn College, Lainey, Ji Sun, Alice, and Margaret quickly become inseparable. The leafy green campus they move through together, the idyllic window seat they share in their suite, and the passion and ferocity that school and independence awakens in them ignites an all-encompassing love with one another. But they soon find their bonds–forged in joy, and fused by fear–must weather threats that originate from beyond the dark forests of their childhoods, and come at them from institutions, from one another, and ultimately, from within themselves.

The Other’s Gold follows the four friends as each makes a terrible mistake, moving from their wild college days to their more feral days as new parents. With one part devoted to each mistake–the Accident, the Accusation, the Kiss, and the Bite–this complex yet compulsively readable debut interrogates the way that growing up forces our friendships to evolve as the women discover what they and their loved ones are capable of, and capable of forgiving. A joyful, big-hearted book that perfectly evokes the bittersweet experience of falling in love with friendship, the experiences of Lainey, Ji Sun, Alice, and Margaret are at once achingly familiar and yet shine with a brilliance and depth all their own.”

Publication Date:

August 27th, 2019

Genre:

Fiction

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️

Initial Thoughts…

If there was a perfect summary that would describe my ideal kind of book, this would be it. I love novels that follow relationships over time, and anything that starts with a college setting is right up my alley. Commencement by J. Courtney Sullivan and Beyond The Point by Claire Gibson are great examples of this category. When I read this book synopsis last spring there was no question I was adding it to my summer reading list.

The Other’s Gold was definitely the book I had the most anticipation about reading this summer and when it arrived on my doorstep on the release day, I couldn’t wait to dive in. I had read a few initial reviews but hadn’t heard that much buzz yet which as a reader, I prefer. Anything that is super highly praised gives me pause because it can overly hype it up in my own head.

My Review:

Even the cover is perfect (and yes I know you shouldn’t judge them by that, but it is hard not to!)and I had so much I thought I would just love about The Other’s Gold…and then I started it. Ahhh, it is so hard for me to write reviews when I don’t love a book but really really wanted to. Sadly, this was just not the right fit for me.

So we meet these group of four friends at college and supposedly they bond and eventually become lifelong friends. I don’t know, I am a details person and maybe that is the problem, but while I was reading I couldn’t quite figure out what exactly it was that bonded them together. It felt forced and I couldn’t quite tell while they liked each other let alone connect with them myself. Maybe that was the point? But if it was, it definitely went over my head…

Anyway, once we moved on from the whole college scene I did find the book flowed a little more easily but then we start finding out more of these “secrets”. A lot of them came out of left-field, some were quite disturbing(especially the last two) and some just super out of character, at least as much as I felt I “knew” about them…

Maybe part of this was that I never felt like I really “knew” these women as most of the descriptions were flat and predictable so it was hard to match these intense twists with characters that I didn’t feel I understood beyond the surface level descriptions. It was wordy and angsty but lacked dimension for me. I am totally on board with books about dysfunctional relationships and tough topics. With that said, I enjoy those types of sagas when it all makes sense with more back story and I just didn’t find that here.

I think I feel more critical because I just had such high hopes for this one and I found it disappointing. Much I this definitely has to do with how much I was anticipating reading it. This was also a good reminder for me about having realistic expectations and then being pleasantly surprised when I end up really loving a book.

I enjoyed her writing style, this storyline just didn’t quite work for me and some of it felt quite uncomfortable. I did like that the book had some diversity and that Ames took on timely topics in a readable and accessible manner. And as always, I would love to know what you thought of this one if you have read it!

Coffee Talk | Currently Loving…{Back to School, Vermont Life & Favorite Podcast Episodes}

currently loving...

Checking-In:

Oh hello! It’s been a little quiet around here with my more personal posts. It is fairly easy to share book reviews a few times a week because I have already written most of them for partnering publishers, but these take a while because I always have way too much to share! I like having a mix of book chatter and also some daily life so these posts are important to me but they just haven’t been able to be as much of a priority during this busier season of work.

The Dream Daughter Kindle Deal!

Before I share anything, I have to post that The Dream Daughter is a Kindle Deal today!! If you haven’t grabbed this yet, you need to! It is my favorite Diane Chamberlain book ever.

Finding Space

During the last couple of weeks, we started finding our regular rhythm again with the start of school for the boys. I am a creature of habit so while I am sad to lose the long days of summer I very much embrace this time of the year.

The pictures above are the perfect example of why parents have a harder time during summer…you are never alone! I was impressed with how much self-care I was able to fit in while doing the weekly grocery shopping and my BIL and SIL(whom I randomly ran into at the store) were just delighted to take this photo for me, ha!

Yup, I totally wore my noise-canceling headphones to the grocery store to listen to my audiobook while I shopped, and lots of people looked at me like I had 3 heads. You have to find space when you can and I have no shame. 😉

End of Summer

On our last weekend of summer vacation, we had a campfire in the yard and make S’mores. I am also very excited about my new Ogunquit sticker from our family vacation and I had many water bottles in my cupboard to choose from for where I would display it. We try to not get a bunch of junk as souvenirs(we already have enough!) so stickers have been a fun thing to get when we travel. Buzz was just happy we were all reunited! Speaking of Maine, I am planning on sharing my post on our trip this weekend, so stay tuned.

Back to School

The boys headed back to school and everyone was excited except Buzz! They are now in 1st and 4th grade and it has been a fairly smooth transition. The hardest part has been getting everyone back on an earlier bedtime and I don’t see this struggle going away anytime soon.

The boys were excited to take my back to school photo and I was more than happy to oblige!

Kari and I celebrated quickly at Philo Ridge before headed off to our first days of work, ALONE!

Kristy and I were excited for our first day together without kids(our kids had opposite childcare schedules which worked great for work coverage but not so much for being able to work together) since June. We got a lot of work done and also got to catch up! I was able to finalize my post about The Better Together Book Club and Buzz was ecstatic to pick the kids up at school at the end of the day. He picked his newest bandana up at the Skida sidewalk sale.

Vermont Life

It is absolutely my favorite time of year and I wish it was sweatshirt and jeans weather all year long. We have lucked out with a gorgeous September so far. It has been the perfect temperature and I am hoping it stays that way. I am done with the heat!

Back to the Barre

I am back in my regular barre before work routine and also to bringing 10 bags of random stuff to work. Kristy is clearly very accommodating. I like to take a lot of my book photos at her house, mostly because it is way cleaner than mine. She is the queen of no clutter which is my ultimate goal in life but it probably will never happen.

Book Photography

Speaking of photos, one of my friends asked me the other day if I post my Instagram posts in “real-time” and I thought it was a great question. I tend to take 3-4 different photos at one time for posts I want to do that week. I post the actual text in real-time but many of my photos I have previously taken if that makes sense. I tend to post in the early morning and that is not a great time to take photos because it is pitch black outside!

Mom’s Night Out

In celebration of back to school, my friend Elisa and I went out the other evening. We had a drink at Shelburne Farms and then made our way to Peg & Ters for dinner. We ended up running into a bunch of other school moms so I think everyone was feeling festive this past week…and we were home by 8pm!

Regular Life…

While a drink by the lake is lovely, regular life looks a lot more like this. The kids are excited about book orders and the newest Dog Man book and we have been trying to teach both kids how to put away their own laundry, which is a work in progress…I did teach Parker about the gift of listening to a podcast while you do it, and he is a fan!

And Buzz…he loves life on a farm but boy does he get dirty! We have to spray him off with the hose and then give him a full bath more than we would like to admit, ugh!

Speaking of podcasts…

These are some series/episodes I have been loving…

22 Hours: An American Nightmare Series

The Short Stacks Episode 20: Kim Brooks the author of Small Animals

Sarah’s Book Shelves Episode 27: Live Fall 2019 Book Preview with Catherine from Gilmore Guide

10 Things To Tell You Episode 31: Best Books Lately with Alyssa Hertzig


I hope you have a wonderful rest of your Friday! <3

Wild Game by Adrienne Brodeur | Houghton Mifflin Harcourt {Book Review}

book review of Wild Game a book of the month selection for September 2019.

Wild Game by Adrienne Brodeur

Book Summary:

On a hot July night on Cape Cod when Adrienne was fourteen, her mother, Malabar, woke her at midnight with five simple words that would set the course of both of their lives for years to come: Ben Souther just kissed me.

Adrienne instantly became her mother’s confidante and helpmate, blossoming in the sudden light of her attention, and from then on, Malabar came to rely on her daughter to help orchestrate what would become an epic affair with her husband’s closest friend. The affair would have calamitous consequences for everyone involved, impacting Adrienne’s life in profound ways, driving her into a precarious marriage of her own, and then into a deep depression. Only years later will she find the strength to embrace her life—and her mother—on her own terms.

Wild Game is a brilliant, timeless memoir about how the people close to us can break our hearts simply because they have access to them, and the lies we tell in order to justify the choices we make. It’s a remarkable story of resilience, a reminder that we need not be the parents our parents were to us.

Publication Date:

October 15th, 2019

Genre:

Memoir

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

My Review:

Wild Game by Adrienne Brodeur

(You can find my referral link to Wild Game HERE

Wild Game by Adrienne Brodeur is a memoir that details the complicated and dysfunctional relationship Brodeur experienced with her mother, Malabar. This cycle spans several decades and although there is the storyline of how Brodeur became entangled in her mother’s affair, it wasn’t the most powerful part of this book for me.

What really spoke to me was how much this story shared the challenges of cycles repeating themselves in families. These complexities can continue to pass on generation after generation and Brodeur truly shows how hard dysfunction can be to break. The writing detailing how she confronted her past is raw and full of emotions and whether you can relate to this story or not, this is not a book to be missed.

Brodeur shares vividly, the complexities of their mother/daughter relationship, and how it has affected her from her childhood to now during middle-age. Whether it is in romantic relationships or the relationships she has with her own children, it heavily impacts her to this day.

Brodeur reflects so honestly about how challenging it was as she began to distance herself from Malabar as an adult. While she knew her relationship wasn’t “normal” or healthy, it was hard not to fall back into the paths which had been ingrained in her family for so long.

While this book wasn’t easy to read at times, I appreciated that it wasn’t black or white and Brodeur is able to look at this deeply conflicted relationship with humanity and empathy. I stopped and reread sections of the book because the reflections on the journey of finding herself while batting the undercurrent of her family dynamics were so insightful.

I also appreciated that she recounted the impact the other people in her life had had on her and her ability to move forward. Brodeur’s ability to share such introspection and poignant details amidst the difficulties she endured made this book what it was and it won’t be one I will ever forget.

Thank you to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for an advanced copy of this book. All opinions are my own.