Sunday, January 22, 2017

Books and Poems That Have Helped - As of January 22, 2017

I have found solace in many types of books: those written for survivors of suicide, for parents who have lost a child, for those who look to writing as a way of coping, memoirs and even fiction.  The number in parenthesis is the rating given to the book.  I use the GoodReads system.

1 - didn't like it
2 - it was ok
3 - liked it
4 - really liked it
5 - it was amazing


List of books on Josh's blog with short reviews.

Survivors of Suicide
  1. No Time to Say Good Bye by Carla Fine (5)
  2. My Son, My Son by Iris Bolton (3)
  3. Take the Dimness of My Soul Away by William Ritter (3)
  4. When Suicide Comes Home: A Father's Diary and Comments by Paul Cox (4)
  5. Grieving the Unexpected - the Suicide of a Son by Gary LeBlanc (3)
  6. Grieving A Suicide, A Loved One's Search of Comfort, Answers and Hope by Albert Hsu (5)
  7. Those They Left Behind by Karen M. Bryson (4)
  8. Aftershock by David Cox and Candy Arrington (5)
  9. Surviving Suicide: Help to Heal Your Heart by Heather Hayes (4)
  10. Dying To be Free: A Healing Guide for Families After A Suicide by Jean Larch and Beverly Cobain (4)
  11. The Empty Chair by Beryl Glover (3)
  12. Silent Grief: Living in the Wake of Suicide by Christopher Lucas (2)
  13. After Suicide by John Hewett (2)
  14. History of a Suicide by Jill Bialosky (4)
  15. His Bright Light: The Story of Nick Traina by Danielle Steel (3)
Parental Bereavement
  1. Lament for a Son by Nicholas Wolterstorff (5)
  2. The Worst Loss: How Families Heal From the Death of A Child by Barbara Rosof (4)
  3. After the Death of a Child: Living With the Loss Through the Years by Ann Finkbeiner (4)
  4. Life After the Death of My Son by Dennis Apple (4)
  5. The Grieving Garden: Living With the Death Of a Child by Suzanne Redfern and Susan Gilbert (4)
  6. Beyond Tears by Ellen Mitchell (4)
  7. Making Toast by Roger Rosenblatt (4)
  8. Gabriel By Edward Hirsch (5)
On Death, Dying, Grief
  1. On Death and Dying by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
  2. On Grief and Grieving by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross and David Kessler
  3. Being Mortal by Atul Gawande (5)

Journaling/Writing
  1. Writing Through the Darkness by Elizabeth Maynard Schaefer (5)
  2. Writing As a Way of Healing by Louise DeSalvo (5)
  3. Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg (5)
  4. Journal to The Self: 22 Paths to Personal Growth by Kathleen Adams (4)
  5. Bird by Bird by Anne LaMott (5)
  6. The New Diary by Tristine Rainer (4)
  7. On Keeping a Journal: Leaving a Trace by Alexandra Johnson (4)
  8. The Writer's Portable Mentor by Priscilla Long (5)
  9. Writers and Their Notebooks by Diana Raab (4)
  10. A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf (4)
  11. The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron (5)
  12. Negotiating with the Dead: A Writer on Writing by Margaret Atwood (4)
Memoirs
  1. Lucky by Alice Sebold (5)
  2. Paula by Isabel Allende (4)
  3. The Suicide Index by Joan Wickersham (5)
  4. The Sum of Our Days by Isabel Allende (4)
  5. An Unquiet Mind by Kay Jamison (2)
  6. The Journal Keeper by Phyllis Theroux (4)
  7. I know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou (4)
  8. How Reading Changed My Life by Anna Quindlen (4)
  9. A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis (4)
  10. The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion (4)
  11. A Widow's Story by Joyce Carol Oates (4) 
  12. Darkness Visible by William Styron (5)
  13. Reading My Father by Alexandra Styron (4)
  14. Truth and Beauty by Ann Patchett (4)
  15. Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy (4)
  16. Blue Nights by Joan Didion (3)
  17. My Brother by Jamaica Kincaid (4)
  18. Nothing Was the Same by Kay Redfield Jamison (4)
  19. The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe (5)
  20. Half a Life by Darin Strauss (4)
  21. Wild by Cheryl Strayed (5)
  22. Searching for Mercy Street by Linda Gray Sexton (5)
  23. Half in Love by Linda Gray Sexton (4)
  24. Heaven's Coast by Mark Doty (5)
  25. When Breathe Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi (5)
  26. H is for Hawk by Helen MacDonald (4)
  27. After A Funeral by Diana Athill (2)
  28. Memory Slips: A Memoir of Music and Healing by Linda K. Cutting (4)
  29. The Los Angeles Diaries by James Brown (4)
  30. A Buddhist Grief Observed by Guy Newland (5)
On Suicide
  1. By Their Own Hand: Deliberate Self-Harm and Suicidal Ideas in Adolescents by Keith Rodham
Poetry
  1. In Memoriam A.H.H. by Lord Alfred Tennyson - post on Josh's blog
  2. The Art of Losing: Poems of Grief & Healing - posts on Josh's blog;   "The Dead by Billy Collins
  3. Monthly poetry posts:  January,  February,  
  4. Horoscopes for the Dead by Billy Collins - posts on Josh's blog 1) Grave and 2) Horoscopes for the Dead
  5. Remember by Christina Rossetti - post on Josh's blog
  6. Poetry as Survival by Gregory Orr (5) - see post
  7. Morning in the Burned House by Margaret Atwood (5)
  8. The Works of Anne Bradstreet (5)
    Original Poetry - written in memory of Josh (click here)

    Plays
    1. Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth by William Shakespeare - see two posts (teenage suicide ideation and grieving parents)
    2. Hamlet by William Shakespeare - see Death, Grief and Suicide Part I and Part II
    Fiction
    1. The Pact: A Love Story by Jodi Picoult (4)
    2. Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold (5)
    3. The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffengger (5)
    4. Twenty Wishes by Debbie Macomber (4)
    5. Ordinary People by Judith Guest (5)
    6. Beach Music by Pat Conroy (2)
    7. Legend of A Suicide by David Vann (3)
    8. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath (2)
    9. Sea Change by Jeremy Page (3)
    10. The Girl Who Fell From the Sky by Heidi Durrow (4)
    11. The Hours by Michael Cunningham (5)
    12. The Catcher In the Rye by J. D. Salinger (4)
    13. The Memoir Club by Laura Kalpakian (2)
    14. The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller (5) - see post
    15. The Almost Moon by Alice Sebold (5)
    16. Every Last One by Anna Quindlen (4)
    17. Moby Dick by Herman Melville (5)
    18. Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng (4)
    19. Me Before You by JoJo Moyes (5)
    20. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd (5)
    21. The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen (4)
    Afterlife
    1. Proof of Heaven by Dr. Eban Alexander (4) - see post
    2. My Son and the Afterlife by Dr. Elisa Medus (4) - see post
    3. Many Lives, Many Masters: The True Story of a Prominent Psychiatrist, His Young Patient, and the Past-Life Therapy That Changed Both Their Lives by Dr. Brian Weiss (3.5) - see post
    4. on Life After Death by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross (4) - see post
    5. Life After Death by Deepak Chopra (4) - see post
    6. Bridges to Heaven: True Stories of Loved Ones on the Other Side by Sue Frederick (4) - see post
    7. Return from Tomorrow by George Ritchie with Elizabeth Sherrill (5) - see post
    8. Heaven is For Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back By Todd Burpo with Lynne Vincent (3)
    9. The Hand on the Mirror: A True Story Of Live Beyond Death by Janis Heaphy Durham (3)
    10. Finding Peter by William Blatty (2)
    11. The Map of Heaven by Dr. Eban Alexander (5)
    Spirituality
    1. Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra (4) - see post
    2. Power of the Soul: Inside Wisdom for an Outside World (3) - see post
    3. Warrior Pose: How Yoga (Literally) Saved My Life by Brad Willis (5) - see post
    4. The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself by Michael Singer (5) - see post
    5. Kripalu Yoga by Richard Faulds (5) - see post
    6. Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul by Deepak Chopra (4)
    7. True Refuge: Finding Peace and Freedom in Your Own Awakened Heart by Tara Brach (5)
    8. To Bless the Space Between Us by John O'Donohue (5)
    9. A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckart Tolle (4)
    10. No Mud, No Lotus by Thich Nhat Hanh (5)
    11. Tao Te Ching translated by Stephen Mitchell (5)
    12. Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse (5)
    13. Anam Cara: Spiritual Wisdom from the Celtic World by John O'Donohue (5)
    14. The Miracle of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh (5)
    15. How To Meditate by Pema Chodron (5)
    16. Looking at Mindfulness: Twenty-Five Paintings to Change the Way You Live by Christophe Andre (5)
    17. Mindfulness is Better than Chocolate: A Practical Guide to Enhanced Focus and Lasting Happiness in a World of Distractions by David Michie (5)
    18. Buddhism for Busy People: Finding Happiness in an Uncertain World by David Michie (5)
    Philosophy
    1. The Apology of Socrates by Plate (5)
    2. Aristotle for Everybody by Mortimer Adler (5)
    Science/Nature
    1. Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain: How a New Science Reveals Our Extraordinary Potential to Transform Ourselves by Sharon Begley (4)

    A list of recommended books for survivors of suicide from the American Association of Suicidology. 

    Thursday, January 19, 2017

    Books Read in 2016

    49 books read (2 of which were re-reads)
    4 plays
    1 poetry collection
    8 unfinished books
    2 essays

    The number in parenthesis is the rating given to the book:
    1 - didn't like it
    2 - it was OK
    3 - liked it
    4 - really liked it
    5 - amazing

    Similar to last year, reading has been varied and eclectic.
    • FINALLY - able to say that I have read Moby Dick (and a number of supplemental books), Charles Dickens and Plato (loved The Apology of Socrates).
    • After reading Kondo's two books, I have KonMaried my entire closet and dressers (oops, except for jewelry). This was 11 months ago and my closet is still tidy. 
    • Had planned to read entire Virginia Woolf's oeuvre in chronological order by following her well documented life in nephew Quentin Bell's biography but got bogged down and stopped.
    • I started and stopped  quite a few books - just lost interest or got distracted with another book. As my husband says, "it's a free country," meaning I can do whatever I want/need to do.
    • It was a book/movie year....either watching the movie first then racing through the book (The Big Short) or reading the book then watching the movie (Me Before You, Into Thin Air and The Secret Life of Bees).  Interestingly, I did not want to watch the movie after reading The Girl on the Train or In the Heart of the Sea.
    •  Books were connected to traveling this year.  For example, I picked up Gun, Germs and Steel at Reagan National Airport on the way to Costa Rica and read on the plane, even though I had brought plenty of other books to read....go figure. I bought Being Mortal while in Coronado, CA for work and read at the airport while waiting for my return flight, sobbing. I read Walden during summer vacation at Stratton Mountain, VT - on the deck of my brother's condo, surrounded by nature. Moby Dick came with me to the beach on Cape Cod.....perfection would've been if I were on Nantucket Island. 
    • Got back into poetry by reading the perfect anthology for a novice - 100 Classic Poems.  I especially liked poems from the Romantic poets. 
    • Based on my daughter's recommendation, I read and enjoyed Pierce Brown's trilogy - cross between Hunger Games and Ender's Game
    • Read one grief memoir which I did not like - at all. 
    • Have gotten in the habit of watching YouTube author interviews after I have finished the book. 
    • Finished the year back on the path of mindfulness and meditation - I fell off the wagon most of the year...not sure why. Time to get back on.
    January
    1. The Penguin History of the World by J.M. Roberts and O.A Westad (4 so far) - unfinished
    2. Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse (5+)
    3. Lysistrata by Aristophanes (4)
    4. Andromache by Euripides (4)
    5. Anam Cara: Spiritual Wisdom from the Celtic World by John O'Donohue (5)
    February
    1. The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo (5)
    2. Spark Joy by Marie Kondo (5)
    3. The Big Short by Michael Lewis (4) after seeing movie
    4. When Breathe Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi (5)
    5. The Trojan Women by Euripides (4)
    6. Hecuba by Euripides (4)
    7. The Histories by Herodotus (4 so far) - unfinished
    March 2016
    1. Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer (5) saw movie afterwards
    2. Virginia Woolf: A Biography by Quentin Bell (4 so far) - unfinished
    3. H is For Hawk by Helen MacDonald (4)
    April 
    1. Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond (4)
    2. The Voyage Out by Virginia Woolf (3+)
    3. House of Mirth by Edith Wharton (4)
    May 
    1. Unnatural Causes by P.D. James (3+)
    2. Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande (5+)
    3. Shroud For A Nightingale by P.D. James
    4. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (4+)
    5. The Secret History by Donna Tartt (4) 
    6. Browsings: A Year of Reading, Collecting and Living with Books by Michael Dirda (4)
    June
    1. Only Spring: On Mourning the Death of My Son by Gordon Livingston (1)
    2. Me Before You by JoJo Moyes (5) and movie
    3. The Vegetarian by Han Kang (3) 
    4. After You by JoJo Moyes (4)
    5. Night and Day by Virginia Woolf (4)
    6. Howard's End is on the Landing: A Year of Reading from Home by Susan Hill (3)
    7. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (4)
    July
    1. A Dance with Dragons by George R. R. Martin (4) - reread
    2. Walden by Henry David Thoreau (4 so far) - unfinished
    3. A Hero of France by Alan Furst (3)
    4. Moby Dick by Herman Melville (5+)
    5. A Certain Justice by P.D. James (4)
    6. In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick (4)
    7. Paris Review Interviews Vol II (4)
    8. Melville in Love by Michael Sheldon (2)
    9. Paris Review Interviews Vol III (4)
    10. Why Read Moby Dick by Nathaniel Philbrick (4)
    11. Essay: How Should One Read a Book? by Virginia Woolf (5)
    12. Essay: Modern Fiction by Virginia Woolf (5)
    August
    1. The Apology of Socrates by Plato (5+)
    2. Ten Years in the Tub: A Decade Soaking in Great Books by Nick Hornby (4)
    3. My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante (4)
    4. Jacob's Room by Virginia Woolf (3)
    5. Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng (4)
    6. The Classic 100 Poems edited by William Harman (5)
    September
    1. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens (5)
    2. Crusade in Europe by Dwight D. Eisenhower (4 so far) - unfinished
    3. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd (5) and movie
    4. The Works of Anne Bradstreet (5)  poetry collection
    5. Various poems by Romantic poets: Wordsworth, Coleridge, Blake, Keats
    October
    1. Don Juan by Lord Byron (4 so far) - unfinished
    2. The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen (5)
    3. Red Rising (#1 in trilogy) by Pierce Brown (4)
    November
    1. Golden Son (#2) by Pierce Brown (4)
    2. Morning Star (#3) by Pierce Brown (4)
    3. The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron (5 so far) - unfinished
    4. The First Man in Rome by Colleen McCullough (5)
    5. S.P.Q.R A History of Ancient Rome by Mary Beard (4 so far) - unfinished
    December
    1. Aristotle for Everyone by Mortimer Adler (5)
    2. The Miracle of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh (5)
    3. How To Meditate by Pema Chodron (5) - reread