I’ve had The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk, M.D. on my shelves (both analog and audio) for quite a few months. I suppose I put it off beI’ve had The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk, M.D. on my shelves (both analog and audio) for quite a few months. I suppose I put it off because trauma is such a heavy subject. However, I unexpectedly found the tone to be comfortable and almost conversational. Perhaps that’s the talent of audiobook narrator Sean Pratt and van der Kolk’s evident compassion.
The reason I picked up this book at this time was because I recently finished Hunger by Roxane Gay. As Gay told her story of gang rape at 12, along with subsequent disordered eating behavior, I wanted to understand more about how trauma affects people. Choosing The Body Keeps the Score was a perfect follow up.
Van der Kolk began his journey by working with Vietnam War veterans, and he references veterans repeatedly throughout the book. But he also tells the story of many other patients, individually and as research groups. It’s hard to hear the traumatic experiences, but each time van der Kolk infuses the telling with hope and positive change.
I appreciated the personal stories from the author as well. You can see why he’s been driven to help people with post-traumatic stress disorder and it’s related disorders. Van der Kolk’s advocacy for the PTSD diagnosis, as well as Complex PTSD and Developmental Trauma Disorder is groundbreaking and important.
The Body Keeps the Score covers how trauma affects our brains, how it changes children, and how traumatic memories can be hidden as well as revealed later. The science was clear and relatable, while also detailed and fascinating. I can imagine myself rereading part or all of this book in the future to revisit concepts.
For me, the most interesting part of the book was the final third. This section covers a variety of treatment methods including therapeutic theater, yoga, and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). I found myself wishing for more information, and also feeling curious about exploring some methods I’ve not tried.
As I said, this is a book to read and reread. I’ll use it as reference in the future, since I sometimes work with trauma survivors in my massage therapy practice. I highly recommend it to professionals and lay people....more
This comic is just what I needed this week. And so many fewer calories than #sheetcaking! Every time I would listen to some news, I'd turn to Heart, BThis comic is just what I needed this week. And so many fewer calories than #sheetcaking! Every time I would listen to some news, I'd turn to Heart, Brain, and their body buddies to lift me back up. Since this is the first time I've read one of these books, I'm now looking forward to going back to the earlier books. Maybe this way I'll survive all the crazy in our world.
Thanks to NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for a digital advanced readers copy in exchange for my always honest review....more
I was approached by the author’s publicist offering a copy of Lords of the Schoolyard by Ed Hamilton in exchange for this review. As always, I’m opiniI was approached by the author’s publicist offering a copy of Lords of the Schoolyard by Ed Hamilton in exchange for this review. As always, I’m opinion is my own honest impression of the book reviewed.
Excerpt from the back cover: “Stark, brutal, at times darkly humorous, and written in a powerfully pared-down style purged of any ostentation, Hamilton’s story is told from the point of view of one such antisocial bully.” Pared-down is correct. This novel’s story and characterizations are devoid of skill and finesse. I wasn’t even slightly engaged with the narrator.
Hamilton is writing from the perspective of an eighth-grader as the story begins. Problem is, the writing just doesn’t sound like any of the eighth grade boys I know, and I’m a mother of four sons. At the same time, I can’t imagine a mother and teacher calling her own son an idiot, especially to another kid. Of course, that story is told by the narrator, who must be incredibly unreliable or flawed in execution.
One of the keys of good storytelling is to show the reader the story, not to tell them. Unfortunately, Hamilton simply tells us the story without much dialogue and with an overabundance of personal pronouns. On one page alone, there are eighteen uses of the pronoun “I,” and such usage is repeated on every single page.
According to the cover blurb, the author is going for anger and dark humor, but it was nothing but self-conscious mediocrity for me.
I can’t rightfully give this book a star rating, as I abandoned it at page 44....more
Lorraine Massey’s Silver Hair: Say Goodbye to the Dye—and Let Your Natural Light Shine! A Handbook is empowering and inspiring. (And how abou3.5 stars
Lorraine Massey’s Silver Hair: Say Goodbye to the Dye—and Let Your Natural Light Shine! A Handbook is empowering and inspiring. (And how about that long title!) Massey is famous for her previous book, Curly Girl, which is also designed to empower women to choose their hair’s own natural style. Considering I’m a silver-haired woman with natural curls, reviewing this book is an obvious choice for me.
When I was deciding to let my silver shine through and stop dying, I found another book to inspire me. I used to stop and peruse the pages, wondering what my hair would look like once the dye was gone. I found Massey’s book similarly fun to review, and can imagine how it might answer that “what if?” question for someone not quite decided.
Massey gives copious lighthearted instructions about how to make the transition to your natural color. She uses pictures and stories from real-life women who’ve decided to dramatically change their hair. Hair colorists weigh in, as does style maven Stacey London.
Sometimes Massey verges on insistence rather than encouragement, which might be off putting for some women. “You must go natural to be your true self!” or some such sentence. Truly, you can be yourself with hair dye or without, just as much as you can be less authentic with or without hair dye. For me, the insistence wasn’t an issue, since I’ve already gone all in. Here’s fair warning if you aren’t quite sure yet.
I’m anxious to try some of Massey’s tips for keeping silver hair in tip-top condition. But I have to admit the idea of using a drop of blue food coloring in my conditioner is slightly terrifying. Other concoctions have unfamiliar herbs, but most have ingredients readily accessed in your kitchen or garden. I can’t wait to tell my Asian husband that I have a use for the water he rinses the rice in!
About once a week, a woman asks me if my hair color is natural. Then she says, “Oh I want to do it, but I’m so nervous!” Often we have a long chat. I suspect that in the future I’ll be referring people to this book for more information and ideas.
Thanks to NetGalley and Workman Publishing for an advance reader’s copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.