COVER. Ready to Heal.3rd.inddReady to Heal:Breaking Free of Addictive Relationships
By Kelly McDaniels

It’s hard to find a self-help book that doesn’t feel like the same old same old, but this simple, clear book turned on lots of light bulbs in my head.  
Even if you don’t have addictive relationships, this will help you understand friends and family members who do.  And you’ll find bits of yourself here simply because our entire culture tells us to seek romantic fulfillment as a means of achieving happiness without the fuss and bother of, you know, becoming a good person. 

Kelly McDaniel will give you a saner, healthier perspective.

Martha’s Bookshelf: Selections for August 2010

I didn’t get huge stretches of time to read this month, between chasing wildebeest and hacking my way through stinging nettle looking for gorilla nests. However, I did grab some pleasure reading on airplanes. The most value added was The Feeling of What Happens by Antonio Damasio, a neuroscientist, who provides fascinating insights into the way we make choices (if you think you’re rational, think again; emotion, not logic, is the only mechanism that makes choice possible). 
A more literary perspective on the psychology of addiction and healing spirituality is Lit, a memoir by Mary Karr, author of the best selling The Liars Club. This book blew my mind, partly because at the very time I was slogging my first two children through Harvard, Mary Karr was slogging her own infant and suffering from her own mental demons. Reading about her experiences made me wonder if we’d sat together in the obstetrics living room at Harvard Medical Services; two frightened women who felt as if we had no options and would later go on to write memoirs about the day our paths crossed unknowingly.
Finally, I am loving The Zookeepers Wife, by the poet Diane Ackerman. This incredible historically accurate book is about two Polish zookeepers who managed to save over three hundred refugees from Nazis by capitalizing on Hitler’s obsession with rare animals. This one will have you glued to your chair turning pages as if your life depended on it. Enough said.