Last week I sent in my “ideal bookshelf” to Corey Mesler, owner of Burke’s Books in Memphis, for inclusion in the “My Ideal Bookshelf: Memphis Edition” site. It’s lots of fun to read everyone’s shelves. Mine is published here. And here’s a picture of it.
But I had a hard time (as I’m sure most folks did) stopping with just 10 books. My shelf included 5 novels, 2 memoirs, 1 anthology of essays, 1 book of essays and poetry, and 1 self-help book. I would have preferred to submit several shelves:
My Ideal Fiction Bookshelf
My Ideal Memoir/Creative Nonfiction Bookshelf
My Ideal Self-Help Bookshelf
My Ideal Poetry Bookshelf
My Ideal Bookshelf by Writers on Writing
My Ideal Spiritual/Religious Bookshelf
And since this is Mental Health Monday, I decided to share my own Self-Help Bookshelf. (Maybe I’ll do the others in future posts.) I did this list from memory, since I’m not at home looking at my actual bookshelves.
I feel like I’m leaving off a couple of important books, but these are the ones that come to mind today:
Drinking: A Love Story by Caroline Knapp
Acedie & Me by Kathleen Norris
How To Be an Adult by David Richo
This is How… by Augusten Burroughs
I Hate You—Don’t Leave Me: Understanding the Borderline Personality by Straus & Kreisman
The Wounded Heart: Hope For Adult Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse by Dan Allender
Cracked: Putting Broken Lives Together Again by Pinksy & Gold
Eating, Drinking, Over-Thinking: The Toxic Triangle… by Susan Nolan-Hoeksema
The Noonday Demon by Andrew Solomon
Appetities: Why Women Want by Caroline Knapp
I’m only two chapters into another book that might have made it onto this shelf—Brene Brown’s Daring Greatly: How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead. The chapter I just finished deals with our culture’s never-ending problem of scarcity—how we worry about never having or being enough:
Never good enough
Never perfect enough
Never thin enough
Never powerful enough
Never successful enough
Never smart enough
Never certain enough
Never safe enough
Never extraordinary enough
I don’t know about you, but I’ve spent most of my life thinking/feeling most of those inadequacies about myself. I’m looking forward to continuing the book to learn how to move away from shame and towards what she calls “wholeheartedness: facing uncertainty, exposure, and emotional risks, and knowing that I am enough.”
What books would be on you’re “My Ideal Self-Help Bookshelf”?
4 thoughts on “Mental Health Monday: My Ideal Self-Help Bookshelf”
Very neat, Susan. My own shelf would include, and does, Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth.
I haven’t read that… now you’ve got my interest up. Thanks for commenting.
I would add Richard Quis’ Thinking Anew: Harnessing the Power of Belief. helpthinkinganew.com. Add it to your self help shelf, will be worth your time!
Thanks, Jerri. I haven’t heard of that one. I’ll definitely check it out.
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