December 11, 2015

By Luna Greenstein

Winter is one of the best times to read because you can snuggle up by the fire, drink hot cocoa and delve into a different world. If you are looking for some new books to add to your reading list, here are a few recommendations:

I’d Walk With My Friends If I Could Find Them

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (2015)

This novel exemplifies the extreme choices that soldiers are forced to make during wartime. These decisions, which are often made within seconds, are the ones that veterans have to live with for years. I’d Walk with My Friends If I Could Find Them is a poignant and honest tale of three soldiers coping with their time in Afghanistan. Each of their stories is fully chronicled from their childhoods to well after their deployment. Throughout the book, author Jesse Goolsby addresses the many pertinent questions that challenge the lives of veterans, including, “What is the price of forgiveness?” As you read this novel, the deep effects of trauma that so many veterans live with with every day will haunt you.
SuperBetter: A Revolutionary Approach to Getting Stronger, Happier, Braver and More Resilient—Powered by the Science of Games

Penguin Press (2015)

What if there was a game that could help you through your recovery process? SuperBetter is a book designed to help you to become stronger, happier and healthier by simply completing playful exercises and challenges. Game designer Jane McGonigal explains how thinking within a gaming mindset improves our ability to recover by increasing our resilience to stress, challenge and pain. There are three main psychological strengths that we use when playing games: controlling your attention, thoughts and feelings, strengthening your relationships, and motivating yourself. This book is meant to bring out the strengths we use while playing games and to take advantage of them to help us achieve our real-world goals.
Coping with BPD: DBT and CBT Skills to Soothe the Symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder

New Harbinger Publications (2015)

Coping with BPD serves as a practical guide for those who deal with intense emotions, mood swings, self-loathing, and the many other symptoms that accompany borderline personality disorder. The methods of reducing these symptoms are drawn from the skills learned in both dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) and cognitive behavior therapy (CBT). Some of these skills include mindfulness, recognizing and controlling your emotions, setting realistic goals, learning how to solve problems and challenging negative thoughts. This book is designed to help those living with BPD manage their symptoms and live better lives.

Shades of Blue: Writers on Depression, Suicide and Feeling Blue

Seal Press (2015)

If you are living with depression or suicidal thoughts, you are not alone. Shades of Blue is a compilation of 35 personal stories from people who have experienced depression or who have lost loved ones to suicide. The book surfaces feelings of empathy and compassion as these compelling writers bravely share their most personal accounts. Weaving through themes of hopelessness, desperation, loss and acceptance, this book is both heart-wrenching and relatable for those who have experienced a similar struggle.



All the Things We Never Knew: Chasing the Chaos of Mental Illness

Seal Press (2015)

Reporter Sheila Hamilton highlights the tragedy that comes from missing or ignoring the signs of a mental health condition in her book, All the Things We Never Knew, Shelia shares her personal narrative of losing her husband to suicide shortly after he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Not only did she have to recover from the grief of her loss, she was also left alone to care for their young daughter and manage the mountain of debt her husband left behind. The story takes you through their whole relationship starting at the beginning until a year after his death. It paints a picture of the unraveling of their family as his symptoms worsened and the grief Sheila faced after losing him. This is a story that any person who has lost a loved one to suicide can relate to.

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