My Name is Leon (Penguin, 2017)

Image courtesy of ©Penguin

Title:

My Name is Leon

Author:

Kit de Waal

Review…

Opinion in short:

This one is a beauty.

It’s about the journey of an 8 year old boy into foster care. It’s both a moving and uplifting book. It might be about “work stuff” for many of us – but it reinforces all the reasons why we do the job – to help troubled kids get through tough stuff!

 

Continue reading…

Talk Like TED: The 9 Public Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds (Macmillan, 2014)

Image courtesy of ©Macmillan

Image courtesy of ©Macmillan

Title:

Talk Like TED

Subtitle: 

9 Public Speaking Secrets From the World’s Top Minds

Author: 

Carmine Gallo

Review…

Opinion in short: Interesting, well-organised and full of illustrations. Not short on inspiration either. Best of all it’s eminently practical. If you train, present, speak or otherwise find yourself talking to groups of people publicly, you should buy this.

Star rating 5

 

Continue reading…

Read more about this book on Amazon…

Small Great Things… (Hodder & Stoughton, 2016)

Image courtesy of ©Hodder & Stoughton

Image courtesy of ©Hodder & Stoughton

Title:

Small Great Things

Subtitle:

N/A

Author:

Jodie Picoult

Review…

Opinion in short:

This isn’t a “work book” in the normal sense. But it’s a book that will certainly twist your dials and get you thinking. It’s a book about racism – but it rocks! It’s not technical or academic in the usual sense, but it has sooo much to say.

It’s a compelling story that tackles all the major issues…and then some. I read it in a couple of days over the holidays and loved it. Comparisons with “To Kill A Mockingbird” shouldn’t be made lightly. But they can be made here with some merit.

Continue reading…

To read more about this book on Amazon – click here…

Chicken Soup for the Soul – Teens Talk Tough Times (Chicken Soup for the Soul, 2013)

Image courtesy of ©Chicken Soup for the Soul

Image courtesy of ©Chicken Soup for the Soul

Title:

Chicken Soup for the Soul – Teens Talk Tough Times

Subtitle:

Stories About the Hardest Parts of Being a Teenager

Author:

Jack Canfield & Mark Victor Hansen – Edited by Amy Newmark

Review…

Opinion in short:

Star rating 3.5

This one left me in a quandary. It’s not a fun read by any stretch. But there’s something extremely poignant about it – almost shocking. As an adult it’s so easy to dismiss much of what teenagers go through. To look down on it – just a little bit.

This book will challenge that. There are some heart-warming stories of genuine joy and some that leave you cold with dread – at what can happen. ALL of them underline the sense that we look down on teenagers and their experiences at our peril…

Continue reading…

Read more about this book on Amazon…

Mindfulness for the Frazzled (Penguin Life, 2016)

book-frazzled-ruby-wax

Image courtesy of ©Penguin Life

Title:

A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled

Author:

Ruby Wax

Publisher:

Penguin Life

Review…

Opinion in short: An easy to read  beginners guide to a subject often made overly complex. Witty, practical, balanced and searingly honest. Fans of Ruby Wax won’t be disappointed!

Star rating 3.5

Continue reading…

Read more about this book on Amazon…

How To Win Friends & Influence People… (Vermilion, New Ed. 2006)

Image courtesy of ©Vermillion

Image courtesy of ©Vermillion

Title:

How to Win Friends and Influence People

Author:

Dale Carnegie

Publisher:

Vermillion

Review…

Opinion in short:

Star rating 5

 

I first read this book when I was about 18 or 19 years old. It really twisted my dials and got me thinking back then. Just finished another run through and it’s just as impactive today. If you want to connect with people better – don’t hesitate, just buy it. It’s a blinder and an absolute bargain at around £6. The audio book, though more pricey, is very well narrated and easy to listen to.

Continue reading…

Read more about this book on Amazon…

The Neurobiology of “We”… (Sounds True Inc.,U.S.)

Image courtesy of ©Sounds True Inc.

Image courtesy of ©Sounds True Inc.

Title:

The Neurobiology of “We”

Subtitle:

How Relationships the Mind and the Brain Interact to Shape Who We Are

Author:

Dr Daniel J. Siegel

Review…

Opinion in short:

This one is only available on Audiobook, as far as I can tell… Those who’ve heard me talk about Dr Siegel’s book on The Developing Mind, will know how much I rate it. It’s one of the best books I’ve ever read and easily the best on attachment, relationships and the brain.

This set of recordings on The Neurobiology of “We” is very similar in content and makes up for the fact that the Developing Mind isn’t available on audiobook. I loved it!

Continue reading…

Read more about this on Amazon…

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success (Robinson, 2012)

Image ©Robinson publishing

Image ©Robinson publishing

Title:

Mindset

Subtitle:

The New Psychology of Success

Author:

Carol Dweck

Review…

Opinion in short:

Star rating 4

A book which lays out the notion of having a growth mindset. This is explained and contrasted with the fixed mindset. The author goes through how the growth mindset applies to parenting, education, relationships and business. Well worth a read – I’ve already changed the way I praise my kids…

Continue reading…

Read more about this book on Amazon…

The Teenage Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Survival Guide to Raising Adolescents and Young Adults (Harper Paperbacks, 2016)

Teenage Brain book

Image courtesy of ©Harper Paperbacks

Title:

The Teenage Brain

Subtitle:

A Neuroscientist’s Survival Guide to Raising Adolescents and Young Adults

Author:

Frances E. Jensen M.D. with Amy Ellis Nutt

Review…

Opinion in short:

Star rating 4

A must-read book for brain info junkies. Not for those looking for practical “how to” solutions. Technical and accessible. A definite for those working with troubled young people – or those parents who want more info on the inner-workings of the teen/s they love!

Continue reading…

Read more about this book on Amazon…

The Chimp Paradox (Random House, 2012)

This is my first completed book of 2016. I want to start making book reviews a bigger feature of the website – so here goes…

Image courtesy ©Random House Publishing

Image courtesy ©Random House Publishing

Title:

The Chimp Paradox

Subtitle:

The Acclaimed Mind Management Programme to Help you Achieve Success, Confidence and Happiness

Author:

Prof. Steve Peters

Opinion in short:  

Star rating 3.5

Overall, a book well worth reading. A bit too long – the main juicy stuff is in the first 3 or 4 chapters, but there are some helpful application sections later on.

Very good for illustrating the difference between different parts of the human psyche, with tons of examples and illustrations on how to apply it all.

Continue reading…

Read more about this book on Amazon…

Child Development: A Practical Introduction (London: SAGE, 2014)

Photo ©SAGE

Photo ©SAGE

I’ve just bought this book, as I was looking for something up to date on child development.

Next week I’m training for three days soon on attachment, the neurobiological impact of trauma, behavioural responses to abuse, etc. and wanted to read something to refresh the old brain cells.

This book looks like just the job. I’ve read the sections on brain development and Piagetian child development and they were excellent. It’s summarises the issues very well and the language is clear and accessible – free from the usual labyrinthine academic terminology (see what I mean!). Clear and simple is better.

Kevin also provides additional reading tips, questions to encourage learning and bullet point summaries of each chapter. It’s a book worth having for anyone working with children and young people.

I’ll write more when I’ve finished reading it.

My next post will probably be about the need for people working with troubled young people to know their child development. This book will be a good prep for that…