It’s hard to find really good and useful books. You have to sift through lots of chaff to get to the wheat. Search results usually list bestsellers and books that are heavily marketed and I’ve found that most of them are of little value.
The books listed below are true gems to me. They don’t have many reviews nor a big internet presence, but their pages are filled with substance. Each one has given me something to hold onto, to use, to help me grow and have helped enlighten me bit by bit. They are worth much more than their sticker price.
- One of my favorites. When you read the book, you feel like you’re listening to a very knowledgeable, benevolent, father figure who is talking only to you. I was only able to read a few pages at a time because after doing so, I needed at least a day to absorb the insights I had about myself. I wish the book never ended.
The Power of Negative Thinking – Tony Humphreys
- Although this book’s title plays on the well-known ‘Power of Positive Thinking,’ it is nothing like it. The author is a successful psychotherapist from Wales with decades of experience. In his book he tells us why we think and feel negatively, how it serves us and why we resist change even when we want it. An eye opener and important piece of your psychological puzzle.
Why do I do That – Joseph Burgo
- Know thyself. Another author with solid experience in the field with much to offer. He gets you to take some simple quizzes in the beginning of the book which become relevant later on, as he takes you through each powerful emotion one by one. You’ll see how much of each you experience and where your problem likely lies.
The Drama of being a Child – Alice Miller
- Alice Miller (1923-2010) was a relentless Swiss Psychologist championing the cause to end child abuse in their various forms. She’s seen thousands of clients over her years of practice and talks about the importance of emotional truth and discovery of our early years as critical to healing. She is straightforward and not apologetic in her views.
Human Matters: Wise and Witty Counsel on Relationships, Parenting, Grief and Doing the Right Thing. – Steven Kalas
- A therapist with a weekly column and who is in a way like the dad everyone wished they had. He’s funny and witty and talks about a whole range of subjects from hockey to death and grieving. Despite his casual nature he DOES know his stuff and knows it well. An easy and fun read with something to offer.
Why Good People Do Bad Things: Understanding Our Darker Selves – James Hollis
- Nobody’s therapy could ever be complete without being able to integrate their ‘Shadow’ which was made popular by the late psychologist Carl Jung. This author seems like he could write forever while keeping you captivated the entire time. The premise of the book is about our dark side and about accepting it to be emotionally healthy, lest we let it control us. I’ve read a few of his other books and found them all to be fascinating.
Six books for around $10 each. All worth their weight in gold and all brilliant reading. If you read them diligently and take them seriously, you’re sure never to be the same again. You’ll experience positive growth and leave behind the person you are now.
One therapy session with a psychologist costs on average $150, with 20 sessions being needed at minimum (btw I highly recommend therapy) with most people needing plenty more than that. These 6 books will run you $60 and be the equivalent of hundreds or even thousands of dollars of therapy sessions. One important note is that nothing can really replace therapy. The relationship created between client and practitioner is usually essential for people to break free from their stuck, emotional state.
I’ll add more as I come across them.
Until then, happy reading.