August 17, 2017

listen to these in the car ....

Listen to one of these books on CD or download an audio book 


These and other similar resources are available for loan to members of AANSW - if you would like to reserve them please email the Library onnsw.library@alzheimers.org.au

You can now borrow popular digital media anytime, anywhere by visiting the e-library at: https://dementia-e-library.overdrive.com and entering your login. 




Into the magic shop : a neurosurgeon's quest to discover the mysteries of the brain and the secrets of the heart

Growing up in the high desert of California, Jim Doty was poor, with an alcoholic father and a mother chronically depressed and paralyzed by a stroke. 
Today he is the director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) at Stanford University, of which the Dalai Lama is a founding benefactor. 

But back then his life was at a dead end until at twelve he wandered into a magic shop looking for a plastic thumb. Instead he met Ruth, a woman who taught him a series of exercises to ease his own suffering and manifest his greatest desires. Her final mandate was that he keep his heart open and teach these techniques to others. She gave him his first glimpse of the unique relationship between the brain and the heart.
 

...But he neglects Ruth’s most important lesson, to keep his heart open, with disastrous results—until he has the opportunity to make a spectacular charitable contribution that will virtually ruin him. Part memoir, part science, part inspiration, and part practical instruction, Into the Magic Shop shows us how we can fundamentally change our lives by first changing our brains and our hearts.


An absent mind : a novel

Seventy-one, and a man accustomed to controlling those around him, Saul finds himself slipping into what he describes as his slow dance with death. 

His ramblings, humor, emotions, lucid moments, and confusion are laid bare, as well as the thoughts and feelings of his loved ones: his wife, Monique, conflicted and depressed, caring yet angry; his daughter, Florence, compassionate, yet proper and reserved; his son, Joey, self-centered and narcissistic, seemingly indifferent to his family's challenges; and his doctor, an Alzheimer's specialist, who cares for Saul until his final days. From the beginning Saul and his family know how it has to end, because no one has ever outsmarted Alzheimer's. But as they navigate the meandering road that will eventually bring Saul's demise, they leave behind their once disconnected lives and come together to weather their difficult journey.



Option B : facing adversity, building resilience and finding joy

After the sudden death of her husband, Sheryl Sandberg felt certain that she and her children would never feel pure joy again. "I was in 'the void,'" she writes, "a vast emptiness that fills your heart and lungs and restricts your ability to think or even breathe." Her friend Adam Grant, a psychologist at Wharton, told her there are concrete steps people can take to recover and rebound from life-shattering experiences. We are not born with a fixed amount of resilience. It is a muscle that everyone can build.
Option B combines Sheryl's personal insights with Adam's eye-opening research on finding strength in the face of adversity. Beginning with the gut-wrenching moment when she finds her husband, Dave Goldberg, collapsed on a gym floor, Sheryl opens up her heart?and her journal?to describe the acute grief and isolation she felt in the wake of his death. But Option B goes beyond Sheryl's loss to explore how a broad range of people have overcome hardships including illness, job loss, sexual assault, natural disasters, and the violence of war. Their stories reveal the capacity of the human spirit to persevere . . . and to rediscover joy.
Resilience comes from deep within us and from support outside us. Even after the most devastating events, it is possible to grow by finding deeper meaning and gaining greater appreciation in our lives. Option B illuminates how to help others in crisis, develop compassion for ourselves, raise strong children, and create resilient families, communities, and workplaces. Many of these lessons can be applied to everyday struggles, allowing us to brave whatever lies ahead. Two weeks after losing her husband, Sheryl was preparing for a father-child activity. "I want Dave," she cried. Her friend replied, "Option A is not available," and then promised to help her make the most of Option B.
We all live some form of Option B. This book will help us all make the most of it.

Against Empathy : The Case for Rational Compassion.
New York Post Best Book of 2016
We often think of our capacity to experience the suffering of others as the ultimate source of goodness. Many of our wisest policy-makers, activists, scientists, and philosophers agree that the only problem with empathy is that we don't have enough of it.
Nothing could be farther from the truth, argues Yale researcher Paul Bloom. In AGAINST EMPATHY, Bloom reveals empathy to be one of the leading motivators of inequality and immorality in society. Far from helping us to improve the lives of others, empathy is a capricious and irrational emotion that appeals to our narrow prejudices. It muddles our judgment and, ironically, often leads to cruelty. We are at our best when we are smart enough not to rely on it, but to draw instead upon a more distanced compassion.
Basing his argument on groundbreaking scientific findings, Bloom makes the case that some of the worst decisions made by individuals and nations--who to give money to, when to go to war, how to respond to climate change, and who to imprison--are too often motivated by honest, yet misplaced, emotions. With precision and wit, he demonstrates how empathy distorts our judgment in every aspect of our lives, from philanthropy and charity to the justice system; from medical care and education to parenting and marriage. Without empathy, Bloom insists, our decisions would be clearer, fairer, and--yes--ultimately more moral.
Brilliantly argued, urgent and humane, AGAINST EMPATHY shows us that, when it comes to both major policy decisions and the choices we make in our everyday lives, limiting our impulse toward empathy is often the most compassionate choice we can make.














Opening the door of your heart
During his wanderings and work over the last 30 years as a Buddhist monk, Ajahn Brahm has gathered many poignant, funny and profound stories. While traditional Buddhist philosophy is at the heart of this collection, these thoughtful stories are written like playful parables, which are used to launch into a deeper exploration of subjects such as mindfulness, suffering, forgiveness, hope, wisdom and unconditional love. Told with wit and good humour, they reveal moments of compassion in the lives of ordinary people and the timeless wisdom of the Buddha's teachings.
book review: I can't praise this book highly enough. Firstly, let me say I have no interest in pursuing Buddhism (or any other religion), and I am also not the type to be found in the "self-help" section. But this book is a thing of absolute beauty. On the two occasions I've read through it - firstly whilst going through a messy breakup in 2008, and again recently whilst confronted with a different flavour of awful - different stories have jumped out at me and helped me find peace. Reading it really is like having a calm, endlessly patient and understanding friend in the room, and I never say this, but I actually would recommend this to everyone. Yes, everyone!


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