Thursday, September 7, 2017


Every year when I see that first glimpse of color in the trees, I wonder if I’m ready.  Fall is a time of transition for many people, whether it is simply starting a new school year or a move or a life change.  Peter White Public Library has many new titles that may guide you through your next transition.

If you’re a parent of a teenage girl you may be witnessing changing moods by the minute.  In Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls Through the Seven Transitions into Adulthood, author Lisa Damour, director of the internationally renowned Laurel School's Center for Research on Girls, pulls back the curtain on the teenage years and shows why your daughter's erratic and confusing behavior is actually healthy, necessary, and natural. Untangled explains what's going on, prepares parents for what's to come, and lets them know when it's time to worry.

Tell Me Everything You Don't Remember: The Stroke That Changed My Life is a memoir of survival.   Christine Hyung-Oak Lee woke up with a headache on New Year’s Eve 2006. By that afternoon, she saw the world quite literally upside down. By New Year’s Day, she was unable to form a coherent sentence. After hours in the ER, days in the hospital, and multiple questions and tests, she learned that she had had a stroke. For months, Lee outsourced her memories to her notebook. It is from these memories that she shares her experience.

We have many books that give advice on how to reorganize or enrich your life.  One of these is Let it go: downsizing your way to a richer, happier life by Peter Walsh.  Walsh doesn't see downsizing as a difficult chore, rather, it's a freeing, rejuvenating process. In Let It Go, you'll access Walsh's many tips and practical takeaways, such as how to understand the emotional challenges that accompany downsizing; how to create strategies for working with your spouse, adult kids, or siblings without drama; how to calculate the amount of stuff you can bring into your new life; and how to identify the objects that will bring you real happiness, and the rest that you should let go.

Another such book is Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-lived, Joyful Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans.  Burnett and Evans believe that in order to change, people need a process-- a design process-- to help them figure out what they want and how to create it. Rather than dreaming up a lot of fun fantasies that have no relationship to the real world-- or the real you-- they show us how to build a future brick by brick, how to approach our own life design challenges with curiosity and creativity. They give us the tools and show us certain simple "mind-sets," and how to use them to practice life design.

Author Earl E. Hocquard offers hope to the newly single in his book, Dating Doesn't Have to Be Disastrous Anymore: Rediscovering Who You Are and What You're Looking For.   According to Hocquard, we bring good qualities and personal flaws into our relationships. We bring health and a hurtful past. Quickly, we realize how much work a relationship demands. Each of us can invest good things for great results. It helps to understand: The different dynamics that cause unhealthy, hurtful relationships and those qualities that help grow healthy, inspiring ones; The art of building meaningful skills in communication, listening, conflict resolution, and identifying the values you are seeking in another; how to identify a healthy relationship, how to discern unhealthy ones, and how to bring healing and growth to your past dynamics and wounds."

For those facing the end of life for themselves or a loved one, Caring for the Dying: The Doula Approach to a Meaningful Death describes a whole new way to approach death and dying. It explores how the dying and their families can bring deep meaning and great comfort to the care given at the end of a life. Created by Henry Fersko-Weiss, the end-of-life doula model is adapted from the work of birth doulas and helps the dying to find meaning in their life, express that meaning in powerful and beautiful legacies, and plan for the final days. The approach calls for around-the-clock vigil care, so the dying person and their family have the emotional and spiritual support they need along with guidance on signs and symptoms of dying. It also covers the work of reprocessing a death with the family afterward and the early work of grieving. Emphasis is placed on the space around the dying person and encourages the use of touch, guided imagery, and ritual during the dying process. The guidance provided can help a dying person, their family, and caregivers to transform the dying experience from one of fear and despair into one that is uplifting and even life affirming.

Sometimes the conscious choice not to change can lead to a new relationship with old circumstances.  How we come to feel at home in our towns and cities is what Melody Warnick sets out to discover in This Is Where You Belong: The Art and Science of Loving the Place You Live. She dives into the body of research around place attachment--the deep sense of connection that binds some of us to our cities and increases our physical and emotional well-being--then travels to towns across America to see it in action. Inspired by a growing movement of placemaking, she examines what its practitioners are doing to create likeable locales. She also speaks with frequent movers and loyal stayers around the country to learn what draws highly mobile Americans to a new city, and what makes us stay. The best ideas she imports to her adopted hometown of Blacksburg for a series of Love Where You Live experiments designed to make her feel more locally connected.  Examples are dining with her neighbors, shopping small business Saturday and marching in the town Christmas parade.

--Ellen Moore, Web Developer

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