Reviews

September 21

Review: Everything is F*cked: A Book About Hope

Posted by William Berry | Filed under Reviews | No Comments

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I bought “Everything is F*cked: A Book about Hope” shortly after I heard a couple of people talking about it. I knew he had written it, but despite my LOVE for his first book, I wasn’t in a hurry to get it. I felt he had covered life pretty well in “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck”, and maybe didn’t want to be disappointed (it is likely my most recommended book ever, and I have purchased numerous copies as gifts). You can read my review of that book here.

As a therapist I found his first book infinitely helpful in working with clients, and have recommended it to …

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August 23

Review- The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity

Posted by William Berry | Filed under Reviews | No Comments

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It took me a while to read this book. I picked it up because of someone’s recommendation, and being a therapist I thought I might find it helpful. I read about 70 pages or so (of 301) and put it aside for a good while whilst I wrestled with other books. Suddenly I got an influx of clients who were dealing with infidelity, and I quickly went through the remainder.

I had heard of Ester Perel from her TED Talk on “Mating in Captivity” (also a book of hers). I enjoyed the first portion of the book, and felt it did a good job relating what both the betrayed and betrayer (for …

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May 11

Review- It Came From Beyond Zen

Posted by William Berry | Filed under Reviews | No Comments

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I recently finished Brad Warner’s latest book, It Came from Beyond Zen. This was his most recent attempt to share the wisdom of his idol and the creator of the school of Zen he follows, Master Dogen. Several of his books (if not all) have dealt with the teachings of Dogen, and this one followed “Don’t Be a Jerk” in reinterpreting the Shobogenzo, what Warner describes as a tough book to interpret.

It took me a long time to get through this book, and it’s the first of Warner’s I haven’t loved. I found it drier, perhaps more technical, and it seemed to have less of Warner writing about how he applies …

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January 28

Review: Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

Posted by William Berry | Filed under Blog, Reviews | No Comments

I started this book in November, when I also started a Zen book. I added a relationships book that had been recommended to me in December. Of those three books, surprisingly to me, this is easily my favorite. Perhaps that is evident as I finished it first.

It may not be a surprise to my readers that the topic of the book is death (one of my favorite topics). Caitlin Doughty handles the topic with humor but doesn’t shy away from any aspect of the it. Some of the book is her experiences working at a crematory. Some is a journey into her psyche. Some of the book is an education on …

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November 13

Review: Becoming Myself

Posted by William Berry | Filed under Reviews | No Comments

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First, let me explain the picture. Usually I just get the stock photo of the book cover from the web. But for this book I took. Picture of the book, along with other Yalom authored books I own (and there are at least two others I read but can’t find, likely because I lent them, “On the Couch” and “The Gift of Therapy”). In addition to my collection of Yalom books, there is a mug visible on the shelf given to me by someone I mentor. It’s there because of its direction to be more like me you need to do several things, one of which is, “Read and Breathe Yalom”. …

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August 6

Review: The Denial of Death

Posted by William Berry | Filed under Reviews | No Comments

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Ernest Becker’s Pulitzer Prize winning work, “The Denial of Death” kept creeping into my life. I’d see references to it and quotes from it. I decided, as an existentialist, I had to read it.

I absolutely loved the beginning of the book. And by “the beginning” I mean at least the first part. Part 1, “The Depth Psychology of Heroism”, encompasses the first 93 pages of the book and lays out his theory. I love how Becker exalts Freud for his recognition of our ceatureliness (sex and aggression as our main drives) but points out how he came up short in his theory, ignoring our fear of death, perhaps because of his …

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April 9

Review: Against the Stream

Posted by William Berry | Filed under Reviews | No Comments

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A good while ago a former student recommended this book to me. I logged it in the back of my mind, but have been into Brad Warner’s writing of late. (He is another Buddhist author). I thought I had finished all of Warner’s books, and purchased it. It sat on my shelf with other books I purchased and intend to read for a couple of months. Then a few clients and colleagues, in an act of interesting synchronicity, started talking about Refuge Recovery. (Refuge Recovery is a program of Buddhist based addiction recovery meetings). I went to their website, and low and behold, the founder is Noah Levine, the author of …

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March 1

Review- There is No God, And He is Always With You

Posted by William Berry | Filed under Reviews | No Comments

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Looking at the dates on Goodreads, it may appear it took me over a year to read this book. I guess that’s true. But, to be clear, I started it, shelved it to read other, harder texts, and to savor it. I’ve read nearly all of his other books, and don’t see much sense in going backwards to his second (which he’s referenced numerous times in his other books, to the point I feel I’ve gotten the point of it). Anyhow, excuses, excuses.

I really did want to savor it. I loved this book, as I’ve loved his others. I got about half way through it before shelving it to put more …

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January 13

Review- The Eden Project: In Search of the Magical Other

Posted by William Berry | Filed under Reviews | No Comments

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Like most other books I’ve read this year, this took me longer to read than it should have. The book isn’t long, and it’s interesting enough to get through in a short period of time. I definitely enjoyed the book, quoting the author (and others the author quoted) multiple times while reading it.

The book explains the some of the Jungian theory of romantic relationships, specifically how we project onto our beloved and additionally expect them to save us: from death, from the hardships of life, from ourselves.

I remember being awestruck by the book, “We” by Robert Johnson, many years ago. I felt it removed some of the illusion of romantic love, …

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December 25

Existential Psychotherapy

Posted by William Berry | Filed under Reviews | No Comments

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It’s been more than 6 months since I reviewed a book. And this book had been shelved for 7 months, in favor of other reading. The truth is, the size is intimidating. Four-hundred and eighty-six pages. A friend recently told me she bought it on my recommendation, but hasn’t begun it as it is intimidating.

That gives away the review. I loved the book. I was recommending it before I finished it, which I took my time with to savor. I enjoyed reading it immensely. This despite the fact it challenged some of my well-established beliefs. There are also a couple of things I thought a stretch, as the author (my favorite …

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