Saturday, October 17, 2009

How to Use Herbs, Nutrients & Yoga in Mental Health Care

Genre: Health/Psychology

Title: How to Use Herbs, Nutrients & Yoga in Mental Health Care

Authors: Richard P. Brown, MD Patricia L. Gerbarg, MD Philip R. Muskin, MD

This impressive, essential guidebook made me really take the time to read. As someone with a health care background and a person that suffers from some of the problems discussed, I learned and absorbed a great deal of useful and new information.

Striding along with today’s world of knowledge, where the consumer has the option of taking care of their own healthcare choices, these doctors/teachers have collectively researched, shared their outstanding knowledge, added a large dose of experience and produced an encyclopedia style, resource book. Their work instructs us on the integration of herbs, hormones, vitamins and Yoga with Western Style pharmaceuticals. The empathy is directed towards Mental Health Care.

Instead of just suggesting the herbs are good for a certain affliction, they systematically explain how each one works and why. They are not shy about the possible adverse effects, especially when mixing with medications or physical problems. I now have further insight into many subjects such as Alzheimer’s disease and what really happens to the brain. Using concise points, called Clinical Pearls, Case Studies and Tables, we learn how an herb like Rhodiola rosea can be taken alone or in combination with other medications. I believe I now truly understand how long term effects of continuous trauma or stress can physically affect our brain.

Ultimately the goal is complete remission, but even if the amount of prescription chemicals consumed could be cut down or the benefits enhanced with fewer detrimental side effects to the physical body, a huge benefit would be achieved. Am I passionate about the possibilities? Yes! I watch someone close to me deteriorate on a daily basis, her condition now being blamed on the adverse effects of years of the ingestion of pain medications, after multiple invasive surgeries.

Written in understandable layman’s terms, it is precisely detailed and should be an addition to the library of all mental healthcare providers, educators and health resource facilities. Many subjects are covered including ADD, Menopause, Cancer, Fibromyalgia, Arthritis and more. With textbook accuracy, the authors include a resource guide, glossary and index.

Dr. Brown is an expert in herbal medicine, first learning about plant medicine from his grandfather, in the hills of Kentucky. He teaches full-day courses on Integrative Psychiatry.

Dr. Brown has participated in yoga and meditative practices for over 30 years and is a certified teacher.

Dr. Gerbarg has lectured on a range of topics in psychiatry and psychoanalysis. She has become increasingly involved in research and writing about alternative and complementary medicine as well as the health benefits of mind-body practices.

Dr. Muskin’s specialties are psychosomatic medicine, psychopharmacology, and psychological aspects of medical illness. He teaches subjects such as mood disorders, AIDS, panic disorder and much more.

It is with applause, that I Highly Recommend this book. Reviewer: Cheryl Ellis, Allbook Reviews

Available through or your local bookseller.

Title: How to Use Herbs, Nutrients & Yoga in Mental Health Care
Authors: Richard P. Brown, MD Patricia L. Gerbarg, MD Philip R. Muskin, MD
Publisher: W. W. Norton
ISBN-13: 978-0-393-70525-6
Pages: 441
Price: USA $34.95 CAN $38.50 July 2009

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Short stories collection with outstanding characters!

Genre: FICTION (collection of seven short stories)
The best thing about this collection of short stories is the author’s outstanding skill at character development. I’m a huge fan of books that are character-driven; in fact, much more so than plot-driven. The reason for that? Well, if the characters captivate me, then I’m happy with the story, no matter what happens. And Bergstad’s seven short stories are definitely page-turners, for exactly that reason.
Screwing the Pooch features stories built around themes such as coming of age, romance, truth and humility, alcoholism, rape, murder, horror and redemption. In virtually all of the stories, the author employs characters that leap off the page, along with compelling narrative, vivid use of sensory scene setting, and rich metaphors, successfully drawing us into his worlds. A couple of his stories required extensive backstory, which the author was able to skillfully disperse, yet not detract from the story flow. Ask any writer, this is not easily done. The first tale, Milton’s Pickle, has a coming of age theme revolving around a seven-year-old boy who comes to terms with a neurotic, imbalanced mom and schoolyard bullies. The next story, Bear Claw at the Coffee Caker, is a romantic tale involving a blind ex-football star and a waitress with a damaging and shameful past. The Puppy Murders is another coming of age story, dealing with boyhood bravado. I particularly liked the way the author handled the prepubescent dialogue and emotions. The fourth yarn, called The Brass Rail, was my favorite: a naked and shocking yarn about an alcoholic. Bergstad knows the disease of alcoholism well and it shows in this gritty, realistic portrayal, which culminates in a very sobering ending. Rot Like Me, the next story (and my runner-up favorite), is just Pure-D ol’ fantastically written horror. The author treats us with his excellent grasp of locker room banter and some chilling, gruesome scenes that’d make Stephen King squirm. And just when you think the horror has ended, there’s more to come. The sixth tale, Dear Daniel, deals with a letter from a remorseful father to his son and harkens back to the 1950’s: cherry hot rods, Ethyl gas, Glasspack mufflers, drive-in movies, Lucky Lager beer, ‘church keys’, and Pall Mall cigarettes. Toss in the horror of a hit and run accident and you’ve got an engaging premise. And the final story, Hank Straker, SA, starts out as a depressing tale of unendurable loss but ends with an ironic twist and a terrific, satisfying ending.
Well, by now you’ve probably guessed that I’m recommending this collection of short stories. In all honesty, I have to tell you that I thought a couple of them ended a bit too abruptly, but it didn’t matter because the author’s superb character development and scene-setting skills completely compensated for it. Pick up a copy of Screwing the Pooch. You won’t be sorry.
Recommended by reviewer: Jan Evan Whitford, Allbooks Reviews
Published by: Woodside Publishing Group Books. ©2007, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-615-28406-4 Trade Paperback
208 pages
Sept. 2009

A truly unique approach to novel writing

Genre: Literary Fiction
An internet enhanced novel

Title: Until the Deep Water Stills

Author: Michael Robert Dyet

Author, Michael Dyet, has written a tantalizing tale which is further enhanced by internet interaction of the reader. I read this ground-breaking novel in two ways to get the full impact. First I read the book just as a traditional novel. Then I went back and read the book, using the author’s website and his suggested readings, which added dimension to the story and genuine human qualities to the characters.
The first chapter draws in the reader as it introduces two of the five main characters featured in this gripping book. Jayce and Katherine (Kat) have a heated discussion because she no longer wants to be a stay at home Mom and wants to go back to work. Jayce settled himself on the dock needing time to decode what had just happened. “I’m feeling fenced in.” The words rattled around inside his head with the hollow knock of things left unsaid. It was impossible not see that she was unhappy. How unhappy was the critical question. If she went back to work she would be out of radar range. She might begin to believe that she could live without him. The couple is also dealing with the possibility that something could be wrong with their 15-month old baby.
Next we are introduced to Bryan and Grace. Grace is Jayce’s sister and husband to Bryan. Recently they lost their daughter, Sarah, from an accidental drug overdose at a rave party. This seems to be the inmost event which has caused several lives to spin out of control. The question lingers, is love ever enough?
Enter a social activist named Faith that touches each of these characters in different ways. She seems to have the knack to bring out the strongest personality traits in people.
The most engaging thing about this book is how real it seems, especially as you read each of the characters journal entries (on the internet). It is as if you are sneaking a glimpse into the most private parts of a person’s life, showing how fragile and tenuous life really is.
I was reminded time and again, through Mr. Dyet’s writing, how everything we do affects someone else’s life. Those things we do may seem small, but the thread that connects all of us and the synchronicity of our lives is unmistakable.
The well developed characters and the effectively told story, not to mention the striking book cover, create a book that I would highly recommend to others. Michael Robert Dyet has set a new bar for authors. His unique approach to the written word infused with internet enhancement may well be the literary wave of the future.
Reviewed by: Donetta Garman, Allbooks Review

Publisher: Idiomatic
ISBN: 978-0981199504
List price: $16.95

Words at Work by Lynda McDaniel

Genre: Business
Title: Words at Work
Author: Lynda McDaniel
Words at Work is exactly what is says it is, words to be used by professionals in the work environment. McDaniel is a writer and coach and she uses her experience to guide reluctant writers through the pitfalls of poor construction, etiquette and grammar. If you are in business in any capacity that requires written communication, your creation is your calling card, your introduction and ultimately, your resume. In this day of email and instant messages, many of us will never meet the person on the other side. In fact we may never even talk to them on a telephone. You will be judged solely on your written word.
As a professional, I have had the opportunity to read and use the wisdom from many self help books and the key is finding one that is timely, doesn’t demean and is immediately useful. McDaniel achieves this by teaching you the process from beginning to end, including the little used rough draft and self-critique. In order to become a good writer, you need to become your audience. McDaniel shows you how to see your writing through the eyes of others, how to target your audience and how to make more out of less.
I found her insight, experience and teaching style a very nice blend. Whether you are just starting out, well seasoned or just wondering if your style is helping or hurting, Words at Work will give you the answer. It is a great desk reference that I completely recommend.
Reviewed by Allbooks reviewer,Gregory J. Saunders
Association For Creative Business Writing,
ISBN 0-615-30426-5
Price $12.95