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Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma
Peter A. Levine

An alternative to the academic textbook The Body Keeps the Score, Levine walks us through the ways trauma rewires our nervous systems to sense threats. Using our animal cousins as a template, Levine teaches us how to heal from trauma by meeting our physiological needs.

Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving
Pete Walker

A must-read manual for complex trauma, Pete Walker unturns every conceivable stone in his examination of coping with and growing from interpersonal trauma.

Pure by Linda Kay Klein
Pure: Inside the Evangelical Movement that Shamed a Generation of Women
Linda Kay Klein

Through interviews and her own firsthand account, Klein exposes the sexual “purity culture” movement that swept American Christianity in the 90’s and 2000’s, and is still at-large in today’s churches.


Set Boundaries, Find Peace: A Guide to Reclaiming Yourself
Nedra Glover Tawwab

Nedra Tawwab has created a solid guide for well-intentioned people-pleasers and those who find themselves manipulated in relationships. She cross-examines the origins of our social anxieties and empowers us to speak up and act in our own best interests.

The Courage to be Disliked: The Japanese Phenomenon That Shows You How to Change Your Life and Achieve Real Happiness
Ichiro Kishimi

Written as a dialogue between pupil and teacher, this hidden gem introduces us to the “separation of tasks”, inviting us to tend our own emotional gardens and not our neighbors’.


Breath by Breath: The Liberating Practice of Insight Meditation
Larry Rosenberg

For those who haven’t practiced sitting in silence and noticing their breath, it’s hard to describe the type of insights that are available. Rosenberg artfully invites us to watch the quality, pace, and texture of our breath in a way that teaches us what loving curiosity feels like.

Radical Compassion: Learning to Love Yourself and Your World with the Practice of RAIN
Tara Brach

Tara Brach teaches us the importance of Recognizing, Allowing, Investigating, and Nurturing our inner experiences. This book helps us learn to ground ourselves during panic attacks, emotional flashbacks, social anxiety, and other intense emotional experiences.


When Breath Becomes Air
Paul Kalanithi

For those of us who fear death, this memoir paints a portrait of a high-achieving doctor as he leans towards inner peace and acceptance of the inevitable. It offers a gentle exposure to the one aspect of life that most of us cope with by avoidance.

Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress
Steven Pinker

For my social justice burnouts, Steven Pinker zooms us out to take in the whole picture of human progress, reminding us that violence is on the decline and liberalism and human welfare is steadily increasing.

The Inner Life of Animals: Love, Grief, and Compassion
Peter Wohlleben

As a vegan, I have to include this beautiful little book that sheds light on the social and emotional intelligence of our fellow animals. You’ll see yourself in their sense of humor, their habits, quirks, and their capacity to think, feel, and love.


The Perfectionist's Guide to Losing Control: A Path to Peace and Power
Katherine Morgan Schafler

For my high-strung comrades who thrive on excellence and control, this book offers a deep-dive into the types of perfectionism and how to infuse compassion into our process.

An Ordinary Age: Finding Your Way in a World that Expects Exceptional
Rainesford Stauffer

For my fellow Millennials, Stauffer leans into the developmental period of Emerging Adulthood (approximately ages 18-35), redefining “success” while taking into account today’s economic realities. She honors the whole spectrum of achievement and validates the pace each of us takes.


What Have We Done: The Moral Injury of Our Longest Wars
David Wood

For my fellow veterans, Wood paints a picture of the regret and confusion that awaits some servicemembers as they grapple with the ethics and morals of their wartime actions. Many veterans learn they were sold on some harmful ideas, and find they need to unlearn old belief systems in order to grow as compassionate humans.


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