2021 Book Review

Jan 18, 2022

 by Morgan Fontaine

Anyone that knows me knows I'm a huge fan of reading. They also know that I'm a huge fan of reflection. So every year I keep track of the books I read and then I do a review of each at the end of that year. 2021 was light for me...I lost a lot of motivation for anything book related and took a break for a few months. That being said I'm back on track for this year and am ready to crush it! Check out the books I read in 2021 below.


1. The Body Keeps The Score, by Bessell Van Der Kolck

This book had been on my radar for a while. The author talks about how truama literally reshapes your brain and body and how it effects sufferers’ capacities for pleasure, engagement, self-control, and trust. He explores innovative treatments - from neurofeedback and meditation to sports, drama, and yoga - which got me thinking and using alternative methods than what I had been using. This book is not for the faint of heart. If you've suffered a significant trauma and want to explore how it has effected you (if you think it hasn't or that it was minimal, think again) this will be very insightful to you.


2. It Didn't Start With You, by Mark Wolynn 

This book was a good way to start the year for me. It was all about how when entangled, you unconsciously carry the feelings, symptoms, behaviors, or hardships of an earlier member/generation of your family system as if these were your own. Viewed in this way, it shows that the traumas we inherit or experience firsthand can not only create a legacy of distress, but also forge a legacy of strength and resilience that can be felt for generations to come. And, if we are getting personal here, that is something that I have struggled with for a long time. It helped put some pieces together for me that were previously missing...there were a few "oh shit" moments if you will. The author included some really amazing life stories and really helpful tools to aid in self healing. If you're struggling with something and you don't know why or if your family is very hush hush about something or you just feel like something doesn't make sense I would highly recommend.


3. You Are The Placebo, by Dr. Joe Dispenza

My favorite thing about this book was the studies done and the statistics. Belief can be so strong that pharmaceutical companies use double- and triple-blind randomized studies to try to exclude the power of the mind over the body when evaluating new drugs. In this book the author shares numerous documented cases of those who reversed cancer, heart disease, depression, crippling arthritis, and even the tremors of Parkinson’s disease by believing in a placebo. He also uses case studies of how others have gotten sick and even died the victims of a hex or voodoo curse - or after being misdiagnosed with a fatal illness. I was never someone who believed in the power of the mind and belief, so I knew it was something I should read. I'm glad I did because it has drastically changed how I think and how I work with my own clients. If you think your thoughts don't matter and dont effect you physically, I challenge you to read this book.


 4. Feelings Buried Alive Never Die..., by Karol Kuhn Truman 

I wanted to read this book because I have always buried my feelings. I was always afraid of having or showing emotion-especially "bad" emotions like anger or sadness. They were scary and I learned at a young age that feelings were bad and bad things happened if you expressed them. So obviously when I started going to therapy I had a really hard time being able to feel or even name/identify a feeling. This book was a great resource in getting in touch with those emotions, which the author explains, can distort not only happiness but also health and well-being. The author lists 750 different feelings...I didn't even know there were that many! The author helps identify problem areas, and offers a "script" to help process the feelings, replacing the negative feeling with a new, positive outlook. She also includes a chapter on the possible emotions below the surface in various physical ailments gives the reader plenty to work with on a deep healing level. If you have had issues feeling or identifying emotions you need to read this book. If you think you're good at feeling and identifying emotions, you could improve and should still read this book.....


5. The Biology Of Belief, by Bruce H. Lipton

This was probably my least favorite book I have ever read in my entire life. No exageration. It was way too sciency for me and went deep into epiginetics (the study of how your behaviors and environment can cause changes that affect the way your genes work), quantum physics, and cell biology which is not something I enjoy nor want to really understand on a deep level.  Since this pubook was published it is now widely recognized by scientists that genes and DNA do not control our biology. Instead, they are controlled by signals from outside the cell, including energetic messages emanating from our thoughts. (Something the general public and doctors still do not understand or even recognize....stop blaming being overweight on your genes. Your genes don't tell you to overeat and under exercise. Or stop saying you have a bad left knee because your dad has a bad left knee. There is literally no correlation.) But anyway, I have a surface level understanding of this stuff and I'm glad I read the book. There were some helpful studies and insights and this book is continuing to revolutionize our understanding of the link between mind and matter. When we transform our conscious and subconscious thoughts, we transform our lives - and in the process, we help humanity evolve to a new level of understanding and peace. If you're curious about how your behaviors and environment can cause changes that affect the way your genes work this book is for you. 


6. Mind Gym, by Mack Casstevens

This was a nice short read after a few really heavy books. In this book, the author (a sports psychologist), explains how your mind influences your performance on the field or on the court as much as your physical skill does, if not more so. Through forty accessible lessons and inspirational anecdotes from prominent athletes-many of whom he has worked with-you will learn the same techniques and exercises he uses to help elite athletes build mental "muscle." This book will give you the "head edge" over the competition. This is a very easy read and I recommend this book to all of my athletes whether I coach them on the soccer field or coach them in the weight room. You need this book, whether you're an athlete or not. Because who doesn't want to be better?


7. The Time Keeper, by Mitch Albom

Mitch Albom is my favorite fiction author...and I don't even like fiction. If you don't know him you need to read his books Tuesdays With Morrie, The Five People You Meet In Heaven, and The Sixth Person You Meet In Heaven. He has others but those are the ones I have read and are his most popular. I have read all 4 of those books twice now. Every book every time I read it I ball my eyes out and learn so much. He is a FANTASTIC writer and there are SO many life lessons. His books pull at your heart and your mind every freakin time. I hate it but I love it. And the Time Keeper is no different. In this book, he writes a compelling fable about the first man on earth to count the hours. It's about time and the burden time has put on us. And that's all I'm going to tell you. Even if you don't enjoy fiction, I don't know how you wouldn't enjoy this book or any of his others. Definitely check them out!


I hope you check out some of these books. If you do, let me know what you think!