Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Gifted Gabaldon Sisters

You can't help falling in love with the crazy, gifted Gabaldon Sisters. After their beloved Pueblo Indian caretaker, Fermina, dies, the four sisters are left with special gifts. Slowly, and with remarkable ease, these gifts (abilities, really) show themselves - healing hands, ability to make others laugh, skill in telling stories and power to curse others. Ultimately, it is not the skills that Fermina has left behind but something much more personal and intimate...a truth that will help the girls define family and love.

To Hell and Back

In this heartbreaking memoir, Samira Bellil relates the world of an immigrant living in the surburban ghettos outside of Paris. Leaving no stone or fact unturned, Bellil tells a tale of male dominance, an imposed code of silence where no woman discusses their abuse and a world of terror and imprisonment. Gang-raped at a young age by a group of young men outside the housing project, Bellil lives a life on the streets after being thrown out by her Algerian father. With difficulty, she ultimately faces her rapists and turns her life around. An astonishing story of immigrant life in France today, this book leaves a lasting impression.

Defenders of the Heart

In their first book, Defenders of the Heart: Managing the Habits and Attitudes That Block You from a Richer, More Satisfying Life (Hay House, November 4, 2008), psychotherapists and authors Marilyn Kagan, LCSW, and Neil Einbund, Ph.D., tackle the ten most common defense mechanisms and offer advice on how to protect your heart and lead a richer and more satisfying life.

In this transformative book, Kagan and Einbund, well-known therapists in the Los Angeles area, help readers discover the frequent habits and attitudes (denial, procrastination, passive-aggressive, projection, rationalization, intellectualization, humor, displacement, sublimation, and altruism) that are used to guard our hearts against being hurt. Over time, these mechanisms, which the authors have coined “Defenders of the Heart,” can become habitual and overly entrenched. In one way or another, they are at the base of nearly all of our bouts with dissatisfaction and depression. Defenders of the Heart delivers a strong basic understanding of these ten defenders, and shows how to recognize which ones are sabotaging your life, and offers a comprehensive tool set to break free of their life-limiting powers.

Each chapter is devoted to a specific Defender and opens with a clear definition, what the authors label as a “DEFENDAPEDIA,” followed with a succinct explanation that demystifies the clinical terminology. Included are numerous examples of the personal struggles and victories of a variety of people that illustrate these points. Kagan and Einbund write about the process that they usually follow when patients come to them for therapy. In their clinical work with patients, they help them to the events and interactions that might have triggered a specific Defender.

Kagan and Einbund devote an entire chapter to the personal stories of celebrities (Ryan Seacrest, Wendi Jo Sperber, Patrick Dempsey) who went through their own Defender trials and tribulations. These narratives are in their own words, which Kagan and Einbund label as "Talk Stories," after the Hawaiian tradition of oral story-telling. Here, readers will learn how these celebrities reached into themselves to make peace with their own Defenders and transform their specific habits and attitudes into a resource that worked for them rather than against them.
The book also includes a bibliography and recommended resources for readers who want further information. Visit for more information