“Tender Morsels” by Margo Lanagan

Recommended to me by: Meloukhia

This is a fairy tale, but no child’s story. It starts with incest and pregnancy and abortion, and continues with gang rape. Then Liga is magically placed in a world that matches her heart’s desire, peaceful and safe.

While examining the consequences of assault and the consequences of avoiding […]

“The Myth of Sanity” by Martha Stout, Ph.D.

Subtitle: Divided Consciousness and the Promise of Awareness; Tales of Multiple Personality in Everyday Life

Recommended to me by: a client

This book contains a therapist’s compassionate, engaging views on people who have Dissociative Identity Disorder (previously known as Multiple Personality Disorder) and how they can heal. Martha Stout discusses both specific cases and […]

“Alchemy of Illness” by Kat Duff

Subtitle: A woman explores the transforming – and, paradoxically, healing – experience of being ill

Recommended to me by: a client

Alchemists strive to turn lead into gold by heating it alone in a sealed container, a crucible. In the crucible of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Kat Duff turned inward and found healing in the […]

“The Girls Come Marching Home” by Kirsten Holmstedt

Subtitle: Stories of Women Warriors Returning from the War in Iraq

Recommended to me by: A client.

I learned so much from these detailed descriptions of nearly 20 women soldiers, their deployments, and their returns to the US. What it’s like to be a soldier in a modern war. What it’s like in the […]

“The Armless Maiden” edited by Terri Windling

Subtitle: And Other Tales for Childhood’s Survivors

This is an anthology of fairy tales retold for adults, with the scary bits left in, and also the bits about resilience and survival. Yes, her father cut off her arms, but then the armless maiden rescues herself and her child through quick wits as well as […]

“In an Unspoken Voice” by Peter A. Levine, PhD

Subtitle: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness

This book is billed as a “culmination of his life’s work” on the back cover. It recapitulates material from Peter Levine’s earlier book “Waking the Tiger” about trauma and the nervous system, and uses many of the same case studies covered in the Somatic Experiencing […]

“CrowHeart” by Keelin Anderson

CROWHEART: becoming unwounded, a memoir of transformation

Recommended to me by: Keelin Anderson

To tell her story of healing from incest and emotional abuse, Keelin Anderson weaves together daily narrative, fiction, quotes, tarot readings, and dreams, all in present tense.

As I read, I saw places where our paths have overlapped, and places where […]

“Leaving the Saints” by Martha Beck

Subtitle: How I Lost the Mormons and Found My Faith

Recommended to me by: Reading Martha Beck’s older books

I first read this years ago and loved it. I came back to it while writing a (forthcoming) article about spiritual abuse and faith. Since I last read it, I read her newer book “Steering […]

“The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down” by Anne Fadiman

Subtitle: A Hmong child, her American doctors, and the collision of two cultures

Recommended to me by: Emily Ross

This is a beautifully written history of the Hmong people from Laos in the 20th century, interwoven with the story of one Hmong family who took refuge in Merced, California. Their daughter Lia Lee had […]

“The Girl Who Fell from the Sky” by Heidi W. Durrow

I wanted to love and learn from this book, but there were too many jarring inconsistencies with my own knowledge.

As a child, Rachel falls 9 stories and her only lasting injury is to the hearing in one ear. With everything I know about physical and psychological trauma, I wanted at least one […]