Tag Archives: book


I’m currently reading a fantastic book about horrific anxiety called “Agorafabulous: Dispatches from my Bedroom.” It’s a tough read. True, it’s funny – VERY funny. True, the author is a good writer and the words flow well. But also true, it’s painful to get through. Sara Benincasa is such a good writer that you can’t help but feel everything she feels along with her. And what she feels is pain, shame, anxiety, terror – I am only a few chapters in and I know that never before have I fully understood what true anxiety is really like.

I met Sara several years ago – I’m a PR person and she was a reporter. I speak with dozens of reporters, but she stood out because she was so funny and interesting. I remember chatting with her on the phone about nothing in particular because I just couldn’t seem to tear myself away. Her book is like that. Like reading a friend’s journal, and not being able to stop.

I never would have guessed in my truly superficial talks with Sara that she had gone through anything like what she discusses in her book. At the same time, I doubt she would have known that when we were talking, I was battling Crohn’s and – at the time – losing. Because if there’s anything you want when you’re fighting an incurable illness, it’s to be normal.


Lessons Learned from Business (and Other) Books

My friend Wendi loves when I give her the Cliffs Notes version of business books I read. So here goes for all of you, the best books I’ve read lately:


Making money isn’t a business goal. Money will come with success. Focus on becoming great in the thing(s) that make you special. – from Tony Hsieh, founder of Zappos

If a business falls apart after you retire, that is not success. Leaders need to train others to lead after they’re gone. – from Jim Collins in Good to Great

Ideas come from many places, so expose yourself to as much as you can. Meet new people, eat new foods, travel to new places. Soak up everything around you. – from Frans Johansson in The Medici Effect

If you’re unhappy at work, you’ll be unproductive. Your unhappiness will spread to everything in your life. Find what makes you happy, and go for it. Everything around you will benefit. – from We: How to Increase Performance and Profits Through Full Engagement

If you’re a no-nonsense female┬átalent agent in a male-dominated business, never open yourself to anyone. Never. Unless he’s a sexy and brooding documentary producer with a complicated past. – from Nora Roberts


Ew, snow. I’m sick of you.

We got somewhere around 16 inches this week, most of which was within 24 hours. These photos are of our sidewalk, fence and street. I actually made it out of the house and got to work most days this week, which felt like an accomplishment in itself.

Speaking of accomplishment, I’m nerdily excited about the new Foursquare badge, Handmade Hero, which you can get by checking in to any three craft-type stores (including yarn shops, of course.) Did I need a reason to go into these stores? No! But here is one anyway. Love.

Image from Amazon.com

Speaking of knitting and accomplishments, my friend Courtney published a book this week! I ordered it on Amazon and was instantly disappointed that it won’t ship until the end of February. I am dying to see it.

Image from Amazon

And speaking of publishing a book, another fellow I know, Kevin, published his book this week also, and it reached #3 overall on Amazon. I’m excited to read this too! Good stuff.

Therapy Dogs

Great article in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703886904576031521407391768.html?KEYWORDS=doctor%27s+dog

It’s about how therapy dogs can be helpful to psychiatrists. My mom’s training one of her dogs for therapy, and having grown up with dogs myself I know how healing they can be.

From the article:

“Research shows that a few minutes of stroking a pet dog decreases cortisol, the stress hormone, in both the human and the dog. It also increases prolactin and oxytocin, hormones that govern nurturing and security, as well as serotonin and norepinephrine, neurotransmitters that boost mood. One study found that five minutes with a dog was as relaxing as a 20-minute break for hospital staffers.”

An article in the same section discussed the top five health-related books of the year, one of which I’ve blogged about, The Decision Tree. The other that seems very interesting to me is “After the Diagnosis: Transcending Chronic Illness,” by Dr. Julian Seifter.