Book Review: The New Face of Grief

Book: The New Face of Grief

Author: Katie Rössler

Genre: Contemporary, Self-Help, Non-fiction

Review Copy: Reedsy Discovery

Available at: Amazon.in

Recommended: Must Read!

The New Face of Grief is a relevant book because grief is omnipresent in human life. Through the global pandemic, grief is a prevailing emotion. This work aims to help us not to make grief omnipotent in our life.

The author, Katie Rössler, highlights important concepts that we relegate to the background. Grief is not always about death, illness, and separation. Grief abounds in more sub-categories than we realize and accept. For example, a change of location, getting married, or changing jobs may cause grief and it is not just a passing emotion. At the onset, she sets the pace, “The reality, dear reader, is that the journey of grief cannot be rushed.”

The book is full of wisdom, neatly laid down in concise chapters. Initially, I felt the author unnecessarily seemed to justify writing this book because of her personal traumatic experiences. Once you get past that there are real grief stories, too. You find a comprehensive yet deep inquiry into everything within and beyond grief. It touches on ignored topics like humor as a tool to tackle grief, or when grief becomes a family matter.

The New Face of Grief

This book is relevant for those who want to understand and tackle their grief and for caretakers or loved ones to learn how to help a grieving person. While judging and shaming are not expected, telling someone to pull themselves out of “the pit” is also not acceptable. Grief-handling is a delicate and mostly long process that is shrouded in diverse social and emotional inhibitions. However, grief should not be hampered by guilt or the demands to spur back to normal. There are no rules of grief.  

The author addresses important aspects of grief that may lead to addiction, depression, and physical and mental ailments. There is power in “ugly crying” and there are “deeper lessons” in the process of grieving. Part 3 of the book is engrossing as it highlights the manifestations of grief in both physical and mental terms. In the end, she talks about the tools of healing.

This book is a succinct treasure trove of all grief-related questions and challenges. I recommend this as a handbook for yourself and also your loved ones. We cannot face what we do not understand. When we find a simple guide, like in the pages of this book, the journey may feel less lonely and far less intimidating.

Book Review: Brainstorming with Da Vinci

The content is succinct and well-structured; all points neatly stand out with appropriate formatting and as lists. Chapters are not overwhelming in length but pack a punch. It is a book for a deep-dive; it is a book for reference. It is the perfect material to quote in your next TED talk or podcast. It will inspire you to brainstorm, making it an effective companion guide.

Book: Brainstorming with Da Vinci: An Entertaining Approach to Lead and Inspire Teams to Generate Big Ideas

Author: Eric Bowe

Genre: Contemporary, Nonfiction, Business Management

Review Copy: Reedsy

Available at: Amazon.in

Recommended: Must Read!

I picked up Brainstorming with Da Vinci for its fascinating title and was not disappointed by my choice. Brainstorming is a term mostly flung around corporate boardrooms and big organisations riding the trend of innovation and acceleration. However, Eric Bowe highlights that brainstorming is not limited to business or science etymology. The term has significance in various facets of life, including poetry, art, and music. 

Leonardo Da Vinci is an appropriate poster boy for the skill of deep thinking and execution, with an eclectic personality and curiosity in myriad subjects. The writer encourages that the medium does not matter and even dreams that fail can be instrumental in success. 

The book premise is how an intellect like Da Vinci may have used brainstorming as a tool in an illustrious and creative career. There are insights into the thinking process and methods of some of the most artistic and adored people we know – Lady Gaga, Mick Jagger, Jay Z, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Carrie Fisher – the list and areas of influence goes on. This lends the book an invigorating and interesting flavor.

The content is succinct and well-structured; all points neatly stand out with appropriate formatting and as lists. Chapters are not overwhelming in length but pack a punch. It is a book for a deep-dive; it is a book for reference. It is the perfect material to quote in your next TED talk or podcast. It will inspire you to brainstorm, making it an effective companion guide.

The writer has put a lot of thought and effort into this work. He has enjoyed the process. Delightful concept names encompass twenty methods and nine guiding principles to make ideas actionable. Want to know what is a “midnight moment” or an “intellectual sherbet”? Have you ever pondered about the optimum number of people in a brainstorming team and session duration? Well, this and much more are available in this brilliant book!

Bowe’s vast experience says that even a bad idea has potential if treated with expertise and indulged with best practices. You may find suggestions and methods that you vaguely know or have used. However, having a host of ideas, neatly laid out in this concise text form, is the effective refresher course you need. Before you capture your next thought, grab this book, and get an insight on how to brainstorm just right.

Book Review: A Million Things To Ask A Neuroscientist

Book: A Million Things To Ask A Neuroscientist: The brain made easy

Author: Mike Tranter

Genre: Teens and Young Adult (13+), Non-Fiction, Science, Neuroscience

Review Copy: Reedsy.com

Also available at: Amazon.in

When the first word in a book is as casual as OK, you wonder if it is of any merit. A quick walk into the preface and you realize the power of this book is in its simplicity. A deep-dive and you are engrossed in the complex world of the brain but in a fun way through this book.

A Million Things To Ask A Neuroscientist – the brain made easy is listed for ages 12+ but I would recommend it for at least Grade 9 and above. Written in a succinct style, it contains some scientific terms that may disengage a younger reader. For anyone into the basics of the science of the brain and fiery neurons filled with questions about how this super organ works and controls the human body, this is one fascinating read.

Mike Tranter, a neuroscientist from the UK, living in California, embellishes this book with some easy diagrams and a lucid style that maintains the depth of the subject but with an informal tone. Complex neuroscience mechanisms are explained with daily life examples. As an avid reader of books related to the brain and the unknown areas that are still waiting to be discovered or fully explained, I found this book to be informative and engaging. From learning about the brain-blood-barrier to the fact of neurogenesis, it draws you into the captivating world of grey and white matter.

The text centers on positive messaging, as it talks about the effect of drugs, addiction, withdrawals, depression, social coupling, the power of learning languages, and recovery after injuries, amongst other things. It is almost like being in an exciting classroom with an amazing teacher who brings the subject home.

The concepts discussed are as intriguing as the brain itself – from lucid dreaming to nightmares, dream incubation and dream prophecy, fear, memories, intelligence, to whether scientists understand how anesthesia works, to the question of whether memories can be transferred to a device using technology. It touches on esoteric aspects of consciousness, meditation, syndromes, and a pertinent query – are male and female brains different? This is just 2/3rd of the book content – there is more to learn and know – so grab a copy!

This book is a thrilling ride and literally food for thought. It does not answer all the teeming questions, for example, I wanted to know about migraines. Well, it is a book that deserves a sequel. The cover design is bright and inviting, and the content is worthy of your time and attention. For more insight, read Mike’s article on why and how he wrote this book.

Writing Prompt-ly

“Everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” – Sylvia Plath

Flashback! Go back to your school days – Recall the essay writing classes and competitions. The first step of these activities was the “topic.” Cut back to the present day. As a writer, you must be aware of the concept of writing prompts. Simply stated, writing prompts are topics on which you focus to create various forms of literary output – blogs, stories, nano-tales, poems, essays, novellas – the list is endless.

Writing prompts occur in many forms – a single word, a phrase, a situation, a foreign word, an image, an opening sentence, a first and/or last word or phrase, three terms that must be used somewhere in the passage, words that should be used for inspiration but not actually used in the piece of writing, a popular song, a word whose antonym or synonym should be used, or a character/situation sketch. Prompts may be genre-specific, example, horror, fantasy, romance, science-fiction, and so on.

Continue reading “Writing Prompt-ly”
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