Elliott on Healthy Relationships, Smallin Tackles Clutter, Wehrenberg on Anxiety | Self-Help Reviews, December 2014

The New Year’s offerings begin with guidance on making life more enjoyable and even exciting through embracing surprise, rediscovering one’s creative self, and clearing out the impediments of resentments and fear. Targeted books lead readers through trauma, ADHD, and addiction. As in most columns, there is a wealth of advice for dating and finding love—this month one is aimed at those who have introverted personalities and another is for people who have suffered bad breakups.

gettingbackoutthere121514Elliott, Susan J. Getting Back Out There: Secrets to Successful Dating and Finding Real Love After the Big Breakup. Da Capo. Jan. 2015. 256p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780738216836. pap. $14.99; ebk. ISBN 9780738216843. SELF-HELP

Elliott, creator of the blog Getting Back Out There, leads readers through the steps of attaining success in the next relationship, using an approach that helps us to recognize, evaluate, and change the negative patterns that have sabotaged previous partnerships. She organizes her advice into the “Five Rs”: Readiness, Rejection, Recycling, Rebounding, and Retreating, and demonstrates, via case studies and personal accounts, how to handle snags along the way. Elliott’s experience as a lawyer and grief counselor buoys her suggestions, such as creating a compatibility checklist and deciding which attributes are unacceptable and which ones are negotiable. VERDICT Extremely encouraging for those who wish to build a healthy relationship and get on with life.

clearclutter121514redstarSmallin, Donna. Clear the Clutter, Find Happiness: One-Minute Tips for Decluttering and Refreshing Your Home and Your Life. Storey. Dec. 2014. 287p. ISBN 9781612123516. pap. $10.95; ebk. ISBN 9781612123523. SELF-HELP

The last thing any time-challenged, unorganized person needs is a psychological analysis of disorganization and ways to correct one’s thought processes. Smallin (The One-Minute Organizer Plain & Simple, 2008) delivers practical and easy tips that teach us to save time, remove piles of clutter, and have fun doing other things. Advice ranges from practicing random acts of organizing to emptying the car trash bag when stopping for gas. ­Smallin also provides methods for cleaning out closets and sorting through clothes. VERDICT The beauty of the book is in its simplicity. Perfect for New Year’s resolutions to become more organized.

anxietybusters121514Wehrenberg, Margaret. The 10 Best Anxiety Busters: Simple Strategies To Take Control of Your Worry. Norton. Jan. 2015. 288p. ISBN 9780393710762. pap. $13.95; ebk. ISBN 9780393710779. SELF-HELP

Psychologist Wehrenberg illustrates ways to relieve physical symptoms of anxiety, sooth the uneasy mind, and change anxious behaviors. Techniques for conquering bodily angst include going outside for a short walk or simply stretching, while ideas for mental relief consist of doing the worst thing first or remembering that panic is unpleasant but not lethal. To promote behavior change, ­Wehrenberg suggests controlling too much activity and rehearsing potentially stressful situations. A particularly helpful section lists tips on handling common scenarios that can be a source of strain: meeting new people, saying no, and vacationing. VERDICT Excellent for a quick fix with some depth supporting it.

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The following titles are reviewed in this month's print issue.
Visit Book Verdict for the full reviews.

Bloomston, Carrie. The Little Spark: 30 Ways To Ignite Your Creativity. Stash: C&T. 2014. 128p. photos. ISBN 9781607059608. pap. $19.95; ebk. ISBN 9781607059615. SELF-HELP

Clark, David A. The Mood Repair Toolkit: Proven Strategies To Prevent the Blues from Turning into Depression. Guilford. 2014. 292p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781462509386. pap. $14.95; ebk. ISBN 9781462516223. SELF-HELP

Dembling, Sophia. Introverts in Love: The Quiet Way to Happily Ever After. Perigee. Jan. 2015. 208p. index. ISBN 9780399170614. pap. $15; ebk. ISBN 9780698159242. SELF-HELP

The Forgiveness Handbook: Spiritual Wisdom and Practice for the Journey to Freedom, Healing and Peace. Skylight Paths. 2014. 256p. ed. by SkyLight Paths Eds. notes. ISBN 9781594735776. pap. $18.99; ebk. ISBN 9781594735813. SELF-HELP

Smoley, Richard. The Deal: A Guide to Radical and Complete Forgiveness. Tarcher. Jan. 2015. 176p. ISBN 9780399172137. $16.95; ebk. ISBN 9780698178007. SELF-HELP

Jay, Debra. It Takes a Family: A Cooperative Approach to Lasting Sobriety. Hazelden. 2014. 350p. notes. ISBN 9781616495343. pap. $15.95; ebk. ISBN 9781616495626. SELF-HELP

Kieves, Tama. A Year Without Fear: 365 Days of Magnificence. Tarcher. Jan. 2015. 416p. ISBN 9780399173530. pap. $15.95. SELF-HELP

Luna, Tania & Leeann Renninger. Surprise: Embrace the Unpredictable and Engineer the Unexpected. Perigee. Apr. 2015. 207p. notes. bibliog. ISBN 9780399169823. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9780698157095. SELF-HELP

Matlen, Terry. The Queen of Distraction: How Women with ADHD Can Conquer Chaos, Find Focus, and Get More Done. New Harbinger. 2014. 200p. bibliog. ISBN 9781626250895. pap. $16.95; ebk. ISBN 9781626250918. SELF-HELP

Tate, Carson. Work Simply: Embracing the Power of Your Personal Productivity Style. Portfolio. Jan. 2015. 284p. index. ISBN 9781591847304. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9780698161832. SELF-HELP

Zimberoff, Diane & David Hartman. Overcoming Shock: Healing the Traumatized Mind and Heart. New Horizon. Dec. 2014. 288p. bibliog. ISBN 9780882824802. pap. $15.95. SELF-HELP

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