22 books directly related to psychological trauma 📚

All 22 psychological trauma books as recommended by authors and experts. Updated weekly.

Night. Sleep. Death. The Stars.

By Joyce Carol Oates,

Book cover of Night. Sleep. Death. The Stars.

Why this book?

A powerful parent dies and each of his adult children reacts in startling and unexpected ways -- and his grieving widow in the most surprising way of all. This is an “everything” book. It took over my life. It overwhelmed my brain and mind. The utterly believable characters so generously intermingled and interwoven, familial and dynamic in their pushing and pulling, loving and hating - ignited by a precipitating event so abrupt yet simple, with consequences that spin out of control. Reading this tale, you feel as if you are drowning in a fever dream - Joyce Carol Oates once again as she has since Them (1969), offering innumerable reasons for wonderment.

Night. Sleep. Death. The Stars.

By Joyce Carol Oates,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Night. Sleep. Death. The Stars. as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The bonds of family are tested in the wake of a profound tragedy, providing a look at the darker side of our society by one of our most enduringly popular and important writers


Night Sleep Death The Stars is a gripping examination of contemporary America through the prism of a family tragedy: when a powerful parent dies, each of his adult children reacts in startling and unexpected ways, and his grieving widow in the most surprising way of all.

Stark and penetrating, Joyce Carol Oates's latest novel is a vivid exploration of race, psychological trauma, class warfare, grief, and eventual…


Book cover of In an Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness

Why this book?

Peter Levine’s earlier works examined animal studies on nervous systems under stress. His latest book In an Unspoken Voice serves as the bridge between the scientific research and the practical realm of medical clinicians and alternative healers who work with PTSD and other trauma-induced illnesses. It looks in detail at the freeze response (think: fight/flight/freeze) and the biological rewiring that happens in the human body as the result of trauma and chronic stress. If you like dense, intellectual discussion of biomechanical details, you’ll enjoy the read. If not, skim to the parts about his program of exercises and simple movements that can restore body awareness and reset neurological malfunction.

In an Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness

By Peter A. Levine,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked In an Unspoken Voice as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Unraveling trauma in the body, brain and mind—a revolution in treatment. Now in 17 languages.

In this culmination of his life’s work, Peter A. Levine draws on his broad experience as a clinician, a student of comparative brain research, a stress scientist and a keen observer of the naturalistic animal world to explain the nature and transformation of trauma in the body, brain and psyche. In an Unspoken Voice is based on the idea that trauma is neither a disease nor a disorder, but rather an injury caused by fright, helplessness and loss that can be healed by engaging our…

Book cover of Dreaming the Soul Back Home: Shamanic Dreaming for Healing and Becoming Whole

Why this book?

An expert in approaching your dream life with beautiful and imaginative consciousness, Robert Moss shows you how to use your dreams, both figurative and literal, as the backdrop for immense personal discovery and growth, and as a powerful tool in reclaiming yourself after trauma. 


Dreaming the Soul Back Home: Shamanic Dreaming for Healing and Becoming Whole

By Robert Moss,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dreaming the Soul Back Home as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this extraordinary book, shamanic dream teacher Robert Moss shows us how to become shamans of our own souls and healers of our own lives.

The greatest contribution of the ancient shamans to modern healing is the understanding that in the course of any life we are liable to suffer soul loss — the loss of parts of our vital energy and identity — and that to be whole and well, we must find the means of soul recovery. Moss teaches that our dreams give us maps we can use to find and bring home our lost or stolen soul…

Book cover of The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversity

Why this book?

Dr. Harris is a world-changer. In her pediatric practice in an at-risk neighborhood in San Francisco, she saw young patients suffering challenges and illnesses that did not appear to be linked to any physical condition. She dug deeper, and discovered Adverse Childhood Experiences and the deep impact they can have on young lives. It is now her mission to educate doctors, who have not typically been trained in trauma or social and emotional challenges. Her book (and her TEDtalk on the same topic) is fascinating, exacting, and hopeful. Nadine Burke-Harris is now the first-ever Surgeon General of the State of California, and continues to educate parents and professionals about trauma and healing.

The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Adversity

By Nadine Burke-Harris,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Deepest Well as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“An extraordinary, eye-opening book.”—People
 
2018 National Health Information Awards, Silver Award
 
“A rousing wake-up call . . . this highly engaging, provocative book prove[s] beyond a reasonable doubt that millions of lives depend on us finally coming to terms with the long-term consequences of childhood adversity and toxic stress.”—Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow
 
Dr. Nadine Burke Harris was already known as a crusading physician delivering targeted care to vulnerable children. But it was Diego—a boy who had stopped growing after a sexual assault—who galvanized her journey to uncover the connections between toxic stress and lifelong illnesses.
            The…

Book cover of The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist's Notebook: What Traumatized Children Can Teach Us About Loss, Love, and Healing

Why this book?

A harrowing series of accounts outlining the impact trauma has on children. As someone who has little capacity for hearing horrible stories of damaged lives because it makes me so sad, Perry has been sensitive and gentle. Read this to understand trauma, and to learn how to build resilience.

The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist's Notebook: What Traumatized Children Can Teach Us About Loss, Love, and Healing

By Bruce D. Perry, Maia Szalavitz,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What happens when a young child is traumatized? How does terror affect a child's mind-and how can that mind recover? Child psychiatrist Bruce Perry has treated children faced with unimaginable horror: homicide survivors, witnesses to their own parents' murders, children raised in closets and cages, the Branch Davidian children, and victims of extreme neglect and family violence. In The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog, Dr. Perry tells their stories of trauma and transformation. He explains what happens to the brain when children are exposed to extreme stress and trauma and reveals his innovative (non-medicinal) methods for helping to…

Book cover of Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence--From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror

Why this book?

When I was trying to understand my own childhood trauma, Dr. Judith Herman's trauma and recovery made the most sense to me. The study of trauma, she wrote, has a curious history. Not only individuals, but entire societies have alternated between periods of remembering and periods of forgetting. Judith Herman was trained as a physician and came into contact with patients who had been sexually abused as a psychiatric resident. Her ability to integrate history, medicine, psychology, feminism, and literature into her book was indispensable to me.

Shame, secrecy, and silence, she wrote, were the deadly trio that prolonged the effects of trauma. But that trio was often rendered inoperative when trauma was experienced collectively, as happens during a war or natural disaster or an event during the world trade center attack on 9/11, which is witnessed, documented, and validated in hundreds of public ways. Trauma experienced by just one person, in private, was characterized by the absence of validators and, often, the inability of the victim to put his or her experience into words. Herman did it for me.

Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence--From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror

By Judith Lewis Herman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Trauma and Recovery as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When Trauma and Recovery was first published in 1992, it was hailed as a ground-breaking work. In the intervening years, Herman's volume has changed the way we think about and treat traumatic events and trauma victims. In a new afterword, Herman chronicles the incredible response the book has elicited and explains how the issues surrounding the topic have shifted within the clinical community and the culture at large. Trauma and Recovery brings a new level of understanding to a set of problems usually considered individually. Herman draws on her own cutting-edge research in domestic violence as well as on the…

I Love You When You're Angry

By Erin Winters, Kaitin Bucher (illustrator),

Book cover of I Love You When You're Angry

Why this book?

I have spent much of my adult life working with kids (and grown-ups) who had some tough stuff happen early in life. Traumatic experiences can lead to some big, angry behaviors that make the parent-child relationship challenging. This precious book is an antidote to that negative pattern. Enjoy this sweet story with ages 3 and up.

I Love You When You're Angry

By Erin Winters, Kaitin Bucher (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Love You When You're Angry as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

I love you when you’re angry
I love you when you’re sad
I love you when we both have days
That try to drive us mad!

This heartwarming book affirms over and over that a parent or caregiver’s love is unconditional. Watch your child’s eyes light up at the adorable animal illustrations, and their worries be calmed by the encouraging reminder that good days and bad days end the same - with an “I love you, now sleep tight!”

Written by Licensed Professional Counselor Erin Winters, this book normalizes emotions, promotes unconditional love for children, grace for parents, and provides…

Book cover of It Didn't Start With You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are and How to End the Cycle

Why this book?

Looks further back than the previous book and how the trauma of previous generations can be passed down the line. The first half is full of examples of how even unknown incidents are reflected in the problems of Wolynn’s patients today. The second half is about how to use these insights to heal. I use it a lot with my clients and they are full of praise for the book. It is particularly helpful to understand how your grandparents impacted your parents. I used this book to throw light onto how the First World War and my Great Uncle’s death on the Somme still affects my family one hundred years later.

It Didn't Start With You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are and How to End the Cycle

By Mark Wolynn,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked It Didn't Start With You as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Inherited family trauma is currently an area of growing interest, as science increasingly explores what we know intuitively: that the effects of trauma can pass from one generation to the next, and that the answers to some of our greatest life problems often lie not within our own story, but in the experiences of our parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and extended family. Here, pioneer Mark Wolyn shows readers how they can overcome inherited trauma and reclaim their lives.

Hideaway

By Nora Roberts,

Book cover of Hideaway

Why this book?

Nora Roberts is the absolute queen of romance. She is often the first author anyone recommends in the genre, and as such, I am a huge fan. Hideaway has a scrappy heroine, but the real reason I love this book is Dillon. He’s hard-working and protective and just right for Cate.

I also really enjoyed the other background characters and relationships. So many times romance novels focus only on the two leads (with good reason!) but it’s always nice when the characters have outside relationships, especially good ones. Dillon’s relationships made me smile and love him all the more as a romance hero.

Hideaway

By Nora Roberts,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Hideaway as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A powerful new novel from global bestseller Nora Roberts about finding what matters most in the least expected places.

If you're after the perfect pick-me-up, take-me-away-from-the-world read, then she's your woman'

The Guardian

One day, she thought, one moment, one innocent game. How was it that day, that moment, that game never seemed to end?

Caitlyn Sullivan is just nine years old when a game of Hide and Seek at a family party will change her life forever.

The betrayal she experienced that night will shape Caitlyn's life, and for years she runs and runs, hiding from the aftermath of…

Ripple Effect

By N.A. Cooper,

Book cover of Ripple Effect

Why this book?

Ripple Effect has the perfect title as it shows how the things that happen in our past ripple through into our adulthood. N. A. Cooper does such a superb job of telling the story of Erin who had an affair with a teacher when she was only fifteen years old. Trapped in an unhappy marriage, her past starts to haunt her after she is attacked in the park and left notes about what happened all of those years ago. 

Haunted by her past and unable to allow herself to be happy Erin gets in her own way. Can she learn the truth about what really happened? I loved this book.

Ripple Effect

By N.A. Cooper,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ripple Effect as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“Outstanding . . . one of the best books I have read.” —Beechclose, five stars

A long-ago illicit relationship continues to upend lives in this taut psychological suspense novel . . .

Fifteen years ago, teenage Erin had an affair with her teacher that led to tragedy and changed Erin’s life. Today, she’s a married woman who keeps to herself and stays close to home, still scarred by the experience.

When she’s attacked while running in the park, Erin doesn’t tell her husband—but she does confide in Nick, the man who came to her rescue. Then letters start to arrive,…


The Daughter

By Liz Webb,

Book cover of The Daughter

Why this book?

This book had me completely gripped. It is absolutely brilliant. Hannah’s mother was murdered when she was younger and now she’s not sure her father didn’t do it. Her father has dementia and as she starts to resemble her mother more the truth starts to come out. She is estranged from her television star brother and caring for her father. She is scarred from her childhood and has never reached her potential. 

She becomes determined to find out the truth about what happened to her mother. As childhood trauma goes, your mother being murdered is right up there and this book is so compelling and beautifully written. I could not put it down. It’s perfect.

The Daughter

By Liz Webb,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Daughter as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

I lean in and whisper the question I have never let myself utter in twenty-three years.
"Dad, did you murder Mum?"

Hannah Davidson has a dementia-stricken father, an estranged TV star brother, and a mother whose death opened up hidden fault lines beneath the surface of their ordinary family life.

Now the same age that Jen Davidson was when she was killed, Hannah realises she bears an uncanny resemblance to her glamorous mother, and when her father begins to confuse them she is seriously unnerved.

Determined to uncover exactly what happened to her mum, Hannah begins to exploit her arresting…

Book cover of Moments of Silence: The Unforgetting of the October 6, 1976, Massacre in Bangkok

Why this book?

What happens when a society is unwilling to acknowledge acts of barbarism in its past? In 1976, while leading a student protest at Thammasat University, Thongchai Winichakul watched in horror as government forces and rightist elements stormed the campus, killing over eighty of his fellow students and committing unspeakable acts on the living and the dead. He wrote this book to help process memories of an atrocity that took the lives of his friends and haunted his career as a Thai historian. To this day, the Thammasat massacre is marked only by silence from official sources. As a result, Thongchai observes that Thai society is trapped in a state of ‘unforgetting,’ unable to either remember or forget the trauma.

Moments of Silence: The Unforgetting of the October 6, 1976, Massacre in Bangkok

By Thongchai Winichakul,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Moments of Silence as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The massacre on October 6, 1976, in Bangkok was brutal and violent, its savagery unprecedented in modern Thai history. Four decades later there has been no investigation into the atrocity; information remains limited, the truth unknown. There has been no collective coming to terms with what happened or who is responsible. Thai society still refuses to confront this dark page in its history.

Moments of Silence focuses on the silence that surrounds the October 6 massacre. Silence, the book argues, is not forgetting. Rather it signals an inability to forget or remember-or to articulate a socially meaningful memory. It is…


Wrecked Palace

By Catherine Cowles,

Book cover of Wrecked Palace

Why this book?

In Wrecked Palace, Catherine Cowles has created the type of characters you can’t help but adore. Caelyn dropped everything to raise her three younger siblings after her mother was arrested and her father disappeared. She’s loving, optimistic, and I’d love to have her as a friend. 

Griffin also experienced a traumatic event that changed his life, during which he lost his family. He’s determined to lock himself away from everyone and everything. His pain is so well written that my heart hurt for him.

Caelyn can’t stay away from any wounded creature, and it’s absolutely beautiful to see Griffin open up to her and her siblings. On a side note, Caelyn’s siblings are wonderful all on their own.

Wrecked Palace

By Catherine Cowles,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Wrecked Palace as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One night was all it took for everything to change.
From college student to guardian in a single breath.
My siblings became my world.

No time for date nights or romantic dreams.
I traded quiet weekends for sleepless nights.
Giving my all to make sure they were cared for.

But Griffin had a brokenness that called to me—one that mirrored my own.
Gruff and just a little bit reckless.
He was the last thing I needed. But everything I wanted.

Only someone isn’t happy about this new life I’m building.
Deciding to set fire to everything I hold close.
And…

Book cover of The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma

Why this book?

In The Body Keeps the Score, van der Kolk explains the lifelong impact of trauma on the mind and body, then introduces various therapeutic approaches to help survivors carry the crushing weight of their past. This book is a lifeline for survivors, validating their fragmented memories and reassuring them that their trauma responses are biological necessities rather than personal failures. As a writer, I love that many of the therapeutic approaches described in the book harness the power of imagination to reprocess traumatic memories—a transformative process of healing that’s nothing short of magical.

The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma

By Bessel Van Der Kolk,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked The Body Keeps the Score as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

#1 New York Times bestseller

"Essential reading for anyone interested in understanding and treating traumatic stress and the scope of its impact on society." -Alexander McFarlane, Director of the Centre for Traumatic Stress Studies

A pioneering researcher transforms our understanding of trauma and offers a bold new paradigm for healing in this New York Times bestseller

Trauma is a fact of life. Veterans and their families deal with the painful aftermath of combat; one in five Americans has been molested; one in four grew up with alcoholics; one in three couples have engaged in physical violence. Dr. Bessel van der…

American Daughter: A Memoir

By Stephanie Thornton Plymale, Elissa Wald,

Book cover of American Daughter: A Memoir

Why this book?

What I loved most about this book was the determined persistence of the author to rise above the negligence and abandonment she suffered in childhood to become a decent, functioning, compassionate adult, one who ultimately takes the time to understand her mother’s history. Stephanie Thornton Plymale had every reason to walk away from her damaged mother and never look back, but she doesn’t. I love that she found the courage and empathy to move beyond her own difficult past to understand her mother’s history. I was riveted by this compelling, beautifully crafted book.

American Daughter: A Memoir

By Stephanie Thornton Plymale, Elissa Wald,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked American Daughter as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The sharp and surprising true story of a woman who finally sets out to understand her past, and the mother she had one day hoped to forget. Full of unexpected twists and unbelievable revelations, American Daughter is an immersive memoir that will have you on the edge of your seat to the very last page.

For years, Stephanie Plymale, successful CEO and interior designer, kept her past a fiercely guarded secret. Only her husband knew that her childhood was fraught with every imaginable hardship: neglect, hunger, poverty, homelessness, truancy, foster homes, a harrowing lack of medical care, and worse. Stephanie,…


Book cover of Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma: The Innate Capacity to Transform Overwhelming Experiences

Why this book?

Waking the Tiger by Peter Levine explains how trauma becomes lodged in the body and how it gets released. Studying animals and how they don’t suffer trauma because they tremble through their emotions instead of thwarting them helped me gain more confidence to let emotions flow through my body. The explanation of trauma and how it is healed built my confidence that there is hope for healing our deepest wounds.

Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma: The Innate Capacity to Transform Overwhelming Experiences

By Peter A. Levine,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Waking the Tiger as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Now in 24 languages.

Nature's Lessons in Healing Trauma...

Waking the Tiger offers a new and hopeful vision of trauma. It views the human animal as a unique being, endowed with an instinctual capacity. It asks and answers an intriguing question: why are animals in the wild, though threatened routinely, rarely traumatized? By understanding the dynamics that make wild animals virtually immune to traumatic symptoms, the mystery of human trauma is revealed.

Waking the Tiger normalizes the symptoms of trauma and the steps needed to heal them. People are often traumatized by seemingly ordinary experiences. The reader is taken on…


Book cover of Tuning the Human Biofield: Healing with Vibrational Sound Therapy

Why this book?

If you want your mind blown, and want to cultivate a new understanding of how the universe works: buy this book! Eileen opens up the cosmology that we all learned and shows us that there is another way to view how the world works. And with that understanding, we have a way to see ourselves as part of the world instead of separate from it. This connection is the start of healing. And all of that is only the first half of the book. 

She then takes the reader on a wild ride into understanding how the field that surrounds the body – called the aura or the biofield – works, holds information, and also holds one of the keys to healing and well-being. This book is engaging, inspirational, and totally not what you were expecting!

Tuning the Human Biofield: Healing with Vibrational Sound Therapy

By Eileen Day McKusick,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Tuning the Human Biofield as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A guide to the basics of Biofield Tuning, using tuning forks to clear trauma stored in the human energy field

* Provides a precise map of the energetic biofield that surrounds the body, showing where specific emotions, memories, traumas, and pain are stored

* Details how to locate stored trauma in the biofield with a tuning fork and clear it

* Winner of the 2015 Nautilus Silver Award

When Eileen McKusick began offering sound therapy in her massage practice she soon discovered she could use tuning forks to locate and hear disturbances in the energy field, or biofield, that surrounded…

Book cover of Healing Collective Trauma: A Process for Integrating Our Intergenerational and Cultural Wounds

Why this book?

This non-fiction book is so well researched, combining a scientific approach with poetic explorations. Hübl’s writing is so satisfyingly clear, with the latest research in epigenetic theories on trauma. For anyone who doubts the impact of ancestral inheritance, this book offers concrete evidence that the past, present, and future exists in the spirals of our DNA.

Healing Collective Trauma: A Process for Integrating Our Intergenerational and Cultural Wounds

By Thomas Hübl, Julie Jordan Avritt,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Healing Collective Trauma as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What can you do when you carry scars not on your body, but within your soul? And what happens when those spiritual wounds exist not just in you, but in everyone in your life?

Whether or not we have experienced personal trauma, we are all - in very real ways - impacted by the legacy of familial and cultural suffering. Recent research has shown that trauma affects groups just as acutely as it does individuals; it bridges families, generations, communities, and borders. "I believe that unresolved systemic traumas delay the development of the human family, harm the natural world, and…

Book cover of The Choice: Embrace the Possible

Why this book?

The details were different, but the outcome was the same. Dr. Eger is a Jewish Holocaust survivor; I am a woman raised in a Christian family in Virginia. She danced for Josef Mengele on the night he sent her mother to the gas chamber; I spent my youth tiptoeing around a mother whose nerves were shot before her thirtieth birthday. Dr. Eger’s mother was murdered; my mother, despite her intelligence, beauty, and talents, chose to end her life before her fiftieth birthday. Despite the differences in our stories, Dr. Eger and I have one very important thing in common. Despite the fact that we were both victimized, we did not want to remain in a victim consciousness, and we chose not to do so. 

The Choice chronicles a sadly familiar story. She and her family were among the hundreds of thousands of European Jews imprisoned, tortured, raped, and killed in concentration camps. In Dr. Eger’s case, it was Auschwitz. Her family perished; she survived. Dr. Eger’s courage and willingness to share her truth reduced the bite of mine. Her triumph made my triumph possible. If she could reach a place of thriveness, then so could I. Like Dr. Eger, I too believe that after all the blame and punishments have been meted out, for others as well as for ourselves, the only viable choice we have left is forgiveness. 

The Choice: Embrace the Possible

By Edith Eva Eger,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Choice as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE AWARD-WINNING SUNDAY TIMES AND NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Even in hell, hope can flower

'I'll be forever changed by her story' - Oprah Winfrey

'Extraordinary ... will stick with you long after you read it' - Bill Gates

'One of those rare and eternal stories you don't want to end' - Desmond Tutu

'A masterpiece of holocaust literature. Her memoir, like her life, is extraordinary, harrowing and inspiring in equal measure' - The Times Literary Supplement

'I can't imagine a more important message for modern times. Eger's book is a triumph' - The New York Times

In 1944, sixteen-year-old…


Book cover of The Inheritors: Moving Forward from Generational Trauma

Why this book?

This is an excellent book that speaks to those who have inherited trauma from their ancestors. While Baack uses ample research and narratives about the victims of the Holocaust, the book is relevant for other descendants of long or short-lasting, acknowledged or non-acknowledged traumas, including: victims of genocides, ethnic cleansings, refugee camp residents, racism, wars, and other forms of victimization or natural disasters - and - their witnesses. Based on interviews with many descendants of trauma, the author focuses on giving the ‘inheritors’ a platform to describe, not only, their parents’ histories, but mostly their own. The book is instructional, as she also includes questions for individual or group reflection. The author’s emphasis on the non-pathological perspective is both productive and a relief, including chapters on resilience, post-traumatic grown, epigenetics, and more.

I am passionate about the book because I am a child of Holocaust survivors. Over many years, I made myself an expert on my family’s stories, but it has only been recently that I allowed myself to reflect on my own story as an “inheritor.”  After many years of living and working in 6 countries, I have met other descendants of trauma, from Cambodia, Native-American, African-American, Vietnam, Armenia, China, and others, with whom I had an almost immediate and inexplicable affinity. This book helped me understand that bond.

The Inheritors: Moving Forward from Generational Trauma

By Gita Arian Baack,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Inheritors as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Our family legacies, both positive and negative, are passed down from one generation to the next in ways that are not fully understood. This secondary form of trauma, which Gita Baack calls "Inherited Trauma," has not received adequate attention-a failing that perpetuates cycles of pain, hatred, and violence. In The Inheritors, readers are given the opportunity to reflect on the inherited burdens they carry, as well as the resilience that has given them the power of survival. Through engaging stories and unique concepts, readers will learn new ways to explore the unknowns in their legacies, reflect on questions that are…

Book cover of Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

Why this book?

This time I began with the film. "A female adventurer against the wilderness," the blurb stated, and I thought: that’s for me!  I loved the film, then went on to read the book and loved that even more, although I was surprised to find that a lot of the adventures were in Strayed’s head, not dealing with rattlesnakes and falling rocks. It was a reminder that the two kinds of challenges go hand in hand and when I came to write my book these were the two elements – the interior and the exterior – I had to balance to make the story complete. So often a journey of survival is also a journey into your own psyche. This is a beautifully-written memoir/non-fiction book that keeps the balance perfectly.

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

By Cheryl Strayed,

Why should I read it?

13 authors picked Wild as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A powerful, blazingly honest memoir: the story of an eleven-hundred-mile solo hike that broke down a young woman reeling from catastrophe—and built her back up again.

At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the…


My Years with Ayn Rand

By Nathaniel Branden,

Book cover of My Years with Ayn Rand

Why this book?

Nathaniel Branden’s account of his relationship with Rand is honest and deeply emotional. For a psychologist who writes mainly on the theme of self-esteem, this book is a bit of a departure from his usual works, but for any fan of Rand and her volatile relationship with a man nearly half her age, it is well worth the read.

My Years with Ayn Rand

By Nathaniel Branden,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked My Years with Ayn Rand as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Previous Praise for Nathaniel Branden"Relentlessly revealing...the myth of Ayn Rand gives way to a full-sized portrait in contrasting colors, appealing and appalling, potent and paradoxical...it takes a special kind of nerve to write such a book." - Norman Cousins, author of Head First and The Healing HeartAyn Rand's Atlas Shrugged is one of the most influential books of the twentieth century-its popular impact ranked second only to the Bible in a major poll. Millions know Rand as one of this century's great thinkers, writers, and philosophers, yet much about the private Ayn Rand remains shrouded in mystery.Who was Ayn Rand?My…