Understanding and Helping an Addict by Andrew Proulx, MD

2023 has turned out to be a lot. In times of stress I read a lot BUT I don't retain a lot...it has been that kind of a year to put it mildly. And yes, it has often been exactly this type of year.

The full title also includes:  (And Keeping Your Sanity). I simply cannot recommend this book highly enough. This book advises, that in light of most resent scientific research, taking a different approach to helping an addict, an approach that is more effective, as it allows one and one's addict a path to taking back their own life and sanity.

To solve a problem one must first understand the problem. The author explains the effects of addictive substances on the brain and mind, and why addicts and alcoholics behave the way they do. He outlines how to form a bond with an addicted loved one and use this bond to move to a williness and mental readiness to accept the help they need. It addresses how the addicts "circle of chaos" can affect those who "try to help" and gives one effective means of support without becoming (or continuing to be) an enabler.

This book corrected so much of my faulty beliefs around addiction, and no doubt made me something of a teacher's pet in the family therapy portion of my addict's 30 day rehabilitation program.

If nothing else it taught me this: An addict is not a bad person who needs to get good; an addict is an unwell persion who needs to get well.

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February's Regrets by A. E. Howe

2023

Book #4 in the Larry Macklin series. Larry is freshly back on the force and on the trail of a serial killer that has resurfaced after 15 years. Does Larry solve this or is it just another instance of accidently being the right place at the right time... Like these books regardless.

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March's Luck by A. E. Howe

2023

Larry has a new female partner whom he is struggling to work with--mostly he doesn't like her because she's not his previous partner--Pete. Even though she is often right about Larry she is a bit of a ball buster. We also get a more of Larry's back story as one of his ex's rolls into town--she's a bit of a crazy nut job. Once again Larry "solves the case" by being at the right place at the right time. That's the thing about Larry and it certainly doesn't take away from my enjoyment as I fly through this series.

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April's Desires by A. E. Howe

2023

Larry Macklin #6. Larry's ex partner Pete gets himself in a spot of trouble and the prime suspect in a murder investigation when his daughter's ex boyfriend turns up dead. Mr. Howe doesn't disappoint and this is another entertaining go round with Larry and the gang.

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June's Troubles by A.E. Howe

2023

2023 has turned out to be a lot. In times of stress I read a lot BUT I don't retain a lot...it has been that kind of a year to put it mildly.

A bit of a twist as this mystery doesn't take place in Adams County. Larry and his dad, with girlfriends in tow go on "vacation" on the Florida coast, but of course murder follows along.

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The Fifth to Die by J.D. Barker

The second book in the 4MK triology. I was a bit worried as it had been sometime since I read the first book (The Fourth Monkey Killer) but the author provided enough backstory for me to plow on. Deeper and more complex. Very interested to read the final installment and how this all plays out.

July's Trials by A.E. Howe

2023

2023 has turned out to be a lot. In times of stress I read a lot BUT I don't retain a lot...it has been that kind of a year to put it mildly.

I do remember a bit of this plot but as it involves the unexpected murder of a co-worker I don't want to spoil too much. Another good round with Larry and the gang. I do count myself in the group of readers and characters that believe that Larry is using Eddie a bit too much. Eddie has fared well thus far and is in early recovery--I want him to stay that way.

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August's Heat by A.E. Howe

2023 has turned out to be a lot. In times of stress I read a lot BUT I don't retain a lot...it has been that kind of a year to put it mildly.

I enjoyed this I'm sure. The author has yet to dissapoint and I always enjoy his books, so no doubt the same applies here, I just don't remember the plot.

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September's Fury by A.E. Howe

2023

2023 has turned out to be a lot. In times of stress I read a lot BUT I don't retain a lot...it has been that kind of a year to put it mildly.

This one is mostly a blur which is a shame and what little I remember is about the hurricane. I remember thinking that this one was especially good.

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October's Fear by A.E. Howe

2023

2023 has turned out to be a lot. In times of stress I read a lot BUT I don't retain a lot...it has been that kind of a year to put it mildly.

Last time we will see a Larry Macklin as a monthly read, but rest assured these mysteries continue--going forward as a "seasonal" read so he switches to my Seasons category. My struggle is to wait until Spring.

This "Book of the Month Club" series weirdly enough started with November. This one finally sees the election and it's result as well as dealing with the aftermath of the hurricane. Hanging about with Larry and the gang is always a pleasure.

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The Guns of August by Barbara W. Tuchman

This book won a Pulitzer Prize in 1963. I have read other of her books and I credit "A Distant Mirror" for igniting my love of reading history. For the most part, this book does a fine job painting a picture of the first month of WWI, however...it left me needing more. I do give myself credit for the selfless forced march I took on to slog through to the end of this book. It is mostly compelling reading but it does bog down in parts.

It is a top down look from the perspective of the bumbling, weepy, arrogant idiots --oops my bad-- the fine moustachioed gentleman who were in charge of making goverment, diplomatic, and battlefield decisions.  

Since this book was writtten much more is known and much more has been written. Off to the trenches...

Wings of Fire by Charles Todd

A series of books that I am reading out of order about the cases of Inspector Ian Rutledge. I do like his writing and I do like the other book that I have read. The first book I picked up was a flashback to Ian Rutledge before he left England and fought in the trenches during WWI. And this book (#2) is Ian as he is after the war, as that is how the series began.

I just don't remember what this book was about. So catch me later...I am going back to the beginning and starting over.

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How To Cook A Wolf by MFK Fisher

Of all the books in my "wolf" category this was the book I looked forward to the most. MFK Fisher is esteemed to almost goddess like status as both a cook and a cookbook author. This book was written to encourage those daunted by wartime shortages in England in the aftermath of WWII. Making something out of near nothing. Effective use of leftovers, cheap cuts of meat, trying to use up all ingredients in pantry and frig, etc. 

I don't want to disparage this book. I did not live through WWII in England or its immediate aftermath so I don't understand or relate to the English sensibilites of that time. L was really dismayed that I didn't like this book--indeed it was one of the very few books that I haven't been able to heroically stick through to the bitter end. There is just something about the Post WWII English "housewife" that I simiply can't relate with--I experienced the same when ploughing through "The Provincial Lady" series of books.

it is my issue not the issue of these authors. I just had hoped to like her writing as much as I enjoy her contemporary Julia Child.

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Aquarius Descending by Martha C. Lawrence

If you do not like spoilers of any sort--please do not read any further.

I consider my self lucky to have read this series out of order because at least I wasn't totally blindsided by the ending of this book. It was hard enough to read even knowing what was to come. Good read nontheless.

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The Likeness by Tana French

Truth be told--I had picked up this book to read a couple of times and couldn't get hooked in. Third time must have indeed been the charm. I think going back and giving "In The Woods" a second read really helped. Glad I did as this was a really good read--looking forward to the next Dublin Squad Murder.

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Ashes of Aries by Martha C. Lawrence

This is my final outing with Elizabeth Chase, psychic detective, and I am more than a little sad. I will miss her. While Martha C. Lawrence is a fabulous writer, she, alas, lost her enthusiam for writing fiction after September 11, 2001. She even completed a book tour for this last book in the immediate aftermath of these terrorist attacks, which must have been surreal to say the least. Thankfully for her, she has found success and happiness in "behind the scene" writing. Maybe some day...

I really enjoyed reading this book. Good plot. I would have happily read my way through the whole zodiac had this series continued.

 

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Midnight Bowling by Quinn Dalton

2023 has turned out to be a lot. In times of stress I read a lot BUT I don't retain a lot...it has been that kind of a year to put it mildly.

This book was recommended/sent to me by my husband, he thought I would like it--even though he had not read it himself. Not sure if he has even read it since I did, so much for book club.

I don't remember all the fine details of the plot and truthfully I thought it would be more about bowling--instead it is more of dark character study. 

Wolf Winter by Cecilia Ekbäck

The cold depths of Sweden in 1717, blizzards, murders, evil priests, wolves, and a meddling newcomer make for a frigid read best done curled up in a blanket with a cup of something warm by your side. No spoilers but I am glad that the ending is as gray as the subject matter.

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The Winter Soldier by Daniel Mason

This novel follows a young Viennese medical student to the Eastern front during the winter of WWI in 1914. Even though he has minimal experience (ok basically none) there is already a severe shortage of trained medical personnel. He becomes the single doctor in a freezing, partially destroyed and deserted church that is serving as a field hospital. One nurse and a few orderlies. 

This book is one of the best books that I have read this year- a fantastic depiction of the ravages andthe travesties that was WWI. I will put this on my forever shelf and no doubt read it again. First though I am sharing it with friends. I will definitely read more from this author.

Spring House by Mary Ellen Taylor

A very good read but I probably would have enjoyed it more if I had read the prior book (Winter Cottage) but that being said it was easy enough to read as a stand alone. It had a lot that I love, a multi generational story that sprang back and forth in time, house restoration, and the epistolatory style (this time in the form of a stash of old hidden letters). If I remember next winter--Winter Cottage here I come.

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In The Woods by Tana French

2023 has turned out to be a lot. In times of stress I read a lot BUT I don't retain a lot...it has been that kind of a year to put it mildly.

This is the second time I have read this book and as I didn't really remember the plot, I found it reading time well spent. I primarily read it again because I wanted to read "The Likeness" which also follows DI Cassie Maddox--and is told in her voice. I'm glad I did the re-read as while one could read this as a stand alone--it was nice to have a refresher on Cassie's relationship with her former partner--Rob Ryan. This book is told in Rob's voice.

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Summer Island by Kristin Hannah

2023 has turned out to be a lot. In times of stress I read a lot BUT I don't retain a lot...it has been that kind of a year to put it mildly.

I'm guessing that Ms. Hannah has grown in to her skills as a writer. I have read a few of her more recent books and really enjoyed them. This book was written in 2001. Maybe it was cutting edge when first written but to my eyes the story telling went down an overly used pathway. I will stick to this author's more recent books.

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Falling by Elizabeth Jane Howard

2023 has turned out to be a lot. In times of stress I read a lot BUT I don't retain a lot...it has been that kind of a year to put it mildly.

Back in the day I had read Ms. Howard's Cazalet Chronicles set in England during WWII--a series I really enjoyed. I decided to delve back into her offerings. This was a very good book and she is a very good writer. I especially admired the way she wrote the character of Henry Kent, as she cleverly got me to become sympathetic to Henry in spite of knowing he was up to no good. Looking forward to going back and reading more from this author.

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When The Bough Breaks by Jonathan Kellerman

Here is an author that has written a great many books--his Alex Delaware series is at least 30+ books long. I was hoping for a lot of good reading--I love a good series. This is the first book and was published in 1985. And I realize that some would write off his phraseology as a symptom of his age and time--how I simply get past that a psychologist, especially one of Dr. Delaware's suppoded stature, would refer to the mentally challenged as retards, refer to a physically challenged man as a gimp, an Asian woman as an Oriental and a physically deformed person as a harelip--not to mention his sexist writing about women. I am not a particularly PC person but I found this hard to swallow. I won't even get into the ridiculous nature of the plot, I will simply say that this author is not for me.

What Makes Your Brain Happy and Why You Should Do The Opposite by David DiSalvo

2023 has turned out to be a lot. In times of stress I read a lot BUT I don't retain a lot...it has been that kind of a year to put it mildly.

I mean who can resist a book with this title. It was chock full of the weird stuff a human brain gets up to when you don't pay attention to its doings. I need to go back and read the capsulations in the last chapter and refresh my mind. Helped increase my knowledge about the Default Mode Network and using a mindfulness practice,

The Dry by Jane Harper

2023 has turned out to be a lot. In times of stress I read a lot BUT I don't retain a lot...it has been that kind of a year to put it mildly.

A quick read, good book. Just don't remember how it ended. Looking forward to reading more from this author. 

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Real Tigers by Mick Herron

2023 has turned out to be a lot. In times of stress I read a lot BUT I don't retain a lot...it has been that kind of a year to put it mildly.

Read during a particularly trying time and read it quickly at that--I'm sure it was good. The TV adaptation is good also--I hope to catch up with the plot as I watch the season dedicated to this book play out.

The Rector's Wife by Joanna Trollope

2023 has turned out to be a lot. In times of stress I read a lot BUT I don't retain a lot...it has been that kind of a year to put it mildly.

Back in the day I read a lot of Joanna Trollope so I thought to give her another go. I found the book to be okay and I can see where it would have been progressive for its time. The ending was a little too "pat" for me but I am going to also give The Choir another go.

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The River by Peter Heller

2023 has turned out to be a lot. In times of stress I read a lot BUT I don't retain a lot...it has been that kind of a year to put it mildly.

I don't remember much about this book. I remember thinking that it was spread a bit too thin--too many different plot lines. But I did enjoy it. I learned a lot about forest fires and canoeing and it had a satisficatory ending--if I am remembering this book correctly.

We Have Always Lived In The Castle by Shirley Jackson

2023 has turned out to be a lot. In times of stress I read a lot BUT I don't retain a lot...it has been that kind of a year to put it mildly.

Back when I had dreams of posting book reviews on Twitter (or whatever it is called these days) there was a lot of hype about this classic book. It is weird I will give Twitter that and I will also say that I weirdly enjoyed this read.

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Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith

2023 has turned out to be a lot. In times of stress I read a lot BUT I don't retain a lot...it has been that kind of a year to put it mildly. I came very close to getting all my books logged in to the website by this March--I was down to two books when 2023 took the deep dive.

I am enjoying this series in fact as I write this I have finished the 4th and am currently reading number 5. I can't remember much about this book other than it made me feel a little frustrated. Lots of filler and misdirection. Glad I've kept reading this series though.

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Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield

2023 has turned out to be a lot. In times of stress I read a lot BUT I don't retain a lot...it has been that kind of a year to put it mildly. I came so close to getting all my books logged in this March and I was just two books out before 2023 took the deep dive.

It is a testimate to how much I liked this book that I can still remember how much I enjoyed this read. Such good story telling. I'm really looking forward to reading more from this author.

"J" is for Judgment by Sue Grafton

2023 has turned out to be a lot. In times of stress I read a lot BUT I don't retain a lot...it has been that kind of a year to put it mildly.

This outing with Kinsey is even longer and with less plot development. I hate to diss authors (and RIP Ms. Grafton) but popular authors often get a lot of leeway with publishers. I mostly skimmed as this book mostly consisted of (2/3) overly verbose description of settings and people which seldom did anything other than add to the word count. Her plots are getting increasingly thin.

And speaking of Judgment--let's talk Kinsey for a moment. Kinsey is the first in line to defend and justify her sketchy behavior, fashion, hair, living, and eating habits but also places herself first in line when it comes to judging other people and places.

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"I" is for Innocent by Sue Grafton

2023 has turned out to be a lot. In times of stress I read a lot BUT I don't retain a lot...it has been that kind of a year to put it mildly.

Don't really remember much about this book. One would have hoped that as her books increased in pages they would also increase in plot development. Alas that is not the case, she increasingly fills the pages with useless over description. I have started skimming for the ever briefer passages that actually move the plot.

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"H" is for Homicide by Sue Grafton

2023 has turned out to be a lot. In times of stress I read a lot BUT I don't retain a lot...it has been that kind of a year to put it mildly.

I remember almost nothing of this book. At least it was one of her shorter books. It must of been okay as I have continued on through the alphebet.

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Addiction In The Family by Louise Stanger

2023 has turned out to be a lot. In times of stress I read a lot BUT I don't retain a lot...it has been that kind of a year to put it mildly. And yes, it has often been this type of a year.

I probably need to go back and give this book a second read--in the light of what I have learned--I will no doubt be more receptive to the hard lessons a mother needs to accept. Myself, I needed more science backed information on the latest research into addiction and did not feel that this was answering my questions.

That said it is a very good book.

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My Unremarkable Brain by David Moore Robinson

2023 has turned out to be a lot. In times of stress I read a lot BUT I don't retain a lot...it has been that kind of a year to put it mildly. And yes, often it has been exactly this type of a year.

I was diagnosed with epilepsy this year, finally after almost 30 years of these episodes, I finally got a diagnosis. If you think being told that "if you have to have epilepsy, this is the type to have" is a comfort--guess again.

I have yet to do a lot of reading on the subject and this is book is my first foray into the reading. It is one person's journey, whose symptoms at least resemble my experience. Not quite but enough to hook me in to reading this book. I was dismayed to find out that he used the ketogenic diet to get his siezures under control. I have tried both keto and paleo--last time I lost about half of my hair--but no real weight. I have sworn off dieting altogether.

For now I will take my medication, and ponder whether I should read the other book I got about epilepsy.

How To Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan

2023 has turned out to be a lot. In times of stress I read a lot BUT I don't retain a lot...it has been that kind of a year to put it mildly.

I alway enjoy a Michael Pollan book and this one is no exception. I was curious to read about the science behind using psychedelics as a means to treat despression, anxiety, and addiction. I was also pleased that it discussed the Default Mode Network (a more recent discovery) in more detail. Fascinating--finally a bit more science about why meditation helps. A subject that I will be devoting alot more of my reading time. 

I would really like to find a pathway that keeps my DMN from shutting down all my previous attempts at a meditation practice.

  1. Redefining Anxiety by Dr. John Delony
  2. Unwinding Anxiety by Judson Brewer, MD, PhD
  3. Lethal White by Robert Galbraith
  4. Go Tell the Bees That I am Gone by Diana Gabaldon
  5. Murder of Angels by Jack Gatland
  6. Tuesday's Socks by Alison Ragsdale
  7. Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk
  8. The Wednesday Sisters by Meg Waite Clayton
  9. Who Watcheth by Helene Tursten
  10. Murder In Belleville by Cara Black (Aimee Leduc #2)
  11. Her Last Breath by Dan Padavona (A Wolf Lake Thriller)
  12. Murder in Scorpio by Martha C. Lawrence
  13. The Daisy Children by Sophia Grant
  14. May's Danger by A. E. Howe
  15. I'll Be Gone in the Dark (One Woman's Search...) by Michelle McNamara
  16. Letter From The Dead by Jack Gatland
  17. G Is For Gumshoe by Sue Grafton
  18. Murder In The Marais by Cara Black (Aimee Leduc #1)
  19. The Silversmith by Jeff Carson (David Wolf #2)
  20. A Wolf at the Table by Augusten Burroughs
  21. F is for Fugitive by Sue Grafton
  22. Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult
  23. Foreign Deceit by Jeff Carson (A David Wolf Mystery)
  24. The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman
  25. Wolf Lake by John Verdon
  26. Mind on Fire by Arnold Thomas Fanning
  27. The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley
  28. A World Lit Only By Fire by William Manchester
  29. "E" is for Evidence by Sue Grafton
  30. The Fire Dance by Helene Tursten
  31. The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson
  32. "C" is for Corpse by Sue Grafton
  33. The Fire Witness by Lars Kepler
  34. Pisces Rising by Martha C. Lawrence
  35. Woman On Fire by Lisa Barr
  36. The Stars Are Fire by Anita Shreve
  37. The Cold Heart of Capricorn by Martha C. Lawrence
  38. Prince Of Fire by Daniel Silva
  39. "D" is for Deadbeat by Sue Grafton
  40. Playing With Fire by Tess Gerritsen

Hi! I'm Debbie. Here at Categorically Well-Read I give an extra layer to the reading life. Learn more about me, check out my current category of books, submit your own suggestion, or check out my latest post.