Skip to main content

Book Reviews: Brene Brown

Brene Brown TED talk: The Power of Vulnerability

I first heard Brene Brown's name about 18 months ago, at a Mom2Mom event. That's a monthly gathering of mothers at every stage, who come together to listen to a speaker, eat a delicious brunch, talk in small groups, and have childcare for those two hours of fellowship. A friend of mine did a talk on vulnerability, and opened with this 20 minute video of Brene doing a TED talk on that very subject. I remember at the event, I wrote her name down which is unusual for me, and watched it again that night. And another time. And then sent it to friends after that. Needless to say, I found her topic and research fascinating, and was happy to find out she had 2 books already published, and a third on the way.


This year I was able to read all three of her books in chronological order, the first being I Thought It Was Just Me (But It Isn't), which is Brown's body of shame research (yes, she's a shame researcher) that includes interviews, statistics, and scientific data she spent years collecting on shame and shame resilience. I found this book beyond fascinating. It's a bit of an academic read, more so than her two that came after, but I highly recommend reading them in chronological order since that is also how her research happened, adding other topics that bloomed out of that data like vulnerability and Wholeheartedness.

Brown's second book, The Gifts of Imperfection, was a much quicker read for me because not only is it about 100 pages smaller, it's also much more anecdotal and autobiographical. I believe I read this book in just under three days, which is my standard "I can't put this down" time-frame. In this book, Brown goes deeper into the meaning of Wholeheartedness; the 10 factors of those whose lifestyle defines wholeheartedness, and how these people living in this way use bravery and shame resilience, on a whole, much more than those who do not. From the research, there seem to be people who feel they are worthy of love, and those whose shame gets the best of them.

Finally, Brown came out with a third book late last year, called Daring Greatly. This book combines both of her two books into one (albeit small!) summary and then adds with it topics on how wholehearted living, shame, and courage affect our relationships in different environments including work, education, and home life. This book is the pinnacle of the two preceding books because not only does it combine all the research she's done, but it goes a step further with world views  education, parenting, and job culture, and how to change these places positively and with healthy attitudes.

This tidy little review will not help you learn more about what your personal shame triggers are, and rest assured, you have them. Brown's research for over a decade is pretty clear that shame is a universal feeling for women and men. This review won't give you any examples of how to define what gives you shame in your life, and what negative tactics we all use to cover up shame, but I hope it will encourage you to give at least one of these books a shot. Watch the video at the beginning and tell me your interest isn't piqued just a bit. I have really taken these three books to heart and have talked about them with friends and my husband, and have found the research both revealing and helpful in how I relate to others, and what I can be aware of in the future when I feel most vulnerable. I feel Brene has done us all a favor and taken this cringe-worthy information and made it both accessible and even funny in her books by her wonderful humor, and has created a very needed conversation that our country needs to wrap its collective mind around.

So, what are you going to do with this information? 


StephG said…
I first heard about her from The Pioneer Woman. :) I am sad to say I still have not read any of her books yet. Soon...

Popular posts from this blog

How To: DIY Sand/Water Table

How To: Build A Sand/Water Table for Under $30!
Sorry this took me so long to blog, but I had to have a tool list and full instructions before I could do so.
A little history on my love for the sand/water table. I love the idea behind tools for tiny hands, i.e. the Montessori Method, and like to have Lukka 'figure things out for himself', even when he is playing. I try to have the most simple and basic toys available for 3 reasons: a) simple toys generally have less parts, which means less of a hassle for me
b) simple toys inspire way more creativity and imagination than do 'exact replica' toys
c) they are much more aesthetically pleasing to look at, therefore, not making every nook and cranny of our house an eyesore!
I know the last reason is just for me, but it's true. Plastic things don't generally last 1/2 as long as wooden or fabric toys, and they are unattractive. For this reason, I started to look for a wooden sand/water table as opposed to a plastic one …

The Rule of Threes

Costco aftermath
This is what my kitchen looks like for at least an hour after a Costco trip. I haul in everything after an exhausting journey through the busiest store (seemingly) in this country and I just can't do a dang thing more. For an hour. While I get a breather. And eat some obligatory reward chocolate. Eventually I'll get to those piles and everything will be put in it's proper place, but usually it stays like this for that necessary hour. 
                                                                          *** I don't think I'm alone in sensing that our culture has gone hog-wild with unrealistic expectations in just about every department, and I want to tell my friends, and anyone else who will listen, that we can only do so much in a day.  My husband once told me a friend of his pondered the busy-ness of our modern lives and said something to the effect of, "God gives us just enough time in the day to do only the things we need to do." …

17 in 2017 // What Happened? What Didn't?

one of Ani's goals: learning to bake!
This year was a great one--we did SO much as a family and I really think by setting up some 'Things to Do' with the kids in my goal list for 2017, we made them happen rather than thinking we could do them 'someday'. We traveled a lot in 2017; we hit every state on the West Coast including Alaska! We started our 6th year of homeschooling and went a bit rogue in a few subjects like Math. I started and finished a beloved book series with the kids. There were a few things that didn't happen because of circumstances, but almost everything else DID happen, and I'm proud of that! Intentions + action for the win! 

What Happened

*Learn to make pakora and butter chicken (crock pot): This might be cheating but a friend of mine sells Epicure spice blends and they just came out this past year with a pakora packet. It's healthy, fast, gluten-free, and delicious and I'm counting it! I also made the most delicious butter chicken…