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Self-Help Resources

Start with Why by Simon Sinek (2009) "A powerful and penetrating exploration of what separates great companies and great leaders from the rest."
-Polly LaBarre, coauthor of Mavericks at Work

The Go Giver by Bob Burg & John David Mann (2007) The Go-Giver tells the story of an ambitious young man named Joe who yearns for success. Joe is a true go-getter, though sometimes he feels as if the harder and faster he works, the further away his goals seem to be. And so one day, desperate to land a key sale at the end of a bad quarter, he seeks advice from the enigmatic Pindar, a legendary consultant referred to by his many devotees simply as the Chairman.

The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb (2010) A black swan is an event, positive or negative, that is deemed improbable yet causes massive consequences. In this groundbreaking and prophetic book, Taleb shows in a playful way that Black Swan events explain almost everything about our world, and yet we—especially the experts—are blind to them.

Trial & Heirs, Famous Fortune Fights by Andrew W. Mayoras & Danielle B Mayoras (2012) The highly publicized estate battles of celebrities cast a bright spotlight on the importance of having the proper estate planning. You'll have a front row seat in the courtroom while Trial and Heirs: Famous Fortune Fights! replays the "tabloid drama" and points out what went wrong in these riveting cases. Legacy Expert Attorneys Andrew W. Mayoras and Danielle B. Mayoras are your guides - with research and court records in one hand, and juicy celebrity stories in the other. These include Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Princess Di, Anna Nicole Smith, Heath Ledger, Ray Charles, Jimi Hendrix, Frank Sinatra, Martin Luther King Jr., Brooke Astor, Rosa Parks... and many others! This easy-to-follow guide is complete with Tips to Avoid a Family Fight and Ideas to Spark Family Discussion. The tips alone could save you thousands (or more!) in legal fees. Discover how to steer clear of the same celebrity estate "errors" as you protect yourself and your "heirs."

The Fred Factor by Mark Sanborn (2004) In his powerful new book The Fred Factor, motivational speaker Mark Sanborn recounts the true story of Fred, the mail carrier who passionately loves his job and who genuinely cares about the people he serves. Because of that, he is constantly going the extra mile handling the mail – and sometimes watching over the houses – of the people on his route, treating everyone he meets as a friend. Where others might see delivering mail as monotonous drudgery, Fred sees an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of those he serves.


Special Needs Books

Jewel by Bret Lott (1991). With five healthy children, Jewel and Leston Hilburn were happy and believed life would continue in a slow-paced Mississippi way. But when Jewel and Leston's sixth is born a "Mongolian Idiot," as the New Orleans doctor declared, their life changes and Jewel leads her family on a journey to California that will bring all manner of hardship and joy. A client with a 38-year old brother with Down syndrome wrote "this

A Three Dog Life by Abigail Thomas (2006). When Abigail Thomas's husband, Rich, was hit by a car, his brain shattered. Subject to rages, terrors, and hallucinations, he must live the rest of his life in an institution. He has no memory of what he did the hour, the day, the year before. This book is the story of how Abigail rebuilt her new life-it is a story of great courage and great change, of moving to a small country town, of a new family composed of three dogs, knitting, and friendship, of facing down guilt and discovering gratitude. It is also about her relationship with Rich, a man who lives in the eternal present, and the eerie poetry of his often uncanny perceptions. This wise, plainspoken, beautiful book enacts the truth Abigail discovered in the five years since the accident: You might not find meaning in disaster, but you might, with effort, make something useful of it. This is being made into a movie starring Salma Hayek and John Travolta.

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman (1997). The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down explores the clash between a small county hospital in California and a refugee family from Laos over the care of Lia Lee, a Hmong child diagnosed with severe epilepsy. Lia's parents and her doctors both wanted what was best for Lia, but the lack of understanding between them led to tragedy. This is an amazing book about epilepsy, families, Hmong history and culture. It is a "must read."

House Rules by Jodi Picoult (2010). From the author's website: House Rules is about Jacob Hunt, a teenage boy with Asperger's Syndrome (AS). He's hopeless at reading social cues or expressing himself well to others, and like many kids with AS, Jacob has a special focus on one subject-in his case, forensic analysis.

He's always showing up at crime scenes, thanks to the police scanner he keeps in his room, and telling the cops what they need to do…and he's usually right. But then one day his tutor is found dead, and the police come to question him. All of the hallmark behaviors of Asperger's-not looking someone in the eye, stimulatory tics and twitches, inappropriate affect-can look a heck of a lot like guilt to law enforcement personnel-and suddenly, Jacob finds himself accused of murder. House Rules looks at what it means to be different in our society, how autism affects a family, and how our legal system works well for people who communicate a certain way-but lousy for those who don't. This book rings true to life for parents' of children with Asperger's.

Still Alice by Lisa Genova (2007). Still Alice is about a 50-year-old woman's sudden descent into early onset Alzheimer's disease, written by first-time author Lisa Genova, who holds a Ph.D. in neuroscience from Harvard University. I have multiple copies of this book in my office and give it to clients whose parents or spouses are in the throes of Alzheimer's disease. It is amazingly accurate as it describes the descent into this most insidious disease.

60 Days to Sanity - A College Freshman's Struggle to Overcome Mental Illness by Peter Barnes (2011). The author's description of the book: In the fall of 1989, I was a wide-eyed teenager bound for college. Less than a month later, I was fighting my way out of a padded room. Sixty Days to Sanity is neither a step-by-step guide nor a medical journal about the causes and effects of bipolar disorder. Sixty Days to Sanity is my best recollection of what happened, when at 18, my world was turned upside down by a severe manic episode and diagnosis of Bipolar I. The focus of this story is the human side of bipolar disorder and how these initial sixty days affected me and those close to me. It's my hope that Sixty Days to Sanity can provide valuable insight to those coping with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder and those friends, families and professionals who are attempting to understand it.

Where are the Cocoa Puffs?: A Family's Journey Through Bi-Polar Disorder by Karen Winters Schwartz(2010). Description from Amazon: As eighteen-year-old Amanda spirals into mania, her father, psychiatrist Dr. Jerry Benson, sees the realization of his worst fears: his daughter is not just moody, but truly ill. With his words, his diagnosis-manic depressive illness-his world and that of his family is forever altered. Carol, Amanda's mother, struggles with the guilt and shame of having raised a "crazy" daughter. Christy, Amanda's fifteen-year-old sister, denies the illness; after all, my sister's a bitch is so much easier to accept. Meanwhile, the Bensons' extended family offers up everything from unconditional support to uncomfortable scrutiny as Amanda careens between bouts of frightening violence, cosmic euphoria, and suicidal despair. Then there's Ryan, an architecture student who is initially ensnared by Amanda's manic sexuality, but is ultimately captured and held throughout the chaos by the force of love and strength of family. Where Are the Cocoa Puffs?: A Family's Journey Through Bipolar Disorder follows a family through the tragedy of bipolar disorder, but it's not tragic. It's funny, sad, and thought provoking-and as real and as raw as mental illness itself.

Until Tuesday, A Wounded Warrior and the Golden Retriever Who Saved Him by Captain Luis Montalvan(2011). Description from Google Books: A highly decorated captain in the U.S. Army, Luis Montalván never backed down from a challenge during his two tours of duty in Iraq. After returning home from combat, however, his physical wounds and crippling post-traumatic stress disorder began to take their toll. He wondered if he would ever recover. Then Luis met Tuesday, a sensitive golden retriever trained to assist the disabled. Tuesday had lived among prisoners and at a home for troubled boys, and he found it difficult to trust in or connect with a human being-until Luis.  Until Tuesday is the story of how two wounded warriors, who had given so much and suffered the consequences, found salvation in each other. It is a story about war and peace, injury and recovery, psychological wounds and spiritual restoration. But more than that, it is a story about the love between a man and dog, and how, together, they healed each other's souls.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon (2003). Description from Goodreads; Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. And he detests the color yellow. Although gifted with a superbly logical brain, fifteen-year-old Christopher is autistic and everyday interactions and admonishments have little meaning for him. He lives on patterns, rules, and a diagram kept in his pocket. Then one day, a neighbor's dog, Wellington, is killed and his carefully constructive universe is threatened. Christopher sets out to solve the murder in the style of his favorite (logical) detective, Sherlock Holmes. What follows makes for a novel that is deeply funny, poignant, and fascinating in its portrayal of a person whose curse and blessing are a mind that perceives the world entirely literally.

Far from the Tree: Parent, Children and the Search for Identity by Andrew Solomon (2012). "Solomon's startling proposition is that diversity is what unites us all." This book explores what it is like to raise children who are profoundly different - children with Down syndrome, deafness, autism, mental illness, or children who are prodigies, become criminals, or who have profound multiple disabilities. He writes about families coping with difference and supposes while each of these characteristics is potentially isolating, the experience of difference within families is universal.  One of the themes that flows through the book is the struggle all parents have - how much do you accept your child for just who the child is, and how much do you help them become their best selves. Solomon's writing and interview style is what makes this book compelling - he is able to tell a family's story so that you understand the family's strengths and weaknesses and their struggle to love and compassion


Retirement Books

Paychecks & Playchecks by Tom Hegna (2014) If you ask 50 different financial advisors, you will get 50 different opinions about how to plan for a secure retirement. Their opinions are likely to be sub-optimal. Instead of offering you his opinion, Tom Hegna lays out for you the math and science behind a very simple retirement solution. It is so simple, that you will probably ask yourself, "Why doesn't every financial advisor know this?"

Social Security: The Inside Story by Andy Landis (2014) Social Security and Medicare form the bedrock of your future financial security. You paid for them—now make them work for you! SOCIAL SECURITY: THE INSIDE STORY is detailed. Comprehensive. User-friendly. It’s hailed as the best resource on Social Security and Medicare. This new 2014 Edition is updated and expanded throughout, with completely revised chapters on Medicare and Maximizing Your Social Security.

Social Security Strategies by William Meyer and William Reichenstein (2011) Social Security is no doubt complex. There are many personal and household factors that can impact the monthly and cumulative lifetime benefits received. For most retirees, Social Security benefits represent their largest financial asset. Yet, a majority of Americans decide when to begin benefits without any advice. The largest and smartest banks don't train their adisors to provide advice on claiming strategies, and Social Security Administration staff are neither trained nor allowed to give advice on claiming strategies. Yet, a smart strategy can make a significant difference in a retiree's standard of living.Written primarily for financial professionals, this book will help you construct smart Social Security claiming strategies that enhance lifetime income and minimize the risk of running out of savings in retirement. While the rules governing Social Security are complex, this book will equip you with the information and heuristics to make the most of Social Security benefits.

Social Security Essentials by Dean Barber and Joe Elasser (2013) Social Security Essentials explains the "why", not just the "what" of claiming Social Security retirement benefits. Why should you care about when you claim? Why should you care about the earnings test, spousal benefits, the family maximum or other provisions of the Social Security rules? What is the impact of your Social Security decision on other decisions, like how do you invest for retirement income or what insurance coverages do you purchase?"Social Security Essentials" brings your Social Security decisions into the real world and explores the interaction of the various claiming options with the rest of your retirement financial life.

Get What's Yours (The Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security) by Laurence Kotlikoff, Phillip Moeller, and Paul Solman (2015) Learn the secrets to maximizing your Social Security benefits and earn up to thousands of dollars more each year with expert advice that you can’t get anywhere else.

Paid to Wait by Brian Doherty (2015) In Getting Paid to Wait: Bigger Social Security Benefits - the Simple and Easy Way, Brian Doherty shares his Getting Paid To Wait strategies and contrasts them with the Claim As Early As Possible strategy. Understanding that everyone's financial circumstances are different, Brian provides multiple instances of how delaying Social Security impacts the size of the benefit and provides simple strategies that actually pay you to wait!