Currently Reading

Moby Dick

by Herman Melville

This classic novel has an audio recording time of 24 hrs and 49 mins. Obviously I listen to it at a greater speed than 1.0… but it is nevertheless taking a while.

  • I really love William Hootkins’ narration. Having read this American epic once before, without the assistance of an audio recording, I now believe that my last read-through misinterpreted the intended tone of the novel’s narrator. Ishmael – early on at least – is green, neurotic, and unintentionally funny. He comes across as a well-read, pompous, midwit… but he is also likeable in spite of that. I managed to read this before, without ever successfully getting to know the narrator, but Hootkins’ performance has fixed this for me. I am grateful.

    At any rate, interpreting Ishmael more favorably/accurately makes an enormous difference as to my enjoyment of the work.

    I am about 25% of the way through and it has been a great experience.

Self-Reg: How to Help Your Child (and You) Break the Stress Cycle and Successfully Engage with Life

by Dr. Stuart Shanker

  • This book is a little different than is typical for me. This is targeted to parents. However, a lot of the advice presented is by the author’s own admission applicable to any two people in any type of relationship. I think almost everyone would benefit from paying greater attention to the stress topics covered by the book. Given that I now believe that, I will eventually write a review to that effect.
  • If you struggle with relationships, or if you do not but would like improvement anyway, I cannot recommend Self-Reg enough. The audio recording is relatively short (9 hours, 2 minutes) so it is not a big commitment.
  • The focus of the book is stress modification and reduction, with a hoped end result of health, relationship, and social improvement. The reader, or the reader’s kids, might (probably will) have stress-induced physiological obstacles (ex: sound sensitivity) that are impactful in ways no one is currently noticing, but once recognized, can be addressed in a way that creates a ripple effect of benefits.
  • I’ll include the Audible Publisher’s Summary below:

Self-Reg is a groundbreaking book that presents an entirely new understanding of your child’s emotions and behavior and serves as a practical guide for parents to help their kids engage calmly and successfully in learning and life. Rooted in decades of clinical practice and research by leading child psychologist Dr. Stuart Shanker, Self-Reg realigns the power of the parent-child relationship for positive change.

Self-regulation is the nervous system’s way of responding to stress. We are seeing a generation of children and teens with excessively high levels of stress and, as a result, an explosion of emotional, social, learning, behavior, and physical health problems. But few parents recognize the hidden stressors that their children are struggling with physiologically as well as socially and emotionally. An entrenched view of childrearing is seeing our children as lacking self-control or willpower, but the real basis for these problems lies in excessive stress.

Self-regulation can dramatically improve a child’s mood, attention, and concentration. It can help children to feel empathy and to develop the sorts of virtues that every parent knows are vital for their child’s long-term well-being. Self-regulation brings about profound and lasting transformation that continues to mature throughout life.

Shanker translates decades of his findings from working with children into practical, prescriptive advice for parents, giving them concrete ways to develop their self-regulation skills and teach their children how to do the same for optimal learning, social, and emotional growth as well as for overall well-being.

©2016 Stuart Shanker (P)2016 Penguin Audio

4 thoughts on “Currently Reading

  1. Honestly I’m just laughing my way through it. Ishmael (not to mention Captain Ahab) clearly is presented as having some kind of personality disorder, and at the risk of being offensive or insensitive, I find it all really funny and endearing. Beyond just the insane encyclopedic tangents on various issues, the tone keeps shifting from manic to grave and then back again so rapidly. It’s like being told a story by a crazy person – but a crazy person that you kind of like. (And how can you not like Ishmael after the weird and hilarious introduction of himself and Queequeg before they board the whaling ship.)

    I’d probably be reacting differently if I weren’t listening to the audio recording, though. I suspect the intake of the side-tangents would be a lot more work with (and thus less enjoyable) a traditional non-audio read.