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Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family

Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family Description:

The inspiring true story of a transgender girl her identical twin brother and an ordinary American family s extraordinary journey to understand nurture and celebrate the uniqueness in us all from the Pulitzer Prize winning science reporter for The Washington Post br br When Wayne and Kelly Maines adopted identical twin boys they thought their lives were complete But it wasn t long before they noticed a marked difference between Jonas and his brother Wyatt Jonas preferred sports and trucks and many of the things little boys were supposed to like but Wyatt liked princess dolls and dress up and playing Little Mermaid By the time the twins were toddlers confusion over Wyatt s insistence that he was female began to tear the family apart In the years that followed the Maineses came to question their long held views on gender and identity to accept and embrace Wyatt s transition to Nicole and to undergo an emotionally wrenching transformation of their own that would change all their lives forever br br Becoming Nicole chronicles a journey that could have destroyed a family but instead brought it closer together It s the story of a mother whose instincts told her that her child needed love and acceptance not ostracism and disapproval of a Republican Air Force veteran father who overcame his deepest fears to become a vocal advocate for trans rights of a loving brother who bravely stuck up for his twin sister and of a town forced to confront its prejudices a school compelled to rewrite its rules and a courageous community of transgender activists determined to make their voices heard Ultimately Becoming Nicole is the story of an extraordinary girl who fought for the right to be herself br br Granted wide ranging access to personal diaries home videos clinical journals legal documents medical records and the Maineses themselves Amy Ellis Nutt spent almost four years reporting this immersive account of an American family confronting an issue that is at the center of today s cultural debate Becoming Nicole will resonate with anyone who s ever raised a child felt at odds with society s conventions and norms or had to embrace life when it plays out unexpectedly It s a story of standing up for your beliefs and yourself and it will inspire all of us to do the same

Rating: 3.76 out of 5

Shadows Bright as Glass: The Remarkable Story of One Man's Journey from Brain Trauma to Artistic Triumph

Shadows Bright as Glass: The Remarkable Story of One Man's Journey from Brain Trauma to Artistic Triumph Description:

On a sunny fall afternoon in Jon Sarkin was playing golf when without a whisper of warning his life changed forever As he bent down to pick up his golf ball something strange and massive happened inside his head part of his brain seemed to unhinge to split apart and float away For an utterly inexplicable reason a tiny blood vessel thin as a thread deep inside the folds of his gray matter had suddenly shifted ever so slightly rubbing up against his acoustic nerve Any noise now caused him excruciating pain br br After months of seeking treatment to no avail in desperation Sarkin resorted to radical deep brain surgery which seemed to go well until during recovery his brain began to bleed and he suffered a major stroke When he awoke he was a different man Before the stroke he was a calm disciplined chiropractor a happily married husband and father of a newborn son Now he was transformed into a volatile and wildly exuberant obsessive seized by a manic desire to create art devoting virtually all his waking hours to furiously drawing painting and writing poems and letters to himself strangely detached from his wife and child and unable to return to his normal working life His sense of self had been shattered his intellect intact but his way of being drastically altered His art became a relentless quest for the right words and pictures to unlock the secrets of how to live this strange new life And what was even stranger was that he remembered his former self br br In a beautifully crafted narrative award winning journalist and Pulitzer Prize finalist Amy Ellis Nutt interweaves Sarkin s remarkable story with a fascinating tour of the history of and latest findings in neuroscience and evolution that illuminate how the brain produces from its web of billions of neurons and chaos of liquid electrical pulses the richness of human experience that makes us who we are Nutt brings vividly to life pivotal moments of discovery in neuroscience from the shocking rebirth of a young girl hanged in to the first autopsy of an autistic savant s brain and the extraordinary true stories of people whose personalities and cognitive abilities were dramatically altered by brain trauma often in shocking ways br br Probing recent revelations about the workings of creativity in the brain and the role of art in the evolution of human intelligence she reveals how Jon Sarkin s obsessive need to create mirrors the earliest function of art in the brain Introducing major findings about how our sense of self transcends the bounds of our own bodies she explores how it is that the brain generates an individual self and how if damage to our brains can so alter who we are we can nonetheless be said to have a soul br br For Jon Sarkin with his personality and sense of self permanently altered making art became his bridge back to life a means of reassembling from the shards of his former self a new man who could rejoin his family and fashion a viable life He is now an acclaimed artist who exhibits at some of the country s most prestigious venues as well as a devoted husband to his wife Kim and father to their three children At once wrenching and inspiring this is a story of the remarkable human capacity to overcome the most daunting obstacles and of the extraordinary workings of the human mind

Rating: 3.42 out of 5

Brain Hacking: The new science of curing mental illness (Kindle Single)

Brain Hacking: The new science of curing mental illness (Kindle Single) Description:

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Rating: 3.72 out of 5

The Teenage Brain: A Neuroscientist's Survival Guide to Raising Adolescents and Young Adults

The Teenage Brain: A Neuroscientist's Survival Guide to Raising Adolescents and Young Adults Description:

An internationally respected neurologist offers a revolutionary look at the brains of adolescents providing surprising insights including why smart kids often do stupid things and practical advice for adults and teens br br In this groundbreaking accessible book Dr Frances E Jensen a mother teacher researcher and internationally known expert in neurology introduces us to the mystery and magic of the teen brain One of the first books to focus exclusively on the neurological development of adolescents The Teenage Brain presents new findings dispels widespread myths and provides practical suggestions for negotiating this difficult and dynamic life stage for both adults and adolescents br br Interweaving easy to follow scientific data with anecdotes drawn from her experiences as a parent clinician and public speaker Dr Jensen explores adolescent brain functioning and development including learning and memory and investigates the impact of influences such as drugs multitasking sleep and stress The Teenage Brain reveals how Adolescents may not be as resilient to the effects of drugs as we previously thought Occasional use of marijuana has been shown to cause lingering memory problems and long term use can affect later adulthood I Q Multi tasking causes divided attention and can reduce learning ability Emotionally stressful situations in adolescence can have permanent effects on mental health and may lead to higher risk for certain neuropsychiatric disorders such as depression br br Rigorous yet accessible warm yet direct The Teenage Brain sheds new light on young adults and provides practical suggestions for how parents schools and even the legal system can better help them during this crucial period

Rating: 3.43 out of 5