In 2013, while visiting her sister in the United States, Laurel Kamada collapsed. Far from her husband, son, career, and home in Japan, she spent the next few weeks in a coma from a stroke that left a hole the size of a baseball in the center of her brain. In this multicultural memoir, Kamada writes about her years of recovery with a profound sense of grace, still seeing the beauty in her life while not shying away from its many struggles.
This five-part memoir addresses the basics of strokes; an East-West (Japan, U.S.) comparison of stroke, advice and help for the primary caregivers and families of stroke survivors, and lessons on how to improve systems of care and rehabilitation. Kamada also introduces networking means and advice to help stroke survivors, their families and friends, and professionals working in long-term care facilities, such as nursing and rehabilitation staff.
It’s unusual to access a child’s mind during the magic years of childhood. It’s rarer when the child is facing her death. Liza, an ardent child with a deep love of cows and the color purple was diagnosed with leukemia at age four and died two years later in 1996. Liza was an unusually expressive child and her parents, both child psychiatrists, were uniquely oriented to appreciate the richness of a child’s mind. Through writing this book, Liza’s father strove to reveal the inner world of a child’s mind—and a parent’s mind—as few other books can.
At its center, this is the story of a child’s psyche growing and striving to understand all she could of her experience, and of a small family coping with life’s biggest challenges. It is a story of love’s power to help a family cope and endure despite loss, and to grow, through darkness, back toward a full embrace of life. Through the process, the family emerges transformed, awed by the capacities of this child.
In the U.S., as more states move toward legalization of recreational marijuana, discussions about cannabis’ role in healthcare, incarceration and legal ethics have flowered as well. Our Cannabis Studies books are a part of a growing interdisciplinary study of cannabis, covering everything from explorations of holistic and medical marijuana treatments, sociopolitical histories and more. Now through April 23rd, we’re giving 20% off our Cannabis Studies catalog with code WEED20 at checkout on the Toplight site.
Emetophobia–the disproportionate fear of vomiting or being in the presence of someone vomiting–affects millions of people yet is seldom discussed. Part-memoir, part clinical history, Dara Lovitz provides a brutally honest account of her life as an emetophobe. Written with her therapist, Dr. David Yusko, her story unravels the mystery of emetophobia.
Lovitz spent years trying traditional talk therapy and self-help books yet nothing seemed to reduce her anxiety. In desperation, she tried exposure therapy. With a therapist’s guidance, she was able to overcome emetophobia. The history of exposure therapy for treating emetophobes is covered.
Dana Creighton and her mother both were affected by the same inherited cerebellar degeneration, known as ataxia–a loss of control over body movements. Both were treated by a healthcare system that failed them in different ways. Yet their experiences were disparate.
Creighton eventually found the right tools to piece together meaning in her life; her mother resisted accepting her condition, in part because doctors repeatedly said nothing was wrong with her. Twenty-five years after her mother’s suicide, Creighton’s memoir finds striking similarities and differences in their lives and traces a lineage of family trauma.
Drawing on research in neuroplasticity, medical records, personal correspondence and genealogy, the author highlights the gap between the lived experience of a debilitating ailment and the impersonal aims of clinicians. She shows how the stories parents tell themselves about living with a genetic disorder influences how they communicate it to their children.
As many as 5–10 million Americans may suffer from body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) yet it remains under-recognized by both mental health professionals and the general public. Tormented by obsessive thoughts associated with physical appearance, and related compulsive behaviors, people with BDD believe their bodies are flawed or even deformed—imperfections typically not noticeable to others. High suicide attempt rates, the pursuit of cosmetic remedies and other factors complicate the clinical picture.
Although Scott Granet began showing symptoms of BDD at 19, more than two decades passed before he discovered that his obsessive fear of losing his hair was a sign of a serious psychiatric condition. Written from the perspective of therapist who has lived with and triumphed over BDD, Granet’s personal and clinical narrative guides the reader through the process of assessing and treating BDD.
Throughout the 20th century and into the new millennium, humanity has made enormous advancements in science and technology. Spiritual enlightenment, however, has gone relatively neglected, as fascination with material progress tends to keep us focused on the physical world, giving less importance to universal values, to being, to spiritual life.
Parapsychological research has produced significant findings over the last few decades, and science has the obligation to continue exploring this area, seeking to contribute to the spiritual enlightenment of humanity. This book examines evidence of traditional psychic phenomena, promoting a more comprehensive understanding of them, and offering new perspective to see ourselves as particles of “universal energy,” interconnected with all others.
Part how-to, part personal narrative, this book provides a practical guide for creating native-species ecogardens. It chronicles the author’s 20-year journey of environmental awakening. With the help of the greater community, a neglected five-acre condominium landscape is transformed into a stunning range of multi-seasonal prairie, woodland and wetland micro-habitats. This illustrated account describes the process of ecological reconciliation and traces his discovery of the higher self along the way.
This book chronicles the author’s experience with sobriety and recovery, offering relief and hope to recovering substance abusers and their loved ones. With optimism and humor, the author explores an enduringly human struggle—living with a consciousness addicted to alteration.
While documenting the world of active addiction and his recovery from substance abuse, the author guides others on their own journey with sobriety. Chapters provide reminders and meditations to the newly recovering; lists of activities and life experiences to enjoy in sobriety; insights into a world seen through “clear” eyes; etiquette for the refined recoverer; behavioral observations and humorous anecdotes from addicts on the mend.
Wrapped in satire and wit, this honest and personally reflective guidebook will be recognizable and helpful to recovering addicts and to their friends and families.
This memoir chronicles the unique ordeals of identical twin sisters Diana and Julia Lockwood. Even among twins, Diana and Julia were especially close and deeply entwined—they were more than just sisters or best friends, they were like one soul in two bodies. While their total attunement sometimes saved them in funny and unexpected ways, it also eventually destroyed them.
A survivor of sexual assault and anorexia and living with Asperger’s, the author tells her own life story while weaving Julia’s letters and journal entries into the text. While Diana survived the struggles that led her to three suicide attempts, her twin unfortunately took her own life only a year after their father did the same. This book explores the life and relationship of twins separated by tragedy and follows a woman’s struggle to make it on her own.
The science is clear: by the mid-20th century human beings must stop burning coal, oil and natural gas. Reducing carbon emissions is not enough—they must be eliminated. Each individual “doing their part” is only a start. We heat our homes, light our rooms, power our cars, prepare our food, and produce and distribute consumer goods with the help of fossil fuels. A practical and visionary re-imagining of the future is needed.
Calling for a technical and spiritual ground-shift, this book proposes carbon boycotts as collective action, with groups and communities changing what products they consume and seeking new ways to work, live and play to steer aggregate demand towards solar, wind, geothermal and renewable energy alternatives.
The monumental sense of dislocation we experience after losing a loved one can be life-altering. There is no script for grieving—each individual passes through their own phases of mourning. In this personal narrative, psychologist Beatriz Dujovne documents how she grieved the loss of her husband and sought therapy during an extended stay in her hometown of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Recounting her healing process day-to-day, from shock through recovery, this book traces her navigation of the uncertainty and devastation that often engulfs those who have suffered profound loss.
Travelers are buzzing about apitourism—or “bee tourism”—as an opportunity to get close to bees and learn about the ecology and industry they support. Apitours invite visitors to see what takes place inside a hive, taste fresh honey and observe its journey from comb to bottle. Apitourists explore “bee culture” through diverse activities—watching films, creating art, building “bee hotels,” sampling mead, learning to plant pollinator gardens and documenting species in the wild. This guide presents an educational overview of apitourism, with an exploration of the fascinating world of bees and the sometimes controversial issues surrounding them.
A stale marriage. A deadly diagnosis. For Sally Connolly, three years of struggle followed her husband Peter’s surgery for terminal brain cancer at age 61. Choosing treatment options that interfered least with his career, Peter focused his limited energy on work, with little left for his family, further straining the marriage during his remaining days. Connolly’s clear-eyed and affecting memoir recounts their wrangling over gender roles, money management, domestic decisions and lifestyle changes. Through their traumatic journey, they find humor and comfort in unexpected places.
Lucid dreaming, the skill of recognizing that you’re dreaming within a dream, has a vast potential to not only improve the content of your dreams but also to quell anxiety and improve confidence during your waking life. Leveraging both scientific research and two decades of personal experimentation, this book provides everything readers need to know in order to begin lucid dreaming for the first time and to improve the frequency, control, and clarity of existing lucid dream experiences. Personal anecdotes and dream journal entries from the author help clarify points of confusion and motivate readers. This book focuses heavily on the connections between lucid dreaming, mindfulness, and anxiety, and on the myriad benefits lucid dreaming can have while you are awake.
Whether you have never had a lucid dream before, or you want to improve the quality and frequency of your lucid dreams, the techniques provided here will make the process simple. With the skill of lucid dreaming, your dreams will become your own personal playground, laboratory, artist studio, or spiritual center. What you gain from such a journey is up to you.
This year has been an extraordinary time for looking inward, learning about wellness and focusing more and more on spirituality. Here at McFarland, we’ve published many resources that help individuals achieve their wellness goals—including our Health Topics series, a growing cannabis studies selection and a brand-new imprint, Toplight Books, devoted to all things personal development. In the spirit of this season of growth, we’re offering 40% off all books on body, mind and spirit through May 4th—just use coupon code BMS40 at checkout. Browse our catalog on Body, Mind & Spirit here!
What are we to make of direct spiritual experience? Of accounts of going to heaven or meeting angels? Traditional science would call these hallucinations or delusions. Clinical psychologist Dr. Mark Yama argues the opposite. Through interviews with his patients, he shows that underneath the visions and experiences there is a unifying spiritual reality apart from the material world.
One of the stories recounted in this book is the experience of a woman who could see the future. In a spiritual transport, she was taken to heaven where truths were revealed to her that she later discovered were already written in Gnostic scripture. Another woman lived a life marked by a spiritual sensitivity that defied materialist explanation. After she passed away of cancer, she came to inhabit the consciousness of another of Dr. Yama’s patients in the form of a benign possession. These stories, and many others, argue for a deeper reality that places spirituality on an equal footing with the material world.
Nearing his sixth decade as a dedicated climber, William “Bill” Katra describes himself as “not a great climber, but a persistent one.” In his memoir, the author details his climbs in vivid detail, describing some of the world’s most popular routes while emphasizing that scenic beauty is as important to a hike as technical difficulty.
From his early partner-belayed adventures to his more recent unassisted solo “scamper-climbs,” Bill’s techniques have evolved, but his love for the experience remains steadfast. Within recent years, Bill has again summited a few climbs from his younger days, often reflecting on where senior climbers fit in the sport’s changing social—and environmental—landscape. This memoir is a relatable and nostalgic account of a life well-spent in nature, as the author muses on his long-past adventures enriched and nurtured by the wisdom of the present.
In 1980s America, coming out as gay as a father and husband was a significant journey for anyone to make. Coming out as gay as a priest guaranteed immersion into controversy, contradiction, and challenge. This book tells of the Reverend Canon Ted Karpf’s navigation of new social and romantic journeys, all within the context of his priestly vocation in the Episcopal Church.
Covering from 1968 to 2018, Karpf recounts his vivid memories, life-changing dreams and resonant reflections on living a life of faith in a socially and politically tumultuous period. His narratives are crafted as poetic meditations on enduring values and meaning, which can remind any reader that we are neither abandoned nor alone, and that forgiveness is a fulfilling way of living in a world of contradictions.
“Perhaps I should have realized that cancer runs in my family. After all, three grandparents and my father and brother perished from this disease. Yet, when I received my colorectal cancer diagnosis, I was surprised. I never expected to be primarily identified as a cancer patient. Following a typical combination of chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, and more chemo, I was presumably cancer-free when my post-treatment scans looked clean. Nonetheless, within a year I received a terminal diagnosis; cancer had metastasized in my lungs. Thus began my year as a dead woman—a time of chaotic emotions, new priorities, and rapid-fire plans and changes. Expecting the unexpected became a theme in my life, but the things that turned out to be most shocking are social, familial, and even my expectations about what is realistic for a dead woman to be or do.”
Preconceptions about a terminal cancer diagnosis frequently are based on popular culture depictions of cancer and dying, which can be misleading as a guide for knowing what to expect when you’re expecting to die. This memoir provides one woman’s often-irreverent, pop culture-illustrated guide to life that deconstructs some common preconceptions about living with a terminal diagno
In the middle of a paralyzing panic attack, 34-year-old Holly Pennebaker made the call that would ultimately save her life. She realized that her eating disorder had consumed her life for the previous 15 years and made the decision to get help and enter a rigorous treatment program. Holly documented the program in real time, writing about it in an authentic, raw form.
This account chronicles the author’s experience with disordered eating, anxiety and other mental illness from the onset of her major panic attack through the weeks following her completion of the treatment program. By candidly recounting her own journey, Holly explores struggle, hope and self-acceptance.
In the last six years, Colorado has seen a population boom reminiscent of the state’s first few years of settlement. But rather than staking mining claims or establishing homesteads, these new pioneers are on the frontier of an emerging science: marijuana as treatment for various debilitating conditions. This book contains personal accounts from doctors, researchers, and patients–self-proclaimed “refugees” seeking treatment unavailable elsewhere–who are at the forefront of medical marijuana practice. Their stories provide unique insights into a social, political and medical revolution.
“Even ardent just-say-no proponents may reconsider their feelings toward medical marijuana after reading…makes a compelling argument for changing federal laws…helpful appendices…this is an informative, thought provoking, and worthy read.”—Booklist
Ten autistic self-advocates share their experiences with alternative forms of communication such as rapid prompting method (RPM) and facilitated communication (FC), both highly controversial. Their narratives document the complexities that autistic individuals navigate–in both educational and community settings–when choosing to use approaches that utilize letter boards and keyboards. While the controversies remain–RPM requires further scientific study, and FC is subject to criticism about confirmation bias–these individuals share powerful stories in the context of aiming for disability rights. The book concludes with a chapter about best practices for educators, particularly for schools and colleges that have students who use these communication methods.
The Appalachian Mountains are a well-known world treasure, perhaps the most biodiverse region on the planet. This book spans almost six years and 500 miles of hiking by the author along the southern portion of the Appalachian Trail. A fresh perspective is brought to the subculture of “AT” hikers. The path of the trail crosses many areas that featured dramatic family events, and the author weaves in compelling stories of his ancestors who called this ancient mountain range home. Also explored are a multitude of topics ranging from environmental challenges to the modern-day problems facing residents of the region.
This collection makes a particularly compelling argument for the use of communication methods that have given all ten essayists access to a voice that was previously inaccessible: their own. Each chapter is unique, with the exception of two common refrains. Every story includes a hard-won battle for equal access to education and a passionate attempt to make such access universally available for others with autism. In our society schools often equate being
nonverbal with a lack of intelligence. Today we offer a few sneak preview excerpts to
demonstrate that there is nothing further from the truth.
“Placement in the disability hierarchy is based on how you communicate. Clear verbal speech is on top, hard to understand verbal speech is in the middle and no verbal speech is at the bottom. Your placement in the hierarchy usually determines your access to education and community. This disability hierarchy exists everywhere: in society, classrooms, hospitals, work, and in families. It is even in the disability community. Every day, false assumptions about intelligence and communication deny life opportunities.” From “Expectations” by Henry Frost
“When I think of what I want for others, it falls on having fewer obstacles like the ones that I have faced. I would like to see other spellers and typers supported instead of battled. I would rather see the system of effort work toward propelling forward the outmoded methods of trying to teach students with autism. It would be great to see a school where the only thing to struggle against is our autism.” From “Letter by Letter” by Dillan Barmache
“I am exuberant, overflowing with energy. I’d rather gallop than walk, bounce than sit quietly. I’m happiest with high volume, intense beats, jumping, arms flailing, pounding bass, total darkness or bright stage lights and a microphone in hand. I want people to hear me. I am as versed in making silly faces as I am in my favorite songs and my neurology. My mind is lightning fast, hungry, logical. I’m a seeker, determined, a lover of laughter in a body trying to keep up. It can’t, but I’ll keep trying.” From “I am Emma” by Emma Zurcher Long
North Carolina – May 1, 2019 – Scholarly publisher McFarland has announced the launch of Toplight Books, a new imprint with a focus
on the body, mind and spirit.
hope to offer a wide array of books that explore these basic, essential
components of being human that in the pace and pressure of modern life are too
often relegated to the periphery of our consciousness,” said acquiring editor
The first season of releases, planned for fall 2019, includes titles about migrating for medical marijuana, effective communication alternatives for the autistic, and a comprehensive guide to being an injury-free runner. In Migrating for Medical Marijuana, University of Colorado professor Tracy Ferrell shares unique insights into a social, political and medical revolution, including personal accounts from doctors and patients. Communication Alternatives in Autism chronicles the experiences of ten autistic self-advocates, covering effective but controversial communication methods. In The Durable Runner, author Alison Heilig–an RRCA running coach, yoga teacher, corrective exercise specialist, and NASM personal trainer–maps out proven strategies for a lifetime of healthy and happy running.
excited about this eclectic debut of titles for Toplight Books. The neglect of our physical, mental
and spiritual selves diminishes our capacity to respond to life and each other,
to the great detriment of personal and planetary well-being, and we hope to
counter the trend with well-researched books covering any or all of the three
core human dimensions, in original and inspiring ways,” said Foreman.
interests include uplifting and positive books about psychology and
mindfulness, religious studies and spirituality, and alternative health
treatments. Submissions from authors and literary agents are invited,
and should be directed to Foreman’s attention at email@example.com.
Foreman welcomes proposals for books as wide ranging as reincarnation and the
soul, yoga and meditation guides, nature’s relationship to well-being,
explorations of neurodiversity, and scientific studies on the nature of
qi. For more information about the imprint, go to https://toplightbooks.com/.
JEFFERSON, North Carolina – April 6, 2018 – Scholarly publisher McFarland has established new imprint Toplight Books.
“We hope to publish books which strive to improve or help readers understand their body, mind or spirit,” said Executive Editor Lisa Camp. “Our interests include uplifting and positive books about psychology and mindfulness, religious studies and spirituality, yoga, and common medical problems and treatment, among other topics.”