The Sister Wives Season 17 Premiere was almost entirely comprised of a conversation between Kody Brown and Christine Brown as they discussed their failing relationship after 27 years of marriage. A lot is revealed in what is said between the estranged spouses, but there is even more to unpack from the scenes if you read between the Browns.
For those of you who prefer YouTube to reading, here’s a video of this entire post from the Starcasm YouTube channel:
The scene took place in Christine’s dining room, and the backdrop for the entire conversation is a bookshelf jam-packed with Christine’s books. (At least I assume they are Christine’s books.) Looking through the selection of books paints a vivid portrait of a woman desperate to find meaning, purpose, and love in her life.
The books are mostly non-fiction, and there are A LOT of self-help, motivational and psychology books. I can’t imagine there are less than two dozen Oprah Winfrey Book Club selections in the collection.
Christine appears to have put a vast amount of time and effort into making her marriage work. She also appears to have put a lot of time and effort into learning how to value herself: her emotions, her feelings, her desires, and her happiness. The end result of all that time and effort is the very educated decision to leave Kody.
Although the conversation scene wasn’t shot very well from a technical standpoint, the conversation itself and the backdrop it took place in front of could have been taken straight from a cinematic storyboard. Both Christine and viewers are given the impression that Kody is unable to see the full Christine. Yet, there is an amazingly accurate portrait of her right there over his shoulder. If Kody would just shut up, turn his head and look at the books on Christine’s shelf, I believe he would learn A LOT he apparently doesn’t know about his wife of 27 years.
I thought I would provide a condensed form of the literary self-portrait of Christine by highlighting a sampling of some of the books on the shelf. It’s important to note that this is just a curated sampling by myself, and also important to note that there were a lot of titles I couldn’t quite make out.
Below is a list of books in no particular order. I’ve provided the title, author, and the publisher’s synopsis of each title. Each of the titles are linked to the book’s listing on Amazon. Those links are affiliate links and we will receive a small percentage of any Amazon sale after clicking through the links.
Stop Walking on Eggshells: Taking Your Life Back When Someone You Care About Has Borderline Personality Disorder
By Paul T. Mason and Randi Kreger
Do you feel manipulated, controlled, or lied to? Are you the focus of intense, violent, and irrational rages? Do you feel you are ‘walking on eggshells’ to avoid the next confrontation? If the answer is ‘yes,’ someone you care about may have borderline personality disorder (BPD)—a mood disorder that causes negative self-image, emotional instability, and difficulty with interpersonal relationships.
This compassionate guide will enable you to:
Make sense out of the chaos
Stand up for yourself and assert your needs
Defuse arguments and conflicts
Protect yourself and others from violent behavior
If you’re ready to bring peace and stability back into your life, this time-tested guide will show you how, one confident step at a time.
Outwitting the Devil: The Secret to Freedom and Success
By Napoleon Hill
Using his legendary ability to get to the root of human potential, Napoleon Hill digs deep to reveal how fear, procrastination, anger, and jealousy prevent us from realizing our personal goals. This long-suppressed parable, once considered too controversial to publish, was written by Hill in 1938 following the publication of his classic bestseller, Think and Grow Rich. Annotated and edited for a contemporary audience by Rich Dad, Poor Dad and Three Feet from Gold coauthor Sharon Lechter, this book–now available in paper–is profound, powerful, resonant, and rich with insight.
by Tara Westover
Born to [fundamentalist Mormon] survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Her family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when one of Tara’s older brothers became violent. When another brother got himself into college, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home.
From Oprah.com: “In her New York Times best-selling memoir, Educated, author Tara Westover describes her unorthodox upbringing as the daughter of survivalist Mormons and ultimately leaving the Mormon church. Here, Tara shares her feelings about God.”
Judgment Detox: Release the Beliefs That Hold You Back from Living A Better Life
By Gabrielle Bernstein
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Gabrielle Bernstein comes a clear, proactive, step-by-step process to release the beliefs that hold you back from living a better life.
“This six-step practice offers many promises. Petty resentments will disappear, compassion will replace attack, the energy of resistance will transform into freedom and you’ll feel more peace and happiness than you’ve ever known. I can testify to these results because I’ve lived them. I’ve never felt more freedom and joy than I have when writing and practicing these steps.”
Don’t Be Nice, Be Real: Balancing Passion for Self with Compassion for Others
By Kelly Bryson
Don’t Be Nice, Be Real! is a lively, light approach to a deadly serious subject-our lives. It combines humor, radical wisdom, and new culture spirituality to teach the mechanics and spirit of Nonviolent Compassionate Communication to cure “Niceitis,” a hereditary disease. The author has shown that nonviolent communication works wonders, in even the roughest of situations. He’s used it with street gangs in San Diego, combined groups of Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland, Palestinians and Israelis in the Middle East, and among the Croats, Serbs, and Muslims of the Balkans during the Bosnian war. PTA meetings, business conflicts and marital custody battles call all be utterly transformed by these techniques.This book takes us from behind the wall of culturally conditioned niceness, providing us with the tools we need for self-responsible, non-judgmental, clear and conscious honesty.
By Amy Poehler
The much anticipated first book from comedic genius, actress, media darling, star of Parks and Recreation, alum ofSaturday Night Live, and all around awesome lady, Amy Poehler.
Do you want to get to know the woman we first came to love on Comedy Central’s Upright Citizens Brigade? Do you want to spend some time with the lady who made you howl with laughter on Saturday Night Live, and in movies like Baby Mama, Blades of Glory, and They Came Together? Do you find yourself daydreaming about hanging out with the actor behind the brilliant Leslie Knope on Parks and Recreation? Did you wish you were in the audience at the last two Golden Globes ceremonies, so you could bask in the hilarity of Amy’s one-liners?
If your answer to these questions is “Yes Please!” then you are in luck. In her first book, one of our most beloved funny folk delivers a smart, pointed, and ultimately inspirational read. Full of the comedic skill that makes us all love Amy, Yes Please is a rich and varied collection of stories, lists, poetry (Plastic Surgery Haiku, to be specific), photographs, mantras and advice. With chapters like “Treat Your Career Like a Bad Boyfriend,” “Plain Girl Versus the Demon” and “The Robots Will Kill Us All” Yes Please will make you think as much as it will make you laugh. Honest, personal, real, and righteous, Yes Please is full of words to live by.
The Emotion Code: How to Release Your Trapped Emotions for Abundant Health, Love, and Happiness
By Bradley Nelson
In this newly revised and expanded edition of The Emotion Code, renowned holistic physician and lecturer Dr. Bradley Nelson skillfully lays bare the inner workings of the subconscious mind. He reveals how emotionally-charged events from your past can still be haunting you in the form of “trapped emotions”—emotional energies that literally inhabit your body. These trapped emotions can fester in your life and body, creating pain, malfunction, and eventual disease. They can also extract a heavy mental and emotional toll on you, impacting how you think, the choices that you make, and the level of success and abundance you are able to achieve. Perhaps most damaging of all, trapped emotional energies can gather around your heart, cutting off your ability to give and receive love.
The Emotion Code is a powerful and simple way to rid yourself of this unseen baggage. Dr. Nelson’s method gives you the tools to identify and release the trapped emotions in your life, eliminating your “emotional baggage,” and opening your heart and body to the positive energies of the world. Filled with real-world examples from many years of clinical practice, The Emotion Code is a distinct and authoritative work that has become a classic on self-healing.
What Every BODY is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agent’s Guide to Speed-Reading People
By Joe Navarro
Read this book and send your nonverbal intelligence soaring. Joe Navarro, a former FBI counterintelligence officer and a recognized expert on nonverbal behavior, explains how to “speed-read” people: decode sentiments and behaviors, avoid hidden pitfalls, and look for deceptive behaviors. You’ll also learn how your body language can influence what your boss, family, friends, and strangers think of you. You will discover:
• The ancient survival instincts that drive body language
• Why the face is the least likely place to gauge a person’s true feelings
• What thumbs, feet, and eyelids reveal about moods and motives
• The most powerful behaviors that reveal our confidence and true sentiments
• Simple nonverbals that instantly establish trust
• Simple nonverbals that instantly communicate authority
Filled with examples from Navarro’s professional experience, this definitive book offers a powerful new way to navigate your world…
He says that’s his best offer. Is it? She says she agrees. Does she? The interview went great—or did it? He said he’d never do it again. But he did.
Today I Begin a New Life – Intentional Creation: Og Mandino for the 21st Century
By Dave Blanchard
This book is designed to assist you to intentionally create your dreams in spite of the fire storms of life. It is a powerful combination of Og Mandino’s time tested principles of success and the experiences from one of America s top personal and business coaches. We have never needed this more than we need it now.
Where the Wild Moms Are: Because Every Mom Deserves A Break!
By Katie Blackburn and Sholto Walker
In this hilarious, touching homage to Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are, a worn-out mom finds herself floating across time and space to the place where the Wild Moms are. Dazzled by her party tricks, they crown her Queen of the Wild Moms and try to entice her to join their conga . . . But Mom has just remembered who she loves best of all . . .
Lovingly illustrated by the award-winning Sholto Walker, this little book is the perfect gift for baby showers, new moms — or any mom who’s ever wanted to go on strike.
The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For?
By Rick Warren
The New York Times #1 bestselling book by Pastor Rick Warren that helps you understand and live out the purpose of your life.
Before you were born, God already planned your life. God longs for you to discover the life he uniquely created you to live–here on earth, and forever in eternity. Let The Purpose Driven Life show you how. As one of the bestselling nonfiction books in history, with more than 35 million copies sold, The Purpose Driven Life is far more than just a book; it’s the road map for your spiritual journey. A journey that will transform your life.
Designed to be read in 42 days, each chapter provides a daily meditation and practical steps to help you discover and live out your purpose, starting with exploring three of life’s most pressing questions:
• The Question of Existence: Why am I alive?
• The Question of Significance: Does my life matter?
• The Question of Purpose: What on earth am I here for?
Forgiveness: 21 Days to Forgive Everyone for Everything
By Iyanla Vanzant
Too many of us feel trapped in stagnant romantic, family, or workplace relationships. Weighed down by toxic thoughts and emotions, we might be quick to judge and slow to pardon, and self-righteous about our feelings as we dwell on memories of what we or others did (or failed to do). In this tradepaper edition, Iyanla Vanzant challenges us to liberate ourselves from the wounds of the past and to embrace the new power of forgiveness.
With Iyanla’s 21-Day Forgiveness Plan, you’ll explore relationship dynamics with your parents, children, friends, partners, co-workers, bosses, yourself, and even God. With journaling work and Emotional Freedom Techniques (also known as “tapping”), you’ll learn to live with more love; gain new clarity on your life, lessons, and blessings; and discover a new level of personal freedom, peace, and well-being. Forgiveness doesn’t mean agreeing with, condoning, or even liking what has happened.
Forgiveness means letting go and knowing that—regardless of how challenging, frightening, or difficult an experience may seem—everything is just as it needs to be in order for you to grow and learn. When you focus on how things “should” be, you deny the presence and power of love. Accept the events of the past, while being willing to change your perspective on them.
As Iyanla says, “Only forgiveness can liberate minds and hearts once held captive by anger, bitterness, resentment, and fear. Forgiveness is a true path to freedom that can renew faith, build trust, and nourish the soul.”
Who Wants to Marry a Duke? (Duke Dynasty 3)
By Sabrina Jeffries
A sexy and distracting rake is tamed by a scholarly heroine with a penchant for the sciences in this dazzling and witty tale of Regency London.
A past kiss with adorably bookish Miss Olivia Norley should be barely a memory for Marlowe Drake, the Duke of Thornstock. After all, there are countless debutantes for a handsome rakehell to charm beyond a young lady whose singular passion is chemistry—of the laboratory type. But Thorn has not forgotten—or forgiven—the shocking blackmail scheme sparked by that single kiss, or the damage caused to both their names. Now Thorn’s half-brother, Grey, has hired the brilliant Miss Norley for her scientific expertise in solving a troubling family mystery. And the once-burned Thorn, suspicious of her true motives, vows to follow her every move . . .
For Olivia, determining whether arsenic poisoning killed Grey’s father is the pioneering experiment that could make her career—and Thorn’s constant presence is merely a distraction. But someone has explosive plans to derail her search. Soon the most unexpected discovery is the caring nature of the reputed scoundrel beside her—and the electricity it ignites between them . . .
Carry On, Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life
By Glennon Doyle
The inspiring and hilarious instant New York Times bestseller from the beloved writer, speaker, activist, and founder of Momastery, whose memoir Love Warrior was an Oprah’s Book Club selection.
Glennon Doyle’s hilarious and poignant reflections on our universal (yet often secret) experiences have inspired a social movement by reminding women that they’re not alone. In Carry On, Warrior, she shares her personal story in moving, refreshing, and laugh-out-loud new essays and some of the best-loved material from Momastery. Her writing invites us to believe in ourselves, to be brave and kind, to let go of the idea of perfection, and to stop making motherhood, marriage, and friendship harder by pretending they’re not hard. In this one woman’s attempt to love herself and others, readers will find a wise and witty friend who shows that we can build better lives in our hearts, homes, and communities.
Dream Big: Know What You Want, Why You Want It, and What You’re Going to Do About It
By Bob Goff
Find and Reach Your Biggest Dreams
Bob Goff, the New York Times bestselling author of Love Does and Everybody, Always, is on a mission to help people recapture the version of their lives they dreamed about before fear started calling the shots. He wants them to dream big.
In his revelatory yet utterly practical new book, Bob takes you on a life-proven journey to rediscover your dreams and turn them into reality. Based on his enormously popular Dream Big workshop, Bob draws on a lifetime of living and dreaming large to help you reach your larger-than-life dreams. In Dream Big he shows how to
• learn to define clearly your dreams for yourself,
• identify the obstacles holding you back,
• come up with a specific plan for reaching goals, and
• develop the tools that will help you act on the plan.
Dream Big is the only book you need to uncover the wild and exciting dream for your life you’ve hidden from yourself–and help you take the steps necessary to achieve it.
Bubba Scarce is a writer for Starcasm. You can contact Bubba via email at bubbascarce(at)yahoo.com