Brain-Based Books

ACO Conference Binder 2012 –
Blog expanded Speaker Content
Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – Part 4a
Last Edited: March 29, 2012

“…some things you get taught.
And some things you just learn.”
~ Anna Quindlen

“Only a group of people who share a body of knowledge and
continually learn together can stay vital and viable.”

Max DePree (author of The Art of Management)

Your Mind

Many of you know that I am a voracious reader.

Reading scratches an itch in my brain. It’s time-off for good behavior. It centers me like nothing else.

Relatively rare in the ADD community, I’ve loved to read since I first learned how — took to it like a duck to water, as they say.

My Love Affair with WORDS

One Christmas in my youth, noting that I didn’t have as many under-the-tree presents to unwrap as my siblings, my mother wrapped up a hastily purchased children’s dictionary in a last-minute attempt to “even the score.”

It was my favorite present ever – a book all about the words in the other books!
She tossed it when she believed I had outgrown it, or I’d have it still.

When my eyes were younger and could actually see those thousand angels dancing on the heads of pins, I was one of those oddballs who would read the labels on the back of bathroom products — if nothing else was available.

Now that my eyes are getting older, I make sure something else is available!  I always have several books going, so each of them gets its time in the “library.”

Reading’s place in MY life

For the past twenty years or so – ever since I  became aware of the existence of television hypnosis and its overlap with ADD – I haven’t owned a television set.  Once I fully realized the implications of its tractor beam dangers to me personally, I quit cold turkey — more time to read!

Since that decision, it is an e-x-t-r-e-m-e-l-y  rare week I don’t polish off at least one book
— and a book every DAY or two when life goes my way.

What I read and what it means:

Skipping right over the shelves that house twenty years of scripts and theatre history, I currently read primarily my personal definition of  “self-help,” which means —

psychology, spirituality, philosophy, science and technology, business and coaching, motivation and goal setting, organizing and time management, ADD of course, all of it’s comorbids — the occasional biography or book of fiction (and books or plays written by friends).  

I eat books about mind and brain like candy. 

What Do You Suggest?

I am frequently asked for “best” book recommendations, as if that would be an easy task for me — as if they’d roll right out of my brain.


Prioritize publications??

Pick and choose among my (many hundreds of) printed friends? 

“Best” for whom?  For what purpose?  With what level of reading skills? What kind of background? How much time to read? yada yada yada yada YADA!!

What part of “ADD Poster Girl” don’t you GET?!

Good enough for NOW

I have been distracted from compiling “the brain-based list” so many times, that looking for all of it’s parts has become an Easter Egg hunt of epic proportions!  So here’s a great start, with my apologies to the authors of truly wonderful books I’m sure are on some other list under some other name on my hard drive!  As I find them, I will add them.

Books in bold indicate those currently under consideration (in addition to a few Attentional Spectrum Books) as required reading for my brand-spanking-new, cutting-edge, ADVANCED Brain-Based Coach Training curriculum to debut, if all goes as planned, in fall of 2013 or early 2014.**

The Books in Bold are NOT to be taken as more highly recommended, or better, in some ways –– simply those in current consideration as I post this list.

The Required Reading List will ultimately be chosen with an eye toward fit with the overall curriculum purpose as a brain-based COACH training, content balance, total amount of background reading, ADD-friendly formatting, and price (among other considerations).

After all, I can’t require them ALL!  

**UPDATE: Unfortunately, all did NOT go as planned, and I was forced to put this project on hold. I was gang mugged at gunpoint, resulting in a badly broken dominant hand necessitating 3-months in a cumbersome cast, immediately followed by a sudden, unplanned move. Tossing my salad practically completely did me IN.

Check out my PTSD posts, Understanding Fear and Anxiety and When Fear Becomes Entrenched and Chronic for more – including a bit of help for anyone else struggling with PTSD.

Check back when the training debuts to see what I ultimately decided upon – some books I require may not even appear on the list below at all – right now. In any case, if you think you will be signing up for that training (or even if you aren’t!), anything you read NOW will help you become a better coach (and save you time later!)

You might ALSO be interested in:

•  Attentional Spectrum Books
• Brain-Based Blogs & Websites
• Booklist from THE original ADD Coach Training
• ADD in the Spirit Coach Training Resource List

A few of the many wonderful books
exploring the Brain and the Mind

— Alpha by Title, for ease of update

  • A Symphony in the Brain: The Evolution of the New Brain Wave Biofeedback, Jim Robbins
  • A User’s Guide to the Brain: Perception, Attention, and the Four Theaters of the Brain | Shadow Syndromes: The Mild Forms of Major Mental Disorders That Sabotage Us, John J. Ratey
  • Affect Regulation and the Origin of the Self : The Neurobiology of Emotional Development | The Science of the Art of Psychotherapy, Allan N. Schore
  • An Anthropologist On Mars  | The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat, Oliver Sacks
  • Attention Deficit Disorder Misdiagnosis: Approaching ADD from a Brain-Behavior/Neuropsychological Perspective for Assessment and Treatment, Barbara C. Fisher
  • Attention Deficit Disorders: A Neurological Diagnostic Perspective, Edward F. Frates
  • Behavioral Neurology and Neuropsychology, Todd Feinberg, Martha Farah
  • Being a Brain-Wise Therapist: A Practical Guide to Interpersonal Neurobiology | The Brain-Savvy Therapist’s Workbook, Bonnie Badenoch
  • Brain Science and Psychological Disorders; Therapy, Psychotropic Drugs and the Brain, F. Scott Kraly
  • Brave New Brain: Conquering Mental Illness in the Era of The Genome |The BROKEN BRAIN, | The Creating Brain: The Neuroscience of Genius, Nancy C. Andreasen
  • Cognitive Therapy Techniques: A Practitioner’s Guide, Robert L. Leahy
  • Consciousness Explained,  Daniel Dennett
  • essays on The Mind, edited by John Pinker (authors include Ramachandran, Gopnik, Zimbardo Lakoff etc.)
  • Exploring Consciousness | Mapping the Mind, | The Human Brain Book, Rita Carter
  • In Search of Memory: The Emergence of a New Science of Mind, Eric R. Kandel
  • Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain, David Eagleman
  • Megabrain : New Tools and Techniques for Brain Growth and Mind Expansion, Michael Hutchison
  • Minding the Body, Mending the Mind, Joan Borysenko, Ph.D
  • Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation | Pocket Guide to Interpersonal Neurobiology: An Integrative Handbook of the Mind, Daniel J. Siegel
  • Neurobiology for Clinical Social Work: Theory and Practice, Jeffrey S. Applegate, Janet R. Shapiro
  • Neuroscience for the Mental Health Clinician, Steven R. Pliszka
  • On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You’re Not, Robert Burton
  • Phantoms in the Brain, Probing the Mysteries of the Human Mind, V S Ramachandran, M.D., Ph.D., Sandra Blakeslee | The Tell-Tale Brain: A Neuroscientist’ s Quest for What Makes Us Human | A Brief Tour of Human Consciousness: From Impostor Poodles to Purple Numbers
V. S. Ramachandran
  • Rhythms of Life, Russell Foster, Leon Kreitzman (sleep disorders)
  • Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain | Descartes’ Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain, Antonio R. Damasio
  • The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter, & Miracles, Bruce H. Lipton
  • The Body Has a Mind of Its Own, Sandra & Ron Blakeslee (affective neuroscience)
  • The Brain and the Inner World: An Introduction to the Neuroscience of Subjective Experience, Mark Solms, Oliver Turnbull
  • The Brain Disorders Sourcebook, Roger Cicala
  • The Brain Explained, Daniel Drubach
  • The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science, Norman Doidge
  • The Emotional Brain: The Mysterious Underpinnings Of Emotional Life, Synaptic Self: How Our Brains Become Who We Are, Joseph Ledoux
  • The Feeling of What Happens, Antonio Damasio
  • The Future of the Brain: The Promise and Perils of Tomorrow’s Neuroscience, Steven Rose
  • The Handbook of Brain Theory and Neural Networks, Michael A. Arbib (Editor)
  • The Mind (Leading Scientists Explore the Brain, Memory, Personality, and Happiness),, edited by John Brockman
  •  The Mind and the Brain: Neuroplasticity and the Power of Mental Force,Jeffrey Schwartz, Sharon Begley
  • The Neuroscience of Psychotherapy: Building and Rebuilding the Human Brain | The Neuroscience of Human Relationships: Attachment and the Developing Social Brain, Louis Cozolino
  • The Other Brain, R. Douglas Fields
  • The Overflowing Brain: Information Overload and the limits of Working Memory, Torkel Klingberg
  • The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, Charles Duhigg
  • The Right Mind: Making Sense of the Hemispheres, Robert Ornstein
  • The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do To Get More of It, Kelly McGonigal
  • The Wisdom Paradox: How Your Mind Can Grow Stronger As Your Brain Grows Older | The Executive Brain: Frontal Lobes and the Civilized Mind, Elkhonon Goldberg
  • Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman
  • Thought Without a Thinker, Mark Epstein
  • Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain: How a New Science Reveals Our Extraordinary Potential to Transform Ourselves, Sharon Begley
  • Visual Agnosia, The Cognitive Neuroscience of Vision (Fundamentals in Cognitive Neuroscience), Martha J. Farah
  • Who’s in Charge?: Free Will and the Science of the Brain, | The Mind’s Past | Mind Matters: How Mind and Brain Interact to Create Our Conscious Lives, Michael S. Gazzaniga
  • Windows into the A.D.D. Mind  | Change Your Brain, Change Your Life, Daniel G. Amen
  • You Are Not Your Brain: The 4-Step Solution for Changing Bad Habits, Ending Unhealthy Thinking, and Taking Control of Your Life by Jeffrey Schwartz and Rebecca Gladding MD
  • Your Mind and Body are a Corporation and You are the CEO, Janet Buell

Also of interest:

Brain Science Podcast Dr. Ginger Campbell (with pdf transcripts available)

The Secret Life of the Brain – PBS: Public Broadcasting Service, a co-production of Thirteen/WNET New York and David Grubin Productions.

Understanding the Brain, Jeanette Norden (one of The Great Courses from The Teaching Company – available in multiple formats: video, audio, transcript)

The Neurobiology of “We”: How Relationships, the Mind, and the Brain Interact to Shape Who We Are (Audio CD), Daniel J. Siegel


I will be posting ALL of my speakers content from the 2012 ACO Conference – edited and augmented to take advantage of the lack of space constraints and the possibility of adding additional information and illustrations, as well as links for context.  (See below for links to what’s up so far)

I also plan to add more than a few resources that I did NOT have time to share at the conference, content that those of you who stick with the series will LOVE me for sharing
Get it NOW, while its free for the taking.

Leave me feedback (comments, likes or gold stars) and  help me spread the word (or I might just change my mind ::grin::)

As always, if you want notification of new articles in the Brain-based Resources Series – or any new posts on this blog – give your name and email to the nice form on the top of the skinny column to the right.   (You only have to do this once, so if you’ve already asked for notification about a prior series, you’re covered for this one too) 
STRICT No Spam Policy

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About Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC
Award-winning ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching field co-founder; [life] Coaching pioneer -- Neurodiversity Advocate, Coach, Mentor & Poster Girl -- Multi-Certified -- 25 years working with EFD [Executive Functioning disorders] and struggles in hundreds of people from all walks of life. I developed and delivered the world's first ADD-specific coach training curriculum: multi-year, brain-based, and ICF Certification tracked. In addition to my expertise in ADD/EF Systems Development Coaching, I am known for training and mentoring globally well-informed ADD Coach LEADERS with the vision to innovate, many of the most visible, knowledgeable and successful ADD Coaches in the field today (several of whom now deliver highly visible ADD coach trainings themselves). For almost a decade, I personally sponsored and facilitated seven monthly, virtual and global, no-charge support and information groups The ADD Hours™ - including The ADD Expert Speakers Series, hosting well-known ADD Professionals who were generous with their information and expertise, joining me in my belief that "It takes a village to educate a world." I am committed to being a thorn in the side of ADD-ignorance in service of changing the way neurodiversity is thought about and treated - seeing "a world that works for everyone" in my lifetime. Get in touch when you're ready to have a life that works BECAUSE of who you are, building on strengths to step off that frustrating treadmill "when 'wanting to' just doesn't get it DONE!"

3 Responses to Brain-Based Books

  1. Pingback: Reflections: a new idea for ADD/EFD content | ADD . . . and-so-much-more

  2. Ann Miller says:

    You are exactly like my son and me in regards to reading. I can never sit still doing nothing so I always have a book with me. As I am catching up with my required reading, I think I will grab some of those bold books. (Thank you for doing that as it does help prioritize). I already have the Habits book in my pile to take with me to Hawaii (light beach reading?!) at the end of next month.


    • You mean EVERYBODY doesn’t take brain-books to Hawaii?

      Grab Drubach’s Brain Explained – I’m assuming your husband will be there, so you can get the “inside skivvy” on the content for ALL of us!   My copy is from 2000, and who KNOWS what they’ve discovered since then?!

      Also, on this blog, make SURE you read “Top Ten Questions for your ADD Doc” and the Medication questions one — along with – especiallyTop Ten Stupid Comments from ADD Docs *before* you see your doctor (and remember to stay charge-neutral in the conversation, no matter HOW it goes!)

      Go armed with info!  Good ADD docs (well-informed but way-too-busy to keep up with EVERYTHING) always appreciate informed, self-aware consumers who can “bullet.”  The rest NEED to update their info-base, and YOU need them to!

      Thanks for reading this one – and for taking the time to comment.



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