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Tanya Byron's Top Book Recommendations

Want to know what books Tanya Byron recommends on their reading list? We've researched interviews, social media posts, podcasts, and articles to build a comprehensive list of Tanya Byron's favorite book recommendations of all time.

No Fear Debates the role and nature of childhood in the UK. Focusing on the crucial years of childhood between the ages of 5 and 11, this work examines some of the key issues with regard to children's safety: playground design and legislation, antisocial behaviour, bullying, child protection, the fear of strangers, and online risks. Full description less
Recommended by Tanya Byron, and 1 others.

Tanya ByronThis is written by a friend of mine, Tim Gill. He is a really, really interesting guy, who is a champion of the rights of children’s freedom. I coined the phrase a few years ago that we raise children in captivity. We live in a society where there are fundamentally no free-range children. He writes beautifully about that. It isn’t a huge book, and it’s very easy to read. He just lays out very... (Source)

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The personal memoir of a manic depressive and an authority on the subject describes the onset of the illness during her teenage years and her determined journey through the realm of available treatments. less
Recommended by Jonathan Glover, Tanya Byron, and 2 others.

Jonathan GloverKay Redfield Jamison is a psychologist who has co-authored the major psychiatric textbook on manic depression. It authoritatively covers every aspect of the science, from genetics to pharmacology, and also has chapters on the links with creativity and on what the illness feels like. The chapters on the subjective experience are enriched with vivid quotations from patients. In her autobiography,... (Source)

Tanya ByronThis is a divine book. A patient of mine who suffers with a bipolar illness, an absolutely inspiring young genius, recommended it to me. So I read it, and then we discussed it in a lot of our sessions together. (Source)

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Portraits of the Mind follows the fascinating history of our exploration of the brain through images, from medieval sketches and 19th-century drawings by the founder of modern neuroscience to images produced using state-of-the-art techniques, allowing us to see the fantastic networks in the brain as never before. These black-and-white and vibrantly colored images, many resembling abstract art, are employed daily by scientists around the world, but most have never before been seen by the general public. Each chapter addresses a different set of techniques for studying the brain as... more
Recommended by Sebastian Seung, Tanya Byron, and 2 others.

Sebastian SeungThis is a picture storybook about the brain, which sounds really mad. It is such an engaging book because the brain is so fascinating – but people are quite often scared to think about it. (Source)

Tanya ByronIf you want to see the images of the brain which have been so important for science, Portraits of the Mind is a wonderful resource. (Source)

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If a man has lost a leg or an eye, he knows he has lost a leg or an eye; but if he has lost a self—himself—he cannot know it, because he is no longer there to know it. Dr. Oliver Sacks recounts the stories of patients struggling to adapt to often bizarre worlds of neurological disorder. Here are people who can no longer recognize everyday objects or those they love; who are stricken with violent tics or shout involuntary obscenities; who have been dismissed as autistic or retarded, yet are gifted with uncanny artistic or mathematical talents. If inconceivably strange, these brilliant tales... more

Suzanne O'SullivanI didn’t choose neurology because of it but the way Oliver Sacks writes about neurology is very compelling. (Source)

Tanya ByronThis is a seminal book that anyone who wants to work in mental health should read. It is a charming and gentle and also an honest exposé of what can happen to us when our mental health is compromised for whatever reason. (Source)

Bradley VoytekI can’t imagine one day waking up and not knowing who my wife is, or seeing my wife and thinking that she was replaced by some sort of clone or robot. But that could happen to any of us. (Source)

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Dibs in Search of Self

The portrait of a little boy achieving, under therapy, a successful struggle for identity. less
Recommended by Dorothy Singer, Tanya Byron, and 2 others.

Dorothy SingerThis is a wonderful book. I’ve read it several times and it’s almost guaranteed to make you cry. Dibs came from an academic family that was well off. He was having trouble in school and his parents thought he was autistic. Axline accepted his idiosyncrasies and offered him a respectful outlet for his imagination and worked with the parents. They began to be more accepting of him and Dibs began to... (Source)

Tanya ByronVirginia Axline is a family therapist, and I like this book because it really resonates in terms of why I do what I do and, particularly, why I am passionate about child and adolescent mental health. The book is all about child therapy and a boy called Dibs who wouldn’t talk and wouldn’t play. He has lots of difficulties and issues, and I think he represents a lot of children with mental health... (Source)

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