Publisher's Note:  

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • When we deny our stories, they define us. When we own our stories, we get to write the ending. 

Social scientist Brené Brown has ignited a global conversation on courage, vulnerability, shame, and worthiness. Her pioneering work uncovered a profound truth: Vulnerability—the willingness to show up and be seen with no guarantee of outcome—is the only path to more love, belonging, creativity, and joy. But living a brave life is not always easy: We are, inevitably, going to stumble and fall.

It is the rise from falling that Brown takes as her subject in Rising Strong. As a grounded theory researcher, Brown has listened as a range of people—from leaders in Fortune 500 companies and the military to artists, couples in long-term relationships, teachers, and parents—shared their stories of being brave, falling, and getting back up. She asked herself, What do these people with strong and loving relationships, leaders nurturing creativity, artists pushing innovation, and clergy walking with people through faith and mystery have in common? The answer was clear: They recognize the power of emotion and they’re not afraid to lean in to discomfort.

Walking into our stories of hurt can feel dangerous. But the process of regaining our footing in the midst of struggle is where our courage is tested and our values are forged. Our stories of struggle can be big ones, like the loss of a job or the end of a relationship, or smaller ones, like a conflict with a friend or colleague. Regardless of magnitude or circumstance, the rising strong process is the same: We reckon with our emotions and get curious about what we’re feeling; we rumble with our stories until we get to a place of truth; and we live this process, every day, until it becomes a practice and creates nothing short of a revolution in our lives. Rising strong after a fall is how we cultivate wholeheartedness. It’s the process, Brown writes, that teaches us the most about who we are.

Rising Strong: How the Ability to Reset Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

by Brene Brown

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Overall Review:  

Rising Strong is a New York Times #1 Bestseller and has received rave reviews.  This is a great subject and one with almost universal appeal, since falling is a regular part of life.  There were thought-provoking anecdotes in the book, many quotable parts, and several nuggets of wisdom.  Most readers will take away something of value.  However, I felt the author did not deliver on what she promised in the introduction: to slow down what happens in the process from the moment someone finds himself face-down in the arena to when they rise.  She said she would show it in slow motion, and I didn't feel that was ever accomplished.  Upon completing the book, I felt like I had some tangential take-aways, but I didn't learn anything new about what it takes and how people do it.  The illustrations in the books didn't feel like face-down in the arena moments, but rather normal events in life and some personal epiphanies.  Perhaps that was what she was trying to achieve, but it didn't meet the expectation laid out in the introduction.

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language:  16 religious exclamations; 13 mild obscenities; 45 scatological words; 13 anatomical terms.

Violence/Gore:  Reference to a character being shot on a TV episode; reference/report that a family members was shot and killed.

Sex/Nudity:  Reference to "rock the speedo"; report that someone' wife had an affair.

Mature Subject Matter:  

Racism/discrimination, economic disparity.

Alcohol / Drug Use:  

Reference to adults smoking and drinking; reference to an alcoholic family member.

Reviewed By Cindy
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