Conversations with Authors - Lori Gottlieb & Dr. Rick Hanson

Sunday, May 17th • 7:00pm EST/4:00pm PST

Lori Gottlieb & Dr. Rick Hanson


From Lori

A huge thanks to all who joined our conversation Sunday!

I'm so grateful to all of you and to Rick Hanson and Book Passage for making this happen. I teared up when I saw Elaine sitting in the bookstore, one of my favorites, because it reminded me of the joy I get from independent booksellers, and I always enjoy the opportunity to explore the human condition with fellow therapist and writer Rick Hanson.

One of the reasons I wrote Maybe You Should Talk To Someone is that I believe in the power of story—and especially in the power of seeing ourselves through the lens of other people's stories. So while we muddle our way through this challenging time, here are some books I recommend that I hope you'll find helpful in a variety of ways.

  • The Gift of Therapy by Irvin Yalom
    • Often considered to be "the Oliver Sacks of psychiatry," Yalom, a professor emeritus of psychiatry at Stanford, has been revolutionary in bringing his patients' stories to life in the pages of his books. Ostensibly a guide to therapy, The Gift of Therapy is actually a moving, incisive, and unforgettable portrait of our shared humanity that helps us re-examine our own stories and our capacity for growth and change.  
  • We Learn Nothing by Tim Kreider
    • Despite the title, Kreider's hilarious, candid, and wholly original essays—on everything from what makes a family to why we fall in love with people we don't even like—teach us a great deal about the big questions we all ask ourselves—and offers a new way to think about them.
  • It's Okay To Laugh (Cryng is Cool Too) by Nora McInerny
    • If you're human, you'll experience loss. For Nora McInerny, it happened when she was in her twenties and in love with her future husband who was diagnosed with brain cancer. If this sounds depressing, her memoir is anything but. It's heartbreaking, sure—but it's also raw, funny, moving, and one of the most enlightening stories of the paradoxes of grief—and what it means not to move on, but to move forward.
  • 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do by Amy Morin
    • Based on her viral blog post read by 30 million people, 13 Things is Amy Morin's brilliant guide to become more resilient by not getting in our own ways. Morin, a psychotherapist, shares her own experience using these techniques when tragedy struck three times in just as many years, and shows us how to break self-defeating patterns that hold us back in all aspects of our lives.
  • Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh
    • Based on her wildly popular blog, Brosh brings us a searingly funny, poignant, and thought-provoking look into her emotional struggles while making them relatable to everyone. A Bill Gates book pick, this graphic memoir entertains and informs, reducing stigma and holding up a mirror to all of us, then topping it off with a huge dose of hope.

From Rick

It was such a pleasure to talk with Lori Gottlieb, and with such a gracious host as Elaine Petrocelli. I hope our conversation was helpful to everyone who had a chance to hear it.

If you’d like additional resources related to coping with stress and developing resilient well-being, including several guided meditations, please see

Lately I’ve been reflecting on the importance of honoring that inner sense in each of us of an underlying calm strength and warm heart—and the value, even when things are at their worst (and especially when they are at their worst) of moxie, courageous compassion, and inner peace. Both Lori’s Maybe You Should Talk to Someone and my own Neurodharma speak to this.

If I could offer two others, they would be John Steinbeck’s East of Eden and Olga Tokarczuk’s Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead.

With many good wishes,
—Lori and Rick


Below, please find links to purchase all of the books recommended by Lori and Rick, as well as a selection of their own books.

The Gift of Therapy: An Open Letter to a New Generation of Therapists and Their Patients Cover Image
ISBN: 9780061719615
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Perennial - September 19th, 2017

Acclaimed author and renowned psychiatrist Irvin D. Yalom distills thirty-five years of psychotherapy wisdom into one brilliant volume.

We Learn Nothing: Essays Cover Image
ISBN: 9781439198711
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster - April 9th, 2013

“Kreider locates the right simile and the pith of situations as he carefully catalogues humanity’s inventive and manifold ways of failing” (Publishers Weekly, starred review).

In We Learn Nothing, satirical cartoonist Tim Kreider turns his funny, brutally honest eye to the dark truths of the human condition, asking big questions about human-size

It's Okay to Laugh: (Crying Is Cool Too) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062419385
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Dey Street Books - April 4th, 2017


“Thank you for the perfect blend of nostalgia-drenched humor, wit, and heartbreak, Nora.” — Mandy Moore

comedy = tragedy + time/rosé

13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do: Take Back Your Power, Embrace Change, Face Your Fears, and Train Your Brain for Happiness and Success Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062358301
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - March 7th, 2017

"Kick bad mental habits and toughen yourself up."—Inc.

Master your mental strength—revolutionary new strategies that work for everyone from homemakers to soldiers and teachers to CEOs.

Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened Cover Image
ISBN: 9781451666175
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Gallery Books - October 29th, 2013

#1 New York Times Bestseller

“Funny and smart as hell” (Bill Gates), Allie Brosh’s Hyperbole and a Half showcases her unique voice, leaping wit, and her ability to capture complex emotions with deceptively simple illustrations.

Every time Allie Brosh posts something new on her hugely popular blog Hyperbole and a

East of Eden Cover Image
By John Steinbeck, David Wyatt (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9780140186390
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Classics - October 1st, 1992

A masterpiece of Biblical scope, and the magnum opus of one of America’s most enduring authors

A Penguin Classic 

Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead: A Novel Cover Image
By Olga Tokarczuk, Antonia Lloyd-Jones (Translated by)
ISBN: 9780525541332
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - August 13th, 2019


"A brilliant literary murder mystery." —Chicago Tribune

"Extraordinary. Tokarczuk's novel is funny, vivid, dangerous, and disturbing, and it raises some fierce questions about human behavior. My sincere admiration for her brilliant work." —Annie Proulx

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, HER Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed Cover Image
ISBN: 9781328662057
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - April 2nd, 2019


Now being developed as a television series with Eva Longoria and ABC!

“Rarely have I read a book that challenged me to see myself in an entirely new light, and was at the same time laugh-out-loud funny and utterly absorbing.”—Katie Couric
“This is a daring, delightful,

Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough Cover Image
ISBN: 9780451232168
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Berkley - February 1st, 2011

An eye-opening, funny, painful, and always truthful in-depth examination of modern relationships and a wake-up call for single women about getting real about Mr. Right.

You have a fulfilling job, great friends, and the perfect apartment. So what if you haven’t found “The One” just yet. He’ll come along someday, right?

Stick Figure: A Diary of My Former Self Cover Image
ISBN: 9780425178904
Availability: Special Order
Published: Berkley - April 1st, 2001

An Alternate Selection of the Book of the Month Club and Quality Paperback Book Club

“Although it reads like a novel—a funny, touching, and absolutely gripping novel—Stick Figure is, astonishingly, the diary of Lori Gottlieb in 1978, when, at age 11 and all evidence to the contrary, she decided she was too fat and simply stopped eating…”

Staff Pick Badge
Neurodharma: New Science, Ancient Wisdom, and Seven Practices of the Highest Happiness Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593135464
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harmony - May 5th, 2020

LOS ANGELES TIMES BESTSELLER • “An easy-to-follow road map for creating day-to-day inner peace in today’s increasingly complex world.”—Lori Gottlieb, MFT, New York Times bestselling author of Maybe You Should Talk to Someone

Resilient: How to Grow an Unshakable Core of Calm, Strength, and Happiness Cover Image
ISBN: 9780451498861
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harmony - February 4th, 2020

These days it’s hard to count on the world outside. So it’s vital to grow strengths inside like grit, gratitude, and compassion—the key to resilience, and to lasting well-being in a changing world.

Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385347334
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harmony - December 27th, 2016

With New York Times bestselling author, Dr. Hanson's four steps, you can counterbalance your brain's negativity bias and learn to hardwire happiness in only a few minutes each day. 

Buddha's Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom Cover Image
By Rick Hanson, Richard Mendius (With), Jack Kornfield (Preface by)
ISBN: 9781572246959
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: New Harbinger Publications - November 1st, 2009

If you change your brain, you can change your life.

Just One Thing: Developing a Buddha Brain One Simple Practice at a Time Cover Image
ISBN: 9781608820313
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: New Harbinger Publications - October 1st, 2011

You've heard the expression, "It's the little things that count." It's more than a simple platitude. Research has shown that integrating little daily practices into your life can actually change the way your brain works.