The great thing about having your own blog is that you get to decide what you think is appropriate reading for your patients and their families.  Book reviews are always subjective, and never more so than on a blog, but I am pleased to have some books (besides my own Give Food A Chance) to recommend to families and other providers which are compatible with our Kartini approach to eating disorders.

I am often told that if I recommend books with a scientific approach “parents won’t be able to understand them”—but our experience with parents is that they/we come from all walks of life.  They are doctors, lawyers, teachers, school principals, bus drivers, nurses, carpenters, homemakers, administrative assistants, financiers, writers, artists…. You get the idea.  But they have one thing in common: they are searching for the best information available on their own child’s condition.

Using that as the sole criterion for excellence, I want to make readers aware of two recent books.

The first is Eating Disorders and the Brain  edited by Bryan Lask and Ian Frampton, both of whom have done collaborative research with the Kartini Clinic.  Some of the chapters  (notably Chapter 3 Neuroimaging and Chapter 8 Towards a comprehensive, causal and explanatory neuroscience model of anorexia nervosa) may make you feel like you are back in science class, but since I know you would walk over hot coals to help your child, give it a try.  

Right from chapter one (Why Clinicians Should Love Neuroscience) written by David Woods (psychiatrist at Ellern Mede Residential Treatment Center in England) it is clear that you don’t have to be a philosopher to wonder about the implications of genetics and brain science for an illness like anorexia nervosa.  He asks: does the fact that mental illnesses/brain disorders are heritable and not “a choice” mean that there is no free will dimension to human life and suffering?

Dr Janet Treasure wrote the blurb on the back of this book.  Many of you F.E.A.S.T. parents know who Professor Treasure is and have watched the films on Youtube made by Charlotte Bevan and Mary Simons-Gutteridge at her request.  

The second book is somewhat more reader-friendly, if a little goofy in spots.  It is called  Who’s Who of the Brain: A Guide it its Inhabitants, Where They Live and What They Do and is by Ken Nunn and Bryan Lask.  Bryan was introduced above and his collaborator Professor Ken Nunn of Sydney, Australia, is someone you need to know about.  He wrote a beautiful essay on anorexia nervosa and treatment called “the sensitivities that hinder and the sensitivities that heal”, which we will be linking to in the near future.  Ken is a creative thinker and scientist and in “Who’s Who…” he and Bryan have put together a good book.