I have two new Idiot's Guides now out from Alpha Books
My How-to for Aspiring Memoir Writers
Reviewed by Wendy Irene on Modern Mom.com on March 6, 2012
I thought this was a great book! Memoir writing is all the rage at the moment and the vast bulk of us “would be memoirists” could really use a comprehensive guide such as this. We all have many stories to tell and weaving our way through the tangle of memories and emotions can sometimes seem so daunting that we don’t know where or how to start. Guess what? Obtaining The Complete Idiot's Guide to Writing a Memoir is an excellent first step.
Written by Victoria Costello, the book has clearly laid out instructions that pave the way for writing everything from your travel stories, personal memories, family secrets, research, to publishing, self-publishing and even blogging. There are lots of prompts and exercises to keep you writing and motivated to stick with it.
I particularly liked the format. At the beginning of each chapter you are told what you will be learning. Next, the book goes through this in detail then at the end of the chapter it is summed up in point form. (Just in case you weren’t paying attention!) That makes it easy to go back and find something you might need to re-read.
Potential problems are identified with bold “POT HOLE AHEAD” warnings. Tips are given for getting past any sticking points or trouble. It’s not always “smooth sailing” in the writing world so I found this extremely helpful.
This guide is user friendly and very readable. There are many examples of famous writers and how they handled certain aspects of their writing making it feel like we “budding authors" face the same challenges as “the pros”….
Rather than being a complete idiot to read this, you would be very wise indeed for giving this a go.
More about The Complete Idiot's Guide to Writing a Memoir (from the publisher, Alpha Books)
Writing a memoir is more than making a list of life’s big moments. A good memoir tells a true story in the same way as a novel tells a fictional one. Therefore, memoirists must employ the same tactics as novelists to tell a unique personal story. The Complete Idiot’s Guide® to Writing a Memoir enables readers to learn to:
• Select a focus—the period of time or series of events on which to concentrate and explore the theme that arises from this pivotal time in their lives.
• Invoke and recreate essential pieces of conversations and scenes that took place long ago in order to accurately recreate them in a narrative with a beginning, middle and end.
• Hone their craft—plot, dialogue, setting, pacing, and point of view are the essential ingredients for writing a compelling memoir.
• Add a pinch of drama
• Write, re-write, edit and consider the possibility of publication
Through prompts, exercises and inspirational examples from published memoirists, this guide will help readers learn and refine their personal writing in order to create a memoir they’ll wish to share with others.
The Complete Guide to Child & Adolescent Psychology, coauthored with Jack Westman, MD
Reviewed by Mommy Memorandum.com on Sept 23, 2011
With The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Child & Adolescent Psychology I feel like I have a toolbox ready to help me. It addresses child behavior for those critical years (birth to 18!). There’s a chapter on topics that I want to address and some I haven’t even considered. It’s like making a phone call to Mom, only she really does have all the answers.
Even as the mom to many, I don’t have all the answers. Each child is so different and the moments with one where I felt I’d made a break-through, aren’t consistent with the next child. My husband continues to look at me lost and asking, “What is he/she thinking?” It’s a question I don’t even pretend to have an answer for anymore.
Times are different for my children than they were when I was growing up. They’re dealing with school, peer pressure, balancing friendships and relationships, home it seems the hormones creep up even younger with each child. I struggle to find my own balance in how to help them and even more importantly, understand them.Like all the books in The Complete Idiot’s Guide series, the Guide to Child & Adolescent Psychology is a resource that understands folks sometimes just don’t have time to read and read to find an answer. The wealth of information in this book includes:
Part 1, Discovering Childhood
Part 2, Foundations of Personality
Part 3, A Child is Part of a Family
Part 4, The Big Picture
Part 5, Ages and Stages
Part 6, Issues in Child Psychology
Part 7, Therapeutic Approaches in Child Psychology
To make it an even greater resource there’s definitions, studies, advice and insight. It’s written with the expertise of Jack Westman M.D., M.S. a child and adolescent psychiatrist, teacher and advocate for children and families. His experience comes from his service as Director of Child Psychiatry Division of the Department of Psychiatry in University of Wisconsin and as an author who has published ten books and over 140 professional articles. In addition, he has hands-on experience as the father of three sons, a grandfather of a handful of grandchildren and a great personal belief in what he is teaching.
Reviewed by Linda A. Jansenn on (Jul/2011)
If you're afraid of dull, tedious textbooks, have no fear of reading The Complete Idiot's Guide to Child and Adolescent Psychology. I was thrilled to find a comprehensive, well-researched and highly readable introduction to the history, current research findings and up-to-date trends in child psychology. I especially appreciate how co-authors Jack C. Westman M.D., M.S. and Victoria Costello have organized the book in such a way that makes for very accessible and reader-friendly use. Beginning with Discovering Childhood followed by Foundations of Personality, this textbook flows naturally into A Child Is Part of a Family before addressing The Big Picture (outlining emotional, moral and cognitive development). If interested in specifics you can then focus more in-depth on Ages and Stages. Finally, they highlight important challenges in the section Issues in Child Psychology, and how to deal with them in Therapeutic Approaches. Key definitions are described in simple yet effective terms; the co-authors also offer specially highlighted sections for insights and complications surrounding important developments. Another great feature is 'Least You Should Know' – succinct snippets of key chapter points, ideal for the busiest of readers. How I wish such a welcoming textbook were available all those years ago when I was in college!
Linda A. Janssen is a writer and American expat living in the Netherlands. She writes primarily on expat issues, and blogs at www.adventuresinexpatland.com ; she is currently writing a book on the importance of emotional resilience in expatriate life.
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from the book Child & Adolescent Psychology
More about this book...
Explains Basics of Child and Adolescent Psychology
Child and adolescent psychology is a complex field that includes developmental psychology, biology, social psychology and various schools of theory and therapies. The Complete Idiot’s Guide® to Child and Adolescent Psychology is a book that provides insights for parents, students, teachers, social workers and other professionals, it includes:
· The psychological development of a child from birth through the teenage years
· How psychological theories about children are tested and applied to education and parenting
· How parent-child attachment affects emotional, moral and intellectual development
· A full discussion of psychological challenges such as autism, bipolar disorder, learning disabilities, and schizophrenia
· Insights into the effect of digital media on the psyches of children
· Role and effectiveness of child psychotherapy and family therapy
I was privileged to write this book with Jack C. Westman M.D. M.S. (Madison, Wis.), Professor Emeritus in the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. Westman served as Director of Child Psychiatry for the University of Wisconsin Hospitals. He has published 9 books and over 140 professional articles and continues to work nationally for greater recognition of the unmet needs of children, adolescents, and their families.
The Complete Idiot’s Guide® to Child and Adolescent Psychology
ISBN: 9781615640638, July 2011, $19.95