Niamh Fitzpatrick, author of Tell Me The Truth About Loss: A Psychologist’s Personal Story of Loss, Grief and Finding Hope, recommends some important books! Before jumping into the interview, please check out Niamh's book:
Q. Do you have a favourite smart thinking book (and why that book)?
Asking me to choose my favourite smart thinking book feels like asking me to choose which of my loved ones I love the most, it feels impossible! But I'll give you the book that has had the greatest impact on me: Man's Search for Meaning, by psychiatrist Viktor Frankl. This is a raw and moving account of Frankl's time spent as a prisoner in concentration camps in WWII, detailing his observations from those experiences. I read it as a young psychology student more than thirty years ago, and the learnings from this powerful book have been a thread woven through the fabric of both my professional and personal life ever since. There are many significant take aways from this book, a central one being the concept of choice; understanding that even under the most extreme situations imaginable, "the last of the human freedoms is the ability to choose our own attitude, to choose our own way" (Frankl). This is a difficult, but also an important and inspiring read, one of the true 'must reads' in my opinion.
Q. What's the most recent smart thinking book you've read (and how would you rate it)?
I'm currently re-reading The Body Keeps the Score, by psychiatrist Bessel Van Der Kolk. I find this a most impactful read and I've dipped in and out of it several times in my life, particularly in the past few years with the sudden and traumatic death of my sister. For me, the mix of individual stories and clinical observations make for a thought provoking and insightful read about how trauma impacts us; I can highly recommend it.
Q. Do you have a favourite childhood book?
I'm an avid reader and have been since childhood, I buy books like other people buy shoes, so there are many books to vye for the title of my favourite childhood book. But The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett stands out as being a page turner for me during my younger years.
Q. Do you prefer reading on paper, Kindle or listening to an audiobook?
I prefer a paper book. I love the feel of a book in my hands, I love the smell of the ink on the pages, I love the sound as each page turns, I love the sight of a big juicy novel on my bedside table. However, I do also use both Kindle and audiobook on occasion, as each brings portability to the reading experience.
Q. Do you have a favourite bookshop (and why that shop)?
I love all bookshops, they are far and away my favourite type of retail outlet, and in normal times I love to while away the time browsing, taking my time to choose before leaving with a big pile of fiction and psychology books to read. Dubray in Stillorgan is my go to bookshop, I've been going there for years. They have a great range of books, their ordering service is second to none, and their staff are friendly and as passionate about books as I am and they give great recommendations.
Huge thanks to Niamh for recommending a some important books! Please don't forget to check out her book Tell Me The Truth About Loss: A Psychologist’s Personal Story of Loss, Grief and Finding Hope.
Image Copyrights: Gill (Tell Me the Truth About Loss), Vintage Publishing (Man's Search For Meaning, The Secret Garden), Penguin Books Ltd (The Body Kepps The Score).