Book of the Month: The Book You Want Everyone You Love to Read by Philippa Perry
We're thrilled to announce our October Book of the Month is The Book You Want Everyone You Love to Read by Philippa Perry, who is a long-standing advisor to Welldoing
The book focuses on relationships with lovers, family and friends, with advice on building them and on how to deal with change and loss
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Philippa Perry’s previous book, which was devoted to reflections and research on the relationship between parents and children, was a huge best-seller. Brightly coloured, and with a wry, knowing title – The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read (And Your Children Will Be Glad That You Did) — it captured the attention of a vast swathe of readers across the world. At last count it has sold more than 2 million copies around the world and been translated into 40 languages.
Her new book, The Book You Want Everyone You Love to Read, is dedicated to relationships. We are all in them — with lovers, family, friends, ourselves — but many of us struggle with their entanglements, or crave for more connection. Perry believes that if we understand better how to manage relationships, our lives will sail more smoothly through life’s inevitable storms.
The structure of the book is built around the agony aunt column Ask Philippa that she writes for The Observer magazine. Perry clearly delights in being sent questions about people’s individual conundrums, and she takes very seriously the empathetic advice she shares.
What makes her stand apart from most agony aunts is that she is a trained, experienced psychotherapist (although she no longer practices). She’s not casting around for platitudes, but basing her advice on sound therapeutic processes and psychological research.
For example, she urges us all to consider that, sometimes, we may be the problem when we are complaining about someone else. We need to consider the way we respond to someone is our responsibility, not theirs. She encourages us to deal with difficult situations like break-ups, face-on. “Cutting ties is rarely as destructive as many of us imagine”. She warns against expecting to come out the other side of grief after set stages: “Bereavement goes on its own journey and people experience it in their own ways.”
Watch our interview with Philippa Perry here
When dealing with stress, as so many of us do, she encourages us to find coping mechanisms rather than feel shame. “Our strength is not in our resilience, it is in recognising and owning our vulnerability. The last thing someone in a difficult positions needs is to feel ashamed —- we need help and compassion, starting with our own compassion.”
Understanding ourselves and our needs in relationships is Philippa Perry’s stated aim. She achieves it with this warm, witty book that provides real learning to be put to use in your own relationships, past, present and future.
Philippa Perry is the author of The Book You Want Everyone You Love to Read , our Welldoing Book of the Month for October
Purchase previous Book of the Month titles here