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Fixing, Not Avoiding, Life's Stresses


"When Things Fall Apart"

By Pema Chodron

Shambala Lion Editions

Abridged nonfiction

Two cassettes

Length: Three hours


Read by the author

Available in bookstores or by calling (800) 333-9185

This is a challenge. Dense, but useful, "When Things Fall Apart" takes an Eastern approach to dealing with anxiety and pain. It is not a quick fix, and should be heard only by those desiring major lifestyle changes.

Based entirely upon confronting the problems in our lives instead of trying to ignore them, it is radical by American standards. Through meditation and thoughtful awareness, Pema Chodron offers ways of coping with stress, addiction and other problems ruinous to your health.

Her methods apparently work for her because Chodron is a very laid-back narrator. Her calm demeanor, however, is a bit too mellow, so that if you listen for too long, you are guaranteed to lose track. Her advice takes much thought and patience, and because her manner is so low-key, the tapes are best absorbed in small increments.


"Power Sleep"

By Dr. James B. Maas

Random House Audiobooks

Abridged nonfiction

One cassette

Length: Two hours


Read by the author

Available in bookstores

It is estimated that 100 million Americans are sleep-deprived. If you are one of them, or think you are suffering from a sleep disorder, this is well worth hearing.

The material is easy to understand and presented in a crisp, though somewhat impersonal style. James B. Maas covers a lot of material, so that even if you have heard some of this before, there is bound to be new and useful information. His suggestions are all inexpensive and safe.

Maas offers sound advice regarding swing shifts, jet lag and loss of sleep because of a new infant. He defines and identifies such sleep disorders as insomnia, bruxism and narcolepsy. The material is somewhat repetitive, but compares favorably to the printed material. All that you might miss from that are short chapters listing sleep-disorder clinics and other resources.

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