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Best Shame Books You Should Read

Our list of some of the best Shame books & series in recent years. Get inspired by one or more of the following books.

Healing the Shame that Binds You (Recovery Classics) (2005)

 Best Shame Books You Should Read“I used to drink,” writes John Bradshaw, “to solve the problems caused by drinking. The more I drank to relieve my shame-based loneliness and hurt, the more I felt ashamed.” Shame is the motivator behind our toxic behaviors: the compulsion, co-dependency, addiction and drive to superachieve that breaks down the family and destroys personal lives.
Author(s): John Bradshaw

Shame Interrupted: How God Lifts the Pain of Worthlessness and Rejection (2012)

 Best Shame Books You Should ReadShame controls far too many of us. Worthless, inferior, rejected, weak, humiliated, failureit all adds up to wishing we could get away from others and hide. We know what shame feels like. The way out, however, is harder to find. Time doesn’t help, neither does confession, because shame is just as often from what others do to you as it is from what you have done.
Author(s): Edward T. Welch

The Shame Factor: Heal Your Deepest Fears and Set Yourself Free (2019)

 Best Shame Books You Should ReadA popular clinical psychologist explores an often misunderstood and unrecognized emotion that’s the root cause of many self-defeating and harmful behaviors.Emotional paralysis, a distorted view of self, a feeling of being a fraud, lack of trust in others, fear of criticism resulting in underdeveloped talents, and a chronic sense of being worthless, invisible, or disposable–these are typical symptoms of shame.
Author(s): Poulter, Stephan B., Ph.D

Conquering Shame and Codependency: 8 Steps to Freeing the True You (2014)

 Best Shame Books You Should ReadShame: the torment you feel when you’re exposed, humiliated, or rejected; the feeling of not being good enough. It’s a deeply painful and universal emotion, yet is not frequently discussed. For some, shame lurks in the unconscious, undermining self-esteem, destroying confidence, and leading to codependency.
Author(s): Darlene Lancer

Letting Go of Shame: Understanding How Shame Affects Your Life (1989)

 Best Shame Books You Should ReadLetting Go of Shame: Understanding How Shame Affects Your Life helps to explain the emotion of shame and its impact on our self-image and relationships.As we identify shame and use recovery skills to work through it, Letting Go of Shame: Understanding How Shame Affects Your Like helps to explain the emotion of shame and its impact on our self-image and relationships.
Author(s): Ronald Potter-Efron, Patricia Potter-Efron

Shame: A Novel (2008)

 Best Shame Books You Should ReadThe novel that set the stage for his modern classic, The Satanic Verses, Shame is Salman Rushdie’s phantasmagoric epic of an unnamed country that is “not quite Pakistan.” In this dazzling tale of an ongoing duel between the families of two men–one a celebrated wager of war, the other a debauched lover of pleasure–Rushdie brilliantly portrays a world caught between honor and humiliation–“shamelessness, shame: the roots of violence.” Shame is an asto…
Author(s): Salman Rushdie

Soul without Shame: A Guide to Liberating Yourself from the Judge Within (1998)

 Best Shame Books You Should ReadWhether we call it the inner critic, superego, or just plain nag, most of us have a “judge within” who’s constantly on our case. A comprehensive guide to understanding how the inner critic works, this book offers practical, positive suggestions for breaking free of it.
Author(s): Byron Brown

Shame and Pride: Affect, Sex, and the Birth of the Self (1994)

 Best Shame Books You Should ReadThis is a revolutionary book about the nature of emotion, about the way emotions are triggered in our private moments, in our relations with others, and by our biology. Drawing on every theme of the modern life sciences, Donald Nathanson shows how nine basic affects―interest-excitement, enjoyment-joy, surprise-startle, fear-terror, distress-anguish, anger-rage, dissmell, disgust, and shame-humiliation―not only determine how we feel but shape our very sense of self.
Author(s): Nathanson M.D., Donald L.

The Science of Shame and Its Treatment (2016)

 Best Shame Books You Should ReadShame is the ghost in the machine of the human mind.  It can implant itself in the psyche before the first word is spoken, even before the first thought has formed.  In his groundbreaking book, The Science of Shame and Its Treatment, psychotherapist and author Gerald Loren Fishkin, Ph.D., addresses the genesis of shame and self-talk from an empirical analysis of their core elements, its insidious ingres…
Author(s): Fishkin Ph.D., Gerald Loren

Ministering in Honor-Shame Cultures: Biblical Foundations and Practical Essentials (2016)

 Best Shame Books You Should ReadMany a Westerner has had a cross-cultural experience of honor and shame. First there are those stuttering moments in the new social landscape. Then after missed cues and social bruises comes the revelation that this culture―indeed much of the world―runs on an honor-shame operating system.
Author(s): Jayson Georges, Mark D. Baker

Shame and Grace: Healing the Shame We Don’t Deserve (2009)

 Best Shame Books You Should ReadA Proven Path to Move from Shame to Healing If you persistently feel you don’t measure up, you are feeling shame—that vague, undefined heaviness that presses on our spirit, dampens our gratitude for the goodness of life, and diminishes our joy. The good news is that shame can be healed. With warmth and wit, Lewis B. Smedes examines why and how we feel shame, and presents a profound, spiritual plan for healing.
Author(s): Lewis B. Smedes

Guilt, Shame, and Anxiety: Understanding and Overcoming Negative Emotions (2014)

 Best Shame Books You Should ReadWith the first unified theory of guilt, shame, and anxiety, this pioneering psychiatrist and critic of psychiatric diagnoses and drugs examines the causes and effects of psychological and emotional suffering from the perspective of biological evolution, child development, and mature adult decision-making. Drawing on evolution, neuroscience, and decades of clinical experience, Dr.
Author(s): Peter R. Breggin, MD

Shame Is an Ocean I Swim Across: Poems by Mary Lambert (2018)

 Best Shame Books You Should ReadBeautiful and brutally honest, Mary Lambert’s poetry is a beacon to anyone who’s ever been knocked down―and picked themselves up again. In verse that deals with sexual assault, mental illness, and body acceptance, Ms. Lambert’s Shame Is an Ocean I Swim Across emerges as an important new voice in poetry, providing strength and resilience even in the darkest of times.
Author(s): Mary Lambert

Best Shame Books You Should Read

We highly recommend you to buy all paper or e-books in a legal way, for example, on Amazon. But sometimes it might be a need to dig deeper beyond the shiny book cover. Before making a purchase, you can visit resources like Library Genesis and download some shame books mentioned below at your own risk. Once again, we do not host any illegal or copyrighted files, but simply give our visitors a choice and hope they will make a wise decision.

Girl, Stop Apologizing: A Shame-Free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals

Author(s): Rachel Hollis
ID: 2339042, Publisher: HarperCollins Leadership, Year: 5 March 2019, Size: 514 Kb, Format: epub

Is the voice of a woman shameful? A linguistic anthropological study of the multinormativity of Jordan's society

Author(s): Martin Kurani
ID: 2938162, Publisher: Ridderprint, Year: 2021, Size: 4 Mb, Format: pdf

You Are Your Best Thing: Vulnerability, Shame Resilience, and the Black Experience

Author(s): Tarana Burke; Brené Brown
ID: 2973717, Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Year: 2021, Size: 13 Mb, Format: epub

Please note that this booklist is not absolute. Some books are really chart-busters according to USA Today, others are written by unknown authors. On top of that, you can always find additional tutorials and courses on Coursera, Udemy or edX, for example. Are there any other relevant books you could recommend? Leave a comment if you have any feedback on the list.

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