Staff Picks: Our Favorite Books and Podcasts

This time of the year we look forward to taking some time to appreciate those around us and reflect on what we are grateful for in our lives.  The staff at PNC would like to show our gratitude to all of you by sharing our favorite books and podcasts that have had a positive impact in our lives recently.  We hope you enjoy these selections that offer support, understanding, and humor from our family to yours.


As a parent of two young kids, I have enjoyed listening to the podcast Unruffled by Janet Lansbury. Her focus is on how to accept your child’s needs and emotions, while firmly setting appropriate limits. Her ideas that promote connection and understanding have helped me in the moments of chaos that come while parenting toddlers.

~ Dr. Lauren Cook


I highly recommend the book Untangled by Lisa Damour, Ph.D.  Dr. Damour provides insight about the journey through adolescence and organizes this transition into seven specific stages for adolescent girls.  Her book provides parents the combination of practical information as well as reassurance that much of their daughter’s behavior, despite being challenging and stressful, is normal and reflective of appropriate developmental progress.  As the mother of three daughters as well as a clinical psychologist who works with adolescent girls, Dr. Damour’s book provides a unique lens with which to view and understand the internal life of middle and high school girls.


~ Dr. Laura Rubin


I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living by Meik Wiking. It is not a self-help book, but it has several great suggestions from the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen for how to live happily. I studied abroad in Denmark when I was in college and so, for me, it brought back many memories from my time there. But, even for someone without a Danish connection, it talks about the simplicity of light, food and drink, clothing, home, and holidays as avenues for slowing down, appreciating, and enjoying. We can get wrapped up in the hectic parts of life and this book provides some reminders for what can make us feel at peace. Plus, you can also learn some about one of the happiest countries in the world.


~ Dr. Carrie Chiasson


When you are a grandparent and your grandchildren live across the country, telephone visits sometimes need a little “spice”!  Last year, my 4-year-old grandson said, “Meme, I miss you!” and my reply was, “I know, Max, and I miss you and your brother, too.  We need a rocket ship so we can travel and see each other fast!”  That was the beginning of our popular Rocket Ship Stories that usually take place when they are in the car on the way to daycare.

Believe it or not, there is a strong connection to our shared storytelling and what I do as the Executive Function Skills coach at PNC!  According to Adele Diamond, Ph.D., who is the Canada Research Chair Professor of Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of British Columbia, storytelling is one of the best ways to help children develop executive function.  As my boys are learning to plan, listen, take turns, have patience and cooperate, Meme is grateful for precious shared moments!

Enjoy a four-minute video introduction to Dr. Diamond here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pRB6gzgFa2s

~ Linda Martin