Books that Inspired Us in Writing “Missing Each Other”

Ashley and Edward share a bibliography of key books on connection and attunement

PublicAffairs, 2021

Our book Missing Each Other: How to Cultivate Meaningful Connections draws upon many disciplines — including neuroscience, psychology, psychiatry, music, sports, literature, and mindfulness — to explore the key role of “attunement” in human connection. Attunement is the ability to be aware of yourself and the other person and what’s going on between you, over the twists and turns of an interaction.

We want to share with you here some of the books that have most influenced and inspired us in writing Missing Each Other. We hope this list will help you learn more about attunement and connection, and give you some strategies for cultivating connection while living in a world that often seems to draw us apart.

Books that describe the importance of connection and the roots of loneliness, alienation, and disconnection in 21st century Western societies.

Sherry Turkle, Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other

A classic book by psychologist and MIT Professor Sherry Turkle on how technology is distracting us from each other

Niobe Way, Alisha Ali, Carol Gilligan, Pedro Noguera, editors, The Crisis of Connection: Roots, Consequences, and Solutions

A series of research-based essays by leading scholars on the roots of disconnection in our society, and what we can do about it

Vivek Murthy, Together: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World

A powerful examination of the epidemic of loneliness in America and its public health consequences, by U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy

Books that offer a path to greater connection and meaning

Sherry Turkle, Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age

Professor Turkle makes the case for the importance of live (as opposed to electronic) conversation, and why developing the capacity to be alone is important for empathy and good relationships.

Harriet Lerner, The Dance of Intimacy: A Guide to Courageous Acts of Change in Key Relationships

Ashley Pallathra and Edward Brodkin

Co-authors of the new book “Missing Each Other: How to Cultivate Meaningful Connections.” Twitter: @ashleypallathra @tedbrodkin