The Subtle Art OF Not Giving A F#*K: A Countnerintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life

What is bright orange, shiny, and maybe half as cool as Miles Davis? (and that’s pretty cool–just sayin’).  Though the title of the book itself isn’t an obvious indication, The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F%ck isn’t exactly a throwback to 90s slackerdom. On the contrary, my contrarian friends, this book is for anyone who could benefit from being strategic and mindful about prioritizing how–and to whom–we give our precious time.  And that’s probably just about everyone. This book is for those of us who care too much.  This book is essentially about choices and in turning a widely-held assumption about happiness on its head.

In many ways, Mark Manson concisely re-packages the basic tenants of Eastern philosophy and religion in a hilarious and concise self-help guide . “In case you haven’t heard of him,” Manson says of the Buddha, “he was kind of a big deal.” Manson continues:

There is a premise that underlies a lot of our  assumptions and beliefs. The premise is that happiness is algorithmic, that it can be worked for and earned and achieved as if it were getting accepted to law school or building a really complicated Lego set. If I achieve X, then I can be happy. If I look like Y, then I can be happy. If I can be with a person like Z, then I can be happy. This premise, though, is the problem. Happiness is not a solvable equation. Dissatisfaction and unease are inherent parts of human nature and, as we’ll see, necessary components to creating consistent happiness (26).

What Manson offers in his book is the strangely comforting idea that striving for happiness is itself a negative act. Yep. And his ideas make a lot of sense. Manson seamlessly weaves in Alan Watts’ “backwards law” which says that “the more you pursue feeling better all the time, the less satisfied you become, as pursing something only reinforces the fact that you lack it in the first place” (9). Kind of makes sense, right? Manson ultimately rejects the established dogma in the self-improvement literature in favor of recognizing and even embracing suffering. You can thank the Buddha for that.

Charles Bukowski, a poet known for his irreverence and salt-of-the-Earth writing style kicks off Manson’s book, and for good reason. Bukowski–offering up all kinds profane-yet-sage wisdom noted that there is no way around the fire: “what matters most is how well you walk through the fire”. No sugarcoating here, folks. And that’s a welcome and refreshing approach to the happiness conundrum. Is it at all ridiculous and miraculous that Charles Bukowski turned out to be a self-help guru? (And not the self-appointed kind). If you haven’t read any of the late great Bukowski, do yourself a favor. Sometimes the sacred & profane are two sides of the same coin.

If suffering and struggle is inevitable, Manson frames the happiness dilemma like this: for what are you willing to struggle? Those things–the things you’re willing to do the hard work to attain–those are the things that define you. In other words, you have to choose where to ration out your four letter words. And this book has all the 4-letter words, be sure. You know how your mother or sister or aunt or best friend told you to choose your battles” ? Yeah–that. Because life is short. Maybe you figured that out already, and maybe one of your employee-sponsored motivational speakers reminded you that you yourself are what appears between the two dates on your tombstone. You are the hyphen. Make it count.

Allow me to digress for a moment. I found Manson to be a sort  of new-breed George Carlin, and if you are a fan of comedy and satire, look into adding some George Carlin comedy sketches to your list of library holds (of course, not if you’re easily offended by expletives and socio-political satire). One of my personal favorites, George Carlin,  makes no appearances in Manson’s book but poignantly asks in one of his comedy sketches: “why do we call them self-help books when we didn’t write them ourselves?” Aw, the best comedians were and are some of the most insightful poets and philosophers of our time, indeed.  But for a moment ponder the implications of writing your own self-help book. Writing it would require the type of self-reflection and self-awareness (and Manson would say self-doubt) required of self-improvement and even, ahem, tracking down the big, elusive Happy Dragon that lives in the distant castle of your mind. Even more: Manson discusses how the “pursuit of certainty” is a barrier to living a good life.

While this little book contains many noteworthy nuggets of insight, I’ll highlight my other favorite: namely, that action is not the result of being motivated, but rather action is itself motivation. Mmm hmmm. I’m sayin’. Do you feel inspired by that? Manson outlines a sort of flow-chart to illustrate his point, and it looks like this: Action ——>Inspiration——>Motivation. Instead of waiting around for the spirit to move you or for a lightening-strike of inspiration, just simply do and the rest will follow. And the rationale is quite simple. Manson calls this recipe for motivation the “do something” principle, and he credits a former Math teacher. Many of the impediments to living a good life can simply be removed by the “do something” principle.

A personal example of the do-something rule in action in my life: when I’m not doing work in the library, I’m a songwriter and performer. I personally enjoy the satisfaction and feeling of accomplishment I derive in bringing a song into the world–in crafting something completely new and original that only I can produce. And the way to craft something new and original is not to wait. On the contrary: I write. so. many. songs. They’re really just poems or short stories or sketches, anyway. Or notes on my iPhone app. Or doodles. But that writing begets more writing. And one idea or concept leads to the next, and so forth. And before you know it, you’re a writing machine, churning out all kinds of new songs. Like, lots of new, really crappy songs. But guess what? The more songs you have, the higher your chances of writing a song that is great.

You remember the 10,000 hour rule from the wildly popular book Freakonomics? The rule is simple: what you practice, you become. If you practice something for 10,000 hours, like the Beatles relentlessly practiced and performed their music, you’re bound to get really good at it. Manson has a similar idea which is namely this: “The rare people who do become truly exceptional at something do so not because they believe they’re exceptional. On the contrary, they become amazing because they’re obsessed with improvement. And that obsession with improvement stems from an unerring belief that they are, in fact, not that great at all. It’s anti-entitlement” (61). Here again is the resounding mantra that what defines us is what we are willing to struggle for–whether that be in cultivating a family, excelling in our careers, painting a masterpiece, or juggling flaming tennis rackets while balancing on a unicycle.

It’s no-doubt time for me to wrap up my ramblings. Check out this book if you like Eastern philosophy, suffering, pleasure, pandas, inspiration, self-defeat, self-improvement, the F word, Pakistani freedom fighters, the other F word: fun, Dave Mustaine from the band Megadeath, and hilarity in general.

You’re welcome!

 

 

 

New Philosophy, Psychology & Self-Help in October

Featured new additions to DPL’s Philosophy, Psychology & Self-Help collections! Click on the title to place a hold. For more new books, visit our Upcoming Releases page. As always, if there’s a title you would like to read, please send us a purchase suggestion.

y648Jump: Take the Leap of Faith to Achieve Your Life of Abundance by Steve Harvey – On January 13, 2016, at the close of a taping of Family Feud, Steve Harvey spontaneously began to speak. Not knowing that the cameras were still rolling, he offered his studio audience insights into his own happiness and success. His staff, also moved by Steve’s passionate words, shared the riveting six-minute video on social media. In this very personal and illuminating guide, Harvey  elaborates on those spontaneous remarks. His message is simple: You need to jump like your life depends on it – because it does – if you truly want a life of peace and abundance.

 

51-0ynurwdlOn Living by Kerry Egan – As a hospice chaplain, Kerry Egan didn’t offer sermons or prayers, unless they were requested; in fact, she found, the dying rarely want to talk about God, at least not overtly. Instead, she discovered she’d been granted an invaluable chance to witness firsthand what she calls the “spiritual work of dying”–the work of finding or making meaning of one’s life, the experiences it’s contained and the people who have touched it, the betrayals, wounds, unfinished business, and unrealized dreams. Most of all, though, she listened as her patients talked about love–love for their children and partners and friends; love they didn’t know how to offer; love they gave unconditionally; love they, sometimes belatedly, learned to grant themselves.  Each of her patients taught her something – how to find courage in the face of fear or the strength to make amends; how to be profoundly compassionate and fiercely empathetic; how to see the world in grays instead of black and white. In this poignant, moving, and beautiful book, she passes along all their precious and necessary gifts.

51xu-tbfaql__sx329_bo1204203200_American Philosophy: A Love Story by John Kaag – In American Philosophy , John Kaag – a disillusioned philosopher at sea in his marriage and career – stumbles upon a treasure trove of rare books on an old estate in the hinterlands of New Hampshire that once belonged to the Harvard philosopher William Ernest Hocking. The library includes notes from Whitman, inscriptions from Frost, and first editions of Hobbes, Descartes, and Kant. As he begins to catalog and preserve these priceless books, Kaag rediscovers the very tenets of American philosophy – self-reliance, pragmatism, the transcendent – and sees them in a twenty-first-century context. American Philosophy is an invigorating investigation of American pragmatism and the wisdom that underlies a meaningful life.

614dfzpgwllGhostland: An American History in Haunted Places by Colin Dickey – Colin Dickey is on the trail of America’s ghosts. Crammed into old houses and hotels, abandoned prisons and empty hospitals, the spirits that linger continue to capture our collective imagination, but why? His own fascination piqued by a house hunt in Los Angeles that revealed derelict foreclosures and “zombie homes,” Dickey embarks on a journey across the continental United States to decode and unpack the American history repressed in our most famous haunted places. With boundless curiosity, Dickey conjures the dead by focusing on questions of the living – how do we, the living, deal with stories about ghosts, and how do we inhabit and move through spaces that have been deemed, for whatever reason, haunted?

voices-within-the-history-and-science-of-how-we-tal-1497582-5e148f4d561644358a67The Voices Within: The History and Science of How We Talk to Ourselves by Charles Fernyhough – At the moment you caught sight of this book, what were you thinking? Was your thought a stream of sensations? Or was it a voice in your head? Did you ask yourself, “I wonder what that’s about?” Did you answer? And what does it mean if you did? When someone says they hear voices in their head, they are often thought to be mentally ill. But, as Charles Fernyhough argues in The Voices Within , such voices are better understood as one of the chief hallmarks of human thought. Whether the voices in our heads are meandering lazily or clashing chaotically, they deserve to be heard. Bustling with insights from literature, film, art, and psychology, The Voices Within offers more than science; it powerfully entreats us all to take

how-the-secret-changed-my-life-9781501138263_hrHow the Secret Changed My Life: Real People, Real Stories by Rhonda Byrne – Since the very first publication of The Secret a decade ago, Rhonda Byrne’s bestselling book has brought forth an explosion of real people sharing real stories of how their real lives have miraculously changed for the better. How The Secret Changed My Life presents a selection of the most heartwarming and moving stories in one inspirational volume. Each story provides an authentic, real-life illustration of the pathway that leads to success in every area of life: money, health, relationships, love, family, and career.

New Philosophy, Psychology & Self-Help in August

Featured new additions to DPL’s Philosophy, Psychology & Self-Help collections! Click on the title to place a hold. For more new books, visit our Upcoming Releases page. As always, if there’s a title you would like to read, please send us a purchase suggestion.

9780385540391How to Be a Person in the World: Ask Polly’s Guide Through the Paradoxes of Modern Life by Heather Havrilesky – Should you quit your day job to follow your dreams? How do you rein in an overbearing mother?  Should you put off having a baby for your career?  Heather Havrilesky, the author of the weekly advice column Ask Polly, featured in New York Magazine’s The Cut, is here to guide you through the “what if’s” and “I don’t knows” of modern life with the signature wisdom and tough love her readers have come to expect. How to Be a Person in the World is a collection of never-before-published material along with a few fan favorites. Whether she’s responding to cheaters or loners, lovers or haters, the depressed or the down-and-out, Havrilesky writes with equal parts grace, humor, and compassion to remind you that even in your darkest moments you’re not alone.

51GCBlmDRAL__SX327_BO1,204,203,200_The Dream of Enlightenment: The Rise of Modern Philosophy by Anthony Gottlieb – Western philosophy is now two and a half millennia old, but much of it came in just two staccato bursts, each lasting only about 150 years. In his landmark survey of Western philosophy from the Greeks to the Renaissance, The Dream of Reason, Anthony Gottlieb documented the first burst, which came in the Athens of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. Now, in his sequel, The Dream of Enlightenment, Gottlieb expertly navigates a second great explosion of thought, taking us to northern Europe in the wake of its wars of religion and the rise of Galilean science. In a relatively short period–from the early 1640s to the eve of the French Revolution–Descartes, Hobbes, Spinoza, Locke, Leibniz, and Hume all made their mark. The Dream of Enlightenment tells their story and that of the birth of modern philosophy.

1_jkTaeBQMgYcuzbg3VDRo4QThe Selfishness of Others: An Essay on the Fear of Narcissism by Kristin Dombek – They’re among us, but they are not like us. They manipulate, lie, cheat, and steal. They are irresistibly charming and accomplished, appearing to live in a radiance beyond what we are capable of. But narcissists are empty. So goes the popular understanding of narcissism, or NPD (narcissistic personality disorder). Pop psychologists have armed the normal with tools to identify and combat the vampiric influence of this rising population. In The Selfishness of Others, essayist Kristin Dombek provides a clear-sighted account of how a rare clinical diagnosis became a fluid cultural phenomenon, a repository for our deepest fears about love, friendship, and family. She cuts through hysteria in search of the razor-thin line between pathology and common selfishness, writing with robust skepticism toward the prophets of NPD and genuine empathy for those who see themselves as its victims. And finally, she shares her own story in a candid effort to find a path away from the cycle of fear and blame and toward a more forgiving and rewarding life.

413UF7ru1eLThe Cyber Effect: A Pioneering Cyberpsychologist Explains How Human Behavior Changes Online by Kristin Dombek – Mary Aiken is the world’s leading expert in forensic cyberpsychology – a discipline that combines psychology, criminology, and technology to investigate the intersection where technology and human behavior meet. In this, her first book, Aiken has created a starting point for all future conversations about how the Internet is shaping development and behavior, societal norms and values, children, safety, security, and our perception of the world. Cyberspace is an environment full of surveillance, but who is looking out for us? The Cyber Effect offers a fascinating and chilling look at a future we can still do something about. Readers will gain a new understanding of the rapid change taking shape around us and come away with critical tools to become part of this very necessary conversation.

7a848663_brief_viceA Brief History of Vice: How Bad Behavior Built Civilization by Robert Evans – Guns, germs, and steel might have transformed us from hunter-gatherers into modern man, but booze, sex, trash talk, and tripping built our civilization. Cracked editor Robert Evans brings his signature dogged research and lively insight to uncover the many and magnificent ways vice has influenced history, from the prostitute-turned-empress who scored a major victory for women’s rights to the beer that helped create – and destroy – South America’s first empire. A celebration of the brave, drunken pioneers who built our civilization one seemingly bad decision at a time, A Brief History of Vice explores a side of the past that mainstream history books prefer to hide.

9780374229702The Gardener and the Carpenter: What the New Science of Child Development Tells us about the Relationship Between Parents and Children by Alison Gopnik – Drawing on the study of human evolution and her own scientific research into how children learn, Gopnik shows that although caring for children is profoundly important, it is not a matter of shaping them to turn out a particular way. Children are designed to be messy and unpredictable, playful and imaginative, and to be very different both from their parents and from each other. The variability and flexibility of childhood lets them innovate, create, and survive in an unpredictable world. “Parenting” won’t make children learn – but caring parents let children learn by creating a secure, loving environment.

New Philosophy, Psychology & Self-Help in June

Featured new additions to DPL’s Philosophy, Psychology & Self-Help collections! Click on the title to place a hold. For more new books, visit our Upcoming Releases page. As always, if there’s a title you would like to read, please send us a purchase suggestion.

cover225x225Ego Is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday – In an era that glorifies social media, reality TV, and other forms of shameless self-promotion, the battle against ego must be fought on many fronts. Drawing on a vast array of stories and examples, from literature to philosophy to his­tory, we meet fascinating figures such as George Marshall, Jackie Robinson, Katharine Graham, Bill Belichick, and Eleanor Roosevelt, who all reached the highest levels of power and success by con­quering their own egos. Their strategies and tactics can be ours as well.

 


 

fatherlessbookThe Fatherless Daughter Project: Understanding Our Losses and Reclaiming Our Lives by Denna Babul – Babul, a life coach, and Luise, a counselor and inspirational speaker, join their expertise and experiences-both grew up without their biological fathers-in this wide-ranging look at how fatherlessness affects women. Drawing on over 1,000 interviews and a social media survey to conclude that the loss or absence of a father can cause a woman to suffer effects that include self-doubt, sadness, anger, fear, resentment, and difficulty trusting. They discuss the primary ways that loss can occur, such as divorce, death, abandonment, and incarceration, and explore how age at the time of loss affects a daughter’s response. On the flip side, they find that fatherless daughters also exhibit strength, resilience, and self-awareness, among other positive traits.With interesting personal stories woven throughout, fatherless daughters will find this to be a supportive and encouraging guidebook to reclaiming their lives and healing their wounds.


 

ID_HCO2016MTH05IYOOIs You OK? by GloZell Green –  With this funny and liberating book, YouTube star GloZell uses the stories from her winding journey to unbelievable success to help her fans and young women everywhere navigate the obstacles we all face in life, while helping them find the greatness unique to each of them, inside and out. Is You Okay? speaks truth about the elements of life we wrestle with every day–empowerment, love, body image, school, work, family, relationships, failure, success. GloZell introduces some of her most outlandish, funny, and unforgettable video challenges and uses each to explore a serious yet common hurdle. Sharing formative stories and insights from her own life, she encourages young women to learn to love their body, break free of their shell, and carve out their own identity.


 

Nehamas-On-Friendship-book-cover_324On Friendship by Alexander Nehamas – In On Friendship , the acclaimed philosopher Alexander Nehamas launches an original and far-ranging investigation of friendship. Exploring the long history of philosophical thinking on the subject, from Aristotle to Emerson and beyond, and drawing on examples from literature, art, drama, and his own life, Nehamas shows that for centuries, friendship was as much a public relationship as it was a private one–inseparable from politics and commerce, favors and perks. Now that it is more firmly in the private realm, Nehamas holds, close friendship is central to the good life. Profound and affecting, On Friendship sheds light on why we love our friends–and how they determine who we are, and who we might become.


 

07b22b56ba04e045443d110c7ce6aea8-w204@1xThis Is Where You Belong: The Art and Science of Loving the Place You Live by Melody Warnick – The average restless American will move 11.7 times in a lifetime. For Melody Warnick, it was move #6, from Austin, Texas, to Blacksburg, Virginia, that threatened to unhinge her. In the lonely aftermath of unpacking, she wondered: Aren’t we supposed to put down roots at some point? How does the place we live become the place we want to stay? This time, she had an epiphany. Rather than hold her breath and hope this new town would be her family’s perfect fit, she would figure out how to fall in love with it–no matter what.

 


 

you-are-the-one-9781501127274_hrYou Are the One: A Bold Adventure in Finding Purpose, Discovering the Real You and Loving Fully by Kute Blackson – A charismatic visionary and transformational teacher offers a bold new look at spiritual awareness providing the tools needed to live a life truly inspired by love for a whole new generation. You Are The One is a reflection of Blackson’s unique and distinctive thoughts, teachings, stories, and poetic inspirations to help you access your true power and live boldly and fully in the world—with no regrets.

New Philosophy, Psychology & Self-Help in April

Featured new additions to DPL’s Philosophy, Psychology & Self-Help collections! Click on the title to place a hold. For more new books, visit our Upcoming Releases page. As always, if there’s a title you would like to read, please send us a purchase suggestion.

978140194839950 for Your Future: Lessons from Down the Road by Tavis Smiley –  Stepping into your authentic life can be difficult. There are pitfalls of ego, of convenience, of modern society’s pressure to put yourself out there before you’ve even figured out what you really want. It’s easy to lose yourself along the way, conforming to those around you, obsessing over trivialities, letting fear drive your actions. Fortunately, though, you re not the first one to walk this path. Tavis Smiley offers both a guidebook and a toolkit to help you get on track, whether you re just setting out on your own or whether you need a course correction to keep marching toward your dreams.


 

51K8TKGkdqL__SX331_BO1,204,203,200_The Creative Tarot: A Modern Guide to an Inspired Life by Jessa Crispin – Written for novices and seasoned readers alike, The Creative Tarot is a unique guidebook that reimagines tarot cards and the ways they can boost the creative process. Jessa Crispin guides you through the intuitive world of the tarot to get those creative juices flowing again. Thought to be esoteric and mystical, tarot cards are approachable and endlessly helpful to overcoming creative blocks. Crispin offers spiritual readings of the cards, practical information for the uninspired artist, and a wealth of fascinating anecdotes about famous artists including Virginia Woolf, Rembrandt, and David Bowie, and how they found inspiration.


41X8GlTsLEL__SX329_BO1,204,203,200_Face Value: The Hidden Ways Beauty Shapes Women’s Lives by Autumn Whitefield-Madrano – Journalist Autumn Whitefield-Madrano thoughtfully examines the relationship between appearance and science, social media, sex, friendship, language, and advertising to show how beauty actually affects us day to day. Through research and interviews with dozens of women across all walks of life, she reveals surprising findings, like that wearing makeup can actually relax you, that you can convince people you’re better looking just by tweaking your personality, and the ways beauty can be a powerful tool of connection among women. Equal parts social commentary, cultural analysis, careful investigation, and powerful personal anecdotes, Face Value is provocative and empowering–and a great conversation starter for women everywhere.


 

71thePUifrL

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth – Why do some people succeed and others fail? Sharing new insights from her landmark research, Angela Duckworth explains why talent is hardly a guarantor of success. Rather, other factors can be even more crucial such as identifying our passions and following through on our commitments. Drawing on her own powerful story as the daughter of a scientist who frequently bemoaned her lack of smarts, Duckworth describes her winding path through teaching, business consulting, and neuroscience, which led to the hypothesis that what really drives success is not “genius” but a special blend of passion and long-term perseverance.


On Fire: The 7 Choices to Ignite a Radically Inspired Life by John O’Leary – When John O’Leary was just nine years old, he barely survived a devastating house fire with burns on 100 percent of his body. His doctors told his parents that he wasn’t expected to make it through the night. But this story didn’t end there. On Fire contains O’Leary’s reflections on the seven life-giving choices he made that ensured his survival and his ability to ignite a radically inspired life and encourages us to seize the power to transform our lives from ordinary to extraordinary, no matter what our circumstances. As he says, ‘You can’t always choose the path that you walk in life, but you can always choose the manner in which you walk it.’ Once expected to die, John O’Leary now teaches others how to truly live.


91ribz73B8LSiddhartha’s Brain: Unlocking the Ancient Science of Enlightenment by James Kingsland – Framed by the historical journey and teachings of the Buddha, Siddhartha’s Brain shows how meditative and Buddhist practice anticipated the findings of modern neuroscience. Moving from the evolutionary history of the brain to the disorders and neuroses associated with our technology-driven world, James Kingsland explains why the ancient practice of mindfulness has been so beneficial and so important for human beings across time.

 

 

New Philosophy & Psychology in March

Featured new additions to DPL’s Philosophy and Psychology collections! Click on the title to place a hold. For more new books, visit our Upcoming Releases page. As always, if there’s a title you would like to read, please send us a purchase suggestion.

S81MTRGN88xLmarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg – From the author of The Power of Habit comes a fascinating new book that explores the science of productivity, and why, in today’s world, managing how you think–rather than what you think–can transform your life. Drawing on the latest findings in neuroscience, psychology, and behavioral economics–as well as the experiences of CEOs, educational reformers, four-star generals, FBI agents, airplane pilots, and Broadway songwriters–this painstakingly researched book explains that the most productive people, companies, and organizations don’t merely act differently. They view the world, and their choices, in profoundly different ways.


balancing-on-heels-kristin-cavallariBalancing in Heels: My Journey to Health, Happiness, and Making It All Work by Kristin Cavallari – Tracing her journey from reality stardom to real life ‘the good, the bad, and the ugly’ Kristin digs down to the most personal of relationships in her life and discusses how they made her who she is today. She also talks about the amazing effects of her healthy diet and exercise, which have made Kristin and her family the happiest and healthiest they’ve ever been.

 

 


9780801018824Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want by Michael Hyatt – Each of us has but one life to live on this earth. What we do with it is our choice. Are we drifting through it as spectators, reacting to our circumstances when necessary and wondering just how we got to this point anyway? Or are we directing it, maximizing the joy and potential of every day, living with a purpose or mission in mind? Author Michael Hyatt and executive coach Daniel Harkavy show us how to do: to design a life with the end in mind, determining in advance the outcomes we desire and path to get there. In this step-by-step guide, they share proven principles that help readers create a simple but effective life plan so that they can get from where they are now to where they really want to be–in every area of life.


815svDfE+eLThe Mind Club: Who Thinks, What Feels, and Why It Matters by Daniel Wegner – Nothing seems more real than the minds of other people. When you consider what your boss is thinking or whether your spouse is happy, you are admitting them into the “mind club.” It’s easy to assume other humans can think and feel, but what about a cow, a computer, a corporation? What kinds of mind do they have? Psychologists Daniel M. Wegner and Kurt Gray  have discovered that minds–while incredibly important–are a matter of perception. Their research opens a trove of new findings, with insights into human behavior that are fascinating, frightening and funny.


810Cxb4nv-LOriginals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant –  In Originals, Grant addresses the challenge of improving the world, but now from the perspective of becoming original: choosing to champion novel ideas and values that go against the grain, battle conformity, and buck outdated traditions. How can we originate new ideas, policies, and practices without risking it all? Using surprising studies and stories spanning business, politics, sports, and entertainment, Grant explores how to recognize a good idea, speak up without getting silenced, build a coalition of allies, choose the right time to act, and manage fear and doubt; how parents and teachers can nurture originality in children; and how leaders can fight groupthink to build cultures that welcome dissent.

New Philosophy & Psychology in December

Featured new additions to DPL’s Philosophy and Psychology collections! Click on the title to place a hold. For more new books, visit our Upcoming Releases page. As always, if there’s a title you would like to read, please send us a purchase suggestion.

81ObN+w1i4L Nonsense: Tools for Smart Thinking by Jamie Holmes – An illuminating look at the surprising upside of ambiguity–and how, properly harnessed, it can inspire learning, creativity, even empathy. Life today feels more overwhelming and chaotic than ever. We face constant political and economic upheaval, and we’re bombarded with information, much of it contradictory. Managing uncertainty is fast becoming an essential skill. What should we do when we have no idea what to do? In Nonsense, Jamie Holmes shows how we react to ambiguous situations and how we can do it better.
fck-feelings-9781476789996_hr F*ck Feelings: One Shrink’s Practical Advice for Managing All Life’s Impossible Problems by Michael I. Bennett and Sarah Bennett – In this sensible and funny book, a Harvard-educated shrink and his comedy-writing daughter reveal that the real f-words in life are “feelings” and “fairness.” While most self-help books are about your feelings and fulfilling your wildest dreams, F*ck Feelings will show you how to find a new kind of freedom by getting your head out of your ass and yourself onto the right path toward realistic goals and feasible results.
science-of-the-magical-9781476777108_hr Science of the Magical: From the Holy Grail to Love Potions to Superpowers by Matt Kaplan – This engaging scientific inquiry provides a definitive look into the elements of mystical places and magical object–from the philosopher’s stone, to love potions to the oracles–from ancient history, mythology, and contemporary culture. Informative and entertaining, Science of the Magical explores our world through the compelling scope of natural and human history and cutting-edge science.
9781594204333_StrangersDro_JKF.indd Strangers Drowning: Grappling with Impossible Idealism, Drastic Choices and the Overpowering Urge to Help by Larissa Macfaequhar – Through its sympathetic and beautifully vivid storytelling, Strangers Drowning confronts us with fundamental questions about what it means to be human. In a world of strangers drowning in need, how much should we help, and how much can we help? Is it right to care for strangers even at the expense of those we are closest to? Moving and provocative, Strangers Drowning challenges us to think about what we value most, and why.
81IF8Z6Ph-L Suspicious Minds: Why We Believe Conspiracy Theories by Rob Brotherton – In Suspicious Minds, Rob Brotherton explores the history and consequences of conspiracism, and delves into the research that offers insights into why so many of us are drawn to implausible, unproven and unprovable conspiracy theories. They resonate with some of our brain’s built-in quirks and foibles, and tap into some of our deepest desires, fears, and assumptions about the world
Scream-byMargeeKerr Scream: Chilling Adventures in the Science of Fear by Margee Kerr – For as long as we’ve gathered by campfires to tell ghost stories, humans have always loved a good scare. In this surprising, scary, entertaining book, Kerr puts her expertise to the test. Not merely content to observe others’ fear, she confronts it in the form of things like skydiving, paranormal investigations, and a visit to Japan’s infamous “suicide forest.” In her willingness to explore the world’s scariest attractions, Kerr shows why we seek out terror even when there is plenty to fear in everyday life.

Irritable Hearts: A PTSD Love Story by Mac McClelland

irritable hearts

Let’s talk about how we come to find books to read. Sometimes we hear about certain books on television, spy a blurb written online about the newest work by a famous author, or a friend recommends a book to us that they think we may like. Most of my book recommendations come from either friends or online blurbs. Irritable Hearts: A PTSD Love Story by Mac McClelland was my newest book recommendation from a friend, one who thought that I may relate to the main character and how she goes about finding out her truth.

In this memoir, Mac McClelland writes about her journey around the world, her life story, and a new love. Mac is an investigative journalist who is not put off by the prospect of covering the news in dangerous parts of the world. In 2010, Mac travels to Haiti to cover the aftermath of the massive earthquake that killed over 200,000 people. Here, Mac decides to team up with several locals to write stories about the devastating aftereffects and the displacement of so many people living in Haiti. She delves into many traumatic situations in order to get to the bottom of her story. While in Haiti, Mac also meets Nico, a French soldier with whom she begins a world-travelling love affair. Mac believes she has a hold on her life and that the new symptoms she is displaying after witnessing a particularly gruesome attack(one which she never actually describes in detail) are just part of being a journalist.

After leaving Haiti, Mac’s symptoms get worse. She starts crying and imagining graphic scenes of violence that lead her to call an emergency meeting with her therapist. While meeting with her, Mac realizes that she is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, which her recent trip to Haiti and her previous tension/trauma-filled life experiences have brought to light. Trying to deal with her symptoms becomes increasingly difficult and she turns to alcohol, television, and some violent therapies to help her cope. Mac also reaches out to other PTSD sufferers and begins researching and reading everything about PTSD that she can get her hands on. Irritable Hearts: A PTSD Love Story is McClelland’s story of finding a new love with Nico, her struggle to repair herself, and how she deals with all of the changes happening around and within herself.

The Book of Awesome: Snow Days, Bakery Air, Finding Money in Your Pocket, and Other Simple, Brilliant Things

the book of awesomeIs winter getting you down? Do you find yourself curling into blankets and wanting to hide from the outside world? I admit winter is not my favorite time of year, so when I stumbled upon The Book of Awesome: Snow Days, Bakery Air, Finding Money in Your Pocket, and Other Simple, Brilliant Things, I knew I had found my much needed winter pick-me-up. Pasricha, the author of 1000awesomethings.com, developed this book as a way for him to find the good things that surrounded his boring 9-to-5 job. Follow along as he describes those simple pleasures and little moments that have just enough power to make us happy : sleeping in new sheets, fixing electronics by smacking them, pushing the elevator button and discovering it’s already there, the smell and sounds of a campfire, popping bubblewrap, the day you first realize you can drive, etc. Each good thing brings out warm and funny observations from the author describing just why those pleasures or unexpected moments are AWESOME! Who knows, maybe you’ll be able to relate to Pasricha’s moment of joy when a cashier opens up a new checkout line at the grocery store, when all your socks match up from the dryer perfectly, and when someone offers to throw your dirty laundry in a load with their own, thus saving you from having to leave the couch! Join Pasricha as he finds all the good in the little moments that surround him.

If you are interested in this book or even want to know more, you’re in luck! Pasricha has also published The Book of (Even More) Awesome and The Book of (Holiday) Awesome.