Healthy Conflict: Books on Communicating

I buy books for the non-fiction section, specifically in the 100s (in Dewey Decimal numbers, this means philosophy, psychology, spirituality and self-help). Sometimes this means that I see books or buy books in my section that send me down a rabbit hole of discovery; most recently I accidentally ran across a 2008 self-help book called Feeling Good Together by David D. Burns. Burns popularized Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which can make a big difference in the treatment of depression and anxiety, and in this book he gives his advice as a therapist on how to build better relationships with our family and friends. He focuses mostly on the principles of good communication, and how to talk to each other to build more trust, goodwill, and understanding.

I really liked how evidence-based it was, citing lots of examples of actual patients he’d worked with and how their problems had developed and been addressed in therapy. I also appreciated his realistic outlook. He was never afraid to point out times he’d also said the wrong thing, which made it easier to believe his recommendations for good communication. And as recommendations go, they’re kind of hard to swallow: first, you can only focus on changing yourself and the way you think and respond to people. There’s nothing you can do to change the other person you’re clashing with, and trying to change them will only make them dig in their heels and fight back harder. If you change yourself, your perspective and your approach to them, however, they’ll feel more able to meet you halfway as you express humility, respect, and open-mindedness. The most important thing you can do, he says, is to acknowledge how they’re feeling and find some truth in what they’re saying, while sharing, respectfully, how you’re feeling. It’s surprisingly hard to do! Luckily he includes lots of exercises, tables, and journal prompts to help you practice. He also devoted a lot of time at the beginning to discussing whether improving the relationship is really what you want or need, which also shows his realistic understanding of people.

It was a fascinating read, with some helpful concepts, and it made me look for more books on how to resolve conflicts and build better relationships. Here are a few published more recently that touch on similar themes, which I think are also worth checking out:

High Conflict: Why We Get Trapped and How We Get Out by Amanda Ripley

Compassionate Conversations: How to Speak and Listen from the Heart by Diane Musho Hamilton

Them: Why We Hate Each Other and How We Heal by Benjamin E. Sasse

Empowered Boundaries by Cristien Storm

De-escalate: How to Calm an Angry Person in 90 Seconds or Less by Douglas Noll

Buddhism for Couples: A Calm Approach to Relationships by Sarah Napthal

Beginners by Tom Vanderbilt

I love lifelong learning! One of my most important values in life is curiosity, because of the way it empowers me to seek out and discover all the wonders and fascinating things going on in the world. For that reason, Tom Vanderbilt’s book Beginners was right up my alley.

In this memoir/investigation, Vanderbilt tells the story of the year he spent learning new skills, just for the sake of it, alongside the research from psychology and science on how learning works as an adult. Motivated by his daughter and his own feelings of stagnation, Vanderbilt took on 5 new, notoriously difficult learning paths: chess, singing, surfing, drawing, and juggling. The experiment leads him to experiences funny, frightening, and fascinating, underscored by research which suggests being this kind of adult beginner can have real benefits. From the publisher: “Ultimately, he shares how a refreshed sense of curiosity opened him up to a profound happiness and a deeper connection to the people around him–and how small acts of reinvention, at any age, can make life seem magical.”

That last sentence is my favorite, because I think everyone (myself included) could use more feelings of magic and possibility these days. One thing I really liked was how strongly he argued that this type of learning is good for EVERYONE, detailing all the potential benefits and solutions to common objections. For instance, he emphasized that the problem of childcare could become a solution by learning a new skill WITH your child, or using your time waiting for your child to finish an activity/practice/school day by practicing your own new skill. He also cited significant evidence that proves it really is never too late, you’re never too old, to learn something new, and in fact you’ll be much better off for it. His main point is actually one of my life’s mottoes (gleaned from a very wise professor): if it’s good for kids, it’s good for everybody. Yes, kids benefit from learning new skills, but so do adults, so don’t stop learning!

If you’re looking for interesting science, a feel-good story, and inspiration that it’s never too late, try reading Beginners. If you’re still not convinced that learning a new skill is for you, try reading this book anyway just for the chapter on babies and how they learn – guaranteed to warm the heart of parents and those who love kids!

Untitled Goose Game for Nintendo Switch

Perhaps you already heard about when Untitled Goose Game took the gaming world by storm. If you haven’t, I’m here to tell you that not only is this game good fun, it’s now available for Nintendo Switch, and you can check it out from the library! The game is built on a simple premise: a goose (that’s you, the player) wanders into an ordinary village to ruin everyone’s day. That’s it, and it’s fantastic.

One thing I liked as a newbie gamer is the game’s structure, in which you learn both in building blocks and by being creative. You unlock one area of the village at a time by crossing items off your to-do list (it’s a great list, including ‘lock the groundskeeper out of the garden’, ‘make someone buy back their own stuff’, ‘get on TV’, etc.) and each section lets you build skills and strategies that help you in the next, more complicated section of town. But there’s no particular order of tasks you have to do, and no instructions on how to get them done. You learn how to move the goose, make it pick things up and (very importantly) honk, and then your job is to wander, explore, and experiment until you figure out how to do things on your own. This makes it a good game to build your creativity and strategic skills in a low-stress environment, with simple, charming art and occasional musical accompaniment.

I was honestly surprised by how much I enjoyed being the town nuisance, moving people’s possessions around, chasing and honking at them. It was almost like a release valve for all my petty frustrations and rude impulses, and the structureless, low-stakes feel of the game made me feel free and empowered to take action (albeit impolite action) in the world. All in all I would recommend this game for all ages as a lighthearted romp with some psychological benefits.

Reese Witherspoon November Pick – ‘Group’

Reese Witherspoon has selected Group by Christie Tate as the November pick for her book club.

Curious what Group is about? Check out the following description provided by the publisher.

The refreshingly original debut memoir of a guarded, over-achieving, self-lacerating young lawyer who reluctantly agrees to get psychologically and emotionally naked in a room of six complete strangers—her psychotherapy group—and in turn finds human connection, and herself. Christie Tate had just been named the top student in her law school class and finally had her eating disorder under control. Why then was she driving through Chicago fantasizing about her own death? Why was she envisioning putting an end to the isolation and sadness that continued to plague her in spite of her achievements? Enter Dr. Rosen, a therapist who calmly assures her that if she joins one of his psychotherapy groups, he can transform her life. All she has to do is show up, and be honest. About everything—her eating habits, childhood, sexual history, etc. Christie is skeptical, insisting that that she is defective, beyond cure. But Dr. Rosen issues a nine-word prescription that will change everything: “You don’t need a cure, you need a witness.” So begins her entry into the strange, terrifying, and ultimately life-changing world of group therapy. Christie is initially put off by Dr. Rosen’s outlandish directives, but as her defenses break down and she comes to trust Dr. Rosen and to depend on the sessions and the prescribed nightly phone calls with various group members, she begins to understand what it means to connect. Group is a deliciously addictive read, and with Christie as our guide—skeptical of her own capacity for connection and intimacy, but hopeful in spite of herself—we are given a front row seat to the daring, exhilarating, painful, and hilarious journey that is group therapy—an under-explored process that breaks you down, and then reassembles you so that all the pieces finally fit.

This book is also available in the following format:

Want to make sure that Reese’s picks are automatically put on hold for you? Be sure to join our Best Sellers Club.

Change Your Habits: Reading for a New Year

I recently read a book I’ve been meaning to for a long time: The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. If you haven’t already read this book, it’s an absorbing exploration of the science behind the habits that shape our individual lives, our companies, and our societies. The best part about it is, it’s written as a series of anecdotes about individuals, sports teams, companies, and groups that have changed their habits to improve their performance. Each section and chapter is engaging and readable, and builds on what came before it to craft a detailed picture of how habits work and how they can be changed. It explores neuroscience, psychology, belief, economics, and more, and it left me feeling like I had a good grasp on how habits work and how I could change mine.

Because we’re approaching a new year, you may be thinking about how you want to change your life and what you’d like to do better. My personal recommendation is that the first thing you do on that journey is read a book about habits and how they can change. If you’d like something more recent than The Power of Habit (published 2012), check out any of the great titles listed below.

 

 

 

Tiny Habits by B.J. Fogg recommends you start small to make changes.

Habit Swap by Hugh G. Byrne focuses on mindfulness and self-control.

Good Habits, Bad Habits by Wendy Wood draws on scientific research.

Healthy Habits Suck by Danya Lee-Bagley is a realistic guide to motivation.

Atomic Habits by James Clear highlights small behaviors that drive change.

Stick With It by Sean Young highlights how lasting change is made.

Breaking Sad edited by Shelly Fisher & Jennifer Jones

Breaking Sad: What to Say After Loss, What Not to Say, and When to Just Show Up edited by Shelly Fisher & Jennifer Jones lays out for you what to say when you just don’t know what to say. Loss, grief, bereavement, and sympathy are all complicated emotions and states of being that have the power to bring even the strongest, calmest, and most stoic of us to their knees. When that happens, what are those of us surrounding the bereaved supposed to do? If you’re like me, you stand awkwardly by in fear that you will say the wrong thing or that the words you meant to be kind will somehow be construed the wrong way. Breaking Sad helped me figure out what to do.

Breaking Sad breaks down loss into multiple sections: new loss, sudden loss, loss with time for a good-bye, loss at a tender age, persistent loss, complicated loss, unacknowledged loss, other kinds of loss, and loss and time. It additionally ends with a section of takeaways and an epilogue entitled: “One for the road”. Each section of loss features real stories and real feedback from people who have struggled with each type of loss presented in this book. These personal stories allow readers to gain a better understanding of what the bereaved are feeling. Each story further shows to highlight how people all grieve differently as what comforts one person only proves to irritate another. Grieving with a sudden loss versus a loss with time for a good-bye necessitates mourners to comfort the bereaved in different ways.

The part that I found the most helpful were the suggestions from survivors about how to comfort them. These suggestions are broken down into four sections: best thing someone did or said, worst thing someone did or said, advice for someone going through a similar experience, and advice for those surrounding the bereaved. Reading about such a wide variety of loss coupled with the suggestions from the survivors gave me a well-rounded look into how I should approach someone when they’re going through a loss. This book helped me work through my own grief and helped me become more comfortable when it comes to offering support and caring for people when they’re struggling through their own grief.

In addition to giving me real-life examples and ways to comfort others, this book also helped me work through grief of my own. Being able to read through situations that were similar to mine helped me realize that the emotions that I have felt, both in the past and the present, are normal and valid and that there is no right way to grieve. Having someone say those things to your face are one thing, but being able to read multiple accounts of people going through the same process is another. Everyone grieves in their own way, just like everyone expresses their sympathy and grief towards another in a different way. We’re all human beings. This book continuously reminded me to live in a place of kindness and understanding towards others because we truly have no idea what could be living under the surface. Be kind to everyone because you have no idea the battles waging within.

This book by no means captures all types of loss, all stages of grief, and even all the different ways that sympathy can be extended towards the bereaved. Read this as more of a guidebook, a collection of signs, that can help guide you towards what to say and how to act.

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.


 

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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.