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  • Heidi Fiedler 4:30 pm on 2019/09/19 Permalink
    Tags: 12 rules for life, , , brene brown, eight dates, , essentialism, greg mckeown, , john gottman, jordan peterson, julie schartz gottman, mark manson, , my friend fear, ryan holiday, , , stillness is the key, the gifts of imperfection,   

    9 Books to Help You Become the Person You Want to Be 


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    The right book at the right time can help us feel a little less alone. That’s especially true with nonfiction written by someone who once struggled with the same issues you’re struggling with today. The books below are on some of the most powerful desks in the world, and they’re frequent bedtime reading as well. Whether you’re looking for a pep talk or a detailed action plan, these books will help you envision a new future and grow into the person you want to be.

    Essentialism, by Greg McKeown
    This is the kind of book you’ll want to schedule a personal retreat to read each year. Its principles have guided the work of CEOs, teachers, creatives, and others who want to use the limited time we have to do work that matters. With sections on play, rest, and making choices, the book goes beyond traditional definitions of work to address the learning and work we can spend our whole lives doing.

    The Gifts of Imperfection, by Brene Brown
    Researcher Dr. Brene Brown’s work includes talking with thousands of people about shame, worthiness, and fear. Then she analyzes those conversations and transforms them into simple lessons we can all use to live more wholeheartedly. She’s worked with executives, military leaders, parents, teachers, spiritual leaders, and more, giving people the language and tools to feel worthy, overcome fear, and live their best lives. This book is a great introduction to her work.

    My Friend Fear, by Meera Lee Patel
    This gentle invitation to see fear in a new way is filled with wisdom and gorgeously illustrated in Patel’s self-taught watercolor style. Throughout the book, she shares her own struggles with insecurity and self-doubt. Quirky diagrams, personal stories, and luminous quotes all work together to prompt readers to see fear as a sign they’re doing something new, not something wrong. Keep this one on your bedside table and read it anytime you need a little reassurance or confidence.

    Better than Before, by Gretchen Rubin
    With her frank, commonsense voice, Rubin attracts readers who are eager for a no-nonsense approach to making all areas of life a little better than before. Whether you’re struggling with weight loss, exercise, work-life balance, decluttering, personal relationships, or one of the other areas that make us humans feel a little too human, Rubin offers sensible, tested advice. She’s an expert on habits and encourages readers to find what works for them, while offering loads of practical advice. Grab this book whenever you’re ready to tackle a new project or personal bugaboo.

    The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, by Mark Manson
    We’re taught that the relationship between work and success is linear. Try harder, do better, be happier. But life proves time and again that idea is actually just a recipe for feeling crazy and crabby. Manson offers real talk about what’s actually in our control and how we can focus on what matters. It’s a refreshing approach to happiness and finding meaning, and after reading Manson’s work, you’ll find yourself drawn to contentment and feeling grounded rather than in hot and heavy pursuit of joy. This is a book you’ll give a f*ck about.

    Big Magic, by Elizabeth Gilbert
    This is the sort of book that’s loaned, gifted, whispered about, and exclaimed over with friends. It’s one to turn to when you’re feeling stuck, longing to shrink down, and to maybe never think the words “I have an idea” again. In this modern classic, Gilbert tackles the fear that every artist faces during the creative process with wisdom, sharing the personal practices and mindset shifts that helped her write several bestselling books. And if you’re thinking you’re not an artist, she’ll help you see yourself in a new way too!

    Stillness Is the Key, by Ryan Holiday
    Holiday has positioned himself as a modern Stoic teacher, and his lessons are popular with leaders, thinkers, and warriors of all types. His latest book offers a counterintuitive premise: slowing down is the key to succeeding. With rewards like taming your temper and developing self discipline and creativity, Holiday makes a strong argument for getting quiet and turning inward, even when the world around us is spinning.

    Eight Dates, by John Gottman and Julie Schwartz Gottman
    If you’re eager to deepen your relationship with your significant other, Eight Dates helps couples prioritize time together and know what to do with that time once they’re on an actual honest-to-goodness date, so they’ll grow closer and fall more in love, rather than come home fighting. From the team that predicts divorce rates with a 94% accuracy rate, the book is packed with scientific research and personal stories. There’s actionable advice and suggested dialogue to make it as easy as possible to transfer the best practices for successful relationships to your own life.

    12 Rules for Life, by Jordan Peterson
    This wide-ranging book touches on science, nature, philosophy, mythology, and more, all while feeling personal and thoughtful. Written by a psychologist who has spent his life thinking about how to make the world a better place and help people find meaning, the 12 rules are meant to lead readers toward a more moral existence. Does the book accomplish its goal? Reviewers and thought leaders from all walks of life have both celebrated and rejected Peterson’s work. Read it for yourself to join the conversation.

    What books would you recommend to readers hoping to become the person they want to be?

    The post 9 Books to Help You Become the Person You Want to Be appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Jeff Somers 3:00 pm on 2018/07/20 Permalink
    Tags: , betrayal marklund, danielle marchant, david mcraney, , i am so smat s-m-a-t, josh kaufman, lewis dartnell, mark manson, nickel and dimed, pause, prisoners of geography, quiet the rage, r.w. burke, , the first 20 hours: how to learn anything...fast!, , , the nordic guide to living 10 years longer, , tim marshal, you are not so smart   

    10 The Best Books to Read This Summer to Become a Better, Smarter, Happier Person 


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    Summer usually means a bit more free time, which can be used towards much-needed vacations and other relaxing, rejuvenating activities. We’re all stressed out, and that means it’s easy to fall into the habit of using every spare moment to unplug and turn off your brain.

    Nothing wrong with that, but that can lead to missed opportunities—opportunities to improve yourself. Sitting on a beach, on a plane—anywhere you have the time to read for a while this summer is a chance to apply a patch to your personal operating system and do an upgrade—to make yourself better, smarter, and happier. Mix in just a few of these ten books to your summer reading list and make that time off count.

    Be Better

    The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin
    Sometimes the challenge with books that purport to make you better is simply choosing one—after all, you probably have a limited window in which to read and try some new tricks. Rubin’s book is an ideal starting place because it’s not a specific set of instructions or fad—it’s her story of trying all the instructions and fads. Rubin applies the advice from a variety of self-help books, ranging from the ancient to the modern, and reports on her results. Along the way you’ll get plenty of simple, practical advice—but it’s also a great way to pre-test a few things by sharing in Rubin’s experience. Kick off your Summer of Self-Improvement with an overview of the available approaches.

    Nickel and Dimed, by Barbara Ehrenreich
    Being a better person begins with empathy, something that often seems to be in short supply. Ehrenreich’s experiment, in which she took on the sorts of low-wage, long-hour jobs that far too often fail to support even modest lifestyles, remains an eye-opening read. We all work hard for what we have, but sometimes the rules aren’t fair—and Ehrenreich plumbs the depths of economic desperation where no matter how hard someone works they keep sliding backwards, the deck stacked against them. Take a moment this summer and contemplate how different your own life could be if you lacked even a few of the advantages you have.

    Quiet the Rage, by R.W. Burke
    We live in contentious times, and half the reason you plan a trip is to get away from your co-workers, relatives, and neighbors with their troubling opinions and confrontational attitudes. These days everyone thinks they have to argue endlessly—but there’s a different approach worth trying. Instead of reacting emotionally to provocations and different opinions—instead of seeking to ‛win’ and thus make other ‛lose,’ perpetuating a cycle of misery, we should seek to control our emotions and try to attain a level of conflict resolution that doesn’t involve turning your life into an endless argument—and coincidentally seeking to punish those who disagree with us. The result might just be a calmer and more effective person.

    Be Smarter

    The Knowledge, by Lewis Dartnell
    This might seem like a strange choice for vacay reading, but this guide to everything you just might need to know if the world ends is more practical than it seems. On the one hand, if the apocalypse is coming it’s not going to care about your vacation schedule. On the other, this book explains not just the systems that support our civilization—technologies we often blindly rely upon—it also explains the fundamentals under those technologies and systems. Reading this book might make you a little better prepared for the end of the world, and in the meantime, it will make you a lot smart about how the world actually works.

    Prisoners of Geography, by Tim Marshall
    Sometimes it’s difficult to understand why there is so much suffering in one area of the world and so much prosperity—and vacationing—in others. It’s easy to assume some not particularly enlightened things about groups of people, but this book lays out how the terrain, climate, and natural borders of a country dictates to a great extent the lives of its people and the fate of its society. This sort of visual thinking might just change your perspective on a lot of different aspects of modern life, especially the crises that never seem to get solved and the political decisions that seem nonsensical at first glance. Using updated maps, Marshall lays it all out for you—making you smarter in the process.

    The First 20 Hours: How to Learn Anything … Fast!, by Josh Kaufman
    Getting smarter isn’t just the accumulation of facts or even the widening of perspective—it’s also the acquisition of skills. Kaufman presents a system by which you can learn the fundamentals of just about anything with just 20 hours of focused effort—not the 10,000 hours that are often thrown about. While he doesn’t claim this will make you an expert, he does argue that the beginning of learning anything new is always the hardest phase, and the easiest to give up on. Getting though the arduous beginning phase of learning a new skill gives you the foundation to keep going—or to move on to the next thing that you just want a functional knowledge of. As you sit on the beach sipping your drink, ask yourself what you might like to learn if you knew how to get the basics in under a day.

    You Are Not So Smart, by David McRaney
    McRaney’s collection of genius blog posts makes one dismaying argument: you’re not as smart, special, or independent as you think you are—and he has receipts. His analysis of psychological experiments explode the lies we tell ourselves about ourselves, and reading this book can be a painfully eye-opening experience as he correctly guesses what you think about yourself and then grimly lays out the probable truth. Knowing your own limitations and seeing how you’ve been bamboozled in the past is a first step towards a smarter, more aware life, and this summer is your chance to take that step.

    Be Happier

    The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, by Mark Manson
    Let’s start here: most self-help books stroke your ego more than they actually improve things. By telling you that you’re special and have the special je ne sais quoi to change your life and be amazing, they’re just flattering you. Manson argues—forcibly and with a lot of sharp wit—that it’s better to be plainly honest about your own limitations and seek to adjust how you approach life instead of assuming that life should be adjusted to suit your needs. Bracing and sometimes alarming, this book is a dash of cold water to the face that so, so many of us need—and you will be happier for having read it, because the best way to start changing your life for the better is to start seeing it with clear eyes.

    The Nordic Guide to Living 10 Years Longer, by Bertil Marklund
    Marklund, a doctor and professor in Sweden, offers up a refreshingly simple guide to living longer. It’s funny, but if you offered people a pill that would give them an extra decade of life they’d take it, but offer some simple suggestions and suddenly they lose interest. Don’t be that person. Marklund draws on his years of experience along with scientific data to present ten pretty simple, reasonable suggestions, from getting more sleep to getting more exercise, all based on the Swedish lifestyle. This may sound overly simplistic, but the fact is most of us get caught up in remarkably complex exercise and diet regimens rather than simply doing the basics in just the right amount. Read this book while you nap in the sun and return to your life determined to get those extra ten years.

    Pause, by Danielle Marchant
    You’re on vacation and yet you’ve prepared a reading list and consulted this post to fine-tune it. You may not be doing vacations correctly, and Marchant wants you to pause and think about that. Americans work too hard and take too little vacation, and many of us are at risk of burning out without realizing, constantly and exhaustingly driving hard every moment. Marchand, who suffered a bit of a breakdown after years of sustained stress in a high-powered job, argues that everything in your life would be improved by learning how to take a step back at crucial moments when our guts are screaming to move and instead pause and think. A thoughtful moment not only calms nerves and lowers stress, it allows us to choose our moves carefully instead of constantly reacting in a jittery dance of anxiety and sleep-deprivation. This is an ideally thoughtful book to read while you’re (hopefully) far away from your Slack and Facebook feeds (you didn’t pack your work phone…right?).

    What books have helped you become better and smarter?

    The post 10 The Best Books to Read This Summer to Become a Better, Smarter, Happier Person appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Diana Biller 7:38 pm on 2015/04/14 Permalink
    Tags: , , exceptional you!, frank bruni, , graduates, graduating, , , , mark manson, , , , , , , , , victoria osteen,   

    10 Books to Inspire Graduates 


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    Graduation is thrilling—and sometimes scary. Fortunately for today’s graduates, some very smart people have written down their thoughts on how to navigate what comes after the cap and gown. Here are seven books that will guide, support, and inspire your graduates on the next stage of their exciting journeys.

    Educated, by Tara Westover
    This breathtaking memoir will have readers thinking deeply about the value of education and what it truly means to be educated. After being raised by survivalists, Westover entered school for the first time at 17 and went on to earn a PhD from Cambridge. Her graduation into “the real world” was a unique experience, and her account will inspire others as they make their own transitions.

    Exceptional You!, by Victoria Osteen
    This book is essential reading for readers who want to look beyond the to-do list and urgent present to a more meaningful future. Osteen shares simple practices designed to help anyone who isn’t sure where to spend their time and energy. By opening your heart to God’s purpose, choosing gratitude, and setting intentions, you’ll gain clarity and confidence for meeting the future.

    The Path Made Clear, by Oprah Winfrey
    If your graduate is looking for a roadmap, who better than Oprah herself to guide and point the way? In this book, she’s gathered wisdom from everyone from Jay Z to Ellen Degeneres to help readers young and old understand if they’re on the right path. With milestones and guideposts clearly marked, inspirational quotes and gorgeous photographs, this book makes it easy for new graduates to navigate an uncertain world.

    Becoming, by Michelle Obama
    In this book, Mrs. O shares how she became the woman so many look up to. From her college years to life in the White House, her standard of excellence and generous spirit will inspire a new generation. This is a memoir that graduates, professors, and professionals alike will be proud to have on their bedside table.

    The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, by Mark Manson
    After 20 years of being trained to give a lot of f*cks in school, graduates may find themselves spending the next 20 years unlearning neurotic habits and thought patterns. This book can help jumpstart the healing with lessons on resiliency, prioritizing your energy, and embracing your faults. It’s wisdom that both graduates of universities and the school of life will appreciate.

    Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination, by J.K. Rowling, illustrated by Joel Holland
    Very Good Lives is an illustrated version of J.K. Rowling’s 2008 Harvard University commencement speech, in which she spoke less about success and more about failure: “Failure gave me an inner security that I had never attained by passing examinations. Failure taught me things about myself that I could have learned no other way. I discovered that I had a strong will, and more discipline than I had suspected; I also found out that I had friends whose value was truly above the price of rubies.” She also dwells on the importance of imagination, and of taking responsibility for your own actions. This is a great book for graduates, and a great book for almost anyone else, too.

    Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania, by Frank Bruni
    College admissions are rough these days, and there are a lot of soon-to-be high school graduates who could use a reminder that, as the title of this book suggests, where you go is not who you’ll be. Bruni, a columnist for The New York Times, goes beyond just reminding readers that the Ivy League is not the only game in town: he also wants to talk about how to make the most out of your education, no matter where you end up. This is an energizing and enjoyable read, reassuring for students and parents alike.

    What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions, by Randall Munroe
    Written by the guy behind xkcd, this is the perfect book to give to graduates who know that the fun is in the learning. What If? is comprised of Munroe’s impeccably researched answers to the tough and bizarre questions his fans ask him: for example, can you build a jetpack using downward-firing machine guns (clearly one of the most important questions of our time)? And just what would happen if you tried to hit a baseball pitched at 90 percent the speed of light? The lively and informative text is illustrated by Munroe’s trademark stick figures.

    The Crossroads of Should and Must: Find and Follow Your Passion, by Elle Luna
    Here’s a crossroads familiar to most of us: follow your passion or do what others expect of you? The Crossroads of Should and Must guides those facing that decision through both the inspirational questions (how do you discover your passion?) and the practical ones (but what about money??) in an accessible, beautiful, and inspiring fashion. Recommended by people as varied as author Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love) and Evan Williams, the co-founder of Twitter and the founder of Medium, this is the perfect gift for anyone who has some important life decisions ahead of her.

    The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, by Charles Duhigg
    This mega-bestselling book from Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Charles Duhigg proposes a simple answer to a whole host of complicated problems: habit. Want to produce more, work smarter, lose weight, be more successful? Harness the power of habit. Named a Best Book of the Year by both The Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times, and praised by publications ranging from Wired to The Economist, The Power of Habit delves into the scientific explanations for why people do the things they do, and proposes that once we understand how habits work, we can successfully use them to achieve our goals.

    The post 10 Books to Inspire Graduates appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
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