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  • Melissa Albert 6:45 pm on 2018/03/16 Permalink
    Tags: , heal thyself, , self-help   

    7 of the Best Irreverent Self-Help Books 

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    Self-help is a nearly ten-billion-dollar industry. By adding a healthy dose of humor and a fresh perspective from today’s real world, these authors make the case for guidelines that stick—just don’t be fooled by their light-hearted, easy-to-read style. Irreverent self-help books are packed with powerful, relevant concepts and ideas that just might change your life. At the very least, they’ll make you laugh, and some days that’s the best medicine of all.

    Adulting, by Kelly Williams Brown
    The funny, helpful nuggets of advice in Adulting are geared toward twenty-somethings and run the gauntlet from cooking/hosting (“How to make a dope cheese plate,” “Do not fear the puff pastry”) to socializing (“The small-talk bell curve”) to employment (“Do not steal more than three dollars’ worth of office supplies per quarter.”) A self-help book with a little something for everyone.

    Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Little Golden Book, by Diane Muldrow
    Little Golden Books have been around since 1942, and The Poky Little Puppy, by Janette Sebring Lowrey and illustrated by Gustaf Tenggren, remains the top-selling children’s book of all time. Who better than Diane Muldrow, the longtime editorial director at Golden Books, to curate the best pieces of wisdom from these classic kids’ stories? Timeless, charming illustrations byRichard Scarry, J.P. Miller, Mary Blair, and Gertrude Elliott make every page a nostalgic delight, while Muldrow suggests that the tenets of a full life include, “Be open to making new friends, even if you’re very, very shy”; “Go ahead and make a big deal over your birthday”; and “Give in to a good cry. You’ll feel better afterward!”

    Be Prepared: A Practical Handbook for New Dads, by Gary Greenberg
    There are approximately one zillion books for new moms and considerably fewer for dads, so Greenberg’s Boy Scout–themed guidebook is not only a necessity, it’s one of the most fun, entertaining, and creative parenting books out there. Need to baby-proof a hotel room, find activities baby and dad will both enjoy, or create a decoy drawer for baby to explore, so he’ll leave your good stuff alone? What about rigging an emergency diaper in the dead of night? (Hint: duct tape, sock, and a towel.) It’s all in there, plus illustrations and asides written in a positive, pragmatic, and non-alarmist manner—exactly what all parents deserve.

    How to Be a Person in the World, by Heather Havrilesky
    Practical, illuminating, and always relatable, Havrilesky’s book (based in part on her advice column at New York magazine’s The Cut) reads like a combination of Tiny Beautiful Things, by Cheryl Strayed, and The Vine at Tomato Nation.  As Havrilesky puts it, “Part of what I like about giving people advice is that I never f*cking know how I’m going to pull it off. I’m not some kind of swami or guru.” Using relentless empathy, Havrilesky underscores her points by sharing personal anecdotes, which serve to remind readers they’re never alone. “This is your life, and it’s going to be big and bright and beautiful.”

    You are a Badass, by Jen Sincero
    If you’re into the idea of using positive thinking to attract certain energies from the universe, you’ll find a lot to inspire you here; Badass is The Secret in a cocktail dress, albeit with a more down to earth approach. (“Feed your fear a suck-it sandwich.” “Give painful people the heave-ho.”) Sincero has a knack for reconfiguring familiar concepts into specific, helpful “aha” moments.

    The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning, by Margareta Magnusson
    An accomplished artist aged “between 80 and 100,” with a bundle of kids and grandkids and a lifetime of travel behind her, Swedish author Magnusson has enjoyed—and continues to enjoy—a full, robust life. This gem of a book teaches readers to “remove unnecessary things and make your home nice and orderly when you think the time is coming closer for you to leave the planet.” It’s perfect for older relatives who’d like to downsize, or anyone who wants more control and less clutter in their home, regardless of age. Though Magnusson has a wicked sense of humor, there’s very little sugar-coating here. She means it when she says, “If it was your secret, keep it that way,” i.e., don’t burden your loved ones with embarrassing box-loads of private items. In Magnusson’s words, “Save your favorite [sex toy]—but throw away the other fifteen.”

    The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, by Mark Manson
    A popular blogger-turned-author, Manson holds the view that into each life a little rain must fall—sometimes a lotof rain—that’s neither fair nor deserved, and pretending everything’s  “for the best” can sometimes do more harm than good. Since we all have problems, Manson challenges us to ask ourselves to take control of them: What kind of problems do you want? (After all, the pain of hard work and living our values isn’t easy, but does bring fulfillment.) In other words, it’s not that you won’t give a f*ck about anything, it’s that you’ll give your f*cks selectively, prioritizing and paying attention to what matters most to you and letting the rest go.

    The post 7 of the Best Irreverent Self-Help Books appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Heidi Fiedler 5:16 pm on 2017/03/28 Permalink
    Tags: , , self-help, ,   

    20 Ways to Live a More Bawse Life, Inspired By Lilly Singh’s How to Be a Bawse 

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    With over 7 billion people on Earth, you have nearly countless opportunities to knock someone’s socks off. And if your ambitions are a little broader, turn to YouTube trailblazer and all-around rockstar Lilly Singh, sharing her hard-earned wisdom in How to Be a Bawse. With powerful advice, personal stories, a juicy bit of name dropping, top-notch design, and full-color photographs that ooze personality, our favorite online unicorn breaks down the mental, physical, and spiritual hustle required to feel bawse in every area of your life. Can’t wait to read her new book, out today? Get started living the bawse life with the tips below. When you’re ready for world domination, pick up Singh’s latest to get more guidance.

    1. Expect to work hard. Dismiss shortcuts as distractions. Seek stairs, not escalators.
    2. Cultivate self-awareness. Knowing yourself better than any HR manager, friend, or enemy makes you the bawse, no matter who you work for.
    3. Welcome hard truths. Embrace discomfort. Mastering your mindset is essential to success.
    4. “If you can’t control a situation, prepare for it.”
    5. Figure out your priorities, hustle toward them, and ignore the rest.
    6. Make mistakes. Own them. Call yourself out. Figure out how to prevent it from happening again. Apologize in a real way.
    7. Choose to conquer life, not just survive it.
    8. Commit to your decisions. Love them so hard you want to marry them.
    9. When faced with FOMO, think about your future self and do whatever will make her proud.
    10. Don’t feel like doing the work? Hold off on freaking out and reinventing your life. Instead, spend time getting inspired. Bingewatch an amazing show like Game of Thrones. Read an interview with an artist you admire. Pick up a magazine you’ve never read
    11. Make a vision board and visualize exactly what success looks like to you. Get specific, look for patterns, imprint your dreams on your subconscious. Then get to work.
    12. Aim high, so your negotiations will land exactly where you need them to.
    13. Feel free to alter strategy and technique as life inevitably changes, but forget the possibility of Plans B, C, or D. There is only Plan A.
    14. Be strong, knowing no one thing has the power to make or break you. Your career is the sum of all the hard work you do.
    15. Take care of your body so it can keep up with your hustle.
    16. Review your stresses at the end of each day and problem solve how you can avoid them or make recurring tasks easier in the future. If that means buying three iPhone chargers so you never find yourself without a working cell, do it.
    17. Surround yourself with smart people who can support and advise you while you focus on doing what you do best. If you can become friends with The Rock, all the better.
    18. Never stop investing in yourself. Take classes. Interview mentors. Hire coaches, VAs, team members, experts. Develop a lifestyle that encourages growth.
    19. When you’re meet someone for the first time, act like the bawse you are. Listen closely and stay engaged. Focus on being present. And, of course, overdeliver.
    20. Know that it’s not enough to work hard and rock your business. Lilly wants you to be the kind of person who genuinely enjoys life and makes other people happy too.

    How to Be a Bawse is on shelves now.

    The post 20 Ways to Live a More Bawse Life, Inspired By Lilly Singh’s How to Be a Bawse appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Heidi Fiedler 5:50 pm on 2016/02/22 Permalink
    Tags: listen up!, podcasts, self-help,   

    8 Books That Would Make Awesome Podcasts 

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    I’m subscribed to 20 podcasts (related: I work at home and take many walks), and I think there are some smarty-pants authors who need to jump on this audio bandwagon pronto. Elizabeth Gilbert’s Magic Lessons podcast was originally meant to help promote her book Big Magic, which would have been a huge bestseller with or without marketing geniuses behind it, but it was also a passion project for Liz and her listeners. People felt like they got to know her. She got to know her readers. And it was all a big lovefest!  Likewise, the ever-savvy Gretchen Rubin paired up with her sister to create a podcast that’s being downloaded like crazy. So who will be the next author to join the world of podcasts? These are my picks for the next “Serial”—you’re listening to Season 2, right?

    “Let’s Be Friends” with Mindy Kaling
    Podcasts are often a way to feel like you’re hanging out with friends even when you’re really just driving a long and lonely commute. After reading Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? and Why Not Me?, we know Mindy Kaling is a totally relatable (but wiser and more successful) version of us. With her funny stories and quick insights, who wouldn’t want to hang out with her on a walk around the neighborhood, or over a sink full of dishes?

    Bossy? Yes, Please!” with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler
    Despite our wildest dreams, Tina and Amy can’t be everywhere at once, but they probably wouldn’t mind calling each other once a week to make a podcast. In fact, I think it might be the highlight of their weeks—and ours. Until they can host every award show, run for President, and pretty much shrink down and ride along in our pockets every day, having them whisper wisdom and wit in our ears via a podcast is the next best thing.

    Year of Yes” with Shonda Rhimes
    Can we just have a show where we all call in and ask Shonda’s advice on whether we should do something or not and the answer is always yes? “Hello, this is Shonda. What’s your next adventure?” “I’m thinking about building an underground tunnel filled with tulips and murals, so the musicians in my neighborhood have somewhere to play when it gets cold in the subways. But I don’t know. Should I do that?” “Oh, yes!” Yes, let’s do that.

    Unstoppable” with Bill Nye
    I would also love to listen to Bill Nye take down all the people who say “Science? Meh, it’s not for me.” or “Global warming? It feels pretty cold out right now.” Of course, Bill would be entirely civilized and never wrinkle his bow tie. But dang, you know his arguments would be on point, and we could all rest easier knowing the scientists of the world have won the latest bewildering battle.

    “Wholehearted Living” with Brené Brown
    I’m pretty sure that between her appearances with Oprah, her Courage Works class, and writing bestselling books, Dr. Brown doesn’t need any more work to do, but oh, we would eat her podcast up! That Texas twang? Her hilarious anecdotes? Call-ins from people who’ve read the books but just can’t figure out how they apply to their own lives? I’m ready to subscribe right now!

    Thrive” with Ariana Huffington
    Being boss is big business in the podcast world. And who’s a better boss than Ariana Huffington? Let’s hear her interview celebrity friends, leading entrepreneurs, and quieter heroes about the work they do and how they balance well-being with the drive to succeed. If we can’t get Ariana to do it, can we ask Nasim Pedrad to do a podcast as Ariana instead?

    Smarter, Better, Faster” with Charles Duhigg
    You’re already fast enough, are you? Don’t need to be any smarter to take over the world? Suit yourself. But if you want to hack your way to the top, Duhigg has some tips. Listening to them doled out in weekly podcast format would be the perfect way to test and try his ideas in your own life. If his research doesn’t convince you, on-air interviews with CEOs,  four-star generals, FBI agents, airplane pilots, and Broadway songwriters will.

    Norwegian Wood” with Lars Mitting (and his translator)
    I’m going to be honest. I spent a few minutes trying to figure out whether there’s a way to take the adult coloring-book craze and turn it into a podcast, but I haven’t cracked that one yet. But if you’re looking for something just as soothing, might I suggest an entire podcast devoted to the art of chopping, drying, and stacking wood the Scandinavian way? This just might be the podcast equivalent of watching the yule log on TV.

    What book would you love to listen to as a podcast? 

  • Jeff Somers 7:40 pm on 2015/07/27 Permalink
    Tags: , , destiny: step into your purpose, , , , , self-help, spirituality, T.D. Jakes   

    The Smart, Practical Advice of T.D. Jakes’ Destiny: Step into your Purpose 

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    Bishop T.D. Jakes’ lively and inspiring new book, Destiny: Step into Your Purpose, is filled with lessons and insights that will appeal to readers across all denominations and faiths. While Jakes is a renowned preacher and religious leader (of a non-denominational church, The Potter’s House), and his life philosophies and advice stem from his understanding of God, Destiny isn’t a religious book so much as a book written by a religious man, which offers up a treasure trove of smart, sound advice.

    Destiny is where passion meets purpose
    The main purpose of Jakes’ book is to help people find their “destiny,” which is a disarmingly simple concept explained in very practical terms: Destiny, according to Jakes, is the combination of the “push” of your passion (the things you feel a drive to do combined with your natural talents), and the “pull” of purpose (applying those talents and that natural drive to a goal). This is a concept everyone will find relatable: we all have natural tendencies and capabilities, and sometimes the biggest challenge is in discovering how to use those talents in ways that bring us rewards both material and, yes, spiritual.

    The advice is good
    Good advice is good advice. This book isn’t about converting you to any particular religion, or even getting you to believe in a higher power—it’s all about seeing your own talents and passions clearly, and helping guide you toward what it is you should be doing with your life—which is not always the same thing as what your degree is in, what the family business is, or what your loved ones think you should be doing.

    Toward that end, the advice is eminently practical. In one section, Jakes talks about the three types of people you need to attain your goals: Confidantes, the very few people who understand you intimately and will support you in every way; Constituents, who support what you’re doing but not necessarily you personally; and Comrades, who aren’t for you or what you’re doing, but rather are against what you’re against, and will leave you behind the moment you win. This is a remarkably clear-eyed way of looking at the people in your life, and how they relate to your goals.

    Simple truths
    Jakes also sprinkles this book with fundamentals, eye-opening ways of looking at life expressed in Jakes’ spiritual style. In one particularly great example, he presents a scenario in which $86,400 is deposited into your bank account every morning, and whatever’s left at the end of the day is deleted at night. Then he asks what you would do with the money. Of course, the natural answer is to spend every penny. Then he points out that we all get 86,400 seconds in every day with which to achieve our goals—and it’s that sort of gut-punching revelation that makes this book valuable to anyone who has goals to achieve.

    The most universally helpful books aren’t specific to any belief system, lifestyle, or industry, but are built on a sturdy foundation of practical, useful advice that can help anybody. That’s what Destiny is—reading it may not solve all your problems immediately, but it will certainly give you a few things to ponder that might help you change your life in the long-term.

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