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  • Heidi Fiedler 4:00 pm on 2016/12/27 Permalink
    Tags: , Self-Improvement   

    Your 2017 Detox Reading List 

    It’s natural to indulge during the holidays. When else will you get to see so many friends and loved ones? And there are soooo many treats. Plus we’re all super stressed at the end of year. Put all these elements together, and it’s common to cross the line into overindulging. So if you’re feeling the need for a detox, but aren’t quite ready to commit to a scary juice cleanse or spend a week at the spa, this reading list is for you. It’s filled with inspiration and practical tips on how you can detox in every area of your life, from finances to food. Ahhhh…now doesn’t that feel better?

    The Moon Juice Cookbook, by Amanda Chantal Bacon
    Beloved by the ladies at Goop, including Ms. Paltrow herself, Moon Juice uses superfoods to beautify, cleanse, and nourish the body. The first cookbook from creator Amanda Chantal Bacon calls for ingredients like cultured fennel and maca. There are over 75 decadent recipes, including Strawberry Rose Geranium Bars and Sea Bone Broth, alongside the gorgeous photographs. There’s even something called Hot Sex Milk. Don’t you feel better already?

    The Art of Money, by Bari Tessler
    Bari Tessler is like the Brene Brown of personal finance. She’s wise, soulful, compassionate, and deeply competent. Her book walks readers through kindly accepting your history with money, understanding how you relate to money now, and creating a money map for the future. After reading this book, you’ll have a more mindful relationship with money, feel more confident about how to align your finances with your intentions, and indulge in money dates rather than retail therapy. The best thing about Tessler’s book is that it never scolds. Instead, she celebrates your dreams and helps make them possible.

    The Joy of Less, by Francine Jay
    If your New Year’s detox needs to extend to your closet, Francine’s Jay mellow guide to minimalism offers practical advice on how to declutter everything from your kitchen to your coatrack so it’s streamlined, functional, and beautiful. The amazing thing about clearing space in your home is you appreciate the things you have and feel less compelled to buy more stuff, which means you can work a little less and live a little more. If that’s not New Year’s Resolution worthy, I don’t know what is!

    The Art of Attention, by Elena Brower and Erica Jago
    If you’re already dreading the new exercise routine you vowed to start the second it was January 1st, it might be because you’re doing what you think you should, rather than what you want to do. You won’t find the secret to enjoying exercise in the latest magazine or blog post. The only way to fall in love with exercise and make it part of your regular routine is to listen to your body and do whatever it’s craving, whether that’s taking a nap, going for a run, or doing a few sun salutations. The Art of Attention card deck is designed to help you get in touch with your body’s wisdom, while suggesting a few yoga poses along the way. Beautifully photographed, each card features an inspirational word and a small bit of advice that can unlock your own intuition. Namaste.

    Healing Tonics, by Adriana Ayales
    Eternal youth may not come in a bottle, but elixirs do, and it’s impossible to drink one of these healing tonics and not feel a tiny bit better. If all that champagne has given you a headache, try Ayales’ headache cure. If you need a little jolt to convince yourself going back to work is doable, down the Cacao & Reishi Energy Elixir. Or enjoy a rainbow of smoothies. Slip in one of these teas, tonics, or elixirs each day and you’ll be glowing in no time.

    Eat with Intention, by Cassandra Bodzak
    If you’re thinking it’s not so much about what you eat as how you eat, this guide to intuitive eating will be your guru in the new year. Written by a meditation teacher, this cookbook includes 75 recipes, each paired with a mantra and meditation. This zen approach to eating will help you move from worrying about what you put in your mouth to treating eating as an act of self care. Get ready to reset your relationship with food and find out what works for you.

    Chasing Slow, by Erin Loechner
    When the creator of Design for Mankind was asked to write a book about living with intention, she already knew a thing or two about styling beautiful photographs and inspiring her audience. But when she sat down to write, the words that rang true presented a more sophisticated theme than just Buy Less and Do Less. Instead of writing a guide to minimalism, Loechner wrote a personal memoir about the tension we all feel between trying to live with intention and trying to just get through the day, doing the best we can. If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by aspirational Instagram feeds or just your own list of resolutions, this book is a gentle reminder that we’re all simply chasing that feeling of peace we crave, and it might not come where we expect to find it.

    How are you planning on detoxing in the new year?

    The post Your 2017 Detox Reading List appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

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

    8 Books That Would Make Awesome Podcasts 

    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? 

  • Kathryn Williams 7:28 pm on 2015/12/28 Permalink
    Tags: a joyful 2016, , , life-changing magic: a journal: spark joy every day, , Self-Improvement, ,   

    Ring in a Tidy New Year with Marie Kondo’s Spark Joy 

    There’s a saying I heard once: “Messy bed, messy head.” I’m not a particularly neat person, but this bit of mother-knows-best wisdom stuck with me. When I make my bed in the morning, I feel that much more equipped to conquer the day. The decks are cleared and possibilities are open. In 2016, I’m thinking of upping the ante. What if I could get that made-bed feeling throughout my whole house, and do it with Marie Kondo?

    In 2014’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Kondo (aka KonMari) introduced readers to the “Japanese art of decluttering and organizing.” But the KonMari Method isn’t just about neatening; it’s about changing your relationship to your world, starting with all the stuff that populates it. Discarding what we don’t need and surrounding ourselves only with those things that bring us joy is transformative, Kondo believes.

    Still, KonMari acolytes clamored for more. “But, KonMari, how do I fold a dolman-sleeved top?” they cried. “And what about that stuffed bear from my ex?” Kondo’s millions of fans will be delighted to hear that the tidying lessons will continue with Spark Joy, the “master class” in the KonMari Method. Here’s how her new book goes even further than her first, bestselling smash:

    • More detailed instruction. Kondo goes through every category of thing you might have in your home, even those that are hard to classify, telling you how to sort it, how to tell whether it truly brings joy (yes, even a screwdriver can make you happy), and how to store it. Cosplay outfits? Check. Greeting cards? Check. Sewing kits and calligraphy pens? She’s got you covered.
    •  Illustrations. Step-by-step drawings show how to fold specific types of clothing. Super helpful when it comes to that puffy, hooded parka.
    • Decorating tips. If you love to decorate, tidying can still work for you! Kondo is not against trinkets and decoration, as long as they bring you joy. Drape keychains, for example, over clothes hangers for a little mood-lifting sparkle in your own private space. Wrap electrical cords in pretty fabric, she also suggests, and use flowers to bring color to a room.
    • How to deal with others’ stuff. Kondo also tackles the all-important question of how to get kids and spouses involved, or how to “be like the sun” and accept them—and their messes—if your motivation is not, in fact, contagious. The process might even better your relationships.
    • A companion journal. In addition to this followup edition, Kondo has also brought us Life-Changing Magic: A Journal: Spark Joy Every Day. a daily journal sprinkled with Kondo quotes and inspiration for those looking to dig deeper into their organizing processes. When you’re seeking out the delight in everyday moments, the question, “does it spark joy?” will start to resonate not only about things and spaces but also about relationships, people, and activities.
    • Reminders of why this process is so important. When the going gets tough, even the tough need pep talks. For those readers losing steam against a mountain of stuff, this little book will be a helpful reminder of the reasons why you want a tidy home. That simple answer is: joy.

    Here’s to good tidyings of comfort and joy in 2016!

  • Monique Alice 6:30 pm on 2015/10/09 Permalink
    Tags: addiction & recovery, , drinking: a love story, , , lit, , recovery reads, , Self-Improvement   

    Sarah Hepola’s Blackout, and 4 More Inspiring Books About Recovery 

    Since its publication this summer, Salon editor Sarah Hepola’s Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget has garnered tons of acclaim. The memoir details Hepola’s lifelong relationship with alcohol, using equal parts gut-wrenching honesty and wry, biting humor. Hepola takes the reader along as she faces her most terrifying demons and emerges from the battle wiser, stronger, and more truly herself. As anyone who has struggled with recovery knows, the journey is long and the going tough—but the payoff is beyond measure. Whether we struggle with addiction or some other inner conflict, we can all use a little inspiration from time to time. The novels below embolden us to stare down our fears and live the lives we deserve.

    Drinking: A Love Story, by Caroline Knapp
    Blackout contains several references to its forebear, Drinking: A Love Story—and for good reason. This book is widely hailed as a bible for those contemplating recovery. Knapp’s narrative is best described as a spiral: making its way from the longing for just one after-work drink, to the blissful high of a two-drink buzz, to the sickening pall of a hellish, regret-drenched hangover and back again (and again, and again). In this way, the reader truly comes to understand the metaphor evoked by the title. For an addict, the relationship with the drug of choice is always an abusive one, that comes with baggage. As heartrending as it is to see Knapp’s descent into alcoholic hell, it’s even more galvanizing to share in her journey as she faces the stark reality of her addiction. With the help of rehab and the 12-step community, Knapp reclaims her life one triumph at a time. Just as Hepola’s memoir does, this book sheds light on the fascinating social and cultural factors that shape the modern woman’s relationship with alcohol—as well the way in which she conquers an addiction to it.

    Dry: A Memoir, by Augusten Burroughs
    To anyone who has struggled with binge-drinking, Dry opens in a familiar place. Imagine that moment when you should go home, but don’t. It’s just one more drink, after all. Until, that is, the next morning sneaks up on you like a freight train, and you have to juggle your pounding head and dry mouth with that thing you used to care about called your job. The worst part? Absolutely no one is fooled—except you, of course. You think you’re juggling things pretty well, until someone inconveniently draws attention to the deluge of dropped balls in your wake. One such moment is the beginning of the end of Burroughs’ drinking, but his addiction will not go down without a fight—his alcoholism renders him a near recluse before it’s through. Luckily, as anyone who has read Running With Scissors knows, Burroughs is brimming with tenacity, resilience, and good humor. It’s a good thing, too—he’ll need every ounce of those qualities to break free from the cage of substance abuse.

    Lit, by Mary Karr
    Bestselling memoirist Karr’s addiction story is particularly focused on motherhood. Specifically, the ways in which her complicated relationship with her own mother set the stage for the self-doubt that would plague her throughout adolescence and adulthood. Enter alcohol, which promises to deliver Karr from her fear of inadequacy as a wife, mother, and human being. Instead, it systematically strips her of her self-love as well as the joy she longs to find in her relationships with her husband and son. The healing that takes place when Karr finally accepts her need to get well is profound, and features a strong spiritual component that will resonate deeply with many addiction survivors.

    A Drinking Life: A Memoir, by Pete Hamill
    There’s no better treatise on the role alcohol plays in American society than Hamill’s memoir. A native New Yorker, he brings working-class Big Apple culture of the mid-twentieth century to roaring life with every page. Through his childhood during the Depression and the Second World War to his heyday in the wild and carefree 1960s, Hamill learned that real men drank. A lot. And, if they sometimes forgot what happened the night before, missed a deadline here or there, or lost a friend or five, well, that was the price of doing business. The memoir builds steam steadily as Hamill’s addiction threatens to rob him blind if he doesn’t give up drink for good. Laced with bittersweet emotion, this book will leave you with a full heart and a fearless resolve to live life to its fullest.

  • BN Editors 6:35 pm on 2015/09/25 Permalink
    Tags: , Self-Improvement, simple truths, the power of i am   

    5 Secrets to Unlocking Your Potential from Joel Osteen’s The Power of I Am 

    Christian self-improvement guru Joel Osteen has helped millions of people forge better lives through faith-based positive thinking in six New York Times bestselling books, but his latest may present his simplest, most powerful message yet: you can change your entire life for the better, and all it takes is two little words—I am.

    ”Rather than being down on ourselves and…focusing on our flaws, I wonder what would happen if all through the day, we were to be as bold as David and say, ‘I am amazing. I am wonderful. I am valuable,” Osteen writes. If you redirect your thoughts and constantly remind yourself that you are worthy of doing good, you will.

    Does it sound too simple? Here are but five ways Osteen is ready to change your life with The Power of I Am.

    Be Positive or Be Quiet
    “Words are like seeds,” Osteen says. Whatever you put out there is going to take root and flower. So why not make sure it is something positive, something that will inspire you, and inspire others, to look at the world in the best light and to be your best self? “Whether you realize it or not, you are prophesying your future. This is great when we’re saying things such as, ‘I am blessed. I am strong. I will accomplish my dreams.’ But too many people go around prophesying just the opposite. ‘I never get any good breaks.’ ‘Business is slow. I’ll probably get laid off.’ ‘Flu season is here. I always get it.'”

    Be a Magnet for Blessings
    By keeping faith front and center in your life, and putting God first, Osteen says you’ll be granted “a commanded blessing.” What this means: you’ll become a magnet for blessings. You’ll meet the right kind of people to enrich your life. You’ll get a job that will help keep you happy and fulfilled. Like heat-seeking missiles, blessings will follow you wherever you go, and you don’t even need to do anything to attract them—other than earning that commanded blessing.

    Live Every Year Like It’s Your Seventh
    Biblical teachings say that God commanded the ancient Israelistes to release every Hebrew slave after seven years of bondage, whatever their crime and no matter how great their debts. That seventh year was an opportunity for a clean slate and a fresh start. Osteen believes it’s an opportunity we all have, each and every day: to wake up and throw off whatever bonds are keeping us in servitude—addiction, negative thinking, money problems—and start fresh. That doesn’t mean, of course, that our problems will magically vanish. But instead of living like they are never going to go away, the seventh year mindset puts us on the path to making sure that they do—all it takes is a little bit of perspective, the belief that nothing is permanent, and the faith that things can (and will) change.

    See Yourself as a Masterpiece
    Osteen thinks that far too many of us spend our lives wishing we were different people: taller, more attractive, thinner, smarter. But wishing we were different means we never realize that what we have to work with is pretty great too—whatever burdens we may bear. Realize what you have, he says. After all, “when God created you, He went to great lengths to make you exactly as He wanted.” Don’t waste your energy envying how someone else was made. Be proud of what you were made to be, because you are one of a kind.

    Have an Abundant Mentality
    Maybe you’ve been struggling with hardship all of your life: never with enough money to change your life, an inability to provide your kids with the kind of future you dream of for them. That’s okay, because that’s not where you have to stay, Osteen says: “Your life is moving toward what you’re constantly thinking about. If you’re always thinking thoughts of lack…you’re moving toward the wrong things.” God doesn’t want you to live in the land of Barely Enough. He wants you to live in the Land of Plenty. Don’t settle for the bare minimum. Set a new standard for your life, and pursue it.

    That’s just a glimpse of the ways two words—I am—can change everything. Maybe it is that simple.

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