You're a Miracle (and a Pain in the Ass)
Why do we spend hours on our phones when we really want to be reading? Why do we binge a show when we know we should be working out? Mike McHargue, co-host of the popular podcast The Liturgists, explains the biology and sociology behind why we do the things we do and why those things are often the opposite of what we want to do. Through personal stories and struggles, McHargue will make you realize that you aren’t alone in your misbehavior. Using behavioral science he explains the evolution of the brain and its structures, how instinct plays a part in decision making, and how feelings and emotions are created. This book is a fascinating and approachable look at the mystery of human consciousness that will resonate with anyone looking to understand themselves a little better.
Get out your highlighter! James Clear, a leading expert on habit formation, believes that our quality of life often depends on the quality of our habits. He explains what habits are, how they are created, and what we need to do to establish better ones. If you’re struggling to form good habits and achieve your goals, Clear says it’s not you that isn’t working, it’s your system. By providing an accessible and easy to understand framework using biology, psychology, and neuroscience, Clear gives practical advice on building healthy habits. Intertwined with stories from champion athletes, award-winning artists, and leaders in business, Clear will reshape the way you think about progress and success.
You Are a Badass at Making Money
The author of You Are a Badass is back with a book about how to achieve financial success. Money can be a sensitive and complicated subject for many of us, but Sincero approaches it with honesty and humor, making much less anxiety-inducing. With the same wit and sass as her first book, Sincero isn’t shy about her own struggles with money. From an empty bank account to a now seasoned and stylish traveler, she helps us figure out what challenges are standing in our way when it comes to our own financial health.
The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down
The demands of everyday life can be exhausting and we can often lose perspective. Renowned Buddhist meditation teacher, Haemin Sunim, brings readers back to the basics: be kind to others, treat yourself with compassion, don’t dwell on the negative. He recommends reading this book slowly and to reflect after each chapter. A mindfulness guide in the truest sense, this is a gentle reminder of the things that matter—a deeper connection with others, inner peace, and well-being. These simple yet powerful truths will leave you feeling lighter and reset your perspective.
How to Break Up with Your Phone
It’s no secret that most Americans have an addiction to their phones. In our high-tech world there are a million things at any given time vying for our attention, and it can feel nearly impossible to stay in the present moment. Thankfully, Catherine Price has practical tips to break up with your phone and get back to your life. She’ll help you understand why we all can’t put down our phone, how apps are built to keep us using them, the ways in which these bad habits are affecting us. Knowing these things will make it easier to put your phone down and build a healthier relationship with it.
Acting with Power
Using her experience as a social psychologist, Deborah Gruenfeld explores the concept of power: who has it, what it looks like, and the role it plays in our lives. True power is quieter than we realize and how we use it is more important than how much we have. Gruenfeld draws inspiration from the world of acting to show readers how to get more comfortable with power and how to use it for good, while still being our authentic selves.
Activist, speaker, and author, Glennon Doyle, is back with her third memoir, and it might be her most powerful and revealing yet. The bestselling author of Love Warrior asks the question, “What happens when we stop trying to meet the expectations of the world?” Through short essays Doyle talks about learning to find her true self at the age of 40 and how she finally fell in love for the first time, both with her now and wife and with herself. This book will challenge your perspective, show you how to be brave, and give you permission to be yourself.
The Power of Habit
Why do habits exist? How can you change them? In order to change your habits you need to understand how they work, and Pulitzer-prize-winning reporter, Charles Duhigg, does just that. He distills information about the science of habit formation into digestible and easy-to-understand advice, which draws on human nature and its potential for transformation. He also shares anecdotes about how habits contributed to the success of people like Michael Phelps and Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz. If your current habits aren’t working for you, knowing how habits work could be the thing that helps you achieve the things you want to do.
Attention: A Love Story
We live in a culture of distraction. At any moment multiple things are vying for our attention, making it impossible to focus. Expanding on her popular article, “Generation Adderall,” Schwartz shares her own story of her addiction to Adderall as a way to solve her attention disorder. She then goes on to explain the larger problem with our society when it comes to distraction. A mix of memoir and reporting, Schwartz examines what it means to pay attention in a distracted world.
Clearer, Closer, Better
Award-winning social psychologist, Emily Balcetis, explains how successful people see the world differently and how we can harness that for our own success. Our perceptions of ourselves and our progress in life is often not accurate, but Balcetis shows us how we can use that “perception gap” to our advantage. Through a mix of personal stories and science-based examples, she shares strategies to get clearer on and closer to what you want out of your life.
Outer Order, Inner Calm
Gretchn Rubin is best known for her research of human nature and how we can use what we know to better our lives. In her previous books she’s explored how outer order can create more happiness to our lives, and in her newest book she provides concrete ways to bring about that outer order. This short book is full of strategies and tips to help rid your life of the outside clutter that’s keeping you from feeling in control of your inner life. With a dose of humor, Rubin delivers another book that is sure help us all improve our everyday lives.
Coming Home to Yourself
Sometimes before we can improve our outer lives we need to work on our inner selves. In this collection of mindfulness exercises, spiritual guru Osho, helps readers find inner peace and clarity that allows us to be more intentional. He shares habits that keep us from being at home in ourselves and how we can let those go for a better sense of wellbeing. With colorful illustrations throughout, these meditations are perfect to pick up whenever you need a little bit of calm.
Kelsey J. Patel
We all know what it’s like to feel overwhelmed and burned out. Thankfully spiritual coach, reiki master, and wellness expert, Kelsey J. Patel has amassed all the tips and techniques we need to feel a little more centered. Called Hollywood’s go-to energy healer, her experience with all types of clients has shown her proven ways everyone can reduce their stress, increase their happiness, and get back to their authentic selves.
Susan Cain argues that introverts—who are more than one-third of the population—are often overlooked and undervalued. It’s their tendency to do more listening than speaking can be mistaken for shyness or standoffishness. She shares helpful tips for introverts on how to recharge, as well as how to use their introvertedness to their benefit. Her insightful research shows us that we all could gain something by adopting some of the habits of introverts.
Tired of feeling like her family’s responsibilities always fell to her, Eve Rodsky created a list of all the work she did to keep her household running and shared it with her husband. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite get the reaction she’d hoped for so she tried something else: she created Fair Play, a game to help divide all the work that comes with maintaining a family. Through interviews with hundreds of couples, Rodsky learned actionable and helpful ways to get things done in the most balanced way possible. This game will help you reprioritize, redistribute, and reconnect with your partner.
We all get a little stuck sometimes and need some help. Whether we’re overwhelmed with life, not feeling like ourselves, or in need of more balance, picking up a book can inspire you to make better choices and take positive action. These books can help you build better habits, explore what you’re capable of, and live more mindfully. It’s not about improving your life but expanding your life so that the next time you feel stuck, you have the tools to help yourself.
Featured illustration by Paige Vickers