Delve into some thought-provoking new books for gaining fresh insights into our thinking and motivations. Whether you’d like to rip up the rule book or you’re just curious, you may want to do some things differently in your own life as a result.
The antidote : happiness for people who can’t stand positive thinking / Oliver Burkeman.
“Self-help books dont seem to work. Few of the many advantages of modern life seem capable of lifting our collective mood. Wealth, even if you can get it doesn’t necessarily lead to happiness. Romance, family life, and work often bring as much stress as joy. We can’t even agree on what happiness means. So are we engaged in a futile pursuit? Or are we just going about it the wrong way? Looking both east and west, in bulletins from the past and from far afield, Oliver Burkeman introduces us to an unusual group of people who share a single, surprising way of thinking about life. Whether experimental psychologists, terrorism experts, Buddhists, hard-headed business consultants, Greek philosophers, or modern-day gurus, they argue that in our personal lives, and in society at large, it’s our constant effort to be happy that is making us miserable. And that there is an alternative path to happiness and success that involves embracing failure, pessimism, insecurity, and uncertainty – the very things we spend our lives trying to avoid. Thought-provoking, counterintuitive, and ultimately uplifting, The Antidote is the intelligent persons guide to understanding the much-misunderstood idea of happiness.” (Global Books in Print)
Rip it up : the radically new approach to changing your life / Richard Wiseman.
“Most self-help books encourage you to think differently: to think yourself thin, imagine a richer self or to visualize the perfect you. This is difficult, time consuming and often doesn’t work. Ripping up the rule book, psychologist Richard Wiseman presents a radical new insight into your body and brain: actions are the quickest, easiest and most powerful way to instantly change how you think and feel. Drawing on a dazzling array of scientific evidence, Professor Wiseman shows how this simple idea can be used to increase motivation, overcome depression, lose weight, stop smoking and even slow ageing.” (Syndetics summary)
The 5 elements of effective thinking / Edward B. Burger and Michael Starbird.
“The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking presents practical, lively, and inspiring ways for you to become more successful through better thinking. The idea is simple: You can learn how to think far better by adopting specific strategies. Brilliant people aren’t a special breed – they just use their minds differently. By using the straightforward and thought-provoking techniques in ‘The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking’, you will regularly find imaginative solutions to difficult challenges, and you will discover new ways of looking at your world and yourself – revealing previously hidden opportunities. Filled with engaging examples that unlock truths about thinking in every walk of life, ‘The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking’ is written for all who want to reach their fullest potential – including students, parents, teachers, businesspeople, professionals, athletes, artists, leaders, and lifelong learners. Whenever you are stuck, need a new idea, or want to learn and grow, The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking will inspire and guide you on your way.” (Global Books in Print)
Hold me tight : your guide to the most successful approach to building loving relationships / Sue Johnson.
“In Hold Me Tight, Dr Sue Johnson shares her highly effective therapy programme: Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy. Forget learning how to argue better and making grand romantic gestures. Instead, Johnson teaches that the way to enhance – or save – a relationship is to re-establish a secure emotional attachment and preserve the ‘bond’ between you. This model has achieved an astounding 75 per cent success rate. Through illuminating case studies from her practice, advice and practical exercises, couples will learn how to nurture their relationships and ensure a lifetime of love.” (Book cover)
The ravenous brain : how the new science of consciousness explains our insatiable search for meaning / Daniel Bor.
“Consciousness is our gateway to experience: it enables us to recognize Van Gogh’s starry skies, be enraptured by Beethoven’s Fifth, and stand in awe of a snow-capped mountain. Yet consciousness is subjective, personal, and famously difficult to examine: philosophers have for centuries declared this mental entity so mysterious as to be impenetrable to science. In The Ravenous Brain, neuroscientist Daniel Bor departs sharply from this historical view, and builds on the latest research to propose a new model for how consciousness works. Bor argues that this brain-based faculty evolved as an accelerated knowledge gathering tool. Consciousness is effectively an idea factory – that choice mental space dedicated to innovation, a key component of which is the discovery of deep structures within the contents of our awareness. This model explains our brains’ ravenous appetite for information – and in particular, its constant search for patterns. Why, for instance, after all our physical needs have been met, do we recreationally solve crossword or Sudoku puzzles? Such behaviour may appear biologically wasteful, but, according to Bor, this search for structure can yield immense evolutionary benefits – it led our ancestors to discover fire and farming, pushed modern society to forge ahead in science and technology, and guides each one of us to understand and control the world around us. But the sheer innovative power of human consciousness carries with it the heavy cost of mental fragility. Bor discusses the medical implications of his theory of consciousness, and what it means for the origins and treatment of psychiatric ailments, including attention-deficit disorder, schizophrenia, manic depression, and autism. All mental illnesses, he argues, can be reformulated as disorders of consciousness – a perspective that opens up new avenues of treatment for alleviating mental suffering. A controversial view of consciousness, The Ravenous Brain links cognition to creativity in an ingenious solution to one of science’s biggest mysteries.” (Global Books in Print)