Category: Recent picks

Strength and peace within – New Self-Help books in August

Live one week at your best and discover what you are capable of for the rest of your life. This is one of the principles you will explore with this month’s selection.

Syndetics book coverHell week : seven days to be your best self
“Veteran paratrooper, successful entrepreneur and critically acclaimed performance consultant Erik Bertrand Larssen has helped catapult the success of countless high-achievers, including Microsoft, Boston Consulting Group, and Statoil ASA executives and Olympic medalist Martin Johnsrud Sundby and top golfer Suzann Pettersen. His life-altering and revered method improves performance by getting people to push themselves past the brink of self-imposed limitations. Central to his technique is the commitment to live and experience just one week as your best self. It’s this week that will be the catalyst to making the most of the rest of your life.” (Amazon.com)

Syndetics book coverThe human magnet syndrome : why we love people who hurt us 
“This book provides answers to why patient, giving and selfless individuals (codependents) are predictably attracted to self-centered, selfish and controlling partners (emotional manipulators). This new, fresh and innovative relationship model will explore the traits, symptoms and origins of codependency, dysfunctional relationships, and emotional manipulation disorders.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe persuaders : the hidden industry that wants to change your mind
“The way human beings persuade one another is changing. Every day people will try to change your mind but they won’t reason with you. Instead you’ll be nudged, anchored, incentivised and manipulated in barely noticeable ways. It’s a profound shift in the way we interact with each other. Philosopher James Garvey explores the hidden story of persuasion and the men and women in the business of changing our minds. From the covert PR used to start the first Gulf War to the neuromarketing of products to appeal to our unconscious minds, he reveals the dark arts practiced by professional persuaders. The Persuaders is a call to think about how we think now.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverPathways to possibility : transforming our relationship with ourselves, each other, and the world
“Family systems therapist and executive coach Rosamund Stone Zander invites readers to shed the childhood stories that hold us back, and enter a realm of true maturity and fulfillment, where limitless growth becomes possible.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverHold me tight : seven conversations for a lifetime of love
“Dr. Johnson teaches that the way to enhance or save a relationship is to be open, attuned, and responsive to each other and to reestablish emotional connection. With this in mind, she focuses on key moments in a relationship and uses them as touch points for seven healing conversations. These conversations give you insight into the defining moments in your relationship and guide you in reshaping these moments to create a secure and lasting bond.” (Syndetics)

wellbeingThe philosophy of well-being : an introduction
“Recent studies into the science and psychology of well-being have propelled the topic to centre stage, and governments spend millions on promoting it. We are encouraged to adopt modes of thinking and behaviour that support individual well-being or ‘wellness’. What is well-being? Which theories of well-being are most plausible? In this rigorous and comprehensive introduction to the topic, Guy Fletcher unpacks and assesses these questions and many more.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe inner fix : be stronger, happier and braver
“With our lives being overrun by social media and celebrity culture, being twenty-something has become pretty complicated. Wanting things we can’t afford, finding ourselves stuck in a job we don’t enjoy, or still living at home with mum and dad, we reach for things to try to perk us up (sex, booze and drugs) – but eventually, they turn out to be the very things that bring us down. Having been caught in a cycle of self-destructive behaviour and come out the other side, Persia and Joey colourfully chart their lives from childhood insecurities to adolescent obsessions. This book teaches you how to stop worrying and start living. ” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverJoy on demand : the art of discovering the happiness within
“The path to joy on demand is through mindfulness, but it doesn’t have to be a lot of work, take a lot of time, or require you to abandon all your possessions and live in a hut on a remote island. In Joy on Demand, Chade-Meng Tan reveals the innate contentment that we all possess, and how to tap into this natural, infinite capacity for joy. The best part is that the benefits extend to every aspect of life–our brains work better, our bodies function better, we achieve greater success at work, and we find ourselves highly attractive to the people around us.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverSoulfulness : deepening the mindful life
“The beauty of mindfulness is that it’s incredibly simple both to ‘get’ and to practice. And the results – increasingly backed by neuro-scientific evidence — are priceless: calmness and reduced stress, more creativity, greater awareness, compassion. . . And yet there’s a danger that mindfulness can be used in a purely consumerist and self-serving way to help people to become better adapted cogs in a still-toxic model of work and life. Brian Draper challenges us to live not just mindfully but soul fully.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe voices within : the history and science of how we talk to ourselves
“In The Voices Within, psychologist Charles Fernyhough draws on extensive original research and a wealth of cultural touchpoints to reveal the workings of our inner voices, and how those voices link to creativity and development. From Virginia Woolf to the modern Hearing Voices Movement, Fernyhough also transforms our understanding of voice-hearers past and present. Building on the latest theories, including the new ‘dialogic thinking’ model, and employing state-of-the-art neuroimaging and other ground-breaking research techniques, Fernyhough has written an authoritative and engaging guide to the voices in our heads.” (Syndetics)

Learning from Olympians – New Self-help books in July

We have heard it countless times: the difference between winning or losing for top athletes lies in their mental preparation and state. So, an Olympic coach is probably one of the best people to show us how to reach our best, whether on a sports field or in our daily life. Let’s not forget to look out towards nature and the people around us, but also within. Being a complete being is a science and an art.

Syndetics book coverThe golden rules : 10 steps to world-class excellence in your life and work
“Since 2004 no Olympic athlete has received more international exposure than Michael Phelps. And by his side throughout this period has been his coach, Bob Bowman. For the first time, Bowman reveals the philosophy that governs his approach to coaching both Phelps and other Olympic-calibre athletes, and provides a revealing look at what it takes to achieve greatness. By following The Golden Rules, you will learn to visualise your goals, and that above all else, dedication to your training, your job or any area you are seeking to triumph in is paramount for success.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverVitamin N : the essential guide to a nature-rich life
“Nature-deficit disorder: the alienation of children from the natural world. Louv provides a one-of-a-kind practical guidebook with tips not only for parents eager to share nature with their kids but also for those seeking nature-smart schools, medical professionals, and even careers. He reminds us that looking up at the stars or taking a walk in the woods is as exhilarating as it is essential, at any age.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe space within : finding your way back home
“There is a space within you where you are already perfect, whole, and complete. It is pure consciousness. When you rest in the feeling of this space, the warmth of it heals your mind and body. When you operate from the infinite creative potential of this space, you produce high levels of performance and creative flow. When you sit in the openness of this space with others, you experience a level of connection and intimacy that is breathtakingly enjoyable and filled with love. Every problem we have in life is the result of losing our bearings and getting caught up in the content of our own thinking; the solution to every one of those problems is to find our way back home.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHow to be miserable : 40 strategies you already use
“Sometimes when we’re depressed, or just sad or unhappy, our instincts tell us to do the opposite of what we should — such as focusing on the negative, dwelling on what we can’t change, isolating ourselves from friends and loved ones, eating junk food, or overindulging in alcohol. Sound familiar? This tongue-in-cheek guide will help you identify the behaviors that make you unhappy and discover how you — and only you — are holding yourself back from a life of contentment. You’ll learn to spot the tried-and-true traps that increase feelings of dissatisfaction, foster a lack of motivation, and detract from our quality of life — as well as ways to avoid them.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFood, sex & you : untangling body obsession in a weight-obsessed world
“The need for food and the desire for sex are powerful forces, so powerful they  can turn our bodies into battle grounds. Bingeing, exercising to exhaustion, even entering repeatedly into unhealthy relationships – these are all addictive behaviours and symptoms of our body-obsessed world.In Food, Sex & You, psychotherapist and recovered food addict Stacey Gorlicky will set you on a course to achieving full body acceptance and help you leave body obsession behind.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNever give up
“Watercare engineer Ian Winson was seriously injured in a gas main explosion in Onehunga in 2011, an incident that was a significant news event at the time. In one day he went from being an Ironman competitor and organiser of an iconic Auckland running event in the Waitakere Ranges, to an amputee requiring much medical intervention and months of rehabilitation just to reach a stage of basic mobility. His story is one of bravery, incredible determination, redefining oneself, a family’s love, and an unerring hope.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSuper mind : how to boost performance and live a richer and happier life through transcendental meditation
“Most of us believe that we live in only three states of consciousness: wakefulness, sleep, and dreaming. But there is so much more. In Super Mind, clinical psychiatrist and bestselling author Norman E. Rosenthal, M.D., shows how the incredibly simple daily practice of Transcendental Meditation (TM) can permanently improve your state of mind during the routine hours of waking life–placing you into a super-mind state of consciousness where you consistently perform at peak aptitude. In his most ambitious and practical book yet, Rosenthal shows how TM is a gateway to functioning physically, emotionally, and intellectually at levels we never knew we could attain.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLife on purpose : how living for what matters most changes everything
“While the greatest philosophers have pondered purpose for centuries, today it has been shown to have a concrete impact on our health. Life on Purpose explores the incredible connection between purposeful living and the latest scientific evidence on quality of life and longevity. Drawing on ancient and modern philosophy, literature, psychology, evolutionary biology, genetics, and neuroscience, as well as his experience in public health research, Dr. Vic Strecher reveals the elements necessary for a purposeful life and how to acquire them, and outlines an elegant strategy for improving energy, willpower, and long-term happiness, and well-being.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe art of people : 11 simple people skills that will get you everything you want
“In a world where we are constantly connected, and social media has become the primary way we communicate, it’s those with the best people skills who win the day.  The Art of People reveals the eleven people skills that will get you more of what you want at work, at home, and in life and will show you how to charm and win over anyone to be more successful at work and outside of it. Dave takes you on a guided tour of how to be human in a digital world.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe power of the other : the startling effect other people have on you, from the boardroom to the bedroom and beyond– and what to do about it 
“No matter how talented, intelligent, or experienced, the greatest leaders share one commonality: the power of the others in their lives. Combining engaging case studies, persuasive findings from cutting-edge brain research, and examples from his consulting practice, Dr. Cloud argues that whether you’re a Navy SEAL or a corporate executive, outstanding performance depends on having the right kind of connections to fuel personal growth and minimize toxic associations and their effects. Dr. Cloud shows readers how to get more from themselves by drawing on the strength and expertise of others.” (Syndetics summary)

Emotional baggage, bad habits and self-criticism – New Self-Help books in June

We all come we our bundle of negative reflexes and mindsets. But the good thing is we can change those to view the world differently and make better choices for ourselves. Here are some titles to help us on a task that sometimes seems impossible.

Syndetics book coverHow to be here : a guide to creating a life worth living
“Rob Bell believes that each of us has a path, a calling–whether it’s writing a novel, starting a business, joining a band, or simply becoming a volunteer. But many people are afraid to start on that path. Who are we to do that? Bell counters, Why not you? We need to learn to turn off the internal and external critics and leap. The universe is alive to help us. And we can only discover passion and joy after we take off. Interweaving engaging stories; lessons from Biblical figures; science, art, and business; honest personal experience; and practical advice, he offers invaluable insight on how to silence our critics, move from idea to action, take the first step, find joy in the work, persevere through hard times, and surrender the outcome.” (Provided by publisher)

Syndetics book coverSmarter faster better
“In the international bestseller The Power of Habit, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Charles Duhigg explained why we do what we do. In Smarter Faster Better, he applies the same relentless curiosity, rigorous reporting and rich storytelling to explain how we can get better at the things we do. The result is a groundbreaking exploration of the science of productivity. At the core of Smarter Faster Better are eight key concepts from motivation and goal-setting to focus and decision-making that explain why some people and companies get so much done.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThink big : overcoming obstacles with optimism
“Jennifer Arnold and Bill Klein have faced some big challenges in their lives. On the way to becoming a preeminent neonatologist and a successful entrepreneur these two have faced prejudice, medical scares, and the uncertainty of life with special needs children. And even though they have dealt with fear, depression, hopelessness, and the urge to give up, they have found a way to persevere. Now they share their wisdom and encouragement for everyone who is facing their own challenges. Drawn from their most popular speaking presentation, Think Big is the inspirational guide for dreaming big, setting goals, and the steps you need to take to get there.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverClearing emotional clutter : mindfulness practices for letting go of what’s blocking your fulfillment and transformation 
“You’ve likely heard about the psychological benefits of clearing out the clutter in your surroundings, but how do you handle your emotional clutter? Shutting away and trying to hide old pains and traumas creates toxic patterns that can keep you from having the life of your dreams. Integrating mindfulness and cutting-edge neuroscience, international mindfulness expert Donald Altman teaches how to modify entrenched habits and patterns with only a few minutes of attention daily.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverEat pray love made me do it : life journeys inspired by the bestselling memoir 
“True stories inspired by one of the most iconic, beloved, bestselling books of our time. In the ten years since its electrifying debut, Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat Pray Love has become a worldwide phenomenon, empowering millions of readers to set out on paths they never thought possible, in search of their own best selves. Here, in this candid and captivating collection, nearly fifty of those readers share their stories. The journeys they recount are transformative sometimes hilarious, sometimes heartbreaking, but always deeply inspiring.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverGet smart! : how to think and act like the most successful and highest-paid people in every field 
“In business and in life when things change quickly, you need to tap into your brain in order to make sure that you maximize your opportunities. Tracy lays the groundwork on how to easily reconfigure your negative thinking patterns and habits, and reprogram your brain to achieve its maximum potential. Whether your goal is making more sales, coming up with better business plans, or simply finding ways to make extra money or have more residual income, this book will serve as your personal express elevator going straight to the top!” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe self-acceptance project : how to be kind & compassionate toward yourself in any situation : an anthology
“How do we stop from constantly judging ourselves as inadequate, finding fault with our bodies, or being plagued by our inner critics? The Self-Acceptance Project was created to help us find a solution. In this collection of essays, contemporary luminaries in spirituality, psychology, and creativity offer insights and teachings for truly embracing who we are no matter what our circumstances. In these 19 offerings, some of today’s most trusted teachers share their most valuable practices and techniques for building confidence, transforming our relationship with our inner critics, and treating ourselves with kindness, compassion, and love.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverIt didn’t start with you : how inherited family trauma shapes who we are and how to end the cycle 
“Depression. Anxiety. Chronic Pain. Phobias. Obsessive thoughts. The evidence is compelling: the roots of these difficulties may not reside in our immediate life experience or in chemical imbalances in our brains–but in the lives of our parents, grandparents, and even great-grandparents. The latest scientific research supports that traumatic experience can be passed down through generations. It Didn’t Start With You is a transformative approach to resolving longstanding difficulties that in many cases, traditional therapy, drugs, or other interventions have not had the capacity to touch.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe end of average : how we succeed in a world that values sameness
“In The End of Average, Rose, a rising star in the new field of the science of the individual shows that no one is average. This isn’t hollow sloganeering–it’s a mathematical fact with enormous practical consequences. The average-size-fits-all model ignores our differences and fails at recognizing talent. Rose offers a powerful alternative to understanding individuals through averages: the three principles of individuality. The jaggedness principle (talent is always jagged), the context principle (traits are a myth), and the pathways principle (we all walk the road less traveled) help us understand our true uniqueness–and that of others–and how to take full advantage of individuality to gain an edge in life.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverStaring at lakes : a memoir of love, melancholy and magical thinking
“Winner of the Irish Book Awards’ National Book Tokens’ Non-Fiction Book of the Year and The John Murray Show Listeners’ Choice Award, a candid memoir of a middle-aged man on the verge of disaster–and how love brings him back from the brink. Michael Harding gives a brutally honest and beautifully written account of his journey through life, and his failed attempts to find meaning which brought about a long period of depression. But this is a love story and Michael comes to realize that all things are sustained by love and this is where real meaning resides.” (Syndetics)

 

Happiness, not all it’s cracked up to be? New Self-help books in May

Happiness strategist, happiness expert, the science of happiness? Reading with caution is suggested this month if you don’t want to run the risk of becoming obsessive and over anxious in the pursuit of happiness… and miss out altogether!

Syndetics book coverHow to be bored
“In How To Be Bored, Eva Hoffman explores the importance we place on success, high level function, effectiveness and alertness in today’s competitive society. In a world where it is almost impossible to be idle, she draws upon lessons from history, literature and psychotherapy to help us embrace boredom and find meaning in doing nothing – to appreciate real reflection and enjoy the richness of our inner and external lives.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverStop being lonely : three simple steps to developing close friendships and deep relationships
“Loneliness isn’t something that happens only when we are physically alone. It can also happen when we are with people. Online friends, followers, or “likers” don’t necessarily add up to much when you crave fulfilling interaction, and satisfying, long-term relationships are not a mystery to be left up to chance (or technology). The good news is that, according to relationship coach Kira Asatryan, loneliness has a reliable antidote: the feeling of closeness. We can and should cultivate closeness in our relationships using the steps outlined in this book: knowing, caring, and mastering closeness. Whether with romantic partners, friends, family members, or business colleagues, the simple and straightforward actions Asatryan presents in this wonderfully practical book will guide you toward better relationships and less loneliness in all social contexts.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverLove like salt : a memoir
Love Like Salt is a memoir about mothers and daughters, music and illness, genes and inheritance, writing and story-telling. It is about creating joy from the hand you’ve been dealt and following its lead – in this case to rural France, where the author and her family lived for seven years. ‘I had always written, and until the birth of Clara I wrote for a living. Once I knew the Cystic Fibrosis gene had unfolded itself in our daughter’s body, like a paper flower meeting water, I felt that to write, even if I had had time, or been able, would have been to squander a kind of power which was needed for tending and nurturing. Every moment became a moment in which I protected my baby. Some of it I did in secret, like a madwoman muttering spells.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book cover15 things you should give up to be happy : an inspiring guide to discovering effortless joy
“When PurposeFairy.com founder Luminita Saviuc posted a list of things to let go in order to be happy, she had no idea that it would go viral, shared more than 1.2 million times and counting. Based on that inspiring post, this heartfelt book gives readers permission to give up–that is, to let go of the bad habits that are holding them back from achieving authentic happiness and living their best lives. Simple yet wise, and informed by the author’s own inspiring personal journey, this liberating little book presents a fresh twist on happiness advice: take a step back to reflect, and give yourself permission to let things go.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe Buddha in me, the Buddha in you : a handbook for happiness
“Nichiren Buddhism differs from other Buddhist schools in its focus on the here-and-now, and places great importance on individual growth as the starting point for a better world. This, combined with powerful techniques such as NLP, mindfulness, journalling and coaching, makes The Buddha in Me, the Buddha in You the quintessential handbook for happiness. ‘Buddha’ simply means someone who is awakened – yet while Nichiren Buddhists will find fascinating insights into their practice, there is no need to follow a spiritual path to benefit from this book. Author David Hare shows us how to wake up to our own potential and that of those around us to” to discover everyday enlightenment.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book cover10 keys to happier living : a practical handbook for happiness
” We all want to be happy but what does that actually mean and what can we do in our everyday lives to be happier? Fortunately, experts now have evidence of what really makes a difference and helps us to be happier and more resilient to life’s ups and downs. In this book, Vanessa King has drawn on the latest scientific studies to create a set of evidence-based practical actions that have been shown to increase happiness and wellbeing – at home, at work and in the world around you. It will help you connect with people, nurture your relationships and find purpose. You’ll get ideas for taking care of your body, making the most of what’s good and finding new ways to stimulate your mind.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverBeyond happiness : the trap of ‘happiness’ and how to find deeper meaning and joy
“As Britain’s best-known headmaster, Sir Anthony famously introduced happiness, or well-being, lessons at his school, Wellington College. The pursuit of happiness can all too easily become a trap which seduces us into thinking there is no more to life than being happy. In fact, we need to reach beyond this if we are to access the deepest levels of human experience open to us, and find our own unique path in life. The author offers a further 5 steps, which point the way to accessing these deeper levels of experience, which alone result in the joyful life which is our birthright. Paradoxically, as this book demonstrates, stepping off the happiness treadmill will ultimately make for a happier and more fulfilled life.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe pursuit of happiness and why it’s making us anxious / Ruth Whippman.
“As your average cynical Brit, when Ruth Whippman moves to California, it seems to her that the American obsession with finding happiness is driving everyone crazy. But soon she starts to get sucked in. She meditates and tries ‘mindful dishwashing’. She attends a self-help course that promises total transformation (and learns that all her problems are her own fault). She visits a strange Nevada happiness dystopia (with one of the highest suicide rates in America), delves into the darker truths behind the influential ‘science of happiness’, and even ventures to Utah, where she learns God’s personal secret to eternal bliss. Ultimately she stumbles upon a more effective, less self-involved, less anxiety-inducing way to find contentment. Fantastically fresh, funny and honest, this is an eye-opening look at what happiness really means.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverSorted! : the good psychopath’s guide to bossing your life
“Dr Kevin Sutton studies psychopaths and his latest subject is SAS hero ANDY MCNAB. He can control qualities like decisiveness, ruthlessness and fearlessness to get the best out of himself and life. Together, this unlikely duo has established what they call the Seven Deadly Wins, the good psychopathic quirks that can help make you more successful. This book offers a new approach to the everyday to help you get more out of life than it gets out of you.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe golden condom : and other essays on love lost and found
“From conflicted sibling relationships to the choice not to have children, Safer’s work has always been unflinching in its aim to dive deep into topics that make most of us blush, but which are present in all of our lives. In The Golden Condom Safer tells a series of tales that investigate relationships–both healthy and toxic–that most of us don’t escape life without experiencing at least once, including traumatic friendships, love after loss, unrequited or obsessional love and more. Never prescriptive and always entertaining, these stories will inspire you with the range of possibilities that exist to find love, however unconventional, and at any age.” (Syndetics)

Is yellow the colour of happiness? – Self Help picks for April

You may be tempted to believe so from the number of yellow covers we have in this month’s selection. According to the psychology of colour, some of the traits that the colour yellow encourages are optimism, cheerfulness, enthusiasm, confidence, originality, creativity, academic and analytical capacity, wisdom and logic. But should we judge a book by its cover? Here are some reviews to help you decide.

Syndetics book coverThe wisest one in the room : how you can benefit from social psychology’s most powerful insights
“When people get together, there is often one stand-out individual who others turn to for answers. This person has the best advice on everything from raising children to running a business, and offers the most penetrating insights into world events. Their understanding of people, and why we act as we do, makes them the wisest one in the room. From conflict resolution to overcoming social shyness, and from winning a tennis match to encouraging people to recycle, the authors demonstrate how even small changes in social context, feedback or presentation can achieve dramatic results.” (Back cover)

Syndetics book coverMind hacking : how to change your mind for good in 21 days
“Inspired by the experience of reprogramming his mind to achieve sobriety, Hargrave sets out methods that include careful observation of the mind’s workings, “Jedi training” for improved concentration, and isolating and retooling loops of negative thinking. A thought experiment encourages readers to imagine their ideal lives and Hargrave gives examples of positive thought loops that may nudge the ideal into reality. Various “mind hacks” help this process along, such as writing down ideas and goals, harnessing the power of repetition, running mental simulations, and carrying out collaborations along the lines of Wikipedia’s open-source editing.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe happiness track : how to apply the science of happiness to accelerate your success
“In The Happiness Track, Emma Seppala, the science director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University, explains that our inability to achieve sustainable fulfillment is tied to common but outdated notions about success. Drawing on the latest findings from the fields of cognitive psychology and neuroscience–research on happiness, resilience, willpower, compassion, positive stress, creativity, mindfulness the author shows that finding happiness and fulfillment may, in fact, be the most productive thing we can do to thrive professionally. The Happiness Track is a life-changing guide to fast tracking our success and creating the anxiety-free life we want.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverOrganize tomorrow today : 8 ways to retrain your mind to optimize performance at work and in life
“How do both elite athletes and business leaders climb to the top? Contrary to what you might think, it’s effective habits rather than innate talent that are their keys to success. Dr. Jason Selk and star business coach Tom Bartow combine the most effective elements of both their disciplines to offer an organizational improvement plan that anyone can learn and apply immediately. They outline eight fundamental ways to get organized, including the “time paradox,” which allows precision to set your schedule free, and a two-minute mental training drill that will start your day with focus, confidence, and energy. ” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverPsychology for dummies
Psychology For Dummies is a fun, user-friendly guide to the basics of human behavior and mental processes. In plain English and using lots of everyday examples, psychologist Dr. Adam Cash cuts through the jargon to explain what psychology is all about and what it tells you about why you do the things you do.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe now habit : a strategic program for overcoming procrastination and enjoying guilt-free play
“Originally published by Tarcher in 1988, The Now Habit has sold more than 58,000 copies, and is as relevant as ever! Author Neil Fiore offers the first comprehensive strategy to overcome the causes of procrastination and to eliminate its deleterious effects. His techniques will help any busy person get more things done more quickly, without the anxiety and stress brought on by failure to meet the workplace’s pressing deadlines. This revised, redesigned edition includes a new introduction and a section that provides strategies to understand and deal with the complex role technology plays in procrastination today.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe life-changing magic of not giving a f*ck : how to stop spending time you don’t have with people you don’t like doing things you don’t want to do
“Tired of meetings, deadlines, and feeling like she was missing out on life, former book editor Sarah Knight left a successful career behind to freelance. Once you look past the humour (and the swearing lots and lots of swearing), you’ll see she actually covers topics that most people need to spend time thinking about, from dealing with work issues to setting personal boundaries to navigating family dysfunction.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverOvercoming anxiety : reassuring ways to break free from stress and worry and lead a calmer life
“Worries and anxieties are familiar to us all. Worrying can be helpful when it prompts you to take action and solve a problem but unrelenting doubts, fears, and negative possibilities can dominate your mind, affect your ability to manage your everyday life and wellbeing, your sleep and appetite, your social life, and your ability to concentrate. Overcoming Anxiety explains how to manage anxiety and stop it from taking over; it teaches you the skills you need to lead a more peaceful, stress-free life.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe worry trick : how your brain tricks you into expecting the worst and what you can do about it
“Anxiety is a powerful force. It makes us question ourselves and our decisions, causes us to worry about the future, and fills our days with dread and emotional turbulence. Based in acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), this book is designed to help you break the cycle of worry. Worry convinces us there’s danger, and then tricks us into getting into fight, flight, or freeze mode, even when there is no danger. The techniques in this book, rather than encouraging you to avoid or try to resist anxiety, shows you how to see the trick that underlies your anxious thoughts, and how avoidance can backfire and make anxiety worse.” (amazon.com)

Syndetics book coverUseful belief : because it’s better than positive thinking
Useful Belief turns the “be positive” industry upside down with a fresh and modern approach to achievement. Through the engaging tale of a business traveller and the three significant encounters on his journey, this book takes you on a journey of your own to self awareness, and an improved approach to business, parenting and relationships. You’ll learn how thinking “useful” is better than thinking “positive”, and you’ll uncover the utility of your past, present and future challenges. This book shows you how to frame your challenges to make them surmountable, and how to formulate an action plan for getting where you need to be.” (Syndetics)

Looking at our life as a work of art – New Self help books in January

What if our life was the biggest and greatest creative project of all? This month’s selected titles books can help you pave the way to a meaningful, fulfilled and creative life, one step at a time. Do not forget to enjoy every step of the way.

Syndetics book coverThe creative fight : create your best work and live the life you imagine
“Creativity is not a gift for a select few, but an ongoing process of growth and self-realization available to anyone who puts in the effort to pursue the spark. In this book, Chris Orwig, author, teacher, photographer and creator of 96 courses at Lynda.com (free access with Wellington City Libraries card), offers a unique perspective on the creative process, showing you how to find meaning in your work, be inspired, and discover the life for which you were designed. For more resources and inspiration, check out the book’s companion site, thecreativefight.com.” (Adapted from Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverHow to think like Einstein : simple ways to break the rules and discover your hidden genius
How to Think Like Einstein provides the tools for the everyday challenges at the home and in the office. Innovator and author Scott Thorpe guides you step-by-step through the process of freeing yourself from your “rule ruts” so you can dream up amazing (and doable) solutions to the seemingly impossible. With brand-new material for today’s readers, this new edition will reveal how you can solve problems in astonishing ways.” (Syndetics)

51dsOYwCtxLVital signs : the environmental trends that are shaping our future
Vital Signs is about what inspires passion and what defeats it. How we lose it and how we get it back. And ultimately it’s about the endless yet endlessly fruitful tug-of-war between freedom and domestication, the wild in us and the tame, our natural selves and our conditioned selves. Each chapter in Vital Signs will contain a core sample, an intimate biography of one of the strategies we employ to gain or regain our passion. The book also affirms the importance of courageous inquiry into dispassion—where we’re numb, depressed, stuck, bored—so the reader can recognize and change these tendencies in themselves.” (From amazon.com)

Syndetics book coverThe art of living
The Art of Living presents transcripts from legendary business speaker and mentor Bob Proctor’s most popular workshop—Matrixx—and brings this wisdom to a wider audience. Readers will marvel at Proctor’s miraculous way of disseminating his decades of business wisdom into easy-to-understand parables and learn lessons on what our creative faculties are and how to use them, why we need to unlearn most of the false beliefs we’ve been indoctrinated with our whole lives, and how our intellects have the ability not only to put us ahead in life, but also to be our biggest detriment.” (Back cover)

Syndetics book cover1001 ideas that changed the way we think
“Our view of the world today has emerged through the questions, theories, speculations and hypotheses raised by brilliant minds over millennia. Their once-radical propositions are now accepted truths. Drawing on a wide spectrum of topics – including politics, cosmology, the arts, philosophy, and religious beliefs – 1001 Ideas That Shaped the Way We Think traces the exponential growth of human knowledge across the centuries.” (Adapted from Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverWired to create : unraveling the mysteries of the creative mind
Wired to Create offers a glimpse inside the “messy minds” of highly creative people. Revealing the latest findings in neuroscience and psychology, along with engaging examples of artists and innovators throughout history, the book shines a light on the practices and habits of mind that promote creative thinking. Kaufman and Gregoire untangle a series of paradoxes– like mindfulness and daydreaming, seriousness and play, openness and sensitivity, and solitude and collaboration – to show that it is by embracing our own contradictions that we are able to tap into our deepest creativity.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverCoach your own life : break down the barriers to success
“This updated new edition of a dynamic and motivating guide will give you the resources and toolkit to coach yourself to an improved and enhanced performance in all areas of your life. Covering everything from career development to personal relationships, appearance and money management, it offers a program of change and progress for each area, while encouraging you to examine your own beliefs, confidence and motivation to ensure that change is for the better and for the long-term. This new edition also contains plenty of tools and advice to help you overcome blockages and obstacles, develop resilience, and become more mindful.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverMindfulness in motion : a happier, healthier life through body-centred meditation
“This book will guide you step by step through Dr Tamara Russell’s Body in Mind Training (BMT) programme, a unique approach to secular mindfulness that uses the moving body as the main meditation tool. The message is simple: getting out of your head and into your body is the key to a happier, healthier life. With easy-to-follow exercises, step-by-step photographs, clear brain diagrams and a host of practical tips, this book offers all the tools you need to start living in your body. With a little focus, determination and practice, you too can experience the amazing benefits of mindfulness!” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverSecular meditation : 32 practices for cultivating inner peace, compassion, and joy
“As meditation teacher Rick Heller shows, the benefits of the practice extend beyond the personal to enrich relationships with others, with one’s community, and with the world. In Secular Meditation, step-by-step instructions, personal stories, and provocative questions teach empathy for others, stress reduction, and the kind of in-the-moment living that fosters appreciation for life and resilience in the face of adversity.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe mindful home : the secrets to making your home a place of harmony, beauty, wisdom and true happiness
“A house is physical but a home is far more subtle and elusive. This book takes the view that being ‘at home’ is a metaphor for finding ourselves — finding our core. What do we find at our core? As the world’s greatest wisdom traditions point out, home is about qualities that we equate with ‘good’ itself — true happiness, peace, beauty, wisdom and inspiration. It is also about the good things in life such as harmony, relationships, health and wealth.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverFly with me : true inspirational stories for travellers through life
“The skies have beckoned mankind for centuries but it’s only in the last couple of decades that air travel has become affordable to the masses. What an incredible privilege to see our planet from a distance. How amazing to take in views of fiery sunsets, cotton puff clouds and glistening lakes. Fly With Me is a collection of true stories that relate the experiences of flying to everyday life. Anyone who has flown will be able to relate to these stories of turbulence, human emotion, long hours in the sky, and the simple joy of being free from earth for a brief time.” (Syndetics)

Saying yes to life – Self Help picks for January

At the end of a year and the beginning of the next, we examine our lives, our minds and our hearts, take stock and make decisions on how we will move forward. In this reflective time, why not take inspiration from Shonda Rhimes and her commitment to say Yes to what life throws at her, or find solace, humour and guidance in Mark Rowlands’ A Good Life.

Syndetics book coverYear of yes
“The talented creator of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal and executive producer of How to Get Away With Murder chronicles how saying YES for one year changed her life and how it can change yours, too. There was the side benefit of saying No for an introvert like Shonda: nothing new to fear. Then Shonda’s sister laid down a challenge: just for one year, try to say YES to the unexpected invitations that come your way. Shonda reluctantly agreed and the result was nothing short of transformative. In The Year of Yes, Shonda Rhimes chronicles the powerful impact saying Yes had on every aspect of her life and how we can all change our lives with one little word.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverEvery time I find the meaning of life, they change it : wisdom of the great philosophers on how to live
“A humorous and philosophical trip through life, from the New York Times-bestselling author of Travels with Epicurus. As a young college student studying philosophy, Klein filled a notebook with short quotes from the world’s greatest thinkers, hoping to find some guidance on how to live the best life he could. Now, from the vantage point of his eighth decade, Klein revisits the wisdom he relished in his youth with this collection of philosophical gems. He tackles life’s biggest questions, leaving us entertained and enlightened.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverOur grandchildren redesigned : life in the bioengineered society of the near future
“In this important and timely book, historian Michael Bess provides a clear, nontechnical overview of cutting-edge biotechnology and paints a vivid portrait of a near-future society in which bioenhancement has become a part of everyday life. He surveys the ethical questions raised by the enhancement enterprise and explores the space for human agency in dealing with the challenges that these technologies will present.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverTalking to crazy : how to deal with the irrational and impossible people in your life
“Let’s face it, we all know people who are irrational. No matter how hard you try to reason with them, it never works. So what’s the solution? How do you talk to someone who’s out of control? What can you do with a boss who bullies, a spouse who yells, or a friend who frequently bursts into tears? In his book, Just Listen, Mark Goulston shared his bestselling formula for getting through to the resistant people in your life. Now, in his breakthrough new book Talking to Crazy, he brings his communication magic to the most difficult group of all–the downright irrational.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverUnderneath my clothes : a woman’s guide to making peace with her body
“When and who decided that we should be judged solely by size and appearance? Why do so many of us set our mood for the day when we stand on the bathroom scales? Why does weight loss and being thin so often equate to being successful and beautiful? When we cease this fight, stop the negative internal dialogue and acknowledge our uniqueness by taking full responsibility for our wellbeing, it is only then that we can release our spirit from this struggle and find peace. You have one life to live so dont waste it feeling inferior based on weight, size, appearance or lack of self-worth. Today is a perfect day to change your life and make peace with your body.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverMindfulness for worriers : overcome everyday stress and anxiety
“This accessible book provides readers with mindfulness-based techniques to reduce worry, anxiety, stress and panic attacks. It will help readers deal with anxiety-inducing episodes by learning to accept and overcome strong emotions without getting caught up in negative and damaging thoughts. Aimed at anyone who is stressed or anxious, as well as people suffering from more extreme levels of anxiety, the book will provide the scientific evidence behind the effectiveness of mindfulness as well as lots of practical advice on how to quiet an anxious, racing mind.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverSuspicious minds : why we believe conspiracy theories 
“We’re all conspiracy theorists. Some of us just hide it better than others. In Suspicious Minds, Rob Brotherton explores the history and consequences of conspiracism, and delves into the research that offers insights into why so many of us are drawn to implausible, unproven and unproveable conspiracy theories. Conspiracy theories are not some psychological aberration – they’re a predictable product of how brains work. Of course, just because your brain’s biased doesn’t always mean you’re wrong. Sometimes conspiracies are real. Sometimes, paranoia is prudent.” (Adapted from Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverPrimary greatness : the 12 levers of success
“Dr. Stephen R. Covey’s teachings are beloved and have inspired countless readers and leaders. Primary Greatness once again delivers classic Covey wisdom in a compact and digestible form. In this posthumous work, Covey lays out clearly the 12 levers of success that will lead to a life of primary greatness: Integrity, Contribution, Priority, Sacrifice, Service, Responsibility, Loyalty, Reciprocity, Diversity, Learning, Teaching, and Renewal. For the first time, Covey defines each of these twelve qualities and how they provide the leverage to make your daily life truly “great”.” (From Amazon.com)

41U50ZY8oSL__SX293_BO1,204,203,200_A good life : philosophy from cradle to grave
“A Good Life is one man’s life (birth, death, education, religion, morality, illness and so on) told through a philosophical lens. It is a riveting examination of the ethical questions we face, and the decisions we must make, and a defence of the idea that at the beating heart of morality we find love. A Good Life is sometimes profoundly funny, sometimes deeply serious. It is as readable as a novel and as provocative as the best philosophy. It is the finest work to date by a charming and brilliant thinker.” (From amazon.com)

Human emotions – December Self-help picks

Find your authentic voice and make others hear you with the help of this month’s titles. You will also learn to live more “gamefully” and with gratitude, for a new, lighter outlook on life.

Syndetics book cover Light is the new black : a guide to answering your soul’s calling and working your light
Light Is The New Black is a guidebook for a new breed of women who are here to be bright lights in the world. At the Peace Conference in Canada in 2009, when the Dalai Lama said ‘The world will be saved by the western woman’, it was a call to action for women throughout the West. Light Is The New Black is a response to that call. It guides these women to come back home to who they really are, at soul level, and embrace their uniqueness so they can light up the world in a way that only they can. Gone are the days of following someone else’s well-trodden path.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLouder than words : harness the power of your authentic voice
“There has never been a better time to build an audience around your idea or product. But with so many people and companies clamouring for attention, it’s also more challenging than ever to do work that deeply resonates with the marketplace and creates true and lasting impact. Those who identify and develop their voices will gain more attention and wield more influence. Henry offers strategies, exercises, and true stories that illustrate the five attributes of resonant work:  Authenticity, Uniqueness, Consonance, Empathy, Timing. Henry’s book will help readers build a body of work that resonates deeply and achieves lasting impact.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverIntentional living : choosing a life that matters
“We all have a longing to be significant. We want to make a contribution, to be a part of something noble and purposeful. But many people wrongly believe significance is unattainable. The only thing you need to achieve significance is to be intentional. And to do that, all you need to do is start. You can’t make an impact sitting still and doing nothing. Every major accomplishment that’s ever been achieved started with a first step. This book will help you take that first step, and the ones that follow, on your personal path through a life that matters.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSuperBetter : a revolutionary approach to getting stronger, happier, braver, and more resilient 
“In this book, McGonigal reveals a decade’s worth of scientific research into the ways all games including videogames, sports, and puzzles change how we respond to stress, challenge, and pain. Being gameful means bringing the same psychological strengths we naturally display when we play games such as optimism, creativity, courage, and determination to real-world goals. McGonigal shows that getting superbetter is as simple as tapping into the three core psychological strengths that games help you build. SuperBetter contains nearly 100 playful challenges anyone can undertake in order to build these gameful strengths.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe gratitude diaries : how a year looking on the bright side transformed my life
The Gratitude Diaries follows journalist and former Parade editor in chief Janice Kaplan as she learns to gain a positive perspective and improve her life by becoming more grateful every day. In her fresh and witty journey, Kaplan discovers that gratitude isn’t the same as happiness (which can be fragile and fleeting) but has deeper emotional roots, is longer-lasting, and is impervious to change or challenges. She interviews dozens of experts and gathers extensive data from the national gratitude survey she conducted, to offer surprising findings about why gratitude changes your outlook in any situation.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMindware : tools for smart thinking
“Many scientific and philosophical ideas are so powerful that they can be applied to our lives to help us think smarter and more effectively about our behaviour and the world around us. Surprisingly, many of these ideas remain unknown to most of us. Drawing on his own groundbreaking research, Richard Nisbett presents these ideas in clear and accessible detail to offer a tool kit for better thinking and wiser decisions.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWinners : and how they succeed
“How do sportsmen excel, entrepreneurs thrive, or individuals achieve their ambitions? Is their ability to win innate? Or is the winning mindset something we can all develop? In the tradition of The Talent Code and The Power of Habit, Campbell examines how winners tick. He considers how they build great teams. He analyzes how these people deal with unexpected setbacks and new challenges and sets out a blueprint for winning that we can all follow to achieve our goals.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverIntelligence in the flesh : why your mind needs your body much more than it thinks
“If you think that intelligence emanates from the mind and that reasoning necessitates the suppression of emotion, you’d better think again–or rather not “think” at all. Guy Claxton draws on the latest findings in neuroscience and psychology to reveal how our bodies actually constitute the core of our intelligent life. From the endocrinal means by which our organs communicate to the instantaneous decision-making prompted by external phenomena, our bodies are able to perform intelligent computations that we either overlook or wrongly attribute to our brains. Claxton shows how an appreciation of the body’s intelligence will enrich all our lives.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe book of human emotions : an encyclopedia of feeling from anger to wanderlust
“Recent research suggests there are only six basic emotions. From anger to wanderlust, each entertaining and informative alphabetical entry reveals the surprising connections and fascinating facts behind our emotional lives. Whether you’re in search of the perfect word to sum up that cosy feeling you get from being inside on a cold winter’s night, surrounded by friends and good food (what the Dutch call gezellig), or wondering how nostalgia evolved from a fatal illness to enjoyable self-indulgence, Tiffany Watt Smith covers the globe and draws on history, anthropology, science, art, literature, music and popular culture to find the answers.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFail, fail again, fail better
“When her granddaughter was accepted to Naropa University, the celebrated author Pema Chödrön promised that she’d speak at the commencement ceremony. Fail, Fail Again, Fail Better contains the wisdom shared on that day. “What do we do when life doesn’t go the way we hoped?” begins Pema “We say, ‘I’m a failure.” But what if failing wasn’t just “okay,” but the most direct way to becoming a more complete, loving, and fulfilled human being? Here, Pema Chödrön offers us her heartfelt advice on how to face the unknown – in ourselves and in the world – and how our missteps can open our eyes to see new possibilities and purpose.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBrave enough
“Around the world, thousands of people have found inspiration in the words of Cheryl Strayed, who in her three prior books (including the best-selling Wild) and in her “Dear Sugar” columns has shared the twists and trials of her remarkable life. This book gathers more than 100 of Strayed’s indelible quotes and thoughts–”mini instruction manuals for the soul” that urge us toward the incredible capacity for love, compassion, forgiveness, and endurance that is within us all.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

The pursuit of happiness – Self-help Recent Picks for September

This month we read books that challenge many preconceived ideas about the benefits of meditation, listening to our feelings and the trappings of the pursuit of happiness. Intrigued? Read on.

Syndetics book coverHeadlines, headaches and the human condition : when normal doesn’t work and how to deal with it
“Headlines and headaches often happen without malice and regardless of knowledge or skills. The processes we use have helped us evolve and survive for thousands of years but the less we understand them, the more they seem to let us down in modern day situations. Using everyday language and real world examples, Steve Whiddett takes us behind some very public headlines and some very real everyday headaches. Headlines, Headaches and the Human Condition provides insights into situations and the human condition, which will help you change your own situations. It is a book that we can all use to make situations more manageable and more productive for ourselves, for organisations and for society.” (Adapted from Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe outside edge : how outsiders can succeed in a world made by insiders.
“Our culture celebrates outsiders while in reality slamming the door in their face. The modern world encourages creativity while shutting-out all but a privileged few from individualistic expression. The Outside Edge is all about learning to harness the unique vantage point you possess in order to give yourself the edge required to succeed. It will show you when to embrace your outsider status and go against convention, and when to play the game, do as the insiders do and make sure you can get progress. Think of The Outside Edge as a manual for positively directing your insecurity, awkwardness and role-confusion towards a meaningful future, shaped and pursued on your own terms.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe Buddha pill : can meditation actually change you?
“In this new book, psychologists Dr. Miguel Farias and Catherine Wikholm explore the human ambition for personal change and its possible illusions, with a focus on yoga and meditation. They examine the psychological and biological evidence, from early research on Transcendental Meditation to recent brain-imaging studies on mindfulness. Controversially, The Buddha Pill argues that personal change effected by these spiritual practices can vary widely from one individual to another, and that peace and compassion may not always be the end result. Combining insights from decades of scientific research with fascinating accounts from gurus and prisoners, The Buddha Pill weaves together a unique story about the science and the delusions of personal change.” (Adapted from Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe happiness trap : how to stop struggling and start living
“Russ Harris explains that the way most of us go about trying to find happiness ends up making us miserable, driving the epidemics of stress, anxiety, and depression. This empowering book presents the insights and techniques of ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) a revolutionary new psychotherapy based on cutting-edge research in behavioral psychology. By clarifying your values and developing mindfulness (a technique for living fully in the present moment), ACT helps you escape the happiness trap and find true satisfaction in life.” (Adapted from Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverUpside : the new science of post-traumatic growth
“PTSD, or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, is at the center of national conversation and a widely recognized psychological condition. But an equally valid, though lesser known outcome of trauma is post-traumatic growth. While many survivors suffer long-term emotional damage, over the last several decades psychologists have discovered that with the right circumstances and proper support, survivors can actually emerge from their trauma stronger, more focused, and with a new and clear vision for the future. Comprised of interviews with leading researchers and dozens of trauma survivors, Rendon paints a vivid and comprehensive portrait of this groundbreaking field.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverWhole body intelligence : get out of your head and into your body to achieve greater wisdom, confidence, and success
“Executive coach Steve Sisgold, knows that the body–not the mind–is the most reliable and effective pathway to realizing your innermost desires and achieving success. His unique, body-centric approach will show you how to get out of your head and take charge of every area of your life with increased awareness, clarity, and confidence. Whole Body Intelligence teaches you how to become aware of subtle body sensations–such as gripping the phone or clenching your jaw during a tense conversation–and how to interpret their meanings, linking them to negative thoughts and behaviors that are impeding your success and happiness.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe story of psychology
“Following the successful pattern of The Story of Maths, The Story of Physics , and The Story of Philosophy, The Story of Psychology traces the development of psychology from its origins as a branch of philosophy to the present day, when it is a discipline in its own right, closely allied with neurology and physiology. Topics include the study of the soul; how the mind was perceived in the ancient world; the ghost in the machine; consciousness, semiconsciousness, and altered consciousness; models of madness; ways of dealing with mental illness; how we learn and know.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe superhuman mind : free the genius in your brain
“Berit Brogaard, PhD, and Kristian Marlow, MA, study people with astonishing talents–memory champions, human echolocators, musical virtuosos, math geniuses, and synesthetes who taste colors and hear faces. But as amazing as these abilities are, they are not mysterious. Our brains constantly process a huge amount of information below our awareness, and what these gifted individuals have in common is that through practice, injury, an innate brain disorder, or even more unusual circumstances, they have managed to gain a degree of conscious access to this potent processing power. Delving into the neurological underpinnings of these abilities, the authors even reveal how we can acquire some of them ourselves–from perfect pitch and lightning fast math skills to supercharged creativity.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverMindware : tools for smart thinking
“Scientific and philosophical concepts can change the way we solve problems by helping us to think more effectively about our behavior and our world. Surprisingly, despite their utility, many of these tools remain unknown to most of us. In Mindware, psychologist Richard E. Nisbett presents these ideas in clear and accessible detail. In this groundbreaking book, Nisbett shows us how to frame common problems in such a way that scientific and statistical principles can be applied to them. The result is an enlightening and practical guide to the most essential tools of reasoning ever developed-tools that can easily be used to make better professional, business, and personal decisions.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverWorrying : a literary and cultural history
“Francis O’Gorman charts the emergence of our contemporary idea of worry in the Victorian era and its establishment, after the First World War, as a feature of modernity. For some writers between the Wars, worry was the “disease of the age.” Worrying examines the everyday kind of worry – the fearful, non-pathological, and usually hidden questioning about uncertain futures. It shows worry to be a natural companion in a world where we try to live by reason and believe we have the right to choose, finding in the worrier a peculiarly contemporary sufferer whose mental life is not only exceptionally familiar, but also deeply strange. ” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverF*ck feelings : one shrink’s practical advice for managing all life’s impossible problems 
“The only self-help book you’ll ever need, from a psychiatrist and his comedy writer daughter, who will help you put aside your unrealistic wishes, stop trying to change things you can’t change, and do the best with what you can control – the first steps to managing all of life’s impossible problems. Here is the cut-to-the-chase therapy session you’ve been looking for!  In this brilliantly sensible and funny book, a Harvard-educated shrink and his comedy-writing daughter reveal that the real f-words in life are “feelings” and “fairness.”  F*ck Feelings is the last self-help book you will ever need!” (Syndetics)

Understanding & forgiveness – New Self-help books in August

This month’s titles help us explore, recognise and understand our feelings and those of others, for a more harmonious and fulfilled life.  Parents learn to focus on their children’s strength and nurture their emotional health and confidence for a happier childhood and ultimately adulthood.

Syndetics book coverIf you feel too much : thoughts on things found and lost and hoped for
“In 2006 Jamie Tworkowski wrote a story called “To Write Love on Her Arms” about helping a friend through her struggle with drug addiction, depression, and self-injury. The piece was so hauntingly beautiful that it quickly went viral, giving birth to a non-profit organization of the same name. Nine years later, To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA) is an internationally-recognized leader in suicide prevention and a source of hope, encouragement, and resources for people worldwide. If You Feel Too Much is a celebration of hope, wonder, and what it means to be human. From personal stories of struggling on days most people celebrate to offering words of strength and encouragement in moments of loss, the essays in this book invite readers to believe that it’s okay to admit to pain and it’s okay to ask for help.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe tell : the little clues that reveal big truths about who we are
“In The Tell, psychologist Matthew Hertenstein reveals that our intuition is surprisingly good at using small clues to make big predictions, and shows how we can make better decisions by homing in on the right details. Just as expert poker players use their opponents’ tells to see through their bluffs, Hertenstein shows that we can likewise train ourselves to read physical cues to significantly increase our predictive acumen. By looking for certain clues, we can accurately call everything from election results to the likelihood of marital success, IQ scores to sexual orientation. Moreover, by understanding how people read our body language, we can adjust our own behavior so as to ace our next job interview or tip the dating scales in our favor.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWhat’s your story? : true experiences from complete strangers
“In 2009, Brandon Doman, who has always been curious about the people with whom we share our world, sat at a local coffeehouse and decided to ask passersby a simple question: “What’s your story?” Providing only paper and pens, Doman created an exploratory space that instantly intrigued people to share their stories anonymously. Now, more than 10,000 stories later, the Strangers Project has become a momentous movement, engaging strangers of all ages and backgrounds to reflect, rejoice, heal, and connect through words. Published here for the first time, What’s Your Story? showcases a selection of two hundred stories from the Strangers Project.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAnger management for dummies
“Anger is a completely normal, healthy human emotion. But when it gets out of control and turns destructive, it can lead to problems at work, in personal relationships, and in the overall quality of life. Anger Management For Dummies provides trusted and authoritative information on anger management methods, skills, and exercises that will help you or a loved one identify sources of anger and release them healthily. With the tools, tips, and strategies provided in this hands-on guide, you’ll find everything you need to overcome anger and live a happier, more productive life.” (adapted from amazon.com)

Syndetics book coverI am smart : a guide to recognizing and developing your child’s natural strengths
A leading educator and psychologist, Dr. Markova noticed in her decades of work that parents tend to focus on correcting their children’s weaknesses. But in this groundbreaking book based on the world-renowned SmartWired program, Dawna demonstrates a more effective strategy that centers on building a child’s strengths. This approach not only helps children discover their passion and purpose in life but also instills in them a strong sense of self-worth — which in turn makes them highly motivated to learn. This book helps recognize and utilize all the ways a child is naturally brilliant.” (adapted from amazon.com)

Syndetics book coverRaising happiness : 10 simple steps for more joyful kids and happier parents
“Drawing on what hard science says about the factors that breed happiness in childhood and beyond, here are 10 simple principles for fostering the skills and habits that will set the stage for optimism, emotional health, and confidence for kids. Drawing on what psychology, sociology, and neuroscience have proven about confidence, gratefulness, and optimism, and using her own chaotic and often hilarious real-world adventures as a mom to demonstrate do’s and don’ts in action, Carter covers the day-to-day pressure points of parenting—how best to discipline, get kids to school and activities on time, and get dinner on the table—as well as the more elusive issues of helping children build healthy friendships and develop emotional intelligence.” (adapted from amazon.com)

Syndetics book coverMindfulness & the journey of bereavement : restoring hope after a death
“The emotional responses to death are unpredictable and individual, with denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance all natural stages of the grief cycle. Mindfulness & The Journey of Bereavement explores the universal, life-changing journey of grief and offers insight into how we can understand our feelings, nourish our needs, and face the future positively, with hope. Bereavement volunteer Peter Bridgewater shares therapeutic tools into how the practice of mindfulness can develop a conscious awareness of life and death. With frank personal and professional anecdotes, he helps us to navigate the trauma of loss with clarity and wisdom.” (from amazon.com)

Syndetics book coverThe forgiveness project : stories for a vengeful age
The Forgiveness Project grew out of a conviction that people’s perspectives only shift when they are able to hear the stories of others. In ten years it has become a high impact and influential charity that has wide application and a universal draw on people. Using real stories of victims and perpetrators, the charity sets out to explore concepts of forgiveness and conflict resolution in order to humanise the ‘other’, foster resilient relationships and help to dissolve tension.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverReconnecting with the heart : making sense of our feelings
Reconnecting with the Heart offers a new theoretical and practical approach to understanding and managing feelings. We categorise feelings as either negative or positive, which means that we censor the expression of some while insisting on others. Learning to understand the whole range of emotions helps us learn when and how to communicate them effectively. Feelings are not only mental events, but occur in our bodies as well. Once we stop blaming others, we can learn how to communicate clearly, even in the most difficult situations. Specific suggestions and exercises enable the reader to use this as a workbook for individual and personal exploration.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRethinking narcissism : the bad– and surprising good– about feeling special
“Narcissism, argues Dr. Malkin, is essentially a spectrum of self-importance–and everyone falls somewhere on the scale between utter selflessness and total arrogance. When we casually invoke the term “narcissist,” most of us are referring to the outer edge of the spectrum, which can shade into dangerous psychopathy. But there are also those who live at the lower end of the spectrum–dubbed “echoists”. Dr. Malkin uses vivid stories of people from all walks of life to teach concrete strategies for spotting–and coping with–excessive narcissism. He explains why embracing some degree of narcissism is essential to maintaining a healthy sense of self-worth. The Narcissism Test not only guides readers through the process of measuring their narcissism, but also offers step-by-step advice to prevent unhealthy narcissism and to nurture healthy narcissism.” (adapted from Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverOn emotional intelligence.
“In his defining work on emotional intelligence, bestselling author Daniel Goleman found that it is twice as important as other competencies in determining outstanding leadership. If you read nothing else on emotional intelligence, read these 10 articles by experts in the field. We’ve combed through hundreds of articles in the Harvard Business Review archive and selected the most important ones to help you boost your emotional skills–and your professional success.”  (Syndetics summary)


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