Laughing in the face of Winter : New Personal Development books

If we can’t walk in the sunshine literally, let’s do it mentally and take a walk on the positive side this month! Have a bit of a laugh in the face of winter and explore the concepts of boredom, freedom seeking and embracing amateurism. From seizing the day to wishing away your problems, back around to turning obstacles into triumphs, we have a wide range of hilarious and upbeat books to help get you through those winter blues!

Syndetics book coverYawn : adventures in boredom / Mary Mann.
“The incisive and often hilarious story of one of our most interesting cultural phenomena: boredom. Deftly wrought from interviews, research, and personal experience, Yawn follows Mary Mann’s search through history for the truth about boredom. From fourth-century Christian monks and the first recorded accounts of lethargy, to Thomas Cook and the the birth of tourism, right through to contemporary boredom in couples, prisoners and soldiers. With the sharp wit of Sloane Crosley and the historical acumen of Sarah Vowell, Mann tells the unexpected story of the hunt for a deeper understanding of boredom, in all its absurd, irritating, and inspiring splendor.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWalking on sunshine : 52 small steps to happiness / Rachel Kelly
Walking on Sunshine offers fifty-two tips and tools (one for each week of the year) to increase your happiness year-round and help you manage the mood-altering pressures of everyday life. Some of the strategies relate to particular experiences and events, such as holidays or exams; others are useful at any time. An ideal book to dip into whenever the mood takes you.” (Adapted from Mightyape.co.nz)

Syndetics book coverThe wish : the 99 things we think we want most / Bill Griffin.
“A Few years ago, Bill Griffin launched Crowdwish, a website and app that simply asked people what three things they thought they wanted most. Wishes poured in from all over the world and 99 of the site’s most popular wishes, are reviewed in this book. The result is a snapshot of the hopes, dreams and desires that unite us all, part reflection on a fascinating social experiment, part humorous rumination on the nature of happiness and part instruction manual for life. The Wish is funny, upbeat and genuinely helpful and uniquely the book will be published with 99 different covers, a selection of which can be seen inside the cover.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFreedom seeker : live more, worry less, do what you love / Beth Kempton.
“Are you itching to do something different, but don’t know what or how? Is fear holding you back from living the life you want? Beth Kempton went from being a life-loving, risk-taking adventurer to a grown-up, settled-down mother, wife and business owner, before realizing the life she had built was suffocating her. She set out on a journey to find personal freedom, and along the way encountered many others who were also feeling trapped – by their circumstances, relationships, finances, beliefs, doubts and fears. Freedom Seeker brings together the insights, techniques and wisdom that Beth learned on her journey to freedom and will help you to live more, worry less and find a way to do what you love, every day.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe obstacle is the way : the timeless art of turning trials into triumph / Ryan Holiday
“Throughout history, iconic examples of successful people, who were not exceptionally brilliant, lucky, or gifted, achieved their success by overcoming extreme obstacles following a timeless set of philosophical principles. Now Ryan Holiday unpacks those lessons and reframes them for today’s world, building on the wisdom of the ancient Stoics and a rich trove of examples. He shows us how to turn obstacles into advantages, through controlling our perceptions, swift and energetic action, and true force of will.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMinimalism : live a meaningful life / Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus.
“In their debut book, Joshua & Ryan, authors of the popular website TheMinimalists.com, explore their troubled pasts and descent into depression. After a pair of life-changing events, Joshua & Ryan discovered minimalism, allowing them to eliminate their excess material things so they could focus on life’s most important “things”: health, relationships, passion, growth, and contribution.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe amateur : the pleasures of doing what you love / Andy Merrifield.
“In a modern world that has been taken over by experts and professionals, Andy Merrifield argues that we have lost our amateur spirit and need to rediscover the radical and liberating pleasure of doing things we love. Work, knowledge, cities and politics — these areas of our lives have fallen into the hands of box tickers, bean counters and rule followers. In response, Merrifield corrals a team of independent thinkers, wayward poets and others who challenge the accepted wisdom, think the unthinkable, seek independence and change the world. The Amateur is a passionate manifesto for the liberated life, one that questions authority and reclaims the non-team player as a radical hero of our times. (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCarpe diem : seizing the day in a distracted world / Roman Krznaric
“We’ve all heard the saying “seize the day.” But what does it really mean and how can we use it to jump-start our lives? In the age of distraction, carpe diem is more essential than ever. In this thought-provoking and empowering book, cultural writer Roman Krznaric unpacks the history, philosophy, and modern-day applications of “seizing the day” and delivers a rousing call to action for anyone who wants to improve their lives-or our world. ” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Inspiration for sticking with those New Year goals

New Year’s resolutions to keep and habits you want to change? Have a browse of our picks from the latest new personal development books!

Syndetics book coverMadly in love with me : the daring adventure of becoming your own best friend / Christine Arylo.
“Most of us know that loving ourselves would be a good idea, but we have no clue what that really means. Self-love feels too vast, too esoteric, and frankly like something you should keep under wraps. This breakthrough book on self-love changes all that by taking you beyond the idea of loving, valuing, and caring for yourself into daring acts that will help you experience it. Christine Arylo provides practical, fun ways to explore and embody the ten branches of self-love every day and in every part of your life. Reading this book is like receiving permission to treat yourself as a best friend would.” (Book cover)

Syndetics book coverChangeology : 5 steps to realizing your goals and resolutions / John C. Norcross, with Kristin Loberg and Jonathon Norcross.
“Change is hard. But not if you know the 5-step formula that works whether you’re trying to stop smoking or start recycling. Dr. John C. Norcross, an internationally recognized expert, has studied how people make transformative, permanent changes in their lives. Over the past thirty years, he and his research team have helped thousands of people overcome dozens of behavioural ailments. Now his cutting-edge, scientific approach to personal improvement is being made available in this indispensable guide. Unlike 95 percent of self-help books, the Changeology plan has a documented track record of success. Whether you want to quit overeating or drinking, or end depression, debt, and relationship distress, Dr. Norcross gives you the tools you need to change what you want within 90 days.” (Book cover)

Syndetics book coverFearless at work : timeless teachings for awakening confidence, resilience, and creativity in the face of life’s demands / Michael Carroll.
“Work is such a crucial part of our life, and yet we often struggle with-and feel overwhelmed by-the numerous challenges it presents us. Whether it’s job insecurity, making peace with or leaving an unfulfilling job, or dealing with office conflicts, we often experience fear and a sense of groundlessness just at a time when we want to be our most creative and resilient. Drawing on Buddhist philosophy, Michael Carroll, a longtime human-resources executive, meditation teacher, and executive coach, explains how the practice of mindfulness-full awareness of our moment-to-moment experience-can help us become more confident and open to possibility in our work life. He offers a system of potent, inspiring principles that we can use as a practice for helping us work with our insecurities and awakening our natural bravery, resourcefulness, and resilience.” (Book cover)

Syndetics book coverThe as if principle : the radically new approach to changing your life / Richard Wiseman.
“Change the way you behave and you change the way you feel – that’s the simple and powerful message in this insightful and engaging new book by internationally renowned psychologist 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, Professor Richard Wiseman, renowned psychologist with 90,000 Twitter followers and 13 million YouTube viewers, presents a radical new insight into your body and brain: that it’s your actions that have the power to instantly change the way you think and feel. Smile and you’ll become measurably happier. Clench your fist and you will increase your willpower. Put a spring in your step and you will feel instantly younger. Acting, not thinking, is what controls your emotions and allows you to unleash your hidden potential. Drawing on a dazzling array of scientific evidence, Professor Wiseman shows how this simple idea can be used to easily increase motivation, overcome depression, lose weight, stop smoking, and even slow aging. So don’t just think about changing your life. Do it.” (Global Books in Print)

Syndetics book coverLessons in happiness from the third world : how the West got so depressed and what to do about it / Pete Jensen.
“Everybody seems to know somebody who has been impacted by depression, anxiety or stress. Have you ever felt helpless, not known what to do next, or overwhelmed by self help programs that seem like too much hard work? International author, speaker and transformational expert Pete Jensen, shares his breakthrough book that will reconnect you with proven principles the West has either forgotten, or in our fast paced lives become too distracted to pay attention to. Packed with real, easy to apply advice, this book will change your emotional, spiritual, physical and future wealth. You’ll learn: The 3 core ingredients missing in the Western myth of happiness; How to regain happiness when tragedy strikes; The secret of how to be fully energised, all day, everyday; How to eliminate unnecessary spending on doctors and pills; 12 quick, easy tools to shift your emotions instantly; How to overcome procrastination and indifference; Happiness at work; how to make it happen” (Global Books in Print)