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)

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)

Finding balance, calm and understanding in a hectic world – New Self-help books in July

This month’s selection delves into the workings of co-dependent relationships and offers tools to free yourself from them, cultivating intimacy, yet separateness, creativity and inner peace.
We also examine the role of death in life and the devastating effect of twin bereavement and loss and how to deal with it.

Syndetics book coverHow to predict the unpredictable : the art of outsmarting almost everyone
“We are hard-wired to believe that the world is more predictable than it is. We chase ‘winning streaks’ that are often just illusions, and we are all too predictable exactly when we try hardest not to be. In the 1970s, Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky coined the phrase ‘representativeness’ to describe the psychology of this behaviour. Poundstone makes these techniques fun, easy, and profitable for everyone, in the everyday situations that matter. You’ll learn how to tackle multiple choice tests, what internet passwords to avoid, how to up your odds of winning the office Premier League sweepstakes, and the best ways to invest your money.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe joy of missing out : finding balance in a wired world
“Over the past few decades, the world has embraced “progress” and we’re living with the resultant clicking, beeping, anxiety-inducing frenzy. But a creative backlash is gathering steam, helping us cope with the avalanche of data that threatens to overwhelm us daily through our computers, tablets and smartphones. The Joy of Missing Out considers the technologically focused life, with its impacts on our children, relationships, communities, health, work and more, and suggests opportunities for those of us longing to cultivate a richer on- and off-line existence. This book is a must-read for anyone wishing to rediscover quietness of mind, and seeking a sense of peace amidst the cacophony of the modern world.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverCalm : calm the mind, change the world
“Join the Calm revolution. Modern life is hectic and relentless. There has never been a more important time to rediscover your pause button. Calm is the book that will show you how to take back a little bit of peace, space and all-important calm. It is a practical and pleasurable guide to twenty-first century mindfulness. Regular meditation is medically proven to be good for you.  Calm is about simple, achievable habits that work with the demands of your busy life instead of pretending those demands don’t exist. Calm does not require specialist training: it uses abilities that every single one of us is born with, like creativity, spontaneity and simply noticing the world around you. Calm demystifies mindfulness and shows you the many simple ways to be mindful while carrying on with your life.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe upside of stress : why stress is good for you, and how to get good at it
“The author of The Willpower Instinct delivers a controversial and groundbreaking new book that overturns long-held beliefs about stress. More than forty-four percent of Americans admit to losing sleep over stress. And while most of us do everything we can to reduce it, Stanford psychologist and bestselling author Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D., delivers a startling message: Stress isn’t bad. In The Upside of Stress, McGonigal highlights new research indicating that stress can, in fact, make us stronger, smarter, and happier–if we learn how to embrace it. McGonigal combines science, stories, and exercises into an engaging and practical book that is both entertaining and life-changing. McGonigal’s TED talk on the subject has already received more than 7 million views.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverNo one understands you and what to do about it
“Have you ever felt you’re not getting through to the person you’re talking to, or not coming across the way you intend? You’re not alone. That’s the bad news. But there is something we can do about it. Heidi Grant Halvorson, social psychologist and bestselling author, explains why we’re often misunderstood and how we can fix that. Most of us assume that other people see us as we see ourselves, and that they see us as we truly are.  You can learn to clarify the message you’re sending once you understand the lenses that shape perception. Once you understand the science of perception, you’ll communicate more clearly, send the messages you intend to send, and improve your personal relationships.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe worm at the core : on the role of death in life
“Drawing from innovative experiments conducted around the globe, Solomon, Greenberg, and Pyszczynski show conclusively that the fear of death and the desire to transcend it inspire us to buy expensive cars, crave fame, put our health at risk, and disguise our animal nature. The fear of death can also prompt judges to dole out harsher punishments, make children react negatively to people different from themselves, and inflame intolerance and violence. But The Worm at the Core  offers a compelling new paradigm for understanding the choices we make in life–and a pathway toward divesting ourselves of the cultural and personal illusions that keep us from accepting the end that awaits us all.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverInvisible chains : overcoming coercive control in your intimate relationship
“When a man showers all of his attention on a woman, it can feel incredibly romantic, and can blind her to hints of a darker side. But what happens when that attentiveness starts to feel like domination? For certain men, the desire to control leads to jealousy, possessiveness, micromanaging–even physical violence. Understanding what this destructive pattern looks like and why it occurs is the first step toward repairing or ending a relationship that has become toxic. Readers get vital tools for determining if they are in danger and if their partner can change and for getting their freedom back.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLessons of lifelong intimacy : building a stronger marriage without losing yourself–the 9 principles of a balanced and happy relationship
“Michael Gurian offers a groundbreaking plan for couples seeking to build a healthy relationship, work through past hurts, and create greater intimacy. Recent university studies show that the most frequent reason relationships dissolve is not abuse, alcoholism, money, or even infidelity, but rather a lack of emotional fulfillment. Most books on love and marriage focus on teaching communication and conflict skills, but neglect to help couples with the “other half” of intimacy–separateness. In this practical yet personal guide to love, Gurian details the benefits of creating a lifelong balance of closeness and separateness. Rich with examples and case studies, this book presents strategies for communication and conflict that build more emotional balance, while showing how intimate separateness can be the key to lifelong happiness.”(Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverRainbow way : cultivating creativity in the midst of motherhood
“Visioned as the guide and mentor that most creative women yearn for, but never find in their daily lives, The Rainbow Way explores the depths of the creative urge, from psychological, biological, spiritual and cultural perspectives. This positive, nurturing and practical book will help to empower you to unlock your creative potential within the constraints of your demanding life as a mother.”(Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe lone twin : understanding twin bereavement and loss
“People are fascinated with twins – intrigued by their closeness with each other. But what happens when twins are separated, especially by death? Twin mortality is high, but it is not uncommon for a lone twin’s loss, at any age, to go unmarked. They need extra help and support to take them through the loss of their ‘other half.’ Working as an Attachment therapist, Joan Woodward uses John Bowlby’s theories as her conceptual base for her research. In this book, she suggests that the highly significant attachment that twins make with each other may begin, for many, before birth. This is an important and rare book for many professionals – counselors, psychotherapists, social workers, psychologists, and teachers – who come into contact with bereaved twins and yet have little understanding of the dynamics of twinship and of twin loss.” (Syndetics)

February Self help – Overcoming obstacles to achieve success

Success is a very subjective concept and can take many forms. What is success for one person might not be for the next. Is financial wealth a real success if your heart is not content? Can you reach fulfillment without money? What are your goals in life? Professional success, academic or sporting achievement, a happy romantic relationship, having a lot of friends or having only a few very close ones, fighting for a worthy cause? Does change make you anxious or do your thrive for novelty and adventures? Everyone will have a different answer to these questions. Whatever your life’s quest, this month’s selection should give you some useful insight on the way to a content life.

Syndetics book coverThe millionaire mystique : how working women become wealthy– and how you can, too!
“Business psychologist Jude Miller Burke looks at today’s self-made female millionaires and how they successfully manage career and family life. What can struggling women learn from them? Miller Burke backs up her findings using results from a ground breaking study of millionaire women. In this book will you’ll learn: the surprising number of millionaire women who were successful in their careers in spite of difficult, even abusive childhoods; why starting “at the bottom” isn’t a disadvantage and how you can build on your childhood and early career circumstances, whatever they are; what personality factors wealthy working women have in common and how to foster them for yourself; how to develop the two most critical traits for overcoming obstacles to success. Jude Miller Burke is a business psychologist, executive coach, and a millionaire.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverRewire your anxious brain : how to use the neuroscience of fear to end anxiety, panic, & worry
“Do you ever wonder what is happening inside your brain when you feel anxious, panicked, and worried? In Rewire Your Anxious Brain, psychologist Catherine Pittman and author Elizabeth Karle offer a unique, evidence-based solution to overcoming anxiety based in cutting-edge neuroscience and research. In the book, you will learn how the amygdala and cortex (both important parts of the brain) are essential players in the neuropsychology of anxiety. The amygdala acts as a primal response, and oftentimes, when this part of the brain processes fear, you may not even understand why you are afraid. By comparison, the cortex is the centre of “worry.” The author offers specific examples of how to manage fear by tapping into both of these pathways in the brain. As you read, you’ll gain a greater understanding how anxiety is created in the brain, and as a result, you will feel empowered and motivated to overcome it.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverManaging for change : how to make your future brighter, today
“The world around us is constantly changing – and at a faster and faster rate. These changes have an impact on our lives at many different levels. It’s possible that the things we are doing now will not work in the future. So how do we alter our current trajectory? And to where should we set our new course? And if change is inevitable, why not plan for it? And why not go one step further – and actually manage for it? Letting change happen to us is no guarantee of a happy and successful life. Reaching that goal for now and tomorrow means constantly assessing the future and developing skills in predicting and managing the forces of change. Managing for Change is your guide to doing just that.” (Adapted from Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverHow the body knows its mind : the surprising power of the physical environment to influence how you think and feel 
“Though the brain is the organ most commonly associated with thinking, psychologist Beilock (Choke) makes a fairly fresh case about the rest of the body’s contribution to the process. The book begins with the premise that the body’s interaction with its physical surroundings affects cognition, and Beilock goes on to show how the body can be used to manipulate everyday perceptions. She builds her argument with a variety of anecdotes and cultural references. Often these examples flip conventional wisdom to highlight the influence of our body on thought. For example, she connects the correlation between musical ability and IQ to finger dexterity. Beilock offers an unconventional perspective that will stimulate the mind.” (Adapted from Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverYou can be happy : 101 ways to smile
Imagine you have been told that this is the last day of your life and you have twelve hours to live .. ..are you really going to worry about the report you haven’t finished for work, the negative comment you received from a friend a year ago or how you will manage Christmas at your place this year? Probably not! This book will help you to place all life issues into perspective, recognise your strengths, become more assertive and in doing so increase significantly your happiness level for the rest of your life. This book provides useful strategies for you to focus on breaking through the roadblocks to smile and step back onto the happiness path. Smiling is contagious. People around you will be smiling too.” (Adapted from Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverImproving your memory : how to remember what you’re starting to forget
This book provides readers with tools for understanding and improving memory, including sixteen helpful exercises. Simple techniques like writing information down, creating a catch word or phrase, altering something in your environment, and reviewing details in advance can put you actively in charge of retrieving information more easily. As in previous editions, Improving Your Memory reinforces memory techniques through real-life examples. This accessible handbook also discusses how memory works; how it changes with age, stress, illness, and depression; and why people remember what they do. Many readers will see immediate improvement in their memory after reading the book.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe energies of love : using energy medicine to keep your relationship thriving
“A relationship begins with the meeting of two unique energies. This union of energies determines the way you communicate, fight, love, and want to be loved. Donna Eden and David Feinstein draw on the real-life experiences of couples who have attended their popular ‘Energies of Love’ workshops, as well as their own experience as husband and wife, to show how an understanding of your energy system and that of your partner can help you build a more harmonious and loving bond. We all have different ways of making sense of the world around us, but when faced with conflict, especially with those we care most about, we tend to revert to one of four ‘Energetic Stress Styles’. The Energies of Love is filled with tools to help you diffuse arguments and energy exercises to increase your overall sense of joy and wellbeing.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverMindfulness : 25 ways to live in the moment through art
“In this internationally best-selling book, French psychiatrist Andre guides the reader through the practice of mindfulness to art itself. Using color photographs of classic and modern works, the author shows readers how to quiet the outer world and intensify their presence in the moment, neither trying to escape it or change it. Andre responds to each art piece in terms of feelings and sensory perceptions, helping readers to visualize themselves inside the canvas, smelling, hearing, and really seeing the scene. A fascinating book!” (Adapted from Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverImagine this : creating the work you love 
“Life coach and poet Clair (Rattlebone) advocates the New Age mission of self-realization with this succinct, easy-to-follow workbook. A survivor of domestic abuse, Clair earned two advanced degrees; after a long career as a medical technologist, she became an English professor at George Washington University and an award-winning writer. Setting the example for how self-realization improved her life, she outlines the journey to empowerment that worked for her in nine steps: for example, the first step toward “pursuing a greater sense of wakefulness” is simply to keep a journal. For those who may be floundering, she advises looking for inspiration in “places that hold your idea of beauty” or simply chilling by watching “wall paper dry”.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverIt’s not about the shark : how to solve unsolvable problems / David Niven, PhD.
“”We limit what we think is possible based on the boundaries the problems set for us,” Niven asserts. “We stare at our problems and cannot see anything else.” Niven uses Steven Spielberg as an example, explaining how the malfunctioning mechanical shark built for Jaws forced the director to suggest, rather than show, his story’s antagonist for most of the movie. According to the book, focusing on a problem can make it harder to find an answer; conversely, looking away from a problem often makes it easier to find a solution. While it’s natural to be scared of failing, particularly when trying new things, Niven advises readers to “fail with joy,” and relish the freedom to explore new alternatives that present themselves with failure. This fresh, enthusiastic approach to problem-solving will encourage readers to open themselves up to opportunity and make for a valuable addition to anyone’s self-help shelf.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe motivation manifesto : 9 declarations to claim your personal power
“Burchard reveals that the main motive of humankind is the pursuit of greater Personal Freedom. We desire the grand liberties of choice–time freedom, emotional freedom, social freedom, financial freedom, spiritual freedom. Only two enemies stand in our way: an external enemy, defined as the social oppression of who we are by the mediocre masses, and an internal enemy, a sort of self-oppression caused by our own doubt and fear. The march to Personal Freedom, Burchard argues, can be won only by declaring our intent and independence, stepping into our personal power, and battling through self-doubt and the distractions of the day until full victory is won.” (Syndetics)

 

January Self-Help – A life worth living

A New Year selection to inspire you to make the most of life by guiding you to a truer, better self and helping you pinpoint what really matters to you, prioritise and learn to say NO. Wisdom in several cases comes from people approaching death and reflecting back on their own lives.

Syndetics book coverYour year for change : 52 reflections for regret-free living
“Having spent several years listening to, and then writing about the regrets of dying people, Bronnie Ware understands the importance of acknowledging death and finding the courage to live a happy and authentic life in the meantime. In this tender yet influential collection, Bronnie Ware shares 52 inspiring stories, woven among observations from her daily life, strengthening you with the values needed for regret-free living. Bronnie’s ability to open your eyes to new perspectives will also open your heart to new strengths and dreams. “Your Year for Change” is a gentle and powerful book that will leave you determined to embrace your life, forgive your past, honor your heart, and create a regret-free future of happiness and wonder.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverDesign your life
“Design plays an essential role in our daily lives. You don’t have to be a designer to design your life. But it doesn’t hurt to have some professional help. It took designer Vince Frost more than 25 years as a professional to appreciate the power of the design process as a means for improving his life. ‘If my design process brings value to me, perhaps it can bring value to others. Or, more radically, bring others to recognise their own value.’ This book will not solve your problems but it will inspire you to work better at living better.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverWhy mindfulness is better than chocolate : your guide to inner peace, enhanced focus and deep happiness
“Mindfulness practice can help you reduce stress, improve performance, manage pain and increase wellbeing. These are the reasons why elite athletes, performing artists and business leaders are taking up the practice, and why it is being introduced into the world’s most successful companies, banks, business schools – even the US Army…David Michie introduces mindfulness practice and offers innovative solutions to common obstacles. Drawing on ancient Buddhist teachings and contemporary science, he also takes us beyond ‘mindfulness lite,’ offering lucid instructions on how to experience the pristine nature of one’s own consciousness directly. It will make chocolate taste better too!” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverPlaying big : find your voice, your vision and make things happen
“The groundbreaking book that gives every woman the practical skills they need to begin playing big. Five years ago, Tara Mohr began to see a pattern in her work as an expert in leadership: women with tremendous talent, ideas and ambition were not recognising their own brilliance. They felt that they were “playing small” in their lives and careers and wanted to “play bigger” but didn’t know how. And so, Tara devised a step-by-step programme for playing big from inside out: this book is the result. It provides real, practical tools to help women trust their instincts; identify and pursue their callings; become their own mentor; and take bold actions to make their ideas a reality.” (Book jacket)

Syndetics book coverOvercoming anxiety for dummies
“This book explains the difference between normal everyday anxiety and anxiety that requires attention and treatment. It also includes updated information on treatment and getting help, including organisations in Australia and New Zealand that assist people with anxiety. Packed with practical strategies for feeling better, this handy guide is perfect for anyone who wants to treat their minor anxiety on their own or find out whether they need professional assistance.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverMindfulness @ work : reduce stress, live in the moment, and be happier and more productive at work
“Work-related stress is an all-too-common part of modern life. The rise of digital media means that many people never really switch off from work and the culture of presenteeism causes us to spend more time at work than never before. Many workers spend a lot of time either ruminating on previous problems or worrying about work-related issues. By applying the principles of mindfulness to our working lives, we can become aware of our habitual negative thoughts and behaviours and learn to recognise and manage the warning signs of stress.” (Book jacket)

Syndetics book coverNegotiating success : tips and tools for building rapport and dissolving conflict while still getting what you want
“How to execute win-win negotiations every time, in business and in life Negotiating Success provides expert guidance on how to improve strategies and outcomes in negotiating anything in professional and personal life. With a constant focus on the mind, body, and spirit of the professional negotiator, this easy-to-read text brings a holistic approach to the skills needed for ethical negotiations. The result is a better understanding of how to negotiate successfully for mutual benefit by all parties. Offers tips and tools, such as how to use positive psychology to unite your team, emotional intelligence for successful negotiation, and how to minimize conflict.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe mind makeover : the answers to becoming the best you yet
“What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail? If you’ve ever doubted yourself, allowed other people’s negativity to stop you from doing what you want, or assumed that any success you’ve had in the past was just a case of ‘pure luck’, then you need The Mind Makeover. For many years Sharron Lowe has been the go-to coach for global luxury brands. She has coached thousands of people, helping them to make positive changes in how they think, feel and what they believe is possible.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe four things that matter most : a book about living
“The very same words that allow a life to end peacefully can help readers lead tranquil, meaningful lives. In his work palliative care physician Ira Byock has witnessed the incredible power of four simple sentences: “Please forgive me,” “I forgive you,” “Thank you,” and “I love you.” With considerable empathy and wisdom, he introduces and draws conclusions from his patients’ stories. In doing so, Byock also potently demonstrates how readers can use the four sentences to help fill their “instinctive impulse to give and receive love” and heal rifts.”  (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe power of no : because one little word can bring health, abundance, and happiness
“James and Claudia Altucher have answered tens of thousands of questions in their writings, retreats, talks, and online seminars. The questions cover the entire spectrum of life. Invariably, they look to one little word as the solution: No. No is not only a solution; it is a path for people to heal and bring abundance and happiness into their lives. Every time you say yes to something you don’t want to do you can experience a spate of negative outcomes: resenting people, doing poor quality work, having less energy for the things you actually love, making less money, and so on. With the power of no we can refocus our energies toward living an abundant, healthy, and wealthy life.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe priority list : a teacher’s final quest to discover life’s greatest lessons
“In fall 2006, high school teacher Menasche, then age 34, was diagnosed with an aggressive and deadly type of brain tumor, glioblastoma multiforme. Despite these challenges, in November 2012 he embarked on a journey-or Vision Quest, as he calls it-to recover his past by reconnecting with former students. A successful technique he used with students, the “priority list,” was useful in ranking the importance of different values and provided an effective tool for identify one’s own motivations. By reconsidering his priorities, letting others care for him, and giving in to the “beautiful turmoil” of his illness, Menasche has been able to accept the break-up of his marriage and retirement from his job while reaping surprising rewards from his quest. Like Randy Pausch’s The Last Lecture, this memoir is a rousing testimony to the ways in which, in the face of death, living fully in the present moment becomes possible.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverHow Adam Smith can change your life : an unexpected guide to human nature and happiness
“How the insights of an 18th century economist can help us live better in the 21st century Adam Smith became famous for The Wealth of Nations, but the Scottish economist also cared deeply about our moral choices and behavior–the subjects of his other brilliant book, The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759). Now, economist Russ Roberts shows why Smith’s neglected work might be the greatest self-help book you’ve never read. Roberts offers an accessible and thought-provoking view of human behavior through the lenses of behavioral economics and philosophy.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe art of belonging
“The Art of Belonging advances the argument put forward in Mackay’s bestselling The Good Life: a ‘good life’ is not lived in isolation or in the pursuit of independent goals; a good life is lived at the heart of a thriving community, among people we trust, and within an environment of mutual respect. The Art of Belonging is the book that will reignite the conversation about how we want to live; it will provide the framework for those who argue for a particular vision of community, one that sustains, protects and nurtures the many, and not just the few.” (Syndetics)

Healing power – New health books in November

Healing can take many forms, from using the experience of our life traumas to grow as human beings, to finding the right plant diet for a heightened level of health or using the magic of manuka honey where conventional drugs have failed. The history of the birth pill also makes for a gripping read this month.

Syndetics book coverThe body keeps the score : brain, mind, and body in the healing of trauma
“A pioneering researcher and one of the world’s foremost experts on traumatic stress offers a bold new paradigm for healing; Trauma is a fact of life. Experiences of trauma inevitably leave traces on minds, emotions, and even on biology. In The Body Keeps the Score, trauma expert Bessel van der Kolk transforms our understanding of traumatic stress, revealing how it literally rearranges the brain’s wiring; specifically areas dedicated to pleasure, engagement, control, and trust. He shows how these areas can be reactivated through innovative treatments including neurofeedback, mindfulness techniques, play, yoga, and other therapies.” (Adapted from Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe trauma of everyday life
“Trauma does not just happen to a few unlucky people; it is the bedrock of our psychology. Death and illness touch us all, but even the everyday sufferings of loneliness and fear are traumatic. In The Trauma of Everyday Life renowned psychiatrist Mark Epstein uncovers the transformational potential of trauma, revealing how it can be used for the mind’s own development. Western psychology teaches that if we understand the cause of trauma, we might move past it while many drawn to Eastern practices see meditation as a means of rising above, or distancing themselves from, their most difficult emotions. Both, Epstein argues, fail to recognize that trauma is an indivisible part of life and can be used as a lever for growth and an ever deeper understanding of change.” (Adapted from Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe fitness attitude : how to change your behaviour and learn to love keeping fit
“Fitness professional Bevan James Eyles has been driven by one question: ‘What is it that motivates people to develop a long-term love of fitness and how can we teach that to others?’ He discovered that success with fitness isn’t about a certain exercise or diet plan, but about attitude and behaviour patterns. Practical and with examples of Bevan’s personal experience, The Fitness Attitude is essential reading for those who want to be successful with exercise, to gain a deeper understanding of the behaviours that create this success, and to enjoy the contribution that exercise can make to a healthy and happy life.” (Adapted from Syndetics)

Plant based diet solutionThe plantplus diet solution : personalized nutrition for life
“Increase your metabolism with a plant-based diet to prevent, improve or cure heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer’s disease and the epidemic of chronic illnesses. Joan Borysenko, PhD, a Harvard-trained cell biologist, health psychologist and New York Times bestselling author, cuts through the thicket of confusing – and often downright wrong – advice on nutrition. She provides easy-to-digest, bite-sized servings of the scientific information that you (and your doctor) need in order to discover the precise diet required for your body to thrive.” (Adapted from Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverNourish : mind, body & soul
“We get so much more out of life when we feel positive and energized.  Full of the wisdom and good nourishment that helped Sadie, Holly and Amber through their own personal struggles and setbacks, this book promises to restore you to the path of complete well-being. With Amber’s delicious food to nourish the body, Holly’s exercises to strengthen it and Sadie’s beauty recipes to soothe the skin and yoga and meditation routines to still the mind, this book is the perfect antidote to the stresses and strains to modern life, proving that there is always a way to stay healthy and, also, to keep it delicious.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverBeing mortal : medicine and what matters in the end
“Medicine has triumphed in modern times, transforming the dangers of childbirth, injury and disease from harrowing to manageable. But when it comes to the inescapable realities of aging and death, what medicine can do often runs counter to what it should. In this book Atul Gawande examines the ultimate limitations and failures of medicine as life draws to a close. He follows a hospice nurse on her rounds, a geriatrician in his clinic and reformers turning nursing homes upside down. He finds people people who show us how to have the hard conversations and how to ensure we never sacrifice what people really care about.” (Book cover)

Syndetics book coverManuka : the biography of an extraordinary honey
“Not so long ago, in a small island nation in the South Pacific, beekeepers produced a most peculiar honey. It was much darker than the clover honey everyone put on their toast in the morning, and it tasted very different. In fact, the honey was a problem: it was hard to get out of the combs, and even harder for beekeepers to sell. Today that honey, manuka from New Zealand, is known around the world. It fetches high prices, and beekeepers do everything in their power to produce as much of it as possible. Wound dressings containing manuka honey are used in leading hospitals, and it has saved the lives of patients infected with disease-causing bacteria that are resistant to standard antibiotic drugs. In so doing it has forced the medical profession to rethink its position on the therapeutic properties of natural products. This book chronicles the remarkable ‘rags-to-riches’ story of manuka honey, as seen through the eyes of a New Zealand beekeeping specialist who watched it unfold from the very beginning.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe low hi diet : how to get clean & get lean
“Kris Abbey’s Lo Hi Diet demystifies and simplifies what it takes to achieve great health and wellness. The book is filled with ‘Top Tips’ about antioxidants, top foods to boost your metabolism, top exercises to build core strength, and top things to slow down the ageing process. Kris does not sugar coat the facts; she hits the reader between the eyes with the truth about food and exercise. The book is divided into sections with chapters covering nutrition, foods for life, eating greens and being alkaline, and when to detox (and why). Kris lists all the essentials for a healthy life, which she refers to as SLOW: Seasonal, Local, Organic and Whole Exercise.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverBurn the fat, feed the muscle : transform your body forever using the secrets of the leanest people in the world
“Whether you want to shed 10 pounds or 100, whether you want to build muscle or just look more toned, this book is the original “bible of fitness” that shows you how to get permanent results the safe, healthy, and natural way. This is not a diet and it’s not just a weight-loss program; this is a breakthrough system to change your life and get you leaner, stronger, fitter, and healthier with the latest discoveries in exercise and nutrition science. Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle is not about getting as ripped as a fitness model or becoming a bodybuilder like Tom did (unless you want to); it’s about using their secrets to achieve your own personal goals. ” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe birth of the pill : how four crusaders reinvented sex and launched a revolution
“We know it simply as “the pill,” yet its genesis was anything but simple. Spanning the years from Margaret Sanger’s heady Greenwich Village days in the early twentieth century to trial tests in Puerto Rico in the 1950s to the cusp of the sexual revolution in the 1960s, this is a grand story of radical feminist politics, scientific ingenuity, establishment opposition, and, ultimately, a sea change in social attitudes. Brilliantly researched and briskly written, The Birth of the Pill is gripping social, cultural, and scientific history.” (Syndetics summary)

November self-help books

This month’s books seem to agree on one thing – it is all in our mind! But there are many ways of interpreting and understanding what we are thinking, how we are feeling and why (sometimes looking at our genetic make-up for clues on our modern psyche), how we decide what to focus on, whether positive psychology is what we need or if it is OK to dwell on negative thoughts.

Syndetics book coverThink like a freak : how to think smarter about almost everything 
“The Freakonomics books have come to stand for something: challenging conventional wisdom; using data rather than emotion to answer questions; and learning to unravel the world’s secret codes. Now Levitt and Dubner have gathered up what they have learned and turned it into a readable and practical toolkit for thinking differently – thinking, that is, like a Freak. Whether you are interested in the best way to improve your odds in penalty kicks, or in major global reforms, here is a blueprint for an entirely new way to solve problems. ” (Amazon.com)

Syndetics book coverNothing changes until you do : a guide to self-compassion and getting out of your own way
“After three years of living his dream as a professional baseball pitcher, Mike Robbins had an arm injury that benched him for good, and when this happened, he had to figure out who he was without the identity of “baseball player”. He quickly realized that the self-criticism and self-doubt he was feeling are epidemic in our culture. In these 40 inspiring stories, Mike shows you how to get out of your own way and make peace with yourself. With humour, authenticity and ease, you’ll learn to have more compassion, more acceptance and more love for yourself – thus giving you access to more for the people (and everything else) in your life.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverSnakes, sunrises, and Shakespeare : how evolution shapes our loves and fears
“Our breath catches and we jump in fear at the sight of a snake. We pause and marvel at the sublime beauty of a sunrise. These reactions are no accident; in fact, many of our human responses to nature are steeped in our deep evolutionary past — we fear snakes because of the danger of venom or constriction, and we welcome the assurances of the sunrise as the predatory dangers of the dark night disappear. Many of our aesthetic preferences are the lingering result of natural selection. By applying biological perspectives ranging from Darwin to current neuroscience, Snakes, Sunrises, and Shakespeare transforms how we view our experience of the natural world and how we relate to each other.” (Amazon.com)

Syndetics book coverThe complete A to Z dictionary of dreams : be your own dream expert
“Why do you dream about missing a train or teeth falling out? How did you wake up thinking of a tiger at your door? When you dream you unconciously reveal who you are, what you need and what you truly believe. In this book, bestselling dream psychologist Ian Wallace explains the true meaning of over 12,000 dream symbols – newly defined for the 21st century – and teaches you how to become your own dream expert. A dream is just a dream until you put it into action. Understand yours and change the reality of your waking life.” (Book cover)

Syndetics book coverMindfulness at work for dummies
“Learn to: master your mind by making time for mindfulness in your daily routine; use mindfulness to improve your resilience and wellbeing; improve team performance through mindfulness practice.” (Book cover)

Syndetics book coverWhen happiness is not enough : balancing pleasure and achievement in your life
“Everybody wants to be happy. But do we really know what happiness is and how it contributes to fulfilling life? In considering these questions, psychologist Chris Skellett proposes that “In order to live a truly fulfilling life, we need to strike a balance between Pleasure and Achievement”. This simple truth, known as the the Pleasure/Achievement Principle, lies at the heart of this entertaining, yet thought-provoking book.” (Book cover)

Syndetics book coverConstructive wallowing : how to beat bad feelings by letting yourself have them
“If you’ve ever ignored difficult feelings, Gilbertson has written a counterintuitive self-help book that offers constructive advice for boosting self-compassion. She begins with an easy premise: letting yourself experience both positive and negative emotions allows your body to have a healthy balance, which helps you to make informed, rounded decisions. Although it’s a simple premise, it’s certainly not easy to change ingrained habits. Luckily, Gilbertson has foreseen this and included many summaries, examples, and exercises throughout to help the reader cope with anticipated struggles. ” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBe brilliant every day : use the power of positive psychology to make an impact on life
“The authors of the bestselling The Art of Being Brilliant are here to show us how to get motivated, get positive and get happy, and, most importantly, how to be all three consistently. Every single day. Using a solid understanding of positive psychology, but with clear visual illustrations, simple explanations and a bit of funny stuff, Be Brilliant Everyday shows us how to foster some serious positivity and mental agility and transform our lives. The book is crammed with practical tips to help us ditch those down days and flourish every single day.” (Syndetics)

From the brain to the bowel – New health books in October

This month’s selection leans heavily on the subject of the brain which gets a look in from several perspectives, from neuroscience, psychology and evolutionary biology. We also delves into the fascinating science of gut health and its crucial role in our overall health. Environmental factors affecting our health are also discussed and what we can do to mitigate them.

Syndetics book coverThe wandering mind : what the brain does when you’re not looking
“Rooted in neuroscience, psychology and evolutionary biology … The Wandering Mind takes us into the world of the ‘default-mode network’ to tackle the big questions. What do rats dream about? What’s with our fiction addiction? Is the hippocampus where free will takes a holiday? And does mind-wandering drive creativity? In Pieces of Mind,Michael Corballis took 21 short walks around the human brain. In The Wandering Mind he stretches out for a longer hike into those murky regions of the brain where dreams and religion, fiction and fantasy lurk.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe answer to the riddle is me : a tale of amnesia
“Imagine waking up in a crowded train station in India with no idea who you are or how you got there… At 28, David Stuart McLean woke up in a foreign land with his memory wiped clean. No money, no passport, no identity.
The Answer to the Riddle is Me confronts and celebrates the dark, mysterious depths of our psyches and a myriad ways we are all unknowable…especially ourselves.” (Back cover)

Syndetics book coverChicken soup for the soul : recovering from traumatic brain injuries : 101 stories of hope, healing, and hard work
“Whether you are recovering from a traumatic brain injury or supporting someone with a TBI, this collection of 101 inspiring and encouraging stories by others like you will uplift and encourage you on your healing journey. With a traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurring every 18.5 seconds in the US – concussions the most common – chances are you have been touched in some way by this experience. TBIs occur due to accidents and sports, and are also common in returning soldiers. The personal stories in this book, by TBI survivors and those who love and support them, will help and encourage you and your family on your road to recovery.” (Syndetics)

The new laws of psychology
“This controversial new book describes how human behaviour  can be largely explained if we understand how people make sense of their world and how that framework of understanding has been learned. The author challenges notions such as ‘mental illness’ and ‘abnormal psychology’ as old-fashioned, demeaning and invalid, and argues that diagnoses such as ‘depression’ and ‘schizophrenia’ are unhelpful. Kinderman argues that one consequence of our current obsession with a medical approach to human well-being and distress, is that human problems are too often merely diagnosed and treated, rather than understood. Written by an expert in his field, and accessible to all those interested in and affected by mental health issues, The New Laws of Psychology will change the way we define mental illness forever.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverHealthy bowel healthy body
“You Can Overcome Your Bowel problems with Holistic Medicine. Hippocrates the father of medicine said that all diseases begin in the gut. Well we have come a long way since Hippocrates, but it is still true today, that if your digestive tract is unhealthy you will not be a healthy individual. New research has found that gut health plays a crucial role in all aspects of our health and has a profound influence on mental health, energy levels, risk of cancer, allergies and more. This book presents the latest research and holistic strategies to overcome common bowel problems including excess gas and bloating, bad breath, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and much more.” (adapted from Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverDr Libby’s the Calorie Fallacy : stop dieting start nourishing
“How many of us have been told that if we burn more calories than we eat, weight loss will be inevitable? How many of us have discovered that this century old philosophy does not seem to apply to our body no matter how hard we work, in this modern world? What if the foundation nutritional philosophy that the calorie equation is the sole determinant of weight loss is completely outdated and in many cases wrong? Through sharing her own personal story and the journey that set her on to uncover and explore the biochemistry of sustainable weight loss, Dr Libby shares countless case studies of clients she has worked with over the past 16 years, along with her two decades of scientific research into the principles of body fat loss.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverToxic world, toxic people : the essential guide to health, happiness, parenting and conscious living
“Two of the most pressing yet often ignored issues of today are: toxicity induced disease, depression and illness and toxic parenting. Both of these are detrimentally affecting society in countless ways. Dangerous, untested chemicals are destroying our health and we aren’t raising happy and healthy children. What can we do to beat these silent epidemics?” (Back cover)

Syndetics book coverThe country almanac of home remedies : time-tested & almost-forgotten wisdom for treating hundreds of common ailments, aches & pains quickly and naturally
“Filled with thousands of surprising cures, each entry gives multiple remedies for each condition – everything from herbs to healing foods. Step-by-step illustrations show you the right way to administer treatments from making herbal tinctures to applying poultice. Dosage guidelines are given for every remedy as well as safety guidelines, contraindications and when to call the doctor.” (Back cover)

Syndetics book coverMoving into meditation : a 12-week mindfulness program for yoga practitioners
“Moving into Meditation is a practical yet fresh guide to integrating mindful yoga and embodied meditation, in a 12-week format. One week at a time, Moving into Meditation lays out a plan for exploring body-based practices to get you more in tune with not only your limbs and core but your mind and heart. The book is presented in a systematic, week-by-week format for ease of use and accessibility, and because the author is also developing an online course for which the book will be a central text. The program progresses through the Buddha’s four foundations of mindfulness as well as the koshas”. (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe whole heart solution : halt heart disease now with the best alternative and traditional medicine / Joel K. Kahn, MD.
“Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer in the western world. #1 by a lot. But it doesn’t need to be. The truth is that more than 75 percent of cases of heart attacks, strokes, and other cardiovascular disease events are preventable. In The Whole Heart Solution, Joel K. Kahn, MD, will reveal more than 75 simple, low-cost things you can do right away to avoid this terrible killer. You will also discover sample plans to help you incorporate these lifesavers into your day.” (Book cover)

Internal declutter – October self-development

Finding the essential and rejecting the surperflous in search of a more present, meaningful existence, balancing pleasure and purpose are some of the key concepts explored and discussed in this month’s selection to achieve greater happiness, fulfilment and ultimately health.

Syndetics book coverEssentialism : the disciplined pursuit of less
“McKeown began his mission for a less overcommitted life after he left his wife and hours-old baby in the hospital for an ultimately unproductive client meeting. Punctuated with zippy, thoughtful one-liners, this guide to doing “less but better” offers strategies for determining what is truly necessary, and shedding what is not. Instead of attempting to achieve everything, readers need to figure out how to do the “right thing the right way at the right time.” According to the author, the first step is un-committing: resisting the urge to join clubs, take on hobbies, and maintain unsatisfying friendships. Readers can stop making casual commitments, and can get over their fear of missing out.”(Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverCompelling people : the hidden qualities that make us influential
“When people look at us, what are they seeing? Most of us don’t realize what signals we’re sending, or how, and on what, people are judging us. Neffinger and Kohut, communications strategists and presentation coaches who met writing speeches and editing articles for Harvard faculty, posit that initial character judgments are based on two traits: strength and warmth. As they write, ‘We live most fully when we cultivate both in our lives, when we balance a high degree of individual capability with an unflagging regard for the needs and interests of others’.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book cover“Taming the drunken monkey : the path to mindfulness, meditation, and increased concentration
“In today’s busy world, the mind can often behave like a drunken monkey – stressed, scattered, and out of control. Instead of falling victim to frustration and anxiety, learn to be calm, focused, and free of unwanted thoughts with this easy-to-use guide to mindfulness.”(Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverHappiness by design : finding pleasure and purpose in everyday life
“Pretty much all the advice about happiness we have heard revolves around one basic assumption: that we can think ourselves happier. But in this book, behavior and happiness expert Paul Dolan reveals that the key to being happy does not lie in changing how we think–it’s changing what we do. This book combines the latest insights from economics and psychology to illustrate that in order to be happy we must behave happy. Our happiness is experiences of both pleasure and purpose over time and it depends on what we actually pay attention to. Dolan reveals what we can do to find our unique optimal balance of pleasure and purpose, offering practical advice on how to organize our lives in happiness-promoting ways and fresh insights into how we feel.”(Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverPsychology : 50 ideas you really need to know
“Packed with the latest research, case studies and the arguments of key thinkers, 50 Psychology Ideas You Really Need to Know is the perfect introduction to psychological theory. Professor Adrian Furham offers concise and accessible essays explaining the central ideas of psychology as well as provising the reader with a rich vocabulary to explain and describe behaviour.” (Book jacket)

Syndetics book coverUnthink
“How to think more successfully, by understanding how our unconscious mind works–and therefore how to lower your grocery bill, get someone to like you, and how best to give good news. Your life is dominated by your unconscious mind: by thoughts you’re unaware of and movements you don’t realize you are making. Words, colors, mannerisms, and other cues you don’t realize are affecting you, change what you think. This book explores the unconscious decisions we make, and… shows us how we can understand ourselves and others better, by having a greater understanding of the way that the unconscious mind has an impact of the way we live our lives.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverSuccess, your way : do what you’re meant to do
“Wharton business school professor, G. Richard Shell, teaches you how to define your success personally. But where is the map to help you discover that dream? In Success, Your Way, the author challenges you to set aside ideas of success as defined by society, family, and the media. Shell helps you probe your past, imagine your future, and measure your strengths. By identifying your unique passions and capabilities you will focus more on what gives meaning and excitement to your life. Get ready for the journey of a lifetime – one that will help you reevaluate your future and achieve success on your own terms.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverPowers of two : finding the essence of innovation in creative pairs
“All of us have experienced creative connection, and glimpsed its power. Yet, for centuries, the myth of the lone genius has obscured the critical story of the power of collaboration. In Powers of Two, Shenk argues that creative pairs are the exemplars for innovation. Using scientific and psychological insights, he uncovers new truths about epic duos – and sheds new light on the genesis of some of the greatest creative work in history. He reveals hidden partnerships among people known only for their individual work (like C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien), and even ‘adversarial collaborations’ among those who are out to beat each other. This revelatory and lyrical book will make us see creative exchange as the central terrain of our psyches.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverLove objects : emotion, design and material culture
“How are love and emotion embodied in material form? Love Objects explores the emotional potency of things, addressing how objects can function as fetishes, symbols and representations, active participants in and mediators of our relationships, as well as tokens of affection, symbols of virility, triggers of nostalgia, replacements for lost loved ones, and symbols of lost places and times. Addressing both designed ‘things with attitude’ and the ‘wild things’ of material culture, Love Objects explores a wide range of objects, from 19th-century American portraits displaying men’s passionate friendships to the devotional and political meanings of religious statues in 1920s Ireland.” (Syndetics summary)