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)

10 new self-help books to get you through August

It’s August and there is a light at the end of that winter tunnel! Have a bit of a laugh in the face of winter and explore life lessons from Making Your Bed all the way through to Adulthood for Beginners. We have a wide range of hilarious and upbeat books to help get you through those winter blues!

Syndetics book coverAdulthood for beginners : all the life secrets nobody bothered to tell you / Andy Boyle
“Many of us spend a decade or more figuring out how the world works through a humbling process of trial and error that by age 30 we’re hoping no one who was there remembers. Does Boyle have everything figured out? Of course not. But the breezy and funny advice, lists, jokes, and other helpful tidbits in this engaging book will help readers get through the hard parts faster!” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLifetonic : a modern toolkit to help you heal your life and soothe your soul / Jody Shield.
LifeTonic engages you in a revolutionary experience designed to transform your soul at the highest level and shift you up a gear. Let Jody guide you safely through her powerful self-help tools and ‘tonics’ in order to overcome the negativity, fear and anxiety and issues that are holding you back from fulfilling your true potential. Learn how meditation can change your brain and can be easily integrated into your daily life.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLovelands / Dr Debra Campbell.
“Nothing is more important to us than love, yet nothing is more painful than love gone wrong. During the course of our lives, we can develop dangerous faultlines and crevasses in our inner emotional landscapes due to past hurts, losses and disappointments. Lovelands is psychologist Dr Debra Campbell’s map for traversing the treacherous terrain of love and cultivating the wisdom and self-compassion for healthy love relationships.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBarking up the wrong tree : the surprising science behind why everything you know about success is (mostly) wrong / Eric Barker.
“Much of the advice we’ve been told about achievement is logical, earnest…and downright wrong. By looking at what separates the extremely successful from the rest of us, we learn what we can do to be more like them, and find out in energsome cases why it’s good that we aren’t.” ( Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe zen of you & me : a guide to getting along with just about anyone / Diane Musho Hamilton.
“The people who get under your skin the most can in fact be your greatest teachers. It’s not a matter of overlooking differences, but of regarding those difficult aspects of the relationship with curiosity and compassion, for those very differences offer a path to profound connection. This practical, reality-based guide to living harmoniously with even your most irritating fellow humans, shows that “getting along” is really a matter of discovering that our differences are nothing other than an expression of our even deeper shared unity.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMicro-resilience : minor shifts for major boosts in focus, drive and energy / Bonnie St. John, Allen P. Haines.
“Leadership consultants and executive trainers, Bonnie St. John and Allen Haines heard the same story from clients for years; periodic burnout, lack of focus and low energy. So they dug into the latest research looking for big answers. Instead they found that small adjustments in daily routines, including thought patterns, food and drink, rest and movement can fight the forces that sap our energy and store focus and drive. They call these amazing efficient restorative techniques ‘micro-resilience.'” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA colorful way of living : how to be more, create more, do more the Vera Bradley way / Barbara Bradley Baekgaard.
“From the co-founder of the Vera Bradley empire, a practical and inspiring book that shows women how to awaken their full potential, at any age. A Colorful Way of Living offers practical, inspiring advice to empower women to navigate life by the values that provide the foundation of the Vera Bradley empire. In this highly readable book, Barbara Bradley Baekgaard shares the values that have helped her to thrive in business, health, and relationships” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverEgo is the enemy / Ryan Holiday.
Ego Is the Enemy draws on a vast array of stories and examples, from literature to philosophy to his­tory. We meet fascinating figures such as George Marshall, Jackie Robinson, Katharine Graham, Bill Belichick, and Eleanor Roosevelt, who all reached the highest levels of power and success by con­quering their own egos. In an era that glorifies social media, reality TV, and other forms of shameless self-promotion, the battle against ego must be fought on many fronts. ” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe art of people : 11 simple people skills that will get you everything you want / Dave Kerpen.
“In a world where we are constantly connected, it’s those with the best people skills who win the day. Those who truly understand and connect with their colleagues, their customers, their partners. Those who others like, respect and trust. The Art of People reveals the 11 people skills that will get you more of what you want at work, at home and in life. Accessible, easy to execute and often counter-intuitive, Kerpen will show you how to charm and win over anyone, no matter who you are or what profession you’re in.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMake your bed : little things that can change your life… and maybe the world / Admiral William H. McRaven (U.S. Navy retired).
“If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed. On May 17, 2014, Admiral William H. McRaven addressed the graduating class of the University of Texas at Austin on their Commencement day. The original speech went viral with over 10 million views. Building on the core tenets laid out in his speech, McRaven provides simple wisdom, practical advice, and words of encouragement that will inspire readers to achieve more, even in life’s darkest moments.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

To Self Help or Not Self Help – Recent Picks from Personal Development arrivals

This month, take a look at different ways of thinking and managing your life, explore the importance of habits and find simple exercises for building new routines. Find ways to manage stress and anxiety with a focus on positive thinking, kindness, generosity and fun! Then perhaps consider this advice for self-improvement from an entirely different angle, rejecting the urge for self improvement by urging self acceptance.

Syndetics book cover365 ways to live generously : simple habits for a life that’s good for you and for others / Sharon Lipinski.
365 Ways to Live Generously features lessons each day that focus on one of the seven generosity habits: Physical health, Mindfulness, Relationships, Connecting with yourself, Gratitude, Simplicity and Philanthropy. Each habit appears once a week, giving you a year to practice and make them all a part of your daily life. Learn why the habits are important, discover tips based on the latest research about making positive change, and explore simple exercises for building new routines.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverStand firm : resisting the self-improvement craze / Svend Brinkman ; translated by Tam McTurk.
“How can we resist today’s obsession with introspection and self-improvement?In this witty and bestselling book, Danish philosopher and psychologist Svend Brinkmann argues that we must not be afraid to reject the self-help mantra and “stand firm”. The secret to a happier life lies not in finding your inner-self but in coming to terms with yourself. By encouraging us to stand firm and get a foothold in life, this insightful anti-self-help guide offers a sobering and realistic alternative to life-coaching, positive thinking and the need always to say yes!” (Provided by publisher)

Syndetics book coverMaybe it’s you : cut the crap, face your fears, love your life / Lauren Handel Zander, with Marnie Handel Nir.
Maybe It’s You picks up where You Are a Badass leaves off–it’s a no-nonsense, practical manual to help readers figure out not just what they want out of life, but how to actually get there. Filled with practical exercises, inspiring client stories, this book enables readers to identify, articulate, and account for their own setbacks so they can transform them into strengths.” (adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverEyes wide open : overcoming obstacles and recognizing opportunities in a world that can’t see clearly / by Isaac Lidsky.
“When Isaac Lidsky learned that he was beginning to go blind at age thirteen, he initially thought that blindness would mean an end to his success and hopes for the future. Paradoxically, losing his sight gave him the vision to take responsibility for his reality and thrive. Whether we’re blind or not, our vision is limited by our past experiences, biases, and emotions. Lidsky shows us how we can overcome paralyzing fears, avoid falling prey to our own assumptions and live with open hearts and minds.” (adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWillpower : discover it, use it and get what you want / Ros Taylor.
“Willpower is the heartbeat of a successful, fulfilling work and personal life. But you either have willpower or you don’t, right? Regardless of what you want to achieve and where you’re starting from, Willpower shows you how to: practice the scientifically-proven skill set for enhancing you willpower; make progress immediately and have new, positive habits in just three weeks.The difference between those who get what they want and those who don’t comes down to self-control, Willpower is the way you master it and use it for personal and professional success.” (adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNotes from the sick room / Steve Finbow.
“Incapacity provides time for contemplation and creativity yet pain and discomfort detract from inspiration. Serious illness confronts the individual with the reality of death, the complacency of being is jolted by the shock of non-being. Notes from the Sick Room is an investigation into the connections between physical illness and creativity, concentrating on physical illness – cancer, HIV, tuberculosis and disabilities caused by accidents. ” (adapted from Amazon)

Syndetics book coverThe success intersection : what happens when your talent meets your passion / Pat Williams with Jim Denney.
“From the age of seven, Pat Williams’s greatest passion was baseball. However, after two years in the minors, he had to admit it was not his greatest talent. But a phenomenally successful career in sports was just beginning and when he combined his passion for sports with his greatest talents-leadership, salesmanship, and promotion, he found his success intersection. Williams shows readers how to a) identify their greatest talent b) pursue their greatest passion and c) multiply their efforts through teamwork. Readers will discover how to maximize their natural gifting, focus their enthusiasm, and leverage their talent and passion into a lifetime of success.” (adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLife after loss : a practical guide to renewing your life after experiencing major loss / Bob Deits.
“One of the classics in the field of crisis intervention” (Dr. Earl Grollman), Life after Loss is the go-to resource for anyone who has suffered a significant life change. Loss can be overwhelming, and recovery often seems daunting, if not impossible. With great compassion and insight, Deits provides practical exercises for navigating the uncertain terrain of loss and grief, helping readers find positive ways to put together a life that is necessarily different, but equally meaningful. (adapted from Amazon)