Loading...

Follow Book Therapy Blog on Feedspot

Continue with Google
Continue with Facebook
or

Valid

Self-love is underrated. Often associated with vanity and narcissistic behaviour, most people don’t love or value themselves enough. Yet it’s paramount to having a good quality of life and being fulfilled.

It impacts the decisions and choices we make, the way we interact with others and the partner we choose. It’s not just about ‘loving yourself more’ or ‘finding love in a relationship’.

It’s more than that. It’s about being true to your needs and fulfilling them. It’s about self-validation and self-respect and recognising when you need time and space for yourself and when you’re ready to share it with others.`

It’s more than feeling good. It’s about being true to our values and purpose on a daily basis. It’s about being able to accept who we are — our strengths and our weaknesses and still be happy with who we are. It’s about showing compassion to ourselves despite our imperfections. It’s about acting in ways that help us grow, mature, become stronger, develop as well as meet our needs. It’s not about seeking an external relationship where we will be loved. It’s work that we have to do for ourselves. We have to put ourselves first and prioritise us, so that we can be the best versions of ourselves for our own sake and others’.

How do we start practicing self-love? How do we create more of it in our life? Here are 6 wonderful ways to start today:

  1. Become self-aware and act on what you need — not what you want. Be truly aware of what you think, need and feel and be brave enough to act on this (and this might not always be what you want — sometimes what you want can lead you astray.) This should be independent of what anyone else might want for you. This is true fulfilment and it’s often seen as the difference between those who truly practice self-love versus those who think they do.
  2. Learn self-care. Be mindful of your basic needs to stay healthy. These include proper nourishment, exercise, sleep and fulfilling social interactions.
  3. Establish boundaries. Set limits to activities (whether this is work or leisure) that deplete your energy, that cause more stress than it's worth or that have the potential to self-harm. This can be either in a physical or mental capacity. It’s about self-respect, nurturing your needs and recognising your worth. This makes it easy to love yourself.
  4. Establish strong connections and bin those that are not serving you. The right people in your life hugely influence how much you love yourself. ‘Schadenfreude’ friends — friends who obtain pleasure from your misfortune or suffering are immediate red flags in your friend circle and should be remove immediately. Life is too short. You need people who will support you during tough times and who are also there to celebrate with you during happy times. You’ll have a lot more self-respect as well as self-love.
  5. Let go. Forgive yourself for the mistakes you’ve made, for the negative consequences of bad decisions and for the pain and suffering you might have brought on yourself or others. Accept your humanity, be compassionate towards yourself — this enables self-love. Growth is found in failure.
  6. Live your purpose and values. Purpose gives us meaning — if we find this and fulfill our values — we truly thrive — and we can’t help but love ourselves. This offers us true validation and sense of accomplishment.

Even if you are able to only action one or two of the above recommendations, it will make a substantial positive difference to how you feel, how you interact with others and the choices and decisions you make. You’ll find that you appreciate yourself more, you’re kinder to yourself and that you’re able to positively answer the age-old struggle everyone faces at different points in their life: Am I good enough? Yes you are.

Plus, you’ll relate better with others, you’ll love others for who they are, warts and all and you’ll even find that the right people and lucky situations start to manifest bringing beneficial opportunities.

If you’re interested in reading more about self-love, I would encourage you to pick up one of the following books — you’ll be glad you did.

The Self-love Experiment: 15 Principles for Becoming More Kind, Compassionate and Accepting of Yourself by Shannon Kaiser

The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brene Brown

Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It by Kamal Ravikant

You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay

The Secret Daily Teachings by Rhonda Byrne

Daring Greatly by Brené Brown

A big hello and thank you for reading! Passionate about literature, psychology, and life I launched Book Therapy as an alternative form of therapy using the power of literature. I create reading lists/book prescriptions based on your individual needs. Feel free to reach out to me at bijal@booktherapy.io or www.booktherapy.io. You can also check out Book Therapy’s other free reading lists and book prescriptions.

If you enjoyed reading this article, subscribe to the blog.

Book Therapy is a participant in the Amazon EU, US and Canada Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com and Amazon.ca

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

A collection of my favourite book therapy quotes over the past year — enjoy!

Book Power

A big hello and thank you for reading! Passionate about literature, psychology, life and mental health I launched Book Therapy as a form of non-conventional therapy using the power of literature. I create reading lists/book prescriptions based on your individual needs. Feel free to reach out to me at bijal@booktherapy.io or www.booktherapy.io.

If you enjoyed reading this article, subscribe to the blog.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
Photo by Daniel Cañibano on Unsplash

The other day I spoke to a friend halfway across the world intimately discussing how torn I was feeling about living here in the San Francisco Bay Area versus living in London, my second home (my first home was Nairobi, Kenya). I loved living in London and pretty much thought I would spend the rest of my life there.

Until my husband landed an amazing, hard-to-say-no international assignment here in the Bay Area. We were super excited when leaving London and super sad too to say goodbye to the place we loved, where friends and family where just round the corner and which had become my home for the last 18 years, the longest I had lived anywhere. Yet there was anticipation and excitement — we were heading to Silicon Valley, the innovation hub of the world, where world-changing things happened, where entrepreneurial dreams came true, where the sun shone pretty much every day of the year. I was leaving my Investment Banking job (at least for a while) and with my husband and two-year-old daughter, moving to explore new horizons filled with expectations of life-changing experiences, where I could pursue my Book Therapy business full-time.

Fast forward 12 months, and we are coming to the end of my husband’s assignment here and we find ourselves at cross-roads — do we stay or do we head back to London? The pull of Silicon Valley opportunities against home comforts, such as intimate friends and family, free health care and great food, leaves both me and my husband filled with indecision. Did I also mention that the San Francisco Bay Area is the world’s most expensive childcare hub with an hourly nanny rate of $25 — $30?

Decisions, decisions, decisions leave me feeling overwhelmed and often frustrated — this was magnified when I was talking to my friend in a different time zone with three kids of her own. We’d finally had a moment to chat — a moment that worked for both of us in the face of our crazy kid schedules — and the Whatsapp Video chat refused to connect after 5 minutes of the call. We could barely hear each other’s words. We could message each other fine, just not speak over the video or voice call functionality.

Then my friend suggested something that was life-changing. Leaving voice notes and communicating this way. It meant that we could still connect, talk, discuss, despite poor wireless connections, challenging time zones and tricky children’s schedules.

I was skeptical at first — if I was going to talk to someone about something serious I wanted an acknowledgment immediately and I wanted feedback on the other end, instantly. I was so desperate though that I decided to give it a go. Five minutes — I recorded a full five minutes. The first sentence was difficult. It got better and easier and the thoughts flooded — even if there was no structure. I felt lighter all of a sudden. At the end of it I felt energised.

What had just happened? Why did I feel this way — it’s not like I had made my decision — the indecision was still there. Yet, I instantly felt better. Leaving voice messages was like journaling my life, but better. I was able to replay the voice messages back — unlike handwritten journaling where I could maybe read my words again, the playback of my voice, my feelings, my thoughts was a hundredfold more powerful. It was like someone had heard my feelings and fully acknowledged it. It was instantly cathartic. I’m not sure if I even needed my friend to respond anymore. Although, I was happy to hear back from her when she left me a voice note and I decided to reply and do it again. I’m hoping that by the end of the process, I’ll have more clarity over my final decision.

Had I just stumbled on a thing? Surely voice journaling was nothing new. I googled it. And I found many other bloggers and writers who talked about its benefits. I wasn’t alone. People everywhere are using it as self-care. What makes it so powerful?

  1. When you play the audio back, you feel like you are heard. Your feelings are mirrored and you feel understood, acknowledged and validated.
  2. You feel lighter — weighty worries fade — you’ve released your frustration, fear and anger and channeled them into something more productive. Physiologically, tense muscle loosens up. There’s a mental and physical sensation of releasing pent-up emotion.
  3. You start to make sense of what you journaled and your feelings — and suddenly the really important things stand out. There’s more clarity than there was before.

In the age of audio technology (e.g. voice search, airpods, podcasts, voice messages) where its overtaking visual technology (google search, writing, reading) why not consider the power of voice journaling? It’s transformative and after all who better to acknowledge how you’re feeling than you? There’s nothing better than self-care and listening to your inner voice is caring for yourself.

 

Have you ever tried audio journaling? What effect did it have on you? Feel free to share in the comments below!

 

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Hi! We're Reklist and we’re ecstatic to be guest blogging for Book Therapy. Today we're bringing you 5 books on happiness. Reklist is a platform for making and receiving entertainment recommendations (books, movies, shows, podcasts, and music), keeping track of what you've read, watched and listened to. It's also the perfect place to discover new titles. Our 'Explore' page allows you to browse hundreds of recommendations. There's also a 'Newsfeed' where you can view, like and comment on your friends' activities, and a 'My Reklist' page where you can manage your recommendations. We created Reklist as we frequently found ourselves forgetting recommendations from friends and family and with the ever-growing number of books and content available, it's tricky figuring out what we should be reading, watching and listening to.

 
Books are a huge part of the Reklist platform and the following books, centered on happiness and self care, have been notably popular since the start. We'd like to share them with you, as a book prescription for happiness. Indulge in some well-deserved self-care and enjoy books that make you feel good!

 

  1. Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes You may know Shonda Rhimes as the incredibly talented trailblazer who created Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder, and who heads up the wildly successful production company Shondaland. Rhimes made a promise to herself to say “yes” to everything she encountered for a full year, and this book chronicles how that decision completely changed her life. Get inspired to stop saying “no” to unexpected adventures and embrace what life throws your way.

  2. YOU Are a Badass by Jen Sincero
    Unleash your inner badass with this unique and refreshing take on self-care and happiness. Success coach Jen Sincero compiled her best pieces of advice, meaningful stories and healthy exercises to help you be the happiest you can be! Say goodbye to the behaviors that prevent you from achieving your dreams and replace them with practical techniques to create a life you truly love. Her very real, down to earth approach has Reklist users recommending it to everyone they know.

  3. 10% Happier by Dan Harris
    Have you tried meditation yet? Dan Harris is a firm believer in the benefits of meditation and tells his own personal story on how meditation helped him navigate a life of self actualization and spirituality. Dan Harris wasn’t a believer before his life took him in this direction. Through his writing he teaches us how anyone can achieve a level of happiness by reining in that little voice that holds us back.

  4. The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck by Mark Manson You don’t have to act positive ALL the time to lead a happy life. Mark Manson redefines what it means to be happy in this open, raw and non-judgemental memoir. Manson believes you don’t have to always radiate positivity during life's lows. Instead of continually looking for the good, you’ll be happier if you learn to manage the bad whilst enjoying the good. A wonderfully refreshing and unique perspective on caring about the things that truly matter.

  5. Unf*ck Yourself by Gary John Bishop Self-care should be a priority. Unfu*k Yourself by Gary John Bishop empowers you to move past self-imposed limitations, leave your anxieties behind and optimize your life to its full potential. We 100% recommend diving into this book.

You can learn more and sign up for Reklist here.
    Lindsay Borgen is a co-founder of Reklist, a webapp that allows you to send and store trusted recommendations from people that know you best. Lindsay graduated from Penn State University in 2013 and has worked in the marketing field since graduation. Lindsay enjoys all things entertainment, writing and social media.
    Read Full Article
    • Show original
    • .
    • Share
    • .
    • Favorite
    • .
    • Email
    • .
    • Add Tags 
    Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash

    Over the last year, I’ve been observing my two-year-old daughter, Arianna, closely — especially when she’s reading, what lights up her eyes versus what she frisbees past my face in disapproval. In particular, I noted her eyes glued to the following three types of books.

    1. Animosaics.

    Arianna loves picture books but not just any picture book. She LOVES animosaics, specifically Surya Sajnani’s “Animosaics: Can You Find Me”. Vibrant colours splash across each page dedicated to different animal habitats — the jungle, the arctic, the ocean and more. Cleverly crafted each habitat is illustrated with shapes geniusly hiding a variety of animals. Two-year olds are meant to spot the animals and count them. And these are not just any kind of animals, Sajnani has managed to capture rare creatures from terrapins to mountain foxes to snowy owls. Arianna delights at the animals, gleefully spotting each one and counting them too. Once finished, she’ll say “Again?” with her big brown eyes directing me to the front of the book and we’ll do it all over again. Fun and absorbing this is the perfect addition to a picky two-year old’s book collection.

    Animosaics: Can You Find Me by Surya Saujani’s

    2. Sandra Magsamen Children’s Books

    Sandra Magsamen’s children’s books are perfect to cuddle up to your toddler with. “I’m Wild About You” and “Beecause I Love You” are amongst half-a-dozen square hardcover books devoting pages of hugs, hearts and kisses to their readers that screams I Love You to your little ones, they’ll enjoy turning each page and at the end will be happy-dizzy, joyously relaxed and ready for bed. It always does the trick for me.

    I’m Wild About You by Sandra Magsamen Beecause I Love You by Sandra Magsamen

    3. Lift-the-flap books

    Last but not least, Lift-the flap books topped Arianna’s favourite word books, introducing her to a world of new vocabulary and inviting her to interact with each flap on a page (there are numerous flaps on every page). Beneath the flap rest an animal, fruit, vegetable and other exciting pictures for toddlers. Arianna rejoices in repeating the names of each of the items underneath the flaps. If I reach out to lift a flap with her, she’ll quickly dictate “I’ll do it. Mine!”. And that’s just fine for me — I’ll happily spend minutes with her pouring over these peek-a-boo constructs.

    Lift-the-flap first 100 words by Roger Priddy

     

    What does your two-year old enjoy reading? Feel free to share in the comments!

    A big hello and thank you for reading! Passionate about literature, psychology, and life I launched Book Therapy as an alternative form of therapy using the power of literature. I create reading lists/book prescriptions based on your individual needs. Feel free to reach out to me at bijal@booktherapy.io or www.booktherapy.io. You can also check out Book Therapy’s other free reading lists and book prescriptions.

    If you enjoyed reading this article, subscribe to the blog.

    Book Therapy is a participant in the Amazon EU, US and Canada Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com and Amazon.ca

    Read Full Article
    • Show original
    • .
    • Share
    • .
    • Favorite
    • .
    • Email
    • .
    • Add Tags 
    Photo by Ben Kolde on Unsplash

    As a parent, audiobooks are my go-to reading medium (followed closely by my Amazon Kindle reading app on my phone.) 

    As a book lover and book therapist, I can only get through my reading goals thanks to audiobooks. I can listen to them whilst cleaning, cooking, doing menial chores, commuting and driving. You can even cuddle up with your little one whilst they sleep and listen to a heartwarming story. Plus for nursing mums, its gold dust as you can bond with baby over breastmilk and great stories. 

    No longer am I limited to having to spare eyeballs for books — I can simply plug books to ears whilst life happens. A pair of Apple airpods coupled with Audible, and I know I’m in good company. The audio makes the story come alive in a different way — the voices, the authenticity — connecting directly with the characters. Falling in love in with their voices, their words and their souls. The heightened state of anticipation with each and every sound effect.

    I’ve found Audible the easiest platform by far to download audiobooks and if you haven’t given it a go already, there’s a 30-day free-trial subscription so you can see if audiobooks are something you want to incorporate into your daily life — and if not, just hit the ‘cancel subscription’ button.

    And here are four fabulous books to listen to over the next 30 days (before your audible trial runs out).

    Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life (Non-fiction) by Héctor García

    Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life by Héctor García

    Ikigai is the Japanese version of the Danish hygee with the difference that hygge is the practice of doing nothing and ikigai is the practice of staying active by doing something — with focus, patience and joy.

    The philosophy invites you to embrace meaning and joy in everything you do and actively doing this. This is the secret to long and happy life.

    Literally translated, ikigai means your life’s purpose, your raison d’etre and finding this will truly give your life meaning, happiness and longevity. It infuses your day with passion, a vision for your life and a professional pursuit.

    The Japanese strongly believe that you should never stop doing whatever gives your this ikigai. In fact, this is the reason why the Japanese don’t have a word for retirement — it’s because they never retire. They actively pursue what brings them joy habitually.

    A wonderful, little audiobook to start your day with, perfect for the morning commute.

    The Meaning of Human Existence (Non-fiction) by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Edward O’ Wilson

    The Meaning of Human Existence by Edward O’ Wilson

    Wilson, a fascinating biologist, flags shrewd insights that highlight our inadequate understanding of the world. Almost a brief history on mankind, the story narrates human progress across science and the arts. Our self-obsession is what propels our ability to invent, innovate and achieve almost god-like status. Why do we prefer to live near water? Why would aliens never colonise the world?

    The most insightful moments of the book are the ones on religion — whilst religion provides a wonderful sense of community and order in a chaotic world, it amplifies more evils overall through archaic beliefs and the encouragement of behaviours that no longer serve us as a species. Strict codes, ways of being and demands for loyalty instigate religious superiority and encourage discrimination. Blind faith over evidence-based inquiry feeds religious tribalism.

    A serious but brilliant book, that will get you thinking about life’s big questions.

    The Fifth Risk (Non-fiction) by Michael Lewis

    From the genius who brought us two of the best financial books of all time, “The Big Short” and “Liar’s Poker” comes “The Fifth Risk”.

    The Fifth Risk by Michael Lewis

    The narrative king has once again churned this page-turner, spinning a political narrative on the inner workings of the Trump Government, pre-election to present day; depicting what we should be shockingly scared of. Understaffed departments, neglected agencies and unthinkable risks lurk round the corner. For example, black market uranium monitored by the Department of Energy lacks sufficient inspectors to prevent it from falling into terrorist hands — what does this mean? Well uranium is used for nuclear warfare and so the biggest nuclear risk is coming from the White House itself. Surprising insights into the most dysfunctional and complicated government on the planet. In addition Michael Lewis’s voice alone is worth listening to this book for. Hear it now on Audible!

    Becoming by Michelle Obama

    Becoming by Michelle Obama

    Michelle Obama’s new memoir “Becoming’ is an intimate portrait of a lady who has inspired millions around the world. The book delves into her childhood, her work at the White House, her prolific public health campaign and motherhood. And the best bit? It’s narrated by the ex-first lady herself.

    Any other audiobooks for first-time listeners that we should include here? Feel free to include in the comments below! Happy listening.

    A big hello and thank you for reading! Passionate about literature, psychology, and life I launched Book Therapy as an alternative form of therapy using the power of literature. I create reading lists/book prescriptions based on your individual needs. Feel free to reach out to me at bijal@booktherapy.io or www.booktherapy.io. You can also check out Book Therapy’s other free reading lists and book prescriptions.

    If you enjoyed reading this article, subscribe to the blog.

    Book Therapy is a participant in the Amazon EU, US and Canada Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com and Amazon.ca

    Read Full Article
    • Show original
    • .
    • Share
    • .
    • Favorite
    • .
    • Email
    • .
    • Add Tags 

    Jeff Bezos may have successfully crafted a sophisticated, global cottage industry for all kinds of authors from Indie writers to eloquent literary mavens but he also may have accidentally given birth to the book curation industry. In a world where a new book is published every minute, how do we filter what’s worth reading versus what should be shelved? Do we need someone who can curate reading lists for us based on our individual preferences, life predicaments, interests, reading habits and time constraints, that totally personalises our reading experience?

    Apparently yes. Walmart CEO, Doug McMillan, a busy man, who’s constantly being sent books often expresses that “the challenge is filtering out which one you are going to read next”.

    You can trawl Goodreads, Amazon and New York Times bestseller lists but that requires time and effort when we’re poor on both accounts. And can we trust every review? Are books only ‘bestselling’ because their authors have learnt to game the system? In a world where everyone is super-conscious of what to trust online, how do you entice readers with great books?

    Being a voracious reader with a permanent subconscious need to rescue others and share stories of how a piece of literature might resonate with others, I could not help but jump at the possibility of creating personalised reading lists for time-poor people who just wanted to be told what to read. Book Therapy was born and personalised reading lists became my raison-d’etre.

    Some people want a reading list for their shiny, new coffee table; others want something spiritual after having lost a loved one. Others simply want some literary reading to accompany their travel to the cosy island of Fiji or books to immerse themselves in the literary culture of their summer holiday getaway perched in the foothills of Napier, New Zealand. Some are serious and prefer reading therapy to seeing their shrink. They specifically want a book to help them deal with a relationship break-up.

    They’ll also clarify that they only want fiction or non-fiction books or a trending genre. One lady specifically requested confessional poetry post an episode of depression.

    Having worked with tiger moms and home designers, I know how important the book selection process is when building the perfect children’s library — ones that will be read rather than sitting pretty. The Julia Donaldson books may have made the cut but so did Japanese children’s author Yoshiko Uchida — a global, diverse selection for the cosmopolitan Notting Hill mum. I have also bought books for a friend who wanted to gift age-appropriate stories for her nephew on his Bar Mitzvah.

    There is something therapeutic, minty and refreshing about prescribing books to others and maybe why we love sharing our new reads. What’s harder is self-prescription and figuring out our blind spots so that we know what to prescribe in the first place.

    Send me your perplexing book dilemmas — I’ll dive right in, excited to share what I know.

    A big hello and thank you for reading! Passionate about literature, psychology, and life I launched Book Therapy as an alternative form of therapy using the power of literature. I create reading lists/book prescriptions based on your individual needs. Feel free to reach out to me at bijal@booktherapy.io or www.booktherapy.io. You can also check out Book Therapy’s other free reading lists and book prescriptions.

    If you enjoyed reading this article, subscribe to the blog.

    Read Full Article
    • Show original
    • .
    • Share
    • .
    • Favorite
    • .
    • Email
    • .
    • Add Tags 

    It’s the holidays and the perfect time to catch up on all your holiday reading. Here’s our roundup of the books in 2018 that have touched us, made us laugh, made us cry, made us think and wonder with awe and made us fall in love with reading all over again. Any others that should be here? Feel free to comment below.

    Book Therapy’s Best Books of 2018 Best Literature and Fiction Books of 2018

    1. Circe by Madeline Miller

    Circe by Madeline Miller

    Poetic fiction based on the fascinating story of the peculiar daughter of the sun god, Helios. Choosing to build relationships with mortals on earth, she discovers her power of witchcraft, transforming enemies into monsters.

    Zeus banishes her to an island where she perfects her talent for witchcraft. However she is cast as someone who must be tamed and choose between her God family and the mortals she loves.

    The book itself relays many analogies of being true to one’s self and discovering our own magic and abilities. It also explores what is means to be a powerful women amongst powerful men and acknowledges that woman often cannot enjoy a similar status to successful men. Instead she is viewed as a scary sorceress.

    A unique story created by Madeline Miller — if you love Greek mythology, you’ll love this.

    Grab your copy here: https://amzn.to/2KGzfkj

    2. A Place for Us: A Novel by Fatima Farheen Mirza

    A Place for Us: A Novel by Fatima Farheen Mirza

    story about belonging, identity, culture and what it means to be American and Muslim, bridging the old with the new.

    An estranged son, the youngest of three strives to balance being true to himself whilst remaining loyal to the family and culture he comes from. The older two siblings marry for love and not tradition. All reunited at a family wedding, the parents come to terms with their children, reconciling strong family bonds that made them a close-knit family in the early years to weakened ties and betrayal as they find themselves caught between two different cultures after immigrating to the US from India.

    A colourful story from an upcoming literary genius, the book will touch your heart.

    Grab your copy here: https://amzn.to/2u2aTqV

    3. You Think It, I’ll Say It: Stories by Curtis Sittenfeld

    You Think It, I’ll Say It: Stories by Curtis Sittenfeld

    wholesome collection of short stories exploring the human experience — serendipity, surprising coincidences, debatable decisions, missed opportunities and chances.

    Each story is filled with wonderful characters “that take up residence in your head” as quoted by the Washington post.

    A talented storyteller, Sittenfeld crafts tales about envy, affairs, business empires built on lies, difficult childhood friends that resurface from the past and your enviable high school friend whose life may not be what it seems. Engaging human stories that draw you in, you’ll enjoy each and every one.

    Grab your copy here: https://amzn.to/2MOMTyv

    4. The Overstory by Richard Powers

    The Overstory by Richard Powers

    Richard Powers’ 12th novelThe Overstory tells the tale of two very different worlds — one of humans and that of non-humans (trees) caught up in the timber wars of the Pacific Northwest. A beautiful novel of humans reconnecting with nature with a select few having access to an invisible yet fascinatingly inventive world.

    A complex plot with colourful, rich characters — a revealing and rewarding read that will re-kindle your love for nature.

    Grab your copy here: https://amzn.to/2tYAEIu

    5. Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak

    Eleven years since The Book Thief , Zusak entertains us with Bridge of Clay, a novel about five young brothers who are reunited with their father after a long absence having lived on their own with no adult guidance. An emotional tale about family, forgiveness and loss as they discover the secret behind his disappearance. A life-changing literary remedy for life itself.

    Grab a copy here.

    6. Killing Commendatore by Haruki Murakami

    My favourite Japanese author, Murakami brings forth his latest offering after four years of solid writing about a Tokyo artist who paints portraits and embarks on a journey of self-discovery after running away from his divorce-seeking wife. He seeks comfort at a mountain retreat owned by the famous father of an artist friend who suffers from dementia. Here he discovers a painting that moulds reality into odd shapes.

    With an intriguing plot about the friend’s father, a teenage girl and the supernatural, he discovers truths about love, art, war and loneliness. A feast for your imagination, the novel draws haunting parallels with the Great Gatsby.

    Grab a copy here.

    7. Transcription by Kate Atkinson
    After the success of Life after Life, Kate Atkinson brings us this fabulous spy novel set post World War II. Impeccably researched, capturing the horrors and trials of war so meticulously, the story tells the tale of Juliet Armstrong, a BBC producer, who is recruited by MI5 to listen to World War II archived tapes and transcribe the dialogue into reports.

    As she listens, she discovers secrets of undercover agents and fascist traitors and is forced to reckon with unfinished consequences even after the war is over. Dark humour, haunting and harrowing, this book time travels to different decades and is a fresh take on a World War II story.

    Grab a copy here.

    8. Normal People (Novel) by Sally Rooney

    A Man Booker prize nominee and Sally Rooney’s second novel exquisitely narrates a human story about two romantically-linked young adults, finding their place in the world amongst societal and family pressures to fit in. An intimate coming of age story filled with humour and heartfelt romance. Rooney’s writing will make you feel you are part of the story.

    Grab your copy here.

    Best True Crime Book of 2018

    9. I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara

    I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara

    true crime masterpiece by a talented yet obsessed author, Michelle McNamara’s pursuit of the truth of the elusive Golden State Killer who raped and murdered his victims first in Northern California and then Southern California led her to investigate the case till her death.

    For more than ten years, the serial killer managed to evade some of the best police forces in the state. Michelle diligently searched through online reports, interviewed victims and articulately recounted the true crime story. The Golden State Killer was between the ages of 18 and 30 and always targeted suburban homes, attacking families whilst asleep, blinding them with his torch. Often wearing a mask, these families could only identify him through his voice.

    Completed by Michelle’s lead researcher and colleague after her death the book serves as a great tool and resource for hopefully a case that will be solved someday.

    Grab your copy here: https://amzn.to/2IYa472

    Best Business and Leadership Books of 2018

    10. Collusion: How Central Bankers Rigged the World by Nomi Prins

    Collusion: How Central Bankers Rigged the World by Nomi Prins

    meticulous and detailed exposé of the actions of central bankers as they attempted to calm the markets post the 2007–8 financial crisis. Ironically, the crisis catapulted central bankers into significantly more power than they had experienced before. Their policy initiatives led to unthinkable money pouring into financial markets through the very masterminds who had created the crisis in the first place: the private banking sector. This resulted in an immediate devaluation of people’s savings and income.

    Governments were indirectly endorsing the creation of asset bubbles and market manipulation. The EU, by far, led the worst crisis management response. Featuring in-depth conversations and detail from the key players, Ben Bernanke, Christine Lagarde, Mario Draghi and Janet Yellen, the world feels a lot smaller than it is, with the actions of one country having rippling effects on the rest of the world economy.

    Impressive, detailed and heavily researched, this is definitely one book that makes this year’s best business books’ list.

    Grab your copy here: https://amzn.to/2MWi3UN

    11. Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Start Up by John Carreyrou

    Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Start Up by John Carreyrou

    One of the biggest corporate frauds since Enron, prize-winning journalist John Carreyrou, ambitiously tells the story of a young female CEO and Stanford dropout, Elizabeth Holmes, and her company Theranos who sought to change the medical world through the provision of instant blood testing. So powerful was the idea, concept and story, the company was initially valued at US$9 billion only to come crashing down on the stark realisation that there was no technology that could do this yet, despite Holmes’s persistent claims to the contrary.

    Endless testing at Walgreens led to inaccurate results putting patients at risk. Theranos struggled to get it right.

    A fine piece of good old-fashioned investigative journalism by Carreyrou, who interviewed more than 60 Theranos employees as well as test patients and doctors to get to the bottom of the story.

    Grab your copy here: https://amzn.to/2u3udE8

    12. Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs by John Doerr

    Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs by John Doerr

    OKRs stand for Objectives and Key Results, metrics that help determine how top-priority goals will be attained with specific, measurable actions within a set time frame. Google uses it, Bono uses it and so does Bill Gates. Filled with anecdotes and case studies from companies who have successfully used these to grow and prosper, John Doer, the prolific Silicon Valley venture capitalist tells a story of how operational excellence is achieved through the use of these OKRs.

    He first came across these when he worked at Intel for Andy Grove however has since adopted them and imposed them on most of his portfolio companies including one of the best investments he made, Google.

    If you are an entrepreneur or business owner, you’ll be compelled to adopt these before you finish the book.

    Grab your copy here: https://amzn.to/2KCvFYl

    13. The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters by Priya Parker

    The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters by Priya Parker

    unique and unusual book narrating the power of gatherings and how to make them remarkable so that they benefit each and every person at the gathering.

    A gathering is defined as an event where three or more people come together for a specific purpose.

    As someone who has researched and facilitated highly effective gatherings for the World Economic Forum and the Museum of Modern Art, Parker pulls together elements of what makes gatherings so great and how to incorporate these in your next event, whether that is a simple home barbecue, a work meeting, a dinner party or a wedding. An innovative and creative read.

    Grab your copy here: https://amzn.to/2KB1yAJ

    14. On Grand Strategy by John Lewis Gaddis

    On Grand Strategy by John Lewis Gaddis

    As the title suggests, this book is a masterclass on strategic thinking by Yale professor John Lewis Gaddis who taught strategic decision-making as a year-long seminar at Yale.

    For the first time ever the sought after theory and content covering strategic decision-making in crisis situations is neatly captured in a succinct book.

    A fascinating book on the art of leadership using strategic insights and pulling together learnings and wisdom from historical events.

    Grab your copy here: 

    Read Full Article
    • Show original
    • .
    • Share
    • .
    • Favorite
    • .
    • Email
    • .
    • Add Tags 

    As a mother of two children under two years old, devoting 17–20 hours a day to childcare, I often felt isolated and shut off from the rest of the world.

    Throughout the day, I would lose my temper, releasing pent-up frustration. Trapped in a daily routine dictated by toddler and baby schedules, I felt suffocated. At best, I often breathed sighs of relief that there was a routine to the madness.

    In these moments, I realised I was craving connection. As a mother, it’s easy to feel disconnected to the outside world and to anything meaningful. We are plugged into every moment of our children’s lives, meeting their needs unconditionally and that can be fulfilling but when that is all you are doing, the loss of connection to the adult world can dwarf that sweet fulfillment.

    How do we momentarily connect with the outside world? Pause for a few minutes to be re-energised and refreshed so that we can be our best selves around our children? For me, the following books had a profound impact on finding connection and meaning in my life again. Either listening to the audio book or reading the kindle version whenever I had a temporary opportunity made the world of difference.

    I felt connected to characters and people worlds away, whether fictional or non-fictional. I stepped away from my consuming existence for a short while.

    Our need to feel connected to something greater than our everyday existence is an important one and a need that is often overlooked. Everyone has a story of a moment in their life when they felt disconnected — be that the early stages of motherhood, the relationship break-up, the promising job that turned out to be a dead-end or the loss of a loved one.

    The next time you feel disconnected from the world, pick up one of these books. They’ll re-affirm your faith in life, in others and most importantly, in yourself.

     

     

    The Overstory (Fiction) by Richard Powers

    The Overstory by Richard Powers

    Richard Powers’ 12th novelThe Overstory tells the tale of two very different worlds — one of humans and that of non-humans (trees) caught up in the timber wars of the Pacific Northwest. A beautiful novel of humans reconnecting with nature with a select few having access to an invisible yet fascinatingly inventive world.

    A complex plot with colourful, rich characters — a revealing and rewarding read that will rekindle your love for nature.

     

    Man’s Search for Meaning (Non-fiction) by Viktor Frankl

    Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl

    This book is great for coming to terms with suffering, making sense of tough situations and finding our purpose in life.

    The author, an Auschwitz Nazi death camp survivor, illustrates, that through suffering, we find meaning and the drive to keep going. Our goal in life is not to attain pleasure or power but to ‘discover meaning’ and it is the pursuit of this meaning that provides the purpose of life.

    Specifically, the book advocates finding meaning in three different ways: through making ourselves useful to others, through unconditionally loving others and through suffering.

    A significant book that continues to shine its wisdom whatever our circumstances.

     

    The Hero With a Thousand Faces (Non-fiction) by Joseph Campbell

    The Hero With A Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell

    A captivating take on mythology and how they explain human nature and the psyche. All cultures have similar mythology and stories that act as metaphors for human psychology and behaviour.

    As a race we all ultimately have one story, a monomyth, with elements of creation and destruction. For example, there are many parallels between Greek and Hindu myths centred around similar story lines. The Hero With A Thousand Faces brings together mythology across the full spectrum of human cultures, ancient and modern, ranging from Hindu, Greek, Jewish, Maori, Buddhist, Romans amongst others.

    A fascinating examination of the human psyche, including our natural desires to explain our inner world through the power of stories.

     

    The Meaning of Human Existence (Non-fiction)by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Edward O’ Wilson

    The Meaning of Human Existence by Edward O’ Wilson

    Wilson, a fascinating biologist, flags shrewd insights that highlight our inadequate understanding of the world. Almost a brief history on mankind, the story narrates human progress across science and the arts. Our self-obsession is what propels our ability to invent, innovate and achieve almost god-like status. Why do we prefer to live near water? Why would aliens never colonise the world?

    The most insightful moments of the book are the ones on religion — whilst religion provides a wonderful sense of community and order in a chaotic world, it amplifies more evils overall through archaic beliefs and the encouragement of behaviours that no longer serve us as a species. Strict codes, ways of being and demands for loyalty instigate religious superiority and encourage discrimination. Blind faith over evidence-based inquiry feeds religious tribalism.

    A serious but brilliant book, that will get you thinking about life’s big questions.

     

    Beyond Religion (Non-fiction) by Dalai Lama

    Beyond Religion by Dalai Lama

    One of the greatest political philosophers of all time, the Dalai Lama makes the case for living an ethical life based on a universal set of human values that transcends religious borders. The concept that religion is outdated and humans are evolving to become more spiritual beings is the theme of the book and offers promise of a better, ethical framework for living peacefully.

     

    The Book on the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are (Non-fiction) by Alan Watts

    The Book on the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are by Alan Watts

    A powerful little book that will literally change your mindset. Those who have read the book report a shift in mindset and the way they look at the world. Based on Eastern philosophies and the Hindu concept of Vedanta, the book discusses how we are all part of a greater consciousness, rather than isolated beings. In fact acting in isolation removes joy, brings discontent and is destructive — we view everyone and everything with hostility, abusing nature and our own people. It leaves us helpless, angry and traumatised. By recognising that we are connected to everyone and everything around us, we act differently, make better decisions, leave the ego at the door and become more self-aware.

     

    Autobiography of a Yogi (Non-fiction) by Paramahansa Yogananda

    Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda

    A spiritual masterpiece and fascinating autobiography by Paramahansa Yogananda, one of the most incredible spiritual masters of our time. The book articulates his journey to ‘self-realisation’ or ‘enlightenment’. A childhood filled with strong mentors and teachers, Paramahansa trained under the strict and disciplined teachings of his highly regarded guru. Through the study of yoga and meditation, he achieves great feats unheard of for humans (and which would conventionally be termed as ‘magic’).

    Observing regular miracles and living an extraordinary existence, he sheds light on a whole new type of spiritual existence that is far removed from everyday life. He brought his teachings to the United States where he taught for 30 years, crossing paths with other great spiritual leaders including Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore. You may want to read it a few times due to its intensity and detail.

     

     

    A big hello and thank you for reading! Passionate about literature, psychology, and life I launched Book Therapy as an alternative form of therapy using the power of literature. I create reading lists/book prescriptions based on your individual needs. Feel free to reach out to me at bijal@booktherapy.io or www.booktherapy.io. You can also check out Book Therapy’s other free reading lists and book prescriptions.

    If you enjoyed reading this article, subscribe to the blog.

    Book Therapy is a participant in the Amazon EU, US and Canada Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com and Amazon.ca

    Read Full Article
    • Show original
    • .
    • Share
    • .
    • Favorite
    • .
    • Email
    • .
    • Add Tags 

    I have to admit I have been impatiently waiting all Summer to read these non-fiction gems, two of which are authored by my favourite authors and the third by a woman I truly admire.

    Steven Hawking’s “Brief Answers” due for release on October 16, is hungrily anticipated — it’s his final book and the last we’ll hear from him on the big questions of life (namely does God exist, threat of nuclear war, artificial intelligence, space colonisation and climate change) as he leaves us with his final thoughts on an unfinished quest of understanding the universe. The book comprises material from his personal archives and includes a foreward from Eddie Redmayne (the Oscar-winning actor who portrayed Hawking in “The Theory of Everything”) and an afterword from his daughter Lucy. If you’re a first time Audible user, read it for free by signing up or pre-order it on the Kindle and save yourself $14.01 versus buying it at list price when it comes out on October 16.

    Brief Answers to the Big Questions by Stephen Hawking

    From one of the most influential women of our time, comes her highly awaited memoir, “Becoming”. Michelle Obama’s new memoir is out in November and it promises to be an intimate portrait of a lady who has inspired millions around the world. The book delves into her childhood, her work at the White House, her prolific public health campaign and motherhood. Out on November 13 for a list price of $32.50, pre-order your hardcover copy for $19.50 on Amazon instead (that’s a $13 saving.)

    Becoming by Michelle Obama

    Last but not least, from the genius who brought us two of the best financial books of all time, “The Big Short” and “Liar’s Poker” comes “The Fifth Risk”.

    The Fifth Risk by Michael Lewis

    The narrative king has once again churned this page-turner, spinning a political narrative on the inner workings of the Trump Government, pre-election to present day; depicting what we should be shockingly scared of. Understaffed departments, neglected agencies and unthinkable risks lurk round the corner. For example, black market uranium monitored by the Department of Energy lacks sufficient inspectors to prevent it from falling into terrorist hands — what does this mean? Well uranium is used for nuclear warfare and so the biggest nuclear risk is coming from the White House itself. Surprising insights into the most dysfunctional and complicated government on the planet.

    Can’t wait for the book to come out? Hear it now on Audible! Yes the book can be listened to first before its official release on October 2. (This is a new initiative driven by Audible where best-selling authors allow their work to be heard first before publication in written form.) Alternatively if you prefer the written word, you can pre-order a copy and save yourself $9.28 from the list price.

    A big hello and thank you for reading! Passionate about literature, psychology, life and mental health I launched Book Therapy as a form of non-conventional therapy using the power of literature. I create reading lists/book prescriptions based on your individual needs. Feel free to reach out to me at bijal@booktherapy.io or www.booktherapy.io.

    If you enjoyed reading this article, subscribe to the blog.

    Book Therapy is a participant in the Amazon EU, US and Canada Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com and Amazon.ca

    Read Full Article

    Read for later

    Articles marked as Favorite are saved for later viewing.
    close
    • Show original
    • .
    • Share
    • .
    • Favorite
    • .
    • Email
    • .
    • Add Tags 

    Separate tags by commas
    To access this feature, please upgrade your account.
    Start your free month
    Free Preview