New Year, New You

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New Year, New You

Nonfiction for Living Your Best Life

It’s the beginning of the new year, so it’s time to start thinking about your goals and intentions for personal betterment (if you’re into that kind of thing). Even if you’re not up to writing down or articulating your resolutions, you may want to pick up a few titles that will encourage personal growth. Here are six titles to get you started toward a more-informed you.


We Need to Talk: How to Have Conversations That Matter by Celeste Headlee
NPR contributor and speaker Celeste Headlee brings her well-known TED Talk to print with We Need to Talk. Focusing on communication, Headlee recommends practices that can lead to deeper and more meaningful conversations. A quick read with punchy chapters, Headlee’s book is immediately practical and actionable. If you’re looking to have conversations of consequence or perhaps feel technology and social media has somewhat stunted your conversation abilities, We Need to Talk is a great place to start.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain
On the opposite end of the spectrum, if you’re an introvert -- or know an introvert (and you certainly do!) -- looking to reaffirm your place in the world, Susan Cain’s Quiet is an ideal read. Pulling from plenty of research, Cain demonstrates the importance of introverts in a society that does not seem to value them. Whether you need a personal boost that says you are of value or you’re looking to find out how to harness your introversion to its greatest impact, Quiet will give you a push in the right direction.

Tinker Dabble Doodle Try: Unlock the Power of the Unfocused Mind by Srini Pillay
If you have lots of plans you’re looking to put into motion this new year but feel stuck, give Tinker Dabble Doodle Try a read. Harvard professor and psychiatrist Srini Pillay suggests strategies to make the most of unfocus and take advantage of your brain at a seeming rest. These four activities have more potential than you might realize and Pillay is prepared to help you use them so that you can get started on your next big thing.

Supernormal: The Untold Story of Adversity and Resilience by Meg Jay
You might believe you’re nothing special, but Meg Jay is here to show you that you actually are. From stories of childhood trauma to challenges in adulthood, Jay draws from years of research and conversations with the seemingly common to demonstrate their incredible powers of survival. At times both disheartening and inspiring, Supernormal suggests a new way of viewing yourself and the people around you. With Supernormal, become more self-aware and learn to direct your abilities to be the best you.

Awkward: The Science of Why We’re Socially Awkward and Why That’s Awesome by Ty Tashiro
Maybe you don’t believe you’re just common, but also awkward. Ty Tashiro’s Awkward will put your concerns to rest as he demonstrates correlation between social awkwardness and desirable traits. Whether you are awkward yourself (and it’s okay if you are!) or you have an awkward child in your life, Tashiro can help guide you to use this self-awareness to its greatest impact. Tashiro also provides guidance for managing existing awkwardness.

Annoying: The Science of What Bugs Us by Joe Palca and Flora Lichtman.
Another NPR veteran, Joe Palca dives into the world of annoyances and why we are wired to be annoyed by them. Emerging from Annoying with an understanding of the why behind our irritation, readers can better approach annoying situations and respond in pursuit of more favorable outcomes. From terrible traffic to chili peppers, find out the reason behind the vexation and work toward a calmer and more peaceful you.