Each week, Bookstr scans bestseller lists across the Internet to learn what people are reading, buying, gifting, and talking about most — just so we can ensure consistent, high quality recommendations. This week’s nonfiction picks are new self-development picks that will inspire you to be all you can be.
No matter your goals, Atomic Habits offers a proven framework for improving—every day. James Clear, one of the world’s leading experts on habit formation, reveals practical strategies that will teach you exactly how to form good habits, break bad ones, and master the tiny behaviors that lead to remarkable results. If you’re having trouble changing your habits, the problem isn’t you. The problem is your system. Bad habits repeat themselves again and again not because you don’t want to change, but because you have the wrong system for change. You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems. Here, you’ll get a proven system that can take you to new heights.
In Decluttering at the Speed of Life, decluttering expert and author Dana White identifies the mind-sets and emotional challenges that make it difficult to declutter. Then, in her signature humorous approach, she provides workable solutions to break through these struggles and get clutter out—for good!
But more than simply offering strategies, Dana dives deep into how to implement them, no matter the reader’s clutter level or emotional resistance to decluttering. She helps identify procrasticlutter—the stuff that will get done eventually so it doesn’t seem urgent—as well as how to make progress when there’s no time to declutter.
The key to achieving what you set out for—in business and in life—doesn’t lie in perfectly executed strategy. The greatest tool you have is your own mindset—it determines your ability to adapt and persevere. And, like any other tool, you can employ it to your advantage. While most aspiring entrepreneurs think the next business strategy will manifest the life they desire, successful entrepreneurs know it’s the emotional and mental “shifts” that will bring you closer to your goals. No one is better equipped to explore these shifts than Ajit Nawalkha, cofounder of Mindvalley and one of the world’s leading entrepreneurs and business coaches. In Live Big: A Guide to Passion, Practicality, and Purpose, Nawalkha shares 25 shifts—changes in your mental, physical, emotional, or even spiritual state—that will propel you on your road to success.
For anyone who has ever had trouble staying motivated while trailblazing towards badassery, You Are a Badass Every Day is the companion to keep you fresh, grateful, mighty, and driven. In one hundred exercises, reflections, and cues that you can use to immediately realign your mind and keep your focus unwavering, this guide will show you how to keep the breakthroughs catalyzed by Sincero’s iconic books You Are a Badass and You Are a Badass at Making Money going. Owning your power to ascend to badassery is just the first step in creating the life you deserve—You Are A Badass Every Day is the accountability buddy you can keep in your back pocket to power through obstacles, overcome the doubts that hold you back from greatness, and keep the fires of determination roaring while you reach your goals.
A popular minimalist blogger and author of The More of Less shows you how to methodically turn your home into a place of peace, contentment, and purposeful living with this book: The Minimalist Home. One of today’s most influential minimalist advocates takes us on a decluttering tour of our own houses and apartments, showing us how to decide what to get rid of and what to keep. He offers both practical guidelines for simplifying our lifestyle at home and addresses underlying issues that contribute to over-accumulation in the first place. The purpose is not just to create a more inviting living space. It’s also to turn our life’s HQ—our home—into a launching pad for a more fulfilling and productive life in the world.
Let’s face it, we’re evaluating our lives every single day, so a holiday like “Evaluate Your Life Day” is null and void. However, how often do you really evaluate your bookish life?
To live the best life as a reader that we can, here are 5 tips to help reevaluate your bookish life.
1. Start On That “To-Read” List
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As much as we love our books, some of us may not make an effort to actually read them. There’s that daunting pile of books at home, passionately waiting, desiring to be read and serve their purpose in life. Feel bad yet? Good, now start reading those poor neglected books!
2. Create A “To-Read” List
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Some of us may be procrastinating on that list of books that’s piling up, but others are simply floating along, waiting for the right book to just fall into their library. That’s not going to happen! Take action readers! Search for books that may become your all-time favorites! You can speak to friends, ask well-read booksellers, or go online—websites like Goodreads can help with finding new books for you.
3. Cut Out The Books That Just Don’t Work
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As book lovers, no amount of books is too much, that is absolute. However, there are some that we take a gamble on, and reading them winds up being too much work. Granted, if you’re an English major there will be books you are unfortunately forced to read, but that doesn’t mean you have to hold onto them. Donate them, gift them to someone you know will love it, or even sell it—the money you make from the sale can be used to buy a book you will actually love!
4. Read Something New
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Let’s say you’re a veteran among readers. You’ve read all the books, or comics, or romance novels. That can become rather boring, and if you find that none of the new books you’re reading brings you much interest, then it’s high time you shake things up! If you’re a die-hard fan of action thriller, maybe try out crime mysteries. Or if you are more into the dramatic macabre, try supernatural romance.
And to those of you who have never picked up a graphic novel, I urge you to try it! There is something poetic about the visuals of some of these amazing comics. The same can be said for any comic nerds out there, the comics were inspired by these novels, and there are things that the written art can accomplish that visuals may not.
Overall, you never know what might spark a new interested.
In an interview about Joy at Work, Kondo had this to say:
In this book, you will learn practical tips for maintaining a tidy workspace, but also life-changing advice on finding a career that sparks joy for you. I am honored to collaborate with Scott Sonenshein on this book, and I look forward to sharing Joy at Work with the world in 2020!
As a business professor, I know too many emails, wasteful meetings and team conflict take the joy out of work. I’m excited to pair my research as an organizational psychologist with the KonMari method to give people the techniques, advice and inspiration to experience joy in all parts of their careers.
Using the KonMari method and cutting-edge research, Joy at Work promises to “help you overcome the challenges of workplace mess and enjoy the productivity, success, and happiness that comes with a tidy desk and mind,” according to the publisher’s description. With chapter titles like “If You Keep Falling Back to Clutter,” “Tidying Time,” “Tidying Your Network,” “Tidying Meetings” and “Tidying Teams,” Kondo is going to give readers the tools to holistically improve their professional lifestyle.
Tidying up the workplace seems like a natural next step for Kondo, given the glutofarticles that have already tried putting the KonMari method into practice at work. Who else is ready to unlock the life-changing magic of tidying up their professional life?
It’s October, it’s coming towards the end of the year, but it’s not too late to start living your truth and making sure that you’re growing and improving every day. The real change comes from within, after all, and we’ve got five wonderful novels about personal growth to help you on your journey towards the new and improved you.
1. Everything You Are by Kerry Anne King
Kerry Anne King’s new tear-jerker Everything You Are is guaranteed to give you a new lease on life!
Everything You Are has been described by Barbara O’Neal, author of The Art of Inheriting, as “a fresh, imaginative story about the power of dreams and our hunger to be who we really are.” Terri-Lynne DeFino, author of The Bar Harbor Retirement Home for Famous Writers (And Their Muses) calls Everything You Are “real and raw… a gorgeous tale of life told between those lines too often blurred.”
Whisper Me This author King explores promises, redemption, forgiveness, art, love and personal growth in her stunning new novel.Julianne MacLean, USA TODAY bestselling author, notes that “Writing sensitively about characters struggling to overcome tragedy and loss, Kerry Anne King has delivered a beautiful, soulful novel that hits all the right notes—especially for music lovers. It will leave you with tears in your eyes and sighs of contentment when you reach the satisfying, emotional conclusion.”
I’m already welling up!
One tragic twist of fate destroyed Braden Healey’s hands, his musical career, and his family. Now, unable to play, adrift in an alcoholic daze, and with only fragmented memories of his past, Braden wants desperately to escape the darkness of the last eleven years.
When his ex-wife and son are killed in a car accident, Braden returns home, hoping to forge a relationship with his troubled seventeen-year-old daughter, Allie. But how can he hope to rescue her from the curse that seems to shadow his family?
Ophelia “Phee” MacPhee, granddaughter of the eccentric old man who sold Braden his cello, believes the curse is real. She swore an oath to her dying grandfather that she would ensure Braden plays the cello as long as he lives. But he can’t play, and as the shadows deepen and Phee finds herself falling for Braden, she’ll do anything to save him. It will take a miracle of forgiveness and love to bring all three of them back to the healing power of music.
Don’t forget to enter our giveaway to win your very own copy of Everything You Are, amazing headphones and other cute prizes!
2. Normal People by Sally Rooney
In her Man Booker-longlisted sophomore novel, internationally acclaimed Irish author Sally Rooney returns with a searing and intimate examination of two young people and their relationship as they grow from teenagers into college students, in mid-2000s Ireland. With a TV mini-series adaptation from Oscar-winning Room director Lenny Abrahamson in production, and countless awards and accolades under it’s belt, this novel is one of the finest novels about personal growth published in the last decade.
The Number One Sunday Times Bestseller. Winner of the Costa Novel Award 2018. Winner of the an Post Irish Book Awards Novel of the Year. Winner of the Specsavers National Book Awards International Author of the Year. Longlisted for the Booker Prize
Connell and Marianne grow up in the same small town in rural Ireland. The similarities end there; they are from very different worlds. When they both earn places at Trinity College in Dublin, a connection that has grown between them lasts long into the following years. This is an exquisite love story about how a person can change another person’s life – a simple yet profound realisation that unfolds beautifully over the course of the novel. It tells us how difficult it is to talk about how we feel and it tells us – blazingly – about cycles of domination, legitimacy and privilege. Alternating menace with overwhelming tenderness, Sally Rooney’s second novel breathes fiction with new life.
3. On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong
In his debut novel, award-winning poet Ocean Vuong explores immigrant identity, generational trauma, love, life and growing up. Bearing what is potentially the most beautiful book title of all time, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is written from the point of view of a young Vietnamese-American man addressing his mother as he examines the experiences and situations that defined their life together, from her life as the child of a traumatized war victim, to the family’s move from post-war Vietnam to suburban Connecticut and their lives there as immigrants.
He tenderly recounts emotional, sometimes disturbing, often beautiful scenes from throughout their shared lives, and, as he grows older, his own secret life, through a stunning series of metaphors, vignettes, and stories.
On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is a letter from a son to a mother who cannot read. Written when the speaker, Little Dog, is in his late twenties, the letter unearths a family’s history that began before he was born — a history whose epicenter is rooted in Vietnam — and serves as a doorway into parts of his life his mother has never known, all of it leading to an unforgettable revelation. At once a witness to the fraught yet undeniable love between a single mother and her son, it is also a brutally honest exploration of race, class, and masculinity. Asking questions central to our American moment, immersed as we are in addiction, violence, and trauma, but undergirded by compassion and tenderness, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is as much about the power of telling one’s own story as it is about the obliterating silence of not being heard.
With stunning urgency and grace, Ocean Vuong writes of people caught between disparate worlds, and asks how we heal and rescue one another without forsaking who we are. The question of how to survive, and how to make of it a kind of joy, powers the most important debut novel of many years.
4. Fleishman Is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner
Elizabeth Gilbert calls this New York Times Bestseller “Just the sort of thing that Philip Roth or John Updike might have produced in their prime (except, of course, that the author understands women).” In Fleishman Is In Trouble, Brodesser-Akner explores relationships, marriage, and what happens when it all falls apart.
Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney, author of The Nest says Brodesser-Akner’s novel is “Blisteringly funny, feverishly smart, heartbreaking, and true…an essential read for anyone who’s wondered how to navigate loving (and hating) the people we choose.”
Toby Fleishman thought he knew what to expect when he and his wife of almost fifteen years separated: weekends and every other holiday with the kids, some residual bitterness, the occasional moment of tension in their co-parenting negotiations. He could not have predicted that one day, in the middle of his summer of sexual emancipation, Rachel would just drop their two children off at his place and simply not return. He had been working so hard to find equilibrium in his single life. The winds of his optimism, long dormant, had finally begun to pick up. Now this.
As Toby tries to figure out where Rachel went, all while juggling his patients at the hospital, his never-ending parental duties, and his new app-assisted sexual popularity, his tidy narrative of the spurned husband with the too-ambitious wife is his sole consolation. But if Toby ever wants to truly understand what happened to Rachel and what happened to his marriage, he is going to have to consider that he might not have seen things all that clearly in the first place.
A searing, utterly unvarnished debut, Fleishman Is in Trouble is an insightful, unsettling, often hilarious exploration of a culture trying to navigate the fault lines of an institution that has proven to be worthy of our great wariness and our great hope.
5. The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis-Graves
The Girl He Used to Know is a neurodiverse story about love, growth and life on the spectrum.
Kirkus has this to say of Garvis Grave’s beautiful novel: “Careful to balance the emotional and intellectual power between Annika and Jonathan, Graves creates a believable love affair in which Annika is not infantilized but rather fully realized as simply different. And her differences become her strengths when catastrophe strikes, compelling Annika to take the lead for the first time in her life. A heartwarming, neurodiverse love story.”
Kaira Rouda, bestselling author, Best Day Ever and What Comes Around notes that “This wonderful novel deals with life and love on the spectrum with captivating and heart-warming characters who will stay with you long after you’ve finished. Memorable, and remarkable, Tracey Garvis Graves has written another winner.”
Annika Rose is an English major at the University of Illinois. Anxious in social situations where she finds most people’s behavior confusing, she’d rather be surrounded by the order and discipline of books or the quiet solitude of playing chess.
Jonathan Hoffman joined the chess club and lost his first game—and his heart—to the shy and awkward, yet brilliant and beautiful Annika. He admires her ability to be true to herself, quirks and all, and accepts the challenges involved in pursuing a relationship with her. Jonathan and Annika bring out the best in each other, finding the confidence and courage within themselves to plan a future together. What follows is a tumultuous yet tender love affair that withstands everything except the unforeseen tragedy that forces them apart, shattering their connection and leaving them to navigate their lives alone.
Now, a decade later, fate reunites Annika and Jonathan in Chicago. She’s living the life she wanted as a librarian. He’s a Wall Street whiz, recovering from a divorce and seeking a fresh start. The attraction and strong feelings they once shared are instantly rekindled, but until they confront the fears and anxieties that drove them apart, their second chance will end before it truly begins.
Our minds can be the scariest place, sharing our feelings can feel like a burden, and getting out of bed can be harder than hitting the snooze button for an extra five minutes. Mental health is real, and it’s something everyone is talking and writing about now. These five amazing books are some of the best books out there that tackle this topic.
This book follows Charlie, a boy who is coping with the recent suicide of his best friend and starting high school. He is also still coping with the death of his beloved Aunt Helen, who died when he was seven. Charlie loved her so much he blocked out the abuse she inflicted upon him and focused on the guilt he feels towards her death. He suffers from PTSD, but during his first year of high school he befriends two step siblings who show him the ropes of high school, love, music, and friendship. Throughout the year Charlie does his best to repress his inner sadness, but it eventually comes to light when his friends leave for college and he is alone again. What I love most about this book is how important friendship is and how good friends can help you even in your darkest times.
Online Eliza is the creator of the popular web comic Monstrous Sea, but in real life she is shy and awkward. That is until she befriends the new boy at school, Wallace, who forces her to live a life outside of her online comic, and that is when Eliza realizes her depression and anxiety. Wallace points out that her web comic deals with depression and Eliza being clueless to that fact starts to take a deeper look at herself, the world she created, and Wallace, who struggles with depression as well. What is unique about this story is Eliza not being aware of her depression until it is pointed out to her, and I thought that was interesting because usually people realize if they’re struggling with being sad all the time, but Eliza was so focused on her comic she didn’t realize it until she stepped back from her online world.
Aza, a sixteen-year-old girl and her best friend Daisy try to solve the mystery of her missing neighbor, billionaire CEO, Russell Pickett. There just so happens to be a huge reward of one hundred thousand dollars involved, and fearless Daisy is ready for the case and recruits Aza to join. Together, they befriend Davis, Russell’s son, and individually, Aza deals with her OCD and anxiety, which makes it hard for her to get out of her head most of the time, but she is trying her best to be a good daughter, friend, and maybe even detective. The main take away from this story is how Aza may have OCD and anxiety, but regardless she still struggles with the universal issue we all struggle with and that is accepting who we are.
Alex can’t decide what is real and what isn’t real, and she struggles with this every day. After an incident at her previous school she starts fresh at a new school and she begins to make friends, go to parties and she even falls in love. However, she still can’t separate her delusions from reality, and it could cause another incident to occur and hurt the people closest to her. This is another story where the power of friendship is great, and how much Alex leans on her friends and her family for support. It is important to have those bonds and connections so people don’t have to feel alone, but even in a room full of people someone can feel alone and Alex does, because she isn’t always clear as to what is clear and what isn’t.
Hannah Baker is live and in stereo, she has recorded the thirteen reasons why she has committed suicide. Each reason is linked to a person and each person she holds responsible for her death and she wants them to know it. Each person has to listen to all the tapes and then pass them along to the next person on the list, and although most people don’t agree with this aspect of the book, the most important take away from this novel is how powerful people are and how people don’t realize the part they play in other people’s lives. How a small interaction can make such a difference, how one rude remark can ruin a person’s day, and just how important it is to always be a kind.