Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise
Eyes to the Wind: A Memoir of Love and Death, Hope and Resistance by Ady BarkanWhat it is: An inspiring and incisive memoir, which details the author's diagnosis of ALS at age 32 and how his physical decline created a sense of urgency in his work life and encouraged him to reflect on his legacy.
About the author: First-time author Ady Barkan is a lawyer best known for his work in politics as an advocate for progressive causes.
Why you should read it: Barkan's candor, determination, and sense of hope will be moving to readers of all political persuasions.
Scatterbrain: How the Mind's Mistakes Make Humans Creative, Innovative, and Successful by Henning BeckWhat it's about: the often frustrating flaws in the human brain and how these "imperfections" actually help us to learn, adapt, and innovate.
Topics include: the usefulness of things like forgetfulness, distractibility, trouble understanding time, and daydreaming.
Read it for: its accessibility, moments of laugh-out-loud humor, and tips on how to make the most of your own mind's "failures."
Face to Face: The Art of Human Connection by Brian GrazerWhat it is: a thought-provoking examination of the importance of nonverbal communication, with a focus on the power of eye contact.
About the author: Academy Award-winning producer Brian Grazer has worked on films such as Apollo 13 and Frost/Nixon and also wrote A Curious Mind, a book about the benefits of being inquisitive.
Try this next: The Village Effect by Susan Pinker, which discusses the advantages of in-person contact; Collaborative Intelligence by Dawna Markova, which outlines the power of putting our heads together.
Radical: The Science, Culture, and History of Breast Cancer in America by Kate PickertWhat it’s about: This well-researched yet accessible survey of breast cancer chronicles the past, present, and likely future of knowledge about the disease, treatment options, and ongoing debates about screening and fundraising.
Don’t miss: accounts of the earliest cancer surgeries; a much-needed discussion of the occurrence of breast cancer in men.
Reviewers say: “A useful text on a well-known cancer bolstered by the author's personal perspective as a survivor” (Kirkus Reviews).
Wired to Create: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind by Scott Barry Kaufman and Carolyn GregoireWhat it is: an engaging review of some of the habits and traits shared by notable creatives like Josephine Baker, Shigeru Miyamoto, Frida Kahlo, and Marcel Proust; and how to develop these habits in yourself.
Topics include: solitude, sensitivity, imaginative play, and openness to experience.
Why you should read it: Grounded in scientific research, the inspiring insights outlined here can benefit readers with a wide variety of professional and personal interests.
The Big Thing: How to Complete Your Creative Project Even if You're a Lazy, Self-Doubting... by Phyllis KorkkiWhat it’s about: the value of creativity and pushing through the many, many obstacles to pursuing it in modern life.
Read it for: The author’s relatability, as she explains how to tackle procrastination with examples from her experience writing this very book.
Try these next: Twyla Tharp's The Creative Habit for advice on prioritizing your creative work; It’s Great to Suck at Something by Karen Rinaldi if you struggle with self-doubt and perfectionism.
Creative Quest by QuestloveAuthor alert: Musician and music journalist Questlove is the drummer and cofounder of the foundational hip-hop group The Roots, who currently play as the house band for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
What’s inside: a collection of creative wisdom that Questlove has picked up over the course of his career and suggestions for how the rest of us can generate new creative ideas, seek out mentors, and get the most out of collaborations.
Cameo appearances from: David Byrne, George Clinton, D’Angelo, and Ava DuVernay.
Bored and Brilliant: How Spacing Out Can Unlock Your Most Productive and Creative Self by Manoush ZomorodiWhat it’s about: the effects of digital technology on the mind’s ability to be creative and how we might all benefit from unplugging and letting our minds wander.
For fans of: How to Do Nothing by Jenny Odell; The Art of Noticing by Rob Walker.
About the author: Manoush Zomorodi is a journalist best known for hosting the radio show and podcast Note to Self which dealt with the relationship between humans and technology.