This Is Not a Book About Benedict Cumberbatch: The Joy of Loving Something... by Tabitha CarvanWhat it is: a reflective and irreverent meditation on the power of our passions to help us get through tough times, express ourselves, and form connections with other devotees of whatever -- or whoever -- we feel enthusiastic about.
Read it for: the skillful balance of serious observations about topics like motherhood and identity with and a self-aware sense of humor.
Book buzz: This book is a "weird-in-the-best-way account of self-discovery that brims with humor and insight" (Publishers Weekly).
Future Tense: Why Anxiety Is Good for You (Even Though It Feels Bad) by Tracy Dennis-Tiwary, PhDWhat it's about: the importance of anxiety as part of the human experience, what we get out of it, and how we can learn to live with it.
The gift(s) of fear: improved focus, heightened situational awareness, and caution (in appropriate amounts).
Why you might like it: In a world where there are plenty of legitimate reasons to feel anxious, Future Tense can help readers be proactive about their relationship with a feeling that isn't going away any time soon.
Building A Second Brain: A Proven Method to Organize Your Digital Life and Unlock Your... by Tiago ForteThe premise: Every day we take in more information than we can process and retain. With a little practice however, we can learn better ways to synthesize information, draw inspiration from the things we learn, and improve our recall skills.
Suggestions include: building a personal repository of information that you find yourself having to look up regularly to save the time and energy you spend performing the same searches.
You might also like: Content by Kate Eichhorn; The Shallows by Nicholas Carr; Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport.
Surviving: Why We Stay and How We Leave Abusive Relationships by Beverly GoodenWhat it is: a candid and reflective exploration of surviving domestic violence and the complex social, psychological, and financial forces that keep people trapped in abusive relationships.
Read it for: the unflinching look at abusive relationships from the inside; the valuable advice for people who are ready to leave and compassion for those who are not; the examination of the unique obstacles faced by domestic violence survivors with marginalized identities.
Try these next: No Visible Bruises by Rachel Louise Snyder; Fire Shut Up in My Bones by Charles M. Blow.
Overthinking About You: Navigating Romantic Relationships When You Have Anxiety, OCD... by Allison RaskinWhat it's about: how to handle the complexities of dating and relationships while managing mental illness.
Topics include: how and when to disclose to new partners; self-aware (but not self-conscious) understanding of how your symptoms present; and how to navigate breakups.
About the author: Writer and comedian Allison Raskin co-hosts the podcast and YouTube series Just Between Us with fellow BuzzFeed alum Gaby Dunn. The pair also co-authored the novel I Hate Everyone But You and its sequel Please Send Help.
Who is Wellness For? An Examination of Wellness Culture and Who it Leaves Behind by Fariha RóisínWhat it is: a thought-provoking analysis of wellness culture and how it has become inaccessible to many people from the communities whose practices are regularly appropriated by the wellness industry.
How it's written: with candid, lyrical prose and reflections on the author's experiences growing up as a Bangladeshi Muslim in Australia.
Reviewers say: "A vulnerable, intensely trenchant analysis of the ways capitalism denies wellness for so many around the world" (Kirkus Reviews).
The Secret Life of Secrets: How Our Inner Worlds Shape Well-Being, Relationships, and... by Michael SlepianWhat it's about: the psychological aspects of secrets including why we keep them, how they affect us, and what it means to share them with each other.
Read it for: the thorough scientific research, which is condensed and explained in a way that's accessible to general readers.
Try these next: Useful Delusions by Shankar Vedantam; The State of Affairs by Esther Perel.
Don't Trust Your Gut: Using Data to Get What You Really Want in Life by Seth Stephens-DavidowitzWhat it's about: how and why to make data-informed decisions about your career, relationships, leisure time, and more.
For fans of: Dataclysm by Christian Rudder; Smarter Faster Better by Charles Duhigg.
About the author: Economist and former Google data scientist Seth Stephens-Davidowitz is a New York Times op-ed columnist known for his previous data-focused book Everybody Lies.
Permission to Come Home: Reclaiming Mental Health as Asian Americans by Jenny T. Wang, PhDWhat it is: an accessible and thought-provoking look at the impact cultural expectations have on the mental health of Asian Americans, with insights pulled from both scientific research and the author's own life experiences.
Why you should read it: With the prevalence of meditation, mindfulness, and other practices of Asian origin entering psychology (such as through Dialectal Behavior Therapy), it's important to check in on the mental health journeys of people of Asian descent.
Reviewers say: "This is a timely and insightful reconsideration of mental health in the Asian American community" (Publishers Weekly).
Golden: The Power of Silence in A World of Noise by Justin Zorn and Leigh MarzWhat it's about: the psychological, scientific, spiritual, and philosophical aspects of silence and its benefits in a society full of noise.
Advice includes: building small, regular moments of quiet into your workday, which the authors call "the healthy successor to the smoke break."
Did you know? Scientists have observed that the slowdown in global shipping during the pandemic and the subsequent decrease in sea noise has resulted in reduced stress levels in marine life.
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Indianapolis Public Library
P.O. Box 211
Indianapolis, Indiana 46206-0211