Exercised: Why Something We Never Evolved to Do Is Healthy and Rewarding by Daniel E. LiebermanWhat it is: a comprehensive yet accessible study of exercise through a social lens, which looks at the changing role of physical activity as part of the human experience.
Why you might like it: the engaging writing; the author's ability to condense and simplify complex scientific concept and studies.
Don't miss: the non-judgmental exploration of the social and evolutionary obstacles to prioritizing exercise in modern life.
Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times by Katherine MayWhat it's about: the importance of retreat and reflection during trying times and the healing to be found in periods of "hibernation."
Why you might like it: Katherine May pulls thoughtful observations from a wide variety of sources like mythology and the natural world which could provide solace during periods of isolation and upheaval.
Want a taste? "When everything is broken, everything is also up for grabs. That’s the gift of winter: it’s irresistible. Change will happen in its wake, whether we like it or not."
Good Morning, Destroyer of Men's Souls: A Memoir of Women, Addiction, and Love by Nina Renata AronWhat it is: the compelling, heartwrenching memoir of the author's tumultuous affair with an addict.
Read it for: the candid writing; the examination of how codependency and enabling behavior are often heavily gendered.
Reviewers say: Good Morning is a "gorgeously narrated memoir of destructive codependency" that will "captivate" readers (Publishers Weekly).
Ordinary Girls: A Memoir by Jaquira DíazWhat it's about: Jaquira Díaz's experiences growing up in an environment of neglect, mental illness, and omnipresent drug abuse.
Why you should read it: Despite the heavy topics, this moving story is narrated from a place of empowerment and self-assuredness.
For fans of: other well-rendered memoirs about the adverse experiences of women of color like Roxane Gay's Hunger or When I Was Puerto Rican by Esmeralda Santiago.
Strung Out: One Last Hit and Other Lies That Nearly Killed Me by Erin KharWhat it is: a candid and reflective memoir of childhood trauma, heroin addiction, and rebuilding from both.
Read it for: the author's moving description of how becoming a mother helped her find the strength to get sober.
Reviewers say: "This heartbreaking yet heartwarming memoir puts a human face on the drug crisis and the factors that lead to addiction" (Publishers Weekly).
The Anatomy of Addiction: What Science and Research Tell us About the True Causes... by Akikur Mohammad, MDWhat it's about: evidence-based approaches to substance abuse and recovery, which looks at addiction holistically.
What makes it unique: the discussion of ways that mental illness and addiction can affect each other; the special attention paid to helping teenagers in recovery.
Don't miss: the introduction to Suboxone, a medication the author argues will revolutionize the detox and recovery process.
Unbroken Brain: A Revolutionary New Way of Understanding Addiction by Maia SzalavitzWhat it is: a thought-provoking argument in favor of radically reframing our understanding of substance abuse as a disorder with developmental underpinnings.
Is it for you? Maia Szalavitz has potentially polarizing criticisms of common recovery strategies like 12-step programs that may not be for everyone.
Want a taste? "About here's where I'm supposed to tell you that I'm different, that I wasn't your 'typical addict.' The American media repeatedly assures us that such an addict certainly isn't white, female, educated, or middle class. But I'm not going to do that."
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