A number of self help books encompass a wide range of topics, from mind to spirit to body to relationships.
“SuperBetter” (Penguin Random House, $27.95) by Jane McGonigal is her latest work about the power of games to change lives. The book is based on an online game she created to help herself recover from a concussion. According to a University of Pennsylvania study, playing the game for 30 days will reduce depression and anxiety and increase players’ ability to achieve their goals. Another study by Cincinnati Children’s Hospital concluded playing the game will strengthen family ties. The book explains how to develop the skills of the game: optimism, persistence, courage and determination. She provides templates for three games which will provide six weeks of practice in SuperBetter gaming.
“The People Factor” (Thomas Nelson, $16.99) by Van Moody is a detailed guide to building strong relationships at home, with friends and at work. The book explains how to develop only mutually beneficial relationships and avoid those that hinder self-progress.
“Getting to Yes with People” (Harper One, $26.99), by William Fry postulates that people do not succeed because they react in ways which undermine their own self-interest. He explains how to understand the needs of others and still get to the desired aim.
“The Good Gut” (Penguin Press, $27.95) by Justin Sonnenburg and Erica Sonnenburg is about the gut bacteria which control health and determine which diseases people develop. The book explains how these bacteria contribute to weight, allergies, aging and emotional states. Changes in diet, overuse of antibiotics and oversterilization have killed many helpful bacteria. The book offers diet and lifestyle plans to improve microbial balance and menus to build the body.
“Irrationally Yours” (HarperPerennial, $15.99) by Dan Ariely is a collection of the author’s Wall Street Journal columns about human behavior. He answers such questions as why people eat when they have long-term diet goals, why whistleblowers are often punished more than those they expose, why socks get lost in the laundry, and countless other seemingly impossible questions. Witty, relevant and well-written, the book continues Ariely’s reputation as one of the best observers of modern human behavior.
“Discernment” (Harper One, $25.99), by Henri J. M. Nouwen, is the third part of the theologian’s trilogy on how to lead a spiritual life. The book explains in simple terms how to exercise spiritual discernment in daily life.
“Raising Your Spirited Child” (William Morrow) by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka is the third edition of this best-selling advice book for those attempting to raise a spirited child. The book helps parents identify behavior triggers, avoid meltdowns particularly at bedtime or when doing homework, avoid peer and sibling conflicts, teach good behaviors and productive actions and help family members get enough sleep and have the ability to enjoy being a family.
“All Joy and No Fun” (Ecco, $15.99) by Jennifer Senior is a look at the impact children have on parents’ lives, hobbies, jobs, friendships and even self-concepts. Trying to raise children can ruin marriages, destroy health and drive parents to emotional bankruptcy, she says. She offers techniques for regaining control and learning to live a more balanced life.
“A Girl Walks into a Bar” and “A Girl Walks into a Wedding” (William Morrow, $5.99 each) by Helena S. Paige presents readers with a variety of fantasies with no set endings. The reader gets to choose his or her own ending, making these books an endless source of contemporary decision-making.