Our Favorite Personal Development Books, November 2017
1. Dollars and Sense
How We Misthink Money and How to Spend Smarter
Economist Dan Ariely, author of the best-selling Predictably Irrational, applies behavioral economics and a dollop of humor—thanks to co-author, comedian Jeff Kreisler—to show why people make bad financial decisions and how to make better ones. Once a buyer has overpaid for something, why is he or she at ease about doing so again? In answering such questions, Ariely and Kreisler examine such common pitfalls (and pratfalls) as credit cards, budgeting and gift-buying. Seldom is such practical advice about a dreaded topic so enjoyable.
How All Things Are Working for Your Good
Joel Osteen doubles down on his message of positivity and abundance in his new book on suffering. “[God’s] not only going to bring you out,” Osteen writes. “He’s going to pay you back for that trouble. You’re going to come out increased, promoted, and better than you were before.” Given Osteen’s popularity, it’s a message a lot of people will love.
To challenge the way people think of hardship, Osteen uses his own darkest hour as an example. His father died suddenly of a heart attack in 1999, and he had to assume leadership of their church. Since then, attendance has risen from 5,000 to 43,000 a week, making Lakewood Church in Houston the country’s biggest. “You may not realize it, but it’s in the dark places that you really grow,” writes Osteen. “They’re where your character is developed, where you learn to trust God and to persevere, and where your spiritual muscles are made strong.”
3. Get Better
15 Proven Practices to Build Effective Relationships at Work
Todd Davis, chief people officer at FranklinCovey, a time management consulting company, offers a useful and practical guide based on 30 years’ experience of helping people work together more efficiently. Davis says people aren’t a company’s most valuable resource—it’s the relationships between them. His advice is relevant for managers at all levels and companies of all sizes.
On Loving, Dying, and Letting Go
In an absorbing narrative—part memoir, part science book, part meditation—Amy Wright Glenn brings death and dying into the light. As a hospital chaplain, she has seen all kinds of death—suicide, accident, disease, old age—and the loss and grief of those left behind. She advocates a kind of mindfulness, a willingness to be present with the death of loved ones, and being at peace with the knowledge of our own mortality.
Supercharge Your Brain, Reverse Memory Loss, and Remember What Matters Most
“Your brain’s history is not its destiny,” writes Daniel Amen, Ph.D. Not only can memory loss be prevented, he says, you can regain memory already lost. No wonder he’s “the most popular psychiatrist in America,” according to The Washington Post. Author of a succession of best-selling books and host of brain-health shows on PBS, he now brings his principles to focus on boosting memory and preventing cognitive decline.
Fading memory and dementia are inevitable, Amen says. He prescribes a program of lifestyle changes including nutrition, physical and mental exercises, and spiritual practice. Brain health is more than a medical issue, Amen adds, it is a gift from God. When the brain is diminished, our very humanity is compromised. Regardless of age, it’s never too late or too early to start a healthy brain regimen.
6. Higher Is Waiting
Passages of Inspiration
It might be hard to fathom now, but growing up, actor and comedian Tyler Perry was a shy boy. He also grew up in poverty and suffered near daily abuse. His father beat him often, and he was sexually molested by a neighbor. Nevertheless, there were moments of grace and love, too. Perry had supportive examples from people like Aunt Mae, who selflessly nursed her grandfather; Mr. Butler, a dignified blind man who sold penny candies on the corner; and his mother, Maxine, whose love never wavered.
What most sustained Perry, however, was his faith. “Ever since I was a little boy, I’ve always known there was something greater than myself,” he writes. “This holy force was protecting, loving and keeping me close. It was helping me live through physical pain and emotional heartache and guiding me to envision and believe in extraordinary possibilities.” In Higher Is Waiting, Perry uses suffering and triumph from his own life to inspire people to overcome their misfortunes with humility, forgiveness and love.
This article originally appeared in the November 2017 issue of SUCCESS magazine.
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Chauncey Mabe is a freelance writer, book critic, and blogger in Miami, Fla. For 23 years he served as Book Editor and Senior Entertainment Writer at the Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale. He was Book Blogger for the Florida Center for the Literary Arts, the parent organization of Miami Book Fair International, from 2009 to 2012. He also blogs for the Betsy Hotel South Beach hotel, which sponsors literary events year round. His reviews and feature stories have appeared in publications such as the Toronto Globe & Mail, the Serving House Journal, Inspicio, the Palm Beach Arts Paper, the Baltimore Sun, the Juneau Empire, and the Chicago Tribune.
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