Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise
Craftfulness: Mend Yourself by Making Things by Rosemary Davidson and Arzu TahsinWhat it is: A refreshing take on the concept of mindfulness practice, grounded in the value of creativity.
Who it's for: Anyone who finds traditional meditation techniques too passive; crafters seeking new appreciation of their hobbies.
Reviewers say: "concise insights into the beauty and importance of creating" (Booklist).
The Enchanted Hour: The Miraculous Power of Reading Aloud in the Age of Distraction by Meghan Cox GurdonWhat it's about: The cognitive and emotional benefits to both parent and child of taking time to read aloud together.
Is it for you? Wall Street Journal children's book reviewer Meghan Cox Gurdon is not shy about her ambivalent feelings about modern technology's effects on children.
Chapters include: "From the Nursery to the Nursing Home: Why Reading Aloud Never Gets Old" and "There Is No Present Like the Time."
When Death Becomes Life: Notes From a Transplant Surgeon by Joshua D. MezrichWhat it is: A moving memoir of the author's experiences as a transplant surgeon; a survey of the history of transplant medicine and the many relevant ethical concerns.
Don't miss: The discussion of the unique bonds that can form between an organ donor's grieving loved ones and the transplant recipients who owe their lives to organ donation.
Downhill From Here: Retirement Insecurity in the Age of Inequality by Katherine S. NewmanWhat it's about: The condition of America's retirement landscape, with a sobering look at the increasing financial struggles of retirees and the perils that lie ahead for younger workers.
Why you should read it: This is an issue that affects everyone eventually, whether they are already retired, have retired loved ones who might be struggling, or are young professionals just starting to plan for their own retirements.
Help Me! One Woman's Quest to Find Out if Self-Help Really Can Change Her Life by Marianne PowerWhat it is: A refreshingly irreverent but still moving journey into the world of self-help books; the author's candid reflections on how advice taken from many of the world's most well-known self-help books has affected her life.
Who it's for: People curious about the past, present, and possible future of the self-improvement industry; anyone who has been told they should read The Secret one too many times.
Why you might like it: Despite the tongue-in-cheek premise, the author is a longtime fan and consumer of self-help books and expresses affection for them throughout the book.
It's Never Too Late to Begin Again: Discovering Creativity and Meaning at Midlife and Beyond by Julia Cameron with Emma LivelyWhat it's about: How creativity can help retirees with navigating this new chapter in their lives; celebrating the freedom from career obligations to forge a new, satisfying path.
What makes it unique: While most retirement books focus on the practical side of retirement (finances, healthcare, etc.), It's Never Too Late to Begin Again is more concerned with cultivating emotional and spiritual enrichment.
Try this next: Julia Cameron's previous work about life and art The Artist's Way.
Spring Chicken: Stay Young Forever (or Die Trying) by Bill GiffordWhat it is: A cheeky, fast-paced exploration of aging and of humanity's enduring quest to defeat it.
Chapters include: "The Fountain of Youthiness," "Baldness as Metaphor," "The Death of Death," "Who Moved My Keys?"
Reviewers say: "[Bill] Gifford's entertaining and informative book will give readers sound advice" (Library Journal).
How to Make Your Money Last: The Indispensable Retirement Guide by Jane Bryant QuinnWhat it's about: How to make the most of a retirement investment portfolio, presented with straightforward advice and without condescension.
Don't miss: The author's emphasis on how having the right attitude toward money can help retirees hang onto more of it.
The Happiness Curve: Why Life Gets Better After 50 by Jonathan RauchWhat it is: A science-based, journalistic examination of the titular "happiness curve," in which people report feelings of dissatisfaction in mid-life but a return to happiness in their later years.
Why you should read it: Although the research suggests that a mid-life slump is very common, the author makes a point to recommend ways to counteract it.
Reviewers say: "Stimulating reading for those seeking enlightenment and joyfulness throughout middle age" (Kirkus Reviews).
Happy Retirement: the Psychology of Reinvention by Kenneth S. ShultzWhat it's about: How to plan for and get the most out of retirement, based on recent research into retirement's psychological effects.
Read it for: The pragmatic advice, abundant illustrations, and the author's skillful evaluation of the cited research studies.
Chapters include: "Sunset or new dawn?," "Is my legacy secure?," "Passing the flame."
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