Phosphorescence: A Memoir of Finding Joy When the World Goes Dark by Julia BairdWhat it is: a candid and inspiring examination of ways we can connect, reflect, and even find moments of contentment during the most difficult times in our lives.
Chapters include: "Honor The Temporary"; "Why We Need Silence"; and "The Art of Savoring."
About the author: Australian journalist and television host Julia Baird is a regular contributor to The Sydney Morning Herald and The New York Times. Her previous books include Media Tarts and Victoria: The Queen.
Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals by Oliver BurkemanWhat it's about: approaching time management with a wide-angle lens, (beyond to-do lists and schedules) in the shadow of the finite span of a human life.
Why you should read it: Although thinking about time this way can make things seem dire (the title refers to the number of weeks in an 80-year life), author Oliver Burkeman presents his advice for prioritizing what really matters in a reassuring tone.
Reviewers say: Four Thousand Weeks is a "welcome balm to readers feeling overwhelmed by the (perhaps unrealistic) demands of life" (Publishers Weekly).
We're Not Broken: Changing the Autism Conversation by Eric GarciaWhat it is: a thought-provoking exploration of the growing self-advocacy movement among autistic people and an impassioned argument for radically re-framing the way autism is discussed in wider society, written by autistic Washington Post reporter Eric Garcia.
The takeaways: autism is not something to be "cured"; race and gender often prevent people from being diagnosed; any conversation about autistic people that doesn't include autistic people themselves is incomplete.
Reviewers say: "A well-researched survey of autism that will spark debates among autistic people and their allies" (Kirkus Reviews).
I Live a Life Like Yours by Jan GrueWhat it's about: This moving and candid mix of memoir and essay collection reflects on the author's mental and physical health history, delving into topics such as childhood trauma, disability, and living a fulfilling life with spinal muscular atrophy.
About the author: Norwegian writer Jan Grue teaches at the University of Oslo and has published fiction, nonfiction, academic criticism, and children's literature.
For fans of: Sitting Pretty by Rebecca Taussig; Places I've Taken My Body by Molly McCully Brown.
The Power of Strangers: The Benefits of Connecting in a Suspicious World by Joe KeohaneWhat it is: Part self-help and part history, this is a well-researched yet accessible exploration of the power of human connection to transform our communities and ourselves.
Why you should read it: Though interpersonal relationships are always an important topic, The Power of Strangers will prepare readers to approach future, post-COVID social pursuits in a thoughtful, intentional way.
Reviewers say: The Power of Strangers is an "eye-opening account" that readers will find "enlightening and uplifting" (Library Journal).
How to Raise Kids Who Aren't Assholes: Science-Based Strategies for Better Parenting... by Melinda Wenner MoyerWhat it's about: the challenges of raising children to have a positive impact on the world around them.
Don't miss: the recommendations for creating a healthy climate at home to counter the many outside influences children have access to in the digital age, especially around issues of racism, sexism, and online bullying.
About the author: award-winning journalist Melinda Wenner Moyer is a contributing editor at Scientific American and primarily covers scientific topics for the New York Times, Nature, Mother Jones, and Slate.
Love After 50: How to Find It, Enjoy It, and Keep It by Francine RussoWhat it is: a candid and insightful guide to finding love later in life, and the unique benefits and challenges that come with romantic relationships at this life stage.
Topics include: healing from past trauma, expectations around sex, and practical advice about the technological side of modern dating.
Reviewers say: "For those looking to start a healthy relationship in their later years, this is invaluable" (Publishers Weekly).
Committed: Dispatches from a Psychiatrist in Training by Adam Stern, M.D.What it's about: the lessons about mental health that Dr. Adam Stern learned from both his patients and his fellow overworked, sleep-deprived colleagues during his medical residency.
Read it for: the candid and compassionate way Dr. Stern relates the compelling stories of people he helped and the people who helped him during that difficult time.
You might also like: In Shock by Rana Awdish; The Beauty in Breaking by Michele Harper.
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