All Joy and No Fun by Jennifer Senior : Thousands of books have examined the effects of parents on their children. But almost none have thought to ask: What are the effects of children on their parents?
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert: Gilbert encourages us to uncover the “strange jewels” that are hidden within each of us. Whether we are looking to write a book, make art, find new ways to address challenges in our work, embark on a dream long deferred, or simply infuse our everyday lives with more mindfulness and passion, Big Magic cracks open a world of wonder and joy.
Daring Greatly by Brene Brown: Daring Greatly is not about winning or losing. It’s about courage. When we step back and examine our lives, we will find that nothing is as uncomfortable, dangerous, and hurtful as standing on the outside of our lives looking in and wondering what it would be like if we had the courage to step into the arena.
How to Be Here Now by Rob Bell: Each of us was created for something great—we just need to figure out what it is and find the courage to do it. How to Be Here lays out concrete steps we can use to define and follow our dreams.
How to Raise an Adult by Julie Lythcott-Haims: A provocative manifesto that exposes the harms of helicopter parenting and sets forth an alternate philosophy for raising preteens and teens to self-sufficient young adulthood.
Married to Distraction: How to Restore Intimacy and Strengthen Your Partnership in an Age of Interruption by Edward and Sue Hallowell: Modern marriage is busy, distracted, and overloaded to extremes, with ever-increasing lists of things to do, superficial electronic connections, and interrupted moments. The good news is that there are straightforward and effective ways to restore communication and connection, resurrect happiness and romance, and strengthen—even save—a marriage.
Masterminds and Wingmen by Rosalind Wiseman: What you’ll find in Masterminds and Wingmen is critically important for every parent – or anyone who cares about boys – to know. Not only does Wiseman challenge you to examine your assumptions, she offers innovative coping strategies aimed at helping your boy develop a positive, authentic, and strong sense of self.
Minimalist Parenting: Enjoy Modern Family Life More by Doing Less by Christine K. Koh and Asha Dornfest: We’re in the midst of a parenting climate that feeds on more. More expert advice, more gear, more fear about competition and safety, and more choices to make about education, nutrition, even entertainment. The result? Overwhelmed, confused parents and overscheduled, overparented kids. Filled with parents’ personal stories, readers will come away with a unique plan for a simpler life.
Perfect Madness: Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety by Judith Warner: Warner offers a context in which to understand parenting culture and the way we live, as well as ways of imagining alternatives–actual concrete changes–that might better our lives.
Queen Bees and Wannabees by Rosalind Wiseman: Queen Bees and Wannabes will equip you with all the tools you need to build the right foundation to help your daughter make smarter choices and empower her during this baffling, tumultuous time of life.
Slowing Down to The Speed of Life by Richard Carlson and Joseph Bailey: The classic guide to creating a more peaceful, simpler life from the inside out. With practical and easy exercises to help you slow down your mind and focus on the present moment.
Strong Mothers, Strong Sons by Meg Meeker M. D.: This empowering book offers a road map to help mothers find the strength and confidence to raise extraordinary sons by providing encouragement, education, and practical advice.
The Happiest Mommy You Know by Genevieve Shaw Brown: The Happiest Mommy You Know is the life-changing and incredibly positive approach to the challenges of modern parenting—and gives parents permission to finally treat themselves better.
The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin: “The days are long, but the years are short,” she realized. “Time is passing, and I’m not focusing enough on the things that really matter.” In that moment, she decided to dedicate a year to her happiness project. Rubin chronicles her adventures during the twelve months she spent test-driving the wisdom of the ages, current scientific research, and lessons from popular culture about how to be happier.
The Sweet Spot: How to Find Your Grove at Home and Work by Christine Carter Ph.D.: Learn how to achieve more by doing less. Live in that zone you’ve glimpsed but can’t seem to hold on to—the sweet spot where you have the greatest strength, but also the greatest ease.
Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents by Christine Carter Ph.D: What do we wish most for our children? Next to being healthy, we want them to be happy, of course! Fortunately, a wide array of scientific studies show that happiness is a learned behavior, a muscle we can help our children build and maintain.
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown: Have you ever felt the urge to declutter your life? Do you often find yourself stretched too thin? Are you frequently busy but not productive? If you answered yes to any of these, the way out is the Way of the Essentialist. The Way of the Essentialist isn’t about getting more done in less time. It’s about getting only the right things done. It about discerning what is absolutely essential, then eliminating everything that is not, so we can make the highest possible contribution towards the things that really matter.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson: Mark cuts through the crap to show us how to stop trying to be “positive” all the time so that we can truly become better, happier people. Once we embrace our fears, faults, and uncertainties, once we stop running and avoiding and start confronting painful truths, we can begin to find the courage, perseverance, honesty, responsibility, curiosity, and forgiveness we seek. There are only so many things we can give a f**k about so we need to figure out which ones really matter.
What Will They Say About You When You Are Gone? By Rabbi Daniel Cohen There’s not one person alive who hasn’t confronted their own mortality. Each of us, at some point, wakes up to the reality that our time on Earth is limited. But how do we lead our lives with a sense of urgency every day? How do we develop the courage to make choices not based on pressure but on principle? How do we create the sacred space to reflect on who we are and who we want to be so we can realize our innermost goals and dreams?
Reclaim Your Brain by Dr. Joseph Annibali : The underlying problem for most of us is a Too-Busy Brain, a great irritant that interferes with attention, concentration, focus, mood, and often much more. It may even be a sign of undetected damage to either the brain or the body itself. But through practical strategies, understandable explanations, and prescriptive mind-management techniques, Dr. Annibali will help readers finally reclaim their brains and get back in control of their lives.
The Vanishing American Adult by Ben Sasse: Sasse diagnoses the causes of a generation that can’t grow up and offers a path for raising children to become active and engaged citizens. He identifies core formative experiences that all young people should pursue: hard work to appreciate the benefits of labor, travel to understand deprivation and want, the power of reading, the importance of nurturing your body―and explains how parents can encourage them.
The Minds of Boys by Michael Gurian: This enormously fascinating and practical book shows parents and teachers how to help boys overcome their current classroom obstacles by helping to create the proper learning environment, understand how to help boys work with their unique natural gifts, nurture and expand every bit of their potential, and enabling them to succeed in life the way they ought to.
The Second Journey: The Road Back to Yourself by Joan Anderson: This memoir is a coming-of-age story for every woman who has asked herself: “Now what?” This book is a permission slip for any woman who seeks to step out of line and create her own destiny. Joan inspires and instructs readers to find peace and a unique purpose within their own lives.
Keep Calm and Parent On: A Guilt-Free Approach to Raising Children by Asking More from Them and Doing Less By Emma Jenner: With an interactive format and straightforward solutions, this invaluable guide is designed to give parents bite-size takeaways they can use immediately with their children. By connecting the dots in all areas of your child’s life, you can understand why he or she is acting out—and how to fix it. A strong proponent of raising our expectations, Jenner shows how parents can do more by doing less for their children.
The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be by Jack Canfield: This book helps you get from where you are to where you want to be, teaching you how to increase your confidence, tackle daily challenges, live with passion and purpose, and realize all your ambitions
Clutterfree with Kids: Change your thinking. Discover new habits. Free your home By Joshua Becker: This book offers a new perspective and fresh approach to overcoming clutter. With helpful insights, the book serves as a valuable resource for parents. Through practical application and inspirational stories, Clutterfree with Kids invites us to change our thinking, discover new habits, and free our homes. It invites us to reevaluate our lives. And it just may inspire you to live the life you’ve been searching for all along.
Why Have Kids?: A New Mom Explores the Truth About Parenting and Happiness by Jessica Valenti: Valenti explores controversial parenting questions through on-the-ground reporting, startling new research, and her own unique experiences as a mom. She moves beyond the black and white “mommy wars” over natural parenting, discipline, and work-life balance to explore a more nuanced reality: one filled with ambivalence, joy, guilt, and exhaustion.
Transforming Stress for Teens: The HeartMath Solution for Staying Cool Under Pressure by Rollin McCraty PhD,Sarah Moor, Jeff Goelitz, Stephen W. Lance MS: This is NOT just for teens! Using these practical evidence-based concepts and techniques, this book will help you manage stress by showing you how to manage your emotions. And with these emotion regulation skills, like the relaxing heart-breathing technique, you’ll feel calmer, be more confident, think more clearly, bounce back from challenging situations, and enjoy life with a new understanding of what’s really important to you.
Raising Human Beings: Creating a Collaborative Partnership with Your Child by Dr. Ross Greene: Parents have an important task: figure out who their child is—his or her skills, preferences, beliefs, values, personality traits, goals, and direction—get comfortable with it, and then help them pursue and live a life according to it. Yet parents also want their kids to be independent, but not if they are going to make bad choices. They want to avoid being too overbearing, but not if an apathetic kid is what they have to show for it. They want to have a good relationship with their kids, but not if that means being a pushover. They don’t want to scream, but they do want to be heard. Good parenting is about striking the balance between a child’s characteristics and a parent’s desire to have influence.
Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done by Jon Acuff: You might not guess that having more fun, eliminating your secret rules, and choosing something to bomb intentionally works. But the data says otherwise. People who have fun are 43 percent more successful! Imagine if your diet, guitar playing, or small business was 43 percent more successful just by following a few simple principles.
The Road to Character by David Brooks:
Looking to some of the world’s greatest thinkers and inspiring leaders, Brooks explores how, through internal struggle and a sense of their own limitations, they have built a strong inner character. Blending psychology, politics, spirituality, and confessional, The Road to Character provides an opportunity for us to rethink our priorities, and strive to build rich inner lives marked by humility and moral depth.
Mother & Son: The Respect Effect by Emerson Eggerich: The idea of moms respecting their sons may sound alien to some, but it seems to ignite curiosity across the board. It is easy to relate to the need for all of us to feel a mother’s love, but is that the same thing as respect? Even for young boys, the effect of respect is nothing short of astounding when applied properly. Moms yearn to learn anything that better helps them with their sons. After all, they love their boys, but many find them more difficult to parent than their girls.
How to Raise Kind Kids by Thomas Lickona: We all want our kids to be kind. But that is not the same as knowing what to do when you catch your son being unkind. Kindness doesn’t stand on its own. It needs a supporting cast of other essential virtues—like courage, self-control, respect, and gratitude. How to Raise Kind Kids will help you give and get respect, hold family meetings to tackle persistent problems, discipline in a way that builds character, and improve the dynamic of your relationship with your children while putting them on the path to a happier and more fulfilling life.
Life Reimagined by Barbara Hagerty: In Life Reimagined, Hagerty explains that midlife is about renewal: It’s the time to renegotiate your purpose, refocus your relationships, and transform the way you think about the world and yourself. Drawing from emerging information in neurology, psychology, biology, genetics, and sociology—as well as her own story of midlife transformation—Hagerty redraws the map for people in midlife and plots a new course forward in understanding our health, our relationships, even our futures.
Excellent Sheep by William Deresiewicz: Excellent Sheep takes a sharp look at the high-pressure conveyor belt that begins with parents and counselors who demand perfect grades and culminates in the skewed applications Deresiewicz saw firsthand as a member of Yale’s admissions committee. As schools shift focus from the humanities to “practical” subjects like economics, students are losing the ability to think independently. It is essential, says Deresiewicz, that college be a time for self-discovery, when students can establish their own values and measures of success in order to forge their own paths.