A summary of book recommendations and updates from the books page for the month of May 2017. This is a monthly post emailed out to my newsletter. I’m also always on the hunt for good books,  contact or tweet  @juvoni recommendations.

Getting Real: 10 Truth Skills You Need to Live an Authentic Life

by Susan Campbell Ph.D.

Tags: Self-Help, Coaching, Spirituality, Relationships, Communication

Rating: 6/10 — Reading Ease: 2/4 — Reading Time: 8 hours

“It seems that the more you try to get reality to fit within your comfort zone, the more unprepared you are to deal with a world full of surprise, complexity, and change. Likewise, if we persist in trying to get our relationships to conform to our expectations instead of letting them be how they actually are, we may miss important opportunities to know ourselves and others more deeply.” — Susan Campbell Ph.D.

3 Reasons to Read:

  • Cultivate the skill of honest communication.
  • Learn how to take and receive feedback.
  • Build awareness around fearful or controlling communication patterns.

Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging

by Sebastian Junger

Tags: Psychology, History, War, Philosophy, Sociology

Rating: 7.5/10 — Reading Ease: 4/4 — Reading Time: 4 hours

“What would you risk dying for—and for whom—is perhaps the most profound question a person can ask themselves. The vast majority of people in modern society are able to pass their whole lives without ever having to answer that question, which is both an enormous blessing and a significant loss.” ― Sebastian Junger

3 Reasons to Read

  • A critical look at post-traumatic stress disorder and the many challenges today’s returning veterans face in modern society.
  • The effects of being in a Tribe on mental health and stability.
  • Lessons in community building and leadership.

Ready Player One

by Ernest Cline

Tags: Science-Fiction, Dystopia, Young-Adult, Dystopian, Fantasy

Rating: 7/10 — Reading Ease: 3/4 —Reading Time: 10 hours

“I wish someone had just told me the truth right up front, as soon as I was old enough to understand it. I wish someone had just said: “Here’s the deal, Wade. You’re something called a ‘human being.’ That’s a really smart kind of animal. Like every other animal on this planet, we’re descended from a single-celled organism that lived millions of years ago. This happened by a process called evolution, and you’ll learn more about it But trust me, that’s really how we all got here. There’s proof of it everywhere, buried in the rocks. That story you heard? About how we were all created by a super-powerful dude named God who lives up in the sky? Total bullshit. The whole God thing is actually an ancient fairy tale that people have been telling one another for thousands of years. We made it all up. Like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. “Oh, and by the way … there’s no Santa Claus or Easter Bunny. Also bullshit. Sorry, kid Deal with it.” ― Ernest Cline

3 Reasons to Read

  • A story around a Massive Multiplayer Role Player Virtual Reality Game called the Oasis, set on retro themes
  • Coming of age story in a Dystopian Universe where people escape the suffering of reality through virtual reality
  • Clever Puzzles and Clues based on 80’s games, music, movies and other pop culture

Felicity

by Mary Oliver

Tags: Poetry, Nature, Love Rating: 7/10 — Reading Ease: 4/4 —Reading Time: 2 hours

“There are moments that cry out to be fulfilled. Like, telling someone you love them. Or giving your money away, all of it. Your heart is beating, isn’t it? You’re not in chains, are you? There is nothing more pathetic than caution when headlong might save a life, even, possibly, your own.” ― Mary Oliver

3 Reasons to Read

  • Poems by Pulitzer Prize winner Mary Oliver.
  • Poems about nature, love and loss.
  • For those who love to live life in the moment and take risks.

The Elements of Style

by William Strunk

Tags: Language, Classics, Writing, Communication

Rating: 6.5/10 — Reading Ease: 3/4 —Reading Time: 2 hours

“Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects only in outline, but that every word tell.” ― William Strunk Jr.

3 Reasons to Read

  • Practical advice on improving writing skills.
  • Learn how to cultivate your writing voice.
  • Rules for concise writing.

F*ck Feelings: One Shrink’s Practical Advice for Managing All Life’s Impossible Problems

by Michael Bennett MD, Sarah Bennett

Tags: Humor, Psychology, Self-Improvement, Mental-Health

Rating: 5.5/10 — Reading Ease: 2/4 —Reading Time: 11 hours

“Before allowing yourself to take responsibility for other people’s painful feelings, ask yourself whether there’s something you can do that will actually help, that you can afford to do (given your other commitments), and that isn’t better done by someone else (including the person you’re trying to help).” ― Michael Bennett

3 Reasons to Read

  • A self-help book for those who find themselves overly emotional.
  • Learn how to be more realistic and less worried about problems that are not your own.
  • Cultivate personal responsibility for the things within your control.

Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries

by Neil deGrasse Tyson

Tags: Science, Physics, Astronomy, Space, Essays, Cosmology Rating: 7/10 — Reading Ease: 3/4 —Reading Time: 10 hours

“Not only do we live among the stars, the stars live within us.” ― Neil deGrasse Tyson

3 Reasons to Read

  • Easy to understand introduction to astronomy, physics, earth and space sciences.
  • Discussions on the media’s portrayal of science.
  • Forty of Neil deGrasse Tyson’s favorite essays from the Natural History magazine.

The Fire Next Time

by James Baldwin

Tags: Essays, Race, Classics, History, African-American, Politics Rating: 7.5/10 — Reading Ease: 4/4 —Reading Time: 3 hours

“I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.” ― James Baldwin

3 Reasons to Read

  • James Baldwin’s early life in Harlem and a disturbing examination of the consequences of racial injustice.
  • Discussion on race and religion.
  • Empathetically written essay on hate and pain.

Also published on Medium.