As we step into the new year, Ness Labs proudly presents a curated selection of January’s most thought-provoking books. This collection, spanning diverse themes from emotions to imagination and embodied living, have been carefully chosen to spark new insights and foster personal growth. They are hopefully gateways to understanding the subtle complexities of your inner lives and the world around you. Enjoy our January selection!
In this groundbreaking exploration into the elusive emotion of awe, Dacher Keltner offers a novel perspective on how this profound feeling shapes our lives and societies. An expert in the science of emotions and consultant to Pixar’s Inside Out, Keltner delves deep into the history and science of awe, blending his extensive research with personal anecdotes. The book masterfully illustrates how awe transcends our basic understanding, transforming our brains, bodies, and communities. The narrative is engaging and enlightening, presenting awe not just as an emotion, but as a fundamental human experience that fosters cooperation, cultural development, and a collective identity. This book will resonate with anyone seeking to comprehend the complexities of human emotions, and is a compelling read for those interested in psychology, sociology, and the innate human capacity for wonder, offering practical insights into harnessing the power of awe to enrich our lives and societies.
Practices for Embodied Living
Hillary McBride’s latest book is a concise yet profound guide that offers an array of practical exercises for people aiming to deepen their connection with their bodies and emotions. This book is a great companion to her previous work, The Wisdom of Your Body, with a wealth of prompts, activities, and reflections, making it an invaluable resource for those grappling with body image issues, trauma, or seeking deeper self-awareness. Its accessibility could extend its application beyond personal use to professionals in therapeutic fields, providing a versatile tool for healing and growth. The book’s layout, with its beautiful illustrations and quotes, further elevates the reading experience, making it not just informative but visually engaging. Overall, Practices for Embodied Living is a transformative guide for anyone on a journey towards more embodied living.
Transient and Strange
An extraordinary debut from NPR science correspondent Nell Greenfieldboyce, Transient and Strange is a captivating blend of scientific and personal narrative. In this collection of essays, Greenfieldboyce masterfully intertwines her experiences in motherhood and marriage with a deep reverence for the natural world, exploring the intimate ways in which science intersects with our daily lives. Her stories range from the big adventures, like reporting from a space shuttle, to the small touching moments, such as using the science of tornadoes to address her children’s anxieties. Greenfieldboyce’s writing is both emotionally raw and intellectually stimulating, grappling with life’s dualities—birth and death, love and aging, memory and doubt—while maintaining a sense of wonder about the universe, reflecting on the natural world’s marvels from micrometeorites to black holes. This is more than just a science book; it’s a poignant exploration of the human condition through the lens of science, beautifully capturing the ache and awe of ordinary life.
The 5 Resets
Dr. Aditi Nerurkar’s book presents a transformative approach to managing stress and burnout, challenging the common perception of stress as inherently negative. Her perspective, backed by extensive clinical experience and research, suggests that stress, in its healthy form, is vital for tackling life’s challenges but becomes detrimental when misaligned with our life’s priorities and natural rhythms. The book introduces five powerful mindset shifts to recalibrate stress levels: getting clear on priorities, finding quietness, synchronizing brain and body, taking breaks, and bringing your best self forward. These resets are complemented by fifteen practical techniques aimed at introducing sustainable changes in small, manageable steps. Dr. Nerurkar’s insights debunk myths such as the effectiveness of multitasking and propose time-efficient, cost-free solutions suitable for anyone’s lifestyle. Beying managing stress, the book offers to fundamentally change our relationship with it, offering a path to a more balanced and calmer life.
The Imagination Matrix
This book by Professor Stephen Aizenstat is an inspiring guide that offers to unlock the vast potential of human imagination to address the complex challenges of today’s world. The Imagination Matrix describes a step-by-step process designed to tap into your creativity with a blend of guided exercises and meditative practices aimed at dismantling mental barriers and habitual patterns that constrain our creative and problem-solving abilities. By helping you go below the superficial layers of everyday life to tap into your inner experiences, the method is particularly helpful for those who feel overwhelmed, allowing them to reconnect with their creative self so they can harness their creativity and in turn meaningfully contribute to our collective intelligence.
Do you have any books to recommend for the Ness Labs Best Books series? Please let us know via the contact form. We welcome self-recommendations.