At Ness Labs, we believe in the power of ideas and the profound impact of continuously feeding our minds with thoughtful content. Each month, we meticulously curate a selection of books that truly stand out in an ocean of new releases.
This series aims to highlight the work that can serve as a compass to navigate life and work, so we can collectively learn, evolve, and thrive. This is your guide to discovering the most insightful, inspiring, and transformative books on mindful productivity, creative growth, holistic ambition, and developing a healthier relationship with work. Here is our pick for September!
Master of Change
This new book by Brad Stulberg is a timely guide in our rapidly evolving world, presenting change not as an adversary but as a cyclical and transformative force. With a blend of contemporary research and timeless wisdom, Stulberg introduces the mindset of “rugged flexibility”, encouraging adaptability amidst life’s inevitable shifts. The book balances profound insights with actionable strategies, offering readers both a compass and a toolkit for navigating personal and global disruptions. This is an essential read for anyone aiming to thrive in an age where change is the only constant.
The Learning Game
In The Learning Game, Ana Lorena Fábrega, affectionately known as Ms. Fab, challenges conventional education’s foundational structures and principles. As a teacher turned edupreneur, Fábrega brings to the fore the glaring inconsistencies in our age-old schooling system, prompting readers to question whether the classroom confines truly serve our children’s best interests. The book delves into the restrictive nature of standardized learning and juxtaposes it against the boundless potential of self-directed, passionate pursuits. Drawing from her own experiences and pioneering educational insights, Ms. Fab offers many actionable strategies to foster genuine curiosity and independent thinking in children. This book is more than just a critique—it’s a call for every educator, parent, and stakeholder to re-envision education, steering it away from rote memorization and towards true, lifelong learning.
With his newest book, Michael Easter delivers an incisive exploration into our insatiable quest for more—whether it’s food, material possessions, information, or power. Drawing on his expertise in behavior change, Easter paints a vivid picture of our evolutionary predispositions. He suggests that our ancient survival instincts, rooted in a scarcity mindset, have become maladaptive in our modern world of plenty. Scarcity Brain reveals the manipulative scarcity cues propagated by various modern systems, which, often unbeknownst to us, steer us toward detrimental habits. This book offers not only a reflection on human behavior—from understanding the mechanics of slot machines in Las Vegas to the solitude practiced by Benedictine monks—but also a manual to navigate our world of excess with wisdom and intentionality, with practical methods to cultivate an abundance mindset.
The Art of Explanation
Demystifying the process behind his viral explainer videos, BBC journalist and presenter Ros Atkins dives deep into the art of articulate communication. With a cacophony of information bombarding us daily, Atkins highlights the need for crisp, clear, and compelling explanations. The objective is that your voice isn’t just heard but genuinely understood. Drawing from his vast experience in the pressure-cooker environment of newsrooms, he breaks down the mechanics of effective communication into ten crucial elements and seven actionable steps. These insights, presented with relatable examples in The Art of Explanation, serve as a practical toolkit for anyone seeking to elevate their explanatory prowess—whether it is for essays, presentations, or day-to-day emails. This book is an excellent guide on effective communication and will convince you even more of the value of clarity amidst informational chaos.
The Perfection Trap
In an age where burnout and depression are rampant, fueled by social media comparisons, aggressive workplace dynamics, elite credentialing, and overzealous parenting, Thomas Curran sheds light on the grave consequences of our obsession with perfection. Drawing on extensive research and evidence, Curran challenges the profoundly ingrained cultural narratives around success and achievement. In The Perfection Trap, he meticulously dissects the detrimental effects of perfectionism, from hampering genuine performance to exacerbating social and financial disparities. Curran also provides actionable guidance for individuals to resist the crushing pressures of perfection, urging readers to redefine success. If you’re overwhelmed by today’s unrealistic standards, this book can provide a path to a more realistic approach to life and work.
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.