SuperBetter

SuperBetterSuperBetter
By Jane McGonigal

An innovative guide to living gamefully, based on the program that has already helped nearly half a million people achieve remarkable personal growth.

In 2009, internationally renowned game designer Jane McGonigal suffered a severe concussion. Unable to think clearly or work or even get out of bed, she became anxious and depressed, even suicidal. But rather than let herself sink further, she decided to get better by doing what she does best: she turned her recovery process into a resilience-building game. What started as a simple motivational exercise quickly became a set of rules for post-traumatic growth that she shared on her blog. These rules led to a digital game and a major research study with the National Institutes of Health. Today nearly half a million people have played SuperBetter to get stronger, happier, and healthier.

But the life-changing ideas behind SuperBetter are much bigger than just one game. In this book, McGonigal reveals a decade’s worth of scientific research into the ways all games including videogames, sports, and puzzles change how we respond to stress, challenge, and pain. She explains how we can cultivate new powers of recovery and resilience in everyday life simply by adopting a more gameful mindset. Being gameful means bringing the same psychological strengths we naturally display when we play games such as optimism, creativity, courage, and determination to real-world goals.

Drawing on hundreds of studies, McGonigal shows that getting superbetter is as simple as tapping into the three core psychological strengths that games help you build: your ability to control your attention, and therefore your thoughts and feelings; your power to turn anyone into a potential ally, and to strengthen your existing relationships; and your natural capacity to motivate yourself and super-charge your heroic qualities, like willpower, compassion, and determination.

SuperBetter contains nearly 100 playful challenges anyone can undertake in order to build these gameful strengths. It includes stories and data from people who have used the SuperBetter method to get stronger in the face of illness, injury, and other major setbacks, as well as to achieve goals like losing weight, running a marathon, and finding a new job.

As inspiring as it is down to earth, and grounded in rigorous research, SuperBetter is a proven game plan for a better life. You’ll never say that something is just a game again.

People Tools

PeopleToolsPeople Tools: 54 Strategies for Building Relationships, Creating Joy, and Embracing Prosperity by Alan C. Fox

Getting along well with others is the real secret to success and happiness. In tens of thousands of classrooms we teach reading, writing, and arithmetic and yet we leave solutions to the universal problems of human relationships to be discovered, if at all, by trial and error. The trial is painful and the error is costly.

People Tools: 54 Strategies for Building Relationships, Creating Joy, and Embracing Prosperity, provides time-proven techniques that you can use to build a better, happier, more successful life. It is the perfect resource for busy people looking for fast and effective solutions to the challenges we face every day.

People Tools are practical and easy to understand. From developing self-confidence, to improving communication skills, to finding constructive ways to resolve conflict, each People Tool addresses a specific issue and provides a simple, straightforward strategy that you can adopt to bring about a positive result. Some of the useful People Tools in the book include: The Belt Buckle. When words are different than action (The Belt Buckle), trust the Belt Buckle, not the words. Buy a Ticket. To make something good happen in your life you have to participate. Catching a Feather. An alternative to the endless chase, this Tool reveals how to attract people you want to be closer to. Patterns Persist. Prior actions are predictive of future behaviors. Catch Them Being Good. Rewards are more effective than punishments.

Although you may recognize the more intuitive techniques in People Tools, this sourcebook provides explanations and helpful examples from a vast collection of different tools designed to help you further expand your own existing repertoire of skills.

Open the book to any page and you will find a useful solution. Each tool is illustrated with insightful stories and amusing anecdotes that are relevant and relatable. The stories will reel you in but the advice will change your life.

 

Far From the Tree

Far From the TreeFar from the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity by Andrew Solomon

From the National Book Award-winning author of The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression comes a monumental new work, a decade in the writing, about family. In Far from the Tree, Andrew Solomon tells the stories of parents who not only learn to deal with their exceptional children but also find profound meaning in doing so.

Solomon’s startling proposition is that diversity is what unites us all. He writes about families coping with deafness, dwarfism, Down syndrome, autism, schizophrenia, multiple severe disabilities, with children who are prodigies, who are conceived in rape, who become criminals, who are transgender. While each of these characteristics is potentially isolating, the experience of difference within families is universal, as are the triumphs of love Solomon documents in every chapter.

All parenting turns on a crucial question: to what extent parents should accept their children for who they are, and to what extent they should help them become their best selves. Drawing on forty thousand pages of interview transcripts with more than three hundred families, Solomon mines the eloquence of ordinary people facing extreme challenges. Whether considering prenatal screening for genetic disorders, cochlear implants for the deaf, or gender reassignment surgery for transgender people, Solomon narrates a universal struggle toward compassion. Many families grow closer through caring for a challenging child; most discover supportive communities of others similarly affected; some are inspired to become advocates and activists, celebrating the very conditions they once feared. Woven into their courageous and affirming stories is Solomon’s journey to accepting his own identity, which culminated in his midlife decision, influenced by this research, to become a parent.

Elegantly reported by a spectacularly original thinker, Far from the Tree explores themes of generosity, acceptance, and tolerance – all rooted in the insight that love can transcend every prejudice. This crucial and revelatory book expands our definition of what it is to be human.

Far from the Tree is currently a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist for nonfiction.

wwd