What Are You Reading?

What Are You Reading?

Hi! How have you been? Have we all been hibernating or just those of us getting buried in snowstorm after snowstorm (me) or those who are trying to channel their writing energy into a book project (me again).

I have been writing but I’ve been reading as well and I want to share three books I’ve discovered recently that I think you’re going to love.

The first book was a gift from my daughter who knows I adore the topics of neuroscience and happiness, Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm and Confidence. Rick Hanson, a neuropsychologist, explains in layman’s terms why we can find it so hard to focus on the positive and so easy to fixate on the negative. Meet the “negativity bias”. Hanson writes; “To survive and pass on their genes, our ancestors needed to be especially aware of dangers, losses, and conflicts…this bias creates an ongoing vulnerability to stress, anxiety, disappointment and hurt.”  Thankfully, he tells us how to combat the negativity bias and hardwire our brains for happiness. Meet Rick Hanson in his wonderful TED Talk about this fascinating subject.

The second book is a treasure I found at the library called Roots of Empathy: Changing the World Child by Child by Mary Gordon. She has developed a brilliant empathy-fostering program for children called “Roots of Empathy” that is now a part of the curriculum in schools all around the world. This program “…has been proven to reduce aggression and increase tolerance and emotional understanding…”  It is also an education in parenting as it models the important attachment relationship between parent and infant. “The attachment relationship”, she writes, “is where empathy grows.” In this TED Talk (one of many) Mary Gordon introduces “Roots of Empathy” with explanation and classroom video clips.

The third book is one written by my cousin Ann-Marie MacDonald, Adult Onset.  It’s a 384-page literary treat I’m saving for a long, free stretch of time because I know once I pick it up I won’t be able to put it down. Ann-Marie MacDonald is an internationally acclaimed Canadian playwright, novelist, actor, and broadcast journalist. In 2002 she was a guest on the Oprah Winfrey Show, in Oprah’s Book Club, with her first novel, Fall on Your Knees.

Have you read any of these books? What are you reading now? What books have you stacked on your nightstand or left on your porch chair in anticipation of some coveted reading time?

Photo Credit: Tim Geers

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About The Author

I have always loved writing and community building. I’ve written a book about healing and happiness, The Happy Place, as well as a Community Building book, Sounding the Drum: Community Building in the Digital Age,both available at any Amazon store. I’ve been through life changes that I thought were the end of my world, but I’m still here. You never know what will happen next. Isn’t that what makes life interesting?