[ View menu ]

Archive for 'happiness'

new book – ‘How Dante Can Save Your Life: The Life-Changing Wisdom of History’s Greatest Poem’ by Rod Dreher

April 18, 2015

How Dante Can Save Your Life

How Dante Can Save Your Life: The Life-Changing Wisdom of History’s Greatest Poem by Rod Dreher (Regan Arts, 2015)

(kindle ed.), (amazon.co.uk),

Book description from the publisher:

The opening lines of The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri launched Rod Dreher on a journey that rescued him from exile and saved his life. Dreher found that the medieval poem offered him a surprisingly practical way of solving modern problems.

Following the death of his little sister and the publication of his New York Times bestselling memoir The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Dreher found himself living in the small community of Starhill, Louisiana where he grew up. But instead of the fellowship he hoped to find, he discovered that fault lines within his family had deepened. Dreher spiraled into depression and a stress-related autoimmune disease. Doctors told Dreher that if he didn’t find inner peace, he would destroy his health. Soon after, he came across The Divine Comedy in a bookstore and was enchanted by its first lines, which seemed to describe his own condition.

In the months that followed Dante helped Dreher understand the mistakes and mistaken beliefs that had torn him down and showed him that he had the power to change his life. Dreher knows firsthand the solace and strength that can be found in Dante’s great work, and distills its wisdom for those who are lost in the dark wood of depression, struggling with failure (or success), wrestling with a crisis of faith, alienated from their families or communities, or otherwise enduring the sense of exile that is the human condition.

Inspiring, revelatory, and packed with penetrating spiritual, moral, and psychological insights How Dante Can Save Your Life is a book for people, both religious and secular, who find themselves searching for meaning and healing. Dante told his patron that he wrote his poem to bring readers from misery to happiness. It worked for Rod Dreher. Dante saved Rod Dreher’s life—and in this book, Dreher shows you how Dante can save yours.

Google Books preview:

Comments (0) - happiness,psychology

new book – ‘Happiness: A Philosopher’s Guide’ by Frederic Lenoir

April 7, 2015

Happiness: A Philosopher's Guide

Happiness: A Philosopher’s Guide by Frederic Lenoir, tr. Andrew Brown (Melville House, 2015)

(kindle ed.), (amazon.co.uk), (UK kindle ed.)

Book description from the publisher:

A huge bestseller in Europe, Frederic Lenoir’s Happiness is an exciting journey that examines how history’s greatest philosophers and religious figures have answered life’s most fundamental question: What is happiness and how do I achieve it?

From the ancient Greeks on—from Aristotle, Plato, and Chuang Tzu to the Buddha, Jesus, and Muhammad; from Voltaire, Spinoza, and Schopenhauer to Kant, Freud, and even modern neuroscientists—Lenoir considers the idea that true and lasting happiness is indeed possible.

In clear language, Lenoir concisely surveys what the greatest thinkers of all time have had to say on the subject, and, with charming prose, raises provocative questions:

·      Do we have a duty to be happy?
·      Is there a connection between individual and collective happiness?
·      Is happiness contagious?
·      Is there a difference between pleasure and happiness?
·      Can unhappiness and happiness coexist?
·      Does our happiness depend on our luck?

Understanding how civilization’s best minds have answered those questions, Lenoir suggests, not only makes for a fascinating reading experience, but also provides a way for us to see us how happiness, that most elusive of feelings, is attainable in our own lives.

See also: Author’s website

Comments (0) - happiness,new books

new book – ‘Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives’ by Gretchen Rubin

March 18, 2015

Better Than Before

Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives by Gretchen Rubin (Crown, 2015)

(kindle ed.), (amazon.co.uk), (UK kindle ed.)

Book description from the publisher:

The author of the blockbuster New York Times bestsellers, The Happiness Project and Happier at Home, tackles the critical question: How do we change? 

Gretchen Rubin’s answer: through habits. Habits are the invisible architecture of everyday life. It takes work to make a habit, but once that habit is set, we can harness the energy of habits to build happier, stronger, more productive lives.

So if habits are a key to change, then what we really need to know is: How do we change our habits?

Better than Before answers that question. It presents a practical, concrete framework to allow readers to understand their habits—and to change them for good. Infused with Rubin’s compelling voice, rigorous research, and easy humor, and packed with vivid stories of lives transformed, Better than Before explains the (sometimes counter-intuitive) core principles of habit formation.

Along the way, Rubin uses herself as guinea pig, tests her theories on family and friends, and answers readers’ most pressing questions—oddly, questions that other writers and researchers tend to ignore:

• Why do I find it tough to create a habit for something I love to do?
• Sometimes I can change a habit overnight, and sometimes I can’t change a habit, no matter how hard I try. Why?
• How quickly can I change a habit?
• What can I do to make sure I stick to a new habit?
• How can I help someone else change a habit?
• Why can I keep habits that benefit others, but can’t make habits that are just for me?

Whether readers want to get more sleep, stop checking their devices, maintain a healthy weight, or finish an important project, habits make change possible. Reading just a few chapters of Better Than Before will make readers eager to start work on their own habits—even before they’ve finished the book.

Google Books preview:

See also: Author’s website

Comments (0) - happiness,new books

Kindle Daily Deals for Thurs. Jan 1 – Over 40 Books to Jump-Start New Year’s Resolutions, $2.99 or Less Each

January 1, 2015

Highlights include:

Browse the List

Comments (0) - happiness,psychology

new book – ‘The Good Life: Unifying the Philosophy and Psychology of Well-Being’ by Michael A. Bishop

December 19, 2014

The Good Life

The Good Life: Unifying the Philosophy and Psychology of Well-Being by Michael A. Bishop (Oxford University Press, 2014)

(amazon.co.uk)

Book description from the publisher:

Philosophers defend theories of what well-being is but ignore what psychologists have learned about it, while psychologists learn about well-being but lack a theory of what it is. In The Good Life, Michael Bishop brings together these complementary investigations and proposes a powerful, new theory for understanding well-being.

The network theory holds that to have well-being is to be “stuck” in a self-perpetuating cycle of positive emotions, attitudes, traits and accomplishments. For someone with well-being, these states — states such as joy and contentment, optimism and adventurousness, extraversion and perseverance, strong relationships, professional success and good health — build upon and foster each other. They form a kind of positive causal network (PCN), so that a person high in well-being finds herself in a positive cycle or “groove.” A person with a lesser degree of well-being might possess only fragments of such a network — some positive feelings, attitudes, traits or successes, but not enough to kick start a full-blown, self-perpetuating network.

Although recent years have seen an explosion of psychological research into well-being, this discipline, often called Positive Psychology, has no consensus definition. The network theory provides a new framework for understanding Positive Psychology. When psychologists investigate correlations and causal connections among positive emotions, attitudes, traits, and accomplishments, they are studying the structure of PCNs. And when they identify states that establish, strengthen or extinguish PCNs, they are studying the dynamics of PCNs. Positive Psychology, then, is the study of the structure and dynamics of positive causal networks.

The Good Life represents a new, inclusive approach to the study of well-being, an approach committed to the proposition that discovering the nature of well-being requires the knowledge and skills of both the philosopher in her armchair and the scientist in her lab. The resulting theory provides a powerful, unified foundation for future scientific and philosophical investigations into well-being and the good life.

Comments (0) - happiness,new books,psychology