Books to Watch | February 8, 2022
February 08, 2022
This week, our choices are:
The Awesome Human Project: Break Free from Daily Burnout, Struggle Less, and Thrive More in Work and Life by Nataly Kogan, Sounds True (GMC)
Are you overwhelmed by work, relationships, and responsibilities—and wrestling with inner doubt and fear of burning out?
"Challenges in life are constant. But struggle is optional," Nataly Kogan reassures us. "You can't always control what comes your way, but you can change how you meet those demands."
A leading expert on emotional fitness and leadership, Nataly has helped more than a million people live with greater resilience and joy. Now, with The Awesome Human Project, she makes available to all of us her proven method for reducing daily struggle and burnout, so we can live and work with more energy, joy, and meaning.
"Small changes in mindset can create big impacts in your ability to thrive in work and life," Nataly teaches. In a supportive, no-BS, energetic voice, she shows you how to handle pressure with self-compassion, reduce self-doubt by editing your brain’s stories, and strengthen your emotional fitness skills so you can not just survive but grow through challenges.
Nataly guides you every step of the way with relatable stories, insightful self-exploration exercises, talk-back-to-your-brain scripts, and simple, science-backed practices for both immediate relief and long-term growth—to become the awesome human that you're meant to be.
Cost of Living: Essays by Emily Maloney, Henry Holt & Co. (DJJS)
What does it cost to live?
When we fall ill, our lives are itemized on a spreadsheet. A thousand dollars for a broken leg, a few hundred for a nasty cut while cooking dinner. Then there are the greater costs for even greater misfortunes. The car accidents, breast cancers, blood diseases, and dark depressions.
When Emily Maloney was nineteen she tried to kill herself. An act that would not only cost a great deal personally, but also financially, sending her down a dark spiral of misdiagnoses, years spent in and out of hospitals and doctor’s offices, and tens of thousands owed in medical debt. To work to pay off this crippling burden, Emily becomes an emergency room technician. Doing the grunt work in a hospital, and taking care of patients at their most vulnerable moments, chronicling these interactions in searingly beautiful, surprising ways.
Shocking and often slyly humorous, Cost of Living is a brilliant examination of just what exactly our troubled healthcare system asks us to pay, as well as a look at what goes on behind the scenes at our hospitals and in the minds of caregivers.
Free Speech: A History from Socrates to Social Media by Jacob Mchangama, Basic Books (DJJS)
A global history of free speech, from the ancient world to today
Hailed as the “first freedom,” free speech is the bedrock of democracy. But it is a challenging principle, subject to erosion in times of upheaval. Today, in democracies and authoritarian states around the world, it is on the retreat.
In Free Speech, Jacob Mchangama traces the riveting legal, political, and cultural history of this idea. Through captivating stories of free speech’s many defenders—from the ancient Athenian orator Demosthenes and the ninth-century freethinker al-Rāzī, to the anti-lynching crusader Ida B. Wells and modern-day digital activists—Mchangama reveals how the free exchange of ideas underlies all intellectual achievement and has enabled the advancement of both freedom and equality worldwide. Yet the desire to restrict speech, too, is a constant, and he explores how even its champions can be led down this path when the rise of new and contrarian voices challenge power and privilege of all stripes.
Meticulously researched and deeply humane, Free Speech demonstrates how much we have gained from this principle—and how much we stand to lose without it.
Jawbone: A Novel by Mónica Ojeda, Coffee House Press (EPP)
Fernanda and Annelise are so close they are practically sisters: a double image, inseparable. So how does Fernanda end up bound on the floor of a deserted cabin, held hostage by one of her teachers and estranged from Annelise?
When Fernanda, Annelise, and their friends from the Delta Bilingual Academy convene after school, Annelise leads them in thrilling but increasingly dangerous rituals to a rhinestoned, Dior-scented, drag-queen god of her own invention. Even more perilous is the secret Annelise and Fernanda share, rooted in a dare in which violence meets love. Meanwhile, their literature teacher Miss Clara, who is obsessed with imitating her dead mother, struggles to preserve her deteriorating sanity. Each day she edges nearer to a total break with reality.
Interweaving pop culture references and horror concepts drawn from from Herman Melville, H. P. Lovecraft, and anonymous “creepypastas,” Jawbone is an ominous, multivocal novel that explores the terror inherent in the pure potentiality of adolescence and the fine line between desire and fear.