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Books to Watch | March 15, 2022

March 15, 2022

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Each and every week, our marketing team—Dylan Schleicher (DJJS), Gabbi Cisneros (GMC), Emily Porter (EPP), and Jasmine Gonzalez (JAG)—highlights four new releases we are most excited about.

This week, our choices are:

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The Anxiety Healer's Guide: Coping Strategies and Mindfulness Techniques to Calm the Mind and Body by Alison Seponara, Simon Element (EPP) 

Discover practical, natural, on-the-go solutions for combatting anxiety with this must-have guide from Alison Seponara, a licensed counselor and creator of @TheAnxietyHealer Instagram account with over 508,000 followers. 

In The Anxiety Healer's Guide, Alison Seponara brings her expertise and commitment to healing anxiety to the world. While that journey towards recovery might look different for everyone, this portable resource is full of concrete activities, tools, and techniques that have been scientifically proven to calm the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) and gives sufferers a better sense of control over the mind and body.

This comprehensive, easy-to-use guide includes body breakthroughs, mind tricks to ease anxiety, breathing techniques, grounding strategies, distraction ideas, cognitive-behavioral actions, and on-the-go activities to use no matter where you are. By trying the methods in this book, you will learn more about what strategies are most effective for you and be able to create your own healing toolkit specific to your needs. 

This book is perfect for anyone tired of living with anxiety and looking for helpful solutions they can apply anytime, anywhere. 

 

The Brain in Search of Itself: Santiago Ramón y Cajal and the Story of the Neuron by Benjamin Ehrlich, Farrar, Straus and Giroux  (DJJS) 

Unless you’re a neuroscientist, Santiago Ramón y Cajal is likely the most important figure in the history of medicine you’ve never heard of. Along with Charles Darwin and Louis Pasteur, he ranks among the most brilliant and original biologists of the nineteenth century, and his discoveries have done for our understanding of the human brain what the work of Galileo and Sir Isaac Newton did for our conception of the physical universe. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1906 for his lifelong investigation of the structure of neurons: “The mysterious butterflies of the soul,” Cajal called them, “whose beating of wings may one day reveal to us the secrets of the mind.” And he produced a dazzling oeuvre of anatomical drawings, whose alien beauty grace the pages of medical textbooks and the walls of museums to this day. 

Benjamin Ehrlich’s The Brain in Search of Itself is the first major biography in English of this singular figure, whose scientific odyssey mirrored the rocky journey of his beloved homeland of Spain into the twentieth century. Born into relative poverty in a mountaintop hamlet, Cajal was an enterprising and unruly child whose ambitions were both nurtured and thwarted by his father, a country doctor with a flinty disposition. A portrait of a nation as well as a biography, The Brain in Search of Itself follows Cajal from the hinterlands to Barcelona and Madrid, where he became an illustrious figure—resisting and ultimately transforming the rigid hierarchies and underdeveloped science that surrounded him. To momentous effect, Cajal devised a theory that was as controversial in his own time as it is universal in ours: that the nervous system is comprised of individual cells with distinctive roles, just like any other organ in the body. In Germany, Italy, and elsewhere, he argued his case against his rivals and prevailed. 

In our age of rampant neuro-imaging and investigations into the neural basis of the mind, Cajal is the artistic and scientific forefather we must get to know. The Brain in Search of Itself is at once the story of how the brain as we know it came into being and a finely wrought portrait of an individual as fantastical and complex as the subject to which he devoted his life. 

 

Dress Code: Unlocking Fashion from the New Look to Millennial Pink by Véronique Hyland, Harper Perennial (GMC) 

Why does fashion hold so much power over us? Most of us care about how we dress and how we present ourselves. Style offers clues about everything from class to which in-group we belong to. Bad Feminist for fashion, Dress Code takes aim at the institutions within the fashion industry while reminding us of the importance of dress and what it means for self-presentation. Everything—from societal changes to the progress (or lack thereof) of women’s rights to the hidden motivations behind what we choose to wear to align ourselves with a particular social group—can be tracked through clothing.  

Veronique Hyland examines thought-provoking questions such as: Why has the “French girl” persisted as our most undying archetype? What does “dressing for yourself” really mean for a woman? How should a female politician dress? Will gender-differentiated fashion go forever out of style? How has social media affected and warped our sense of self-presentation, and how are we styling ourselves expressly for it? 

Not everyone participates in painting, literature, or film. But there is no “opting out” of fashion. And yet, fashion is still seen as superficial and trivial, and only the finest of couture is considered as art. Hyland argues that fashion is a key that unlocks questions of power, sexuality, and class, taps into history, and sends signals to the world around us. Clothes means something—even if you’re “just” wearing jeans and a T-shirt.   

 

Pay Up: The Future of Women and Work (and Why It's Different Than You Think) by Reshma Saujani, Atria/One Signal Publishers (JAG) 

We told women that to break glass ceilings and succeed in their careers, all they needed to do is dream big, raise their hands, and lean in. But data tells a different story. Historic numbers of women left their jobs in 2021, resulting in their lowest workforce participation since 1988. Women’s unemployment rose to nearly fifteen percent, and globally women lost over $800 billion in wages. Fifty-one percent of women say that their mental health has declined, while anxiety and depression rates have skyrocketed. 

In this urgent and rousing call to arms, Reshma Saujani dismantles the myth of “having it all” and lifts the burden we place on individual women to be primary caregivers, and to work around a system built for and by men. The time has come, she argues, for innovative corporate leadership, government intervention, and sweeping culture shift; it’s time to Pay Up. 

Through powerful data and personal narrative, Saujani shows that the cost of inaction—for families, for our nation’s economy, and for women themselves—is too great to ignore. She lays out four key steps for creating lasting change: empower working women, educate corporate leaders, revise our narratives about what it means to be successful, and advocate for policy reform.

Both a direct call to action for business leaders and a pragmatic set of tools for women themselves, Pay Up offers a bold vision for change as America defines the future of work. 

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