September 26, 2023
September 26, 2023
Excellent new books are brought into the world every single week. Here at Porchlight, we track them all and elevate four new releases we are excited about as they hit bookstore shelves on Tuesday morning.
The books are chosen by Porchlight's Managing Director, Sally Haldorson, and the marketing team: Dylan Schleicher, Gabbi Cisneros, and Jasmine Gonzalez. (Book descriptions are provided by the publisher unless otherwise noted.) This week, our choices are:
Dylan’s pick: The End of Eden: Wild Nature in the Age of Climate Breakdown by Adam Welz, Bloomsbury Publishing
The stories we usually tell ourselves about climate change tend to focus on the damage inflicted on human societies by big storms, severe droughts, and rising sea levels. But the most powerful impacts are being and will be felt by the natural world and its myriad species, which are already in the midst of the sixth great extinction. Rising temperatures are fracturing ecosystems that took millions of years to evolve, disrupting the life forms they sustain--and in many cases driving them towards extinction. The natural Eden that humanity inherited is quickly slipping away.
Although we can never really know what a creature thinks or feels, The End of Eden invites the reader to meet wild species on their own terms in a range of ecosystems that span the globe. Combining classic natural history, firsthand reportage, and insights from cutting-edge research, Adam Welz brings us close to creatures like moose in northern Maine, parrots in Puerto Rico, cheetahs in Namibia, and rare fish in Australia as they struggle to survive. The stories are intimate yet expansive and always dramatic.
An exquisitely written and deeply researched exploration of wild species reacting to climate breakdown, The End of Eden offers a radical new kind of environmental journalism that connects humans to nature in a more empathetic way than ever before and galvanizes us to act in defense of the natural world before it’s too late.
Sally’s pick: Energy Rising: The Neuroscience of Leading with Emotional Power by Julia DiGangi, Harvard Business Review Press
Your drive to create change, catalyze impact, and build relationships all come from neuroelectrical energy—real, electrical impulses—firing in your brain. Who you are as a person depends on how you work with this energy. When this energy rises within you, you feel empowered and dynamic. But when this energy falls, you feel down, stressed, and defeated.
You may feel as if you don't control your emotional energy, that it's an inevitable consequence of the world around you and the forces bearing down on you. But that's not the case. To reach your full potential, you can learn to recognize and harness the energy in your brain. Leading neuropsychologist Julia DiGangi will teach you how through eight "codes." Some of the codes will surprise you. All will fortify you. You will learn why these codes work and how to apply them to your own challenges through exercises and reflections.
When you start viewing your life less about the activities you do and more about the natural energies within and around you, your power to live and lead with impact grows exponentially. Energy Rising offers you a provocative and neuroscientifically accurate path to greater emotional power, influence, and connection, both at work and at home.
DiGangi's lab and clinical work have been conducted at Harvard, Columbia, Georgetown University, the University of Chicago, DePaul, and the University of Illinois Chicago. Her fMRI and EEG research has helped business leaders, parents, couples, educators, and military leaders. Her work, rooted in resilience after extreme stress, will show you how to effectively deal with struggles you currently face. She tells the stories of business leaders, parents, couples—and even combat veterans and trauma survivors—who used the eight codes to rise.
Get ready to feel your energy rising.
Jasmine’s pick: How We Got By: 111 People Share Stories of Survival, Resilience, and Hope through Hardship by Shaina Feinberg and Julia Rothman, Andrews McMeel Publishing
When your world is upended, how do you react? Who do you become? New York Times columnists, illustrator Julia Rothman and writer Shaina Feinberg, seek answers to these questions and more in this gorgeously illustrated collection of sometimes heartbreaking, always illuminating first-person stories.
Based on one of Feinberg and Rothman's columns in the New York Times, “How We Got By: New Yorkers’ Advice for Getting Through a Crisis,” How We Got By is an ambitious journalistic undertaking rendered in an artful, collectible package. Each accompanied by one of Rothman’s full-color illustrated portraits, these personal accounts touch on a wide variety of subjects, from money and business to relationships, family, trauma, and death.
A window into the world of how others think, feel, and, ultimately, survive, How We Got By invites us to remember our shared humanity as well as our truly extraordinary resilience.
Gabbi’s pick: Think Faster, Talk Smarter: How to Speak Successfully When You're Put on the Spot by Matt Abrahams, Simon Element
Many of us dread having to convey our ideas to others, often feeling ill-equipped, anxious, and awkward. Public speaking experts help by focusing on planned communication experiences such as slide presentations, pitches, or formal talks. Yet, most of our professional and personal communication occurs in spontaneous situations that creep up on us and all too often leave us flustered and stumbling for words. How can we rise to the occasion and shine when we’re put on the spot?
In Think Faster, Talk Smarter, Stanford lecturer, podcast host, and communication expert Matt Abrahams provides tangible, actionable skills to help even the most anxious of speakers succeed when speaking spontaneously. Abrahams provides science-based strategies for managing anxiety, responding to the mood of the room, and making content concise, relevant, compelling, and memorable. Drawing on stories from his clients and students, he offers best practices for navigating Q&A sessions, shining in job interviews, providing effective feedback, making small talk, fixing faux pas, persuading others, and handling other impromptu speaking tasks.
Whether it’s a prospective client asking you an unexpected question during a meeting or all eyes turning to you at a dinner party, you’ll know how to navigate the situation like a pro and bring out your very best. Think Faster, Talk Smarter is an accessible guide to communication that will help you master new techniques in no time.
WHAT WE'VE BEEN READING AT HOME
"Leading Lady by Charles Busch. The Award-winning playwright, actor, and non-conformist's memoir filled with behind the scenes dressing room dramas, nail biting-action packed tales of growing up in NYC and casual nuances full of wit, wisdom and wigs. A must read for any Broadway, off-Broadway or off-off Broadway fan!"
—Roy Normington, Senior Customer Service Specialist