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Bittersweet: How Sorrow and Longing Make Us Whole

Susan Cain

"Bittersweetness is a tendency to states of longing, poignancy, and sorrow; an acute awareness of passing time; and a curiously piercing joy when beholding beauty. It recognizes that light and dark, birth and death--bitter and sweet--are forever paired. A song in a minor key, an elegiac poem, or even a touching television commercial all can bring us to this sublime, even holy, state of mind--and, ultimately, to greater kinship with our fellow humans.

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Book Information

Publisher: Crown Publishing Group (NY)
Publish Date: 04/05/2022
Pages: 352
ISBN-13: 9780451499783
ISBN-10: 0451499786
Language: English

What We're Saying

April 28, 2022

We invite our reading community to come along as we take a deeper look at Bittersweet and learn more about author Susan Cain through this live-streamed interview. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

August 03, 2022

National Wellness Month

By Gabbi Cisneros

August is National Wellness Month, and we've got a list of books to support you year-round. We see you and we read you. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

November 17, 2022

“This terrific collection of books balances the innovative with the iterative, and champions doing the right things the right way to make our work and our future tangibly better, no matter the industry or the endeavor.” READ FULL DESCRIPTION

Full Description

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - Sadness is your superpower. In her new masterpiece, the author of the bestselling phenomenon Quiet explores the power of the bittersweet personality, revealing a misunderstood side of mental health and creativity while offering a roadmap to facing grief in order to live life to the fullest. "Bittersweet grabs you by the heart and doesn't let go."--BRENÉ BROWN, author of Atlas of the Heart
"Susan Cain has described and validated my existence once again!"--GLENNON DOYLE, author of Untamed
"The perfect cure for toxic positivity."--ADAM GRANT, author of Think Again

ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: The Wall Street Journal
Bittersweetness is a tendency to states of long­ing, poignancy, and sorrow; an acute aware­ness of passing time; and a curiously piercing joy at the beauty of the world. It recognizes that light and dark, birth and death--bitter and sweet--are forever paired. If you've ever wondered why you like sad music . . .
If you find comfort or inspiration in a rainy day . . .
If you react intensely to music, art, nature, and beauty . . . Then you probably identify with the bitter­sweet state of mind. With Quiet, Susan Cain urged our society to cultivate space for the undervalued, indispensable introverts among us, thereby revealing an un­tapped power hidden in plain sight. Now she em­ploys the same mix of research, storytelling, and memoir to explore why we experience sorrow and longing, and how embracing the bittersweetness at the heart of life is the true path to creativity, con­nection, and transcendence. Cain shows how a bittersweet state of mind is the quiet force that helps us transcend our personal and collective pain, whether from a death or breakup, addiction or illness. If we don't acknowledge our own heartache, she says, we can end up inflicting it on others via abuse, domination, or neglect. But if we realize that all humans know--or will know--loss and suffering, we can turn toward one another. At a time of profound discord and personal anxiety, Bittersweet brings us together in deep and unexpected ways.

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