100 by Sonia Arrison

Do you ever think about what it would be like to live to 100? The coming age of super-longevity affects everything in our world and futurist Arrison lays it all out for us in her fascinating book.

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A Calm Brain by Gayatri Devi, M.D.

Are you seeking more calm in your life? Life is stressful and moves at such a fast pace making it hard to get your brain quiet even for a minute. We can, however, teach our brains to relax and calm down with these  useful tips.

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Brain Bugs by Dean Buonomano

Would you like your brain to make smarter choices? For instance, why do we so often choose short-term gratification over long-term stability? It’s because we have Brain Bugs! Our brains still have “bugs” inherited from our ancestors. The brain’s processes and reactions that may have served humanity well in a different age, but no longer apply today. Understanding these brain bugs helps us escape their influence and make smarter choices.

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Soft-Wired by Dr. Michael Merzenich, Phd

Would you like your brain to make smarter choices? For instance, why do we so often choose short-term gratification over long-term stability? It’s because we have Brain Bugs! Our brains still have “bugs” inherited from our ancestors. The brain’s processes and reactions that may have served humanity well in a different age, but no longer apply today. Understanding these brain bugs helps us escape their influence and make smarter choices.

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Craving by Omar Manejwala, M.D.

We all feel cravings, and when they’re strong enough, it seems like we’ll do almost anything to satisfy them. But what’s behind these cravings? We can understand how and why our brains make us crave things, and how we can change our brains to take control of the things we crave.

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Focus by Daniel Goldman

Did you know there are three types of focus: inner, outer, and other? They all affect our daily activities and abilities. Understanding these concepts of focus coupled with the useful techniques in Focus will help you improve your focus.

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Good Habits / Bad Habits by Wendy Wood

Who hasn’t set habit-changing goals only to feel like a failure when our willpower isn’t up to the task? But there are more practical ways to create good habits and break bad ones then using willpower. This is a great book for anyone wanting to learn more about why we fall into certain habits and how to rise above them.

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The Brain that Changes Itself by Norman Doidge

I’ve been recommending this classic for years! Doidge’s excellent book illustrates the power of brain plasticity with real-life stories of people facing various neurological and psychological challenges. Doidge’s engaging writing style and colorful, in-depth interviews make this a MUST READ! 

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The Compass of Pleasure by David J. Linden

What do generosity, learning, and exercise have in common with liquor, drugs, cheesecake, and gambling? According to Linden, they all activate our “pleasure center” and can become addictive to us. He examines brain research and evolutionary science to determine what kinds of things our brains find pleasurable, and why we get such a rush from them. Fun, revealing book to read!

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End of Stress by Don Joseph Goewey

Stanford Psychiatrist Goewey has worked with people in incredibly stressful situations in many different areas of life. His experience and research led him to develop a tested four-step method that utilizes your brain’s plasticity to help you release your anxiety and free yourself from stress.

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In Praise of Walking by Shane O’Mara

I love the name of this book because I’ve been praising walking for years! Walking, a seemingly simple ability, is an important part of what defines humanity. What has to happen, in the brain and body, for us to achieve this skill? How are we able to move, balance, navigate, and stay safe—all at once? How does walking protect our brain health and cognitive function? In Praise of Walking answers these questions and more.

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Mindshift by Barbara Oakley

Do you have preconceived ideas about what is possible for you to learn and achieve? If you are feeling stuck in a rut, and having trouble moving forward, Mindshift can help you break out and get to the next level.

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Play by Stuart Brown, M.D.

It might sound like a strange question, but how much do you play in your daily life? In this fun book, Brown makes the case for play. He explains how it can benefit our brains, creativity, and happiness. He asserts that playing is some of the “most important work we ever do.” As someone who likes her playtime, I support this idea!

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Happiness Curve by Jonathan Rauch

Do you think of a “midlife crisis” as a normal part of life? Drawing on stories and science, Rauch argues that in terms of happiness our lives tend to take a U-shaped path with the low point occurring in our 40s. The good news: after age 50, we are on the upswing. This is a great read for anybody interested in learning more about the mysteries of midlife and the potential of later life.

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Optimism Bias by Tali Sharot

Why do humans remain so irrationally optimistic, in spite of experiences that should logically lead to a more realist approach? This book explores the biological basis for optimism, and why staying positive may be a crucial survival mechanism. Your brain is wearing rose-colored glasses, whether you like it or not!

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The Organized Mind by Daniel J. Levitin

We all suffer from information overload. But why are some people more skilled at handling the constant deluge of information we receive in our lives? This book weaves stories with neuroscience research findings to offer suggestions to the rest of us who need to get better at handling this overload.

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What Makes Your Brain Happy by David Disalvo

Why do we do things in the moment that we regret later? Why are we unable to plan for our futures in favor of doing things that only make us happy for a few moments? And why do we think we’re right in the face of overwhelming evidence we’re wrong? Di Salvo explores this topic to shed light on the brain’s paradoxical nature. 

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Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker, PhD

Is there anything more important to our wellbeing than sleep? Maybe not. People spend a lot of their life asleep, but why? Walker drives home just how important sleep is, and how few of us are getting enough good sleep. That affects not just cognitive health, but also everything from attractiveness to cancer risk. It’s an important read for anyone who sleeps—which is to say, everybody!

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