Books that expand your mind

View all Best Picks for Adults book lists; This list was last updated on 10/30/2015
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The Alchemist

A special 25th anniversary edition of the extraordinary international bestseller, including a new Foreword by Paulo Coelho.

Combining magic, mysticism, wisdom and wonder into an inspiring tale of self-discovery, The Alchemist has become a modern classic, selling millions of copies around the world and transforming the lives of countless readers across generations.

Paulo Coelho's masterpiece tells the mystical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure. His quest will lead him to riches far different—and far more satisfying—than he ever imagined. Santiago's journey teaches us about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, of recognizing opportunity and learning to read the omens strewn along life's path, and, most importantly, to follow our dreams.

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The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We do in Life and Business ,by Duhigg, Charles ( 2014 ) Paperback

OVER 60 WEEKS ON THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER LIST

With a new Afterword by the author
 
In The Power of Habit, Pulitzer Prize–winning business reporter Charles Duhigg takes us to the thrilling edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. Distilling vast amounts of information into engrossing narratives that take us from the boardrooms of Procter & Gamble to sidelines of the NFL to the front lines of the civil rights movement, Duhigg presents a whole new understanding of human nature and its potential. At its core, The Power of Habit contains an exhilarating argument: The key to exercising regularly, losing weight, being more productive, and achieving success is understanding how habits work. As Duhigg shows, by harnessing this new science, we can transform our businesses, our communities, and our lives.

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NPR BESTSELLER • WASHINGTON POST BESTSELLER • LOS ANGELES TIMES BESTSELLER • USA TODAY BESTSELLER • PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BESTSELLER
 
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
The Wall Street Journal • Financial Times
 
“Sharp, provocative, and useful.”—Jim Collins
 
“Few [books] become essential manuals for business and living. The Power of Habit is an exception. Charles Duhigg not only explains how habits are formed but how to kick bad ones and hang on to the good.”Financial Times
 
“A flat-out great read.”—David Allen, bestselling author of Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
 
“You'll never look at yourself, your organization, or your world quite the same way.”—Daniel H. Pink, bestselling author of Drive and A Whole New Mind
 
“Entertaining . . . enjoyable . . . fascinating . . . a serious look at the science of habit formation and change.”The New York Times Book Review

“Cue: see cover. Routine: read book. Reward: fully comprehend the art of manipulation.”Bloomberg Businessweek
 
“Absolutely fascinating.”Wired

“A fresh examination of how routine behaviors take hold and whether they are susceptible to change . . . The stories that Duhigg has knitted together are all fascinating in their own right, but take on an added dimension when wedded to his examination of habits.”— Associated Press
 
“There's been a lot of research over the past several years about how our habits shape us, and this work is beautifully described in the new book The Power of Habit.”—David Brooks, The New York Times
 
“A first-rate book—based on an impressive mass of research, written in a lively style and providing just the right balance of intellectual seriousness with practical advice on how to break our bad habits.”The Economist
 
“I have been spinning like a top since reading The Power of Habit, New York Times journalist Charles Duhigg's fascinating best-seller about how people, businesses and organizations develop the positive routines that make them productive—and happy.”The Washington Post

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Never Eat Alone
The bestselling business classic on the power of relationships, updated with in-depth  advice for making connections in the digital world.
 
Do you want to get ahead in life? Climb the ladder to personal success?
 
The secret, master networker Keith Ferrazzi claims, is in reaching out to other people. As Ferrazzi discovered in early life, what distinguishes highly successful people from everyone else is the way they use the power of relationships—so that everyone wins.
In Never Eat Alone, Ferrazzi lays out the specific steps—and inner mindset—he uses to reach out to connect with the thousands of colleagues, friends, and associates on his contacts list, people he has helped and who have helped him. And in the time since Never Eat Alone was published in 2005, the rise of social media and new, collaborative management styles have only made Ferrazzi's advice more essential for anyone hoping to get ahead in business.
 
The son of a small-town steelworker and a cleaning lady, Ferrazzi first used his remarkable ability to connect with others to pave the way to Yale, a Harvard M.B.A., and several top executive posts. Not yet out of his thirties, he developed a network of relationships that stretched from Washington's corridors of power to Hollywood's A-list, leading to him being named one of Crain's 40 Under 40 and selected as a Global Leader for Tomorrow by the Davos World Economic Forum.
 
Ferrazzi's form of connecting to the world around him is based on generosity, helping friends connect with other friends. Ferrazzi distinguishes genuine relationship-building from the crude, desperate glad-handing usually associated with “networking.” He then distills his system of reaching out to people into practical, proven principles. Among them:
 
Don't keep score: It's never simply about getting what you want. It's about getting what you want and making sure that the people who are important to you get what they want, too.
“Ping” constantly: The ins and outs of reaching out to those in your circle of contacts all the time—not just when you need something.
Never Eat Alone: The dynamics of status are the same whether you're working at a corporation or attending a social event—“invisibility” is a fate worse than failure.
Become the “King of Content”: How to use social media sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook to make meaningful connections, spark engagement, and curate a network of people who can help you with your interests and goals.
 
In the course of this book, Ferrazzi outlines the timeless strategies shared by the world's most connected individuals, from Winston Churchill to Bill Clinton, Vernon Jordan to the Dalai Lama.
 
Chock-full of specific advice on handling rejection, getting past gatekeepers, becoming a “conference commando,” and more, this new edition of Never Eat Alone will remain a classic alongside alongside How to Win Friends and Influence People for years to come.
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The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
One of the most inspiring and impactful books ever written, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People has captivated readers for 25 years. It has transformed the lives of Presidents and CEOs, educators and parents— in short, millions of people of all ages and occupations.
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Flow

Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's famous investigations of "optimal experience" have revealed that what makes an experience genuinely satisfying is a state of consciousness called flow. During flow, people typically experience deep enjoyment, creativity, and a total involvement with life. In this new edition of his groundbreaking classic work, Csikszentmihalyi demonstrates the ways this positive state can be controlled, not just left to chance. Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience teaches how, by ordering the information that enters our consciousness, we can discover true happiness and greatly improve the quality of our lives.

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How to Win Friends and Influence People
For more than sixty years the rock-solid, time-tested advice in this book has carried thousands of now famous people up the ladder of success in their business and personal lives.

Now this previously revised and updated bestseller is available in trade paperback for the first time to help you achieve your maximum potential throughout the next century! Learn:

* Three fundamental techniques in handling people

* The six ways to make people like you

* The twelve ways to win people to you way of thinking

* The nine ways to change people without arousing resentment

The China Study Quick & Easy Cookbook
Following the plant-based nutrition regimen presented in The China Study is now easier than ever before.

When it comes to meal planning, do you find yourself deciding between healthy foods and quick options? Do you stare at the contents of your fridge, wondering what you can easily throw together?

Even on a busy schedule, your meals can be simple, healthy, and delicious!

You shouldn't have to sacrifice health or taste for efficiency in the kitchen. Nobody knows this better than Chef Del Sroufe, author of the New York Times bestseller Forks Over Knives—The Cookbook and Better Than Vegan. In The China Study Quick & Easy Cookbook, Sroufe provides menu plans, pantry lists, and more than 100 delicious plant-based recipes that are quick, easy, and multipurpose.

Edited by LeAnne Campbell, author of The China Study Cookbook, this book guides you to spend a couple of hours one day a week preparing meals ahead of time. Every dish follows the nutrition standards set forth by The China Study, ensuring optimal healthful and quality eating with whole food recipes such as:

Fruit and Vegetable Curry • Mushrooms Barbacoa • Cauliflower Parmesan • Sweet Potato Pie Muffins • Banana-Coconut Macaroons

With a foreword by The China Study coauthor Thomas Campbell, The China Study Quick & Easy Cookbook is the next step in transforming your kitchen, your time, and your life.
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Meditations

One of the world's most famous and influential books, Meditations, by the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius (A.D. 121–180), incorporates the stoic precepts he used to cope with his life as a warrior and administrator of an empire. Ascending to the imperial throne in A.D. 161, Aurelius found his reign beset by natural disasters and war. In the wake of these challenges, he set down a series of private reflections, outlining a philosophy of commitment to virtue above pleasure and tranquility above happiness.
Reflecting the emperor's own noble and self-sacrificing code of conduct, this eloquent and moving work draws and enriches the tradition of Stoicism, which stressed the search for inner peace and ethical certainty in an apparently chaotic world. Serenity was to be achieved by emulating in one's personal conduct the underlying orderliness and lawfulness of nature. And in the face of inevitable pain, loss, and death — the suffering at the core of life — Aurelius counsels stoic detachment from the things that are beyond one's control and a focus on one's own will and perception.
Presented here in a specially modernized version of the classic George Long translation, this updated and revised edition is easily accessible to contemporary readers. It not only provides a fascinating glimpse into the mind and personality of a highly principled Roman of the second century but also offers today's readers a practical and inspirational guide to the challenges of everyday life.

Cosmos
RETURNING TO TELEVISION AS AN ALL-NEW MINISERIES ON FOX

Cosmos is one of the bestselling science books of all time. In clear-eyed prose, Sagan reveals a jewel-like blue world inhabited by a life form that is just beginning to discover its own identity and to venture into the vast ocean of space. Featuring a new Introduction by Sagan's collaborator, Ann Druyan, full color illustrations, and a new Foreword by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, Cosmos retraces the fourteen billion years of cosmic evolution that have transformed matter into consciousness, exploring such topics as the origin of life, the human brain, Egyptian hieroglyphics, spacecraft missions, the death of the Sun, the evolution of galaxies, and the forces and individuals who helped to shape modern science.

Praise for Cosmos
 
“Magnificent . . . With a lyrical literary style, and a range that touches almost all aspects of human knowledge, Cosmos often seems too good to be true.”The Plain Dealer
 
“Sagan is an astronomer with one eye on the stars, another on history, and a third—his mind's—on the human condition.”Newsday
 
“Brilliant in its scope and provocative in its suggestions . . . shimmers with a sense of wonder.”The Miami Herald
 
“Sagan dazzles the mind with the miracle of our survival, framed by the stately galaxies of space.”Cosmopolitan
 
“Enticing . . . iridescent . . . imaginatively illustrated.”The New York Times Book Review
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Outliers
In this stunning new book, Malcolm Gladwell takes us on an intellectual journey through the world of "outliers"--the best and the brightest, the most famous and the most successful. He asks the question: what makes high-achievers different?

His answer is that we pay too much attention to what successful people are like, and too little attention to where they are from: that is, their culture, their family, their generation, and the idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringing. Along the way he explains the secrets of software billionaires, what it takes to be a great soccer player, why Asians are good at math, and what made the Beatles the greatest rock band.

Brilliant and entertaining, Outliers is a landmark work that will simultaneously delight and illuminate.
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