Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Off on a Better Foot - New Year's Reading

Resolve to do better, feel happier, be satisfied, help others – these books might help get you started.

Happy at Last: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Finding Joy by Richard O’Connor.
O’Connor is a practicing psychotherapist who first assesses the reasons why Americans are not happy and content with their lives, and then shows us how to change. O’Connor tells us that happiness is not only a matter of mood, but a direct result of brain chemistry and development. And we can choose to develop the part of our brains directly related to happiness and satisfaction. Not sure if I believe him, but I am going to give it a try.

Hot, Flat and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution and How It Can Renew America by Thomas L. Friedman.
Friedman, also the author of The World is Flat, writes about the absolute necessity for America to “go green” and to do it immediately and aggressively. The book includes case studies and will hopefully provide the inspiration we need to tend responsibly to our own consumer culture and the waste it engenders.

What Matters: The World’s Preeminent Photojournalists and Thinkers Depict Essential Issues of Our Time by David Elliot Cohen.
A photographic journey like no other, What Matters brings together photos – many of which are not easy to look at – that he hopes will raise awareness to the many issues addressed and ultimately change the world. Broad topics that are represented include Man vs. Man (picturing issues of global warming and safe water); the Distribution of Wealth (picturing poverty, child labor and immigration); and Man vs. Disease (picturing those affected by AIDs and malaria.)

He ends with a chapter on one amazing man, Abdul Sattar Edhi, a Pakistani, now 80 years old, who has devoted his life to helping those in need. This chapter is entitled “What One Person Can Do.” Meg


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