From Procrastination to Productivity

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Whether you’re searching for the motivation to be more productive in your work or in your free time, the JMRL catalog has the following guides to help you along the way:

Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done by Jon Acuff – Shares strategic advice on how to achieve personal and professional goals while overcoming derailing obstacles, citing perfectionism as a primary reason why most ambitions fail.

Great at Work: How Top Performers Do Less, Work Better, and Achieve More by Morten T. Hansen – Gives authoritative, practical advice on how to bolster individual performance, drawing on a study involving thousands of managers and employees to outline seven work practices for improving focus, scheduling, and organization.

Spark: How to Lead Yourself & Others to Greater Success by Angie Morgan, Courtney Lynch, and Sean Lynch – A guide for reevaluating traditional concepts of leadership that explains how to identify the thinkers, workers, innovators, and influencers at all levels who are catalysts for positive organizational change.

Smarter, Faster, Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life & Business by Charles Duhigg – Redefining productivity as a discipline involving how one thinks, identifies goals, constructs teams, and makes decisions, this book explains how to transform thinking behaviors to increase self-motivation with illustrative examples.

Bored & Brilliant: How Spacing Out Can Unlock Your Most Productive and Creative Self by Manoush Zomorodi – The podcaster and radio host argues that boredom is essential in making lives happier and more productive, and includes exercises for bringing about critical thinking.

Exponential Living: Stop Spending 100% of Your Time on 10% of Who You Are by Sheri Riley – Counsels goal-oriented readers on achieving success in both their personal lives and their professional lives by seeking balance between the two.

Stretch: Unlock the Power of Less & Achieve More Than You Ever Imagined by Scott Sonenshein – A guide to promoting achievement, creativity, and innovation at work explains how to do more with existing resources, detailing how different mindsets can diversify experiences, act without over-planning, and expect positive outcomes.

Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. One in five Americans is affected by mental health conditions. During Mental Health Awareness Month, people are encouraged to expand their understanding of mental illness. It’s also a time to try to increase access to treatment and let those who are struggling know that they are not alone.

This year’s awareness theme is Fitness #4Mind4Body. The theme reminds people that mental health is affected by nutrition, sleep, stress, gut health, and exercise. Mental health is essential to everyone’s overall health and well-being. Living a healthy lifestyle may not always be easy, but can be achieved by gradually making small changes and building on those successes.

Here are a few books- both fiction and nonfiction- that center on mental health:

lawsonFuriously Happy by Jenny Lawson- The author discusses how her severe depression has led her to lead her fullest life. This book is about mental illness, but is also about seeing joy in new ways.

 


crazyCrazy: A Father’s Search through America’s Mental Health Madness by Pete Earley- 
Pete Earley has written about the criminal justice system while as a reporter with the Washington Post. But it was only when his own son, in the throes of a manic episode, broke into a neighbor’s house that he learned what happens to mentally ill people who break a law.

centercannotholdThe Center Cannot Hold by Elyn Saks- Elyn Saks is a professor, lawyer, and psychiatrist- she has also suffered from schizophrenia for most of her life. Saks discusses her paranoia in this beautiful memoir.

 

hyperboleHyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh- In this graphic novel the author, who also has an award-winning blog, talks about her ongoing depression in a series of hilarious stories.

 

belljarThe Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath- Esther Greenwood, a talented writer, becomes mentally unstable during a summer spent interning at a magazine in New York City. She is tormented by both the death of her father and the feeling that she simply does not fit into the culturally acceptable role of womanhood in this harrowing novel.

the_silver_linings_playbook_coverThe Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick- Pat Peoples is a former history teacher who has moved back to his childhood home in New Jersey, after spending time in a psychiatric hospital. Pat thinks he has been away only a few months, but soon realizes it has really been years, and he struggles to piece together his lost memories and what has become of his wife, Nikki.

 

For more information about Mental Health see these websites:
Mental Health America
National Alliance on Mental Illness

For local information:
Community Mental Health and Wellness Coalition
The Women’s Initiative
Partner for Mental Health

Memoirs About Moms

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Mother’s Day is just around the corner and the library has some great reads for the occasion. Check out one of these memoirs about mothers, written by their children:

Mom & Me & Mom by Maya Angelou – The celebrated author shares the intimate story of her relationship with her mother, relating the events that prompted her mother to send young Angela to Arkansas to live with her grandmother and the complicated fallout that shaped their family life.

Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel – Depicts the author’s mother as a voracious reader, music lover, and passionate amateur actress who quietly suffers as the wife of a closeted gay artist and withdraws from her young daughter, who searches for answers to the separation later in life.

The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe – Recounts how the author and his mother read and discussed books during her chemotherapy treatments, describing how the activity involved a wide range of literary genres, furthered their appreciation for literature, and strengthened their bond.

I’m Supposed to Protect You From All This by Nadja Spiegelman – The daughter of Maus creator Art Spiegelman and New Yorker art director Francoise Mouly describes the coming-of-age discovery of her mother’s complicated childhood, her investigation into four generations of family women and her own efforts to reinvent herself.

Unforgettable by Scott Simon – A moving meditation on the NPR host’s relationship with his mother, inspired by the popular tweets he shared during her final days, traces their shared love of family while profiling his mother’s work as a dedicated single parent.

Mother, Daughter, Me by Katie Hafner – Documents the author’s efforts to promote family bonds and healing during a haphazard year spent sharing a home in San Francisco with her complicated octogenarian mother and teenage daughter.

Hey Mom by Louie Anderson – The actor and stand-up comedian presents a loving tribute to his late mother that shares the wisdom he gleaned from her throughout his life, his ongoing struggles with food and dysfunctional home dynamics, and how he learned to laugh at the absurdities that shaped their family.

The Lives Our Mothers Leave Us by Patti Davis – A collection of stories from prominent women such as Angelica Huston, Lily Tomlin, Whoopie Goldberg, and more, all about their complex, humorous, and ultimately loving relationships with their mothers.