'The School of Life' was founded in 2008 by Alain de Botton and a creative group of international therapists, artists, philosophers and cultural explorers on a mission to bring about healing, growth, calm, and self-understanding...
“It is in books, poems, and paintings which often give us the confidence to take seriously feelings in ourselves that we might otherwise never have thought to acknowledge.”
Starting us off in this report is July’s Author of the Month – The School of Life. While it’s not exactly an ‘author’ per se, this innovative company has published some of the best and most practical books on all sorts of important and impactful issues. The School of Life was founded in 2008 by Alain de Botton and a creative group of international therapists, artists, philosophers and cultural explorers on a mission to bring about healing, growth, calm, and self-understanding. I have chosen some of my favorites and included a link below that will help you explore more.
Next comes a mix of New + Newly Discovered books chosen to support + inspire you; some wonderful books for Young + Young at Heart readers, and a couple of ‘Just Because + Just for Fun’ offerings.
“You normally have to be bashed about a bit by life to see the point of daffodils, sunsets and uneventful nice days.”
How to Survive the Modern World: Making Sense of and Finding Calm in Unsteady Times shines a bright light on how our modern world has brought us a range of extraordinary benefits and joys, including technology, medicine, and transportation. But with these advances, it seems, we’ve also seen an increase in greed, disconnection, despair, and agitation. This book helps us form a calmer, more grounded, more resilient, and more light-hearted relationship to the many complexities of our age.
A Simpler Life: A Guide to Greater Serenity, Ease, and Clarity explores ideas around minimalism, simplicity, and how to live and thrive comfortably with less. Within its pages we are guided to ways to declutter our lives – both physically and psychologically, adopt a more straight-forward mindset, and how to simplify everything from relationships, social life, lifestyle, and work.
The School of Life: An Emotional Education shows us how to live wisely and well in the twenty-first century by being well-versed in the ways of emotional intelligence. With an admirable blend of analysis and anecdote, philosophical insight and practical wisdom we learn how we interact with each other and ourselves, and how we can do so better.
Mind & Body: Mental Exercises for Physical Wellbeing; Physical Exercises for Mental Wellbeing is a practical and playful guide to balancing and maintaining physical and mental harmony. It is filled with reflections and exercises designed to help us live more harmoniously and maturely within both mind and body.
Relationships: Learning to Love is a fresh approach to matters of the heart – inspiring closeness and connection to help you not only find love – but make your love last.
Pagans: The Visual Culture of Pagan Myths, Legends and Rituals by Ethan Doyle White is comprised of a curated selection of pagan art and artifacts – explaining the iconography and mystic power of pagan ritual objects from around the world.
George: A Magpie Memoir from poet and painter Frieda Hughes tells a tale of love, obsession, and feathers. When the author moved to the depths of the Welsh countryside, she was expecting to take on a few projects: planting a garden, painting, writing her poetry column for The London Times, and possibly even breathing new life into her ailing marriage. But instead, she found herself rescuing a baby magpie, the sole survivor of a nest destroyed in a storm – and embarking on an obsession that would change the course of her life.
Thinking with Your Hands: The Surprising Science Behind How Gestures Shape Our Thoughts by distinguished cognitive psychologist Susan Goldin-Meadow argues that gesture is vital to how we think, learn, and communicate. Sweeping and ambitious, Thinking with Your Hands promises to transform the way we think about language and communication.
You Are Your Own Fairy Tale by Amanda Lovelace is a beautifully bound edition of her You Are Your Own Fairy Tale trilogy that proves the only thing needed for a happily ever after is yourself.
Believe in Your Own Magic: A 45-Card Oracle Deck and Guidebook also by Amanda Lovelace is a very special oracle deck with illustrations by Janaina Medeiros offering daily messages of empowerment to stir your inner princess, witch, or mermaid. Whenever you’re in need of some inspiration or validation, this deck will be there to help you believe in your own magic.
Wild Mind, Wild Earth: Our Place in the Sixth Extinction by David Hinton explores the confluence of ancient Chinese spirituality and modern western environmental thought, revealing the often unrecognized kinship of mind and nature that must be reanimated if we are to promote a healthy and sustainable Earth.
Earth Medicine: Ancestral Wisdom, Healing Recipes, and Wellness Rituals from a Curandera from Felicia Cocotzin Ruiz is an accessible guide to time-honored indigenous wisdom, healing recipes, and wellness rituals for modern life from an experienced curandera.
Mystic Mondays: The Cosmic Creatures Deck and Guidebook to Connect to the Wilderness Within by Grace Duong is a 66 full-color card deck featuring a terrific group of creatures from land, sea, and sky. From panthers to dolphins, the most captivating and magical animals under the stars are rendered in striking colors and vivid detail.
How It Feels to Find Yourself: Navigating Life's Changes with Purpose, Clarity, and Heart by Meera Lee Patel pairs vibrant color palettes with thoughtful observations and guidance. Through illustrated charts, honest essays, and insightful questions we are encouraged to sharpen our internal compasses so that we can discover our purpose, let go of what we’ve outgrown, and navigate challenging relationships with confidence and clarity.
Will to Wild: Adventure Great and Small to Change Your Life is an instruction manual to adventure with your guide, the author Shelby Stanger, who encourages us to break out of old habits and comfort zones, get out into nature, and bring your beautifully wild ideas to life. Whether you’re already a practiced adventurer or someone who’s never set up a tent, there’s something here just for you.
In a Moment, in a Breath: 55 Meditations to Cultivate a Courageous Heart by Zen Priest and anthropologist Joan Halifax is a curated collection of short meditations to help you tune in, cultivate compassion, and still the mind in just a moment’s notice. It includes a guidebook with introductory material which is beautifully complimented by the author’s full-color calligraphy paintings.
The Yoga of Parenting: Ten Yoga-Based Practices to Help You Stay Grounded, Connect with Your Kinds, and Be Kind to Yourself from Sarah Ezrin with a foreword by Jennifer Pastiloff offers 34 practices to find more presence, patience, and acceptance – with your child and with yourself. Ezrin, a longtime yoga teacher, supports readers and practitioners in slowing down, cultivating strong and healthy boundaries, and intention setting – both on and off the mat.
Enlightenment Is an Accident: Ancient Wisdom and Simple Practices to Make You Accident Prone by Tim Burkett is a warm-hearted guide to Buddhist practice for those ready to contend with the reality that enlightenment – the realization of non-self – can’t be achieved by the self. Drawing on stories of his first teacher, the Zen master Shunryu Suzuki (author of Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind), and Burkett’s decades of practice and teaching, he reveals how to live in the world with a deep joy that comes from embracing the work and play of this very moment.
Body Neutral: A Revolutionary Guide to Overcoming Body Image Issues from Jessi Kneeland is a life-changing guide to reclaiming your relationship with your body – and yourself. It’s so easy to imagine that by changing the outside of our bodies, we’d feel better on the ‘inside’. But we all know intellectually that even if we could magically attain a so-called ‘perfect’ body, our problems wouldn’t actually be solved. There’s a reason you’re unhappy with your body and this work will help you discover what that reason is and how to defuse its power, freeing you to enjoy a life of more confidence, security, and satisfaction.
A Day with No Words by Tiffany Hammond with illustrations by Kate Cosgrove invites readers into the life of an autism family who communicates just as the child does, without spoken language.
10 Cats by Emily Gravett follows a group of playful cats as they turn a mess of color into an engaging display of art and text – perfect for kids age 3 and up.
ABC and You and Me from Corinna Luyken inspires kids to move their bodies as they learn the alphabet.
The Reading Adventure: 100 Books to Check Out Before You're 12 encourages young readers to discover a diverse range of books beyond the curriculum. From mystery to autobiography, this book is organized by genre, so you can jump to the section that interests you the most. Included are 15 exclusive author interviews, vibrant and fun illustrations, and writing activities to try beyond the book itself.
100 Places to See After You Die: A Travel Guide to the Afterlife from New York Times bestselling author and legendary Jeopardy! champion and host Ken Jennings comes a hilarious travel guide to the afterlife, exploring destinations ‘to die for’ from literature, mythology, and pop culture ranging from Dante’s Inferno to Hadestown. Fascinating, funny, and irreverent, this light-hearted memento mori will help you create your very own bucket list – for after you’ve kicked the bucket.
Advice from a Blob: How to Find Peace in this Messy, Beautiful, Chaotic Existence by social media sensation Lennie is a full-color, illustrated self-care book filled with insights to boost our mental health – wisdom to help us combat negativity, find acceptance and peace, and embrace the miracle of ourselves. As Lennie reminds us, no matter where we are in life, we’ve got this.