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13 Books to Keep You Warm This Winter

If the thought of a long winter gives you the shivers, we’ve compiled a list of 13 books that will help warm you up during dark days.
by Fiona Wiedmann | Dec 1 2020

It’s always hard to tell the days apart over the holidays and this year, it’s fair to assume they’ll blend together even more than ever. As many of us won’t get to spend the season with family and friends, it’s important to do whatever we can to make sure our days are as bright as possible.

At Blinkist, we’ve put together this list of 13 great nonfiction titles, that’ll help you think a little differently about the world, allowing you to grow your knowledge and feel warm and fuzzy at the same time! You can find the key insights from all of these great nonfiction titles—as well as around 4,000 others—on the Blinkist app. And don’t forget: we now have Shortcasts to check out, too!

1. The War for Kindness by Jamil Zaki

In a year when it’s often felt like empathy and kindness have been lacking, The War for Kindness might be just what you need to read. This book by Stanford psychology professor, Jamil Zaki, supports the hypothesis that empathy isn’t a fixed trait and in fact, we can learn to become more empathetic with just a little change of perspective.

2. The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown

Treat your mind and soul to Brené Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection which examines how societal messages feed into our feelings of shame and inadequacy and how we can cultivate more authenticity and belonging. Providing you with ten guiding principles by which to cultivate a more fulfilled life, Brown encourages everyone to embrace individuality, creativity and courage.

3. The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down by Haemin Sunim

The world can be a pretty overwhelming place at times so perhaps it’s time to carve a little more Zen into your life? Who better to impart their wisdom than Buddhist monk and Zen meditation teacher, Haemin Sunim. Taking his insights from his own full and rich life, he inspires us to allow space for simply slowing down.

4. Figuring by Maria Popova

Sometimes, we all need a little perspective. In Figuring, author Maria Popova transcends four centuries of history and historical figures to trace a complex and rich tapestry of interconnectedness. Focusing largely on queer women who paved the way in their individual avenues, Popova examines the entwined narrative of the figures through the complexities of love, success, and leaving a mark on the world.

5. Life’s Amazing Secrets by Gaur Gopal Das

If you want to go on a journey towards happiness, Life’s Amazing Secrets will do just that. The insights of monk and life coach, Gaur Gopal Das, are laid out in this thought-provoking title, which will shepherd you towards contentment.

6. Wonderland by Steven Johnson

Sometimes, it’s easy to feel that advances in technology and medicine came to us through genius alone, or maybe years of applied, dedicated study. In Wonderland, Steven Johnson offers up another perspective. He shows us that, in actual fact, the drivers of progress came about through the pursuit of novelty, or in other words: play. Spark your curiosity with this fascinating voyage into human nature.

7. Weird by Olga Khazan

Being weird isn’t a bad thing, according to Olga Khazan. Based on in-person interviews, scientific studies, and expert analysis, this book delves into why rejecting conformity and embracing weirdness can, in fact, lead to success, and includes strategies you can use to help your individuality shine in a world that worships normalcy.

8. The Power of Ritual by Casper ter Kuile

Humans tend to feel most fulfilled when surrounded by a supportive community but at the same time, we are becoming a far more individualistic species. In The Power of Ritual, Harvard Divinity School fellow, Casper ter Kuile, sets out a path to nourish our sense of belonging. He suggests taking our everyday practices and transforming them into stimulating rituals that focus on connection. This simple strategy can help us all find a more rewarding existence.

9. The Squiggly Career by Helen Tupper and Sarah Ellis

Career paths can be complex journeys. In The Squiggly Career, the co-authors Helen Tupper and Sarah Ellis set out to bolster your career confidence and help you to take the reins of your professional life. Use this book to ask yourself important questions, reinforce your personal strengths, and navigate a meandering career with ease.

10. Nonsense by Jamie Holmes

This illuminating book explores the role of ambiguity in our lives. Jamie Holmes asks what happens when we’re left in a state of uncertainty. This can be an unpleasant feeling for most, but this book applies new research to demonstrate that ambiguity can in fact be beneficial and knowing how to use it can be a powerful tool in today’s society. This is a crucial read for better self-understanding.

11. Savor by Thich Nhat Nanh and Dr Lilian Cheung

With gyms closed and a collective lack of motivation, perhaps you aren’t feeling at your fittest. This book explores sustainable weight loss from an alternative perspective, by urging us to forget fad diets and engage in a more holistic method for improving wellness. Thich Nhat Nanh uses mindfulness to open up the beauty and magnificence of life as it is, in the present moment.

12. The Inner Life of Animals by Peter Wohlleben

Through our own lived experience, we understand the depths of human emotions and feelings. However, we aren’t the only living creatures on the planet. Through personal experience and scientific studies, Peter Wohlleben unlocks the inner world of animals and shares what is most likely going on in their heads.

13. Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker

Sleep matters. Getting a good night’s shuteye has a knock-on effect on almost every single other aspect of our lives. In this book, Professor Matthew Walker uses scientific investigation to reveal the secrets of the activity we spend half our lives on. Some bedtime reading, perhaps?

Stack these books on your nightstand to help you through the winter of 2020, and open yourself up to a little discovery from the comfort of your own room. You can get an overview of all the key ideas from these titles on Blinkist.

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