show episodes
 
Nonfiction authors share compelling true stories & books with great ideas for living well. In addition to discussing captivating biographies & memoirs, these writers promote business & entrepreneurship, foster community-building, encourage health & wellness, strengthen home & family, and nurture personal development. Regardless of the genre, all the books we feature are insightful, inspiring, and uplifting. In the end, we save you time by curating long-standing classics, sleepers, and new re ...
 
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show series
 
SUMMARY Radiologist, author, and speaker Linda K. Olson shares the story of becoming a triple amputee in her new book, Gone. On the cusp of becoming doctors, Olson and her husband are hit by a train in Germany, leaving Linda without three limbs. Uttered by her husband Dave just after the accident, the words “If you can do it, I can do it” become th…
 
SUMMARY Brad Aronson, author of the National Bestseller HumanKind: Changing the World One Small Act a Time, discovered content when his wife was recovering from leukemia. Inspired by the many demonstrations of "humankindness" that supported their family through this dark time, he began writing a blog. Then, realizing that even the smallest of gestu…
 
SUMMARY Much-decorated professor and accomplished author, Charlotte Gray chronicles Reluctant Genius: Alexander Graham Bell and the Passion for Invention. Bell originally hailed from Scotland, emigrated to Canada for better health, and eventually settled in Boston, Massachusetts (USA) where he acted virtually solo while inventing what we know as th…
 
SUMMARY In her memoir, The Smallest Lights in the Universe, author and astrophysicist Sara Seager shares her journey exploring both outer and inner space. An MIT professor standing on the cutting edge of discovering exoplanets, she is widowed at age 40 and plunged into deep grief. But with patience, time, and the help of a tight-knit widows’ group,…
 
Author Cecilia Rodriguez Aragon, once a shy, timid child riddled by fear, shares her breakout memoir, Flying Free: My Victory over Fear to Become the First Latina Pilot on the US Aerobatic Team. Her book, 20 years in the making, features Aragon facing her fears head-on through learning to fly. With fierce determination matching her mathematical sup…
 
SUMMARY Heidi Herman serves up her latest book, On With the Butter! Spread More Living onto Everyday Life. Taking the title from an Icelandic expression meaning “Carry on, keep doing what you’re doing, forge ahead, and keep moving!” and inspired by her nonagenarian mother who lived by this mantra, Herman compiles dozens of ideas to fully embrace ea…
 
SUMMARY Little did Pushpendra Mehta know that by answering one simple question on Quora, his book, Observe to Unmask: 100 Small Things to Know People Better, would emerge. The question: “What small thing can tell you a lot about a person?” Mehta’s answer would get over 1 million views and lead to his collecting bits of wisdom for understanding huma…
 
Giving hope to the average achiever, Rich Karlgaard shares his latest book, Late Bloomers: The Power of Patience in a World Obsessed with Early. He observes, “We’ve created a new system of snobbery based on IQ scores and elite university degrees. To mitigate this crisis, we must stop excessively glorifying precocious achievement and seeing human de…
 
SUMMARY Early childhood and parent educator Rahima Dancy encourages parents to trust themselves in the 3rd edition of her book You Are Your Child's First Teacher: Encouraging Your Child's Natural Development from Birth to Age Six. Since its first edition, the book now includes advice about technology and even how to teach while the children are aro…
 
SUMMARY Reader, Come Home: The Reading Brain in a Digital World, by Maryanne Wolf, includes a treatise for deep reading in a world that has shifted from print to digital medium. In her book, Wolf addresses a myriad of attendant issues, concerns, and questions about the future of reading. While explaining the complexity surrounding the acquisition o…
 
SUMMARY When Genevieve Piturro, jumped off the New York City corporate ladder, she didn’t know her burning passion to deliver pajamas and books to children in shelters would turn into the wildly successful, nationwide nonprofit Pajama Program. Her book, Purpose, Passion, and Pajamas: How to Transform Your Life, Embrace the Human Connection, and Lea…
 
Nightingale Tales: Stories from My Life as Nurse, by Lynn Dow, spans 50 years of one nurse's career experiences–some funny, some sad, and all true. A registered nurse, Dow began her medical career reluctantly but eventually worked as a staff nurse, head nurse, teacher, and mentor at large medical centers on both the east and west coasts. As handmai…
 
SUMMARY With one feature article in The New York Times, journalist Nikita Stewart began telling the compelling true story of Troop 6000: The Girl Scout Troop that Began in a Shelter and Inspired the World. The book actually weaves together three stories: the history of Girls Scouts, the story of a family navigating the New York City homeless system…
 
SUMMARY J.W. (Terry) Freiberg, also known as “the Oliver Sacks of Law,” continues shedding light on connections in his latest “loneliness book,” Surrounded by Others and Yet So Alone: A Lawyer's Case Stories of Love, Loneliness and Litigation. Social psychologist turned lawyer and master storyteller, Freiberg explores chronic loneliness through fiv…
 
SUMMARY David Kamp shines light on a bright, optimistic movement in his book, Sunny Days: The Children's Television Revolution that Changed America. When a group of progressive intellectuals, artists, and activists decided to focus on disadvantaged children, a children’s television revolution began. Driven by their agenda was to “do good,” this gro…
 
SUMMARY One of 75 top-performing real estate brokers in the country for the past ten years, Tracy McLaughlin reveals industry secrets in her breakout book, Real Estate Rescue: How America Leaves Billions Behind in Residential Real Estate and How to Maximize Your Home’s Value. After spending more than two decades helping her clients buy and sell hom…
 
SUMMARY Dr. Leonard Sax, a premier child psychologist, peels back the veneer of successful families in his latest bestseller The Collapse of Parenting: How We Hurt Our Kids When We Treat Them Like Grown-Ups. Originally intending to contrast American parents with those outside the U.S., Sax explains how and why bonds across generations have been bro…
 
SUMMARY In her newest book, The Good Fight: Use Productive Conflict to Get Your Team and Your Organization Back on Track, Liane Davey explodes the myth that “conflict” is a bad word or something to be avoided. She boldly claims, "Organizations require conflict." Without it, stagnation and resentment settle into the cracks of an original issue, maki…
 
SUMMARY Craig Borlase, a New York Times and international bestselling author of more than 60 books, co-authors the unexpected worldwide bestselling memoir, "Finding Gobi: The Little Dog with a Very Big Heart." This true story features co-author and ultramarathoner Dion Leonard who crosses paths with a stray dog while racing 150 miles across the Gob…
 
SUMMARY Bilha Chesner Fish, M.D., an Israeli-American immigrant and distinguished radiologist, shares her new book, Invincible Women. Based on personal "Conversations with 21 Inspiring and Successful American Immigrants," Invincible Women is a collection of stories illustrating the grit, willpower, and conviction of women fighting to achieve the Am…
 
SUMMARY Whitney Johnson, named one of 50 leading business thinkers in the world, shares her groundbreaking work in Disrupt Yourself: Master Relentless Change and Speed Up Your Learning Curve. With a new introduction, the book is endorsed by business heavy-hitters such as Eric Ries, Clayton Christensen, Liz Wiseman, Adam Grant, Steve Wozniak, Susan …
 
SUMMARY Codi Shewan, a former funeral director and embalmer, encourages us to live fully today. In his new book, Everyday Legacy: Lessons for Living with Purpose, Right Now, he shares personal anecdotes and no-nonsense insights to show us how to live our legacy rather than just leave a legacy. His book helps us be more intentional and recognize the…
 
SUMMARY For our special Mother’s Day episode, award-winning journalist Jo Giese shares her delightful memoir, Never Sit If You Can Dance: Lessons from My Mother. Late in life, Giese realized what a treasure she had in her mother (nicknamed “Babe”). So, she began collecting her mother’s life stories and instructions that she had internalized, includ…
 
SUMMARY Bridgett Miller, with almost two decades of experience as a teacher and parent, writes What Young Children Need You to Know: How to See Them So You Know What to Do for Them. Supporting adults to nurture the children in their lives using their heads and their hearts, Miller brings to the table her credentials, including being an authorized F…
 
SUMMARY In her latest book, Limitless Mind: Learn, Lead, and Live Without Barriers, Dr. Jo Boaler, Professor in the School of Education at Stanford University, explodes myths surrounding “giftedness." She asserts, “The myth that our brains are fixed and that we simply don’t have the aptitude for certain topics is not only scientifically inaccurate;…
 
SUMMARY In The Quest for Eternal Sunshine: A Holocaust Survivor's Journey from Darkness to Light, Myra Goodman shares her father’s story of transformation posthumously. As a Polish Hassidic Jew, Mendek Rubin is the object of anti-Semitism even before Hitler closes in on the Jews. After surviving the Holocaust, he becomes a brilliant inventor who re…
 
SUMMARY Award- winning journalist and six-time author Matthew Algeo brings us Harry Truman's Excellent Adventure: The True Story of a Great American Road Trip. By retracing the Trumans’ 2500-mile journey from Independence, Missouri to the East Coast and back again, Algeo captures the ordinariness of an extraordinary former U.S. President and his wi…
 
SUMMARY Branding expert Jeremy Miller shares his trade secrets in his second book, Brand New Name: A Proven Step-by-Step Process to Create an Unforgettable Brand Name. Miller’s book outlines how to name or rename anything through his practical how-to guide that includes loads of examples and inspirational stories. Miller himself had to “eat his own…
 
SUMMARY In her first book, Dust Bowl Girls: The Inspiring Story of the Team that Barnstormed Its Way to Basketball Glory, Lydia Reeder captures the gripping true story of an underdog women’s championship basketball team. Boxes of family history documents introduced Reeder to Sam Babb, her great uncle and the underdog team’s coach during the Depress…
 
Med student turned public health detective, Dr. Karen K. Lee chronicles her decades-long professional journey in her recent book, Fit Cities: My Quest to Improve the World's Health and Wellness—Including Yours. As a built environment advisor, she helps gather data about how we eat, build, and move. Typical assessments include walkability, availabil…
 
SUMMARY Radical Spirits: India’s First Woman Doctor and Her American Champions is Nandini Patwardhan’s first full-length biography. “Based on original letters, university archives, and newspaper accounts, Radical Spirits draws a textured portrait of the relationships that Indian, British, and American individuals forged by bridging cultural and cla…
 
SUMMARY In her nonfiction children’s picture book, Natascha Biebow uncovers the little-known story of The Crayon Man: The True Story of the Invention of Crayola Crayons. In addition to Steven Salerno's brilliant illustrations, Biebow's narrative includes "fact boxes" to embed extra information for the curious reader and inquiring adult. More than a…
 
SUMMARY Celebrated science journalist Lydia Denworth coalesces decades of research to bring us her book, FRIENDSHIP: THE EVOLUTION, BIOLOGY, AND EXTRAORDINARY POWER OF LIFE’S FUNDAMENTAL BOND. Studies in history, biology, neuroscience, genetics, sociology, and epidemiology confirm we humans are deeply wired to connect with others. Furthermore, we n…
 
SUMMARY Maria Ross, brand strategist and founder of Red Slice, shares her latest book, The Empathy Edge. Going beyond warm fuzzies, Ross shares hard data affirming the need for companies to understand what their customers really want and need. Seeing things from the customer’s perspective is not only a good idea and the right thing to do; it’s beco…
 
Investigative health journalist Judy Foreman brings decades of experience and hundreds of scientific studies to her latest book, Exercise Is Medicine: How Physical Activity Boosts Health and Slows Aging. Even though we know of more centenarians now than ever before, we’re also growing fatter and older faster than ever. Through extensive research in…
 
SUMMARY In The Red Rose Crew, former crew team member and rowing coach, Daniel Boyne, tackles the compelling true story of the female athletes who came together to form the first U.S. Women’s National Crew Team. It was 1975, just when Title IX began to crack open doors to American women in sports and at universities across the nations. This formida…
 
SUMMARY Dr. BJ Fogg, founder and director of the Behavior Design Lab at Stanford University, unveils his breakout book, Tiny Habits: The Small Changes That Change Everything. A bright yellow sheath striping the book cover boldly claims, “This Book Will Change Your Life!” Inside the book, Fogg explodes myths promoting traditional approaches to chang…
 
SUMMARY After learning important communication skills, author Michael Sorensen decided to “pay it forward” by writing I Hear You: The Surprisingly Simple Skill Behind Extraordinary Relationships. Especially powerful is the skill of validation, which Sorensen packages in a 4-Step Validation Process. KEY POINTS Validation – showing we understand anot…
 
SUMMARY Issuing a warning against “global cooling,” world-renowned Italian psychotherapist Piero Ferrucci offers a guide for individual and societal well-being in his book, The Power of Kindness: The Unexpected Benefits of Leading a Compassionate Life. In his tenth-anniversary edition, Ferruci delivers in great depth 19 distinct facets of kindness.…
 
SUMMARY Embedded deep in the heart of Northern Arizona with the Chinle High School boys’ basketball team, sportswriter Michael Powell gives us a behind-the-scenes look in Canyon Dreams: A Basketball Season on the Navajo Nation. Given access to the team through coach Raul Mendoza, Powell is able to pull back from the game and see the larger Native A…
 
Bestselling author and clinical psychologist Dr. Susan Albers hits on a topic familiar to all of us in her latest book, Hanger Management: Master Your Hunger and Improve Your Mood, Mind, and Relationships. An expert in mindful eating, she sheds light on the causes of “hanger” (a toxic combination of hunger and anger) and shares 45 tips for “turning…
 
SUMMARY Melody Warnick's debut book, This Is Where You Belong: Finding Home Wherever You Are, chronicles her experience navigating a cross-country move while also providing the rest of us a practical guide for loving the place we live—wherever that may be. With humor, candor, and loads of data, Warnick takes us through her personal exploration of t…
 
SUMMARY Sonia Nazario, Pulitzer Prize winner for her feature story about immigration, turned her articles into her bestselling memoir, Enrique’s Journey: The Story of a Boy's Dangerous Odyssey to Reunite with His Mother. By physically retracing the very steps and train rides of teenage immigrant Enrique, Nazario faced the same obstacles and dangers…
 
SUMMARY Author Flynn Coleman, attorney-at-law long interested in the intersection of human rights and technology, brings us A Human Algorithm: How Artificial Intelligence is Redefining Who We Are. She examines the immense impact intelligent technology has and will have on humanity. These machines, while challenging our personal beliefs and our soci…
 
From a cryptic press release from Carl Hayden Community High School, former contributing editor for Wired magazine Josh Davis discovers a true David-and-Goliath story. Originally intended to be a historical document of 2014 immigration reform legislation, Davis’s magazine article goes viral and becomes the beginning of his bestseller Spare Parts: F…
 
SUMMARY Coming from a long line of junk dealers, Adam Minter explores the “afterlife” of billions of tons of used goods in his second book, Secondhand: Travels in the New Global Garage Sale. Minter evaluates both the monetary and emotional value of things that we use then give away. Sobering and hopeful at the same time, his findings unveil why we …
 
In his latest book, Creating Things That Matter: The Art and Science of Innovations That Last, David Edwards unveils elements essential to the creative process employed by the world’s best innovators. As a creator, writer, and educator, Edwards attributes his deep and persistent love affair with creativity to his father who took time to play with h…
 
SUMMARY Historian and memoirist Duncan Barrett, after spending three months on the Channel Islands interviewing more than 100 people directly affected by the WWII Nazi Occupation, layers the islanders’ true stories in his latest book, “Hitler’s British Isles: The Real Story of the Occupied Channel Islands.” Beginning in the summer of 1940, coming p…
 
SUMMARY An underdog herself, Krista Beth Driver discovers the surprising history of how Vietnamese women helped American nail salons proliferate. In her first book, Mani/Pedi: A True-Life Rags-to-Riches Story from Boat to Beauty Salon, Driver tells the story through the experiences of Charlie Vo, a Vietnamese salon owner in Los Angeles. Beginning w…
 
SUMMARY Josephine Ensign shares her own story in Catching Homelessness: A Nurse’s Story of Falling Through the Safety Net. Even though she’s a nurse trained to keep an emotional distance from her patients “to prevent being so overwhelmed that it cripples the provision of proper health care,” Ensign works tirelessly to treat and keep track of the ho…
 
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