The OverDrive team’s 7 self-help books that actually helped
The self-help book genre is pretty vast, and what works for one person isn’t always guaranteed to resonate with another.
But sometimes, a good recommendation is all you need to embark on your next reading adventure, which is why Team OverDrive is sharing some of the self-help books that brought them comfort, inspired them to make changes and introduced them to new ideas and perspectives.
“Having recently experienced the deep and profound loss of my teenage son, I turned to help books to help bring me solace, comfort, and tips on managing my crushing grief. “It’s OK That You’re Not OK” by Megan Devine has been immensely helpful for me in challenging the myths of grief in a society that compels grievers to “move on” by dispelling the idea that there is something inherently wrong with grieving too hard or too long. In a culture that wants to solve grief it can be extremely difficult for someone like me who has recently lost such a huge part of their life to pick up the pieces and start to heal when everyone who means well says the wrong thing. I’ve gone back and forth between reading the digital version of this book on Libby and listening to the audiobook version depending on my mood or what I need at the current stage in my grief journey. I love that this book, much like grief, is not linear or meant to be read in a particular order and that anyone experiencing profound grief can read the chapters that reflect where they are in their grief journey.
From the very first sentence of the book, “Here’s what I most want you to know: this really is as bad as you think,” Devine quietly comforts the reader by immediately acknowledging that their grief is the heaviest thing they will ever have to carry. Devine examines societal norms of grief including the competition of grief (“I know how you feel, my cousin died last year.”), the anger associated with grieving (when even the kindest sympathies can feel like knives in an open wound), and finally how to pick up the pieces and move forward with the physical and emotional complications of deep grief while once again finding joy and a reason for living. This book has been a tremendous comfort to me in the darkest time of my life and continuously reminds me that love is the only thing that truly lasts.”
-Barbara, Digital Content Librarian
“Reading “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking” by Susan Cain in my 20’s was enlightening for me. It was the first time in my life I felt validated as an introvert. Until I read this book, I always thought of my introversion as negative – as me being quiet and shy, as someone who would “rather be reading” than engaged in social interaction and that this was a bad thing. Now I know, thanks to Susan Cain, that there are many reasons to be proud of this trait. I love to pass this book on to others who I know would benefit from the same shift in perspective I had as a result of reading it, and it elates me that it comes in a young readers’ edition, too, so hopefully youth will discover the beauty of introversion much earlier than I did.”
-Barbie, Account Manager
“I listened to a book titled “Intuitive Eating by Megan Young” that is helping me to change the way I view food and is helping me to step out of the diet culture that I have been a part of for so many years. I do have some health issues that I need to be careful about, but no longer do I think in terms of “earning” food. I am learning to listen to what my body is telling me, which, after many years of intense ignoring, feels totally new and different. Honestly, I am loving it. I know that the journey for me is just beginning but, better late than never!”
-Lisa, Product Trainer
A self-help book that truly helped me kick bad habits (smoking) and instill healthier one was “The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg“. I listened to the audiobook and have recommended it often. I found it encouraging because it explained scientifically that habits take time to develop and to break. It’s not the newest title or the best jacket, but it was impactful as I try to improve my health after a Type 2 diagnosis.”
-Sarah, Digital Content Librarian
“Self-help is a genre I love to want to read. I always imagine myself listening to an audiobook about productivity while washing dishes or reading an ebook after a successful meditation session. When faced with a choice between fascinating non-fiction or a hot new genre fic, though, an imaginary world always wins out over the real one.
That all changed for me when my cousin gifted me a copy of “Chani Nicholas’s You Were Born for This“. Think astrology is not your jam? Think again. Chani breaks down each sign, house, and aspect of your birth chart in a fascinating, approachable way, complete with historical traditions, practical applications, and clear examples so you can use the book as the subheader suggests: a tool for radical acceptance. I read this first as a print book while I learned my chart and then as an ebook so I could always take it with me on the go. Give it a read and then tell us your sun, moon, and rising!”
-Sydney, Manager, Training
“I love Cal Newport’s work. We face constant interruption and distraction, both at work and at home, which decreases the quality of our work or the time we spend with loved ones. Both “Deep Work” and “Digital Minimalism” changed how I think about productivity, time management, and focus. Deep Work helped me prioritize monotasking over multitasking, and Digital Minimalism helped me finally abandon most social media platforms. I recommend both titles and think they would be worth revisiting every couple of years…now that I’ve found the joys of TikTok, I may be due for a re-read sooner than later.”
-Tiffany, Product Liaison
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