Nonfiction Short Take: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck – Mark Manson

Very strong first week sales for this book which is based on the author’s blog. He has a strong online following and there’s coverage in the The New York Daily News, Forbes, Mother Jones,, Bustle,, Huffington Post, and a number of influential blogs.

The flippant in-your-face title belies what Kirkus calls a “guide to living with integrity and finding happiness in sometimes-painful places.” His fans are numerous include Elizabeth Gilbert who has talked Manson up on Facebook. I think you can expect some of those fans to walk into your bookstore looking for it.

“Popular blogger Manson criticizes self-help books for their fundamentally flawed approach of telling readers they’re special, assuring them that they can surpass—but, notably, not solve—problems, and encouraging them to embrace their exceptionalism. The author sternly disagrees, showing readers ‘how to pick and choose what matters to you and what does not matter to you based on finely honed values.’….Throughout, the author continually slaps readers sharply across the face, using blunt, funny, and deceptively offhand language when expanding on his key principle: ‘Not giving a fuck does not mean being indifferent; it means being comfortable with being different….There’s absolutely nothing admirable or confident about indifference. People who are indifferent are lame and scared….This book, full of counterintuitive suggestions that often make great sense, is a pleasure to read and worthy of rereading.”
Kirkus Reviews

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life (9780062457714) by Mark Manson. $24.99 hardcover. 9/13/16 on sale.


Nonfiction Short Take: Life on Purpose – Victor J. Strecher

This short book intertwines personal narrative with scientific research on how finding purpose in life is directly related to improved health and happiness. It’s both useful and rewarding reading.

To get a sense of the approach, you can watch Strecher, a professor of at the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health, present a very entertaining overview of his work at a TEDx talk. (As a side note, the visuals in this talk are from a graphic novel version he did of this story titled On Purpose. It’s pretty cool.)

“Victor Strecher has written what I would best describe as a ‘gift.’ For too many of us, resilience and growth are fueled by tragedy and loss. Victor, set on a relentless pursuit of clarity during the illness and loss of his daughter Julia, teaches us about what a life on purpose is all about, and how it differs from simply finding meaning. He also gifts us the ability to define our purpose and immediately start instilling into our own lives. Make no mistake, understanding this concept is not only good for your health — it is good for the whole world. And, there is an added benefit: it will take your life and completely transform it from black and white to Technicolor.”
— Sanjay Gupta, New York Times bestselling author and Chief Medical Correspondent CNN

“Triggered by a tragic personal loss that left him feeling bereft, Strecher decided to examine the role and importance of purpose with the hope of regaining his own along the way. And while the book presents an interesting overview of the topic, it is Strecher’s personal journey to rekindle his own purpose that I found most engaging, relatable and instructive. Strecher joins others who believe a life lived with purpose and self-transcending goals is a healthier, happier, more satisfying one.”
— Sharon Gambin, Literati Bookstore, Ann Arbor, MI

Life on Purpose: How Living for What Matters Most Changes Everything (9780062409607) by Victor J. Strecher. $25.99 hardcover. 5/10/16 on sale.

Short Take: How to Be Alive – Colin Beavan

The author of the best-selling No Impact Man is back with a book that asserts a core component of having a happier life is working to make a deeply positive impact on the world.

Easier said than done, right?

In How to Be Alive, Beavan explores everything from literature and philosophy to current science and his own and others’ experiences, to show the concrete steps one can take in making transformational lifestyle adjustments, big and small.  Whether you long to save the world, escape the 9-5 grind, find adventure, worry less about money, take better care of yourself, or simply spend more time doing the things that matter to you, this aims to be a useful and inspirational reference.

“[Inspires] readers to become involved citizens….The key is to identify and live in accord with one’s real values, engage in activities that provide intrinsic rewards, and avoid being overwhelmed by the scope of the world’s problems by choosing small, easy things to do first…. His style is accessible and colloquial, interspersing the text with tips and lists of action items. Beavan’s prescriptions add up to an encouraging approach to living a less materialistic, more fulfilling life.”
Publishers Weekly

 How to Be Alive: A Guide to the Kind of Happiness That Helps the World (9780062236708) by Colin Beavan. $25.99 hardcover. 1/5/16 on sale.

New Nonfiction: The Toltec Art of Life and Death – Don Miguel Ruiz

Chances are you’ve heard of The Four Agreements. If you’re a bookseller, you definitely know it. Published in 1997 it has sold five million copies and continues to sell solidly week in and week out almost twenty years later. This new book incorporates Don Ruiz’s teachings with a personal spiritual journey he underwent during a nine-weeks-long coma after a near fatal heart attack.

“There’s a lot to chew on, as Ruiz switches between the parable-filled inward journey he took during his coma, his mother’s impressions of joining him there in that dream-state, and straightforward memories of family and students. Mirrors are a recurring theme in Ruiz’s work, and many images present a duality tailored to challenge ‘your entire belief system.’ Readers might find it difficult to follow Ruiz’s winding road to the truth, but will come away from this book with a deeper understanding of life’s complexities.”
—Publishers Weekly

“Another classic that will bring joy and enlightenment to the world.”
— Deepak Chopra

“Once again, Miguel Ruiz delivers the deepest truths in the most relevant ways…. [H]is poetry, his wisdom, and his depth are as profound as ever.”
— Marianne Williamson

The Toltec Art of Life and Death: A Story of Discovery (9780062390929) by Don Miguel Ruiz. $25.99 hardcover. 10/27/15 on


Publicity: 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do – Amy Morin will feature the book and run an online excerpt. And it will be covered in the site’s “Inspiration” newsletter in mid-January

13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do: Take Back Your Power, Embrace Change, Face Your Fears, and Train Your Brain for Happiness and Success (9780062358295) by Amy Morin. $26.99 hardcover. 12/23/15 on sale.




Short Take: The Book of Forgiving – Desmond Tutu and Mpho Tuto

Few are better positioned to offer a prescription for living a life of forgiveness and reconciliation than Nobel Peace Prize winner, Bishop Tutu. He identifies a four-fold path based on the wisdom of his experience, showing the way to release ourselves from cycles of anger, hurt and violence.

“[This book draws] on his experience heading South Africa’s post-apartheid Truth and Reconciliation Commission, but this is freshly informed with experiences that include smaller slights and insults as well as more traumatic wrongs, among them the murder of the housekeeper of Mpho Tutu, daughter of Desmond Tutu. The father-daughter pair relate stories but also include instructions on how to forgive, as well as scientific and moral reasons to do so. No one is unforgiveable; it takes a moral icon such as Tutu to credibly assert this. The book may get a boost from the recent death of Nelson Mandela, about whom Tutu says, ‘It took 27 years for him to be transformed from an angry, unforgiving young radical into an icon of reconciliation…’ This book belongs on nightstands, shelves, and altars everywhere.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

The Book of Forgiving: The Fourfold Path for Healing Ourselves and Our World (9780062203564) by Desmond Tutu and Mpho Tutu. $25.99 hardcover. 3/18/14 on sale.

Publicity: The MELT Method on Dr. Oz

An appearance and subsequent re-broadcast on Dr. Oz blew sales of The MELT Method (9780062065353) though the roof. The author now starts a major regional media campaign with radio, TV and in-store appearances. So check stock on this one. (Shout out: I’m using this chronic pain book and it’s great for those of us with issues born of too many hours at the computer.)

Check out this simple release for getting neck pain under control: