Still in search of a thoughtful holiday gift? Check out some new book recommendations!


Sometimes we have a friend or a family member who is interested in self-help and could use a book as a gift.  Books are inexpensive and very personal, but there are so many out there.

One good way to find a good self-help title is to follow a recommendation from a mental health professional, as most are in constant touch with what’s new and useful.  My recommendations below are about life challenges, creativity, anxiety, habits, and relationships.  The links are “affiliate links”, meaning Amazon will throw me a few cents if you buy the book from my links.

These are not necessarily books released this year, some have been published years ago but remain influential pieces of work.  All of them I read this year, so I highly recommend them:

1) “The Tao of Pooh” by Benjamin Hoff and E. H. Shepard:


The reader will discover Taoism through the language of Pooh.  It is a great way to simplify complex life viewpoints and offer a balanced way to face them.  If the reader has always been curious about this ancient Chinese principle of Taoism but didn’t know where to start in a way that offers immediate use in real life, this book will help close the gap.  This is not a children’s book, but the reader can use the metaphors and analogies offered to have good conversations with their children in a language that they will understand.

2) “Creativity: A Short and Cheerful Guide” by John Cleese


Remember John Cleese? The funny guy from Monty Python.  This is a book for someone who needs help with the process of becoming creative.  If the reader is stuck, thinking that they are not creative, or they are boring, this book will be a good way to challenge their thoughts. This is good for those who want to discover their own “voice” for their business, or how to think creatively for a new venture, a new product, or even for those who need to create content for marketing and social media.  This is a great book that addresses questions about self-confidence, making mistakes, and overall performance anxiety.


3) “Atomic Habits” by James Clear


A powerful book that will teach you specific strategies to change unwanted habits or, even better, how to create new ones.  James Clear tells his personal story when he was a baseball player and how an accident changed his life, followed by a process that changed his habits.  It is filled with worksheets and strategies to start making meaningful changes to your life today.  This book is not about willpower because willpower does very little to your brain.  After the book, stay in touch with the author.


4) “Stopping the Noise in Your Head” by Reid Wilson, PhD


Reid Wilson is an authority on anxiety disorders and I have learned so much from his training.  Anything he publishes is extremely helpful.  This is not an academic book, the reader will find a lot of good explanations and strategies to help reduce anxiety and worry (two different things!).  Click here to read more about his work.


5) “How to Avoid Falling in Love with a Jerk ” by Dr. John Van Epp


I must say that I have not read this book (yet).  But a couples therapist who is a friend and an experienced Psychology professor mentioned this book to me when we were talking about men faced with Narcissistic traits.  Do you have a friend who consistently misses the mark?  This book is for them.  When I have a chance, I will read it.

Want to see previous posts on other books I recommend? Check them out here.

Happy holidays!