The best books to help you become a better human even when you are not sure you want to

Why am I passionate about this?

I've always been fascinated with how people overcome terrible circumstances ever since my childhood when my parents took me through the Tower of London and told me people survived the horrible torture devices on display. I got into reading biographies of war heroes, concentration camp survivors, and athletes who survived torture, betrayal, illness, and cruelty only to become people I admire. I became a clinical psychologist because I love inspiring others to discover their own greatness during life’s worst moments. I’ve had to learn how to find love, hope, and meaning when trauma, disability, death, and broken promises have ground me down to a bloody pulp.


I wrote...

The No Worries Guide to Raising Your Anxious Child: A Handbook to Help You and Your Anxious Child Thrive

By Karen Cassiday,

Book cover of The No Worries Guide to Raising Your Anxious Child: A Handbook to Help You and Your Anxious Child Thrive

What is my book about?

This two-in-one handbook will help you to understand your child's anxiety and how to ease it, while also showing you how to reconcile your own fears and worries that come with raising an anxious child.

Tips and strategies from evidence-based therapies, such as CBT, ACT, and exposure therapy, are paired in this guide with humorous, thoughtful, and honest anecdotes of the author's own life and parenting experiences. Challenging modern cultural pressures to be a 'perfect parent' and warning against the trap of over-accommodation, Dr. Cassiday gives advice on how to embrace imperfection and uncertainty and to build resilience, compassion, and gratitude so that anxiety can take the back seat in your family. This book will help you and your child to thrive and find joy even during the worst bouts of anxiety.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of The Choice: Embrace the Possible

Karen Cassiday Why did I love this book?

This memoir is a gripping narrative of Eva's survival as a gifted dancer and gymnast in pre-war Hungary, the Nazi concentration camps, and her long journey toward wholeness after immigrating to the United States. 

She details the mental and interpersonal ravages of complex trauma poignantly describes her struggle to gain mental wellness in a world that contains suffering.

She is one of the world's experts on healing from trauma and it shows in her riveting descriptions of how she and her patients learned to bear the pain of great suffering while reclaiming the beauty of compassion, forgiveness, and loving relationships.

By Edith Eva Eger,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Choice as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE AWARD-WINNING SUNDAY TIMES AND NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Even in hell, hope can flower

'I'll be forever changed by her story' - Oprah Winfrey

'Extraordinary ... will stick with you long after you read it' - Bill Gates

'One of those rare and eternal stories you don't want to end' - Desmond Tutu

'A masterpiece of holocaust literature. Her memoir, like her life, is extraordinary, harrowing and inspiring in equal measure' - The Times Literary Supplement

'I can't imagine a more important message for modern times. Eger's book is a triumph' - The New York Times

In 1944, sixteen-year-old…


Book cover of The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot

Karen Cassiday Why did I love this book?

This book tells the story of a teenage girl with terminal cancer who befriends a hospital chaplain and an elderly woman during her last year of life. 

She asks the big questions of life and finds friendship and meaning during existential and physical struggle. You cannot help but fall in love with the characters and share their efforts to find self, meaning, and hope during great struggle.

By Marianne Cronin,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

**LONGLISTED FOR THE AUTHOR'S CLUB FIRST NOVEL AWARD**

'Emotional, involving, witty and sad. Everyone is going to love Lenni and Margot'
JILL MANSELL

'Lenni and Margot are two of the most wonderful, warm, witty and wise heroines I've ever met. Beautiful and glorious' CLARE POOLEY, author of The Authenticity Project

Fiercely alive, disarmingly funny and brimming with tenderness, THE ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF LENNI AND MARGOT unwraps the extraordinary gift of life, and revels in our infinite capacity for friendship and love when we need them most.
_______________________________________

Life is short.

No-one knows that better than seventeen-year-old Lenni. But as…


Book cover of Spare

Karen Cassiday Why did I love this book?

Spare, by Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, is a funny and touching read about what it takes to overcome situations that are out of your control, overwhelming, and inevitably the same struggles we all face. 

We all face the pressure of unfair expectations, unfair judgement, and familial or cultural pressure to conform, but few of us must do this on a world stage, let alone overcome the trauma of the early death of a parent or combat trauma. 

Reading this book made me both glad I was not a royal and inspired that a mere likable human being can overcome a dysfunctional family, combat trauma, and family drama.

By Prince Harry,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Spare as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It was one of the most searing images of the twentieth century: two young boys, two princes, walking behind their mother's coffin as the world watched in sorrow-and horror. As Princess Diana was laid to rest, billions wondered what Prince William and Prince Harry must be thinking and feeling-and how their lives would play out from that point on.

For Harry, this is that story at last.

Before losing his mother, twelve-year-old Prince Harry was known as the carefree one, the happy-go-lucky Spare to the more serious Heir. Grief changed everything. He struggled at school, struggled with anger, with loneliness-and,…


Book cover of No Cure for Being Human: (And Other Truths I Need to Hear)

Karen Cassiday Why did I love this book?

No Cure for Being Human is like sitting down with the best friend you wish you always had and having a heart-to-heart chat about all the things no one told you about being a human. 

Kate challenges you to bravely abandon toxic positivity in favor of gritty self-compassion and radical acceptance of suffering in a world that is never failing and yet full of great beauty and love.

By Kate Bowler,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked No Cure for Being Human as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The bestselling author of Everything Happens for a Reason (And Other Lies I’ve Loved) asks, how do you move forward with a life you didn’t choose?

“Kate Bowler is the only one we can trust to tell us the truth.”—Glennon Doyle, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Untamed

It’s hard to give up on the feeling that the life you really want is just out of reach. A beach body by summer. A trip to Disneyland around the corner. A promotion on the horizon. Everyone wants to believe that they are headed toward…


Book cover of Love People, Use Things: Because the Opposite Never Works

Karen Cassiday Why did I love this book?

Love People Use Things: Because the Opposite Never Works, by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus is refreshingly honest account of two men who discover that chasing after the “good life” is a guaranteed soul killer. 

They use good humor, witty insight, and compelling personal examples to challenge the culture of consumerism, and social media envy. 

This book is a valuable guidebook out of overspending, retail therapy, and cluttering your mind and life with things that get in the way of living according to your values and deepest need for healthy relationships.

By Joshua Fields Millburn, Ryan Nicodemus,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Love People, Use Things as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

**THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER**

"The Minimalists show you how to disconnect from our conditioned material state and reconnect to our true essence: love people and use things. This is not a book about how to live with less, but about how to live more deeply and more fully."
―Jay Shetty, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Think Like a Monk

AS SEEN ON THE NETFLIX DOCUMENTARIES MINIMALISM & LESS IS NOW

How might your life be better with less?

Imagine a life with less: less stuff, less clutter, less stress and debt and discontent―a life with fewer…


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We Had Fun and Nobody Died: Adventures of a Milwaukee Music Promoter

By Amy T. Waldman, Peter Jest,

Book cover of We Had Fun and Nobody Died: Adventures of a Milwaukee Music Promoter

Amy T. Waldman

New book alert!

What is my book about?

This irreverent biography provides a rare window into the music industry from a promoter’s perspective. From a young age, Peter Jest was determined to make a career in live music, and despite naysayers and obstacles, he did just that, bringing national acts to his college campus atUW-Milwaukee, booking thousands of concerts across Wisconsin and the Midwest, and opening Shank Hall, the beloved Milwaukee venue named after a club in the cult film This Is Spinal Tap.

Jest established lasting friendships with John Prine, Arlo Guthrie, and others, but ultimately, this book tells a universal story of love and hope – about figuring out where you belong, finding your way there, and living a life that matters.

We Had Fun and Nobody Died: Adventures of a Milwaukee Music Promoter

By Amy T. Waldman, Peter Jest,

What is this book about?

The entertaining and inspiring story of a stubbornly independent promoter and club owner 

This irreverent biography provides a rare window into the music industry from a promoter’s perspective. From a young age, Peter Jest was determined to make a career in live music, and despite naysayers and obstacles, he did just that, bringing national acts to his college campus at UW–Milwaukee, booking thousands of concerts across Wisconsin and the Midwest, and opening Shank Hall, the beloved Milwaukee venue named after a club in the cult film This Is Spinal Tap.

This funny, nostalgia-inducing book details the lasting friendships Jest established…


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