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Self-Help Humor


I Can't Make This Up: Life Lessons

I Can't Make This Up: Life Lessons Lowest new price: $10.98
Lowest used price: $10.70
List price: $17.00
Author: Kevin Hart

New York Times bestselling author, superstar comedian, and Hollywood box office star Kevin Hart turns his immense talent to the written word by writing some words. Some of those words include: the, a, for, above, and even even. Put them together and you have a “hilarious but also heartfelt” (Elle) memoir on survival, success, and the importance of believing in yourself.

The question you’re probably asking yourself right now is: What does Kevin Hart have that a book also has?

According to the three people who have seen Kevin Hart and a book in the same room, the answer is clear:

A book is compact. Kevin Hart is compact.

A book has a spine that holds it together. Kevin Hart has a spine that holds him together.

A book has a beginning. Kevin Hart’s life uniquely qualifies him to write this book by also having a beginning.

It begins in North Philadelphia. He was born an accident, unwanted by his parents. His father was a drug addict who was in and out of jail. His brother was a crack dealer and petty thief. And his mother was overwhelmingly strict, beating him with belts, frying pans, and his own toys.

The odds, in short, were stacked against our young hero. But Kevin Hart, like Ernest Hemingway, J.K. Rowling, and Chocolate Droppa before him, was able to defy the odds and turn it around. In his literary debut, he takes us on a journey through what his life was, what it is today, and how he’s overcome each challenge to become the man he is today.

And that man happens to be the biggest comedian in the world, with tours that sell out football stadiums and films that have collectively grossed over $3.5 billion.

He achieved this not just through hard work, determination, and talent. “Hart is an incredibly magnetic storyteller, on the page as he is onstage, and that’s what shines through [in this] genial, entertaining guide to a life in comedy” (Kirkus Reviews).

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The Pisces: A Novel

The Pisces: A Novel Lowest new price: $12.95
Lowest used price: $16.51
List price: $25.00
Author: Melissa Broder

“Bold, virtuosic, addictive, erotic – there is nothing like The Pisces. I have no idea how Broder does it, but I loved every dark and sublime page of it.” —Stephanie Danler, author of Sweetbitter 
 
Lucy has been writing her dissertation on Sappho for nine years when she and her boyfriend break up in a dramatic flameout. After she bottoms out in Phoenix, her sister in Los Angeles insists Lucy dog-sit for the summer. Annika's home is a gorgeous glass cube on Venice Beach, but Lucy can find little relief from her anxiety — not in the Greek chorus of women in her love addiction therapy group, not in her frequent Tinder excursions, not even in Dominic the foxhound's easy affection.
 
Everything changes when Lucy becomes entranced by an eerily attractive swimmer while sitting alone on the beach rocks one night. But when Lucy learns the truth about his identity, their relationship, and Lucy’s understanding of what love should look like, take a very unexpected turn. A masterful blend of vivid realism and giddy fantasy, pairing hilarious frankness with pulse-racing eroticism, THE PISCES is a story about falling in obsessive love with a merman: a figure of Sirenic fantasy whose very existence pushes Lucy to question everything she thought she knew about love, lust, and meaning in the one life we have.

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Mind Hacking: How to Change Your Mind for Good in 21 Days

Mind Hacking: How to Change Your Mind for Good in 21 Days Lowest new price: $6.69
Lowest used price: $6.77
List price: $16.00
Author: Sir John Hargrave

Have you ever wished you could reprogram your brain, just as a hacker would a computer? In this 3-step guide to improving your mental habits—using plenty of clear “computer-related terms should resonate with tech-savvy readers, including those resistant to typical self-help fare” (Publishers Weekly)— learn to take charge of your mind and banish negative thoughts, habits, and anxiety—in just twenty-one days!

A seasoned author, comedian, and entrepreneur, Sir John Hargrave once suffered from unhealthy addictions, anxiety, and poor mental health. After cracking the code to unlocking his mind’s full and balanced potential, his entire life changed for the better. In Mind Hacking, Hargrave reveals the formula that allowed him to overcome negativity and eliminate mental problems at their core.

Through a 21-day, 3-step training program, this book lays out a simple yet comprehensive approach to help you rewire your brain and achieve healthier thought patterns for a better quality of life. It hinges on the repetitive steps of analyzing, imagining, and reprogramming to help break down barriers preventing you from reaching your highest potential.

By treating your brain as a computer and mastering Hargrave’s mind hacking formula, you, too, can create a positive, permanent shift in your thinking, leading to personal and professional triumphs in all areas of life.

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White Teeth: A Novel

White Teeth: A Novel Lowest new price: $9.00
Lowest used price: $1.75
List price: $16.95
Author: Zadie Smith
Brand: Vintage Books USA

Zadie Smith’s dazzling debut caught critics grasping for comparisons and deciding on everyone from Charles Dickens to Salman Rushdie to John Irving and Martin Amis. But the truth is that Zadie Smith’s voice is remarkably, fluently, and altogether wonderfully her own.

Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read

At the center of this invigorating novel are two unlikely friends, Archie Jones and Samad Iqbal. Hapless veterans of World War II, Archie and Samad and their families become agents of England’s irrevocable transformation. A second marriage to Clara Bowden, a beautiful, albeit tooth-challenged, Jamaican half his age, quite literally gives Archie a second lease on life, and produces Irie, a knowing child whose personality doesn’t quite match her name (Jamaican for “no problem”). Samad’s late-in-life arranged marriage (he had to wait for his bride to be born), produces twin sons whose separate paths confound Iqbal’s every effort to direct them, and a renewed, if selective, submission to his Islamic faith. Set against London’ s racial and cultural tapestry, venturing across the former empire and into the past as it barrels toward the future, White Teeth revels in the ecstatic hodgepodge of modern life, flirting with disaster, confounding expectations, and embracing the comedy of daily existence.

Epic in scale and intimate in approach, White Teeth is a formidably ambitious debut. First novelist Zadie Smith takes on race, sex, class, history, and the minefield of gender politics, and such is her wit and inventiveness that these weighty subjects seem effortlessly light. She also has an impressive geographical range, guiding the reader from Jamaica to Turkey to Bangladesh and back again.

Still, the book's home base is a scrubby North London borough, where we encounter Smith's unlikely heroes: prevaricating Archie Jones and intemperate Samad Iqbal, who served together in the so-called Buggered Battalion during World War II. In the ensuing decades, both have gone forth and multiplied: Archie marries beautiful, bucktoothed Clara--who's on the run from her Jehovah's Witness mother--and fathers a daughter. Samad marries stroppy Alsana, who gives birth to twin sons. Here is multiculturalism in its most elemental form: "Children with first and last names on a direct collision course. Names that secrete within them mass exodus, cramped boats and planes, cold arrivals, medical checks."

Big questions demand boldly drawn characters. Zadie Smith's aren't heroic, just real: warm, funny, misguided, and entirely familiar. Reading their conversations is like eavesdropping. Even a simple exchange between Alsana and Clara about their pregnancies has a comical ring of truth: "A woman has to have the private things--a husband needn't be involved in body business, in a lady's... parts." And the men, of course, have their own involvement in bodily functions:

The deal was this: on January 1, 1980, like a New Year dieter who gives up cheese on the condition that he can have chocolate, Samad gave up masturbation so that he might drink. It was a deal, a business proposition, that he had made with God: Samad being the party of the first part, God being the sleeping partner. And since that day Samad had enjoyed relative spiritual peace and many a frothy Guinness with Archibald Jones; he had even developed the habit of taking his last gulp looking up at the sky like a Christian, thinking: I'm basically a good man.
Not all of White Teeth is so amusingly carnal. The mixed blessings of assimilation, for example, are an ongoing torture for Samad as he watches his sons grow up. "They have both lost their way," he grumbles. "Strayed so far from what I had intended for them. No doubt they will both marry white women called Sheila and put me in an early grave." These classic immigrant fears--of dilution and disappearance--are no laughing matter. But in the end, they're exactly what gives White Teeth its lasting power and undeniable bite. --Eithne Farry

Features:

  • Vintage Books USA

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Don't Bullsh*t Yourself!: Crush the Excuses That Are Holding You Back

Don't Bullsh*t Yourself!: Crush the Excuses That Are Holding You Back Lowest new price: $11.64
Lowest used price: $13.00
List price: $26.00
Author: Jon Taffer

New York Times Bestseller and Wall Street Journal Bestseller! Bar Rescue's Jon Taffer presents a new guide to getting what you want in life and business--to stop making excuses so you can get back to winning.

During his many years as an entrepreneur, consultant, and star of the Paramount Network's hit show Bar Rescue, Jon Taffer has witnessed the destruction that results when people bullsh*t themselves. Excuses are the root cause of nearly every business and personal problem, but fortunately, Jon knows how to fix your excuse habit for good.

This book is almost as good as having Jon in your face on Bar Rescue, telling you the hard truths you've been avoiding. Don't Bullsh*t Yourself! is Jon Taffer's brutally honest, no-nonsense guide to help you kick those excuses to the curb. If you can stop bullsh*tting yourself and address your real issues, you will gain the power to turn your life around completely.

Taffer breaks excuses down into six major categories, illustrating them with real-life examples such as Marcus Luttrell, the lone survivor of a SEAL team mission in Afghanistan who barely escaped Taliban territory, and Christine King, founder and CEO of Your Best Fit, who, despite being paralyzed in a horrific boating accident, went on to build a successful fitness company. These inspiring stories, combined with Taffer's own experiences, will give you the confidence to identify and face your own excuses head-on. 

It's Taffer Time! Time to stop bullsh*tting yourself and start crushing it!

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Of Mess and Moxie: Wrangling Delight Out of This Wild and Glorious Life

Of Mess and Moxie: Wrangling Delight Out of This Wild and Glorious Life Lowest new price: $5.85
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List price: $22.99
Author: Jen Hatmaker
Brand: HarperCollins Christian Pub.

New York Times bestselling author, Big Sister Emeritus, and Chief BFF Jen Hatmaker returns with another round of hilarious tales, shameless honesty, and hope for the woman who has forgotten her moxie.

In this highly anticipated new book, beloved author Jen Hatmaker parlays her own triumphs and tragedies into a sigh of relief for all normal, fierce women everywhere. Whether it’s the time she drove to the wrong city for a fourth-grade field trip (“Why are we in San Antonio?”) or the way she learned to forgive (God was super clear: Pray for this person every day, which was the meanest thing He ever said to me. I was furious.), she offers a reminder to those of us who sometimes hide in the car eating crackers that we do have the moxie to get back up and get back out. We can choose to live undaunted “in the moment” no matter what the moments hold, and lead vibrant, courageous, grace-filled lives.

Features:

  • THOMAS NELSON

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Men Explain Things to Me

Men Explain Things to Me Lowest new price: $7.99
Lowest used price: $4.65
List price: $12.95
Author: Rebecca Solnit
Brand: Haymarket Books

"This slim book—seven essays, punctuated by enigmatic, haunting paintings by Ana Teresa Fernandez—hums with power and wit."—Boston Globe

"The antidote to mansplaining."—The Stranger

"Feminist, frequently funny, unflinchingly honest and often scathing in its conclusions."—Salon

"Solnit tackles big themes of gender and power in these accessible essays. Honest and full of wit, this is an integral read that furthers the conversation on feminism and contemporary society."—San Francisco Chronicle Top Shelf

"Solnit [is] the perfect writer to tackle the subject: her prose style is so clear and cool."—The New Republic

"The terrain has always felt familiar, but Men Explain Things To Me is a tool that we all need in order to find something that was almost lost."—National Post

In her comic, scathing essay, "Men Explain Things to Me," Rebecca Solnit took on what often goes wrong in conversations between men and women. She wrote about men who wrongly assume they know things and wrongly assume women don't, about why this arises, and how this aspect of the gender wars works, airing some of her own hilariously awful encounters.

This updated edition with two new essays of this national bestseller book features that now-classic essay as well as "#YesAllWomen," an essay written in response to 2014 Isla Vista killings and the grassroots movement that arose with it to end violence against women and misogyny, and the essay "Cassandra Syndrome." This book is also available in hardcover.

Writer, historian, and activist Rebecca Solnit is the author of eighteen or so books on feminism, western and indigenous history, popular power, social change and insurrection, wandering and walking, hope and disaster, including the books Men Explain Things to Me and Hope in the Dark, both also with Haymarket; a trilogy of atlases of American cities; The Faraway Nearby; A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities that Arise in DisasterA Field Guide to Getting LostWanderlust: A History of Walking; and River of Shadows, Eadweard Muybridge and the Technological Wild West (for which she received a Guggenheim, the National Book Critics Circle Award in criticism, and the Lannan Literary Award). A product of the California public education system from kindergarten to graduate school, she is a columnist at Harper's and a regular contributor to the Guardian.

Features:

  • Haymarket Books

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The Quiet American (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)

The Quiet American (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) Lowest new price: $9.60
Lowest used price: $3.43
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Author: Graham Greene
Brand: Penguin Books

Graham Greene's classic exploration of love, innocence, and morality in Vietnam

"I never knew a man who had better motives for all the trouble he caused," Graham Greene's narrator Fowler remarks of Alden Pyle, the eponymous "Quiet American" of what is perhaps the most controversial novel of his career. Pyle is the brash young idealist sent out by Washington on a mysterious mission to Saigon, where the French Army struggles against the Vietminh guerrillas.

As young Pyle's well-intentioned policies blunder into bloodshed, Fowler, a seasoned and cynical British reporter, finds it impossible to stand safely aside as an observer. But Fowler's motives for intervening are suspect, both to the police and himself, for Pyle has stolen Fowler's beautiful Vietnamese mistress.

Originally published in 1956 and twice adapted to film, The Quiet American remains a terrifiying and prescient portrait of innocence at large. This Graham Greene Centennial Edition includes a new introductory essay by Robert Stone.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Features:

  • Penguin Books

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The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle: A Novel

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle: A Novel Lowest new price: $8.00
Lowest used price: $1.74
List price: $17.00
Author: Haruki Murakami
Brand: Haruki Murakami

Coming this October: Killing Commendatore, the much-anticipated new novel from Haruki Murakami

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is a tour de force—and one of Haruki Murakami’s most acclaimed and beloved novels.

In a Tokyo suburb, a young man named Toru Okada searches for his wife’s missing cat—and then for his wife as well—in a netherworld beneath the city’s placid surface. As these searches intersect, he encounters a bizarre group of allies and antagonists. Gripping, prophetic, and suffused with comedy and menace, this is an astonishingly imaginative detective story, an account of a disintegrating marriage, and an excavation of the buried secrets from Japan’s forgotten campaign in Manchuria during World War II.

Bad things come in threes for Toru Okada. He loses his job, his cat disappears, and then his wife fails to return from work. His search for his wife (and his cat) introduces him to a bizarre collection of characters, including two psychic sisters, a possibly unbalanced teenager, an old soldier who witnessed the massacres on the Chinese mainland at the beginning of the Second World War, and a very shady politician.

Haruki Murakami is a master of subtly disturbing prose. Mundane events throb with menace, while the bizarre is accepted without comment. Meaning always seems to be just out of reach, for the reader as well as for the characters, yet one is drawn inexorably into a mystery that may have no solution. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is an extended meditation on themes that appear throughout Murakami's earlier work. The tropes of popular culture, movies, music, detective stories, combine to create a work that explores both the surface and the hidden depths of Japanese society at the end of the 20th century.

If it were possible to isolate one theme in The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, that theme would be responsibility. The atrocities committed by the Japanese army in China keep rising to the surface like a repressed memory, and Toru Okada himself is compelled by events to take responsibility for his actions and struggle with his essentially passive nature. If Toru is supposed to be a Japanese Everyman, steeped as he is in Western popular culture and ignorant of the secret history of his own nation, this novel paints a bleak picture. Like the winding up of the titular bird, Murakami slowly twists the gossamer threads of his story into something of considerable weight. --Simon Leake

Features:

  • a visionary novel by one of Japan's greatest living novelists, Haruki Murakami.

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101 Questions You Need to Ask in Your Twenties: (And Let's Be Honest, Your Thirties Too)

101 Questions You Need to Ask in Your Twenties: (And Let's Be Honest, Your Thirties Too) Lowest new price: $8.29
Lowest used price: $9.91
List price: $14.99
Author: Paul Angone
Brand: Moody Publishing

Adulting got you down?

Whether you just polished off your college graduation cake, are in your twenties or thirties struggling through a quarter-life crisis, you're simply trying to figure out how to become all grown up, or you're a parent looking for that perfect college graduation gift or Christmas gift for your twentysomething, 101 Questions You Need to Ask in Your Twenties is the book for you. 

To find important life answers in your 20s, you need to start with good questions. Author, speaker, and blogger Paul Angone has dedicated the last 12 years to helping twentysomethings and in this book he culminates his work to give readers wisdom through major life questions like: 

  • What’s the best way to know if you’re actually ready to get married?
  • Where’s the future of work headed and what does having a successful career look like today?
  • How do I make a choice when I don’t know what to choose?
  • How do I stop networking and start “relationshipping”?
  • Why do some people have great marriages while others have complete wrecks before they even make it to the highway?
  • Am I seeing the other side of people’s Instagram photos (you know, the side they’re not exactly posting pictures of)?
  • What are the Pivotal Plot Points of my story?
  • Do I have anyone on my "Dream Team"?

After his success with 101 Secrets for your Twenties and connecting with millions of twentysomethings around the world through speaking engagements and his blog AllGroanUp.com, Paul Angone captures the hilarious, freakishly-accurate assessment of life as a modern-day twentysomething (and thirtysomething) facing real Millennial problems, but now he’s digging even deeper. 

If you’re drowning your anxieties in Netflix and ice cream, are afraid you’re failing, going crazy, or both, or are just longing for a little guidance to get past “just getting by,” grab this book and start thriving in the most "defining decade" of your life. 

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