Brianna is the Executive Director of Publicity and Marketing for the Tarcher and Perigee imprints. She enjoys books that teach you something just as much as ones that entertain (science, pop psychology, “big think” books, romance, sci/fi-fantasy, food/cocktail books, coloring books—the gamut). She also loves good food, craft cocktails and shih-tzu puppies.
When I was first applying for a job at Tarcher/Penguin six years ago, I picked up THE POWER OF KINDNESS, hoping to get a better sense of the type of book the imprint published. I knew it had been pretty successful for Tarcher, and though it wasn’t the type of book I would normally read (fiction, science or pop psychology), I figured I would give it a try. And I was blown away. Ferrucci packed so much wisdom into the simplest sentences, and he tells compelling stories and vignettes from people’s lives to illustrate his points. I found myself underlining passages and recommending the book to numerous friends. It didn’t surprise me to hear that the book sold nearly 100K copies almost entirely via word-of-mouth. No doubt, the world can use more kindness; people need to be kinder both to themselves and to others. In the new year, Ferrucci’s book is a fantastic place to start.
I’m not into fitness gurus, but I’ve been working with Ryan Ferguson on this book, and I really like its no-nonsense approach. Ryan himself has an incredible story. He was sentenced to 40 years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit. He struggled for 10 years for his sentence to be overturned—which happened last year. While in prison, he honed his body and mind, knowing that he had to become his strongest, best self in order to survive. In this book, he weaves his lessons from prison together with the exercises and dietary practices that helped get him into peak condition. The book has helped me cut out a lot of the noise (things that I’ve read online about fitness and/or heard on the radio) and just focus on the essentials. That alone has made it one of the most useful books I’ve read so far this year!
I was as skeptical as any New Yorker would be when I first heard about ENERGY MEDICINE, Donna Eden’s bestselling book sharing energy medicine techniques. But then I saw Donna in action. Call her what you will – an intuitive, a magician or a healer (I prefer the latter) – but she can energy test a person and know what’s ailing them. And, even better, she can often give them tools that will help fix the problem. She’s also just full of positive energy and joy. With ENERGIES OF LOVE, she and her husband offer couples a new way of understanding each other – as well as energy medicine techniques to help them get on the same page. I recommend it to anyone who has a significant other.
I’ve often wondered what “natural” really means on a food label – and whether this is regulated. And how “cage-free” differs from “organic.” I’m not a health food nut. In fact, I joke that with all the preservatives I’ve consumed over the years, I should be on this Earth for quite a while. However, the complexities of the food industry fascinate me – as does Sacks’ book. She’s a culinary nutritionist as well as a trained chef (and I’m a foodie), so I was drawn both to the book’s recipes (yum!) and simple “better for you” recommendations. I may ignore all of this advice during the holidays, but it’ll be my New Year’s resolution to refer back to it in January.
Ever wonder why so many relationships fall apart after two years? Or why the things you thought should make you happy (more money, a promotion, etc.) don’t have staying power to keep you happy? Sonja’s book illuminates the way the mind works – and how our mindset (and our often black-and-white vision of happiness) hinders us. It’s a fascinating book, one that will have you contemplating some off-the-wall ideas – such as sky-diving with your partner or taking Tango lessons together – to keep that happy spark alive.
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