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Authors share their compelling true stories and great ideas for living well. All the books are insightful, inspiring, and uplifting.

Authors share their compelling true stories and great ideas for living well. All the books are insightful, inspiring, and uplifting.
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Authors share their compelling true stories and great ideas for living well. All the books are insightful, inspiring, and uplifting.






N4L 088: "Big Ideas" by Craig Case & Jennifer Beckstrand

SUMMARY Trainer Craig Case and author Jennifer Beckstrand collect best practices for generating inspiration in their book, Big Ideas: How to Unleash Your Creative Self and Have More Aha! Moments. Drawing deeply on brain science theory, they share thinking models proven to unleash solutions and spawn profound, focused, life-changing ideas. And, as a bonus, the book is peppered with anecdotes of famous and not-so-famous people who’ve come upon fascinating discoveries and big ideas. KEY...


N4L 087: "Seven at Sea" by Erik & Emily Orton

SUMMARY Erik and Emily Orton, parents of five children and authors of the new release, Seven at Sea, explain “why a New York City family cast off convention for a life-changing year on a sailboat.” Together, these parents plan a way to bounce back from a career failure while also creating kids with character who are armed with lasting family memories. Leaving their two-bedroom, one-bath apartment in New York City, this audacious, courageous family of seven buy a boat they name Fezywig. If...


N4L 086: "Fly Girls" by Keith O'Brien

SUMMARY In his book Fly Girls, author and journalist Keith O’Brien brings to life the almost-forgotten, inspiring true stories of female aviators. Danger and discrimination were only two of the many obstacles they faced as they fought for their right to compete in air races popular during the 1920s and ‘30s. By following a small thread in The Astronaut Wives Club, O’Brien now weaves together Fly Girls, the unique history of “Five Brave Women Who Defied the Odds and Made Aviation...


N4L 085: "How to Be a Happier Parent" by KJ Dell’Antonia

SUMMARY Blogger and author KJ Dell’Antonia knows “How to Be a Happier Parent.” With four children under her own roof, she was compelled to discover keys to “Raising a Family, Having a Life, and Loving (Almost) Every Minute.” By surveying 1000 parents, Dell'Antonia tracked down common behaviors and attitudes among happier parents. She also found common pain points parents face. So, her self-help book contains her own story "of finding a place of joy and satisfaction with [her] life and [her]...


N4L 084: "Outrunning the Demons" by Phil Hewitt

SUMMARY British journalist and marathon addict Phil Hewitt extols the multiple virtues of running in his newly published book, Outrunning the Demons: Lives Transformed Through Running. His “celebratory exploration” of running includes 34 compelling true stories from runners around the world whose reasons run the range from overcoming trauma to honoring the death of a loved one. In each story, Hewitt champions the power of running to steady a life rife with trouble and trauma or to simply...


N4L 083: "God in the ICU" by Dave Walker, M.D.

SUMMARY From an early age, Dr. Dave Walker, author of God in the ICU, believed two things: that God loved him and that he wanted to be a doctor. But even as a successful anesthesiologist, when personal tragedy struck not once but three times, Walker became disillusioned with God. Gone was his trust in a personal, intimate God. However, when he returned to his childhood practice of praying, Walker could not deny the miracles that unfolded. God in the ICU: The Inspirational Biography of a...


N4L 082: "Patient H69" by Vanessa Potter

SUMMARY Patient H69: The Story of My Second Sight, Vanessa Potter’s memoir, captures her journey from light to dark and back again. Within 72 hours, Potter moves from keeping up the high-paced lifestyle of a freelance TV producer and mother of two small children to being blind and paralyzed in a hospital bed. Having suddenly contracted NMO (an extremely rare neurological disorder that affects the optic and spinal nerves), Potter becomes both deeply curious and fiercely determined to get...


N4L 081: "The Gift of Failure" by Jessica Lahey

SUMMARY Jessica Lahey, author of The Gift of Failure, gives parents a multitude of reasons to let go so their children can succeed. As an educator, author, and mother, Lahey sees this delicate balancing act from all angles. But with modern parents embracing overprotectiveness like never before, she recognizes the danger of cushioning falls and being overly responsive to children’s needs. Truth be told, a child not allowed to fail will never learn to solve his own problems and become an...


N4L 080: "Chief Engineer" by Erica Wagner

Author Erica Wagner, a New York City native, celebrates the story of constructing the Brooklyn Bridge in her book, Chief Engineer: Washington Roebling, The Man Who Built the Brooklyn Bridge. Nearly 150 years after being built, the Brooklyn Bridge remains a wonder. Notably, its iconic image is still displayed on tourist brochures, film posters, and even Italian chewing gum wrappers. In fact, many consider the Brooklyn Bridge one of the greatest symbols of 19-century progress, and how it was...


N4L 079: "Napkin Notes" by Garth Callaghan

Garth Callaghan, author of Napkin Notes: Make Lunch Meaningful, Life Will Follow, did not know how long he had to live. Although he began his writing career tucking simple notes to his daughter Emma’s lunchbox, the notes took on new meaning when he was diagnosed with cancer--four times! Seemingly out of nowhere, his school-day ritual went viral. News media inundated the Callaghans, and, just months later, the book Napkin Notes became a runaway bestseller. 00:15 Nonfiction4Life celebrates...


N4L 078: "The Day the World Came to Town" by Jim Defede

Months after the dreadful attacks of 9/11, Jim DeFede moved to Gander, Newfoundland. There, he discovered deeply kind Canadians had helped thousands of perfect strangers through that fateful day and several days following. Interestingly, less than one year later, DeFede first published this true story in his book "The Day the World Came to Town." Yet, perhaps now more than ever, we need to revisit 9/11 through the lens of the people in Gander, Newfoundland and consider the book's unavoidable...


N4L 077: "How to Break Up with Your Phone" by Catherine Price

Meet Catherine Price, recovering phone addict and author of "How to Break Up with Your Phone." She shares her own story of being too digitally connected and too out of touch with people and passions. What follows is her "30-Day Plan to Take Back Your Life," steps all of us can follow to start living and loving our lives the way we should and tapping into our own creativity. 00:15 Intro to Catherine Price, science writer and author of How to Break Up with Your Phone: The 30-Day Plan to Take...


N4L 076: "The Power of Having Fun" by Dave Crenshaw

In his latest book, The Power of Having Fun, productivity expert Dave Crenshaw gives us permission to have fun. Seriously! According to Crenshaw, we all need to take breaks—lots of them—every day, week, month, and year. In fact, the best way to be productive is to have fun every day all year long. So, Crenshaw teaches us how to incorporate having fun into every aspect of our lives. After you listen to him, you’ll be back in the sandbox taking back your recess time! 00:15 Intro to Dave...


N4L 075: "Women Rowing North" by Mary Pipher

From Mary Pipher, bestselling author of Reviving Ophelia, we now get Women Rowing North, a guide to wisdom and authenticity for women as they age. Cultural therapist Pipher, age 71, understands how women growing older contend with ageism, misogyny, grief, and loss. Yet her message is clear and hopeful: most older women are deeply happy and filled with gratitude for the gifts of life. Their very struggles help them let go of stereotypes and grow into authentic, wise, and empathetic...


N4L 074: "Thanks A Thousand" by A.J. Jacobs

On a dare from his son, author A.J. Jacobs set out to thank everyone who contributed to bringing him a cup of coffee. The result is his book, "Thanks A Thousand," and a TEDTalk viewed by more than a million people. Jacobs's "Gratitude Journey," a timely exploration of our interconnectedness, illustrates our need to eschew tribalism and recognize the staggering number of people who make our everyday lives wonderful. 00:15 Intro to A.J. Jacobs, author of Thanks a Thousand: A Gratitude...


N4L 073: "God's Hotel" by Dr. Victoria Sweet

Dr. Victoria Sweet intended to stay at Laguna Honda, America's last-standing almshouse, for only a couple months, but she stayed for 20 years! Now, she's captured her stories and observations in her book, God’s Hotel: A Doctor, a Hospital, and a Pilgrimage to the Heart of Medicine. Today, her experience with the sick poor at Laguna Honda continues to profoundly influence the way she perceives, patients, doctors, hospitals, and medicine. 00:15 Intro to Dr. Victoria Sweet, author of God’s...


N4L 072: Just 3 Digital Sources for Nonfiction Learning

We've taken a departure from nonfiction books to curate "Just 3" digital sources for nonfiction learning. With literally thousands of options, both free and paid, you're sure to find many topics that pique your interest. Here's to a Happy New Year full of learning! 00:20 Point yourself toward the New Year with nonfiction in mind 00:30 Just 3 sources for nonfiction books and learning 00:40 2010 study by Kaiser Family Foundation underscores the importance of nonfiction 01:10 How much...


N4L 071: "Quilt of Souls" by Phyllis Lawson

First-time author Phyllis Lawson tells the story of her black heritage in Quilt of Souls, a memoir of growing up as a child in the South during the 50s. Sent to Alabama at age four to live indefinitely with her maternal grandparents she'd never known, Lawson is one of "grandma's other babies. Fortunately, Grandma Lula's quilts and family stories bring healing. 00:15 Intro to Phyllis Lawson, author of Quilt of Souls 01:15 As one of “grandma’s other babies,” Lawson sent to Alabama to live...


N4L 070: "Learning How to Learn" by Barbara Oakley, PhD, and Terrence Sejnowski, PhD

Engineering professor and bestselling author Barbara Oakley, PhD, with neuroscientist Terrence Sejnowski, PhD, bring us a handbook for Learning How to Learn: How to Succeed in School Without Spending All your Time Studying. This guide is all you need to tackle your least favorite subject in school or take on that class you’ve been dreading. The authors, also co-instructors of the wildly popular online courses “A Mind for Numbers” and “Mindshift,” share techniques that train our brains to...


N4L 069: "Fields of Battle" by Brian Curtis

BRIAN CURTIS, author of FIELDS OF BATTLE: PEARL HARBOR, THE ROSE BOWL, AND THE BOYS WHO WENT TO WAR, captures the true story of the one-and-only Rose Bowl Game played outside of Pasadena, California. The bombing of Pearl Harbor had ripple effects, including in the world of football. But this story goes beyond football. Curtis follows dozens of the players into more fields of battle. We see the WWII theaters turn young athletes into men as they fight with extraordinary valor. Following the...