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Advice and Self-Improvement

Ask Polly's Guide to Your Next Crisis

Book cover of Ask Polly's Guide to Your Next Crisis

This short ebook is a collection of six Ask Polly columns, along with a short introduction. If you like Ask Polly columns, you'll probably like this book. If you've never read one, this book is a good introduction. I enjoyed the columns, but what I really appreciated in this book was the way the columns were selected to look at the various types of problems/worries in our lives. In doing so, they help you examine your own approach to these sorts of crises, and maybe think a little bit more deeply about what really matters in your life.


Heather Havrilesky

Rattlesnake Stories

Rattlesnake Stories book cover

On the surface, this is a light-hearted story about a woman who moves to a ranch in rural Texas and has to overcome her fear of rattlesnakes. There is something a little deeper in it, too, though, because rattlesnakes are just the most obvious manifestation of her fears. There aren't necessarily any new insights about overcoming fear in the book, but it is an enjoyable read, and sometimes a slightly humorous reminder of how to handle fear is just what you need.


Anna Mitchael


This is a fun and informative collection of essays and cartoons about life in academia, specifically pre- and post-tenure at a research university in a science field. The tone is conversational, and often light-hearted, but the information imparted is real and useful for anyone pursuing or considering a career in academia, particularly in the sciences.


Sydney Phlox

Navigating the Path to Industry

This book is a concise guide for academics looking for a job in industry, written by a hiring manager (disclosure: that hiring manager is me). It will help job seekers avoid common pitfalls in the job search process, and provides advice on identifying possible career paths, networking, writing a resume and cover letter, and interviewing. Although it was written with academics seeking to change to an industrial career in mind, other people considering career changes are likely to find useful advice in it, as well.


M.R. Nelson

The Getaway Car: A Practical Memoir About Writing and Life

The Getaway Car

Part memoir and part advice for writers, this book was an interesting and inspiring read. Even people who are not aiming to be professional authors are likely to find some useful ideas and advice.


Ann Patchett

What the Most Successful People Do at Work: A Short Guide to Making Over Your Career

What the Most Successful People Do at Work book cover

A look at the work habits of some people who have successful careers, combined with information from research on productivity and career happiness.


Laura Vanderkam

What the Most Successful People Do on the Weekend: A Short Guide to Making the Most of Your Days Off

What the Most Successful People Do on the Weekend book cover

A discussion of possible approaches to making weekends as enjoyable- and rejuvenating- as possible, with a focus on the techniques used by some traditionally successful people.


Laura Vanderkam

What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast: A Short Guide to Making Over Your Mornings - and Life

What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast book cover

A look at the habits and morning rituals of some successful people, coupled with ideas about how to adopt those practices and an argument that we should be more mindful of how we use our morning hours.


Laura Vanderkam

Taming the Work Week: Work Smarter Not Longer

Taming the Work Week book cover

Reflections and advice about getting the most from your work hours, so that you can be successful in a 40 hour work week.


M. R. Nelson

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