The 21st century is all about social media and being connected, but how many of our online acquaintances are real friends? We're such a mobile, busy society that most of us could use some help in making and maintaining our real-life relationships. Julie Klam's Friendkeeping is a funny and smart guide that helps us navigate the ups and downs of friendships and hold tight to our soulmates. Klam covers real-life situations, such as what to do if you don't get along with your friend's spouse, and how to stay connected from a distance. Friendkeeping is a wonderful way to tell your BBFs that you value them.
Have you visited HitRecord.org? It's a super-site that encourages creative collaboration among artists, photographers, musicians, and writers. Here's an example of how it works: Someone shares a drawing and then someone else writes a tiny story to go with it. This simple idea has been a springboard for charming and funny stories, poems, and vignettes about, well, everything. Joseph Gordon-Levitt collected several dozen of the best story–art combinations to publish in the second volume of The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories. This little book is the perfect choice for anyone who likes to read by the fire with a cup of hot chocolate.
We wish for a more peaceful and tolerant world, especially during the holiday season. We want to help, but don't know where to start, or how to find the time. Erin McHugh has the solution; in One Good Deed, she shares her yearlong commitment to changing the world, one small, easy step at a time. Her goods deeds are the little things we can and should be doing every day, such as saying "thank you" and giving directions to a stranger. Using a conversational, non-preachy style, McHugh reminds us that individual acts can add up to big results. One Good Deed makes a thoughtful hostess gift.
Thanks to sales, attention-grabbing ads, and shiny new toys, it can be difficult to remember the winter holidays have a religious base. Anne Lamott's Help, Thanks, Wow offers a way back to the essence of the season's spiritual beliefs. Lamott explores how she came to realize that finding inner peace rests on three steps: Ask for help, give thanks for what we have, and recognize the miracles around us. Although Lamott is a Christian, her message in Help, Thanks, Wow will resonate with anyone who wants to connect more strongly with the divine. Slip this slim volume in a family stocking to help rekindle the true Christmas spirit.
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