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SPY Guide: Books for Understanding Why We’re All So Stressed Out

     * Books tackling the stresses of the Information Age
* Get insights and solutions for navigating life in the 21st century
* Ideas on regaining inner peace and getting back to human interaction

Just 17 years into the 21st century and the Information Age has transformed how we do nearly everything, from communication to media consumption, to how we relate with our fellow humans — and not always for the better.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed from the stress of an ever-quickening pace of modern life, relief is on the way. Here are five books to add to your summer reading list that, while lofty in subject matter, will leave you feeling lighter, with a better perspective on why we’re all stressed out — and what we can do about it.

 1. “Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now” – HONORABLE MENTION

Remember how in the sequel to 

, Marty McFly took us beyond our wildest dreams to a 2015 world of hover-cars and flying shoes, and that seemed like such a long way away? Well, now that we are in 2017, all of our ideals about what the future would look like are coinciding with the realities of our present moment. Try reading “Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now” by Douglas Rushkoff to come to terms with the anxious state of mind our expectations for the future have created. Rushkoff explores the disconnect between our digital selves and our physical bodies, while outlining what we can do about the anxiety it’s spawned.

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2. “Overcomplicated: Technology at the Limits of Comprehension” – HONORABLE MENTION

Why does it seem technology has a mind of its own sometimes? In “Overcomplicated: Technology at the Limits of Comprehension,” mathematician and network scientist, Samuel Arbesman, takes a look at how the same technological advances intended to simplify our lives have conversely made them more convoluted in the process. To make peace with technology’s impending take-over, or just impending growth, try to de-complicate your life with this insightful read.


3. “Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead” – EDITOR’S CHOICE

In “Daring Greatly,” American scholar Dr. Brené Brown makes the case that life isn’t about winning or losing–it’s about courage. While daring to be vulnerable puts us at risk of criticism and hurt feelings, not doing so leads to a life spent looking from outside in, wondering “what if?” Brown presents the tools for breaking down the inner walls holding us back, that will encourage you to pursue a life with greater meaning and purpose.



4. “The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion” – BEST VALUE

After the 2016 presidential election, it became clear the country is more divided than ever before. Whether your coworker is a proud Libertarian or your neighbor refuses to take off his “Make America Great Again” hat, this book shows you how to bridge the gaps of the political spectrum, while remaining respectful and avoiding the anxiety of confrontation. To find some common ground with your fellow American, or man at-large, read “The Righteous Mind: Why People Are Divided by Politics and Religion.”


5. “The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why it Matters” – BEST REVIEWED

Don’t you hate when your friend claims to know everything there is to know about a certain topic, even if their facts are faulty? Thanks to the ease of using the Google search bar, everyone feels like they can be an expert on any subject. To understand this obsession with knowing all the answers and how it affects the world in which we live, try giving Tom Nichols’ “The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why it Matters” a read. Nichols argues that this democratic dissemination of information has actually created a lack of truth, anger and a rejection of intellectual achievement. Read this book and find out why it’s not only okay to not know all the answers, but it’s actually a better way to help you grow, too.

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