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Sometimes we are trapped in our own thoughts. Considering different points of view while working on problems allows us to step back, gain perspective, and come up with solutions that might not have occurred to us. Whether the goal is to improve relationships, become more focused, express ourselves better, or make positive changes in our lives, A.K. Smiley Public Library has an extensive collection of books that offer guidance and wisdom. Here are some new and popular titles available for checkout.

Research professor at the University of Houston and author of six no. 1 New York Times bestseller, the latest book by Dr. Brené Brown’s “Atlas of the Heart: Mapping the Meaningful Connection and Language of Human Experience” defines human emotions.

Fear, curiosity, sadness, gratitude; Brown believes that language and the ability to name and understand emotions is an important way to give us self-awareness, healing and connection to one another. Brown describes over 80 emotions, citing research and sharing stories along the way. The layout is done in a “coffee book” style, including color pictures, quotes and diagrams.

Spiritual teacher and best-selling author of The Untethered Soul, Michael A. Singer’s latest is Living Untethered: Beyond the Human Predicament. It explains how resisting unpleasant things in life causes suffering. As he sincerely says, “No one can prevent an event that has already happened from happening”, so you should try to accept reality as it is.

Exploring consciousness, Singer helps us realize that we are not our thoughts and suggests steps to take to reach a place of greater understanding and freedom.

Clinical psychologist and popular vlogger dr. Julie Smith has reached millions of people through her short social media videos about mental health. She now expands on these publications with her first book, Why Didn’t Anyone Told Me This Before?

Touching on common emotions such as pain, sadness, fear and stress, Smith shares the knowledge and techniques she has gained through her work as a psychologist and therapist. She clarifies that her book is not “therapy.” It’s meant to give you tools to use as you go through difficulties. Practicing these tools helps build a “toolbox” of skills to use in these challenging times.

Many additional books are available for review. Others to consider are “Own Your Past, Change Your Future: A Not-So-Complicated Approach to Relationships, Mental Health, and Well-Being” by Dr. by John Delony, “The Book of Hope: A Guide to Surviving Trials” by Jane Goodall, “Speak Up: Find Your Voice, Trust Your Gut, and Move from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be” by Tunde Oyeneyin and “How to Be Perfect: The Right Answer to every moral question” by Michael Schur.

Remember, not every style of self-help book is for everyone. If you take something positive from it, become more thoughtful after reading it, and inspire useful changes in your life, then I think you’ve found a good one.

Jill Martinson is a library specialist at A.K. Smiley Public Library, 125 W. Vine St., Redlands.

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