Older and Still Popular: Books on Self Help and Psychology Part 2

September 3, 2021 | Bill V.

Comments (0)

There are 100 libraries in Toronto and each branch has it's own character, collection and community. Across all libraries though, among the most popular subjects are psychology and self help books (Dewey call number 150-159). But there's another area of the collection in the 170s Dewey Decimal Call (DDC) number range that has similar items. These ones have more of an ethical component. It's one of those quirks of the DDC system that results in similar books being shelved in two different areas!

Some older books have withstood the test of time being borrowed over and over, and in a way, handed from one reader to another. They've also survived physically, with many wearing their scars proudly. Below are some of our highest circulating, well loved and well used, self help and psychology titles in the 170s from across Toronto. 


What Should I do with my life

What Should I Do with My Life?: The True Story of People Who Answered the Ultimate Question

"Struggling with the "ultimate question", the author of three critically acclaimed bestsellers crossed the landscape of America to find other people seeking to unearth their true calling. He found wisdom and guidance through these stories of people who discovered meaningful answers by daring to be honest with themselves."


Justice What's the Right Thing to Do

Justice: What's the Right Thing to Do?

"What do we owe one another as citizens? Should government tax the rich to help the poor? Can dissent be patriotic? Is it sometimes wrong to tell the truth? Is killing sometimes morally required? Is it possible, or desirable, to legislate morality? How can we balance individual rights and the common good? These questions are at the core of our public life today--and at the heart of Justice, in which Michael Sandel shows how a surer grasp of philosophy can help us to make sense of politics, morality, and our own convictions as well."


The Road to Character

The Road to Character

"With the wisdom, humor, curiosity, and sharp insights that have brought millions of readers to his New York Times column and his previous bestsellers, David Brooks has consistently illuminated our daily lives in surprising and original ways. In The Social Animal, he explored the neuroscience of human connection and how we can flourish together. Now, in The Road to Character, he focuses on the deeper values that should inform our lives. Looking to some of the world's greatest thinkers and inspiring leaders, Brooks explores how, through internal struggle and a sense of their own limitations, they have built a strong inner character."


Your Life on Purpose How to Find What Matters and Create the Life You Want

Your Life on Purpose: How to Find What Matters and Create the Life You Want:

"So many of us postpone pursuing our goals and dreams because we think we'll get to them later, when we have more time or feel we're worthy of them. As a result, many of us go through life feeling weighed down by daily responsibilities and our own self-doubts, entirely disconnected from a sense of real purpose. Based in acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) and powerful mindfulness practices,Your Life on Purpose is about doing what matters to you every day instead of waiting for the perfect time to feel fulfilled and alive. With this book as your guide, you'll learn to move past daily distractions, fear of failure, and self-judgment, and zero in on the passions that connect you with your true self. You deserve to live a life of purpose, aligned with your deepest values. It's time."


A Year to Live How to Live this Year as If it Were Your Last

A Year to Live: How to Live this Year as If it Were Your Last

"In his new book, Stephen Levine, author of the perennial best-seller Who Dies?, teaches us how to live each moment, each hour, each day mindfully--as if it were all that was left. On his deathbed, Socrates exhorted his followers to practice dying as the highest form of wisdom. Levine decided to live this way himself for a whole year, and now he shares with us how such immediacy radically changes our view of the world and forces us to examine our priorities. Most of us go to extraordinary lengths to ignore, laugh off, or deny the fact that we are going to die, but preparing for death is one of the most rational and rewarding acts of a lifetime. It is an exercise that gives us the opportunity to deal with unfinished business and enter into a new and vibrant relationship with life."


Goodbye  Things The New Japanese Minimalism

Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism

"Fumio Sasaki is not an enlightened minimalism expert or organizing guru like Marie Kondo--he's just a regular guy who was stressed out and constantly comparing himself to others, until one day he decided to change his life by saying goodbye to everything he didn't absolutely need. The effects were remarkable: Sasaki gained true freedom, new focus, and a real sense of gratitude for everything around him."

On Bullshit

On Bullshit

"One of the most salient features of our culture is that there is so much bullshit. Everyone knows this. Each of us contributes his share. But we tend to take the situation for granted. Most people are rather confident of their ability to recognize bullshit and to avoid being taken in by it. So the phenomenon has not aroused much deliberate concern. We have no clear understanding of what bullshit is, why there is so much of it, or what functions it serves. And we lack a conscientiously developed appreciation of what it means to us. In other words, as Harry Frankfurt writes, "we have no theory."


Life Lessons Two Experts on Death and Dying Teach Us about the Mysteries of Life and Living

Life Lessons: Two Experts on Death and Dying Teach Us about the Mysteries of Life and Living

"In this, her first book on life and living, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross joins with David Kessler to guide us through the practical and spiritual lessons we need to learn so that we can live life to its fullest in every moment. Many years of working with the dying have shown the authors that certain lessons come up over and over again. Some of these lessons are enormously difficult to master, but even the attempts to understand them can be deeply rewarding. Here, in fourteen accessible chapters, from the Lesson of Love to the Lesson of Happiness, the authors reveal the truth about our fears, our hopes, our relationships, and, above all, about the grandness of who we really are."


The Happiness Hypothesis Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom

The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom

"Explores ten great insights about man, the purpose of life, and happiness selected from diverse traditions and uses current scientific research to question and discuss the ideas."

Crossing the Unknown Sea Work as a Pilgrimage of Identity

Crossing the Unknown Sea: Work as a Pilgrimage of Identity

"Crossing the Unknown Sea follows the stages of a holy pilgrimage as the path to finding fulfillment and awakening our deepest identities through our work. It includes a mix of poetry, stories from the workplace front, an unusual take on the industrial revolution, and Whyte's own search for meaning through work. The stages are: Longing for refuge, Finding the strength to begin the journey, Desiring growth, Overcoming obstacles, Avoiding distractions, Connecting: meeting and traveling with others with a common purpose, and Helping others: a desire to bring hope and help to those left behind"


The Art of Forgiveness  Lovingkindness and Peace

The Art of Forgiveness, Loving Kindness and Peace

"You hold in your hand an invitation: To remember the transforming power of forgiveness and loving kindness. To remember that no matter where you are and what you face, within your heart peace is possible. In this beautiful and graceful little book, internationally renowned Buddhist teacher and meditation master Jack Kornfield has collected age-old teachings, modern stories, and time-honored practices for bringing healing, peace, and compassion into our daily lives. Just to read these pages offers calm and comfort."


Assholes A Theory

Assholes: A Theory

"A philosophy professor describes the elements that can combine to make someone behave in an unbelievably disturbing and stress-causing manner and offers practical concepts to help develop constructive ways of dealing with these people and the problems they pose."


You might also like these other blogs by library staff. And feel free to leave a comment about a book that's helped you navigate life and live better.