Clear Thinking About Decluttering: 8 Insights

Like diet books, books about how to clean out our clutter are always popular. What's the fascination, and why can't we "just do it" once and for all?

Write Better by Thinking Like a Fox

Two new novels demonstrate, by showing not telling, how to get into the mind of some unusual characters.

7 Tips from Elder Creatives on the Joy of Working

Worried you'll someday lose your passion and your ability to come up with fresh ideas for your creative work? Twenty still-working over-80s tell how they do it.

Character Counts in a Novel's Pages

If the characters who people a book, no matter how wildly offbeat, don't feel real, readers may lose interest. Plot is definitely not everything. Character counts.

7 Strategies for Becoming More Productive

Whatever your aims, you can use these fresh, practical exercises and insights to work smarter, faster, and with less stress.

Who Dares Speak Honestly About Unbelief?

Being an activist for a popular cause is easy. Speaking up for a cause that by its nature offends many people takes courage. Some new books tell the truth about atheism.

Why You Shouldn't Ask "What's It About?"

When you ask about a novel, 'What's it about?" you risk missing a chance to be surprised. It's not what, but how things happen, that makes all the difference.

5 Fun Ways to Make Great Ideas Flock to You

Be contrary, never ignore a hunch, and more than 50 other creatively illustrated mind-openers in a new book will motivate writers and artists. Here are 5 examples.

Are You Smarter Than a Self-Driving Car?

A fun new look at an old problem: Should the driver of a runaway tram sure to kill five workmen redirect the tram to another track so that it kills only one workman?

How to Be Wiser Than Most People

It's fine to be smart, but to be wise, you need to know how to apply knowledge and insight to interactions with people. Biases and fallacies often get in the way of wise actions.

10 Proven Ways You Can Increase Intimacy

Imagine your relationship with your mate is like a friendly game of tug-of-war. Except you are not on opposite sides in this game. Either you both win or no one wins.

Novelists Handle Big Topics (and Grab Readers) with Finesse

Secrets fill the pages of suspenseful novels, while in real life, secrets cause real damage.

7 Surprising Insights About How Genius Happens

Genius—the ability to make leaps of innovation—isn't a product only of nature or nurture. Living in a place and time that encourages the flourishing of genius helps too.

3 New Books That Get Psychology Right

Books are best when they do more than one thing well. The ones reviewed here show that their authors understand human nature and can handle plot and setting with aplomb.

Creativity Translates Perfectly with the Right Subtitles

If you're seeking something new in the way of couch time, stimulate your brain by streaming a panorama of unfamiliar European mysteries, dramas, and more.

Why You Need a No-Fault Relationship

We want to be loved unreservedly, and we figure our mates should forgive our trivial imperfections. Yet we don't always give back that same unconditional affection.

What If Your Mom Wore a Bone in Her Nose?

When an anthropologist goes native and marries a woman from the Amazonian Rainforest, their son's story of growing up makes for fascinating reading.

5 Fresh Ways to Meet the Challenge of Creativity

Experts take a fresh look at the research to focus on how the right degree of mental control and abstraction can optimize creativity, for individuals and teams.

Tickle Your Sense of Nostalgia

When you see images from books you read as a child, or read to your own kids when they were small, you may experience a particular kind of nostalgia. Here's a beautiful book for grown-ups that can do that for you...

Dear Diary: Want To Hear a Secret?

Dear Diary Day (Sept. 22) ought to be every day, especially for writers. Get the habit of making notes in a journal, whether for your future self, or to enrich your next writing project. All you need is an open mind and a seductive notebook at hand.

Your Feelings Are Keeping You Stuck

Using a bit of profanity for the sake of humor and enlightenment, a new book explores feelings and their uselessness in solving your most troublesome life issues.

Find Flow Through a Camera Lens

Flow happens when you lose your sense of self, and many artists, including photographers, mean that quite literally.

Learn More About "Nothing"

If you're a fan of playful philosophical exploration, a little-known series of talks on DVD is sure to provide creative inspiration.

4 Reasons to Have the Last Say

There are several good reasons to write out a brief narrative essay that expresses something we'd like to be remembered by. Whether it's to be used as a eulogy or shared with close family or the world, the experience itself is eye-opening.

Can't Stand Your Self-Absorbed Parent?

Got an aging parent or in-law who's a narcissist? They're arrogant, have a sense of entitlement, are always ready to instill guilt, they insist rules don't apply to them, and they fly into a rage if challenged. There's help for you.

Miss These Quirky Novels at Your Peril

The 7 terrific novels rounded-up here offer superb writing and absorbing stories to sink your teeth into.

The Truth About Cremation

You know we all have to die, right? If you're willing to learn what happens afterward, whether in traditional burials or the more sensible cremation industry, you will enjoy this memoir of a quirky writer who worked for several years in the American funeral industry.

Two Views of Aging While Creative

Two well-known aging authors, May Sarton and Donald Hall, have written intimate tell-alls about how it feels to be 80-something.

Peek into the Lives of the Worried Rich

A good writer, who is also a mom with young kids, goes native in the weird tribe of primates who make their home in the Upper East Side of Manhattan. She comes out alive, with a new book—and a fancy handbag.

10 Ways to Be Creative

I got this cool box of illustrated cards and immediately thought of a zillion ways to use it. Here's a sample of a creative thought process.

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