The month of October embodies many things: it’s the first full month of fall; it officially kicks off the holiday season; and, of course, it’s the time when we indulge in all things pumpkin spice. But did you know that October is also National Arts & Humanities Month (NAHM)? The term arts and humanities encompasses many, if not all, creative endeavors, including philosophy, art, cultural studies, and literature. In recognition of this occasion, we decided to fill our “books that bring us joy” list this month with titles inspired by the arts and humanities discipline. So get ready to broaden your mind, develop your creative instincts and connect with others in new and fascinating ways.
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THE RIVER OF CONSCIOUSNESS
by Oliver Sacks
The River of Consciousness is a posthumously published collection of essays, by beloved scientist and storyteller, Oliver Sacks. This book explores such themes as creativity, memory, time, consciousness, and existence. Sacks has long been known for his engaging writing and knack for elucidating complex concepts for the layman. This latest collection is no exception and it offers a little something for everyone.
THE CREATIVE FAMILY MANIFESTO: ENCOURAGING IMAGINATION AND NURTURING FAMILY CONNECTIONS
By Amanda Blake Soule
This volume helps you engage in creativity not just for your own fulfillment but with and for your family. The Creative Manifesto offers suggestions on how to awaken your family’s creativity through simple exercises, household objects, art supplies, and imagination. Soule’s new book manifests the arts and humanities in the most local and intimate of ways—by using it to engage your family and help grow your connections.
by Keri Smith
Keri Smith’s international bestseller Wreck This Journal was simple in concept but complex in purpose: by destroying the book, you were unleashing your creativity. In her newest offering, she’s taken that idea one step further by having you work with a single line. Just as wrecking her previous book freed your imagination, you’ll work your way through this book and realize that “the line” is much more than just a line. You’ll be delighted by what you find at the end of it.
by Kerry Egan
Kerry Egan is a chaplain and a graduate of Harvard Divinity School, but while working as a chaplain at a hospice, she found that a specific part of her work—talking about God—was actually something that those nearing death rarely wanted to do. Instead, she found they wanted to talk about the meaning of their own lives. In that way, her newest book, On Living, is based on her experiences with the dying, but at its core, it is about living. This book is an inspiring work of philosophy and a delightful celebration of life and spirituality.
AN ORDINARY DAY: KIDS WITH RARE GENETIC CONDITIONS
by Karen Haberberg
A hundred years ago, Karen Haberberg’s book An Ordinary Day would be described as cultural anthropology. This book is a beautiful collection of photographs set next to intimate conversations with 27 children living with rare genetic conditions and their families. This volume sheds light on the extraordinary and unique experiences that often get overlooked. It does so in the simplest way: by shining a light on the ordinary, everyday moments of those who seem, on the surface, to be unlike ourselves.
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