Home All Holiday Gifts – Book Ideas from PPND

Holiday Gifts – Book Ideas from PPND

written by Senia Maymin and Kathryn Britton 18 December 2009

Senia Maymin and Kathryn Britton are the senior editors of PositivePsychologyNews.com. Together they have edited two books in the Positive Psychology News series: Resilience: How to Navigate Life's Curves and Gratitude: How to Appreciate Life's Gifts. Kathryn co-edited the third book in the series, Character Strengths Matter, with Shannon Polly. Their co-authored articles are here.

Senia Maymin, MAPP '06, is the coauthor of Profit from the Positive. Maymin is an executive coach to entrepreneurs and CEOs. Her PhD is in organizational behavior from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Full Bio. Her solo articles are here and her articles with Margaret Greenberg are here.

Kathryn Britton, MAPP '06 also co-authored Smarts and Stamina on using positive psychology principles to build strong health habits. Blog. Full bio. Her solo articles are here.

Cat on Bookshelf Editor’s Note: Today, we want to share with you some books we are giving to our friends, in case they give you ideas for holiday gifts. These books include our favorite books about positive psychology and some novels that carry positive messages.

(We only show the picture of the book cover the first time the book is mentioned. The book cover images are deleted from the email version of this posting, so come to the online article if you want to see them.)

First, we recommend (with huge jumping-up-and-down excitement) the first PPND book, Resilience: How to Navigate Life’s Curves. [Later we added the other 2 titles in the Positive Psychology News series.]


Martin Seligman
This year I listened to a lot of unabridged fiction using audible.com.  My favorite was Anthony Trollope, insightful novels of manners. The Jane Austen for men, much better than Dickens. Start with Barchester Towers (audio, book), Phineas Finn (audio, book), The Last Chronicle of Barset (audio, book).


Senia Maymin:
I delighted to recommend books by friends!  My favorite kinds of books to recommend.  In about the past year, there were a few books published by friends and colleagues:


Kathryn Britton:

I am going to add to Senia’s list, rather than overlap it — except for congratulating Caroline Miller for publishing the first book, Creating Your Best Life, based on a MAPP capstone project. Both Positive Leadership by Kim Cameron and Rethinking Your Work: Getting to the Heart of What Matters by Val Kinjerski open up the view that work can be engaging, fulfilling, and meaningful, even in times like these that cause people to be driven by fear of losing their jobs. I haven’t gotten my copy yet, but I’m looking forward to the new Oxford Handbook of Positive Psychology and Work edited by Alex Linley.

As for a novel, I love My Antonia by Willa Cather.  It’s like Sherri’s article about Timothy — the story of a long resilient life.  Antonia faces hardship with humor and love.  I also enjoyed the vivid, detail-filled depiction of life on the Nebraska prairies over 100 years ago.


Timothy T.C. So:

We have been talking about globalization for many years, but how well do we understand people from different cultures and nations, in particular of their wellbeing? Ed Diener, who has studied thousands of people in over 140 nations of the world, present most of his major publications on culture and well-being of his Social Indicators Research Series: Culture and Well-Being. I found it is the best written publication in the regarding topic and it is also definitely a must-read to cultural psychologists, positive psychology scholars and practitioners, and everyone interested in culture and happiness

Margarita Tarragona:
One of my favorites this year was edited by Carmelo Vázquez and Gonzalo Hervás, La ciencia del bienestar: Fundamentos De Una Psicologia Positiva. First rate, up-to-date work on positive psychology that was originally written in Spanish.  I use it a lot in my classes. (Editor’s note: There’s a brand new book out by the same authors, Psicologia Positiva Aplicada.)

Also, Ed Diener’s Collected Works are fantastic, and I loved Diener and Biswas-Diener’s Happiness: Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth.



Aren Cohen:
I strongly recommend and really enjoyed these books:


Amanda Horne:
Some favorite / recommended books:

Denise Quinlan:

This year also:

And a heavyweight for people in this field:


Derrick Carpenter:

I fell in love with Why we do what we do: Understanding self-motivation. by Edward Deci and Richard Flaste this year. It’s an in-depth look at intrinsic motivation and self-determination theory that’s thoughtfully written and includes a nice balance of research and case studies.


Fiona Parashar:
My favorites were Positivity and Creating Your Best Life: The Ultimate Life List Guide.

I’ve given both as presents and they’ve been really well received.

Marie-Josée Salvas Shaar:

I have two favorites:

  • The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite by David Kessler, MD. This book scientifically explains how our bodies and minds are changed by the foods we eat and how food manufacturers intentionally engineer foods that will make us want to eat more. Their industry as well as the pharmaceutical industry are the big winners because our resulting eating patterns gave rise to the number 1 health issue in America. Also identifies practical ways to start our much needed food rehab.
  • Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck. This is the best book I’ve ever read to help stop self-defeating internal voices. It presents new and convincing arguments!

Margaret Greenberg:
My two favorites:

Miriam Akhtar:
I have two hot picks for this year. And one enduring classic.


BTW, you could follow us on twitter here.

Image: Cat on a bookshelf courtesy of tillwe

Not seeing the pictures for the book links? Disable Adblocking for this site to view them.

You may also like


MarjieKnudsen 19 December 2009 - 1:54 pm

Senia and Kathryn,

Love this list! Perfect for last minute gift ideas!

To tweet:
The Gift of Feeling Good – Best books about positive psychology and novels w/ positive messages – http://bit.ly/82m1ZN #xmas


James Lovette-Black PhD 19 December 2009 - 10:19 pm

Thanks so much for the reviews, folks! There are so many great resources now in PP and it helps to have a bit of observation. A blessed Yule to all!

Nicholas Ritchey 22 December 2009 - 8:18 pm

Always wonderful to see a reading list! Thank you!

As I am now becoming more active in positive psychology in Korea, I look forward to communicating a lot more again!

Happy Holidays!

Nicholas Ritchey

Bridget Grenville-Cleave 21 December 2010 - 9:10 am

And a few more recommended reads:

1. Brilliant Positive Psychology by Charlotte Style (a fellow UEL MAPP). Just published, lives up to its name.

2. Learning to ride elephants: Teaching happiness and well-being in schools by Ian Morris (2009)

3. Mindful teaching and teaching mindfulness: a guide for anyone who teaches anything by Deborah Schoeberlein (2009).

Season’s Greetings


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

WP Twitter Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com