Self-Help Books That Rock

Rebecca Joines Schinsky

Chief of Staff

Rebecca Joines Schinsky is the executive director of product and ecommerce at Riot New Media Group. She co-hosts All the Books! and the Book Riot Podcast. Follow her on Twitter: @rebeccaschinsky.

smile at strangersThis installment of the Riot Recommendation is sponsored by Smile at Strangers by Susan Schorn.

Susan Schorn led an anxious life. For no clear reason, she had become progressively paralyzed by fear. Fed up with feeling powerless, she took up karate.

She learned how to say no and how to fight when you have to (even in the dark). Karate taught her how to persuade her husband to wear a helmet, best one bossy Girl Scout troop leader, and set boundaries with an over-sharing boss. Here this double black belt recounts a fighting, biting, laughing woman’s journey on the road to living fearlessly-where enlightenment is as much about embracing absurdity and landing a punch as about finding that perfect method of meditation.

Full of hilarious hijinks and tactical wisdom, Schorn’s quest for a more satisfying life features practical-and often counterintuitive-lessons about safety and self defense.Smile at strangers, she says. Question your habits, your fears, your self-criticism: Self-criticism is easy. Self-improvement is hard. And don’t forget this essential gem:Everybody wants to have adventures. Whether they know it or not. Join the adventure in these pages, and come through it poised to have more of your own.


Self-help books sometimes get a bad rap, but we know there are great ones out there. So last week we asked you to share the best self-help books you know. Here’s a collection of your recommendations from Facebook, Twitter, and the comments.

Getting Things Done by David Allen

Secrets of the SuperOptimist by W.R. Morton

Daring Greatly by Brené Brown

The Dip by Seth Godin

Ordering Your Private World by Gordon MacDonald

One Person/Multiple Careers by Marci Alboher

Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed

Introvert Power by Laurie Helgoe

The Boss of You by Emira Mears and Lauren Bacon

Project: Happily Ever After by Alissa Bowman

The Sweet Potato Queens’ Book of Love by Jill Conner Browne

The Wisdom of Yoga by Stephen Cope

Bringing Your Yoga to Life by Donna Farhi

Quiet by Susan Cain

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

50 Ways to Soothe Yourself Without Food by Susan Albers

The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown

The Art of Possibility by Benjamin Zander

The Smart Stepmom by Laura Petherbridge

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman


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