Choice

In On My Own, beloved NPR radio host Diane Rehm speaks out about the long drawn-out death (from Parkinson’s) of her husband of fifty-four years, and of her struggle to reconstruct her life without him.

With John gone, Diane was indeed “on her own,” coping with the inevitable practical issues and, more important, with the profoundly emotional ones. What to do, how to react, reaching out again into the world—struggling to create a new reality for herself while clinging to memories of the past. Her focus is on her own roller-coaster experiences, but she has also solicited the moving stories of such recently widowed friends as Roger Mudd and Susan Stamberg, which work to expose the reader to a remarkable range of reactions to the death of a spouse.

  In his new book, Invisible Influence: The Hidden Forces that Shape Behavior, Jonah Berger explores the subtle, secret influences that affect the decisions we make—from what we buy, to the careers we choose, to what we eat.

Without our realizing it, other people’s behavior has a huge influence on everything we do at every moment of our lives, from the mundane to the momentous occasion. Even strangers have a startling impact on our judgments and decisions: our attitudes toward a welfare policy shift if we’re told it is supported by Democrats versus Republicans (even though the policy is the same in both cases).

  Gregg Levoy's book, Vital Signs is about what inspires passion and what defeats it. How we lose it and how we get it back. It’s about the endless yet endlessly fruitful tug-of-war between freedom and domestication, the wild in us and the tame, our natural selves and our conditioned selves.

 The book also affirms the importance of courageous inquiry into dispassion—where we’re numb, depressed, stuck, bored—so the reader can recognize and change these tendencies in themselves.

  On October Second Kathleen Turner will be in town to attend the Legacy of Choice Celebration and to receive the 2015 Giraffe Award for sticking her neck out to support reproductive choice and freedom.