While the news is filled with villains and villainy, we do see a few famous heroes now and again. But what about the everyday heroes? The people going out of their way bring a little love into someone else’s life? They deserve a time in the spotlight to inspire us all.
Life can be tough—but it helps to know other people have come through hard times with a smile on their face. In Make Your Own Sunshine, Janice Dean shares inspiring stories that will lift your spirit and touch your heart. Good people are all around us doing selfless deeds, from a firefighter who bravely battled for his colleague’s health after 9/11 to a good Samaritan who secretly pays for the coffees of everyone in line behind him. You can’t help but smile reading about the teacher who cut her hair to make her student feel better. And you may shed a tear when you hear the story of the dad who never missed writing a napkin note for his daughter, including stashing extra notes in case he lost his batter with cancer. From a young man who makes bow ties for dogs waiting to be adopted to an Uber driver who brightened a new mom’s day by helping her buy baby clothes, the heroes in this story will warm your heart and stick in your mind.
Janice has made it her mission to uncover and document these good stories to inspire us and gives us a much-needed boost of optimism. All we have to do is open our minds and our hearts, to look for the light on a cloudy day. Because as she reminds us, if we don’t make our own sunshine—who will?
Anna Sale wants you to have that conversation. You know the one. The one that you’ve been avoiding or putting off, maybe for years. The one that you’ve thought “they’ll never understand” or “do I really want to bring that up?” or “it’s not going to go well, so why even try?”
Sale is the founder and host of WNYC’s popular, award-winning podcast Death, Sex, & Money, or as the New York Times dubbed her, “a therapist at happy hour.” She and her guests have direct and thought-provoking conversations, discussing topics that most of us are too squeamish, polite, or nervous to bring up. But Sale argues that we all experience these hard things, and by not talking to one another, we cut ourselves off, leading us to feel isolated and disconnected from the people who can help us most.
In Let’s Talk About Hard Things, Sale uses the best of what she’s learned from her podcast to reveal that when we have the courage to talk about hard things, we learn about ourselves, others, and the world that we make together. Diving into five of the most fraught conversation topics—death, sex, money, family, and identity—she moves between memoir, fascinating snapshots of a variety of Americans opening up about their lives, and expert opinions to show why having tough conversations is important and how to do them in a thoughtful and generous way. She uncovers that listening may be the most important part of a tough conversation, that the end goal should be understanding without the pressure of reconciliation, and that there are some things that words can’t fix (and why that’s actually okay).
Touching, personal, and inspiring, Let’s Talk About Hard Things is a profound meditation on why communication can connect us instead of divide us and how we can all do it better.