By: Celeste Headlee

Title: We Need to Talk: How to Have Conversations That Matter

Who is Celeste Headlee: Celeste Headlee has been a host and journalist with National Public Radio, Public Radio International, and American Public Media since 2008. She has appeared on CNN, the BBC, PBS, and MSNBC and is currently the co-host of Retro Report on PBS.

Amava Take: Well presented research, honesty and an emphasis on civility are the hallmarks of this eminently readable book. As Headlee points out, humans were built for conversations, and we should be working hard at them, especially because of all the mediating technology and modern distraction that can get in the way. Studies show that Americans feel less connected and more divided than ever. This book presents a remedy that is innate in all of us.

Memorable Line: “You can’t learn to ride a bike by reading about it. Biking is active and requires practice. The same is true of conversation.”        

What We’d Tell Our Friends: Now more than ever, we are staring at screens and relying on technology to connect with others. The basic premises of this book—the power of listening, active resistance against multitasking when we have a conversation, checking bias and staying present— sound like the things we all need to talk about.