Top Ten Books: Reading List 2017 (Fiction & Literature)

Neil StraussBooks, Neil

In what’s becoming an annual tradition here, below is my top ten books reading list for 2017. It will be updated over the course of the year to reflect the fiction and literature books I’ve read over the course of the year. As I read each book, I will list it below, in order of preference from most to least favorite, … Read More

The Most Important Person of Our Generation

Neil StraussNeil

This week is the 50th anniversary of Rolling Stone‘s first issue. And I’m excited to announce that I was selected to write the cover story. Most importantly, it’s about an individual who, I believe, is the single-most important person of our time. I’ve spent the last nine months in and out of his world, working on this profile of… Elon … Read More

Fear Illusions: How Your Brain Gets Hacked Every Day

Neil StraussNeil

I’ve spent the last three months researching fear and anxiety, and how they work on a psychological and neurobiological level, for a big Rolling Stone article. In this time of pre-election hysteria and fear-mongering in the U.S., and so many other places around the world, I thought I’d write an email sharing some of the findings here. The goal is … Read More

Ten Truths To Overcome Social Anxiety

Neil StraussNeil41 Comments

Recently, I did a small project based on experiments from the book the Game. It involved walking up to strangers and asking them to write down their vision for the world. I was with a couple other people in a food court area, and we saw a thin, poorly dressed, angry-looking man in his thirties sitting alone at a table. No … Read More

My Last Conversation With Prince, R.I.P.

Neil StraussNeil74 Comments

I just heard moments ago the tragic news that Prince, one of the greatest recording and live artists of our time, passed away. Over the years of writing about music, I’ve interviewed him, seen him perform big and small shows,  and even run afoul of him. The following obituary of sorts is from my last encounter with him, when the tables … Read More

Goodbye Merle Haggard: The Last Interview

Neil StraussNeil, Uncategorized2 Comments

Today, the world lost one of the greatest country musicians of all time. Merle Haggard, who died on the day he turned 79 today, is the American dream personified. Born to a hardscrabble family, he lost his father at age nine, was in juvenile detention homes by the time he was thirteen for shoplifting from a lingerie store, and was … Read More

The Year in Top Fiction Recommendations

Neil StraussBooks, Neil16 Comments

On New Year’s Day, 2016, I looked at my bookshelf and thought it was time to read the stack of books that was piling up, most of them top fiction recommendations from others. It was time to re-enter the world that had inspired me to write in the first place: The intersection of imagination, craft, and storytelling. So I committed to emptying … Read More

Love In The Age of Hyperbole: Our Culture vs. Love

Neil StraussNeil36 Comments

According to Billboard magazine, the greatest love song of all time is the Diana Ross and Lionel Richie duet “Endless Love,” in which she sings, “You’re every breath that I take/You’re every step that I make.” Spotify reports the most popular wedding song is John Legend’s “All of Me,” in which he proclaims, “Give your all to me/I’ll give my … Read More

“It Is Always Better to Go to Bed With a Mystery”: An Existentialist Take on The Game

Neil StraussNeil7 Comments

In 1956, French philosopher, author, and Nobel Prize winner Albert Camus wrote his last complete work of fiction, The Fall.  Set in Amsterdam, The Fall is a series of monologues by wealthy Parisian defense lawyer, Jean-Baptiste Clamence, as he reflects upon his life and reveals his transgressions to a stranger. As I was reading it after having published The Game, I was … Read More

The Quick-Start Guide to Healing Trauma and Psychological Wounds

Neil StraussBooks, Neil, Public, The Truth41 Comments

healing trauma

A  Framework For Transformation Over the course of writing The Truth, I came to develop a very specific take on healing trauma, specifically developmental trauma, as I slowly but surely reduced my own. As an overall framework for psychological healing, think of the childhood pain and shame we store—and the dysfunctional behaviors and thoughts created by them—as cancerous tumors attached to the heart … Read More