Book Recommendations Q3–2017

Spirituality, Evolution and Science

This quarter began with a focus on meditation and spirituality and continued with evolutionary extinction and microbiome. I’m interested in a lot of things it seems.

Previously book recommendations are found here:

The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself by Michael A. Singer

Definitely my favourite book this quarter. I liked the book so much I downloaded the audiobook as well and listened to it. Get outside of yourself and observe how you are interacting with the world. Everyone that I have told about this book has thanked me after reading it.

Real Love: The Art of Mindful Connection by Sharon Salzberg

This is the author’s newest book about how to live and love in our daily lives. I’ve listened to Sharon on podcasts and interviews with great admiration of her articulation around how she lives her life. Love she defines as a “profound feeling of connection to another” and can be as little as one or as many as everyone.

Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation by Sharon Salzberg

This one a New York Times best seller from the same author about the power of spending a few minutes every day to dramatically improve your life. This includes guided meditations as a part of the read.

The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed by Jessica Lahey

My daughter is only four months old so it’s a little early, but I’ve found many unintuitive yet profound strategies around raising a child and helping her overcome the challenges she will undoubtedly face.

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert

This work won the author a Pulitzer prize which, once read, it isn’t surprising. Kolbert writes in a manner that both absorbs you while scaring the shit out of you at the same time. I feel sad for frogs, bats and our oceans.

The Microbiome Solution: A Radical New Way to Heal Your Body from the Inside Out by Dr. Robynne Chutkan M.D.

Live dirty, eat clean is the motto of Dr. Robynne Chutkan a gastroenterologist doctor and researcher. Thanks to this my wife and I have banned the use of anything anti-bacterial and will diligently examine any antibiotics if they are prescribed.

Love Your Enemies: How to Break the Anger Habit & Be a Whole Lot Happier by Sharon Salzberg and Robert Thurman

Here she (Sharon Salzber) is again. This time talking about how to handle your “enemies” which includes co-workers and most of all yourself. The strategies and exercises are practical and very helpful in both quelling tensions with these enemies as well as enriching your own happiness.

Stealing Fire: How Silicon Valley, the Navy SEALs, and Maverick Scientists Are Revolutionizing the Way We Live and Work by Steven Kotler and Jamie Wheal

A follow up to a previous favourite of mine, The Rise of Superman, Stealing Fire examines the brains of high performing athletes, artists, meditators, and ravers in order to capture how we achieve that flow-state. I’ve been in flow playing basketball, meditating and in painting, but it remains fleeting and elusive for some. This digs into how we can get there in order to perform at our best.

A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

I don’t know how I got here, but Eckart Tolle not only makes sense to me, but I’m fully aligned with his thinking. I won’t be parking my ass on any park bench for months any time soon, but I am living more deliberately and in the moment every day. Can you feel the shift?

The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle

The past and future do not exist and therefore our mind is thinking about a fantasy if it is there. That is all.

The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brene Brown

A few years ago there was a little known video (31 million views) on TED that talked about the power of vulnerability. In this book Brene Brown delves into the data around how and why we act the way we do. She does this with endearing charm and humour.

Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers by Timothy Ferriss and Arnold Schwarzenegger

This intimidating book was sitting on my shelf for months before I opened it and once I did I was, again, blown away by the content! Important to note that this a reference book just like his others. You can cherry pick whatever few pages you want to read on a specific topic or person. So. Many. Insightful. Meaningful. Tools!

Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom by Rick Hanson and Daniel J. Siegel

Ironically, this had too much science for me. If you’re interested in the neuroscience of happiness and want to dig deep then this is for you.

We Learn Nothing: Essays by Tim Kreider

The writing just blew me away. Funny, touching, intelligent. This is a collection of incredible essays about the author’s life, friendships, family, and a little bit of American politics that had me laughing out loud. Tim Ferris liked this book so much he produced the audiobook which is read by the author and how I consumed it. Below is one of the essays read by the author.

The Happiness of Pursuit: Finding the Quest That Will Bring Purpose to Your Life by Chris Guillebeau

If you’ve ever wanted to go on a quest then this if for you. Chris, the author, decided his quest was to visit every country in the world and he did. This book isn’t just about that however. It’s about the hundreds of people he interviewed about their quest like walking from the coast of Maine to San Francisco, to be the youngest (16 years old) person to sail around the world alone, to visit every basilica in the Unite States. This is as much an instruction manual as it is a telling of many people’s stories and the happiness they realized in their pursuits.

Faith: Trusting Your Own Deepest Experience by Sharon Salzberg

Squeezed on last Sharon book in here that talks about the word Faith in a Buddhist and secular context. We trust ourselves naturally and we can learn to trust more.