Friday Book Club: Your Recommendations

May 8, 2020

Friday Book Club: Your Recommendations

May 29, 2023

Thank you so much for your plentiful contributions of great books to read during this global pause. It was hard to select a top five given more than forty recommendations. So, here’s a top five along with an extended honorable mention list.

  1. The Way Under The Way: The Place of True Meeting.” (Mark Nepo) Recommended by Donna Jones, San Diego. One poem that particularly spoke to me of MEA wisdom was "Crossing Some Ocean in Myself," which begins as follows:

    Half a century, and finally,
    what I feel is what I say and
    what I say is what I mean.

    What I mean is that others, so used
    to my gargantuan efforts to be good,
    don't understand my efforts to be real.
    They find me coming up short.

    At half a century + 1 decade, I am finally saying more of my true feelings, and focusing less on being the person I'm expected to be and more of who I actually am.

  2. The Wisdom of the Enneagram.” (Don Riso and Russ Hudson) Recommended by Natasha Ginnivan, Blue Mountains, Australia. I started my journey inwards with Riso & Hudson in my thirties in 2004 and believe that with age comes the ability to transform ourselves. I wrote about this in this blog post about the unexpected sense of peace that comes with aging. One of my favourite wisdom quotes at the beginning of the Wisdom of the Enneagram is a Sufi saying: "Those seeking THE answer will never find it, it is in the seeking that you find..."

  3. FLOW: The Psychology of Optimal Experience.” (Mihaly Csikszentmihaly) Recommended by John Orian, Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Mihaly writes about having a life worth living, a phrase I am starting to use a lot. I ask: On your deathbed, as you prepare to cross over, how would you complete this phrase: "My life was well lived because ...". The following quotes from Mihaly's book address the importance of our 'attention to experience' to have lives that we deem were well lived.

    Only direct control of experience, the ability to derive moment-to-moment enjoyment from everything we do, can overcome the obstacles to fulfillment.”
    “How we feel about ourselves, the joy we get from living, ultimately depends directly on how the mind filters and interprets everyday experiences.”
    “Genuinely happy individuals...enjoy what they are doing, are reasonably satisfied with their lot, do not regret their past and look to the future with genuine confidence.”

  4. Warriors for the Human Spirit” (Meg Wheatley) Recommended by Kari Henley, Fort Collins, Colorado. Meg is one my treasured mentors. She sent out recently a glorious little digital booklet I would recommend called "Warriors for the Human Spirit." Here's a snippet:

    "WHO IS A WARRIOR?
    Warriors are people who focus their lives and work
    on making a difference. They respond to a sense of
    service that gives meaning to their lives beyond petty
    definitions of happiness and self-satisfaction. They are
    of all ages, faiths, professions, and cultures. Depending
    on their age, either they have contributed in many
    different ways or are aspiring to contribute.

    The Warriors arise when the people need protection.
    We step into this role of contribution and service,
    learning to assess what is possible and what is not. We
    are broken-hearted in witnessing what is being lost.
    We are exhausted from efforts that can no longer bear
    fruit. Yet we have abiding faith in the human spirit, in
    the capacity of people to be generous, creative, kind,
    and compassionate–no matter what. It is our faith in
    the human spirit that inspires us to undertake the
    discipline of training to be of service for this time."

  5. Permission to Feel: Unlocking the Power of Emotions to Help Our Kids, Ourselves, and Our Society Thrive” (Marc Brackett) Recommended by Gail Gorton, Menlo Park, California. Marc is the founding director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. In his book, Marc provides a blueprint for understanding our emotions and using them wisely so that they help, rather than hinder, our success and well-being. During this time of uncertainty, we all seem to be experiencing a myriad of emotions, more intensely and frequently than ever before. Marc has developed a remarkably effective system called RULER, a high-impact and fast-effect approach to understanding and mastering emotions. Not only will you learn about emotional intelligence, but you’ll learn how to put into practice Recognizing, Understanding, Labeling, Expressing and Regulating your emotions.


    Honorable Mentions

    1. “Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts.” (Brene Brown)
    2. “Managing Oneself” (Peter Drucker)
    3. “The Second Mountain” (David Brooks)
    4. “Crossing the Unknown Sea” (David Whyte)
    5. “Man’s Search for Meaning” (Viktor Frankl)
    6. “Untamed” (Glennon Doyle)
    7. “Yeager” (General Chuck Yeager & Leo Janos)
    8. “Vagabonding” (Rolf Potts)
    9. “The Untethered Soul” (Michael Singer)
    10. “The Gift of Years” (Sister Joan Chittister)
    11. “Interviews with the Masters” (Robert Greene)
    12. “Principles” (Ray Dalio)
    13. “The Book of Highs” (Edward Rosenfeld)
    14. “Passages: A Guide for Pilgrims of the Mind” (Marianne Andersen)
    15. “Winning Now, Winning Later” (David Cote)
    16. “Lakota America” (Pekka Hamalainen)
    17. “The Code of the Extraordinary Mind” (Vishen Lakhiani)
    18. “Secrets to Natural Success” (William Whitecloud)
    19. “WISER: The Definitive Guide to Starting a Business After the Age of 50” (Wendy Mayhew)
    20. “Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How it Changed the World” (Laura Spinney)
    21. “The Psychology of Pandemics” (Steven Taylor)

    Go deeper with a workshop, in person or online.

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