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Recommended Reading

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Often when I chat with readers, we exchange recommendations for books and other neat things that make our lives better. Here are some books I think you’ll like if you like this blog. This is just a start but I’ll add more regularly — check back often.

-David


Atomic Habits – James Clear

This book made a huge splash in 2018 and if you’ve read it you know why. James Clear’s approach to habit formation (or destruction) is simple and memorable and it works. Atomic Habits marks the only time I bought the audiobook version after reading the print book, because I wanted to internalize every single idea in this thing. It also might be the best-reviewed book ever… After thousands of reviews it hovers between 4.9 and 5.0 on Amazon.

Print | Kindle | Audiobook


Nonviolent Communication – Marshall Rosenberg

Marshall Rosenberg is well-known in therapist circles, but this book is for everybody, because everybody’s well-being depends on how their conversations go. Nonviolent Communication is a simple and memorable process for communicating with people without triggering the other party’s defensiveness, or succumbing to it yourself. Once you start trying this out, you see how much much unnecessary annoyance, pain and misunderstanding we habitually create in the way we interact. For me, his approach improved almost every single interaction, and the rewards were so immediate and obvious that I never looked back. There might be nothing our species needs more than the insights in this book.

Print | Kindle | Audio


The Meditations — Marcus Aurelius

This is the most accessible work of the Stoics. The book consists of a few hundred short entries, each of which is an actionable bit of wisdom from the Stoic perspective: attend to what needs attending, with the best spirit you can bring to it, and you will have the best possible life. I listen to the audiobook again and again — since each entry is self-contained, you can jump in anywhere.

Print | Kindle | Audio


Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff… and It’s All Small Stuff – Richard Carlson

If this book was never written, the blog you’re reading wouldn’t exist. During a particularly hard year in my early twenties, this simple little book taught me life’s supreme lesson — that the quality of your life depends on how you interact with what happens. And nothing happens but many, many small things. One of the reasons it’s so effective is the format. The book consists of 100 extremely concise strategies for improving your life as of this very second. No padding or filler. This book completely changed my life and I still keep a copy within arm’s reach of my desk.

Print | Kindle | Audiobook


Asimov’s Chronology of Science and Discovery – Isaac Asimov

Mind-warping in a good way. Technology isn’t magical or baffling, it’s just thousands of layers of rather simple ideas. Starting with fire and cave art, Asimov gives you these layers one by one — every single significant discovery since human beings left the forest. The effect on the reader is incredible. You begin to see exactly how everything led to everything else. It shows you exactly how we got from rubbing sticks together to smashing atoms, and not one bit of it is hard to follow.

Print version


On Having No Head – Douglas Harding

If your mind is open enough when you come to him, Douglas Harding will turn your world inside-out, where it will begin to make a lot more sense. His approach to self-inquiry is so shockingly simple that it’s easy to miss. On Having No Head is his flagship book, but the best starting point may be to go to www.headless.org and do the simple experiments there.

Print | Kindle | Audiobook

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In case it would influence your decision either way, know that if you choose to buy any of these items through this page, Raptitude receives a commission, which helps to liberate my time from The Man and allows me to write more. All recommendations are genuine — I don’t endorse what I wouldn’t buy — and the cost to you remains the same.

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