This is what I’ve been reading lately. I’ll update as the year goes along.
Status Anxiety – Alain de Botton
An exploration of our relationship with (and our anxieties around) status; how we see ourselves in relation to others and how we frame our perceptions and expectations accordingly.
Becoming Wise – Krista Tippet
A perusal of an award-winning journalist/podcaster’s reflections on her conversations with some of the wisest people on earth.
Stillness is the Key – Ryan Holiday
The compilation of a wide range of ancient and modern examples illustrating the effect of stillness on performance and peace.
The Courage to Be Disliked – Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga
A fictional conversation between a wise philosopher and a troubled youth about the central tenets of Adlerian psychology.
Essentialism – Greg McKeown
A guide to honing in on the truly essential people, projects and priorities in your life and maximizing your impact in the areas that matter. (You can read my summary of the book here).
The Art of Stillness – Pico Iyer
Acclaimed travel writer Pico Iyer takes us on a paradoxical journey to a destination we resolutely avoid but desperately desire. (You can read my summary of the book here).
The Road to Character – David Brooks
A New York Times writer digs into the inner lives of some notable figures, unearthing key character-forming experiences.
Tao Te Ching – Lao Tzu, Translated by Stephen Mitchell
A classic of Chinese philosophical literature and a central Taoist text exploring the wisdom of “The Way.”
The Art of the Good Life – Rolf Dobelli
A handbook of mental tools to help us clear-headedly build a life of true success, happiness and virtue. (You can read my summary of the book here)
Digital Minimalism – Cal Newport
A computer science professor helps us remove “low-value digital noise” by discerning which digital tools have the highest return on investment in the areas that matter most (see: Essentialism).
I keep fiction in the rotation for a few reasons. First, because there’s something magical about beautifully written prose. Second, because reading good literature is said to increase emotional IQ. And lastly—and most importantly (for me)—because it helps quieten my mind at night.
The Gentleman in Moscow – Amor Towles
A poignant story of a Russian gentleman caught in the crosshairs of a revolution and sentenced to live the rest of his days in the tiny attic room of an upscale hotel.
1Q84 – Haruki Murakami
A fantastical epic that is part philosophy, part fantasy, part love story—a storyline that rejects the limits of a single sentence.