“In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you”
– Mortimer J. Adler
Some of the books that got through to me & an introduction about a few I read recently:
Born for This by Chris Guillebeau
David & Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell
If you think you’re at a disadvantage in any way, you should definitely read David & Goliath! Staring with the biblical myth of David & Goliath, he goes on to talk about other high achievers who seem to be at a disadvantage. He splits the book into three parts, tackling the advantages of disadvantages, the theory of desirable difficulties and the limits of power, exemplifying again and again how success flourishes in the most unexpected of places.
I loved Gladwell’s style of writing and his ability to retain my curiosity throughout the book. His stories come from diverse domains, as he proves that his theories can be applied anywhere; from schooling kids to advantages of having dyslexia and to what it means to be nearly bombed during World War Two. It certainly deserves a review,
and I shall write that soon! Read the review here.
“My upbringing allowed me to be comfortable with failure. The one trait in a lot of dyslexic people I know is that by the time we got out of college, our ability to deal with failure was very highly developed. And so we look at most situations and see much more of the upside than the downside. Because we’re so accustomed to the downside. It doesn’t faze us.” (p. 123)
Screw Business as Usual by Richard Branson
This is one of those books I’ve added lots of post-it notes to, because I know I’ll keep going back to it again and again! Branson shares here his vision on business and how businesses can or already do support local communities, watch and decrease their carbon footprint and can be generally ecological from more than just the environmental point of view.
It’s inspiring to learn how some of the big businesses we all know started and grew organically and how businesses in less developed counties are super successful while involving local resources and people. When there’s a bigger purpose, a vision that involves doing good while doing business, profit seems to follow too.
Read my full review and here’s one of my favourite quotes from the book, about young people and their talents:
“There is an eagerness and an energy, a clear vision in young people that is so powerful that, if not tapped and supported by the community to point it in the right direction, can become counterproductive and disruptive, as we saw in the 2011 riots in London. Every young person is entitled to have a fair start in life – and, when they don’t, it’s up to those with good fortune to see what they can do to help out.” (p. 75)
Women who Run with the Wolves, by Clarissa Pinkola Estes
I was blown away by Clarissa! This is a collection of straightforward lessons on womanhood, being congruent with your life purpose, dreams and wishes, finding your way back to whatever’s important to you, all taught through old stories and the symbols they have at their core. This should be a compulsory read for all ladies everywhere!
Here are two of my favourite quotes from this book, although there’s so much more I’d like to quote from it!
I will surely dedicate an entire post to Women who Run with the Wolves! Here’s my book review for Women Who Run With the Wolves.
“A culture that requires harm to one’s soul in order to follow the culture’s proscriptions is a very sick culture indeed. This ‘culture’ can be the one a woman lives in, but more damning yet, it can be the one she carries around and complies with within her own mind.” (p. 189)
“When women open the doors of their own lives and survey the carnage there in those out-of-the-way places, they most often find they have been allowing summary assassinations of their most crucial dreams, hopes and goals. They find lifeless thoughts and feelings and desires; ones which were once graceful and promising but now are drained of blood. whether these hopes and dreams be about desire for relationship, desire for an accomplishment, a success, or a work of art, when such a gruesome discovery is made in one’s psyche, we can be sure the natural predator, also often symbolised in dreams as the animal groom, has been at work methodically destroying a woman’s most cherished desires, concerns and aspirations.” (p. 53)
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
This has been such an easy and amazing read! I highly recommend this for so many reasons, and especially if you’d like to change the way you look at “inspiration” and “getting things done”. I wrote more about this book as a coach and as a creative person here and here. Also, check Elizabeth Gilbert’s chat with Marie Forleo.
Born to Run. The hidden tribe, the ultra-runners and the greatest race the world has ever seen, by Christopher McDougall
I’m not a runner yet. With my soft spot for Mexico and literally any Spanish word caressing my ears, this book drew me in from the first page.
A true story, McDougall (Men’s Health writer) presents Micah True’s (aka professional middleweight boxer Michael Randall Hickman) quest to put together a 51 mile Ultra Marathon in the Copper Canyon, Mexico, involving the Tarahumara natives and some of the best of today’s ultrarunners. A meditation on running, a tale of endurance, equality, travel and heritage, the book makes you dream of barefoot running and competition in a whole new light.
“Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed.
Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve.
It doesn’t matter if you’re the lion or the gazelle – when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.”