Reading List: April 2020




I write this during a time of isolation as a result of Covid-19. I hope you and your loved ones are well considering all that is happening. I thought the time at home would create more time to read, however, with the uncertainty of almost everything I have been spending a lot of time working on our non-profit work, and building the brand at my company Showing Up (three years in, I still don't have a business card, let alone a website and brand identity!) All this said, I spent time re-reading Ryan Holiday's Perennial Seller, which remains my favourite book on building any product / service, and I have been blessed to read these treats as well. I hope you're enjoying reading and finding some peace during this time of uncertainty. If you'd like to get in touch with recommended books, or for anything else, you can do so here. Many blessings,

Benjamin


Games People Play: The Psychology of Human Relationships, Eric Berne

This is actually the second book after Eric Berne’s groundbreaking book, Transactional Analysis in Psychotherapy: A Systematic Individual and Social Psychiatry. I recommend both. We play games all the time; relationship games; power games with our bosses and competitive games with our friends. In this book, he reveals the secret ploys and manoeuvres that rule our lives and how to combat them. Truly remarkable and immediately helped all relationships in my life!


Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Happy Life, Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles

What a beautiful book. Even for those that have read a lot of books about shaping the good life, this will feel refreshing. Hector and Francesc tell a wonderful story that aside from making us desire moving to Japan, provides a lovely framework to live your life by. They show how to leave urgency behind, find your purpose, nurture friendships and throw yourself into your passions. Bring meaning and joy to your every day with ikigai.


Instrument of Thy Peace, Alan Paton

A short and really beautiful book that explores, line by line, the meaning of St. Francis' prayer for peace, often illuminating them with companion passages from the Bible.

Bartleby The Scrivener, Herman Melville

Regarded as a masterpiece (it really is), this short book took a hold of me and I read it in one sitting. A glorious, heartbreaking, humourous and wonderful story about a man called Bartlby who refuses to do most things, infuriating his colleagues.


A New Earth, Eckhart Tolle

I finally got to reading this after the life-changing experience of reading Eckhart’s other books The Power of Now, Practicing the Power of Now, Stillness Speaks. Books that if embraced, would transform the world. As with all Eckhart’s work, it focuses on the ego and the damage it causes to all of us, most of all ourselves. It had moments I didn’t agree with, such as the Zen Master not holding people doing bad things to account, but the principles are quite beautiful.


Talking to Strangers, Malcolm Gladwell

Feels like an important book for our time. As with all of Malcolm’s writing, it’s unpredictable, articulate, and quite spellbinding. Covers a lot of ground that brings one central argument; we are really REALLY bad at understanding strangers, and as a result, society falls apart, at least in pockets and critical moments. I am not sure of what the outcomes of this book will be, and it feels like there could be a second part to this. But either way, a great book.


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