There are a number of books that I have read in my lifetime (I love to read) that have had an impact on me in some way. This is a list of books that I have enjoyed and have spoken to me in some way. They are in no particular order, but they all have something valuable to add to your life IF you are open to hearing the message. This is not an all-inclusive list, but rather the ones that came to me before I fell asleep last night. Do you have a favorite book that should be added to this list?? Let me know what great book I’m missing out on.
The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan – Gives an incredible history of the food industry in our country, and shows us where our food comes from, and why it is SO hard to find actual food to eat. It is all about the corn. If this book isn't enough for you then watch the movie Food, Inc., which will really open your eyes.
Animal Vegetable Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver (and family) – A family goes “off the food grid” for a year, eats local, in season and what they grew themselves. An inspiring read, one that inspired me to do more with my garden and showed me what to do with some of my bounty. This is also just a great story, but one with a message, so read it even if you don’t want to go off the grid.
The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch – see also The Last Lecture on YouTube. Randy Pausch was a professor at Carnegie Mellon University when he was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer. He gave a “Last Lecture” that was moving and inspiring. His lecture shows how to live your dreams. The book was written after the live lecture and is a great accompaniment; I would advise watching the live lecture first.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey – This book is not meant to be read cover to cover in one sitting. Read it slowly. Read a chapter at a time. Let the information sink it. Do the activities. Write your personal mission statement. Read it again later. Do it again.
The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin – A New York woman takes a year trying to create happiness in her life using each month to focus on particular aspects of happiness. An interesting read, one that I came away from with some very basic reminders about happiness, number one being: Be Corrie.
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho – This book was recommended to me by a friend who told me “this book says something that you need to hear right now”. Okay…that’s deep. So I bought and read it the same day. She was right. It says something that we all need to hear, but you must be open to hearing the message. Don’t read this book just to say you read it. Read it with purpose of listening to the message.
In Defense of Food An Eater’s Manifesto by Michael Pollan – A follow up to The Omnivore’s Dilemma, this book tells us what we should eat, now that we have had our eyes opened to the food system in this country. The short answer of what to eat: Eat FOOD. Not Too Much. Mostly Plants. For the definition of “food” read the book.
Food Rules An Eater’s Manual by Michael Pollan – A follow up to In Defense of Food where we are given more descriptive rules as to what is “FOOD” and “rules” to follow to ensure what you are consuming is actual food. Rule # 57: Don’t get your fuel from the same place your car does.
Night by Elie Wiesel – His own story of the horrors of Nazi death camps; an incredibly moving book.
Marathoning for Mortals by John Bingham – If you have ever considered training for any kind of running event, this book gives you tips, tools, guidelines, information and a training plan. I read this book before I trained for and completed the Seafair Half Marathon in July 2006.
Chi Running by Danny Dreyer – If you have ever considered training for any kind of running event read Marathoning for Mortals (see above) and then read Chi Running. Chi Running uses ideas out of yoga, Pilates and t’ai chi to help runners utilize appropriate breathing and core strength to improve their runs.
Mans Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl – Frankl was a Jewish psychologist in Vienna when the Nazi’s arrived. He was taken to a concentration camp. This book details his life and experiences and discusses how and WHY people would even want to try and survive such horrible experiences. There are several companion videos online that are amazing as well. Just search Viktor Frankl.
Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser – A history of fast food in America, including how it has changed into the non-food giant of today. Details the dangers of the fast food industry to the employees, and how small food became big food.
Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo – The account of one little boy going to heaven, meeting Jesus and his deceased grandpa, and returning home to share with his family and the world that “Heaven is for Real”. A great book.
The Thin Commandments by Dr. Stephen Gullo – Dr. Gullo says that people who struggle with their weight regain on the same foods, in the same places, at the same times over and over again. This book teaches people strategies for how to identify “trigger” foods and how to change their behavior toward those foods. He also has written Thin Tastes Better, but I have not read that yet.
When You Eat at the Refrigerator, Pull up a Chair by Geneen Roth – A funny title with a depth of meaning. Geneen Roth is an author and speaker about how to live your life without battling food. This little book is filled with gems of wisdom. You wouldn’t invite a friend over to feast out of the fridge, so why do you do that to yourself? Why put yourself on the bottom of the list? A great book; with strategies on being kind to yourself while still enjoying food.
The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz – Confession, I have not actually read this book. The reason: I cannot get past the front flap. The front flap details The Four Agreements in brief and just those brief sentences give me SO much to think about, that I have yet to crack the first page. The Four Agreements: Be Impeccable With Your Word; Don’t Take Anything Personally; Don’t Make Assumptions; Always Do Your Best. I really do want to actually read this book, so I think I will put it on my list of things to read this summer.
So that is my off the top of my head list. What is a favorite of yours that I am missing?? Leave me a comment with your favorite motivational, inspirational, enlightening, uplifting, energizing or just plain great book so I can read it and be awed, too!