Reading

A collection of my favorite words from books, posts, and interviews related to what I’m learning and thinking. You’ll notice I enjoy the mix of science with experiential living.

After starting a literacy program, then working in a bookstore and library,  you’ll see that reading is my longtime addiction. I’m always learning, refining and adding new links.

Letters to Vanessa: On Love, Science, and Awareness in an Enchanted World
Jeremy W. Hayward, Ph.D.
This book inspired my application of meditation to everyday life. In a series of letters to his teenage daughter Vanessa, Jeremy Hayward, a spiritual explorer who also holds a Ph.D. in math and physics, explores the hidden magic in our world. A little scientifically dated but with a message even more relevant now. “The world we inhabit is enchanted—every tree, rock, and star, and even “empty” space itself, is teeming with living energy and awareness. And it’s all nearer to us than our own breath.  Why, then, can’t we see it?”

The Wise Heart
Jack Kornfield
If I got stuck on an island and could bring only one book, it would be this one. Ostensibly an overview of the principles of Buddhist psychology, it’s also a manual for living well. Peppered by Kornfield’s personal stories, humor, and practices you can use in everyday life, it’s both an enjoyable and essential book for life.

The Hacking of the American Mind
Robert H. Lustig, MD, MSL
Not my favorite title but my favorite book of 2017. Lustig illustrates the difference – physiologically and psychologically – between reward/pleasure and contentment, showing us how chemicals such as dopamine and cortisol drive complex reactions that shape our behaviors and even addiction. As the title suggests, he also discusses how American industry has employed this knowledge to their advantage and what we can do to live with greater well-being. Although other authors have now addressed this topic, Lustig’s account is exceptionally clear.