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When it comes down to it, you’ll most likely find me at my most captivated when I have a non-fiction book in hand. I realize that sentence seriously downgrades my cool factor, but it had to be said. And don’t get me wrong, I love a good and hearty fictional story just as much as the next nerd, but my internal fascination antenna comes to attention when I’m reading something true.
Facts. Knowledge. Anecdotes. Lessons. Bottom Line. All of these get me riled up. I’ll collect these little snapshots of the world to use as my personal benchmarks. Guides for the journey. Context. And practically, since it’s the holiday season, they work as great conversation starters when you’re around a bunch of people with which you have little in common.

Here are my top five most coveted non-fiction books of the moment. Drumroll please…

this is how1. This Is How: Surviving What You Think You Can’t, by Augusten Burroughs. No one told me that my kindred spirit was the same man who wrote Running with Scissors, A Wolf at the Table, and Dry. I want to have lunch with this man. And dinner. And every meal because he is funny, honest, no bullshit, and lovingly imperfect. It’s the exact person who I’d want to talk me through the most difficult moments in life and that’s exactly what he does in this book. You need to get this book now. Yesterday. Go.

 

 

deepak

2. What Are You Hungry For?: The Chopra Solution to Permanent Weight Loss, Well-Being, and Lightness of Soul, by Deepak Chopra. I am so intrigued by this book. We all have a relationship to food, we all have deeply habitual patterns of how we choose and consume food. I’m really interested in the idea that eating habits can teach us about our wellness and not just our waistline. I think we’re all past that “I’m on a diet” phase that was just so super fun in the 90s, and now we’re all onto “It’s a lifestyle.” I think this book could illuminate more than just what to put on my plate. I’m into it.

 

brene brown3. Daring Greatly: How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead, by Brene Brown. Did you guys see Brene Brown’s TED talk? If you didn’t, get your butt over there. She describes through research and personal experiences how the courage to be vulnerable actually leads us to be stronger. The thesis could be grossly paraphrased as: The constant pressure to have your shit together can take a backseat. Be real, tap into your emotions, change the world. She had me at not having your shit together.

 

 

flow4. Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, by Mihaly Csikszentimihalyi. There are a few times in my life where I’ve really been caught in flow. They usually all happen during rehearsals. The stage manager says it’s the end of the day and I’m disappointed, bummed, and surprised because where the hell did the time go? Through research, experiments, philosophy, and science, Csikszentimihalyi investigates what this state actually is and how it can work for us. Sign. Me. Up.

 

 

 

charles duhigg

5. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, by Charles Duhigg. If you read my post on 3 new ways to think about your brain, then you’ll understand why this book gets my synapses all hot and bothered. Not only does Duhigg discuss how to change your own habits, but he uncovers how companies can actually predict what we’ll buy based on these very predictable behaviors. This is fascinating from every standpoint, but to be able to look at my predictable consumerism seems provocative and bank account-altering.

 

 
Have you read any of these titles? What’s on your book wish list?
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