As we enter our third period of lockdown I thought I would throw you all some of my recommendations or reads (books). What I have used and been reading to pass time when there is little else to do. Let’s be honest, there are only so many times you can re-watch Witcher, White Gold or Sons of Anarchy (random mix ey) but not only that, actually learn, develop and grow.
What I have realised is we can continue learning. We are far from the finished article and each of these recommendations are personal to me and books I feel will help you attack 2021 once it is open. Some will make the most of this downtime or WFH time and some will simply expand your knowledge.
You can find our Reading List via the link but I’ve included a range focused on wellbeing, development and well one which is just a ‘feel-good’ book.
Notes on a Nervous Planet – Matt Haig
I enjoy Haig’s writing style. It’s witty, to the point, easy to read and resonates with most of us in some way. He talks about mental anxt in a manner which makes it slightly less serious, whilst still being serious. He does not normalise it but makes it acceptable.
In a time in which anxiety is at a high for the vast majority of us, a book such as this could be a literal lifesaver. Not a literary lifesaver but a literal lifesaver for those who suffer.
Throughout the book, Haig describes his own situation and this enables the reader to form a connection with him. It gives us a chance to view the world through his eyes – and maybe through our own for the first time.
If you have anxiety, panic, depression or feel you are on the edge it is a great read. But it is also excellent for anyone looking to understand psychological worries in a deeper context.
Greenlights – Matthew McConoughey
If you don’t like McConoughey; we can’t be friends.
This is a feel-good book for anyone. Doens’nt matter if you are a fan or not. It’s about loving life, taking opportunities and doing everything to the max. Yes, a movie star salary helps but when you get to the nitty-gritty of his life you will see that even without the money, he would have found a way to have the same adventures.
He lived in an Airstream for years! He was broke at times. He felt like he wasn’t good enough. He’s actually pretty normal, just opened every door which blocked his path and more when he got through them.
A voice of our time, a genius, a wordsmith in the purest form.
Atomic Habits – James Clear
I’ve reviewed this one here
Why go on about this one again – well when you have time on your hands you can utilise it to force and form new Habits. I know I did.
Clear has a method of creating and keeping habits and the book goes through this. He explains how habits are formed, why they are useful and how we can utlisie them to make our lives better.
We all have habits, some of them are completely unknown to us. But we have them. So there are tasks within the book to teach us how to harness our existing habits and either get rid of them or build upon them relative to whether they are positive or negative.
The Obstacle is the Way – Ryan Holiday
Whats a bigger obstacle than Covid?
Honestly, that’s why I picked it up first. Holiday describes how he has used the teaching of the Stoics to improve his life and is looking to utilise their teachings in the modern-day.
In truth, it’s amazing how a philosophical concept from 2000 years or so ago is so relevant in today’s world.
holiday describes how we can harness the powers of their teachings and use them every day. Right now. This is key. And it’s an easy read and very difficult to put down.
The Subtle Art of not giving a F*ck – Mark Manson
Do I need to explain this one, now?
We all have ties where we care too much due to our core values. Where did those values come from, who created them, who set them up, why do we live by them?
Manson challenges these values and details why they actually may be a hindrance to your life rather than a help.
Throughout the book Manson goes through his own personal experiences, much like Haig this gives us a birds-eye view of what is going on. We relate to the author and can put ourselves in their shoes. Logically examing our own behaviours and in turn, working out whether our system of values is actually useful within our current lives.
Why is it good read now, what better time to reflect on yourself than downtime where you have nigh on six weeks to develop and grow?
Everything Is F*cked, A book about hope – Mark Manson
I admit, this one is on my unread shelf right now but I will be reading it during this lockdown. Without a doubt.
Well just look at the title. Yup, everything is F*cked right now and we need a little hope. After reading ‘Subtle Art’ I know it will help during this period and I for one will put my all into going over it once or twice and taking the key parts out for both myself and others.
Sapiens – Yuval Noah Harari
Sapiens is one of my favourite books. It’s a hefty read but well worth putting the effort in. It took me about 4 weeks reading about 30 minutes a day to get through (at the time I was setting my back office up).
I love history and learning about the past as it drives our future but this book is so much more. It describes how Homo Sapiens came to be, how we took over the planet and where we are going. It tells us of the mistakes we made, of how control was created and why. It goes into detail on the very basis of our human instincts and upon finishing it, you understand you natural drives. Hunger, lover, reproduction, etc as well as the rhythms we have which create our routines (Circadian Rhythm).
Our brains aren’t too different from 70,000 years ago, we just harnessed them.
And for those who want to know about the future, the book is part of a trilogy: Homo Deus and 21 Lessons which are about the present and the future. I have read Homo Deus and it is kind of scary with everything going on right now – as it pretty much foresees our current predicament.