I know it’s not fashionable to like Bill Gates but I happen to think he’s pretty awesome. We watched the documentary on Netflix about him last year and I was fascinated by the amount he reads. Every day his assistant packs a bag of books for him to take with him and he reads whenever he can. I haven’t made many resolutions this year but creating more time to read is one.
So here’s some suggestions for you to read and use this month.
1/Daniel Lieberman and Michael Long – The Molecule of More
READ THIS BOOK – it is truly life changing. The chemical referred to in the title of the book is dopamine which doesn’t sound very exciting. But this book allowed me to make sense of a lot of the choices I’ve made, what drives me, my strengths and weaknesses. It also provides incredible insight into humanity as a whole. Why some people are liberal and others conservative (and why the Brexit debate was so fundamentally divisive and is unlikely to be healed). Why migrants are often so gifted and visionary. It’s all here – love, addiction, social media, the future of humanity. It’s been a long time since I read something so enlightening – I thoroughly recommend this one.
2/David Epstein – Range
I used to be so jealous of people who knew exactly what they wanted to do with their lives. I had no idea & consequently have studied hugely varied subjects, held down jobs from windchime maker to fraud investigator, lived in communes & garden sheds, & still at the age of 50, am not really sure what I want to do or where I want to be! That’s why I love this book. Range talks about people like me who have a broad range of interests & often take a really winding path through life. The author shows how this can in fact be an advantage. There are also some wonderful stories of late bloomers. For someone like me this is a really life affirming book & a great read.
3/Tim Anderson – Vegan JapanEasy
I only watched one series of Masterchef all the way through and it was the year Tim Anderson won. He was utterly bonkers with his recipes and, of course, I loved his style. I’m over the moon he’s created a Vegan cookbook. There are some odd ingredients here but I think the recipes are achievable. Each dish is packed full of balanced and well thought out flavours. Plus it’s a beautiful book to own.
4/Kelly McGonigal – The Upside of Stress
Stress has become public enemy number one when it comes to physical and mental health. But stress in and of itself is a good thing – the nervous system, like everything else, needs balance. Think hermetic stress, Wim Hof, all those arm holding exercises in Kundalini. Stress, utilised with understanding, forces the body into positive adaptations, improving your health, energy levels, resilience and courage. The problem with stress comes when we get stuck in a cycle of it and can’t return to our base level of social engagement & relaxation. This book shows you the benefits of well-managed stress and helps you get good at it.
5/Kim Walker and Vicky Chown – The Handmade Apothecary
My great great grandmother was a herbalist and the fascination runs in my blood. This is a gorgeous book to own, and is well-researched and put together. If you have any interest in connecting to nature, the healing properties of herbs, and creating your own herbal remedies then this is for you.