October Reading List:
Five books for you to read this October:
1/ Lisa Feldman Barrett – How Emotions Are Made: The Secret Life of the Brain
This book was so mind-blowing that as soon as I finished it I started it again. It will challenge completely your view of emotions. Essentially Feldman Barrett argues that emotions are not innate – ie, there is no such emotion as anger or happiness. Rather there are states of arousal or depletion in the body that we interpret as emotions – and these emotions are shaped by where and how we’re brought up. Fearful? Or experiencing high arousal from uncertainty? Depressed? Or are you experiencing a metabolic dip caused by a strained body budget? This isn’t the easiest book to read but is absolutely worth it.
2/ Yuval Noah Harare – 21 Lessons for the 21st Century
I think this man is a genius. Whenever something happens in the World I always tend to wonder what would Yuval say. What I particularly admire about him is his commitment to his meditation practice – as well as being intellectually gifted, he draws on weeks spent in silent meditation to deliver objective wisdom. It’s hard to choose a book by him to recommend as they’re all wonderful, but this is relevant and really makes you think about life today, where we’re heading, and what can be done to change course for the better.
3/ Rutger Bregman – Humankind: A Hopeful History
I cannot express how much joy this book brought me. If ever there was a book for the times it’s this. Who believes that humans are basically selfish? That when catastrophe strikes, it’s every everyone for themselves? Breman argues that this is a myth that has been cultivated, in part, by the ruling classes (who mostly do experience this as reality) and has been presented as fact. But as he shows, history shows the opposite – that humans are compassionate, resilient, and kind. It’s a book full of hope, and if we change the story and our beliefs, who knows what can happen.
4/ Jaron Lanier – Ten Arguments For Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now
I have a love hate relationship with Social Media. It helps me run my business and has allowed me to connect with long lost friends and stay in touch with others. Quite often it helps me connect to events and wisdom I might otherwise have missed. However, a lot of it makes me uneasy – from what it fosters in people, to fake news and the splintering of society, to addiction and so much more. I use it with caution and have made sure I understand what it is, how it can be harmful and how the companies operate. If you haven’t watched The Social Dilemma, I would strongly suggest you do. This book adds more information to the debate. I’m not saying don’t use it, I’m just saying understand it better than it understands you!
5/ Sasha Gill – Jackfruit and Blue Ginger: Asian favourites, made vegan
I was asked to recommend some plant-based recipe books so here goes with the first one. I have a lot of recipe books to choose from! I’ve chosen this one to start because I love Asian food – Thai, Indian, Malaysian, Chinese, Japanese, Indonesian, Vietnamese….Finding good plant-based versions of classics such as Pad Thai, ramens, sushi, curries and dals has been something of a mission for me and this book covers a lot of that ground. The recipes are quite simple and most ingredients are readily available. A good place to start.