Tag Archives: books

Owning Books

I’ve always loved books.

As a child, the only things I ever wanted to buy were books.

And as an adult, I’ve amassed over 300 books.

Strangely, these last few weeks I no longer feel this desire to own lots of books. In fact, part of me wants to give away my entire library of books.

Not sure what’s come over me…

Outliers: The Story of Success

The Story of Success by Malcolm GladwellMalcolm Gladwell’s Outliers: The Story of Success was a very quick read.

I was not thrilled to read this book but decided to read it only after a friend loaned it to me.

I would rank the quality Gladwell’s books in the same order they were published: The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, and way behind is Outliers: The Story of Success.

Outliers just seemed so contrived.

While each story was interesting, they didn’t seem to quite fit into a coherent argument. It felt like Gladwell was trying to turn what should have been a simple article for the New York Times (not even an article for the New York Times Magazine) into a bestselling book.

Also, some of the stories — particularly the one about the health of residents of Roseto, PA — are well known to the public, which made it seem like Gladwell was trying even harder to make a book out of a simple essay.

So while I think that folks should read The Tipping Point and maybe even Blink for the educational value, I highly recommend that you not bother with Outliers.

Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers: The Story of Success

The Story of Success by Malcolm GladwellAs I anticipated, Malcolm Gladwell’s latest book, Outliers: The Story of Success has quickly become a bestseller.

I have caved and decided to read it even though I thought The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference and Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking both started off good but lost momentum part way through the book.

Both those books seem like they could have each been condensed into fantastic New York Times Magazine articles and left at that.

Will write more once I start this book….

The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire by Deepak Chopra

Harnessing the Infinite Power of Coincidence by Deepak ChopraDuring the week, I read Deepak Chopra’s The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire: Harnessing the Infinite Power of Coincidence. I’ve read several of his other books — The Path to Love: Spiritual Strategies for Healing, How to Know God: the soul’s journey into the mystery of mysteries, and The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success: a practical guide to the fulfillment of your dreams — and generally found them soothing.

And after reading Lynne McTaggart’s The Intention Experiment: Using Your Thoughts to Change Your Life and the World and re-reading Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist, I was particularly interested to learn Chopra’s views on essentially the same topic — being in tune with oneself.

Here is the table of contents:

Acknowledgments 14
Introduction 17

Part One: The Promise of Unlimited Potential
1 Matter, Mind, and Spirit 13
2 Synchronicity in Nature 59
3 The Nature of the Soul 75
4 Intention 93
5 The Role of Coincidence 119
6 Desires and Archetypes 147

Part Two: Paving Destiny’s Path
7 Meditation and Mantras 167
8 The First Principle, You Are a Ripple in the Fabric of the Cosmos 181
9 The Second Principle: Through the Mirror of Relationships I Discover My Nonlocal Self 187
10 The Third Principle: Master Your Inner Dialogue 199
11 The Fourth Principle: Intent Weaves the Tapestry of the Universe 207
12 The Fifth Principle: Harness Your Emotional Turbulence 219
13 The Sixth Principle: Celebrate the Dance of the Cosmos 237
14 The Seventh Principle: Accusing the Conspiracy of Improbabilities 243
15 Living Synchrodestiny 251

Epilogue 263
Selected References on Nonlocality 269
Appendix A 279
Appendix B 289
Index 294

Click here to read an excerpt.

Books from Steven Greenhouse's The Big Squeeze

Here is a list of books mentioned by Greenhouse in The Big Squeeze: Tough Times for the American Worker, in case you want to learn more:

Not sure if I will actually read any of these.

I feel quite certain that labor relations must change if the United States is to remain competitive and the envy of the world, but reading about how poorly fellow Americans are treated just makes me sad.

Not sure how that change will be created but I do feel like the companies in Bo Burlingham’s Small Giants: Companies that Choose to be Great Instead of Big (one of my favorite books) are good examples of how companies should be run — for best profitability, happiness (click here to read a bit about this book) and likelihood for creating the “City on the Hill in which prosperity and fairness reigned” (as Greenhouse said on page 78).

Mind and Life: Discussions with the Dalai Lama on the Nature of Reality

Discussions with the Dalai Lama on the Nature of RealityAs I’ve mentioned before, I’m subscribed to the Mind & Life Institute mailing list, and through this list I just received an email about a new book:

We are pleased to announce the publication of a new book that captures the rich exchange between scientists and Buddhist contemplatives during a Mind and Life Institute Dialogue with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. When a group of noted scientists including Nobel physicist Steven Chu and biologist Eric Lander discussed the nature of matter, life and everything from particle physics to the evolution and nature of consciousness with the Dalai Lama at his home in Dharamsala, their dialogue was recorded for posterity.

The book that grew out of this meeting of minds is Mind and Life: Discussions with the Dalai Lama on the Nature of Reality by Pier Luigi Luisi and Zara Houshmand. Recently released by Columbia University Press, the book has already received an appreciative review by the journal Nature, which notes that Luisi, “does a fine job of capturing the ebb and flow of debate and the delicate dynamics of cross-cultural interaction … The book is stimulating whatever your field of expertise, because it is likely to offer a way of looking at the world that you had not tried.”

You can read the book review in Nature at: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v456/n7219/full/456170a.html

In case you don’t already know, for over a decade, a small group of scientists and philosophers (and practitioners of many faiths, all members of the Mind and Life Institute) have met about once a year to explore the intersection between science and the spirit. This book came out of one of those conferences.

Don’t think I will purchase this book, at least not yet, but I would like to learn more about it.

I understand that in addition to interviews with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, included in this book are also interviews with Matthieu Ricard and Richard Gere. I’m not too interested in the interviews with Gere but The Monk & the Philosopher: Father & Son Discuss the Meaning of Life by Jean-Francois Revel & Matthieu Ricard (which I read in 2004) is one of my favorite books. Of the Dalai Lama’s books, I’ve read The Heart of the Buddha’s Path and just a few others and I would love to read more from him.

National Book Awards

National Book Awards were announced yesterday.

The winners are:

I’d like to read some of these. But I feel like I’m having trouble getting through my current list of books to read.