One of the best parts of this journey is that I now make time to read books!  Truly great books are treasures and I've come across a few of them.  These are the ones I felt were too good not to share. 


The Book of Joy

by Douglas Abrams

                 Joy, it seemed, was a strange alchemy of mind over matter.  The path to joy, like with sadness,                                                                    did not lead away from suffering and adversity but through it.

This is a book I want to read over and over again until all its words are fully absorbed into both my conscious and subsconscious mind.  So many pearls of wisdom – plus a lot of humor and mischief.  It’s the account of a week long discussion between the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu on the subject of living joyfully in spite of suffering, both great and small.  These are two very wise men who have both suffered more than their share of adversity and remain joyful nonetheless.  It’s a book that gives you some not so obvious ways to live happier.



The Storyteller's Secret

By Carmine Gallo

This book I found on the shelf of a guest house I stayed at in Fort Kochi, Kerala, and I'm so grateful it was there!  There is so much inspiration packed into practically every page I almost couldn't stand it.  It may make you want to jump up and go change the world.   This book makes you realize how stories are woven into so many facets of our lives.  It's not only for those we think of as classical storytellers - it's for business professionals, sales executives, business owners, those with ideas, anyone who will ever have to make a presentation or speak in public or persuade anyone to do anything - for everyone, really.  We all tell stories, whether we realize it or not, and the ability to tell a story well can have a truly powerful impact.


The Story of My Life

By Helen Keller

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen nor even touched, but just felt in the heart.”

This is the fascinating autobiography of Ms. Keller's early years, written when she was 22 years old.  At that young age she was already a vivid, articulate writer with a rich vocabulary.  At first it seems incredible that she could possess such a detailed technical understanding of the world without sight or hearing, but as she describes the learning process she went through, you come to understand that really, the way she developed an understanding of life and learned to communicate wasn’t much different than the way we all do, only instead of seeing with her eyes she learned to see with her hands and her heart.  There are interesting parallels between how she came to understand a world she couldn’t see, and the way we all come to understand the parts of life that are very real, but can’t be perceived by any of our 5 senses, only felt. 

She’s inspirational not only because of what she achieved – just one example, by age 11 she was raising funds to enable a deaf and blind 5 year old named Tommy to school (like, seriously?  Yeah.) – but also because of how full of love and joy she was.  She writes as if she was able to see more clearly than those of us with perfect eyesight.  

This is a book I think everyone should read - at least the first four chapters.  It reminds you that so often things are possible beyond our wildest imagination. 


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Steve Jobs

by Walter Isaacson

The journey is the reward.

This was a fascinating and highly readable biography of an uniquely extraordinary human being.  Like India, a country he visited as a teenager, he’s a study in stark contrasts – sometimes shockingly horrible, sometimes a little crazy, often difficult, but also inspiring, insightful and driven by love and passion.

The thing that impressed me most about this person, other than the obvious: how his vision and design changed the world as we know it,  was that it was his heart that drove him.  That it was his passion for beauty and design and uncompromising insistence on quality that drove his designs.  I loved his obsession with fonts, and that the idea for different fonts for the Mac stemmed from the drop-in calligraphy class he took way back in college. I loved that the calming blue-gray paving stones of Florence’s sidewalks he noticed during his visit to Italy after being fired from Apple made such an impression on him that 17 years later he would insist on that stone for the flooring of most Apple stores.  I loved the way dots connected through his life – the way I believe dots connect through all our lives, when we look back after enough time has passed and can see the path they formed.  I loved that for him, beauty, passion, quality and intuition came first and profit came second.    

My favorite quote of his is this universal truth: Have the courage to follow your heart and your intuition; they somehow already know what you truly want to become.