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books ideas

Books read in 2019

See also: books read in 2018 | 2017 | 2016 Book are categorized by nonfiction / fiction and then loosely organized from most to least recommended. Many of this year’s books were read to glean insights for my quest to get my life to a proper baseline of effectiveness; results from that initiative are in […]

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books habits ideas

2019 personal development experiments

As noted in the previous post, I attribute better-than-usual success with personal development this year due to some key insights, including using experiments to trial different approaches to self-improvement. Here were the experiments that I found worthwhile: Regular exercise (of the not-too-hard variety) I find that whenever I make regular exercise a habit, I start […]

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books ideas

Books read in 2018

I write down brief summaries of books read as a way to help retain my learnings and reflections from them, as well as to help improve my recommendations to others. For more reviews, check out the list from 2017 and 2016. Non-fiction How to Change Your Mind – Michael PollanThis was absolutely the best book […]

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books ideas psychedelics

How to Change Your Mind

Despite the rave reviews, I initially skipped reading How to Change Your Mind. Having already read a fair deal on psychedelics, I figured I knew enough on the subject. But the author’s interview with Tim Ferris intrigued me, so I gave the audiobook a try. And I’m glad I did. It was definitely the best […]

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books ideas

On “Quiet” and befriending your introvert self

I originally resisted reading Susan Cain’s Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking because it sounded like a pop psychology book, an ideal publication that could be touted to the majority of the book-buying population. “Of course introversion has strengths and weaknesses, duh!” I thought, rolling my eyes at the […]

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books contemplation habits ideas the truth about life

On forming Forever Habits

Several years ago, I found myself in the predicament of being unable to read nonfiction books. I could, of course, read the words just fine, but the act of sitting and reading one page after another stirred an overwhelming anxiety: I knew so little and learning took so long. Each sentence I read was a […]

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books contemplation the truth about life

On failing to be the change you wish to see in the world

Several years ago after watching a video, I deliberately erected a bubble of ignorance around environmental issues. This video, not four minutes long, showed that birds on a tiny remote island were dying. Their corpses decayed to reveal a skeleton stuffed with an assortment of colorful plastic rings and caps and doo-dads. I was depressed […]

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books contemplation ideas

Digital Minimalism

Cal Newport is probably the current “thought leader” whose convictions I am most sold on, but despite numerous rereadings of Deep Work, I’ve failed to live up to the practices he prescribes. In Digital Minimalism, Newport attempts to help people like me close the gap, providing mindsets and strategies for fighting back against the digital […]