Monday, January 26, 2015

2014 Adventure Reading List

2014 Adventure Reading List

Spirit Junkie: A Radical Road to Self-Love and Miracles –Gabrielle Bernstein
If you haven’t yet read one of Gabrielle Bernstein’s books, checked out her website, or watched one her vlogs, I highly suggest doing so ASAP.  She has so much to share about returning to our true loving selves by listing to our Spirit, or inner guides (~ing) and is on her way to transforming the world.  In this book, she shares with us many lessons to transform our lives by paralleling it with her own spiritual journey.  She also offers up many tips, tools, and meditations to help us do the same.
The Cool Impossible: The Coach from “Born to Run” Shows How to Get the Most from Your Miles- and From Yourself – Eric Orton
I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this book, not sure if it was a story or a training guide, but I saw it at a bookstore and instantly put in my request for a hold at the library (however, if you can afford it, it would be a good buy).  I like to stay updated on my running book list!  As it so happens, there was a little bit of story involved, but then a personal, imaginary journey as Eric takes the reader to his home in Wyoming-at the very heart of the Grand Tetons- to train with him as your coach.  In that regard, it was the most unique and enjoyable training book I have read.  Of course, he talked quite a bit about minimalist running, but even after hearing so much about it before I didn’t get bored.  Plus, he added a lot of new information about foot strength, including drills for foot strength and running form, as well core and overall body strength.  He then laid it out very nicely how to incorporate the strength routines in your week along with your running schedule.  And as for the running program, it is definitely more than you average online running program.  A little bit of math involved, yes, but it made a lot of sense.  Actually, if I had a Garmin (mine broke 2 years ago) and a hear rate monitor (I had a used one but I think I threw it out after never using it), I’d probably give it a go. (Oh, he talks about nutrition too!)
Last, I think he beautifully incorporated mental techniques to not just train for a race, but to live your “Cool Impossible”.  He actually included information I’ve been reading in my other non-running books, like awareness/mindfulness and fear (like fear of failure) not being real.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking- Susan Cain (Audio CD)
I love learning about things that help me grow and help me realize that I am not alone…and not crazy, which is part of the reason this book is so great.  It helped me define my quiet nature, preference to work alone or socialize in small groups, and sensitive nature in a more positive light with defined terms such as “high reactive”.  It also helped me see the power in my introversion and how introverts and extroverts can work together in a very meaningful way; example: Rose Parks (I remember doing a book report about her when I was a kid, but her story is even more amazing than most people know) and Martin Luther King JR. Also, think of Steve and I…He is an extrovert with some introvert tendencies, and I am the opposite, and introvert with a few extrovert tendencies.  However, because we both know this about each other, we can plan things out.  For example, I’ll attend a work party with him and do my best to socialize with people I don’t really know, but we usually leave in 2 hours (which is about my limit before I burnout and start becoming cranky.) Cain also includes many research studies and real life examples to further clarify her work.

It Starts with Food: Discover the Whole30 and Change Your Life in Unexpected Ways – Melissa and Dallas HartwigI probably read this book before I was ready for all the information.  For instance, I am not ready to give up whole grains like oats or quinoa, nor am I ready to give up natural sugars like agave. At the same time, I am definitely NOT eating meat again or giving up my legumes (though I am trying to eat more almond butter rather than peanut butter…did you know peanuts weren’t nuts but legumes!?!?) And now you are probably wondering what in the world am I talking about…well the Whole30 is basically going on “Paleo Plus” 30 day detox.  Basically you are only eating meats, veggies, fruits, nuts and fats.  And in fact it is very healthy (though I really do not believe you need to have meat to be healthy or that legumes are bad and cause inflammation).  I think everyone SHOULD follow a plant based diet that is promoted in this book.  (The funny thing is, a few days after I got this book Steve announced he was on a Paleo diet…I’m pretty sure I know more about it than he does.)  I would really love it if some of my friends with nutritional knowledge read more about the Whole30 and gave some feedback on it!


[Sedona Method- Hale Dwoskin]

I have to start by saying I only read half of this book.  I got through half of it but then no longer felt motivated to read more.  For me I guess it was a bit redundant.  However, that is not to say the information and tools were not important, which I why I'm still putting this book on here.  I think some of my friends would really gain something from it.  I have also taken some of the releasing methods with me and have found them quite useful.  I plan on getting one of the audio CDs in the future.]

YOU are a BADASS:  How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life – Jen Sincero
I ended up liking this book waayyy more than I thought I would.  I actually just picked it up as a book between books…I was waiting for a book I reserved to come in.  Now it’s a book I highly recommend to anyone.  I thought it was just going to be some funny write with a positive message telling us how awesome we are.  And it was, plus so much more than that!  Incorporated with her witty humor, personal stories, and a few exercises, she also touches on the spiritual (connecting with the Source Energy) and manifesting your dreams and money.  Also to my delight…she included a recommended reading list at the end!

The Geography of Bliss: One Grumps Search for the Happiest Places in the World- Eric Weiner (Audio CD)
Yes, this book is very similar to a past book I read “Thrive”, and quite frankly, I think that author had a bit more success in finding the happiest places in the world.  However, I quickly warmed up to Eric’s slightly sarcastic sense of humor and ended up enjoying listening to the CD on my way to work.  O, Eric also decided to change things up a bit by going to one of the unhappiest places in the world…which ended up really disliking.  In common with “Thrive” he did go to Denmark, but most of the other places were different.  For example, Iceland.  I still don’t think I would want to live in Iceland…way too much darkness.  What I did like about the country though is that its’ people have the ability to fail, learn, and try again.  If they want to reinvent themselves, that’s fine too.  India was also pretty interesting.  Again, it is too busy for me and not a place I would want to stay very long, but all the energy and spiritual side of the country is intriguing.  Last…not to ruin it for you…Eric ends up visiting one of my favorite places, a place where I have dreamed of living….Asheville, NC. The people he talked to ended up moving for many of the same reasons I love it…the Blue Ridge Mountains, accessibility to the trail and town, great food, and art.  With that, he brings up may main “worry” as well…so many other people have found out how cool the place is and have started moving there…how long until it ends up as another high traffic city?
Girls on Track: A Parent’s Guide to Inspiring Our Daughters to Achieve a Lifetime of Self-Esteem and Respect – Molly Barker (Founder of Girls on the Run)
I have felt a connection to Molly Barker (and GOTR) ever since I learned about her, the program, and her story.  When I learned she had a book, I of course had to seek it out right away.  The first part of the book briefly tells of her story, how she fell into the “Girl Box” and how she climbed back out (contemplating suicide until a pre-storm run that changed everything), leading her to create this program that now is now all over the country.  In the second part, she shares the stories of some of the girls that have touched her life in the program and what she has learned from them.  Then, to the delight of my social science side, she write a bit about the psychology of the program, the studies, and her experience that created the framework it (she also includes some great parenting/child care tips!).  After that she gives the program lessons and preparing for your first 5k, which I skipped since I’m a little past both, but returned for her inspiring speech on women unleashing their spirit and vision into the world.


Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof You Can Heal Your Life –Lissa Rankin (Audio CD)
This is one of those books that maybe I should not have got on audio cd, as there was so much amazing information that it was hard to take in while listening and driving.  With that said, this is an awesome book, potentially life changing for some.  And, as the title suggest, it’s is not a woo-woo hippie book (though I have no problem reading those either)…there is actual science that verifies a person’s natural ability to heal oneself, and plenty of research studies to show for it as well.  I totally recommend this book to everyone in the health field, to those people who have tried everything to heal themselves of an illness, and those of us just wanting to live a life with greater vitality.

The Passion Test: The Effortless Path to Discovering Your Life Purpose - Janet Attwood and Chris Attwood
I found this book to be quite helpful in providing a deeper sense of understanding in my life and directing me on my trail.  The first half helped me dig into my passions, narrowing things down and really being honest.  This is different then other books as it focuses not on your goals (things you want to achieve) but your passions (how you want to live your life).  I had never thought of things that way before.  The second half backs things up with many personal accounts from Janet and other enlightened and successful people.  It also highlights what has become a recent favorite topic of mine: surrender...or letting go to really reach your best life. (More to come on that topic later!)

Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead -Sheryl Sandberg (Audio CD)
So I absolutely knew I had to read this book when it first came out.  At the same time, I was a bit hesitant as she is a high powered business woman (like umm...Facebook's COO!), which is definitely not me.  With that...I thoroughly enjoyed listening to it.  She is considerate of all women and what they choose to do in the working world, including moms who chose to bring their children up on their own (for some reason some of the reviewers of this book say otherwise).  Yes, there were a few times in the books will I felt a little squirmy hearing her work schedule and having a baby then comparing it to my schedule and having a dog...but comparisons are rarely a good thing.  Anyway, what this book really is is a women's empowerment book, teaching women how to stand up, lean in, and continuing doing the work of the great women before us to truly reaching an equal level with men.  She totally does not bash men at all, by the way.  I actually think it would be a great book for men to read too, and I loved learning more about her relationship with Mark Zuckerberg.  I would also recommend the relationship chapter to all couples, especially those raising a family, to create a harmonious life among all.

Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance –Barack Obama (Audio CD)
When I think of Barack Obama, I don’t just think of him as the President of the United States (though the book was written quite some time before he became President).  I also think of him as a man with a story, just like everyone else.  His story is exceptionally unique-His father from Kenya, his younger years spent in Indonesia with his mom’s second husband, growing up in Hawaii with his grandparents, then going to Chicago to work as a community organizer, and finally visiting is home and family in Kenya.  At times I have wondered if he could have done more to make a difference if he wasn’t President, with his talents for rallying people for a common cause.  However, I realize now that the answer is no.  Even with so many against him, the greatness of having someone of his beautifully diverse background and a family who always strived for something better for themselves and their future generations, has an enormous impression on the country.  Because he did, others can.
I also found out that President Obama has a talent I never knew about…he is amazing at doing voice impressions!  When speaking for other characters in the book, he smoothly took on their tones and slang, even preforming a Kenyan accent.  I was impressed!

Money, A Love Story: Untangle Your Financial Woes and Create the Life You Really Want- Kate Northrup

I needed this book.  I need a book to tell me that money isn’t bad, that I am not bad for wanting more of it, and that money isn’t even real!  Northrup took money, or the value we associate with money, and put it on a level that I could understand.  She made money spiritual.  Yes, spiritual. 

Now I honestly didn’t do all the exercise she listed (though she had some really good ones as well as worksheets I will check out on her website) and may have skimmed over a few pages, but just by looking at my emotions around money and my false beliefs around it was huge for me.  I mean, I how was I supposed to accept money into my life when I had the subconscious belief that money was evil?  (just another issue that may have stemmed from Catholic grade school).  Finally I realized I don’t have to be Mother Teresa and be happy with no money to be spiritual, but perhaps money can enhance my spirituality by not having to worry about how I am going to pay for things and instead focusing my energy my passions (which in turn benefit the world)!  (I also give some credit to Sandi on that one as she further explained it to me).

The Empowering Women Gift Collection - by Louise L. Hay, Susan Jeffers, Christiane Northrup, Caroline Myss - Audio Book CD 
Filled with inspiration and knowledge for women of all ages, this four-CD set includes empowering lectures by these motivational women: Louise L. Hay is a metaphysical lecturer and teacher and the bestselling author of numerous books, including You Can Heal Your Life and Empowering Women. Louise offers penetrating insights on how women of all ages and backgrounds can experience self-love, self-worth, self-esteem, and a powerful place in society.
-So admittedly I didn’t listen to all of the last CD, but although Caroline Myss is amazing, her message wasn’t connecting with me as much as Christine Northrup’s (favorite talk-she could be a comedian as well) and Louise Hay’s lectures.  
 Crazy Sexy Diet: Eat Your Veggies, Ignite Your Spark, and Live Like You Mean it! –Kris Carr
Okay, can I just start off by saying I love Kris Carr? (Well, I guess I can…it is my blog after all).  Anyway, she is super smart, tons of fun, and just an amazing kind/loving/strong/vivacious woman.  All of this comes through in her book.  If you don’t know her story already, I’ll just briefly touch on it here.  11 years ago she was diagnose with an incurable form of cancer…today she looks like she is 20, probably has better health and energy than most 20 year olds, and obviously has not let cancer tell her what she should do.  (Again, she totally rocks!).  Don’t be deterred by the word “Diet” in the title...the book really isn’t about dieting at all, but living your best life possible and becoming a wellness warrior!  (However, there are some eating tips and yummy recipes included.) (I must admit, while I make the occasional smoothie, juicing hasn’t worked its way into my lifestyle yet.  I also completely overstep the “stop eating 3 hours before bedtime recommendation”-my last snack is 5 minutes before I go to bed!  Maybe one day I’ll get there-after all, it wasn’t so long ago that I was eating my friends and process pretzels and low-fat peanut butter!)

Healthy Eating, Healthy World: Unleashing the Power of Plant Based Nutrition- J. Morris Hicks with J. Stanfield Hicks (Audio CD)

If I wasn’t driving while listening to this book, there were a ton of great notes and research facts I could have taken.  In the past few year, I have definitely surmised that eating a compassionate, plant based diet isn’t just good for my health, but better for the entire world.  With plenty of research to back it up, this book gives proof to that notion.

The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change- Adam Braun
After watching an interview with Adam on Marie Forleo TV and learning that he started an organization building schools in 3rd world countries after an eye-opening experience traveling abroad, I knew I had to read his book.  And I loved it.  Each chapter is headed by a mantra that got him through each phase of his journey and we learn with him along the way.  Also, this book is about more than just opening up schools where kids need it (and truly value it) the most.  It is really about passion and how to follow the path that it directs you on.  Without following his passion, Adam may have been making millions of dollars at a business firm right now, but he would be unhappy and unsatisfied with his life.  Instead, he is now living an amazing life beyond what he could have ever imagined, while making an incredible difference in the world.

C. C. Pyle's Amazing Foot Race: The True Story of the 1928 Coast-to-Coast Run Across America -Geoff Williams   (Audio CD)
First of all, I did not listen to this entire book because I got bored (and I had “Talk Like TED” beckoning me).  All I listened to were the first, second, and last CD’s.  However, I had to mention it because I had no idea back in 1928 there race was a race of over 100 men across the county.  The “race director” tried to make it a huge event, which did not go so well, and only a handful of guys finished, but I still think the story is pretty wild.

Talk Like TED: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds – Carmine Gallo (Audio CD)
I love Ted talks.  The speakers share and present amazing information to the audience in what always seems to me a flawless and dynamic speech.  This audio cd was not like speech classes I have taken in the past, but true to TED, presented the topics in an exciting and engaging way and let the readers/listeners in to the 9 secrets of all successful TED presentations.  Plus, included are inserts, feedback, and stories from some of the best known TED talks.

Finding Your Own North Star: Claiming the Life You Were Meant to Live - Martha Beck
I picked this book up in the library when I really wasn't sure what to read, so I decided just to get the book that called out to me.  This was it.  I had also remembered Sandi reading it in the Winter, and as we have similar taste, that was a good sign. 
I was just to type "while I am still trying to find my true North..." but then Pacer just stuck her head under my arm and nestled into my chest.  I guess I'm pretty close....
But anyway, I did not do all the exercises in the book, partially because I was too lazy and partially because maybe I'm just not ready.  But either way, I very much enjoyed Martha Beck's wit and stories and will probably seek out a few of her other books.

The Disappearing Girl: Learning the Language of Teenage Depression Paperback – Lisa Machoian
As a member of Hudson's Coalition for Children's Mental Health, I figured it would be a good idea to starting doing a bit more research on the subject on mental health.  I couldn't have picked a better book to get me started.  She explores many different cases of depression in teenage girls, from the girl who shuts everyone out and feels guilty for her sadness, to the girl who cuts so someone notices she needs help, to the girl who drinks and parties to feel like she fits in.  Furthermore, she helps us see the line between normal teenage behavior and signs of deeper issues, and explains how eating disorders really aren't about food.  Finally, she closes with great tips how parents and anyone involved in the life a teenage girl's life can help her on a path to happiness and love.    

10% Happier: How I tamed the voice in my head, reduced stress without losing my edge. and found self-help that actually works- a true story- Dan Harris
Written by ABC news anchor, Dan Harris gives us a honest and adventurous account of how he went from stumbling on words while reading from a prompter in front of a live audience, to finding peace through...meditation.  Personally, I cant imagine being a news reporter.  Just the instability of the job with the constant competition for time would through me over the edge...Harris admitted he wasn't too far from off from going over himself.  However, through a string of events, this skeptic found himself in at a 10 day meditation retreat.  I think my favorite part of the book is his honesty as he constantly ask the questions we all have to "the enlightened".

Living History- Hillary Rodham Clinton (Audio CD)
This is another audio CD that I truly enjoyed listening to, especially as Mrs. Clinton herself was the narrator.  With charm and wit, she discussed her time, both the celebrations and difficult times, in the White House and changing the position of First Lady.  She also delves into Bill Clinton's affair and her decision to stay with him. (It's funny how in the 2008 elections I seemed to take grab onto the view that she was too stern-now realizing she was just a woman using her voice- and not possibly fathoming how she could stay with her husband to now knowing I can absolutely not judge her and her decision.  She would (have) make a great president.)  Now on to her newest book "Hard Choices"!

Seeking Peace-Martha Pipher I found this book at a thrift store in Jackson Hole, Wy and had to get it when I realized it was written by the acclaimed therapist and author Martha Piper.  It was not what I expected as much was written as a biography (then again, that should probably be expected from a therapist) and then how she healed from her crazy days speaking and workshops to promote her books. 

The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance- What Women Should Know- Katty Kay & Clairshipman
If I ever taught a women's empowerment class, this is another book I would add to the list.  Backed up with science and stories (from WNBA players to government leaders) the authors dive into what confidence is, how you get it, and why men seem to have more of it.  It also relates back to the famous social science question: nature or nurture? (As I have always found, it's a bit of both). At the end, we get tried and true ways of how to increase our own confidence and that of our female children.

Outrageous Openess: Letting the Divine Take the Lead - Tosha Silver
I 100% needed this book right now.  Sometimes I forget Who is in charge and how to let go, concurrently making my head spin and stress/worry levels shoot up- a worthless habit.  I'm usually not a fan of short story books, but this one was different.  Each chapter focused on a certain subject and the stories helped explain the concept, or way to step back and let the Divine lead.  There were lot's of handy quotes and mantras too.  - I'm about to go back and write down a few on sticky notes to put around my house!

Zen and the Art of Running: The Path to Making Peace with Your Pace- Larry Shapiro, PHD
I picked this book up on my way home from the Fuzzy Fandango 25k in Mohican, at one of my favorite bookstores, Books in Stock, in Wooster.  Don't let the name fool's old with lots of aisles full of books that keep reaching back, and an upstairs after going up a flight of creaky stairs.  Definitely a place to get lost in!
But about the book- I felt it was kind of basic, or beginner I should say, but I'm not really a practicing Buddhist anyway.  There were two points that struck me. 1) Weather- the weather is never good or bad, we just attach those feelings to them.  Therefore we can changes those feelings.  2) Impermanence, aka not being the "runner you once were".  From a Zen perspective, that is a false belief.  You can never be the runner you once were as your not the person you once were.  Everything is always changing.  (For help with this one, think about yourself 20 years ago-are you the same person you were then?). 

Hard Choices - Hillary Rodham Clinton (Audio CD)
This is a full account of Mrs. Clinton's time as Secretary of State.  Wow.  It really is quite mind blowing to think about the responsibility of the position and how one can even handle it (most of us have a tough time just juggling our to-do list).   I have to admit I didn't listen as closely as I would have liked, it took me well over a month to listen to, and I skipped a few of the last CDs (the last CD was my favorite when she started talking about human rights.)  However, that's not to say anything negative about the book.   She was honest and didn't leave anything out.  And may I say...she has my vote.

A Path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity - Nicholas D. Kristof & Sheryl Wu
Often times when I read a good book, I think of how I would include it in a class if I were a college professor.  I  have quite the list going in my imaginary women's/human's rights study class.  With this book, however, I thought about how it could be divided up to be a whole course itself. 
Kristof and WuDunn make a strong and beautiful team as always, diving into how t
o one can really make a difference and diving into quite a few issues the non-profit would is up against, like hundreds of people trying to start their own, who to trust, and how money is spent (marketing vs. cause).  Then they share numerous one can make a difference, even with just $5 to spare.  We could create quite a ripple if everyone read this book and took just 1 tip from it.

The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment - Eckhart Tolle
As one can probably imagine from the title, this was not the easiest book to get through.  Yes, Eckhart Tolle is wonderfully brilliant, but it takes a lot to process what he is saying.  This particular book answers many questions that he has received from audience members and followers.  It did get me thinking at a deeper level, I appreciated what I read, but the end it got rather redundant.  (I will say that my favorite part was the concept of always being a new You- no one is their past self.  The past self no longer exists.  - great tip for runners who are getting wiser or coming back from injury!)

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