Sunday, January 24, 2010

What do you read?

Mark told me he wanted to use some extra article space this week, and so you will not see an article from me today.

But I do want to ask you a question: what do you read?

A friend of mine was so sweet to give me a book certificate as a belated birthday gift, and so I'm ready to go and buy some wonderful inspiring books. I am always looking for inspiration that ties together what I know and do, and from I can create new ideas, more inspiration and expand my philosophy.

At this moment I have on my shelf for reading (that means I am reading it or start it soon) a couple of books of Martin Seligman like Authentic Happiness and Optimistic Child; Engaging Autism written by Stanley Greenspan and Serena Wieder, Brain Training for runners by Matt Fitzgerald, Happiness by Matthieu Ridard, The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt and Born on a Blue Day by Daniel Tammet.

Most of these books I found browsing around, and only one of them I got referred to by Mark's daughter. And now I am wondering, what do you read? I do not know what you like to read and I would love to know.

So, maybe you want to tell me what your favorite book is in this moment and why? What is it that you look for in a book? When do your read? How often do you read? I'm looking forward to hear from you.

Enjoy your Sunday (with a book?)!!


  1. What a wonderful question, Iris; thanks so much for asking this. I find the Daniel Tammet book extremely intriguing, and have been meaning for a long time to read the work of Martin Seligman, so I have placed two books on hold right away at my local library (and am rubbing my hands together in anticipation already)!

    A couple of reading suggestions from me:
    - Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (a book that helped me tremendously in trying to see the world as an autistic child might)
    - Eckhart Tolle's The Power of Now and A New Earth
    All three I read a long time back. The book I'm reading right now is
    - Speak Peace in a World of Conflict, by Marshall Rosenberg.

    What do I look for in a book? Something containing material I can use to become happier and more effective in the world, something that provides new or challenging beliefs or insights. Can't remember the last time I read any fiction, though there was a time when I used to devour all kinds of fiction.

  2. Have you read: "The Brain that Changed Itself" by Norman Doidge? I though that book was very inspiring, and really help me recognize how different the world can be depending on which parts of the brain are used. It helped me to reduce making assumptions. For example if one of my little friends with autism looks at two cars I am not sure what he is doing. He might be interested in the shape of the cars and he might be comparing them, but it could also be that he sees colors or materials different then I do and so has a very different experience. Maybe he puts the cars together because the colors blend so nice or the vibrations of the cars seem to go so well together. Because I do not know, I think it is useful to not make assumptions about it.

  3. Thanks, Iris; I've added that to my list too.

    By the way, I'm checking out another book on kids right now, and I found this gem in the Introduction:
    ... At this point in the discussion, the adult should avoid the use of the word 'should'.

  4. Hi Iris
    Seems as if your bookeshelfs are somewhat similar:
    I recently finished Happiness by Richard Matthieu - you could also listen to some of his lessons as youtube (btw he is a fantastic photographer), and I have 50 p. left in The Brain that changes itselfs.

    On my Ipod I listen to "Learned Optimism" - I am not impressed so far, but it might have been more usefull for me with the book, since I find it easier to skip chapters in a book than on ipod.
    - so maybe I will go back to listening to Echkart Tolle.

    I have a favorite quote by M. Rosenberg: "If anyone say 'I feel' you can be certain they do not talk about a feeling but about a belief" - I would love to hear what you learn from that book
    I have reat "Women with add" and I am reading "You mean I'm not lazy, stupid or crazy?" - next on the adhd list is: "The disorganised brain"

    Next on my list are: "The Joy of living" by Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche (I'm volenteering at a workshop with him in april) and "The body has a mind of its own" by Sandra and Matthew Blakeslee

  5. I have quite a selection of books on my shelf as well. Welcomed friends with stories to share. All I cherish, just as I do most everyone. As a matter of fact, I even discover my choosing to cherish and value those that seem blindly not about being friendly or particularly uncharitable towards themselves karmically. Currently on the top part of the shelf while I work with family members choosing to experience distress, is ACIM, The Guru Next Door, What to say when you talk to yourself, 2Luv is 2b happy, Happiness is a choice, and a workbook on CBT. Recently reflected upon and recalled are the wisdoms of I'm ok, your ok, How to Stop Worrying and start living, power dialogues,When you believe it you'll see it, etc etc etc.

  6. Thanks Sree, Joy and BW for sharing what's on your bookshelf. I am for sure going to check out some of your suggestions. Sree: who said that parents "should not should"?!!

    Joy, what is the title of of book of M. Rosenberg? I agree that there are books that are easier to have in hand and books that are easy to listen too. The Brain Training for Runners is also a book that you want to skip to different pages too, so I recommend to not use the Ipod! I'm right now in the middle of Born on a Blue day and I must say that I am intreged by how Daniel describes certain experiences. I cannot yet put in words, but you will read about it when I'm ready!

  7. Iris, the world reknowed writer, professor, who teaches exploring the quality of our thoughts and words, Edward Debono, invites readers to examine the validity or usefulness of such notions as coulda, woulda, shoulda, and their non-sensicalness. Is it not a form of criticism, either of oneself in I shoulda, or of another? Isn't it a sorta mindless game to play with the notion one coulda, shoulda?

  8. BW, I would offer that 'shoulda' would represent a form of self-judgment, but that, 'woulda' and 'coulda' can be quite useful in self-exploration. In general, we use 'should' to represent some form of moral imperative (this can be useful to explore, but not always great in getting what we want). However, 'would' represents 'will' or 'want'. Exploring 'woulda' helps us better understand our wants and how they've changed over time. 'coulda' refers to our capacity for something. Looking at a past event and seeing options that you weren't aware of or ignored can also be really useful. You coulda done it if you had just been aware of thus-and-such.

    In the end though, it's all what you do with it. "I coulda played the piano if I'd just practiced" can be a great insight if you're exploring why you 'can't' play piano. You can conclude, "So, if I just practice now, I'll be able to play."

    On the other hand, if your "I coulda played the piano if I'd just practiced" leads to the conclusion, "I shoulda practiced more!", then you can easily dead-end yourself.

  9. exactly Tef......isn't it curious when many consider coulda, woulda, shoulda, as dismissive statements, that relieve oneself delusionally from examining the reality of there being only a 'present?' bw

  10. Iris: I enjoyed reading the Seligman book; will be revisiting portions of it soon. Reminds me of a book I have currently on my porcelain 'bookshelf' called 'Beyond Positive Thinking', by Drs Arnold & Barry Fox. It's a positive/motivational book, but with a nice twist - lots of supporting medical facts & anecdotes.

    Now on to the Daniel Tammet book...


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