My favorite reads in 2017

  1. Jack Kornfield — After the Ecstacy, the Laundry: How the Heart Grows Wise on the Spiritual Path. A great book written by a Zen meditation teacher on what the spiritual journey is all about, drawing from the personal accounts of practitioners and literature from diverse traditions. 
  2. Will Johnson - The Posture of Meditation. A great little manual for how to meditate. 
  3. Jim Forest - The Ladder of the Beatitudes. A beautiful devotional book dissecting the Beatitudes and the spiritual path that Jesus taught. 
  4. Paulo Coehlo - The Alchemist. A classic tale about following one’s heart. For the first time I feel like I’m beginning to understand this simple spiritual story.  
  5. Thich Nhat Hanh - Fragrant Palm Leaves. The personal journals of a remarkable Zen monk during pivotal years in Vietnam and in his spiritual journey. 
  6. Tim Hartford - Messy: The Power of Disorder to Transform Our Lives. A brilliant defence of messiness and diversity as sources of resilience, creativity, and competitive advantage, drawing on history, sociology, and anthropology. 
  7. Richard Baldwin - The Great Convergence: Information Technology and the New Globalization. This book describes recent structural changes in world trade due to changes in technology. I think it's one of the best explanations for the rise of China in the late 20th century. 
  8. Michael Puett & Christine Gross-Loh - The PathA wonderfully easy-to-read book on the essence of what Chinese philosophers thought, with interesting comparisons to Western thought. It is both thought-provoking and very applicable to daily life. 
  9. James C Scott - Against the Grain: The Deep History of the Earliest States. An iconoclastic account of domestication and the rise of early states. Fascinating. 
  10. Leonard Mlodinow - Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior. A fascinating pop-science book summarising recent findings in neuroscience, a field rapidly advancing due to the power of fMRI technology to detect subconscious patterns. I was surprised to understand how much happens in our brains we are not aware of. 
  11. Bruce Perry and Maia Szalavitz - The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog: And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist's Notebook. Amazing accounts of how children can recover from trauma.