The Best Books I Read in 2016

The Best Books I Read in 2016

Bill Gates recently wrote a post with this same title and since I’d like to think that  Ayurveda is the next Microsoft, it seems only fitting to follow suit. 


But books. Yes books. It was a good year for reading. With all the weird moments that 2016 brought I turned to reading more than ever. I wanted to get off of the computer and reignite the imagination knowing that it plays a huge role in problem solving. I didn’t spend as much time traveling for work this year, but I was able to do a solo trip with plenty of reading time to reminded me just how much I value the stories that authors create for us. Here is to another good year of books and all that they can bring into our lives. 


For the art of reading.  The Shadow of the Wind.  My best friend has been begging encouraging me to read this book for years now. I started and stopped it multiple times but it wasn’t until I was in Greece that I fully understood. Although a part of me wishes I had read it sooner, the setting when I finally did was ideal. It allowed me to capture the words with all their value and string together the story plot with care. The wild part about this book is that it’s a translation and each word still seems so thoughtfully chosen. While sometimes the enviable book crash happens when you reach an ending, I found Zafon so carefully and skillfully wrapped it up that I felt depth instead of absence. 


For the nutrition seeker. Go With Your Gut. I’ve been a follower of Robyn for a few years now and really appreciate how she gets her message across. She has Ayurvedic knowledge and skillfully includes many of the principles in her book – including chewing your food until it’s liquid! Her approach is accessible and comes from a place of understanding. I also love the recipes in it. They don’t require too much prep and taste delicious. They are the kinds of recipes that you can make just once or twice and get the hang of. If you are looking for some new healthy eating tips or go to meals and snacks this is one I recommend to friends. 


For the sleeping (or awake) creative bug. What We Ache For. I received this for Christmas last year just as I was about to transition out of my high paced production role at ESPN and into freelance graphic design. It’s amazing how the creative brain needs some coaxing and gentle reminders of why we do what we do. This book did just that for me. I read it slowly, mainly at night or when I needed a pick me up on my commute to work. It gave me the clarity I needed and made the process less lonely. Plus if your friends see it, it’s sure to warrant a few jokes which can help any transition phase. 


For the fiction transporter. The Nightingale. I’m not sure this needs much of an introduction as it’s been making many lists over the past year, but it’s well earned. I was scared to read it because of how dark I thought it would be and while it was, it was also beautiful, moving and informative. It showed another side of World War II that I hadn’t thought much about it and created a story that gripped you in such a way that I made sure to schedule in extra time to read. It’s a fiction that will transport you all the while making you hug your life a little bit more. 


For the inspiration jolt. In the Company of Good Women.  This is the perfect Saturday morning read or even just when you have a few moments. Grace Bonney highlights entrepreneur women from all walks of life and asks them some great questions. At first I was a bit annoyed that the questions were the same, but you become fond of the differences you find in the individual answers. I only had this book for a few weeks through my kindle via the library, but I loved that while in transit I had moments to pop into someone else’s mind and gather inspiration. I do hear that the physical book makes for an excellent coffee table read. 


For the Ayurveda enthusiast. The Art and Science of Vedic Counseling . David Frawley does it again with his latest book. This book covers all things psychotherapy and uses different vedic tools to get you there. There is a wisdom of understanding that shines through in this book. Not only are you set up with tools and tips of the trade but it also helps to map out how to approach certain situations with clients. Often times in informational Ayurveda books, you are taught how to handle situations but not so much how to handle the person. This not only touches upon that but also sheds light to the intuitiveness behind all of this. I highly recommend for those looking to learn more about the mental view of Ayurveda and the best practices to maintain the highest state. 


Over to you – what were your favorite books this year? Anything I should add to the list for the holiday break?

 

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