“Reading is a basic tool in the living of a good life.”Mortimer J. Adler
The importance of developing a life-long practice of reading cannot be overstated. As Harry Truman said, “Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.” Truman didn’t just say it, he lived it. He was known for his lifelong habit of reading. Before, during, and after his presidency, reading was an essential part of his routine. He believed reading was crucial for personal growth and read widely across subjects: history, economics, biographies, etc. By the age of 12, he had already read the Bible twice. To Harry Truman, reading was not only a way to stay informed; it was a means of escaping the pressures of everyday life.
Leadership starts within, and self-mastery is critical to being a leader. Publilius Syrus wisely observed, “Would you have a great empire? Rule over yourself.” Reading opens a wealth of knowledge and creativity, introducing us to diverse views, cultures, and experiences. This deepens our understanding of the world and cultivates critical thinking skills. Regular reading sharpens communication skills and fosters empathy toward others. Put simply, reading enriches and elevates one’s life.
Last year was one of the best years of reading I have had in my adult life. I revisited some old favorites and finally delved into books on my to-read list for far too long. The following are my top reads from 2022.
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Mortimer J. Adler was known for his lifelong habit of reading. As a philosopher and educator, Adler recognized the importance of reading and believed it was the foundation of a well-rounded education. He made reading a priority in his daily routine and was known to read extensively on a wide range of subjects, including philosophy, history, literature, and science. Adler believed that reading was essential for personal and intellectual growth and that it could broaden horizons, expand knowledge, and shape character. He encouraged individuals to read classic works of literature to gain a deeper understanding of the world and engage in lifelong learning. Adler’s habit of reading was a testament to his belief in the power of reading and his commitment to self-improvement. He lived by the principle that reading was a lifelong pursuit that had the power to enrich one’s life and shape their thinking. His lifelong habit of reading serves as an inspiration to make reading a priority our own lives.
Adler’s classic work How to Read a Book offers a comprehensive guide to the art of reading. I wish I had read this book when I was 14. This book covers the process of reading, the different types of books, and the methods we can use to gain the most benefit from reading. Adler’s methods provide a roadmap to developing the critical thinking skills necessary to gain a deeper understanding of the books we read.
If you want to improve your reading skills and gain a deeper understanding of the world, this book is for you. In fact, even if you, for some reason, think your reading skills are fine… this book is still for you. This is the essential starting point for any reader. This book encourages lifelong learning and the pursuit of knowledge, making it a valuable resource for anyone looking to expand their horizons and broaden their understanding of the world.
Viktor Frankl, a visionary in the field of psychology, was an Austrian neurologist, psychiatrist, and survivor of the Holocaust. His experiences in Nazi concentration camps shaped his beliefs about the human spirit and the quest for meaning in life. Frankl, a man ahead of his time, recognized that our drive to find purpose and fulfillment surpasses the pursuit of pleasure. He channeled this insight into his creation of logotherapy, a form of psychotherapy that focuses on the search for meaning.
Man’s Search for Meaning has left an indelible mark on the field of psychology and personal development, inspiring countless individuals to reflect on the meaning of their lives. This book is a must-read for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of the human condition. It is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the power of finding purpose, even in the darkest of circumstances. Frankl’s powerful personal narrative of his experiences as a concentration camp prisoner during the Holocaust offers a unique perspective on the importance of having a sense of meaning and purpose. He encourages readers to examine their own values, beliefs, and goals, and to find their own purpose and meaning, no matter what challenges they may face. If you want to gain a new perspective on the world and find your own path in life, this book is an essential read.
Atomic Habits by James Clear is a self-help book that explores the power of small, consistent actions in creating lasting change. Clear is a bestselling author, speaker, and expert in habit formation and behavior change. In Atomic Habits, he provides practical, actionable advice for forming new habits and breaking old ones, drawing on the latest scientific research and his own experiences. The book emphasizes the importance of creating small, incremental changes in behavior that, over time, can lead to significant improvement and transformation. Clear also introduces the idea of “identity-based habits,” which involve making changes to one’s beliefs and values, rather than simply focusing on external behavior.
Atomic Habits offers a practical and actionable guide to building lasting and meaningful change in our lives through the power of small, consistent actions. The book provides a step-by-step framework for developing new habits and breaking old ones, as well as tools and strategies for overcoming common obstacles to habit formation. Whether you are seeking to improve your health, increase your productivity, or build better relationships, Atomic Habits offers a science-backed and results-driven approach to personal growth and self-improvement. This book is a must-read if you want to make lasting changes in your life.
Throughout the book, Bittersweet: How Sorrow and Longing Make Us Whole, Susan Cain explores the power of embracing life’s bittersweet moments. Cain argues that despite our cultural obsession with happiness and positivity, our challenges and hardships are just as crucial in shaping our character and helping us find meaning. By embracing both the joy and the sorrow in our lives, we can gain a deeper appreciation for the world around us and find true happiness. She explores the themes of grief, self-discovery, and resilience, offering insights and encouragement for anyone facing difficult transitions in their own lives. After reading her book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, I knew I needed to look out for her next release. And when Bittersweet was released, I knew I needed to get a copy of it ASAP. It did not disappoint.
Anyone looking to live a more meaningful and fulfilling life should read Bittersweet. This book offers a powerful reminder that it is okay to experience sadness and challenges and that these moments can help us grow and find happiness in unexpected ways. Whether you are struggling with a difficult situation or just looking to gain a new perspective on life, Bittersweet will provide you with the inspiration and wisdom you need to embrace life’s bittersweet moments and find meaning in the journey. This book touched me in a way that is hard to express.
In Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, Greg McKeown argues for a more focused and intentional approach to life. Modern society is full of distractions and obligations, which can prevent us from achieving our goals and finding true happiness. The essentialist philosophy teaches readers to prioritize the things that matter most and to say no to the rest. McKeown provides practical strategies and advice for simplifying one’s life, eliminating distractions, and focusing on what is truly essential.
Anyone looking to streamline their life and focus on what truly matters should read Essentialism. This book offers a roadmap for creating a more fulfilling and purposeful life by teaching readers to focus on what truly matters and to eliminate distractions. Whether you are struggling with a cluttered schedule, feeling overwhelmed, or lacking direction, Essentialism will provide you with the tools and insights you need to achieve your goals and live a more intentional life. I struggled not to highlight every sentence of this book.
The Body Keeps the Score is an important read for anyone looking to better understand the effects of trauma and how it can impact a person’s physical and mental health. Bessel van der Kolk provides a comprehensive and deeply researched overview of the latest findings in the field of trauma, offering a unique and powerful perspective on how to help individuals heal from past traumatic experiences. Whether you are a therapist, a person who has experienced trauma, or simply someone interested in the impact of trauma on the body and mind, The Body Keeps the Score is an essential read that will provide you with a deeper understanding of the complexities of trauma and the steps necessary to help those who have experienced it heal and move forward.
In The Psychology of Money: Timeless Lessons on Wealth, Greed, and Happiness, Morgan Housel explores the human relationship with money and how it affects our emotions, beliefs, and decision-making.
The Psychology of Money is a must-read for anyone interested in better understanding the emotional and psychological factors that drive our financial behaviors and beliefs. Housel draws on historical events, personal experiences, and economic research to illustrate how our beliefs about money can lead to both financial success and failure. The book offers insights into why people are prone to make certain financial mistakes and how to avoid them, as well as practical tips for cultivating a healthier relationship with money. Whether you are an experienced investor or just starting to think about your finances, The Psychology of Money is an engaging and thought-provoking book that provides a unique perspective on our complex and often emotional relationship with money.
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