2012: A Year in Books

I began 2012 with a commitment to read a book a week. At the time I was in the middle of Boomeritis which wasn't a book I could fathom reading in a week. Being that I came out the womb reading a book, I decided I should place my focus on reading more but focusing my specific commitments elsewhere. There were several books I read in 2012 that impacted my life immensely. I read books that motivated and inspired me. I read more fiction, something I'd been longing to bring back to my life. I learned about the brain, money, passion, uncertainty, fear, resistance, feminism, psychology, technology, and so much more. This year has been a transformative one, and I have to acknowledge the literature that has contributed to my journey. I hope you'll add many of these to your list.

1. The Flinch This one's a freebie, so you'd be a fool to miss out. This line stuck with me, "Would your childhood self be proud of who you are today?"

2. Uncertainty I've read a slew of books like these- until I got to the middle. Thank you, Jonathan Fields, for writing an entrepreneurship book emphasizing the link of meditation and exercise to creativity.

3. The Brain That Changes Itself I found this gem for $1 at a yard sale when I was living on Maui. I learned of the awe-inspiring plasticity of the brain and the lives that have been transformed due to this breakthrough discovery.

4. Crazy for the Storm What would you do if you ended up in a 4 person plane crash on top of a mountain at 11 years old- and you were the only survivor? A remarkable story of the relationship between father and son and the lessons of overcoming fear.

5. 4-Hour Work Week A step-by-step guide to creating a very different life. I just got 4-Hour Chef for Christmas; it's a beast.

6. Do The Work Often times we stand in the way of our own success. You can borrow this one for free if you've got a Kindle. I thought this line was great, "Rule of thumb: The more important a call or action is to our soul's evolution, the more Resistance we will feel toward pursuing it."

7. The Unbearable Lightness of Being I'm not sure I've ever thought so much reading a novel. There's so much depth to this book. I'll let it speak for itself: A young woman in love with a man torn between his love for her and his incorrigible womanizing; one of his mistresses and her humbly faithful lover—these are the two couples whose story is told in this masterful novel. In a world in which lives are shaped by irrevocable choices and by fortuitous events, a world in which everything occurs but once, existence seems to lose its substance, its weight. Hence, we feel "the unbearable lightness of being" not only as the consequence of our pristine actions but also in the public sphere, and the two inevitably intertwine.

8. Evolutionaries This one is near to my heart as I had the privilege of working with author, Carter Phipps, on his national book tour over the summer. I'd have to say that Evolutionaries is the best book I read all year. It's a must-read for anyone interested in understanding the human experience more clearly. Carter's writing style allows those with varying levels of depth to process an enormous amount of information without feeling like your brain is going to explode. He delves into the evolution of technology, cooperation, religion, consciousness, worldviews, information, and values, providing a larger lens to view the world through. There were so many moments of awe and inspiration while I read this book that I can't wait to read it again. For real.

9. Franny & Zooey A wonderful work of fiction exploring the very real questions we should be contemplating in life. I also easily related to the quirky dynamic of the large Glass fam having six siblings myself.

10. Reinventing The Body, Resurrecting The Soul The body is a dynamic, flowing process.

11. $100 Startup His goal to travel to every country in the world by 35 inspired me, and I've been following Chris Guillibeau ever since. His latest book was fuel for the fire.

12. How To Be A Woman I think this is the book I laughed out loud while reading the most. In it you'll find things like this, "“We need to reclaim the word 'feminism'. We need the word 'feminism' back real bad. When statistics come in saying that only 29% of American women would describe themselves as feminist - and only 42% of British women - I used to think, What do you think feminism IS, ladies? What part of 'liberation for women' is not for you? Is it freedom to vote? The right not to be owned by the man you marry? The campaign for equal pay? 'Vogue' by Madonna? Jeans? Did all that good shit GET ON YOUR NERVES? Or were you just DRUNK AT THE TIME OF THE SURVEY?”

13. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings I've always loved Maya Angelou. Her story is both saddening and inspiring. Her words are magical. I'm looking forward to reading the sequels.

14. Philosophy Is Not A Luxury Another awesome free e-book. This one is about philosophy and the necessity of it in our times. This is a book to think about- not just read. Full disclosure: I had the privilege of designing this book.

15. Disgrace A profound work of fiction about choices. I think this one will stay with me always.

16. Why We Love Dog, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows I've been a vegetarian for three or four years so this book title would naturally catch my attention. Author Melanie Joy challenges the way we think about animals and food. In it she coins the term Carnism, defined as: the system of thought that allows some animals to be beloved companions and others to be abused and slaughtered for food, clothing, and other uses.

17. Steve Jobs Biography Steve Jobs was not a model human being, but I'm not sure it's possible to truly comprehend what he brought to this world and how he has changed our lives without reading this biography.

18. On Fear "Find out how to live without a shadow of fear; then you will know what love is."