Life is Nonfiction: Part IV

After spending last couple years primarily listening to Nonfiction audiobooks, 2015 continues to be an enjoyable year of Fiction audiobooks as I focus my audiobook selections to fictional stories. So far all have been excellent. After listening to Ruth Ozeki’s A Tale for the Time Being, I delved into Margaret Atwood’s impressive collection of short stories – Stone Mattress: Nine Tales. The book was narrated by the author herself as well as several other wonderful narrators. Several of the short stories are connected in a masterful way and others stand alone. Many deal with themes about aging and empowerment in the face of loss of youth, while others are just marvelous little fantasy stories. After finishing Stone Mattress, I listened to Rene Denfeld’s mind blowing novel The Enchanted: A Novel that provided a lyrical story about life on death row from the perspective of an incarcerated  sociopath with profound mental illness. It does not sound like something appealing to listen to but the narration by Jim Frangione is amazing as is the extremely masterful story.

Now you are thinking: “Wait a minute Tierney, the title of this post is Life is Nonfiction: Part IV!”  You are right and the actual purpose of this post is to continue sharing the key insights from the list of my favorite nonfiction audiobooks which I began in the post Life is Nonfiction.

So here we go:

Guillebeau, Chris (2010). The art of nonconformity: Set your own rules, live the life you want, and change the world. New York, NY: Penguin Group.

KEY INSIGHT: To live life on your own terms; and that it is okay to give yourself permission do that! I have always felt like I never quite “fit in” and have always considered myself an outsider. This book reinforced it is okay to be an “outsider” and to walk your own unique path. The more I listen to books like this more I am at peace with being an outsider and walking my own path.

Heath, Chip (2013). Decisive: how to make better choices in life and work. New York, NY: Crown Business.

KEY INSIGHT: This audiobook provided great insights on making better choices personally and professionally. I loved the “WRAP” method of decision making discussed in the book: 1) Widen your choices; 2) Reality test your assumptions; 3) Attain distance before deciding; and 4) Prepare to be wrong.

Heath Chip & Health, Dan (2010). Switch: how to change things when when is hard. New York, NY: Books on Tape.

KEY INSIGHT: Looki at change in an optimistic way and honestly examine obstacles to change.

Huffington, Arianna (2014). Thrive: the third metric to redefining success and creating a life of well-being, wisdom, and wonder. New York, NY: Random House.

KEY INSIGHT: This is one of the best nonfiction audiobooks ever in my opinion. The female narrator has a Greek accent to give you the feel that  A. Huffington (of The Huffington Post) herself is reading the book to you. This book inspires one to rethink, or think about for the first time what success really means to you personally and professionally. This audiobook inspires you to examine what is actually important in your life. This audiobook importantly encourages you to take care of yourself in a loving manner and to protect yourself from burnout. This audiobook inspired me to get more sleep, which has been a wonderful thing (and has made our miniature schnauzer Sassy very happy as she loves to go to bed as early as possible if you read her blog on Schnauzer Snips).

Kelly, Matthew (2011). Off balance: getting beyond the work-life balance mouth to personal and professional satisfactionAshland, OR: Blackstone Audio.

KEY INSIGHT: That work-life balance is a myth! This audiobook inspired me to look beyond that myth and honestly examine where I want to focus my energies in life.

Kingsolver, Barbara (2007). Animal, vegetable, miracle: a year of food life. New York: Harper Collins Publishers.

KEY INSIGHT: In this wonderful book narrated by the author, Barbara Kingsolver takes the reader along with her family’s one year experiment of growing and raising their own food. She shares all the hurdles and challenges to eat “clean” and local in humorous, educational and poignant ways. After reading Fast Food Nation and The Omnivore’s Dilemma years ago I was already conscious about “where does the food I eat actually come from and how it is processed?” This book helped remind me to make wise choices on what food I bring in my house/place on my table/put in my mouth.

Kornfield, Jack & Siegel, Daniel (2011). Mindfulness and the brain. Louisville, KY: Sounds True.

KEY INSIGHT: Why slowing down and being mindful is so important to your mental health. After listening to this audiobook I began to believe in the power of meditation.

McKeown, Greg (2014). Essentialism: the disciplined pursuit of less. New York: Crown Business.

KEY INSIGHT: I already knew you do not need a lot of stuff or achievements to be happy but this audiobook beautifully reinforced this concept. This audiobook made me think about living my life more simply and carefully deciding where I want to put my time and energy.

I hope you experience some of these excellent nonfiction audiobooks for yourself.

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