Books, Music, Podcasts

Life is Nonfiction: Part V

We arrive at the conclusion of a series of posts which began with Life is Nonfiction, a listing  of my favorite nonfiction audiobooks and subsequent discussion of key insights I gained from listening to these books.

In my prior post in this series, Life is Nonfiction: Part IV, I opened with a brief discussion of  the fictional audiobooks I have listened to recently as part of my 2015 “a year of fiction”. I realized forgot to mention that I had recently finished the Ann Patchett’s book The Magician’s Assistant, a highly enjoyable listen about being in love with someone you cannot have, closure, and finding your own way. Currently I am listening to Ann Patchett’s The Story of a Happy Marriage, an excellent collection of her essays. After reading or listening to Bel Canto, State of Wonder, The Magician’s Assistant and now The Story of a Happy Marriage, I have decided to start with her earliest novel, The Patron Saint of Liars and read/listen to her entire catalogue of novels. I have become interested in exploring an author’s entire body of work. It is intriguing to find reoccurring themes in an author’s writing. So far several of Ann Patchett’s novels touch upon some version of unrequited love.

Now onto the key insights I gained from the remaining favorite nonfiction audiobooks:

Robinson, Ken (2013). Finding your element: how to discover your talents and passions and transform your lifeNew York, NY: Viking.

KEY INSIGHT: Be brave and identify where your passions lie. The pursue them!

Singer, Michael (2013). The untethered soul: the journey beyond yourself. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications.

KEY INSIGHT: I think this book is a mandatory read for humans. I first read it and then I listened to the audiobook. The audiobook is humorous in a way, after reading this very profound book, as the narrator sounds like a slightly irritated New Yorker telling you to “get over yourself”. The key insight of the book is basically “get over yourself”! Don’t listen to your ego talking and bossing you around, find your real voice, the voice at your core. This book helps you dispel with the negative self-talk and “chatter” and get to the magic and the beauty of being a conscious living being. I must recommend that for your first exposure to this book – read the book and then if you want to revisit it listen to the “slightly irritated New Yorker” narration!

Taleb, Nassim (2012). Antifragile: things that gain from disorder. New York, NY: Random House.

KEY INSIGHT: Awareness of the fragility in systems, what makes them fragile, and how to protect yourself professionally and personally.

Tolle, Eckhart (2005). A new earth: awakening to your life’s purpose. New York, NY: Dutton/Penguin Group.

KEY INSIGHT: Like the book The untethered soul, this book focuses on the awareness of the ego and then letting go of the ego. Listening to this book helped me gain quite a sense of peace and release from things that I was obsessing and worrying about as ultimately many of them do not matter in the whole scheme of the universe.

Tolle, Eckhart (1999), The power of now: a guide to spiritual enlightenment. Novato, CA: New World Library.

KEY INSIGHT: Live in the moment. The past is not changeable and the future is not ultimately known. This book helped me let go of many worries and to appreciate what I am experiencing in the moment. This book is about being fully present in the Present.

Weber, Lauren (2009). In cheap we trust: the story of a misunderstood American virtueNew York, NY: Little, Brown.

KEY INSIGHT: This book was an enjoyable discussion on the history of frugality and that “being cheap” is not a bad thing!

White, Jennifer (2004). Work less, make more. Ashland, OR: Blackstone Audiobooks.

KEY INSIGHT: This book encouraged intense scrutiny of what was really important to me in life. I realized that my health care career was not at the top of the list. At the top of the list is family (including furry family members) and my tierneycreates creations!

Whew – not sure what I was thinking when I decided to take on discussion/key insights of so many nonfiction audiobooks. I hope you will find a book or two that inspire you after all these insights. I did notice repetition in “self-help” nonfiction audiobooks but repetition of important ideas/concepts can be a good thing. Happy Listening!