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Tony's Favorite Books
The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite, by David Kessler
Why we eat too much of what we shouldn’t eat – and can’t stop. The story of Cinnabon alone is enough to make you rethink the way you eat.
Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think, by Brian Wansink
A Cornell food scientist writes about his clever experiments which demonstrate how unaware we are about what we eat.
Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation, by Daniel Siegel
The best integrated approach to personal development I’ve come across – an integration of cognitive, psychodynamic, spiritual approaches to transformation into one that is unique and inspiring.
The Happiness Hypothesis, by Jonathan Haidt
A gracefully written, well researched account of the war between our mind and our emotions when it comes to how we feel and how we behave.
Social Intelligence, by Daniel Goleman
My favorite of Goleman’s books – rich insights and vast data about what accounts for how well we connect with others. Good companion to The Happiness Hypothesis.
Stumbling on Happiness, by Daniel Gilbert
A Harvard professor’s fascinating evidence for how poor we are as predictors of what will make us happy. Wry writing style – a serious man, but also very amusing
Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, by Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi
A classic book about the state in which we perform at our best – the delicately balanced middle ground between boredom and anxiety.
On Desire, by William Irvine
A philosophy professor gets practical about understanding how to manage desire -- A subject no one writes much about, even though it suffuses our life
I Don’t Want to Talk About it: Overcoming the Secret Legacy of Male Depression, by Terrence Real
Incredibly provocative look at why most men grow up so unable to express the full range of emotions – and how the consequence is a silent, mostly unacknowledged depression that manifests either as anger or disconnection.
The Enneagram, by Helen Palmer
The Enneagram is the richest personality typing system I’ve come across by far. This book will give you both an understanding and compassion for the nine basic ways we find to express our needs in the world, and to defend our sense of value.
Romancing the Shadow, by Connie Zweig and Steven Wolf
The shadow, first defined by Carl Jung, refers to the parts of ourselves we seek to disown because we find them unacceptable. A practical, accessible book about learning to acknowledge and incorporate these aspects of ourselves so they don’t end up poisoning our lives and our relationships.
Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, by Betty Edwards
I adore Betty Edwards and this book enriched my life immeasurably. It taught me to draw, to my amazement, but the book also offers rich insights into the undervalued and underutilized role of the right hemisphere of the brain in all parts of lives.
My Stroke Of Insight, by Jill Bolte Taylor
The amazing story of the author’s recovery from a massive stroke, and how she learned to value the creative and empathic capacities of her right hemisphere, and rely less exclusively on the analytic capacities of the left hemisphere.
Getting Things Done, by David Allen
A deceptively simple, terrifically well thought-through guide to uncluttering your mind so you’re not forever preoccupied, leaving you free to think clearly and creatively about your highest priorities.
Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life, by Winifred Gallagher
Distracted: The Erosion of Attention and the Coming Dark Age by Maggie Jackson
Two books that make a compelling case that our attention is under siege, the costs we incur as a consequence and what we can do about it.
Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me), By Carol Tavris and Elliot Anderson
The title alone is worth the price of admission. Acknowledging when we’re wrong is one of the most admirable of human qualities. It breaks down walls, creates trust and permits real dialogue. It’s also something most of us avoid at nearly any cost – especially those in public life. With vivid examples, Tavris and Anderson show just how far we’ll go to avoid taking responsibility.
Ecological Intelllgence: Rediscovering Ourselves in Nature, by Ian McCallum
An enchanting, extraordinary book by a South African psychiatrist who brings to life the connection between the way we treat the earth and the way we treat ourselves.
The Road Less Traveled, by M. Scott Peck
Begins with this simple message: Life is difficult. One of the first authors to try to integrate psychology and spirituality, Peck makes a persuasive, often lyrical case that while change and growth come hard, inner work and outer accountability are the routes to a meaningful life.
A Path With Heart, By Jack Kornfield
A former Buddhist monk, now a psychologist, sets out to reconcile ancient wisdom and modern psychology, and does it with humor, and heart, and common sense.
A Brief History of Everything, by Ken Wilber
The most spacious and embracing thinker about human development writes about a lot of things here – and how they’re all connected.
The War of Art: Break through Your Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles, by Steven Pressfield
Why is it so difficult to write? Or to do most anything creative? This book shows what a courageous journey it is to push past our resistance and helps to eliminate the excuses we all give ourselves for not expressing ourselves creatively.
Influencer, by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan and Al Switzler
Hard to believe that a book with five co-authors could work, but this one does. Like Made to Stick, Influencer is a book that offers a set of simple principles and a series of great stories – in this case about how to make enduring change. The stories are inspiring and convincing – none more so than the one about Mimi Silbert, founder of Delancey Street Foundation, which helps drug addicts, ex-cons, prostitutes and others who’ve hit bottom build back a life.
Immunity to Change: How to Overcome It, by Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey
Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey are two of the world’s leading experts in adult learning and development. Immunity to Change is an ingenious, counterintuitive book about all the ways we unwittingly sabotage our own efforts to change – and how we can systematically learn to move past our resistance and make changes that last.