December 31st, 2014

The Best of Robin’s Reading List from 2014

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In 2014 I’ve read more books than in any previous year of my life. That includes the Reed College humanities curriculum, which is just ridiculous. I chalk up the depth and breadth of my reading to the combination of my  infra-red sauna, Amazon Prime, and the fact that I’ve been writing. These are some of my favorite books, and miscellaneous media, from 2014.

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A Fighter’s Heart – A must read for anyone who has tried a martial art and everyone on the other end of the spectrum who has asked the question “why fight.”

Apollo’s Angels – Your primer in the history of ballet. Also, a national bestseller..

Average Is Over – Read this book! Think of it as an investment in your future. The best future-thinking and economics book I’ve read in many years.

Daily Rituals: How Artist Work – A series of short epitaphs looking at the daily habits of artists, writers, and scientists.

Flow – The book that popularized the term. Now its time to understand what flow really is and where to find it.

Fluent in 3 Months – Fascinating tools, applicable for learning a language and for learning anything else with great rapidity

How To Do A Handstand – I wrote my first book this year, which has since become a Japanese National Bestseller.

The Moment with Brian Koppelman – A podcast explore creativity, presence, the arts, and more.

The Monkey Wrench Gang – A classic which is responsible for my love affair with the desert. Also useful if you’re feeling a bit rebellious.

The Morning Pages – This workbook is the most useful tool I’ve discovered for unearthing obstacles. I think of it as a tool for getting my crazy out on a page, so I can spend more time doing productive work.

The Number of the Beast – Heinlein is responsible for coining the term “grok” and the “Heinlein” crater on the moon. This book is a wild romp through time, space, and mathematics.

The Obstacle Is the Way – No nonsense Stoic advise from throughout history on getting through the rough spots.

Twyla Tharp’s The Creative Habit – Dance choreographer Twyla Tharp tackles the question how to be more creative, more regular, more diligent and more productive. Hard work, clear thinking, and a lot of sweat. The specific tools in this book are invaluable.

Well Fed – Whether you’ve considered the Paleo diet, read cookbooks for pleasure (inconceivable to me), or just want to talk about food this is among the best.

I hope you enjoy whichever of these books catch your eye. Each has served me well in 2014, and I’m looking forward to many more discoveries in 2015. On a related note, if you’re interested in a similar exploration into a diverse array of topics, try my Learning List emails.


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