Book Club: Mindfulness, Motorcycles and Meaning
Reading is a great way to calm your mind and ground yourself. We rounded up book picks for every personality, from finding meaning to maintaining motorcycles.
Mindfulness, Meaning and Motorcycles:
For a few moments of settling in and grounding yourself, here are some great reads for every personality from around the globe, from the quietness of Japanese Zen to a shouting Scotsman, there is something for everyone.
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Persig: This great American classic tells the tale of a 17 day father son motorcycle trip that dips in and out of narrative and in to philosophical musings on everything from the nature of philosophy to meanings the can be found in everyday life. Despite Persig’s famous quote that the book“… should in no way be associated with that great body of factual information relating to orthodox Zen Buddhist practice. It's not very factual on motorcycles, either…” it is still a must read.
Stop Doing That Sh!t by Gary John Bishop: If you are like me and want your self-reflection and guidance in your face and up front, this is the book for you. Looking quickly and deeply inward, Bishop walks through the ways we self-sabotage and how to get around it. Note on the audio book, he is Scottish and uses colorful language, which may mean you want either skip or run directly to this book!
Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About People We Don’t Know by Malcom Gladwell: This is a great book on the nature of our experiences with others, the thoughts we have and how we judge each other. The audio book version is exceptional, where Gladwell takes the method behind his top rated podcasts and doesn’t just read the book, but includes interviews, music and contextual recording to make this much less audiobook and more a multi-hour, multi-layered podcast.
Crooked Cucumber the Life and Zen Teaching of Shunryu Suzuki by David Chadwick: This is one of my all time favorite books that I have passed onto many people. Less of a Zen manual, like Suzuki’s own Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind and more of a case study in mindfulness through life via the story of his journey as the first Japanese teacher to bring Zen Buddhism and Meditation in the West.
Man’s Search for Meaning - Victor Frankl: This classic is the self written account of psychologist Victor Frankl’s experience in the concentration camps of WWII and how in the face of this daunting reality, he was able to find meaning and even moments of happiness. The latter portion of the book also delves into what experiences like this mean for us as humans and how through his own psychological method we can all grow from even the most daunting circumstances.
Read Before You Binge:
This is a brief selection of books that have either already been adapted to a series or film in your Netflix/Hulu queue or very soon will be!
American Gods by Neil Gaiman - As a comic book kid Neil Gaiman was always a favorite but this long form novel on the nature of Gods, both old and new, is an immersive fictional world that both magical and eccentric. The bonus of the newest audio book version is that it features the voice acting of the cast from the Starz series, including the exceptional Ian MacShane.
North American Lake Monsters by Nathan Ballingrud- This collection of short stories, and soon to be Hulu series, of American Monster Lore, from backwoods werewolves and not so angelic fallen angels, is a compendium sure to creep out the most die-hard horror fans. The audio book version features a grizzled southern narrator with a backwoods twang that brings home the ambiance of the book
Dune by Frank Herbert - This scifi classic is primed for a reread as Dennis Velinueve, director of the acclaimed Arrival and Blade Runner 2046, is in production on the film remake. It’s a deep, long, read (or listen) that is akin to a scifi Game of Thrones, although as a fan of the original film by David Lynch, it is hard to not imagine Sting and Kyle MacLauchlan in their iconic roles on a read through.
Doctor Sleep by Stephen King - I’ll be the first to admit to seeing the Shining at least 57 times and never picking up the book, however Doctor Sleep is a must read! Many are already saying that that this revisit the Overlook Hotel, despite being an amazing follow up to the Shining, is possibly one of King’s best written works in years.