Tag Archives: bookshelf

The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupery

Littleprince“The Little Prince” by Antoine De Saint-Exupery is a sweet fable of a pilot who crashes in the desert and runs into a young boy who tells of his story of the asteroid where he lives and the other asteroids he has visited inhabited by a single adult.  Each asteroid that he visits he gets to know the adult and their ridiculous idiosyncrasies such as the King who demands obedience but has no subjects and the narcissist who so desperately wants to be admired.  The Prince tells of the Rose on his planet who he fell in love with but had to leave due to her vain.  While exploring Earth together, the pilot learns the lessons the child has to offer such as openness and curiosity.  Together they run into a fox who teaches an important lesson of relationships and love.  When the lessons are learned, the prince allows a snake he meets to bite him in order to return him to his asteroid to be with his rose.

“The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or touched, they are felt with the heart.”

This book is delightful in its simplicity but also a great reminder of how serious we take life and ourselves as adults.  We oftentimes miss the point entirely as we are wrapped up in ourselves and our roles.  We miss, forget, or take for granted the relationships we have established.  We are quick to judgment about others and are too focused on the mind and how we think.  We forget about our feelings.

This book will not take up much of your time but can be quite impactful.  It’s filled with illustrations on just about every page.  As a bonus, a movie version is available on Netflix here.  I was surprised that the movie version was not just about the story Saint-Exupery writes but an even sweeter relationship between the pilot and his young neighbor.

Read this book if:

  • You are in need of a reminder of the innocence, curiosity, and wisdom that children hold
  • In the mood for a endearing fable

Buy it Here

Saint-Exupéry, A. D. (2018). The Little Prince. NY, NY: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

Katie’s Bookshelf: Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck

Mindset“Mindset: The New Psychology of Success” by Carol Dweck examines the concepts of “fixed” and “growth” mindsets.  A fixed mindset believes that talents come with us and cannot be improved upon.  A fixed mindset spends their time proving their abilities over and over again as well as externalizing and internalizing when problems occur.  On the other hand, a growth mindset believes that qualities can be improved upon due to efforts, work, and support from others.  When problems arise, a growth mindset would examine the issue and put a strategy in place to remediate.  “I can improve” vs “I give up.”

“What any person in the world can learn,  almost all persons can learn, if provided with the appropriate prior and current conditions of learning.”

Dweck provides a good understanding in the first few chapters of the two concepts including examples of academic and artistic ability.  She then moves into entire sections on sports, business, relationships, parents/teachers/coaches including how the mindsets show up and real world examples of fixed and growth.  Lastly, she goes into how to change your mindset to more of a growth.  The author points out that we all have fixed mindsets in certain areas and even “false-growth” mindsets.  This is important to understand as it is not black and white.

I really enjoyed this book.  Keeping the concept simple and unpacking it in various ways really drives the point home.  In a similar vein to Malcolm Gladwell, Dweck provides examples of people and businesses that truly exhibit these traits to help the really understand.  I was intrigued to continue reading, have found a new perspective for approaching our many intelligences, and learned what it takes to overcome setbacks or “failures.”

Read this book if:

  • You are willing to view and approach yourself differently
  • Are a leader, parent, coach, teacher, etc
  • Interested in change

Buy it Here

Dweck, C. S. (2006). Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. New York: Ballantine Books.

Katie’s Bookshelf: Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis

Wash face“Girl, Wash Your Face” by Rachel Hollis is a book about the lies we believe and how to stop believing them in order to live your most full life.  Rachel owns an event planning company in LA as well as runs a lifestyle blog.  She uses her own experience growing up to explore the lies we are told by our parents, friends, society, media.  Her influence primarily comes from interaction with her blog and social media followers to expose what real life is like without the curated stuff.

“It also might be helpful to remember that someone else is praying to have the kind of  chaos you’re currently crying about.  What I mean is, the things you think  are so difficult could be someone else’s dream come true.”

Each chapter is titled with a lie, explored through Rachel’s life and lens, and ends with what has helped her overcome and shed that lie.  She comes from a Christian perspective so if that is your jam, this will resonate with you.

Overall, it’s a cute, easy to read book.  I did not love the book as I feel I’ve heard a lot of the same things before in other books with more research behind it.  I think the book is probably fairly popular with her social media followers.  Hollis tries to make herself relatable, but in some ways, she is hard to connect with for the regular person, as she leads a life very different than most of us.  I did appreciate some of her messages, her approach and her vulnerability.

Read this book if:

  • You are a woman looking for empowerment

Buy it Here

Hollis, R. (2018). Girl, wash your face. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson on Brilliance Audio.

Katie’s Bookshelf: The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer

Untethered“The Untethered Soul; The Journey Beyond Yourself” by Michael A Singer explores the mind and our thoughts and how they create suffering in life.  We tend to attach to our thoughts and believe them to be truth; truth about other, the world, circumstances, and ourselves.  Singer calls our thoughts our “inner roommate.”  He emphasizes the importance of being a non-judgmental observer of our thoughts in order to avoid attachment.

“Through meditation, through awareness and willful efforts, you can learn to keep your {energy} centers open.  You do this by just relaxing and releasing.  You do this by not buying into the concept that there is anything worth closing over.  Remember, if you love life, nothing is worth closing over.  Nothing, ever, is worth closing your heart over.”

This book is a great compliment to Yoga and Meditation.  In both practices, the “monkey mind” is what we are really working with.  During Yoga(especially Restorative and Yin) and Meditation, we still our bodies and become aware of the mind.  The mind is always moving and bouncing, we just are not aware of it during the day because we are over stimulated.  Being a witness to the activity of the mind without creating a story or judgement is challenging.  Singer’s book brings awareness to how much energy and suffering there is when we identify with our thoughts and judgments.

“You are not your thoughts; you are aware of your thoughts.  You are not your emotions; you feel your emotions.  You are not your body; you look at it in the mirror and experience this world through its eyes and ears.  You are the conscious being who is aware of all these inner and outer things.”

Overall, this book resonated with me.  As a Therapist, Yoga Instructor, lover of Yogic Philosophy, and Yogi, the concepts align well with what I talk about and practice.  I feel as if we are all looking for a way to live more peacefully within ourselves without the burden of the mind.

Read this book if:

  • You practice Yoga or Meditation
  • Love Yoga Philosophy
  • Interested in detaching from your thoughts
  • Want to deepen your relationship and understanding of the Self

Buy it Here

Singer, M. A. (2013). The untethered soul: The journey beyond yourself. Oakland, CA: Noetic Books, Institute of Noetic Sciences, New Harbinger Publications.

Katie’s Bookshelf: The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown

brenebrownletgo“The Gifts of Imperfection” by Brene Brown is one of her earlier works but such a “go to.”  It’s a book on letting go of our perceptions and “shoulds” of who we are supposed to be and cultivating who we are.  Much of Brown’s work focuses on shame, vulnerability, authenticity, and empathy.  One of her messages about dealing with the shame monster is to “share your shame with someone who has earned the right to hear it.”

The book starts off exploring Courage, Compassion, and Connection.  I think this ties in nicely with her common themes as we need courage to be vulnerable and share our shame, which breeds compassion, and drives connection.  The next section is on Love, Belonging, and Being Enough.  Sit with that for a minute.

“It’s as simple and complicated as this: If we want to fully experience love and belonging, we must believe that we are worthy of love and belonging.”

The remainder of the book is filled with 10 Guideposts of cultivating and letting go.  She has chapters on topics such as self-compassion, resiliency, creativity, and calm and stillness.  I just love the topics that she chooses and how she frames them as what we need to cultivate more of and what we need to let go of.  At the end of each chapter, she has a section called, “Dig Deep” where she provides suggestions on practicing what we are cultivating.

Overall, I loved this book!  It’s such a simple read and can be read at various times not necessarily succinctly.  Brene Brown’s work is so hot right now and she does an incredible job of making the material so relatable and easily digestible.  You cannot go wrong with any of her books!

Read this book if:

  • You are a human.

Buy it here

Brown, B. (2010). The Gifts of Imperfection. Center City, Minnesota: Hazelden.