Principles (audiobook) By Ray Dalio
What it is: Systematic principles and philosophies of life, as learned and implemented by the founder of a major investment firm.
Why I picked it up: It was mentioned enough that it is a part of contemporary entrepreneurial pop culture, and I'm a contemporary entrepreneur.
What I thought: I wasn’t so sure it was a good choice, until he spoke of his love for his wife. That absolutely sold me, because I am a hopeless romantic.
If you have to pick between the E-Myth and this book - pick this book.
It’s earnest, and clearly wise - because it is written by someone who is openly and humbly flawed.
Daily Painting: Paint Small and Often To Become a More Creative, Productive, and Successful Artist By Carol Marine
What it is: A small ode to the wisdom of daily painting. Daily painting is exactly what it sounds like, painting small format art on a regular basis.
Why I picked it up: My former in laws bought it for me a few years ago. Things got rough, and suddenly the act of picking up this one specific book became too sad.
I realized I was in a better spot now, a spot where I’m thankful to have had those people in my life.
And so, I read through it again, this time I was able to evaluate and appreciate the instructions for painting in oils.
What I thought of it: The general premise, that the focused practice of painting daily, will provide a tremendous boost to your learning is useful to any creative person. And, in my experience, it is true.
I had hoped that now that I’m learning oils, it would provide more instruction. It instead provides a strange amalgam of advice for brand new artists and an assumption that readers know how to paint. For example, it includes exercises for playing with hard and soft edges, but zero instruction on how to obtain either.
It’s optimistic, encouraging, and gets me painting. I like anything that gets me painting.
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking (audiobook) By Susan Cain
What it is: Part autobiography framed in terms of introversion, part overview of current scientific research.
Why I picked it up: I needed a new audiobook and my library happened to have the file available.
What I thought: I love this book. I would recommend this book to anyone - introverts, people who are puzzled by introverts, and people who look down on them.
I’m so glad that I happened to pick this up in the middle of powering through a slew of business books. It helped me see just how discordant much of the business advice I read is for my own personality. That it’s ok to pay attention to my own tendencies.
Welcome to Night Vale: A Novel by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor
What it is: A standalone novel based on the weird and wonderfully creepy world of the Welcome to Night Vale podcast.
Why I picked it up: My boyfriend pressed it into my hands and I couldn't put it down.
What I thought: I love the world of Night Vale, and I appreciated the deeper look at the mechanics of a world skewed dark.
But what I really loved was how much of the action wasn't action at all, but internal thoughts and feelings. That so much of the plot was driven by meditative rage, and also love.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life (audiobook) by Mark Manson
What it is: Buddhism with swearing, science, and autobiographical anecdotes.
Why I picked it up: It was recommended by Tara Swiger as one of her favorite books of 2017.
What I thought: I really enjoyed it.
And yet, none of it really stuck with me. Or rather, I've studied Buddhism and positive psychology to the point that it all ended up in a fuzzy muddle of pleasant familiarity.
However, I appreciate, and need, the reminders that desiring a specific outcome causes suffering. Caring too much about the wrong stuff causes suffering. Even trying to avoid suffering causes suffering, because discomfort is inherently normal and usually ok.
I would recommend this book if you're spinning your wheels and feeling like there's just too much going on that you HAVE to care about.
Abigail, or AEE Miller, loves the following: art, Halloween, her family, learning, and so much more!