Human stories & teachings.
The Emotional Life of Your Brain
Richard J. Davidson
The work that went into this book completely changed the world's understanding of neuroscience. An introduction to neuroplasticity (the ability of the brain to make lasting change) & a gamechanging study with meditating monks inform practical ways to change your emotional brain.
The Body Keeps the Score
Bessel Van Der Kolk
Van Der Kolk's studies of veterans with PTSD & sexual assault victims sheds light on abuse, trauma, and the healing process. His findings are incredibly important for all of us on the road to healing ourselves, helping our loved ones, & doing better by humanity.
The Fact of a Body
This book absolutely blew my brain. Marzano-Lesnevich takes you all the way through the limits of law, of crime, of empathy. Her personal struggles, relationships, and childhood traumas seem to align with that of the criminal she's writing about at these perfect trigger points. Brilliant, honest, fascinating writing.
Charlene A. Carruthers
Carruthers studied policy in South Africa and has been on the front lines defending America's most oppressed groups since 2005. She cofounded the Black Youth Project 100 and has worked with some of the most high profile activism/civil rights groups in the nation. Reading her first book gives you an instant snapshot of the paradigms Black, Queer, Feminist activists work to shift and the many obstacles & dangers they face.
Quit Like A Woman
Whitaker gives you permission to see the fucked-up-ness of the alcohol industry and the patriarchal values around getting sober. As someone who already doesn't drink much, and who questions the constant need to always be drinking in order to have a good time, I found the message clear and resonant.
The CFO of Facebook wrote this reflection on the many ways women are held back in the workplace, by outdated societal beliefs in both their peers and themselves. The statistics alone will make you think differently about the lopsided world of tech & business we're all navigating.
How to Change Your Mind
There is no book by Michael Pollan I don't recommend... His writing is so engaging & useful & his research is exhaustive. But "How to Change Your Mind" was the exact book I was ready to read on the power of psychedelic science & ceremony. It pairs with the timely decriminalization of psilocybin in a few states & the funding of new studies helping PTSD & addiction.