Notes from a Floating Life Thoughts about productivity, digital living, and leading a simpler life

4 Recommended Books

A man reading a book

While I’ve slacked off a bit on my reading, that doesn’t mean books haven’t been passing in front of my eyes over the last few months. Several have. I’d like to quickly share four of those books with you. They may not make you more productive or a higher achiever, but they just might help you find some more balance in your life.

And note that none of the links below are affiliate links. I don’t make any money or get any credit or incentive when you click those links. You’re welcome!

The Art of Stillness — Travel, we’re told, broadens the mind and offers the opportunity for adventure. But noted travel writer and essayist Pico Iyer posits a different idea: that we can broaden our minds and ourselves by turning inwards. Iyer discusses why we need to turn inward, and the rewards you can reap from doing that.

The World Beyond Your Head — Do you feel your attention has not only been divided, but that it’s been shattered? You’re not alone. And it’s not just because of all the technology all around us, which provides all sorts of distractions. Matthew B. Crawford looks closely at what attention is, how we got to where we are (it’s been happening for centuries), and offers some ideas about how we and the generations that follow us can reclaim our attention.

Autopilot — Everyone and everything around us seems to be shouting Do more! or to use every minute of every day productively. If you’ve been reading this space for any amount of time, then you know that I feel this is no way to live. And Andrew Smart agrees with me. In Autopilot, he argues that we need to step back, slow down, and let ourselves relax and go fallow more. Smart even offers some pretty convincing evidence from the world of neuroscience to back up what he’s saying.

The Zen Habits Beginner’s Guide to MindfulnessMindfulness has become something of a buzzword lately, and some people tout it as the cure to all of the problems in your life. It’s not quite that, but it can help. In this ebook, Leo Babauta teaches you the basics of meditation to help you achieve a state of mindfulness so you can become aware of what’s causing the problems in your life. You don’t just learn how to calm and focus yourself through meditation, you learn how to put mindfulness into action.

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