Over the years I have read a number of interesting books which have all in their own way contributed to the profound level of peace and joy I experience in my life every day. I am going to list a few of them here, just in case you are on your own journey.

The book covers provide links to Amazon.

You Can Be Happy No Matter What:
Five Principles for Keeping Life in Perspective
Richard Carlson (author)


Description:
In this revised edition, #1 New York Times bestselling author and nationally known stress-management consultant Dr. Richard Carlson reveals a profound breakthrough in human psychology. Most of us believe that our happiness depends on outside circumstances, that by solving our problems, improving our relationships, or achieving success we will find contentment. But Dr. Carlson clearly shows that happiness has nothing to do with forces beyond our control — in fact, he says, it is our natural state.

With this simple and practical guide, Dr. Carlson shows us how to be happy now, before we solve our problems. By understanding five principles — Thought, Moods, Separate Realities, Feelings, and the Present Moment — we can discover a new mode of living that doesn’t repress natural emotions yet doesn’t allow feelings and thoughts to overwhelm us. You Can Be Happy No Matter What is a navigational tool that gently guides readers through life’s challenges and restores the joy of living.

Review: “You Can Be Happy No Matter What will appeal to those caught in the tangles of outmoded thinking. It speaks simply to us in a way that’s most fitting when we want to move out of dysfunctions into robust, effective living.”
—Marsha Sinetar, author of Developing a 21st-Century Mind

 

Wheat Belly
William Davis  (author)

Description: Wheat Belly is a provocative look at how eliminating wheat—even so-called healthy whole grain wheat—from our diets is the key to permanent weight loss and can offer relief from a broad spectrum of health and digestive problems.

Drawing on decades of clinical studies and the extraordinary results he has observed after putting thousands of his patients on wheat-free regimens, Dr. William Davis makes a compelling case against this ubiquitous ingredient. A wheat-free diet has been associated with significant benefits, including the following:

  • Weight loss of twenty, thirty, even fifty pounds in the first few months
  • Alleviation of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes
  • Recovery from intestinal woes, like ulcerative colitis and celiac disease
  • Marked improvement in overall cholesterol and LDL counts
  • Improvement in bone density and reversal of osteoporosis
  • Cessation of skin conditions from psoriasis to oral ulcers and hair loss
  • Reduction of inflammation and rheumatoid arthritis pain

Readable, thought-provoking and carefully researched, Wheat Belly offers a new and vitally important perspective on the most critical health concerns of our time.

Review: Dr Davis’ comprehensive, readable and witty book reveals that wheat, far from being the staff of life, is in fact the stuff of nightmares. Take his advice to lose wheat from your diet and you’ll likely be paid back many times over in the form of a slimmer, healthier body and a better functioning brain.
–Dr. John Briffa BSc MB BS nutritional physician and author of Waist Disposal

 

The Brain That Changes Itself:
Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science 
Norman Doidge 

An astonishing new science called neuroplasticity is overthrowing the centuries-old notion that the human brain is immutable, and proving that it is, in fact, possible to change your brain. Psychoanalyst, Norman Doidge, M.D., travelled the country to meet both the brilliant scientists championing neuroplasticity, its healing powers, and the people whose lives they’ve transformed—people whose mental limitations, brain damage or brain trauma were seen as unalterable. We see a woman born with half a brain that rewired itself to work as a whole, blind people who learn to see, learning disorders cured, IQs raised, aging brains rejuvenated, stroke patients learning to speak, children with cerebral palsy learning to move with more grace, depression and anxiety disorders successfully treated, and lifelong character traits changed. Using these marvellous stories to probe mysteries of the body, emotion, love, sex, culture, and education, Dr. Doidge has written an immensely moving, inspiring book that will permanently alter the way we look at our brains, human nature, and human potential.

Review: For years the doctrine of neuroscientists has been that the brain is a machine: break a part and you lose that function permanently. But more and more evidence is turning up to show that the brain can rewire itself, even in the face of catastrophic trauma: essentially, the functions of the brain can be strengthened just like a weak muscle. Scientists have taught a woman with damaged inner ears, who for five years had had “a sense of perpetual falling,” to regain her sense of balance with a sensor on her tongue, and a stroke victim to recover the ability to walk although 97% of the nerves from the cerebral cortex to the spine were destroyed. With detailed case studies reminiscent of Oliver Sachs, combined with extensive interviews with lead researchers, Doidge, a research psychiatrist and psychoanalyst at Columbia and the University of Toronto, slowly turns everything we thought we knew about the brain upside down. He is, perhaps, overenthusiastic about the possibilities, believing that this new science can fix every neurological problem, from learning disabilities to blindness. But Doidge writes interestingly and engagingly about some of the least understood marvels of the brain. (Mar. 19)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  

The Five Love Languages:
(Married) Men’s Edition (I read the general one)
Gary D Chapman (author)

Description: Husbands are commanded to love their wives. But do you know what really makes your wife feel loved? Are you tired of missed cues and confusing signals?

Everyone has a primary love language-quality time, words of affirmation, gifts, acts of service, or physical touch. In The 5 Love Languages Men’s Edition, #1 New York Times bestselling author

Dr. Gary Chapman guides husbands in identifying, understanding, and speaking their wife’s love language. Each chapter concludes with ten simple and practical ideas for expressing that love language to your wife. You’ll both enjoy taking the new love languages assessment and building a lasting, loving marriage.

Review: I think many guys, myself included, are in a box when it comes to loving our wives. I did things my way but neither of us was happy, we stayed together for the kids. One night I decided that the problem must be me. I talked with my wife and told her I was going to change for her. The only thing was that I didn’t know how to change. I went to the bookstore and found this book and read it and it made perfect sense and it was just too easy. I recommend you to read the book but only read it if you are willing to change if you are not then you are wasting your time and no one can help you. YOU must be ready to give love and accept love.

The Sexy Years: Discover the Hormone Connection: The Secret to Fabulous Sex, Great Health, and Vitality, for Women and Men
Suzanne Somers (author)

If you want to know part of the secret to my figure, I owe much to Suzanne for pointing me in the right direction with bioidentical hormones!

Is your wife in her 40’s or 50’s? If so, this is a must read so you can understand what’s transforming her into someone you don’t recognize! I highly recommend that you read the chapter on male hormones also….you might notice some of your own symptoms of andropause. Learn what you can do naturally to help yourself.

Description: Getting older can be brutal—women gain weight, lose their sex drive, experience hot flashes, suffer memory loss, become short-tempered, find it difficult to sleep, and on and on. It’s not so easy for men, either—they start to lose energy and stamina as they age, too (and they have to live with women going through menopause). After years of being thin and fit and full of energy, Suzanne herself encountered the “Seven Dwarfs of Menopause”—Itchy, Bitchy, Sweaty, Sleepy, Bloated, Forgetful, and All-Dried-Up. Instead of living out the rest of her life cranky, sleep-deprived, and libido-less, Suzanne set out to discover how she could get her mind, body, and life back and banish those pesky dwarfs for good.

The result is The Sexy Years: Discover the Hormone Connection—The Secret to Fabulous Sex, Great Health, and Vitality, for Women and Men. In this passionately argued and enormously practical book, Suzanne supports her own research and experiences with the expertise of leading doctors in the field of women’s and men’s health and sexuality to create an inspiring, accessible call-to-arms to women to radically rethink how they approach life after fifty, and give them the tools to turn their lives around.

Review: From Publishers Weekly – Somers has chronicled her battle with weight and emotional issues in several books. Now she explains how she’s coped with the symptoms of menopause and why she believes most women should take natural hormones during this period. Somers discusses her breast cancer surgery, along with her decision not to undergo certain follow-up treatment but instead adhere to a regimen of natural hormones. To support her case, Somers includes interviews with several physicians who specialize in natural hormones, sexual dysfunction and menopause. Her enthusiastic writing style will especially appeal to readers who have been intimidated by physicians unwilling to offer alternative treatments to menopause’s often debilitating symptoms. “Finding the right doctor is difficult,” she laments. “Your gynaecologist may not be the right person for you at this time…. If [menopause and hormones are] not her speciality, then you have to find a doctor who ‘gets it.’ ” Somers stresses the important steps of the process and discusses reasons why she prefers natural hormones over synthetic substances. She also tackles male menopause, common sexual problems among middle-aged couples and hormones for men. However, since her readers are likely to be women, the subject matter occasionally seems inappropriate. Nonetheless, as an introduction to the subject of alternative treatments for menopause, this book provides a sound synopsis that readers can use to open a dialogue with their physicians.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Why Men Don’t Listen & Women Can’t Read Maps
Allan & Barbara Pease (authors)

Description: Have you ever wished your partner came with an instruction booklet? This international bestseller is the answer to all the things you’ve ever wondered about the opposite sex.

For their controversial new book on the differences between the way, men and women think and communicate, Barbara and Allan Pease spent three years travelling around the world, collecting the dramatic findings of new research on the brain, investigating evolutionary biology, analyzing psychologists, studying social changes, and annoying the locals.

The result is a sometimes shocking, always illuminating, and frequently hilarious look at where the battle line is drawn between the sexes, why it was drawn, and how to cross it. Read this book and understand–at last!–why men never listen, why women can’t read maps, and why learning each other’s secrets means you’ll never have to say sorry again.

Review: “To get a man to listen, give him advance notice and provide an agenda,” write the husband and wife Peases in this pithy, attention-grabbing guidebook to the differences between men and women. Originally self-published in Australia to wide acclaim, the book weaves together facts from the latest brain research, theories from evolutionary biology and a treasure trove of anecdotal events and conversations collected by the authors during a three-year research trip around the world. Sociobiology has rarely been so entertaining. The Peases say that a woman’s brain is wired to be able to speak and listen simultaneously, for example, and they are geared to talk through problems. Men, by contrast, need to clam up. “He uses his right brain to try to solve his problems or find solutions, and he stops using his left brain to listen or speak.” These brain differences took shape in cave days, according to the authors. Men were hunters and defenders who evolved tunnel vision (as compared to women’s vision), while, as nurturers, women not only had broad peripheral vision but sensitive relationship skills. Channel surfing and newspaper skimming are modern ways for a man to cut off from others to privately mull problems, advise the authors. “Remember, his forefathers spent more than a million years sitting expressionless on a rock surveying the horizon, so this comes naturally to him…. ” Feisty and crystal clear, this controversial work will appeal to readers of both sexes.
(May) Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Think and Grow Rich (1937 version)
Napoleon Hill (Author)

Description: Think and Grow Rich is the most important financial book ever written. Napoleon Hill researched more than forty millionaires to find out what made them the men that they were. In this book he imparts that knowledge to you. Once you’ve read this book you will understand what gives certain people an edge over everyone else. By following the advice laid out clearly in this book you’ll be the one with an edge. It’s time to stop wondering what it’s like to be rich and start knowing. This book has changed countless lives and it can change yours! Unlike many of the other editions on the market today, this edition is complete and unabridged!

Reviews:  During the past twenty-five years I have been blessed with more good fortune than any individual deserves but I shudder to think where I’d be today, or what I’d be doing if I had not been exposed to Napoleon Hill’s philosophy. It changed my life.
— Og Mandino, Author and Lecturer

I knew Napoleon Hill in 1922 when I was a student in Salem College in the town of my birth. Mr. Hill came to our campus as the commencement speaker in that year. As I listened to him, I heard something other than just the words he spoke, I felt the substance – the wisdom – and the spirit of a man and his philosophy. Mr. Hill said “the most powerful instrument we have in our hand is the power of our mind.” Napoleon Hill compiled this philosophy of American achievement for the benefit of all people. I strongly commend this philosophy to you for achievement and service in your chosen field.
–Senator Jennings Randolph West Virginia

 

The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom

Don Miguel Ruiz 

 

Description: In The Four Agreements, don Miguel Ruiz reveals the source of self-limiting beliefs that rob us of joy and create needless suffering. Based on ancient Toltec wisdom, The Four Agreements offer a powerful code of conduct that can rapidly transform our lives to a new experience of freedom, true happiness, and love.

Review: The Four Agreements are very simple, but very profound. To embrace and live each of the Four Agreements is to find yourself experiencing personal freedom–possibly as never before. The Four Agreements are:

Be Impeccable With Your Words
Don’t Take Anything Personally
Don’t Make Assumptions
Always Do Your Best

From the cover of the book:

Be Impeccable With Your Word: Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

Don’t Take Anything Personally: Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

Don’t Make Assumptions: Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

Always Do Your Best: Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret

 

Your Soul’s Plan: Discovering the Real Meaning of the Life You Planned Before You Were Born 
Robert Schwartz (Author)

Description: Would you like to understand the deeper spiritual meaning of physical illness, parenting handicapped children, drug addiction, alcoholism, the death of a loved one, accidents, deafness, and blindness?

Your Soul’s Plan (which was originally published under the title Courageous Souls: Do We Plan Our Life Challenges Before Birth?) explores the premise that we are all eternal souls who plan our lives, including our greatest challenges, before we are born for the purpose of spiritual growth. Through compelling profiles of people who knowingly planned the experiences mentioned above, Your Soul’s Plan shows that suffering is not purposeless, but rather imbued with deep meaning. Working with four gifted mediums, author Robert Schwartz reveals the significance of each person’s life plan and allows us a fascinating look into the “other side.”

Review: “Your Soul’s Plan is highly recommended to anyone trying to understand the suffering, tragedy or loss that has caused them to question life, death and/or God. And who among us is not inflicted by such challenges and questions in our lifetime? In my eight years researching life after death, spirituality and life purpose, I have discovered no better explanation of why human challenges exist than what is so eloquently written in Robert Schwartz’s book.”
—Bob Olson, OfSpirit.com Editor

The Power of Your Subconscious Mind 
Joseph Murphy (author)

Description: Why is one mad sad and another man happy? Why is one man joyous and prosperous and another man poor and miserable? Why is one man fearful and anxious and another full of faith and confidence? Dr. Joseph Murphy answers these questions and many more in his best-selling self-help book, which shows you how to unleash the hidden strengths within you to gain confidence and success in everyday life.

Review: This information about your subconscious mind is interesting and very useful. Joseph Murphy, accomplished an educational book that really reassures us that life for us has infinite possibilities. We are in control of our happiness that thoughts become things.  
— P. M. P. R. “Wellness Advisor” (Las Vegas, NV) 

 

The Alchemist 
by Coelho, Paulo and Alan R. Clarke (Oct 13, 2009)

Description: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho continues to change the lives of its readers forever. With more than two million copies sold around the world, The Alchemist has established itself as a modern classic, universally admired.

Paulo Coelho’s masterpiece tells the magical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure as extravagant as any ever found.

The story of the treasures Santiago finds along the way teaches us, as only a few stories can, about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, learning to read the omens strewn along life’s path, and, above all, following our dreams.

Review: I read it over the course of one day, thought “nice fable” & began reading another book as soon as I finished this one. But I found that the lessons contained in this simple story of a shepherd boy seeking treasure, won’t be dismissed so easily. They must have taken up residence in my subconscious and kicked up some dust, because my mind keeps returning to the lessons of the story to find new and more subtle insights having formed.

These are lessons that we all know in our hearts, but that we forget as we get wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of our material lives. Lessons about listening to our hearts and following our dreams. Lessons about living in the moment, the transient nature of possessions and the illusion that we can even “possess” something to begin with. Lessons about freeing ourselves from fear and about understanding our lives as part of the energy of the Universe and understanding that everything will work out the way it was intended to. Lessons about trusting in signs, knowing that our lives have a grand purpose and that the forces of the Universe will conspire to help us fulfill that purpose. And the lesson that all of the fortunes and misfortunes we encounter in life are part of our spiritual education, and that it’s not the earthly “treasure” we seek that’s important but the lessons learned while in pursuit of it.

If you like to ponder the meaning of life, then let your mind and spirit mull over the lessons in this book. It’s a quick and enjoyable read that will provide some new insights, or remind you of some old one’s that you’ve forgotten