Books I Read in November

posted in: Reviews | 0

I want to reiterate I will only list the non-fiction books I read in November. November was the second month of my Happiness Project.

For October’s list click here.




Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

by Elizabeth Gilbert.

I had an aha moment while listening to this book. I enjoy audiobooks narrated by the authors better than some random narrator. This seems to give the narration more depth.

I will preface by saying I enjoyed the book especially Elizabeth Gilbert’s writing style. While there were many interesting nuggets in this audiobook, I found it at first redundant. What I mean by this statement is this, I could quickly summarize the entire book thus: “stop being afraid, take fear by the proverbial horns and live a creative life, whatever it looks like for you.”

I hope my last statement will not deter you from reading the book for yourself. Honestly, had I read it – rather than listened to it – I may not have stuck with it. Listening to it, however, was a delight.

[Amazon]  [Audible]

Soul Mates: Honoring the Mysteries of Love and Relationship

This book was on a reading list for a course. It is full of excellent information on marriage as well as all other soul relationships. Thomas Moore is deep and well versed.

However, I realized something important while listening to this book; I like my books to reflect me. Let me explain further: while I am well educated and can readily understand profound books like the one written by Mr. Moore, I don’t necessarily enjoy them. I am a simple woman. I like jeans and T-shirts, get-togethers around a warm fire in my comfortable yoga pants rather than at a five-star restaurant decked to the nines.

I have always enjoyed doctors, nurses, professors, and other professionals who make concepts easy to understand for everyone. In truth, I am invariably a tad miffed when a doctor or nurse asks me if I have “vomited” recently. The very word vomited seems so “clean” and anesthetized. After a night spent in the bathroom, this verb never quite resonates with me the same way as “I threw up!” I think you get my point. All this to say, I like my books to feel a bit like a conversation I could have with a friend rather than the textbook for a senior course in college.

Don’t get me wrong; I am well aware that this fact is solely a personal preference and in no way does it reflect on the book nor its author. I think Mr. Moore himself would agree this notion is just a quirk of my soul and proceed to laugh it off.

It is a profound book with a deep message.

[Amazon]  [Audible]


Be Grateful to Everyone

by Pema Chodron

While I was familiar with Pema Chodron’s name, I was not familiar with her writings, nor in this case, her teachings. So far, this was my favorite read this month. I am utterly fascinated with the teachings of lojong and tonglen.

Pema has a beautiful warm style. I could not help but like her. She is so authentic.

I need to preface that I am not a Buddhist. However, Buddhism has practical teachings which I find very helpful. Lojong happens to be one of them.  I plan on adding these practices to my action steps at some point.

This teaching came at the perfect time for me. It brings a lesson I needed to hear (and eventually, practice).

[CD]  [Audible]


Mindful Eating: A Guide to Rediscovering a Healthy and Joyful Relationship with Food

by Jan Chozen Bays

The book is narrated by the author who has a calming quiet voice (albeit a tad monotone). The content is generous with its advice on mindful eating. I was inspired to see eating as a nourishing practice not only for my body but my mind and soul as well. I found the author a tad patronizing at times despite the fact I am quite confident it was not her intent.

I wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone who is resolved to see food – and the body – as friends rather than foes. Dr.Bays gives a wonderful roadmap to this very goal.

[Amazon]  [Audible]


Qi Meditations: Guided Visualizations for Self-Healing

by Maoshing Ni

I borrowed this CD from my local library. I have benefited greatly from Chinese medicine, and even though I am not very knowledgeable on this subject, I always enjoy learning more.

I plan on practicing some of the visualizations.

[CD Amazon]  [Audible]


Holding Nothing Back: Essentials for an Authentic Life

by Mark Nepo

I listened to this book early in the month, and I can’t recollect its content very well. The author did pause some inspiring questions which I wrote down. It may be one of these books I need to listen to again.

[Audible or CD]


 Books I Read in November




Born for This: How to Find the Work You Were Meant to Do

 by Chris Guillebeau

An interesting book about atypical ways to make a living. It was an inspiring read.

[Amazon] [Audible]



Integrative Wellness Rules: A Simple Guide to Healthy Living

 by Dr. Jim Nicolai

Let’s start on a positive note. First, the author – a medical doctor – is very personable. He does not throw around fancy medical terms. He is very down to earth and appears approachable with a hefty dose of common sense. Second, the book is an easy read with short chapters (usually a couple of pages).

The less positive part. I did not learn anything new. This book is very elementary.

If you are just starting on your wellness journey, this book is a good read and an excellent start to get you on your way. If you are further along on your wellness path, this book may be too basic.



Mindful Movements: Ten Exercises for Well-Being

by Thich Nhat Hanh 

I borrowed this book from the library. It is a very short and apparently, comes with an accompanying DVD (which I did not get from the library since it was a kindle version).

The exercises are elementary and I have started to incorporate them into my morning routine. Not sure I notice any significant difference at this point.

I was able to find the video version of the exercises on



Unplug: A Simple Guide to Meditation for Busy Skeptics and Modern Soul Seekers

by Suze Yalof Schwartz

This book is an excellent read on meditation. Probably my favorite so far.

This book is simple, thorough, and uplifting. It is not overly heady. The author wanted to make meditation easy for everyone. I would say she magnificently accomplished her task. A must read if you want to learn to meditate.

[Amazon] [Audible]


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