Book Club


Being Ten Percent Happier

Not long ago, Dan Harris, anchor for ABC’s Nightline, published a book about quieting his racing mind through meditation: 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works — A True Story. A New York Times nonfiction bestseller (now available in paperback), 10% Happier does have a few ideas, summarized here, that you owe it to yourself to consider – whether you already meditate, have considered trying, or never plan to do so. 1. Don’t necessarily give up grand......

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The Crazy Rituals of Creative People

Did you know that Benjamin Franklin started his day with an “air bath” – which means he sat around naked? And that Thomas Wolfe wrote while standing up in the kitchen, utilizing the top of the refrigerator as his desk, fondling his “male configurations”? Jean-Paul Sartre chewed on enough tablets to meet ten times the recommended daily dosage of Corydrane (a mix of amphetamine and aspirin). The painter Georgia O’Keefe rose early to drink tea alone in bed and watch the sun rise before entering her studio. And the writer Honore de......

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Empathy as a Business Model

Innovation, innovation, innovation. It’s all we hear today, as we’re flooded with interviews and talks from academic, business and tech-pop culture gurus. Ken Tuchman’s e-book The Technology of Us cuts through the morass. It’s a collection of smart essays by some of the most interesting leaders across a wide range of domains. Every piece is full of insights and intuitions on how technological innovation is humanizing our individual lives, our relationships and the connections between businesses and people. Star Wars director George Lucas, Fitbit designer Gadi Amit, Stanford Center on Longevity founder......

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On the Lookout for Harper Lee's Follow-up Novel

It’s been more than 50 years since the publication of To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee’s only novel, until now. In a surprise announcement, a “new” work by Lee (about Scout Finch as an adult, and her aging father, Atticus) will be published by HarperCollins this July. Lee hasn’t been suffering from a half-century long writer’s block; nor, apparently, was the 88-year-old author holding out on us. The novel, Go Set A Watchman, was only recently discovered by Lee’s lawyer. The author – living with the debilitating effects of a 2007......

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Recommended Reading - Faith and the Digital Age

Need a new stack of books for your bedside table? Brad and Irwin share their reading list and insights gleaned from within the pages. Let us know your thoughts on the books if you’ve read them (or leave book recommendations) in the comments below.   1. The Soul of the World Bob Dylan sang, “It may be the devil or it may be the Lord, but you’re gonna have to serve somebody.” English philosopher and writer Roger Scruton’s wise and beautifully written The Soul of the World (Princeton University Press) makes the......

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An Edgy, Funny, 'Great' Novel

Why do we worry about getting a parking space, more than we worry about the fragility of life? Why, on cars, are gas tanks located on different sides? Would any one of us be strong enough to survive a catastrophe? Is it better to dig into our every thought and emotion to discover ourselves – or to just be happy not knowing everything? Why, as soon as we complain about our life, does someone inevitably say, “Hey, imagine if you were living in Rwanda”…? Wouldn’t it be funny if there was a......

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The Spirit's Irrepressible Impulse

In the words of Bob Dylan, “It may be the devil, or it may be the Lord, but you’re gonna have to serve somebody.” English philosopher Roger Scruton’s wise and beautifully written The Soul of the World makes the case that, despite the brashness of the New Atheists and the increase of “Nones” (those with no religious affiliation) there is a “fundamentally religious impulse” – what we call “the sacred” – that is irrepressible. Scruton explains faith as an “attitude of openness to meanings” (experienced in love, art, nature and morality) that......

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In Art or Life, Imagine the Backstory

Did you ever wonder what happened to make the Mona Lisa smile? Or ponder the source of anguish in Edvard Munch’s The Scream? And why is the old man’s nose in Domenico Ghirlandaio’s An Old Man and His Grandson so puffed up? The (True!) History of Art is one of the most hilarious books I’ve seen in a long time, and one of the cleverest ways to invite people to engage with the world’s great paintings. Through this book, Sylvain Coissard and Alexis Lemoine enable children and adults to look at instantaneously......

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Video: The Good Book, A Great Book?

From Odyssey Network’s Faith on the Record video series: This week, attorneys in Broward County, Florida argued over the right of Park Lakes Elementary School student Giovanni Rubeo to read the Bible during a free reading period. It turns out the Bible is on the approved list of books, though the school claimed it was not. The bottom line is cultivating love of reading should trump whatever book you may happen to be reading. Odyssey Networks tells the stories of faith in action changing the world for the better. Their stories explore......

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The Delusion of The Triple Package

It takes just a few hours to read “Tiger Mom” Amy Chua and her husband, fellow Yale law professor, Jed Rubenfeld’s new book, The Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in America. And it takes even less time to realize the wisdom in this book isn’t in its ideas but in understanding why such ideas resonate and the harm they do to us personally and collectively. The thesis of this book is simple. There are three (that’s right, three) psychological characteristics shared by all......

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