Autumn is a great time to sort things out. To make some long-overdue decisions about what matters and what doesn’t and, to learn the important lesson of saying no. Or saying yes to a good read. Have beautiful autumn, peeps, and keep those pages turning!
1. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg Mckeown
Since people tend to work more during the colder seasons, they also tend to look for more help, so you can expect to receive many proposals, some of which you may accept out of the pure habit of people-pleasing. Yes, this book helped me learn to say no without guilt and without giving up on the powerful grip of FOMO. In this day of age, we spread ourselves incredibly thin to cover as many fields as possible and not miss out on anything that might be useful at some point in our lives. Essentialism is all about making choices that are both smart and honest. This book can truly make you feel less overwhelmed and stay mindful during the season of hustling, bustling, and grinding.
“Essentialism is not about how to get more things done; it’s about how to get the right things done. It doesn’t mean just doing less for the sake of less either. It is about making the wisest possible investment of your time and energy to operate at our highest point of contribution by doing only what is essential.”
― Greg Mckeown, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
2. How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease by Michael Greger, MD
In his marvelous book, doctor Greger examines the 15 most common causes of death in the U.S. (which are pretty much the same in Europe, really) and ways to prevent them. The author is all about science, and every statement will provide you a double-blind peer-reviewed study in a respectful scientific journal. The tips are straightforward to implement and can make a huge difference in your life and the lives of those you love. Dark autumn evenings are perfect for magnificent experiments in the kitchen!
“The primary reason diseases tend to run in families may be that diets tend to run in families.”
― Michael Greger, MD, How Not to Die
3. Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World by Cal Newport
Autumn comes with the risk of spending more time indoors and glued to our screens. Cal Newport’s Digital minimalism will help you understand how social media works, how does it win your time and make money out of your desire to be seen. Your time = their money. The book also offers an elaborate plan on reducing the time you spend on your devices, and it’s not as drastic as you may think. Digital minimalism that will not only make you more mindful about technology but will also help you appreciate the time you spend alone and the benefits of doing nothing to make some space for bold new ideas.
“The tycoons of social media have to stop pretending that they’re friendly nerd gods building a better world and admit they’re just tobacco farmers in T-shirts selling an addictive product to children. Because, let’s face it, checking your “likes” is the new smoking.”
― Cal Newport, Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World
4. The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming by David Wallace-Wells
This book should be given away for free everywhere to be read by as many people as possible and to help everyone understand what climate crisis means. We all know a little bit about it (except for those who still deny it or run around screaming ‘YOLO!’), but do we know the full story? Do we truly understand the extent of the damage that is being done? Is there a way back or at least a fruitful way forward, and what can be done to make things better? Uninhabitable Earth will not only provide you with wildly important knowledge but, even more importantly, it will make you want to act and do more.
“It is worse, much worse than you think. The slowness of climate change is a fairy tale, perhaps as pernicious as the one that says it isn’t happening at all, and comes to us bundled with several others in an anthology of comforting delusions: that global warming is an Arctic saga, unfolding remotely; that it is strictly a matter of sea level and coastlines, not an enveloping crisis sparing no place and leaving no life undeformed; that it is a crisis of the “natural” world, not the human one; that those two are distinct, and that we live today somehow outside or beyond or at the very least defended against nature, not inescapably within and literally overwhelmed by it; that wealth can be a shield against the ravages of warming; that the burning of fossil fuels is the price of continued economic growth; that growth, and the technology it produces, will allow us to engineer our way out of environmental disaster; that there is any analogue to the scale or scope of this threat, in the long span of human history, that might give us confidence in staring it down. None of this is true.”
― David Wallace-Wells, Uninhabitable Earth
5. Walden by H.D. Thoreau
I know this one may seem a bit out of context, but Walden is as relevant today as it was in 1854 and maybe even more so. It’s a book that everyone always uses for quotes to post on Facebook or use as captions, but way too often is it read in its entirety. Walden is a marvelous true story of a person who decided to live a life away from the greed and unstainable hunger of our society and get in touch with who he is. The thoughts, hidden beneath the pages are so magnificent and inspiring, it’s hard not to cry while reading them. I genuinely think that it is a perfect book for autumn for many reasons, one of them being that it shows us how important every single thing in nature is and helps us accept the changing seasons, both within and without.
“The cost of a thing is the amount of what I will call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.”
― Henry David Thoreau, Walden