Links below to various forms of the written word that have and continue to inform, educate and inspire me.
Desiderata - 1927 Max Ehrmann - A one-page poem for life. Read it before you leave the house in the morning and the hopeful upsides of living seem to come into view more clearly.
The Road Less Travelled - 1979 M. Scott Peck - The book that kickstarted my passion for self-development in 1997. A classic whose title has entered common parlance can seem a little earnest in places but contains many life-changing insights within its pages.
Shantaram - 2005 Gregory David Roberts - Part biography, part travel journal, part moral compass for how to live. A wonderful, evocatively written story of high adventure, love, hate and the choices people make. Gritty, reflective, funny and intimate in equal measure.
The Art of Living - 2004 - Epictetus (translated by Sharon Lebell) - Ninety-three, witty, erudite instructions for life from Epictetus, a Stoic philosopher born into slavery about 55 C.E. who rose from humble roots to establish an influential school of philosophy. Literary food for the soul.
Thinking Fast and Slow - 2011 Daniel Kahneman - Kahneman is a Nobel prize-winning psychologist and behavioural economist. He's smart. The book shows how via two opposing systems of evaluation, humans often make irrational decisions despite the information available. A window into the workings of your mind to make you more aware of your own biases and mental rabbit holes.
Between the World and Me - 2015 Ta-Nehisi Coates - An open letter from Coates to his 13-year-old son, part memoir, part political commentary. An unflinching reflection on both his life as a black man and the state of race-relations in the US. A gut-wrenching workout for your empathetic muscle.
The Dark Film - 2012 Paul Farley - A collection of poems from a working-class Liverpudlian with a grasp of language and metaphoric storytelling I can only wonder at. 'The Power' and 'Adults' are particular highlights for me.