Books I’ve Read

This is a list of some of the books I've read. Below each title is a short description of what I learned from or loved about them.

Beck, Molly:
Reach Out: The Simple Strategy You Need to Expand Your Network and Increase Your Influence

This book gave me solid advice on effective email etiquette, but perhaps more importantly it made me realize how many opportunities I’ve been leaving on the table by not reaching out regularly. I always felt it should be a rare thing to reach out, especially when it came to people you had no connection with.

I was shocked when I read that Molly advocated reaching out to 5 new people a week! Then I thought about it and realized, “why wouldn’t you?” Why not make it a routine to reach out? I could see nothing but upside if you do that.

Holt, John:
How Children Learn

This is the book that most unschooling parents attribute as the catalyst for deciding to unschool, so I had to check it out. Well, this book lives up to the hype. John Holt shows a level of compassion and curiosity towards children that I haven't seen before. It's something that I wish every parent and teacher would adopt. There are some moments that had me tearing up, especially once I finished the book. 

I learned that children do not need to be made to learn and, in fact, you can destroy their natural curiosity if you attempt to make them learn. Every child has their own unique way of learning and deriving meaning, which is why it's ridiculous that schools make them all learn in a uniform way. More than showing me how children learn, John Holt sparked in me a new, more compassionate way of seeing children. 

Kohn, Alfie:
Unconditional Parenting: Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love 

I always knew that punishments were bad, but if I didn't read this book I would have never known how equally dangerous rewards can be to a child's future well-being and happiness. Rewards and punishments may get your child to do what you want in the short term, but it has very bad repercussions in the long term. 

I imagine that getting through this book is not easy for most parents because it shows that most of what they thought was good parenting is actually bad. I'm not a parent myself but, as a young adult who's parents relied heavily on artificial rewards and punishments, this book conjured up strong feelings of anger, frustration and sadness. This book has brought a lot of clarity about why I struggle with being free. With this clarity, I am now on a better path to healing and becoming a happier person.

Rosenberg, Marshall
Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life

This is one of two books which I constantly go back to. I do that because I really want to ingrain in my mind the lessons it has. This is my go to book when asked questions like "what is the one book you think everyone should read?" I don't think the value of what's in this book can be overstated. 

Here's a blog post inspired by this book.

Talley, Brett
That Which Should Not Be

This a great novel if you like conspiracies and Lovcraftian horror like I do. This book is like an anthology of three chilling tales. Tales which are told by three men in a bar who have experienced unimaginable horrors.