Here they are, the notable books I’ve read in 2014.
Authentic Happiness by Martin E.P. Seligman: A must-read from the father of positive psychology (not to be confused with the “positive thinking” fairy tales), defining happiness and offering a very sensible recipe for it, based on scientific research.
Mastery: The Keys to Success and Long-Term Fulfillment by George Leonard: The “code” of mastery is a lifelong interest of the author, a former World War pilot, sports journalist, and jiu-jitsu master (a sport he undertook at age forty-six). In this book, he offers a great perspective on what mastery is.
Some high-quality prog metal right here, folks. The fun fact about this band, sadly extinct now, is that it incorporated two certified demons, a Texan on guitar, by the name of Rusty Cooley, and a demon from Brasil, known as Carlos Zema, seen here casually delivering the verses on a lofty D#/E in the 5th octave (a clear proof of his non-human nature), where not many of the best high singers dare venture except the for the climactic part of the song.
A short, simple, yet very poetic aria, presenting no particularly dramatic problems to the soprano. But is does demand a certain timber and a certain sense of prosody. In summary, an aria easy only on the surface. Here’s the performance that satisfies me the most, of those I could find in the public domain:
They say it sucks to be stupid. No, it doesn’t. Nowadays it is simply fab. You’re vaccinated, you have food, health and a standard of life your grand-granddad couldn’t even dream of because he lacked even the terminology, therefore you enjoy the time and comfort to dispute the science of vaccines, to fool around with fantasy nutrition and alternative medicine, and to accuse any opinion different than yours of being perfidiously instilled by the New World Order people, who are after smart, well-meaning folk such as yourself.
Stranger in a Strange Landis a sci-fi novel written in 1961 by Robert A. Heinlein, and this particular edition includes the approximately 60,000 words removed from the original pblication draft.
The text has a classical tint to it, imparted by use of expressions quite specific for the era in which it was written. This is one of those works that use the means of genre only as the decorum in which the eternal human themes will unfold. You won’t find in it the extensive world-building characteristic to the genre, so its five-hundred plus pages may seem like a surprising lot.
I can’t remember who recommended The Road Less Traveled to me, but I’m truly grateful to have gotten to read it. It’s subtitled A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values, and Spiritual Growth, its author was an American psychiatrist, and it made history – it is now a classic title.
M. Scott Peck resolves to redefine classic concepts, and to connect the psyche with the spiritual side of the human being, using the means of psychotherapy. His own experience with psychotherapy (at the giving end), lends his book great authenticity, and his final goal is releasing his readers from chains they may not even know they are tied with. The book is written in an accessible style, but permeated by the manner and reservation specific to academics, alternating lecture with friendly discussion and clinical case presentations.