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  • Writer's pictureSean

Non-Fiction November 2020 Edition

Thanks for stopping in for Non-Fiction November 2020! If you've never heard of it I encourage you to pop over to Instagram and check out the hashtags #NonFictionNovember or #NonFictionNov to see what others are reading. A fun reading challenge that brings some much-needed attention to the non-fiction genre!

This year I stuck to mainly non-fiction with the exception of one book which is usually a bedside reader. Dan Simmons' The Terror fit that role this month and what a ride! A fictional tale of Captain Sir John Franklin's lost expedition of the HMS Erebus and HMS Terror. Simmons weaves a tale that mixes history and fiction into something that keeps you in suspense all the way through.

"Most people see the problem of love primarily as that of being loved, rather than that of loving, of one’s capacity to love. Hence the problem to them is how to be loved, how to be lovable."

Erich Fromm's philosophical look at love breaks it down into something that we must work at; something that we take a view of having to earn love versus give love. An excellent book and worth the read; it's a short read but well worth the time. It's a book that sticks with you.

This one did not hit home for me. This is for those who love literature and know who the writers are. It's conversations between writers in the upstairs room at the Strand bookstore so of course, I was interested. I found it to be boring and unfortunately I hadn't read anything by most of the writers included. So something to keep in mind!

November's spiritual book, Tenzin brings the teachings of Dawa Gyaltsen, an 8th-century Tibetan meditation master, to you and really focuses you to examine the mind. If you happen to purchase the paperback book, it actually comes with a CD with the meditations to listen too which is helpful. To find silence and spaciousness within our own minds is something that is difficult with thoughts constantly bombarding us. Dawa's teachings try to find the openness that we need in order to settle our minds.

An excellent book on the ideas of happiness and truly what that means to an individual. Focusing in on pleasure (short-term and transient) and gratification (longer-term and whole), Seligman focuses the reader in on their own personal strengths with some excellent tests and exercises on his website. Ultimately we need to focus on our key signature strengths in order to find that long-term gratification. Appreciated this book and I'm looking forward to reading further into his library.

A book for Canadians! Simon & Schuster Canada provided me with a review copy and I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the unsung Canadian heroes out there. This isn't a list of the most famous Canadians, it's people who have done amazing things who may have gone unnoticed. Human rights really become the focus and those Canadians who have propelled not just Canada forward but the world.

Peter's book Honest to Greatness comes at a time when honesty seems to be lacking in the world; a perfect time. The book is helpful for those of us working in large companies, running our own companies, or just wanting to get some insight into becoming more self-aware. Check out the full review over on Instagram if you haven't already!

Danielle Town's Invested was November's finance choice this month and what a pleasant surprise! Picked this one up on a whim based on the description of being a simple way to implement Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger's investing style. This book was a great choice! It comes across as very simple to learn while following the story of Danielle's own growth. This makes for an approachable book that anyone can pick up and learn about value investing. Definitely recommended for novice investors or anyone interested in trying to implement a Buffett/Munger style!

Last but definitely not least is Sam Harris' Making Sense. A book derived from the popular podcast, Making sense packs a ton of information into the pages focusing in on a few key topics. Consciousness and artificial intelligence both feature prominently and I think the book does an excellent job of focusing in on these ideas. It's not a simple read so be prepared but I find these ideas on the page easier to understand than on the podcast itself. If you were on the fence about reading the book, I'd say I find myself more of a visual learner and reading about the complexities of these problems was much easier!

There you have it! November 2020 reads. Looking forward to jumping into December; thanks for following along! Shoot me a message over on Instagram if you have a question about any of these books or have read them and want to discuss.

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