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The Ultimate Reading List to Simplify Your Life

To celebrate four seasons of Simplify, here’s a look back at some of the books written by the authors we’ve interviewed.
by Michael Benninger | Nov 20 2018

Now that the fourth season of our Simplify podcast is in the rearview, we figured it was time to take a trip down memory lane and look back at some of the books written by the many amazing authors we’ve spoken with. So, whether you want to revisit some of your favorite episodes from our archive — or if you’re just now discovering Simplify for the first time — here’s a glimpse of several of the titles we talked about starting with our most recent season.

Season 4

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed

Following her mother’s death — and with her own marriage teetering on the brink of collapse — an impulsive and inexperienced 26-year-old attempts to reconnect with her true self by embarking on a solo, 1,100-mile hike along the Pacific Crest Trail.

Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions by Dan Ariely

Explaining the reasons and remedies for our fundamentally irrational behavior, this book sheds light on why we do the things we do through a series of scientific studies and intriguing anecdotes.

The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck: How to Stop Spending Time You Don’t Have with People You Don’t Like Doing Things You Don’t Want to Do by Sarah Knight

Find more time, money, and energy in your life by learning how to stop caring about the things that don’t really matter and start focusing on the aspects of your life that truly bring you joy.

My Morning Routine: How Successful People Start Every Day Inspired by Benjamin Spall and Michael Xander

Learn to love your alarm clock and eschew the snooze button thanks to this practical guide for aspiring early birds based on the author’s interviews with dozens of successful people from all walks of life.

How to Fix a Broken Heart by Guy Winch

In this handbook to help the lovelorn get back on their feet, the author uses scientific research to provide a roadmap for those hoping to speed through the recovery process as painlessly as possible.

Yes, And: How Improvisation Reverses “No, But” Thinking and Improves Creativity and Collaboration by Kelly Leonard and Tom Yorton

Discover how to generate better ideas and foster more effective communication in your company by incorporating tactics and techniques from the world of improvisational comedy.

I’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual by Luvvie Ajayi

With a wry take on the way modern society tends to spawn absurd, annoying, and simply unpleasant people, this no-holds-barred book calls folks out on their awfulness and offers readers advice about how to be less-horrible humans.

Season 3

Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

Through a combination of personal stories and business research, this books explains how to stay motivated and maximize your creativity by making the right choices and maintaining the right mindset.

Come as You Are: The Surprising New Science that Will Transform Your Sex Life by Emily Nagoski

This scientific guide to the art and beauty of sex reveals how embracing your body and exploring pleasure outside the confines of social standards can open new doors to sensual satisfaction.

The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload by Dr. Daniel Levitin

By providing insight into the ways our brains handle incoming data, this practical guide describes how to cope with the myriad decisions we confront every day using smart strategies that foster organization and increase efficiency.

Better Sex Through Mindfulness: How Women Can Cultivate Desire by Lori Brotto, Ph.D.

Stress and a lack of attentiveness lie at the foundation of many of the sexual problems modern women face, but by using mindfulness to treat today’s common disorders, women can improve their sex lives and find increased satisfaction both in and out of the bedroom.

Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jethá

Through the lens of history and evolution, this title makes a compelling case that monogamy is fundamentally incompatible with human nature, and our distorted view of sexuality prevents many of us from living happy and healthy lives.

How Luck Happens: Using the Science of Luck to Transform Work, Love and Life by Janice Kaplan and Barnaby Marsh

Debunking the myth that luck is something we have no control over, the abundant examples and advice in this title reveal that we actually can influence our level of fortune both in the boardroom and in the bedroom.

Einstein’s Dreams: A Novel by Alan Lightman

This a fictional collage of poetic vignettes — imagined by Albert Einstein when he still worked as a patent clerk — paints a picture of the defiant yet sensitive young genius as he toiled away on the theory of relativity and a new concept of time.

Season 2

Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers into Friends and Friends into Customers by Seth Godin

Arguing that traditional advertising approaches are no longer effective, this book — penned by one of the best marketers in the business — offers examples of how savvy sales campaigns go beyond merely interrupting consumers and instead encourage them to engage in the process.

Trust Me, I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator by Ryan Holiday

One of today’s top media strategists paints an unsettling picture of why we should think twice before believing everything labeled as “news” in this behind-the-scenes look at contemporary news culture based on the author’s experiences managing multimillion-dollar public relations campaigns.

The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever by Michael Bungay Stanier

By breaking down the practice of coaching into its core concepts and explaining how to truly offer effective guidance, this instructional book is based on the belief that helping others find success is about more than simply offering advice.

Unscrewed: Women, Sex, Power, and How to Stop Letting the System Screw Us All by Jaclyn Friedman

Examining the array of obstacles women face every day on their path to equality and respect, this eye-opening book highlights those who are already hard at work breaking down these barriers and explains why even though the current system may be broken, there’s still time to build a new one.

How to Be Heard by Julian Treasure

Learn proven ways to improve your communication skills and become a powerful speaker who commands an audience’s attention with this book that teaches you how to keep people hanging on your every word.

All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and The Rise of an Independent Nation by Rebecca Traister

Chronicling the history and changing circumstances of unmarried women in America, this title explains how cultivating female friendships and finding alternative ways to balance personal and professional obligations can help women achieve — and maintain — lasting success and independence.

The All-or-Nothing Marriage by Eli Finkel

Detailing the many ways the institution of marriage has evolved during the course of history, this book uses a wealth of data and sociological studies to explain why some marriages can stand the test of time, while others buckle under the first signs of stress.

Season 1

American Savage: Insights, Slights and Fights on Faith, Sex, Love and Politics by Dan Savage

Offering an unconventional perspective on many of today’s most divisive subjects, America’s most outspoken advice columnist (and host of the Savage Love podcast) explores contentious issues involving sex, relationships, and society.

Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives by Gretchen Rubin

Bursting with strategies to developing healthy habits — while also instructing you on how to break free from those that don’t serve you — the author of The Happiness Project continues her mission to help her readers live happier lives.

Getting Things Done by David Allen

One of the world’s foremost self-management gurus introduces his famous, stress-free productivity system that teaches readers how to thrive even while facing a tremendous amount of to-dos.

Eat to Live: The Amazing Nutrient-Rich Program for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss by Dr. Joel Fuhrman

This comprehensive overview of human nutrition calls for a reevaluation of conventional wisdom when it comes to what we put in our bodies and draws on personal case studies and a practical dietary program with plenty of recommendations.

I Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make the Most of Their Time by Laura Vanderkam

Rooted in extensive research that comprises time logs and insightful interviews among other data points, this book offers guidance on how career-minded women can balance work and family while still making time for themselves.

Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger

Examining why some products, beliefs, and behaviors more likely to be shared than others, this series of success stories attempts to explain whether contagious concepts are accidents, the outcomes of good marketing, or an inherent feature of captivating concepts.

10 Days to Faster Reading: Zip Through Books, Magazines, and Newspapers – Understand and Remember Everything You Read by Abby Marks Beale

Get through your ever-growing pile of must-read books by shedding bad habits that inhibit effective reading and replacing them with highly efficient comprehension techniques that will have you reading faster and retaining more than you ever thought possible.

If you’ve missed any episodes of Simplify, now’s a great time to catch up. And don’t forget to subscribe using your favorite podcatcher, so you can be among the first to know when our next season starts. Thanks for listening!

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