Of the books I’ve read in the last few months, I want to highlight these three for their influence on me personally and on the larger culture. As the holiday season gets underway, I recommend picking these up as gifts for yourself or others who might be interested.
“The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield
This small yet influential book has become a cult classic among creatives. It doesn’t say anything you don’t already know deep down, but it does give you a kick in the pants if you need to get going on projects that deserve your attention. You don’t need to be an artist to appreciate this book: It applies to anyone who seeks to live a purposeful life.
“Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” by Robert Pirsig
Pirsig’s “Inquiry into Values” accumulated enough cultural value itself to become a touchstone for all types of seekers. As Pirsig reveals his turbulent backstory in bits and pieces throughout the book–he suffered from a debilitating depression and was diagnosed as schizophrenic–his message shines through: Technology and the human spirit do not have to be at odds. You can be whole in the modern world.
“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” by Quentin Tarantino
If you’ve seen the excellent movie of the same name, I recommend going the extra mile and reading the book. It’s a fun read, and it’s a perfect example of how to write characters for a movie. Tarantino gives you a masterclass in examining the heart of a character: his/her core motivations, which dictate how he/she behaves in relation to other characters. At the center of the story is an actor struggling through a mid-life crisis. His star is falling, and he’s figuring out how to hold onto the ride.
For more posts on books, click here.
For other holiday gift ideas, check out my Society6 and RedBubble stores.