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Sam Baker - Bookseller in Manchester

Although I read fiction from time to time and I especially love science fiction, I am primarily a non fiction guy. My interest and reading in non fiction spans many sections within the Northshire Bookstore including: MBS (mind-body spirit), History, Management-Finance-Economics, Political Science, Current Issues, Science, Nature Literature and Art. Subsections that interest me within those sections include philosophy, religion, spirituality, self help, creative studies, psychology (all in MBS), world history, ancient history, complexity science and chaos theory (Physics), education (Current Issues), China (Current Issues) and futurist studies (Physics). Having said that, my favorite books and authors are usually interdisciplinary and thus tend to defy category. For example some of my favorite books at Northshire include the Tao of Physics by Frijof Capra (in Physics), On Trials by Robert Moor (in Nature Lit), anything by Nassim Taleb (Anti-Fragile and Skin in the Game -- both in Philosophy), The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt (CI) and Out of Your Mind by Alan Watts (Philosophy).

 

The best thing for being sad," replied Merlyn, beginning to puff and blow, "is to learn something. That is the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake in the middle of the night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world around you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting."
T.H. White (from the Once and Future King)

Skin in the Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life by Nassim Nicholas Taleb - Book Review

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Skin in the Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780425284629
Availability: Click Title for IN STOCK Location
Published: Random House - February 27th, 2018

Reading Taleb is often disorienting as he challenges core beliefs underpinning modern Western culture. It can also be frustrating as he jumps around from one idea to the next, causing the equivalent of intellectual whiplash. Skin in the Game is no exception. But, ultimately, the extra effort and commitment required to read the book – like taking a cold shower – is bracing and thus eminently worthwhile. Dare to read this book. ~ Reviewed by Sam Baker


Resilience: Hard-Won Wisdom for Living a Better Life by Eric Greitens - Book Review

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Resilience: Hard-Won Wisdom for Living a Better Life Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780544705265
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Mariner Books - May 3rd, 2016

Greitens distinguishes himself as an author in a crowded genre: ex-military authors who promise to distill the lessons of war into usable wisdom for living a full and meaningful life. The key to Greiten's unique contribution is his wonderful integration of ancient wisdom, especially of classical Greek philosophy and literature into a current message about thriving in a world of constant challenges and change. I loved this book.

Recommended book pairing:
Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow by Elizabeth Lesser ~ Reviewed by Sam Baker


The Tao of Physics: An Exploration of the Parallels Between Modern Physics and Eastern Mysticism by Fritjof Capra - Book Review

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The Tao of Physics: An Exploration of the Parallels between Modern Physics and Eastern Mysticism Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9781590308356
Availability: Click Title for IN STOCK Location
Published: Shambhala - September 14th, 2010

Do you agree with the conventional wisdom that religion (or spiritual practice) and science are fundamentally opposed perspectives, never to be reconciled? Frijof Capra challenges this modern notion in this wonderfully readable and fascinating book, and in so doing offers a new and urgently needed perspective capable of building bridges of understanding in an increasingly polarized culture.

Recommended Book Pairing:
The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality by the Dalai Lama ~ Reviewed by Sam Baker


The Strange Order of Things: Life, Feeling, and the Making of Cultures by Antonio Damasio - Book Review

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The Strange Order of Things: Life, Feeling, and the Making of Cultures Cover Image
$28.95
ISBN: 9780307908759
Availability: Click Title for IN STOCK Location
Published: Pantheon - February 6th, 2018

In this important book that synthesizes a lifetime project aimed at challenging conventional wisdom in consciousness studies, Damasio helps us reconcile two of the great conundrums in Western thought: 1. how we can understand human culture and mind as simultaneously unique yet ordinary in the grand scheme of evolution. and 2. how we can understand body and mind as fundamentally complimentary rather than dualistic.

Recommended book pairing:
The Enigma of Reason by Hugo Mercier and Dan Sperber
~ Reviewed by Sam Baker


The Second Book of the Tao by Stephen Mitchell - Book Review

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The Second Book of the Tao Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780143116707
Availability: Click Title for IN STOCK Location
Published: Penguin Books - January 5th, 2010

Stephen Mitchell breathes new life into the profound wisdom of the Tao Te Ching by fashioning a "sequel" the author has amalgamated by choosing selected writings of two famous students of the original Tao teachings. After each brief passage Mitchell translated from original source material, he adds a wonderful poetic commentary resulting in an added layer of meaning and wisdom. If you like the Tao Te Ching, do yourself a favor and buy this book!

Recommended book pairings:
Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu translated by Stephen Mitchell
Bhagava Gita translated by Stephen Mitchell
~ Reviewed by Sam Baker


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Northshire Manchester Store

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