How Will You Measure Your Life?

Okay so this one is a tiny bit self help-y, but really not so much. The author’s (Clayton Christensen of The Innovator’s Dilemma fame) premise is that his class at Harvard Business School had the best of intentions and the future looked bright, but as time went on more and more of them ended up living unhappy lives despite all sorts of professional success. So he applies lessons from his research into businesses to help understand why the best of intentions can lead to failure, and offers guidance about how to structure your activities to get what you want out of life. (View on Amazon)

The Brothers: John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles, and Their Secret World War by Stephen Kinzer

Imagine if you and your brother worked together. Then imagine if you worked together in the government. Keep going – one of you is Secretary of State and the other is Director of the CIA. That’s the Dulles brothers. Together, they overthrew governments, ran secret paramilitary campaigns, and influenced the lives of millions of people around the world – not always for the better. (View on Amazon)

Siddhartha’s Brain: Unlocking the Ancient Science of Enlightenment

This author makes a case for the idea that mindfulness/meditation has tangible benefits, backing it up with studies and wrapping it around the story of Siddhartha and the foundation of Buddhism. The studies are, by the author’s own admission, fairly “early” with small sample sizes and less than ideal control groups in many cases. Despite all of that, there’s something to be said for the early data showing that mindfulness practice helps humans function better in this crazy world. (View on Amazon)