At Ness Labs, we believe in the power of ideas and the profound impact of continuously feeding our minds with thoughtful content. Each month, we meticulously curate a selection of books that truly stand out in an ocean of books that can be overwhelming. This series aims to highlight the work that can serve as a compass to navigate life and work, so we can collectively learn, evolve, and thrive. This is your guide to discovering the most insightful, inspiring, and transformative books on mindful productivity, creative growth, holistic ambition, and developing a healthier relationship with work.
The World Behind the World
Dr. Erik Hoel offers a captivating exploration of the frontier of consciousness science. The World Behind the World deftly unpacks the historical dichotomy between extrinsic perspectives based on the principles of physics and mechanisms and intrinsic perspectives which revolve around feelings, ideas, and thoughts. In his book, Dr. Hoel chronicles the quest to reconcile these perspectives under the banner of consciousness science, where metaphysical concepts clash and often yield paradoxical outcomes. The book delves into fascinating topics such as physics and morality, the unexpected similarities between black holes and our brains, and AI consciousness. It’s an invitation to ponder the profound questions that emerge from the study of consciousness, including the implications for brain death, free will, and mathematics. This book is a must-read for anyone intrigued by what we can learn at the intersection of consciousness, neuroscience, and technology and the transformative impact of this field on the fabric of our society.
The PARA Method
Tiago Forte’s practical guide delves into the intricacies of managing the influx of information that defines modern life. Building upon the foundations of his best-selling book Building a Second Brain, Forte offers readers a pragmatic, four-step system to efficiently categorize and manage information, fostering productivity and helping individuals achieve their goals. With a straightforward approach to sorting the barrage of information in our lives, Forte introduces four categories: Projects, Areas, Resources, and Archives. Projects are short-term tasks with specific goals, such as completing a website; Areas refer to broader, ongoing areas of responsibility like health or finances; Resources include various content to support projects and areas; and Archives store inactive information for future reference. This system can be effortlessly implemented in mere seconds, but its impact on one’s work and life is immeasurable. By unlocking the power of digital organization, The PARA Method will help you transform information overload into creative possibility. Whether you are struggling to stay organized or looking to enhance your focus, this book will be a valuable companion in your journey toward a more organized digital life.
Excellent Advice for Living
This little book by Kevin Kelly is a treasure trove of wisdom garnered over a lifetime of experiences. Born from the desire to pass down knowledge to his children, the co-founder of Wired has crafted a compelling collection of insights that span a wide array of life’s facets. Excellent Advice for Living encompasses themes ranging from setting audacious goals to practicing generosity and fostering compassion, with advice on topics as varied as careers, relationships, parenting, finances, and even practical travel and troubleshooting tips. While the book is primarily intended for younger audiences, its universal truths will resonate with readers of all ages. The words shine with the authenticity of a well-lived life. As Seth Godin remarks, part of the book’s uniqueness lies in its nonlinear approach, which is “part of its magic.” With a timeless quality that sets it apart from the ephemeral, Kelly has distilled the essence of a life lived with curiosity, creativity, and generosity into a book that will serve as a trusted companion for readers seeking to traverse life with grace. This book is to be savored, revisited and shared with others — a testament to the profound impact of a well-lived life.
Johann Hari provides an eye-opening exploration of our declining ability to pay attention in the modern world. The bestselling author of Chasing the Scream and Lost Connections delves into the reasons behind this alarming trend and offers practical solutions for reclaiming our attention. In Stolen Focus, Hari shares his struggle with maintaining focus in a world filled with devices and distractions. Driven to uncover the true causes of our attention deficit, he embarked on a journey to interview leading experts on human attention. Through this work, he identified twelve deep-rooted causes of this crisis, ranging from the decline of mind-wandering to the rise of pollution, and provides actionable steps for individuals and society to reclaim their attention. Stolen Focus is a timely and vital book that challenges our understanding of attention and provides a roadmap for navigating an increasingly distracted world. This book not only sheds light on the causes of our attention crisis but also offers evidence-based solutions to regain control of our focus. In short, a book that’s worth our attention!
Thinking in Pictures
Michael Blastland offers a refreshingly candid take on smart thinking in an age where words often fall short. Rather than focusing solely on written explanations, Blastland uses an extensive range of illustrations to help bring ideas to life, providing a more vivid way to explore complex concepts. Deep and broad, insightful and wise, the book is equal parts guide and gallery. Blastland takes readers on a journey beyond the limitations of typical smart-thinking books, encouraging them to explore multiple perspectives, embrace uncertainty, and accept that there might not always be a clear answer. Thinking in Pictures is a breath of fresh air, a welcome departure from the conventional approach to problem-solving and decision-making, advocating for a more comprehensive and humble perspective on the world. This is a must-read for anyone seeking a more nuanced and thoughtful approach to understanding the world — a testament to the power of visual thinking and a celebration of the richness and complexity of the human experience.
Do you have any books to recommend for the Ness Labs Best Books series? Please let us know via the contact form. We welcome self-recommendations.