On the Road by Jack Kerouac
The greatest single inspiration for this road trip. Its approach to the world is a rapturous embrace of all its possibilities. Kerouac is energetic, restless, and eager to experience random encounters and the Next Big Thing. Required reading for a self-proclaimed adventurer.
The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are by Alan W. Watts
Exquisitely explains the fundamental truth that few realize and understand, especially in our present culture. It reveals “the lowdown on this astounding scheme of things”: that we are not separate ego entities encased in bags of skin. We are expressions of the Universe itself, one and the same. Metaphors abound to help explain this complex yet simple idea. Be prepared to reread, take notes, and copy quotes. Profoundly subversive and definitely worldview-altering.
Crossing Open Ground by Barry Lopez
A collection of essays on nature and relationships. I especially recommend “Landscape and Narrative,” “The Lives of Seals,” and “Grown Men.”
Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
Essential reading for American citizens. Not only will you learn the history of how our nation was founded, but Hamilton’s life story is riveting and truly inspiring. Also essential listening/watching is the musical that was inspired by this biography, Hamilton, which contains such an incredible range of the human experience, from conquering adversity in early childhood to working furiously to love and marriage to wars to death of a child to rap battles over government policies to infidelity to legacies. The music will hook you and reel you in, so embody your inner fish and hang on.