Chip Conley's favorite books

  • Setting the Table

    Setting the Table

    Danny Meyer
    The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business
    Business & Economics

    In October 1985, at age twenty-seven, Danny Meyer, with a good idea and scant experience, opened what would become one of New York City's most revered restaurants—Union Square Cafe. Little more than twenty years later, Danny is the CEO of one of the world's most dynamic restaurant organizations, which includes eleven unique dining establishments, each at the top of its game. How has he done it? How has he consistently beaten the odds and set the competitive bar in one of the toughest trades around? In this landmark book, Danny shares the lessons he's learned while developing the winning recipe for doing the business he calls "enlightened hospitality." This innovative philosophy emphasizes putting the power of hospitality to work in a new and counterintuitive way: The first and most important application of hospitality is to the people who work for you, and then, in descending order of priority, to the guests, the community, the suppliers, and the investors. This way of prioritizing stands the more traditional business models on their heads, but Danny considers it the foundation of every success that he and his restaurants have achieved. Some of Danny's other insights: Hospitality is present when something happens for you. It is absent when something happens to you. These two simple concepts—for and to—express it all. Context, context, context, trumps the outdated location, location, location. Shared ownership develops when guests talk about a restaurant as if it's theirs. That sense of affiliation builds trust and invariably leads to repeat business. Err on the side of generosity: You get more by first giving more. Wherever your center lies, know it, name it, believe in it. When you cede your core values to someone else, it's time to quit. Full of behind-the-scenes history on the creation of Danny's most famous restaurants and the anecdotes, advice, and lessons he has accumulated on his long and ecstatic journey to the top of the American restaurant scene, Setting the Table is a treasure trove of innovative insights that are applicable to any business or organization.

    Buy on Amazon

    one of the best books on hospitality ever written

     — Source

  • Awake in the Wild

    Awake in the Wild

    Mark Coleman
    Mindfulness in Nature as a Path of Self-Discovery
    Religion

    “Nature deficit disorder” has become an increasingly challenging problem in our hypermodern world. In Awake in the Wild, Mark Coleman shows seekers how to remedy this widespread malady by reconnecting with nature through Buddhism. Each short (two to three pages) chapter includes a concrete nature meditation relating to such topics as Attuning to the Natural World, Reflecting the Rhythms of Nature, Walking with Compassion, Releasing the Inner Noise, Freeing the Animal Within, Coming into the Peace of Wild Things, Weathering the Storms of Life, and more. Incorporating anecdotes from the author’s many nature retreats, Buddhist wisdom and teachings, important nature writings by others, and nature itself, the book invites readers to participate in, not just observe, nature; develop a loving connection with the earth as a form of environmental activism; decrease urban alienation through experiencing nature; embody nature’s peaceful presence; and connect with ancient spiritual wisdom through nature meditations.

    Buy on Amazon

    beautiful book

     — Source

  • The Happiness Curve

    The Happiness Curve

    Jonathan Rauch
    Why Life Gets Better After 50
    Self-Help

    "In this warm, wise, and witty overview, Jonathan Rauch combines evidence and experience to show his fellow adults that the best is yet to come.” —Steven Pinker, bestselling author of Enlightenment Now This book will change your life by showing you how life changes. Why does happiness get harder in your 40s? Why do you feel in a slump when you’re successful? Where does this malaise come from? And, most importantly, will it ever end? Drawing on cutting-edge research, award-winning journalist Jonathan Rauch answers all these questions. He shows that from our 20s into our 40s, happiness follows a U-shaped trajectory, a “happiness curve,” declining from the optimism of youth into what’s often a long, low slump in middle age, before starting to rise again in our 50s. This isn’t a midlife crisis, though. Rauch reveals that this slump is instead a natural stage of life—and an essential one. By shifting priorities away from competition and toward compassion, it equips you with new tools for wisdom and gratitude to win the third period of life. And Rauch can testify to this personally because it was his own slump, despite acclaim as a journalist and commentator that compelled him to investigate the happiness curve. His own story and the stories of many others from all walks of life—from a steelworker and a limo driver to a telecoms executive and a philanthropist—show how the ordeal of midlife malaise reboots our values and even our brains for a rebirth of gratitude. Full of insights and data and featuring many ways to endure the slump and avoid its perils and traps, The Happiness Curve doesn’t just show you the dark forest of midlife, it helps you find a path through the trees. It also demonstrates how we can—and why we must—do more to help each other through the woods. Midlife is a journey we mustn’t walk alone.

    Buy on Amazon

    it\'s become a favorite

     — Source

  • The 100-Year Life

    It\'s a really interesting, observational book

     — Source

  • Man's Search for Meaning

    Man's Search for Meaning

    Viktor E Frankl
    Existential psychotherapy

    A prominent Viennese psychiatrist before the war, Viktor Frankl was uniquely able to observe the way that he and other inmates coped with the experience of being in Auschwitz. He noticed that it was the men who comforted others and who gave away their last piece of bread who survived the longest - and who offered proof that everything can be taken away from us except the ability to choose our attitude in any given set of circumstances. The sort of person the prisoner became was the result of an inner decision and not of camp influences alone. Only those who allowed their inner hold on their moral and spiritual selves to subside eventually fell victim to the camp's degenerating influence - while those who made a victory of those experiences turned them into an inner triumph. Frankl came to believe that man's deepest desire is to search for meaning and purpose. This outstanding work offers us all a way to transcend suffering and find significance in the art of living.

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    Recommended on the Tim Ferriss Show

     — Source

  • Meditations

    Meditations

    Marcus Aurelius
    (Marcus Aurelius Antonius the Roman Emperor)

    Marcus Aurelius, emperor of Rome, may be the closest mankind has ever come to producing the philosopher king that Plato envisioned in The Republic. A reluctant ruler and a reluctant warrior, much of his reign was spent in battle, defending the frontiers of the empire from the "barbarian" hordes. Fortunately for us, he carried a notebook along on his military campaigns, and thus we have the Meditations. Marcus's writings reveal him to be the last and greatest of the classical Stoics. Stoicism is a school of thought that asserts we have no control over our lives, only control over our perceptions. It advocates that the best life is the life that is lived in accordance with nature (not "nature" as in grass and trees, but "nature" as in the order of the universe). By concentrating one's thoughts and choices on what is good and virtuous, and disregarding the unimportant distractions of everyday life (even life and death are said to be neither good nor bad, but "indifferent"), we can avoid negative emotions like fear, anger, grief, and frustration, and live a life of happiness and tranquility. That's an oversimplification, of course. If you really want to know what Stoicism is and how it works read Epictetus or Seneca. What Marcus provides us with are the reflections of a man who studied and lived the Stoic life, and was its ultimate exemplar. Even if you don't buy into Stoicism, or have no interest in Philosophy with a capital P, you can still find inspiration and solace in the Meditations, as Marcus instructs us in dealing justly with others, overcoming emotional hardship, living life to the fullest by overcoming the fear of death, and resigning oneself to the insignificance of man in the universe. The Meditations are divided into twelve books. Each book contains anywhere from 16 to 75 numbered paragraphs, ranging in length from a sentence to a page. The paragraphs are arranged without regard to sequence or subject matter. This haphazard method of compilation is really the book's only flaw. What the Meditations has always needed is a good index, but I've never found a volume that has one. It is a pleasure to publish this new, high quality, and affordable edition of this timeless book.

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    I have given that away to a number of people

     — Source

  • On the Shortness of Life

    On the Shortness of Life

    Charles Desmond Nuttall Costa,Lucius Annaeus Seneca
    Health & Fitness
    Philosophy

    Throughout history, some books have changed the world. They have transformed the way we see ourselves--and each other. They have inspired debate, dissent, war and revolution. They have enlightened, outraged, provoked and comforted. They have enriched lives--and destroyed them. Now, Penguin brings you the works of the great thinkers, pioneers, radicals and visionaries whose ideas shook civilization, and helped make us who we are. Penguin's Great Ideas series features twelve groundbreaking works by some of history's most prodigious thinkers, and each volume is beautifully packaged with a unique type-drive design that highlights the bookmaker's art. Offering great literature in great packages at great prices, this series is ideal for those readers who want to explore and savor the Great Ideas that have shaped the world. The Stoic writings of the philosopher Seneca offer powerful insights into the art of living, the importance of reason and morality, and continue to provide profound guidance to many through their eloquence, lucidity and timeless wisdom.

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    Recommended on the Tim Ferriss Show

     — Source

  • Search Inside Yourself

    Recommended on the Tim Ferriss Show

     — Source