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Books & Audiobooks

In 2015, I started sharing book recommendations with the Latest in Paleo audience—both books I was currently reading and past favorites. In order to make those recommendations easier to find, I’ve compiled them on this page.

If squeezing reading time into your busy life is as difficult for you as it is for me, you might want to try Audible. They’re an Amazon company, so you probably already have an account! I really enjoy listening to books while I go for walks. You can listen to the books on your computer or on virtually any modern device (like your iOS, Android or Windows phone). An audible subscription is the best deal, if you read at least one book per month.

NOTES

  • Use this link to try Audible free for 30 days. It even includes your first book!
  • I value thought provoking books whether I agree with the authors’ positions or not. Inclusion on this list is not an endorsement of the message.
  • All links on this page will open in a new tab, so you can easily return here.

Overdiagnosed: Making People Sick in the Pursuit of Health

A complex web of factors has created the phenomenon of overdiagnosis: the popular media promotes fear of disease and perpetuates the myth that early, aggressive treatment is always best; in an attempt to avoid lawsuits, doctors have begun to leave no test undone, no abnormality overlooked; and profits are being made from screenings, medical procedures, and pharmaceuticals. Revealing the social, medical, and economic ramifications of a health-care system that overdiagnoses and overtreats patients, Dr. H. Gilbert Welch makes a reasoned call for change that would save us pain, worry, and money.

Audible edition • Print editions: US • CA • UK

The Potato Hack: Weight Loss Simplified

The potato hack was modeled after an 1849 diet plan for people that were becoming fat and “dyspeptic” from living too luxuriously. This potato diet simply called for one to eat nothing but potatoes for a few days at a time, promising that fat men become as “lean as they ought to be.” One hundred and sixty-seven years later, we are fatter and sicker than ever, but the potato diet still works. Potatoes contains natural drug-like agents that affect inflammation, hunger, insulin, sleep, dreams, mood, and body weight.

Print editions: US • CA • UK

A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail

After 20 years in Britain, Bryson returned to the U.S. and decided to reacquaint himself with his native country by walking the 2,100-mile Appalachian Trail, which stretches from Georgia to Maine. This is his humorous, inspiring account.

Audible US • Print editions: US • CA • UK

The Diet Myth: Why the Secret to Health and Weight Loss is Already in Your Gut

What should we eat? It’s a simple and fundamental question that still bewilders us, despite a seemingly infinite amount of available information on which foods are best for our bodies. Scientists, dieticians, and even governments regularly publish research on the dangers of too much fat and sugar, as well as on the benefits of exercise, and yet the global obesity crisis is only worsening. Most diet plans prove to be only short-term solutions, and few strategies work for everyone. Why can one person eat a certain meal and gain weight, while another eating the same meal drops pounds? Part of the truth lies in genetics, but more and more, scientists are finding that the answer isn’t so much what we put into our stomachs, but rather the essential digestive microbes already in them.

Audible US • Print editions: US • CA • UK

Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition

Every apple contains thousands of antioxidants whose names, beyond a few like vitamin C, are unfamiliar to us, and each of these powerful chemicals has the potential to play an important role in supporting our health. They impact thousands upon thousands of metabolic reactions inside the human body. But calculating the specific influence of each of these chemicals isn’t nearly sufficient to explain the effect of the apple as a whole. Because almost every chemical can affect every other chemical, there is an almost infinite number of possible biological consequences – and that’s just from an apple.

Audible US • Print editions: US • CA • UK

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Won’t Stop Talking

At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking, reading to partying; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over brainstorming in teams. Although they are often labeled “quiet,” it is to introverts that we owe many of the great contributions to society–from van Gogh’s sunflowers to the invention of the personal computer.

Audible US • Print editions: US • CA • UK

Nutrition Made Clear

Nutrition is essential to living a healthy, happy, and successful life. Yet a world of misconceptions and promises of easy results too often stands in our way-and can even be harmful to our overall health. The key is to cut through the noise and find the medically backed, statistically proven information about healthy eating and living. These 36 in-depth lectures explore the fundamentals of good nutrition and offer a practical guide for applying these fundamentals to your lifestyle.

Audible US • Print editions: US (Transcripts unavailable in CA, UK)

Blue Mind: The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do

In Blue Mind, Wallace J. Nichols revolutionizes how we think about these questions, revealing the remarkable truth about the benefits of being in, on, under, or simply near water. Combining cutting-edge neuroscience with compelling personal stories from top athletes, leading scientists, military veterans, and gifted artists, he shows how proximity to water can improve performance, increase calm, diminish anxiety, and increase professional success.

Audible US • Print editions: US • CA • UK

A Primate’s Memoir: A Neuroscientist’s Unconventional Life Among the Baboons

“I had never planned to become a savanna baboon when I grew up; instead, I had always assumed I would become a mountain gorilla,” writes Robert Sapolsky in this witty and riveting chronicle of a scientist’s coming-of-age in remote Africa. An exhilarating account of Sapolsky’s twenty-one-year study of a troop of rambunctious baboons in Kenya, A Primate’s Memoir interweaves serious scientific observations with wry commentary about the challenges and pleasures of living in the wilds of the Serengeti-for man and beast alike.

Audible US • Print editions: US • CA • UK

Death by Food Pyramid: How Shoddy Science, Sketchy Politics and Shady Special Interests Have Ruined Our Health

In Death by Food Pyramid, Denise Minger exposes the forces that overrode common sense and solid science to launch a pyramid phenomenon that bled far beyond US borders to taint the eating habits of the entire developed world. Minger explores how generations of flawed pyramids and plates endure as part of the national consciousness, and how the “one size fits all” diet mentality these icons convey pushes us deeper into the throes of obesity and disease.

Audible US • Print editions: US • CA • UK

Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit

Ishmael is an utterly unique and captivating spiritual adventure which redefines what it is to be human. We are introduced to Ishmael, a creature of immense wisdom. He has a story to tell, one that no human being has ever heard before. It is the story of man’s place in the grand scheme, and it begins at the birth of time. This history of the world has never appeared in any schoolbook. “Does the earth belong to man?” Ishmael asks. “Or does man belong to the earth?”

Audible US • Print editions: USCAUK

Natural Born Heroes: How a Daring Band of Misfits Mastered the Lost Secrets of Strength and Endurance

After running an ultramarathon through the Copper Canyons of Mexico, Christopher McDougall finds his next great adventure on the razor-sharp mountains of Crete, where a band of Resistance fighters in World War II plotted the daring abduction of a German general from the heart of the Nazi occupation.

Audible US • Print Editions: USCAUK

Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen

Want to join the “superhumans”? Luckily you don’t have to run to catch up with them, thanks to McDougall’s and Sanders’ inspiring (and motivating) journey through history, science, physiology, health, entertaining characters and unlikely friendships. Full of incredible characters, amazing athletic achievements, cutting-edge science, and, most of all, pure inspiration, Born to Run is an epic adventure.

Audible US • Print Editions: USCAUK

A Short History of Nearly Everything

Bill Bryson has been an enormously popular author both for his travel books and for his books on the English language. Now, this beloved comic genius turns his attention to science. Although he doesn’t know anything about the subject (at first), he is eager to learn, and takes information that he gets from the world’s leading experts and explains it to us in a way that makes it exciting and relevant.

Audible US • Print Editions: USCAUK

Altruism: The Power of Compassion to Change Yourself and the World

In Happiness, Matthieu Ricard demonstrated that true happiness is not tied to fleeting moments or sensations, but is an enduring state of soul rooted in mindfulness and compassion for others. Now he turns his lens from the personal to the global, with a rousing argument that altruism – genuine concern for the well-being of others – could be the saving grace of the 21st century. It is, he believes, the vital thread that can answer the main challenges of our time.

Audible US • Print Editions: USCAUK

1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus

In this riveting, accessible work of science, Charles Mann takes us on an enthralling journey of scientific exploration. We learn that the Indian development of modern corn was one of the most complex feats of genetic engineering ever performed. That the Great Plains are a third smaller today than they were in 1700 because the Indians who maintained them by burning died. And that the Amazon rain forest may be largely a human artifact.

Audible US • Print Editions: USCAUK

The Blue Zones Solution: Eating and Living Like the World’s Healthiest People

For the first time, Buettner reveals how to transform your health using smart eating and lifestyle habits gleaned from new research on the diets, eating habits, and lifestyle practices of the communities he’s identified as “Blue Zones” – those places with the world’s longest-lived and thus healthiest people.

Audible US • Print Editions: USCAUK

The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest

Award-winning author and researcher Dan Buettner has traveled the world to meet the planet’s longest-lived people, and learned nine powerful yet simple lessons that could put you on the path to longer life. Where did he find them? In the Blue Zones.

Audible US • Print Editions: USCAUK

Sapiens: A brief history of humankind

One hundred thousand years ago, at least six human species inhabited the Earth. Today there is just one. Us. Homo sapiens. How did our species succeed in the battle for dominance? Why did our foraging ancestors come together to create cities and kingdoms? How did we come to believe in gods, nations, and human rights; to trust money, books, and laws; and to be enslaved by bureaucracy, timetables, and consumerism?

Audible US • Print Editions: USCAUK