Updated: Dec 16, 2019
Hello girls! Can you believe that we are down to the last few weeks of the decade?
2019 has flown by so quickly, and I can't believe we are closing the decade and starting a brand new one in a couple of weeks. How has the year/decade been for you?
It has been one of transformation & growth for me, both professionally & personally.
This holiday season, while I am not busy packing your orders, I have been spending quite a fair bit of time for self study and reflection. By self study, I have been indulging in a couple of books this winter- and I thought what better way to close the end of a decade with a blog post of my all-time favourite (& game-changing) books, listed in particular order from recent right up to the past 10 years. And of course, with suggested tea blend pairings.
Put on the kettle on ladies, grab some cookies and let’s deep dive into the booklist:
1. Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson
A beautiful , insightful biography by Walter Isaacson. I found such a quiet joy, contemplating the astonishing notebooks and discoveries into the life & everyday inspirations of Leonardo. My favourites are from his to do list (dating back from 1490s Milan) : "The measurement of Milan and its suburbs", "Draw Milan". "...ask Benedetto Protinari by what means they walk on ice in Flanders". "Observe the goose's foot: it if were always open or always closed...". "Describe the tongue of the woodpecker...".
"Go every Saturday to the hot bath where you will see naked men".
Leonardo's final line in the notebook - of him putting down his pen, because ..."the soup is getting cold", serves as an important reminder - impermanence of life & the beauty of life's fleetingness.
This is an account that has inspired me to be a lot more contemplative in my surroundings and to notice the finer details. & more importantly, to enjoy the quiet ordinariness of everyday life.
Pair with earl grey lavender: one teaspoon earl grey and 1/4 teaspoon lavender. Make it strong.
My favourites are from his to do list (dating back from 1490s Milan) : ... "Observe the goose's foot: it if were always open or always closed...", and the best gem of all "Describe the tongue of the woodpecker..."
2. Your Erroneous Zones by Wayne Deyer
I guess I am guilty of constantly feeling guilty: of not doing enough, not giving enough etc. This book has been enlightening to know that it’s a common affliction and one that can healed with just a change of perspective.
Go easy and gentle on yourself while studying this. Pair with Radiance and a pinch of dried edible rose blend.
3. 10% Happier by Dan Harris
An inspirational memoir - a lighthearted read, an exploration into the world of meditation. I had read this sometime last year (or the year before?) but I felt like revisiting it this year and so I did.
I found this particularly enjoyable and fun to read at night. I would also gift this book to friends who are just about beginning to dip their toes into meditation.
Pair with Golden Radiance milk ( the perfect nightcap in my honest opinion) : One teaspoon Radiance blend and 1/2 teaspoon turmeric. Top with alternative milk (I like almond /oat) .
4. Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford
Oh, I could get lost in this book. The history of how one extraordinary man created an empire that led us into the modern age.
Pair with hot Chaga chocolate. One tablespoon cocoa powder and one teaspoon Chaga, with alternative milk of choice.
“If you can't swallow your pride, you can't lead. Even the highest mountain had animals that step on it.” ― Jack Weatherford, Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World
5.The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer
A gift from a dear friend (hey Sam, if you are reading this - I LOVE YOU!)
I seem to say this quite a fair bit for a couple of books but heck, I‘ll say it again: this is one of my personal favourites. What would it be like to free yourself from limiting beliefs, worries & expectations & live with freedom?
Pair with chai Radiance: mix: One teaspoon black tea, a pinch of cinnamon, one pod cardamom, pinch of black pepper & 3/4 teaspoon Radiance. Plus add maple syrup to taste, top up with alternative milk of choice ( I particularly prefer almond milk for a blend like this).
“Only you can take inner freedom away from yourself, or give it to yourself. Nobody else can.” ― Michael A. Singer, The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself
6. The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
The book that inspired me to spend almost the bulk of the past decade exploring what it means to be happy, and what happiness is to me. Truly, I would recommend this.
Pair with Golden Calendula latte: A teaspoon/pinch of calendula petals, a teaspoon or pinch of turmeric & top with alternative milk of choice.
“Happiness is really rooted in simplicity. The tendency to excessiveness in thought and action diminishes happiness.” ― Brian L. Weiss Many Lives Many Masters
7. Many Lives, Many Masters by Dr Brian L. Weiss
My all time favourite author - a true story of a prominent psychiatrist, his patient and their journey into past-life therapy. This book has been a huge inspiration and continues to play a huge impact on me & my life decisions.
Pair with Radiance Latte: One teaspoon Radiance, a shot of coffee, topped almond/rice/soy milk and peppered with cinnamon.
8. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Interestingly, this was a book introduced to me by an ex boyfriend many years ago. Though we have parted, this book has became and still is, one of my favourite literature : in the pursuit of your dreams. I would forever be happily lost in Paulo's work.
Pair with Hibiscus and rose hips : One teaspoon Hibiscus and a pinch of rose hips. Ahh, beautiful loving blend for an equally beautifully written book.
“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” ― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
9. Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
I stumbled upon this book one rainy sunday afternoon, in my first couple of months after having moved to HK. It may interest you to know that it was this book that propelled my desire to reactivate my inner creative & 'get my hands into the clay'. It was the book that planted the seeds for which has manifested into Zippysparkles today.
Pair with jasmine tea, add a touch of dried edible rose flowers : get ready to be inspired.
“A creative life is an amplified life. It’s a bigger life, a happier life, an expanded life, and a hell of a lot more interesting life. Living in this manner—continually and stubbornly bringing forth the jewels that are hidden within you—is a fine art, in and of itself.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear
10. Timeless Secrets of Health & Rejuvenation by Andreas Moritz
Timeless, ancient secrets to unlocking health, and living freedom physically. If I had to name a book that has been a mega game-changer (for me in the past 10 years up to present) - this would be it.
Pair with your favourite tea base (I like green or black tea) & rose petals.
“I don’t live in either my past or my future. I’m interested only in the present. If you can concentrate always on the present, you’ll be a happy man. Life will be a party for you, a grand festival, because life is the moment we’re living now.” ― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
What’s on your read list this Dec and what would you be pairing it with ?
Do share with us what you are reading (& sipping on) this holiday, I’d love to share it with the ZS communitea.
Here's to living beautifully.
Sending my love (& mega pots of herbal tea!) to all of you this holiday