In this area of the website, you can read about books that I consider worthy of notice.

Together The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World.

In times of division when societal healing is needed, a truly inspiring and personal contribution by Vivek H. Murphy, 19th Surgeon General of the United States, is highly recommended: Together The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World. Published in Dutch as De kracht van verbindingVivek Murphy, an American physician of Indian descent, combines the personal and the societal in his strong plea for connection.

The Choice

Holocaust survivor Dr. Edith Eger wrote a deeply moving book about her life, including the horrors she lived in Auschwitz, and how she recovered: The Choicepublished under the evocative title A Bailarina de Auschwitz in Portuguese and in many other languages. You can watch an inspiring interview with dr. Edith Eva Eger by Jakob van Wielink, former UvA colleague, now grief counsellor and expert on mourning, that I have been fortunate to attend live on 3 May 2019 in Zeist (The Netherlands).

The Changing Mind

For inspiring reading about the senior brain and how to ‘age well’, I recommend The Changing Mind: A Neuroscientist’s Guide to Ageing Well by neuroscientist author and musician Daniel Levithin. His book is full of insights and a useful guide to live better longer.

When animals speak: Toward an interspecies democracy

On the underestimation of ‘agency’ on the part of non-human sentient beings, a.k.a. animals, I recommend When animals speak: Toward an interspecies democracy by Eva Meijer.

Room to read

In Leaving Microsoft to Change the World (2006) John Wood describes how a visit to an almost empty school library in Nepal, made during a holiday break in his hectic work making a career at Microsoft, inspired him to organise a ‘book drive’, an effort to collect English-language books to fill the school library. The success of this effort, and the immensity of the problem of lack of education and access to libraries led John to continue with a campaign that now includes the building of schools and libraries, the business of publishing local language books for children, and girls’ education programmes across ten countries in Asia and sub-Sahara Africa. John wanted other children to have the same exposure to books as he had during his childhood, experiencing the wealth of a local library he could easily access. In Creating Room to Read (2013), John’s third book (he also is the author of a children’s book Zak the Yak with Books on His Back), he describes the development of the organisation Room to Read. This not-for-profit organisation is run like a business, with the initiator’s experience in Microsoft coming up in many pages of the book as determining the way the ‘charity’ (a word John Wood avoids) is organised. Both books make very inspired reading. The author is true to his word: inviting readers – on page 83 of Creating Room to Read – to address him at, I sent him an enthusiastic email when reading that passage in Lisbon, to which he immediately replied from Tokyo. Anyone who wishes to contribute to diminishing illiteracy and fostering opportunities that education can bring to children that are, should considering contributing spending time and/or money on Room to Read.

The Penguin and the Leviathan

Author: Yochai Benkler

ISBN: 978-0307595591

A refreshing look at the nature of human beings and our capacity for cooperation and altruism is Yochai Benkler’s book The Penguin and the Leviathan. Read more

Yochai Benkler on How Cooperation Triumphs over Self-Interest (Youtube)

Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life

Author: Karen Armstrong

ISBN: 978-0307595591

See, also, the website of the Charter for Compassion

Little Princes

Author: Conor Grennan

International edition available here. Dutch edition: Een Nieuwe Toekomst | Conor Grennan De Zoektocht Van Een Jonge Man Naar De Ontvoerde Kinderen Van Nepal

The Great Partnership

God, Science And The Search For Meaning.

Author: Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

Three Cups of Tea

One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time. See the wiki here.