Often, summer is a time when our ordinary day to day schedule changes. You may be traveling to and from a summer program or two, or just seem to have more time on your hands because of the more relaxed schedule at work. May I suggest you use some of this time for reading. There are so many interesting possibilities out there, everything from fictitious “who done it” novels, to bios, cook books, romance novels, science fiction and everything in between. The choices are endless. There are also many great, inspiring and useful “self help” books that you might find interesting; something to stir up your current thought processes and belief systems, something to possibly give you an intellectual and spiritual challenge. I have compiled a short list of some of my favorites that you might find interesting. Learning more about yourself and how you tick is always intriguing. I have also included a really interesting book about understanding Italian Opera text. I was surprised to find that some Italian composers, especially Verdi, often threw in a few Latin words which stumped me as a young singer when translating. Here they are.

Robert Stuart Thomson, Italian for the Opera,
Godwin Books, Vancouver
This book aims to fill the gap for those interested in being able to truly understand the text of the score. It’s about being able to understand operatic Italian well enough to make your way through most librettos, which is no mean achievement. The purpose of this book is to present Metastasio’s Italian – the Italian of the opera.

Alyce P. Cornyn-Selby, Procrastinator’s Success Kit,
Beynch Press
Procrastination does not discriminate and it’s extremely versatile. It affects men and women equally and every race and religion. It is cross cultural. It is also portable, compact, has no moving parts, requires no training, one size seems to fit all and it can be literally hazardous to your health. It’s also creative. So, how would your life be different if you didn’t put things off? Maybe you can get what you want out of life and not procrastinate and maybe not. It’s up to you.

William Murray, Fortissimo, Backstage at the Opera with Sacred Monsters and Young Singers,
Crown Publishers New York
Murray follows 12 young singers in Lyric Opera of Chicago’s training program, the prestigious Opera Center for American Artists, through the 2003-2004 season.

“A book is a garden, an orchard, a storehouse, a party, a company by the way, a counselor, a multitude of counselors.”
~ Henry Ward Beecher

David Allen, Ready for Anything,
Viking Press
Learn how to manage your mind, not your time. This book provides motivational, bite-sized lessons, we learn how to bring the calm focus of the martial artist to the onslaught of choices, decisions and new circumstances we are faced with daily. With wit, inspiration and know-how, this book shows you how to make things happen with less effort, stress and ineffectiveness and lots more energy, creativity and clarity.

Spencer Johnson, M.D., One Minute for Myself,
William Morrow & Company, Inc., New York
Before I can take good care of anything or anyone I must first take good care of myself. A modern fable, written in very simple language, contains important psychological truths which may enhance the lives of many people including your own. Short, powerful read.

Maxims of Giovanni Battista Lamperti – Vocal Wisdom
Ideas about the technique of singing by Master Teacher Lamperti; a book of traditions and precepts that developed the great voices of the Golden Age of Song.

Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist,
Harper, San Francisco
We all have a dream. Most of us don’t even try to follow our dream because we feel life gets in the way. We lack the courage to confront our own dream. We bury our dream so deep that we tend to forget about it and get on with life. This book is a simple yet profound story of a Shepard boy who discovers his dream, believing it to be one thing and through his journey to fulfilling it, uncovers his real purpose in life A quick read, and simple story.

“Books, I found, had the power to make time stand still, retreat or fly into the future. ”
~ Jim Bishop

John Roger & Peter McWilliams, DO IT! Let’s Get Off Our Butts,
Prelude Press, Los Angeles, CA
This is a great book to help you learn how to step outside of your comfort zone with courage. Our comfort zone is that place that we may not like, but it is familiar so we stay there. Any behavior outside of our comfort zone can result in fear, guilt, unworthiness, hurt feelings, anger discouragement, you know: discomfort. As the authors say, the secret lies in the doing.

Rosamund Stone Zander ∓ Benjamin Zander, The Art of Possibility, Transforming Professional and Personal Life,
Harvard Business School Press
An inspiring and uplifting book about the powerful role the notion of possibility can play in every aspect of our lives. The book provides a life-altering approach to fulfilling dreams large and small. It invites us all to become passionate communicators, leaders and performers whose lives radiate possibility into the world.

Dan Millman, The Inner Athlete,
Stillpoint Publishing
Within each of us is a natural athlete, waiting to be born. The Inner Athlete shows anyone how to improve skills, accelerate learning and unleash their potential – not only in sports but in daily life – transforming training into a path of personal growth and discovery.

“To read without reflecting is like eating without digesting.”
~ Edmund Burke

A.C. Ping, Be and Do,
Marlow & Company
Two great short but powerful and thought provoking books. These two short books ask the provocative questions, “Who are you?” and “What do you really want?” Well worth reading.

Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth, Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose,
A Plume Book
The author of “The Power of Now”: both life altering books. He explains how attachment to the ego, which is filled with emotional pitfalls, creates the dysfunction that leads to anger, jealousy, and unhappiness. He shows you how to awaken to a new state of consciousness and follow the path to a truly fulfilling existence.

David Dervan-Schreiber, M.D., Ph.D., The Instinct to Heal, Curing Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Without Drugs and Without Talk Therapy,
Rodale
After millions of years of evolution, our emotional brain is wired to crave four aspects of life: a sense of connection to our body and inner states; intimacy with a few select human beings; a solid role in our community; and a sense of connection with the mystery of life. Estranged from these, we search in vain for a purpose outside of ourselves, in a world in which we have become.a stranger. By cultivating each one of these crucial, elemental aspects of our own humanity we can finally release the force that we were all born with: our instinct to heal.

Mike George, Discover Inner Peace, A guide to spiritual well-being,
Chronicles Books
This book will help restore your spirit and open your mind and soul to the beauty of the world inside and around you. I use it every morning for centering myself for the day.

John C. Maxwell, The Difference Maker, making your attitude your greatest asset,
Nelson Business
This book shatters common myths about attitude – what it can do for you and what it can’t. You’ll learn not only how to develop an attitude that will have a tremendous impact on career, family, and daily living, but also how to maintain that attitude for the rest of your life.

“As Oprah says, “If you don’t know who you are on the inside at the core, it’s almost impossible to succeed!””

Good reading. I would love to hear what books inspired and help provoke new ideas for you. Have a wonderful summer and we’ll talk again in August.


Discuss this topic in The Forums »