On My Shelf – Book & Podcast Recommendations

June 28, 2017

Photo by Noel Alva on the road to San Salvador

Hey guys, so I’m a huge nerd at heart. Book and podcasts, as you may have noticed, are kind of my jam. A lot of you have asked for recommendations so I started this list while I was on the plane to at least get some to start sharing. I’m going to keep adding to it maybe once a month or so and also flush out the book list. (Podcasts are easy to look up the titles since they’re on my phone, but I borrow all my books from the library so I sometimes have a hard time remembering which ones were good!) I’m also somewhat new to the podcast world and I’m always looking for channels/episodes you enjoyed. I would say I most enjoy humanitarian issue/political science breakdowns, time management tips, and self-discovery types of topics. Basically anything that helps me live a more informed and beautiful life. I put * next to the ones I really, really like.

The Ezra Klein Show

Cal Newport on doing Deep Work and escaping social media*

Yuval Harari, author of “Sapiens” on AI, religion, and 60-day meditation retreats

David Miliband explains the global refugee crisis*

Dana Boyd on why fake news is so easy to believe*

The Kyle Thiermann Show

The Business of Big Business – Lawrence Koh

TED Talks – Inspiring

Why our screens make us less happy | Adam Alter

Don’t feel sorry for refugees, believe in them | Luma Mufleh (just listened to this one, SO GOOD)*

Don’t everyone deserve a chance at a good life? | Jim Yong Kim*

Everyone around you has a story the world needs to hear | Dave Isay*

Never, ever give up | Diana Nyad

Know your worth, and then ask for it | Casey Brown

How to get better at the things you care about | Eduardo Briceno

My year of saying yes to everything | Shonda Rhimes*

Why some of us don’t have one true calling | Emilie Wapnick*

How to find work you love | Scott Dinsmore

What makes us feel good about our work? | Dan Ariely

The joy of surfing in ice cold water | Chris Burkard

How boredom can lead to your most brilliant ideas | Mannish Zomorodi

TED Talks – Interesting

12 Truths I learned from life and writing | Anne Lamott

How to Design a library that makes kids want to read | Michael Beirut

A Doctor’s case for medical marijuana | David Casarett

How do you build a sacred space | Siamak Hariri

3 ways to plan for the (very) long term | Ari Wallach

To raise brave girls, encourage adventure | Caroline Paul

A Scientific approach to the paranormal | Carrie Poppy

What I learned from 2,000 obituaries | Lux Narayan

Our story of rape and reconciliation | Thordis Elva and Tom Stranger

My son was a Columbine shooter. This is my story | Sue Klebold 

How to build a business that lasts 100 years | Martin Reeves

The surprising thing I learned sailing solo around the world | Dame Ellen MacArthur

The link between unemployment and terrorism | Mohamed Ali

How I Built This (entrepreneurship)

TOMS: Blake Mycoskie

Patagonia: Yvon Chouinard*

The RobCast

Davin Youngs wants to Find Your Voice

Magic Lessons with Elizabeth Gilbert

Ep 209 Show up before you’re ready featuring Glennon Doyle Melton* (this one is really, really special to me). I heard it while on a retreat in Iceland with Kym Pham and it was exactly what I needed to hear in that precise moment. It’s about being honest, both with yourself and with the world. I almost didn’t include this one because it felt too personal to be on a general list, so do me a favor – if you listen to it give yourself some time and make sure you’re in the right headspace 🙂 It’s awesome and I hope it helps you too. Disclaimer: I actually don’t like most of Elizabeth Gilbert’s other podcast episodes, go figure.

Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations

Gretchen Rubin: 8 Rules to Happiness*


The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah (WWII fiction)

The Celestine Prophecy – huge thank you to Travis Burke for introducing me to this book. It reminds me of The Alchemist, but had more of an impact on me

All the Light We Cannot See – the most lyrical novel I read last year

The Alchemist – no words necessary for this one

Sex Lives of Cannibals – hilarious and totally not what you think it’s about

Boys in the Boat – historical fiction and the most beautiful story of perseverance

Pillars of the Earth

30 Life Lessons for Living Well

The Four Agreements

Scar Tissue: Biography of Anthony Kiedis – not too into biographies but this one was fascinating. I also love The Red Hot Chili Peppers music

Brain on Fire

The Book Thief

A Piece of The World

For more of my favorite books, I created an entire list on my Amazon Storefront of ones I love.

comments +

  1. Nesma Bensalem says:

    Thank you Chelsea for your inspiration and this wonderful list.

    Social media can make us feel all types of way – inadequate at times, not enough, behind… but it can also inspire us, introduce us to like minded souls, and keep our heart beats growling.

    Hope to cross paths one day x so much to share and experience x

    All the best luck and magic in your continuing adventures!

    Your friend you do not know yet, 😉
    Nesma (@nesma_b)

    Ps: the Celestine prophecy also made a profound impact on me when it was given to me at 16 🙂 so much insights for a new way of living in this book indeed 🙂 x

  2. renee farris says:

    Awesome list! Thanks for sharing! Can’t wait to check these out. You might also enjoy the podcasts Hidden Brain (NPR), Your Undivided Attention by Tristan Harris, and IRL (Online Life is Real Life) esp the episode on the carbon footprint of the internet.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *