A Year in Review: Wayne Dodge’s Best-loved Books of 2019

With topics ranging from consciousness to forgiveness to so-called imaginary illnesses, we think you’ll find inspiration for your next read within…

Dr Wayne Dodge MD, MPH, DipC has been part of The Haven community since 1981. In addition to being a distinguished medical doctor in The United States, and a longtime Haven Faculty member, Wayne is an avid reader and lifelong learner. We asked Wayne to reflect on his past year of reading and pass along his favourite titles to share with you! Whether you’ve set goals to turn more pages in 2020 or you’re looking for Haven-informed recommendations to continue your learning, we hope you enjoy this list, complete with commentary from Wayne.

Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari 

Homo Deus is about the future of humans as a species; it asks poignant questions about the future of humans such as, “Where do we go from here?” and “How do we protect our fragile world from human destruction?”. If you enjoy reading books that speculate about society and the future of mankind, this one is definitely for you.  Homo Deus has an excellent 4.2 star rating on Goodreads and nearly 100,000 reviews and is available for purchase on Amazon.  

Wayne Dodge Haven Faculty“If you like BIG thinking about BIG questions – Harari is the writer for you.” – Wayne

When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing by Daniel H. Pink 

This book is all about time, timing, and what it means for us as humans. In When, Pink explores the best ways to use time in our daily lives to improve our quality of life. Timing is quite often considered an art, but Pink argues that timing is in fact a science. Readers have lots of good things to say about this book and it’s available to purchase in many different formats on Amazon. Check out Wayne’s thoughts below on how timing relates directly to our Haven Programming! 

Wayne Dodge Haven Faculty“In and among Pink’s many ‘time hacks’ is confirmation of the wisdom of Ben and Jock’s (The Haven’s founders) arrangement of The Haven day – with the long break between lunch and 3 PM.” – Wayne


The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness by Sy Montgomery  Soul of An Octopus Book Cover

Sy Montgomery, a naturalist, documentary scriptwriter and author, relates her personal experiences with octopuses (yes, that is the correct plural!) and, in doing so, creates a fantasia on the “wonderment of consciousness.” She explores her conjectures about what it might be like to have a ‘distributed’ consciousness (as some believe occurs in octopuses) rather than an ego-anchored, mostly brain-limited consciousness like humans. She does so by relating her experiences with octopuses, both in large aquariums as well as in the wild, and with the people who love them. Although short on ‘harder’ science, it is a smooth and often touching read. 

Wayne Dodge Haven Faculty“I enjoyed wondering about how my own consciousness limits my experience, as well as being challenged in what I realized was a bias toward a human-centered view of experience.” – Wayne 

Rising Strong: The Reckoning. The Rumble. The Revolution by Brené Brown Rising Strong Brene Brown Book Cover

In Rising Strong, Brown mainly talks about vulnerability and how she believes it is the main path to love, belonging and joy. Brown seems to talk to the reader and references her own struggles and her successes to create a very personal and useful book. Many readers are calling this book a great “tool” and enjoy listening to it on audiobook as well. Rising Strong, along with Brown’s other books, are available in our Haven book store. If you’re on Gabriola Island and want to shop local, stop by and pick up your copy today!

Wayne Dodge Haven Faculty“Brené Brown has become a cottage industry of talks, books and workshops – and with good reason. She has translated her academic work in vulnerability into accessible and useful platforms helping people engage in change.” – Wayne 

Why won’t you apologize? Healing big betrayals and everyday hurts by Harriet Lerner Why Won't You Apologize

Apologies are notoriously difficult; this book is here to help! Whether you need support in creating a meaningful and effective apology or need context on why others won’t or can’t apologize, read on… Lerner asserts that forgiveness is not always the path to peace of mind. Using real life experience and theories, Lerner finds ways to use simple apologies that help heal hurts. This book continues to receive very positive reviews including one by Brené Brown, whose own book, Rising Strong, is listed above!

Wayne Dodge Haven Faculty“Well-meaning people apologize in ways that seem to ‘re-injure’ the other; Others hold onto the desire for an apology in ways that almost appear masochistic. Lerner covers all of this in this important book looking at the dynamics of the apology/forgiveness process.” – Wayne 

Consolations: The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words by David Whyte Consolations David Whyte Book Cover

This collection of poetry by David Whyte, takes 52 everyday words and uses them to invite and broaden your perspectives on life, pain, joy, anger and more. Many readers say they enjoy reading (or listening!) to this evocative book as a part of a mediation and mindfulness practice. Each everyday word has an associated mini essay that challenges the reader to expand. Here’s an excerpt: “FORGIVENESS is a heartache and difficult to achieve because strangely, it not only refuses to eliminate the original wound, but actually draws us closer to its source.”

Wayne Dodge Haven Faculty

“I love poetry; I love words; I love David Whyte – so I reflexively love this book.” – Wayne 

Is It All in Your Head? True Stories of Imaginary Illness by Suzanne O’Sullivan Its All In Your Head Book Cover

Dr. O’Sullivan it is a clinical neurologist in Britain who specializes in the area of psychogenic disorders. This book is a distillation of her experience with such patients, with close attention to the real suffering and disability of individuals with what are labeled as psychosomatic diseases. Dr. O’Sullivan expresses her anguish at having so little to offer such patients and writes her book very compassionately. She does not ridicule those struggling from these diseases and adds insight to this type of suffering that is much more prevalent than we might think. 

Wayne Dodge Haven Faculty “As we know at The Haven, our approaches can give those with psychosomatic illnesses a productive way to engage in these messages from the body. The downside, as we know, is that the approach, although simple, is not easy.” – Wayne


Did you read something this past year that belongs on this list? Have we inspired your next trip to the library or your book club’s next pick? Let us know in the comments below! 


Are you inspired by these topics and yearning to take your learning to the next level? Check out our upcoming offerings here

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