5 books high performers should read this month
Eat like the Obamas, run like Deena Kastor, and steal Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s daily ritual.
THE BOOK: EAT A LITTLE BETTER BY: SAM KASS
The Gist: Sam Kass started working as a private chef for the Obamas in Chicago and followed them to Washington, D.C, where he served as White House food policy advisor. His first book showcases 90 simple, healthy recipes, including the barbecue roast chicken he cooked for the former First Family on their first night living at Pennsylvania Avenue.
THE BOOK: THE PERFORMANCE CORTEX BY: ZACH SCHONBRUN
The Gist: New York Times contributing writer Zach Schonbrun delves into the neuroscience behind athletic greatness. He unravels seeming mysteries like why Michael Jordan’s genius on the basketball court fizzled on the baseball diamond, and explains how the same brainwork behind reaching for a cup of coffee applies to Tom Brady locating a receiver across the football field.
THE BOOK: LET YOUR MIND RUN BY: DEENA KASTOR AND MICHELLE HAMILTON
The Gist: Long-distance runner Deena Kastor shows the secret to her success—and as an Olympic medalist and the American female record holder in the marathon (2:19:36), she’s had more than a few—relies less on any inborn talents, but on “the power of thought, attitude and perspective.” Through race day and training anecdotes, she reveals the mental habits anyone can use to unleash their physical and mental potential.
THE BOOK: RECIPES FOR GOOD LUCK BY: ELLEN WEINSTEIN
The Gist: The Russian composer Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky took a daily two-hour walk, while tennis great Björn Borg wore the same Fila shirt for every game. Rhode Island School of Design instructor Ellen Weinstein provides a peek into the eccentricities of dozens of famous musicians, athletes, writers, artists, and more in this illustrated coffee table book.
THE BOOK: NATURAL CAUSES BY: BARBARA EHRENREICH
The Gist: The high-performance approach to life has a counterpoint in provocative social critic Barbara Ehrenreich’s latest book. “Here you will find no how-to advice, no tips about how to extend your life, upgrade your diet and exercise regimen, or fine-tune your attitude in a more healthful direction,” she writes. Ehrenreich instead takes “a dystopian view of the body” and encourages rethinking “the project of personal control.”