recommended reading

On the Alexander Technique …

The Use of the Self  by F M Alexander
Of the four books that F.M. Alexander wrote, this is, by far, the most accessible. It is a great introduction to the Technique and gives a real insight into his ideas about how to overcome disease and other problems and achieve better health.

Live Better – Alexander Technique, Skills and Inspirations for Well-being by Joe Searby
This is a very inspiring guide to the Technique in a very easy-to-read format.

The Alexander Technique, A Skill for Life by Pedro de Alcantara
This book is for those who are looking to deepen their understanding of the Technique and how it applies to all aspects of life, health, and well-being.

On all kinds of other interesting subjects …

Bounce – The Myth of talent and the Power of Practice by Matthew Syed
Matthew Syed debunks the many myths that often hold us back from achieving success, such as the idea that others are born with innate ability that we do not have.  Although this book is usually found in the sports section of book shops, it really is a book for anyone and I would highly recommend it to teenagers taking their GSCEs or A levels.  It is also ideal for people of all ages who want to get better at anything they do, be it playing an instrument or sporting activity, or even their career.  Syed argues that what really makes the difference, most of the time is “practice”, ie how much (a lot), and how we go about it (what he calls deliberate practice).

Bounce was inspired by the ideas of the psychologist K Anders Ericsson and there are other books on the same subject, notably Talent is Overrated by Geoff Colvin, The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle, and Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell.  But I particularly like the way Bounce is written. Syed is a journalist by profession and this is a real page turner.

Here are some articles on the same subject:

The Truth about Talent (The Independent)

How to Grow a Super Athlete (NY Times)

Born to Run – A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall
If you are a runner (of any ability) and have not yet read this book, I urge you to do so. It is a truly inspiring story and a thrilling read. It turns out, according to enlightened scientists, that running marathons, far from being a crazy thing to do is what we are born to do …

The Tell-Tale Brain by V S Ramachandran
This is a really fascinating book about the human brain.  Ramachandran manages to make his subject-matter of neuroscience very accessible and enjoyable to read.  He explores why the human brain is so unique and delves into its many complexities.


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