10 books like Thinking Body, Dancing Mind

By Chungliang Al Huang,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Thinking Body, Dancing Mind. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission (learn more).

Tao Te Ching

By Lao Tzu, Gia-fu Geng (translator), Jane English (translator), Toinette Lippe (translator)

Book cover of Tao Te Ching

There’s a class of books sometimes called “ancient texts” or “accumulated wisdom.” The idea is that they represent distilled knowledge that was passed down orally for hundreds or thousands of years before the invention of writing froze them in their present forms. To represent this collection, I’ve chosen the Tao Te Ching. It’s short — 81 brief chapters — and talks about things that concern us today, like how to handle anxiety and how to lead groups of people. But a word of caution: These texts will repay serious study and contemplation, but don’t take them too seriously. For one thing, compare two translations and you’ll wonder if they’re working from the same ancient manuscript. And for another, embrace the notion that once you think “this is it,” then it isn’t it (another ancient idea to ponder). 

Tao Te Ching

By Lao Tzu, Gia-fu Geng (translator), Jane English (translator), Toinette Lippe (translator)

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Tao Te Ching as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For nearly two generations, this bestselling translation of the Tao Te Ching has been the standard for those seeking access to the wisdom of Taoist thought. Now Jane English and her long-time editor, Toinette Lippe, have refreshed and revised the translation, so that it more faithfully reflects the Classical Chinese in which it was first written, while taking into account changes in our own language and eliminating any lingering infelicities. This beautiful oversized edition features over a hundred new photographs by Jane English that help express the vast spirit of the Tao. Also included is an introduction by the well-known…


Tao

By Alan Watts,

Book cover of Tao: The Watercourse Way

The classic study by Alan Watts with calligraphy and preface by Al Chung-liang Huang. This, Alan Watts’s final book, takes the reader on an exploration of Taoist philosophy, focusing on the world view inherent in the Chinese language, the dynamic balance of yin and yang, and the power of wu-wei, the art of flowing with the process. Watts’ insights and passion make the book a valued and enduring introduction to the world of Tao.

Tao

By Alan Watts,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Tao as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Following Alan Watts' acclaimed book on Zen Buddhism The Way of Zen, he tackles the Chinese philosophy of Tao.

The Tao is the way of man's cooperation with the natural course of the natural world. Alan Watts takes the reader through the history of Tao and its interpretations by key thinkers such as Lao-Tzu, author of the Tao Te Ching. Watts goes on to demonstrate how the ancient and timeless Chinese wisdom of Tao promotes the idea of following a life lived according to the natural world and goes against our goal-oriented ideas by allowing time to quiet our minds…


The Tao of Leadership

By John Heider,

Book cover of The Tao of Leadership: Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching Adapted for a New Age

John Heider’s book takes the wisdom of Tao into the world of leadership, offering timeless wisdom and practical advice for leaders. Readers will learn about the power of presence in relationships, as well as how to pay attention, trust the process, and stay centered in the midst of challenge and conflict to become more effective and inspiring leaders.

The Tao of Leadership

By John Heider,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Tao of Leadership as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

You can't lead without this classic, updated and in its 2nd edition.This bestselling masterpiece of practical philosophy will guide you to enhanced interpersonal relationships and the cultivation of enduring leadership qualities.Heider provides simplest and clearest advice on how to be the very best kind of leader: be faithful, trust the process, pay attention, and inspireothers to become their own leaders. The Tao of Leadership is a blend of practical insight and profound wisdom, offering inspiration and advice.Often used as a Management/Leadership training text by many Fortune 500 corporations, IBM, Mitsubishi, Prudential, GE, Intel, Converse, the Israeli Intelligence Corps, and more.


Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life

By Wayne W. Dyer,

Book cover of Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao

In a yearlong journey of discovery, psychologist and author Wayne Dyer steeped himself in the wisdom of the Tao Te Ching. The result is this book of 81 chapters, offering his reflections on the 81 chapters of the Tao. Combining meditations, exercises, and personal examples, each chapter encourages readers to release their preconceptions, transcend duality, recognize their oneness with all creation, and discover their deepest sense of themselves as the wisdom of Tao becomes a living presence in their lives.

Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life

By Wayne W. Dyer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Five hundred years before the birth of Jesus, a God-realized being named Lao-tzu in ancient China dictated 81 verses, which are regarded by many as the ultimate commentary on the nature of our existence. The classic text of these 81 verses, called the Tao Te Ching or the Great Way, offers advice and guidance that is balanced, moral, spiritual, and always concerned with working for the good. In this book, Dr. Wayne W. Dyer has reviewed hundreds of translations of the Tao Te Ching and has written 81 distinct essays on how to apply the ancient wisdom of Lao-tzu to…


One Last Shot

By John David Anderson,

Book cover of One Last Shot

I love how Malcolm, a kid who doesn’t like sports despite his athletic dad’s enthusiastic encouragement, finally finds a place to call his own in mini-golf. Malcolm has always felt like a loser but once he signs up for lessons and meets some friends, he slowly improves, in his game and in his opinion of himself. Unfortunately, Malcolm also carries the weight of feeling it’s up to him to keep his parents’ troubled marriage together. With tournaments and family problems mounting high, this is an exciting read. The eighteen chapters, set up like holes on a golf course, are a fun addition.

One Last Shot

By John David Anderson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked One Last Shot as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The beloved author of Ms. Bixby’s Last Day and Posted returns with a humorous and heartwarming story of family, friendship, and miniature golf.

For as long as he can remember, Malcolm has never felt like he was good enough. Not for his parents, who have always seemed at odds with each other, with Malcolm caught in between. And especially not for his dad, whose competitive drive and love for sports Malcolm has never shared.

That is, until Malcolm discovers miniature golf, the one sport he actually enjoys. Maybe it’s the way in which every hole is a puzzle to be…


Sports of Our Times

By Dave Anderson,

Book cover of Sports of Our Times

Published in 1979, Anderson’s collection of columns preserves seminal sports moments, primarily from that decade. Anderson’s on-deadline work for The New York Times revisits Hank Aaron’s 715th MLB home run, which broke Babe Ruth’s all-time record. He was in the right place at the right time for an interview with Negro Leagues pitching legend Satchel Paige in 1976, a column in which the old fireballer praised Slim Jones, Bob Feller, and Dizzy Dean as the “best pitches I ever saw.” Jimmy Connors, Joe Namath, Gordie Howe, Julius Erving, and Muhammad Ali are among the icons that Anderson highlights with exceptional portraiture, capturing Howe’s career as he approaches his 50th birthday. Anderson also produces a splendid profile of Wilt Chamberlain playing volleyball.

Like many of the premier sports journalists of the post-World War II era, Anderson traveled widely and covered prominent events throughout the United States and around the…

Sports of Our Times

By Dave Anderson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sports of Our Times as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Match Fixing and Sport

By Mike Huggins (editor), Rob Hess (editor),

Book cover of Match Fixing and Sport: Historical Perspectives

The uncertainty of the result is a bedrock of sport. Yet, although it should not be pre-determined, it does happen. Gambling interests, the very people who developed rules for many early sports, can persuade competitors (by threats or bribes) not to perform to the best of their abilities. The book shows that cheating to lose has a long history dating back to Antiquity, when fines on cheating competitors paid for statues to commemorate the gods. I have never believed in the purity of sport and its participants. Sport may well breed character, a mantra of the sports lobby, but, I suggest, not necessarily good character. The book appeals to me as it shows how historians can dig out evidence on activities which, to be successful, must be covert.

Match Fixing and Sport

By Mike Huggins (editor), Rob Hess (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Match Fixing and Sport as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Match-Fixing and Sport studies match-fixing in historical perspective, revealing how match-fixing has always been a major sporting continuity, alongside another longstanding continuity, a widely-held belief in a mythical recent past of pristine purity.

The volume begins with a brief overview of match-fixing's global contemporary contexts, the broad range of sports where it now surfaces, increased recognition of its moral, social, and economic threat, and the varied responses of leading sports organizations, legal gambling operators, police forces, governmental departments, and regulators. The following chapters explore the challenges of finding any reliable evidence of match-fixing in the past. An overview shows that…


The Red Smith Reader

By Dave Anderson (editor),

Book cover of The Red Smith Reader

John Schulian, one of the premier American sports journalists from the 1970s to the present, has recommended The Red Smith Reader with unsparing enthusiasm: “Quite simply the most thorough collection ever of the master’s work... a joy to everyone who picks it up.” A compilation of 131 Smith columns published in 1982, the year of his death, the book showcases his literary prose, which elevated the profession. The biggest games (Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series, Reggie Jackson’s three home runs on three consecutive at-bats in the 1977 Fall Classic) and individuals (Babe Ruth, Muhammad Ali, Secretariat) are the foundation of Smith’s invaluable contributions to the understanding and appreciation of sports culture. His profiles of boxing and horse racing trainers are also exceptionally astute portraits.

Red Smith was a deadline artist, crafting timeless columns. As a fan of good writing and an admirer of his literary…

The Red Smith Reader

By Dave Anderson (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Red Smith Reader as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1976, Walter Wellesley “Red” Smith is considered one of the greatest sportswriters ever to live. Put alongside Ring Lardner, Red Smith was beloved by those who read him because of his crisp writing and critical views.

Originally released in 1982, The Red Smith Reader is a wonderful collection of 131 columns with subjects ranging from baseball and fishing to golf, basketball, tennis, and boxing. As John Leonard of the New York Times appropriately stated, “Red Smith was to sports what Homer was to war.”

With a fantastic foreword by his son, successful journalist Terence Smith,…


Sport

By Mike Cronin,

Book cover of Sport: A Very Short Introduction

In the late 1990s I asked Mike Cronin to join me in the International Centre for Sports History and Culture that I had set up at De Montfort University. Initially he was wary. He later told me that, although he saw me as a leader in the development of sports history, he also viewed me as a strange, perhaps outdated creature: the economic historian. I welcomed him to Jurassic Park. I admire this book because Mike covers world sporting development in just 40,000 words, a task that took me over 100,000 more (but mine is cheaper by the page!). More significantly it was the starting point for my own global venture and it stimulated me to take off my economic blinkers and consider social, cultural, and political issues.

Sport

By Mike Cronin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sport as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Sport is big business; international in nature and the focus of much media and cultural attention. In this Very Short Introduction, Mike Cronin charts the history of sport, from its traditional origins in folk football and cock fighting to its position as a global phenomenon today. Looking at a variety of sports from team games such as rugby, cricket, and football to games for individuals such as golf, tennis, and skiing, he considers how these first emerged
and captivated the interest of ordinary people, and how sport has been transformed within our daily lives.

Exploring the relationship between sport and…


Roman Sports and Spectacles

By Anne Mahoney,

Book cover of Roman Sports and Spectacles: A Sourcebook

If you want to know what some Romans thought about sport and spectacle in their own words, turn to Anne Mahoney’s sourcebook, which offers translations of key literary passages and inscriptions. From Horace’s descriptions of unruly theater audiences to Ovid’s advice to young Roman men about how to pick up girls at the circus, this sourcebook brought the world of Roman spectacle to life for me. I love that she shows how the themes that make modern sport and fandom so complex—religion, gender, politics, and money—were just as relevant in ancient Rome. I always come away from reading the sources she compiles feeling that Roman sports fans are not so different from us today.

Roman Sports and Spectacles

By Anne Mahoney,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Roman Sports and Spectacles as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Roman Sports and Spectacles: A Sourcebook contains numerous translations from the Latin, including famous authors, such as Cicero, Seneca, Tertullian and Augustine, and the not so famous, including graffiti, advertisements and tombstones to paint a world view of what sports Romans played and what they thought of them. The world of Roman sports was similar in many ways to our own, but there were significant differences. For one thing Roman sports centered during religious festivals and the participants were most often slaves. Roman sports were not team sports, but individual competitions. And sports like chariot racing and gladiatorial competitions were…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in sports, Taoism, and sports journalism?

7,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about sports, Taoism, and sports journalism.

Sports Explore 30 books about sports
Taoism Explore 24 books about Taoism
Sports Journalism Explore 10 books about sports journalism