Yoko Ono

Photo: Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images


The artist, activist, and musician loves books that make her feel healthy, hopeful, and strong.

See 7 books that made a difference to Yoko Ono
Half the Sky

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2. Half the Sky
By Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn

The title, taken from a Chinese proverb, says it all: "Women hold up half the sky." This book is different from others about gender oppression: It illustrates how women in Africa and Asia are leading a courageous, strong crusade. It is a story of empowerment. We can learn from their wisdom. This book takes a sad song and makes it better, so to speak.

Ono's next pick: The Brain That Changes Itself by Norman Doidge, MD
The Brain That Changes Itself

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3. The Brain That Changes Itself
By Norman Doidge, MD

I travel a lot, so when I arrive in a city, I like to go to good local bookshops and make a selection based on how I'm feeling and what I'm thinking. The book I pick usually seems to have a definite karmic connection! For instance, I recently hurt my knee because I fell on the street. But it didn't upset me, since the fall came just after reading this book, which is about rewiring our brains to heal ourselves. I started walking, and it wasn't difficult. Words are power. And a book is full of words. Be careful what power you get from it. But know that you do.

Ono's next pick: Love Your Body by Louise L. Hay
Love Your Body

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4. Love Your Body
By Louise L. Hay

I recently shared this book with my daughter. Now we both read the affirmations daily. Love your body to make it happy and healthy and whole! Here's an example of how easy it is to practice these ideas: I love to put my feet up at the end of the day and watch them looking kinda good. In my mind I say to them: "Thank you for taking me around for so many years to so many places—with happy steps. You're the best!"

Ono's next pick: Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins
Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

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5. Confessions of an Economic Hit Man
By John Perkins

It took a lot of courage to write this book because the author, an economic strategist, reveals that he was involved in swindling countries around the globe out of trillions of dollars. He is a very brave individual who has stood up to share the truth; my late husband, John, would have liked that.

Ono's next pick: 50 Secrets of the World's Longest Living People by Sally Beare
50 Secrets of the World's Longest Living People

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6. 50 Secrets of the World's Longest Living People
By Sally Beare

I am 77 years old and feeling better than ever. This book has proved to me that longevity has everything to do with one's state of mind. I just make sure to release all my anger and resentment whenever it hits me, and take a walk. I also dance in my mind to keep myself in good health. Smile in the mirror. Do that every morning and you'll start to see a big difference in your life. The best advice is to do three things a day to make somebody happy. Do that for three months, and your life will be totally changed. These 77 years are just a prelude to my life!

Ono's next picks: Two food books that will change your life
The Omnivore's Dilemma and Fast Food Nation

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7. The Omnivore's Dilemma
By Michael Pollan

Fast Food Nation
By Eric Schlosser

These are two books I have shared with everyone. Once you read them, you will never look at food in the same way. I believe that our food supply is not just a national issue—it is a global concern, and we should all be working together on this. I once heard that if every person in China jumped at the same time, the axis of the globe would shift. Well, we can shift the axis of this world by stopping the consumption of mass-produced food and focusing on organic and locally grown produce so we can all live longer, healthier lives while improving this beautiful planet we live on.

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