Gathering Books

02024-05-18 | Uncategorized | 2 comments

Books are food. For me, finding the right book is a great joy. What is the right book? That’s the book I need now, the one that connects to a bunch of different thought clouds and ties them together, the one that shines  light on another piece of the puzzle. It’s like hunting and gathering for your lunch, only it’s lunch for my head. I feel very lucky because for several years in a row I have found non-fiction books that mean a lot to me and have taught me a lot. 

Humankind: a Hopeful History – Rutger Bregman
Stolen Focus – Johann Hari

Humankind showed me that many examples we are told about people’s behavior, like Lord of the Flies and The Stanford Prison Experiment and the story of Kitty Genovese were either manipulated or made up entirely. Humans are much kinder than we think but many people profit from us not believing that.

Stolen Focus is all about screen addiction and how it is actively created by the addiction pushers, the social media companies.

Ways of Being – James Bridle

There are different types of consciousness and we have only begun to understand the complexity of the network. I smile just thinking about this book. I loved every page of it. 

Breath – James Nestor
Movement Matters – Katy Bowman

Breath was recommended by Jon Gagan and I devoured this book. As a result of reading the book I began doing Wim Hof Method exercises. Breath holds, for example. I thought I would stall out at 3 minutes, but then I was able to reach 3m 10s and now I wonder whether 4 minutes will be possible for me. The record is 11m for men and 9m for women. Wow. It is interesting that age has nothing to do with it…. which means I can keep trying for the 4m mark…  I also do pushups while holding my breath. My breathing has generally improved. I also use an app to do paced breathing. Slow breathing to the rescue! 

Movement Matters contains essays about movement. I found out about this book from Craig Mod, who mentioned Ben Pobjoy

A few years ago I realized that the sedentarism I have been writing about for a decade wasn’t only of the body, but of thoughts as well. I don’t mean (only) that people have a hard time moving their thoughts to consider new information, but that “we are unmoving” is the unacknowledged assumption underlying some of the most prevalent problems we are dealing with in areas of public health and safety, environmental science, and social issues. 

Lack of physical movement becomes inability to shift and change perspective. The sedentary society becomes an immovable culture. 

Check out this foreword to the book, written by Ben Pobjoy. The book inspired him to walk and walk he did:

I’ve since trekked 75,000+ kilometres by foot across six continents to document what the world — and its inhabitants — reveal to me. Step by step, word by word, and image by image I’ve completed 850+ freestyle marathons as a means to nurture my curiosities, and — in turn — share my findings with others on social, in written essays, my newsletter, and in photographic books.

What a rich harvest it has been. 


  1. anne

    great – tks

    just ordered – breath

    i gather books too – lately, it is cook books – endless amount of cook books on the market…always searching for that perfect meal – simple ingredients, easy to prepare and super delicious.

    (decided to dig deeper … how flavors combine….what goes with what- how recipes are constructed.)

  2. Steve

    Yeah … books are definitely companions. They all have “personalities” … even the same book that is set in hardback and one set in paperback have different personalities.

    There are about five I take with me. They are just companions in the backpack. And then there are those that never leave the house but get read every summer and have been for the past 50 years. (viz., “Lord of the Rings” 1965 printing)

    The biggest problem with books is that I have too many. After a dozen moves, the logistics involved in packing, loading, unpacking, shelving, etc, etc etc … is just growing oppressive … to be honest, the same is true of vinyl, open reel tape, CDs and cassettes. So I made the switch to Apple books and Apple Music, FLACbox/VLC and that just generated more “on the phone” time. Too much attachment.


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