Two days ago, I finished reading "Discourses and Selected Writings" by Epictetus.
It's a philosophy book. Epictetus was a former Roman slave who was given his freedom, and went back to Greece to found a philosophy school. By Penguin Classics.
Pretty easy to understand. Easy and quick to read. Agreed with a lot of what he had to say.
I am now starting "The Gulag Archipelago" by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.
It's a non-fiction work by a former prisoner of the Soviet gulags, which won a Nobel Prize. He basically documented the change of a nation from mostly normal people to a nation with ten thousand paid torturers in their employ. It's fascinating how the culture of a country changes; changes happen slowly and, before you know it, you're living in an oppressive, corrupt, dictatorship, where everybody is afraid of everybody.
I love reading history books and books that look at human character and spirit.
I haven't read the whole thread so I am hoping this is a repeat;
The Secret Teachings of Plants: On the Direct Perception of Nature by Steven Harrod Buhner
He's an amazing character and has some great technical herbals about antibiotics and antivirals as well as an awesome book called Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers, that talks about the history and significance of.brewing as well as offers recipes/techniques.
This is one of his philosophical texts about our relation to nature but it also emphasizes and explains a technique of reacquainting with your heart centered perception. Its been a heavy book to read, especially with small children as part of my life, because each paragraph is so dense. Its also reminded me of levels of subtlety that I'd forgotten and I've found the practices for reorienting toward heart-centric perception to be really rewarding
Just for fun cause I have a twisted sense of humor.
"Blood Sucking Fiends" "Bite Me" and "You Suck" (a love story) by Christopher Moore
""Stormy Weather" and "Double Whammy" and "Bad Monkey" by Carl Hiaasen
Right now "Castles of Steel" by Robert K. Massie, nonfiction about the great battleships of WW1 and I hope it goes on to WW2 where it might culminate with the demise of the HMS Hood and Nazi Bismarck. And ultimately the extinction of battleships in general due the arrival of aircraft carriers.
I love things like this when I've spent a week unsnarling something nasty, like a genetics textbook or a paper that attempts to renegotiate the laws of statistics (or logic)... Hiaasen is one of my favorites for this.
You might like Christopher Moore as well. The three I mentioned are my favorites. I forgot another good one of his "The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove". All just fun fast reads. Also recently reread "Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" that one's a little heavier.
Just finished reading The Good Food Revolution By Will Allen. He left the corporate world and followed his dreams to start urban farming. His passion grew to a large nonprofit. A nice inspiring story that chronicles his life from childhood growing up on a farm to a professional basketball career to corporate management then back to the land.
Dr. Leo Sharashkin was on a "permies" forum a couple of months ago for a week to answer questions about raising bees.
SO, I got interested and purchased his book, "Keeping Bees With A Smile" and have read it cover to cover very quickly. The book covers almost all aspects of keeping bees in horizontal hives as well as gives drawings/dimensions of the hives so you can build one yourself is so inclined. You can also purches the hives either from the web site or at the seminar site if you choose to attend one.
I was so interested in the Horizontal Hives that I went onto the HorizontalHive.com web site and saw that they had a two day seminar, Oct. 3rd & 4th covering "Natural Beekeeping In Horizontal Hives". (They also have other seminars during the year.) I registered and attended the seminar and I can highly recommend that if you're interested in keeping bees - this seminar and the horizontal hives might be for you, especially if you don't like lifting up to 80 lb boxes of honey from a vertical hive to check on the brood in the lower boxes. The horizontal hive, per Dr. Sharashkin, is better for the health of the bees - and the lifting of the frames is maybe at most 10 to 12 lbs.
"Keeping Bees With A Smile" is a great book just to learn more about bees in general too!
I got a bit teary this week when I pulled out a book from my shelf that I wanted to reread.
It is the German edition of The Fat of the Land and I am a Stranger here myself by John Seymour. It had a dedication from my grandma from the year 1981 that she wished me joy with the lecture - I was 13 years old then. I wonder whether this was already a marker for my future interests which made me so much more interested in sustainability and food growing than my two brothers.
Parts of the book were written 60 years ago and it is very sad how much has come true and gotten worse. The alienation of big parts of the population from land and food production, the tinsel and diversion that distract us from the real life. But if I try to see the positive it is that there are people who want to turn their backs on the showy superficial lifestyle and appreciate the good handmade things in life vs. those mass-produced in factories.
It was a quick read so I am done with it already.
Currently I am reading Patagonia by Bruce Chatwin. Not sure yet if I like it.
I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do. (E.E.Hale)
Currently reading "The Art of Not Being Governed" by James C. Scott which outlines the common template all/most civilizations use-- namely the concentration of food production in the richest agricultural area possible and the maintenance of a dense population (usually by force) to generate a food surplus to feed an army and an elite class that shouldn't have to work. We haven't evolved much from this basic model
Next in line is "History: Science or Fiction?" book 2 by Anatoly Fomenko. This 8 volume series goes into the excruciating details of how our history has been falsified and stretched out by 1000 plus years, apparently in order to justify the claimed right to rule over humanity by a handful of people that wanted to rule and own the world. I believe they still do.
I'm currently reading Team Human, by Douglas Rushkoff.
So far it's pretty focused on how progress in communication technology from writing, to printing presses, to TV, to the internet which could have "improved" humanity, have instead been used to isolate people and stress "independence" rather than cooperation, teamwork, and social connectivity. I've had that opinion for a long time - for all my local modern "conveniences", it's really hard to form a sense of "community" which has been shown world-wide to be an important contributor to happiness and satisfaction with life.
I'm really hoping the book develops solutions to the problems it identifies beyond, "Hey, guys, turn off your cell phones and help a neighbor plant a garden, or invite them over for tea and a card game."
It seems that the current 'pandemic' protocols are designed to further isolate us... can't even smile at a stranger,* much less gather, and sports, school, etc are banned. Ever wonder what the 'new normal' that is apparently being planned, will be like? Or The Great Reset that our 'superiors' have had in the works for quite some time? Or why 'security' seems to be a dirty word in our unique culture? (* Maybe now is the time to create the 'Wink Club' .... all interested in friendliness can signify with a wink... as it defies the mask and even the "distancing" ... to maintain a semblance /recognition of our common humanity : )
It's time to get positive about negative thinking -Art Donnelly
I've been slowly reading through Mythos by Steven Fry. It's a retelling of the greek myths. It's a pretty easy read and humorous at times while still being incredibly educational. I've known most of the stories, but I've never read through them all like this, and it's quite satisfying.