Selected Book List
January 14th, 2011 | Blog, Book Reviews, book, community, divination, economy, favorite, health, history, list, medicine, nature, selection
I have finally put together a list of some of my favorite reads of late. I am sure there could be a ton more books added to this list, and I will most likely make another one some day. These books have helped me to shift the way I view the world and the potential of mankind. We are very intimately intertwined with the fate of the Earth and we need to respect this connection on a daily basis. I am still struggling to reach that level of awareness myself and have come to realise that simply reading books is not going to accomplish this shift. We need to be able to read nature, understand our own experiences and interpret them for ourselves. The only way to really do that is to develop our own rituals. Activities such as walking in nature, meditation, qigong, yoga, dance, cooking and gardening are some of the best ways to cultivate this awareness. Since we are all trained and indoctrinated into this mechanical relationship to our world, reading can often-times motivate us and give us some direction as to where or how to put our attention into these other areas of our lives.
At the risk of sounding like a total hippy, one of my favorite books which gives me hope for the future of our children–and is a fun read as well–is The Fifth Sacred Thing by Starhawk. It is a tale of struggle, hope and how diverse peoples can work together to create a new society whose aim is to be inclusive and compassionate.
Some of these books I have already done one of my pseudo-review/favorite passages from and those are linked to, most of them I haven’t gotten to yet, but I hope to get those done soon as well. These are all books I have read myself. I am also in the process of removing my amazon links to books as I don’t want to support that company any more after it cut off Wikileaks. I am planning to switch to Powell, that wonderful bookstore in Oregon. Hopefully I will have time to update all the book links soon. Please enjoy this selected book list.
- The Cook by Harry Kressing Best foodie book ever. If you haven’t read it you better. I mean now!
- Food Security and Sustainability For the Times Ahead by Harvest McCampbell. Amazing resource. To be perfectly honest I read this book in 2008 but it is a very practical book and good to have on hand, or at your library.
- Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. This book has changed my life and healed my gut. It also helps us to understand and work with nature as it gives us respect for our micro-organisms and teaches us practical dietary ways in how to cultivate our internal gardens.
- Recipes for the Specific Carbohydrate Diet by Raman Prasad. This is a really good recipe book if you are on the GAPS or SCD or even paleo diet. It is fun because it has a nice international flavor and is very well presented (delicious dishes too).
- The Sheer Ecstasy of Being a Lunatic Farmer by Joel Salatin. A must read for anyone who eats! Shows the interconnected of nature and how she thrives on diversity. This book will change your mind about how you think farming should be done and inspire you to get your own farm!
- Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats by Sally Fallon. One of the best books I have ever read and still is. This is the bible of the modern age and it is the gift I always give to newly-weds or folks having kids. Packed with information this is a fantastic resource and worth every penny.
- Know Your Fats by Mary Enig. Another must read, these days with all the disinformation about fat and nutrition, this is an easy to understand, detailed explanation of which fats are best, when and why.
- Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods By Sandor Ellix Katz. This concise book gives an incredible variety of information and recipes from around the world. Great book for those getting started fermenting their own foods.
- Herbal Remedies: A Practical Beginner’s Guide to Making Effective Remedies in the Kitchen by Christopher Hedley and Non Shaw. This small handy book has recipes for making tinctures, oils, salves and cosmetics. Very good recipes that really work using food and other items that you often have in your kitchen.
Communicating with Nature:
- The Wholeness of Nature: Goethe’s Way of Science by Henri Bortoft. This book does an amazing job of showing the holographic, inter-related web of nature. It does an excellent job describing quantum physics and how Goethe was way ahead of his time in understanding that the world is not separate and mechanical the way Rene Descartes and Newton led us all to believe. I highly recommend this book.
- The Secret Life of Plants by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird. This book was loaned to me by my cousin and just opened my senses up to the relationship I have with my plants, I love plants and think they need to be paid better respect, they are our ancestors and they want to communicate with us. Excellent book.
- The One-Straw Revolution by Masanobu Fukuoka. Once again this book demonstrates that all things are possible if we put our minds to it. This no-dig, natural way of farming developed by an amazing Japanese farmer shows that we do not need genetic modification and the ‘green revolution’ to solve our food problems.
- The Lost Language of Plants by Stephen Harrod Buhner. I pretty much highly recommend any book written by Stephen Harrod Buhner he is a modern earth poet. Any of his books will help you to learn how to read to open book of nature and understand the language that is older than words.
- Endgame, Vol. 1: The Problem of Civilization by Derrick Jensen. This book gives a very different perspective on our modern economy. We have lost so much in our pursuit of money. It also demonstrates how corporations and colonisers target food sources in order to control people.
- The I Ching or Book of Changes translation by Richard Wilhelm. The I Ching is the ancient Chinese book of changes and is an incredibly useful tool for discovering more about yourself and your motives as well as how you are interacting with the universe around you.
- Northern Mysteries and Magic by Freya Aswynn. This is a helpful book that helps us to understand and use traditional tools to interact with nature and the universe.
- Conscious Conception: Elemental Journey through the Labyrinth of Sexuality by Jennine Parvati Baker. This is a big book with a lot of great information about fertility, childbirth, co-creation with nature and sexuality. I highly recommend it for anyone who is planning on having kids, a really beautiful book.
- Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. This is a great book that helps us to value our wild nature and to respect the fairytales and myths of our ancestors. A great way to understand how to reconnect with deep nature, and a fun read.
- Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered by E.F. Schumacher. This is an old classic, but is very helpful in understanding how societies can operate much more cohesively by following the localized, artisan model that originally thrived in Burma.
- Calendar: Humanity’s Epic Struggle to Determine a True and Accurate Year by David Ewing Duncan. Our calendar and sense of time that we take for granted wasn’t always so clear cut. It has taken humanity centuries to come up with the calendar we now use and it is still not completely accurate. A very interesting and mind opening read.
- Custer Died for Your Sins: An Indian Manifesto by Vine Deloria. This is a must read for all US citizens. It examines anthropologists as well as missionaries and how they have treated Native American knowledge. This is written from a very open-minded insider’s perspective.
- The Scents of Eden: A History of the Spice Trade by Charles Corn. If anyone wants to know about the history of colonization this is the book for you. Exploitation has been closely tied with spices ever since the Portuguese first ‘discovered’ the Spice Islands. This book explains more about the history of food and exploitation than you ever expected possible.
- Bananas: How the United Fruit Company Shaped the World by Peter Chapman. The United Fruit Company was the first Multi-national Corporation and went to any extreme to maintain its plantations in S. America. If you want to understand corporations, this is the book to read.
- Abkhasians: The Long-Living People of the Caucasus by Sula Benet. This is an anthropological text and fairly dry. I like it because it helps to dispel our myth that traditional societies were only able to live to the age of 30 or 45. These people lived until they were 120 or so. They also didn’t start their families until they were in their 40s. Humans can live much longer than we do today without pharmaceuticals etc. It is important to have good food and a cohesive social structure.
Medical-Military-Agriculture Industrial Complex:
- The Web of Debt by Ellen Hodgson Brown. With the economy collapsing around us, Ellen takes a detailed look at the history of money around the world and how it has been used against us. She also offers a variety of alternatives that have been successful and ways that we can regain control over our currencies. It is an interesting read, intertwining America’s own fairytale The Wizard of Oz throughout the book. If you never read any other books, this is the one you should read.
- The Student Loan Scam: The Most Oppressive Debt in US History and How We Can Fight Back by Alan Michael Collinge. This is something we don’t hear as much about as we should. Student debts have cost our country the resources of the youth. It is a modern debt peonage system that keeps people too busy trying to make ends meet to be able to get involved and pay attention to what is going on in our governments. If student debt was pardoned to a useful degree and institutions were kept in check we would have the potential available to solve many of the economic crisis we are facing today.
- Fear of the Invisible: How Scared Should we be of Viruses Vaccines, HIV and AIDS by Janine Roberts. Ms Roberts is the woman who brought the blood diamond scandal to light and she has taken on another powerful industry in this book. I highly recommend this book but I must warn you that it will challenge everything you thought you knew about health and medicine.
- Stolen Harvest: The Hijacking of the Global Food Supply by Vandana Shiva. Anyone who hasn’t heard of Vandana Shiva by now needs to read this book. It is a quick read and demonstrates the depths of exploitation of our earth and peoples by the large Industrial agriculture companies (especially Monsanto). It will give you a much better understanding of the methods utilized by these greedy and unscrupulous Multinational Corporations.
Re hippies: I heard somewhere that the Hopis had a legend that the white people would not be interested in their stories until a people arose who had a name like theirs (the Hopis). Thus the Hippies.
While she was tree planting my daughter was asked by one of her fellow planters whether her parents were hippies. She asked what was their definition of a hippie. “Someone who wears Birkenstocks to work”, she was told. By that criteria she had to admit that yes, her parents WERE hippies.
Your collection of mini book reviews makes me think I should do something of the sort myself.
I don’t know if I replied to this before. That is really good to know about the hippies, maybe it isn’t such a bad thing to be a hippy :). I would love to see your book review list!