Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Old book reviews from late 2010

I found these written on a piece of paper - thought I'd record them here for posterity and completeness.

4.5 stars
"1984" George Orwell
"Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations" David R. Montgomery

4 stars
"All Quiet on the Western Front" Erich Maria Remarque
"Harry Potter & the Deathly Hollows" JK Rowling
"Three Cups of Tea" Greg Mortenson - since found out to be a fraud!
"Sword of Red Ice" JV Jones
"Watcher of the Dead" JV Jones
"The Name of the Wind" Patrick Rothfuss

3.5 stars
"Just Food" James E. McWilliams
"The Happy Economist" Ross Gittins

3 stars
"Family Friendly Farming" Joel Salatin
"Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince" JK Rowling
"Primal Blueprint" Mark Sisson
"Paleo Diet" Loren Cordain
"Why Men Are Necessary" Richard Glover
"Sword of Shanara" Terry Brooks
"Lifeboat Cities" Brendan Gleeson 
"The Totem Pole" Paul Pritchard

2.5 stars
"Public Produce" Damin Nordahl
"Back from the Brink" Peter Andrews

2 stars
"Amazon Adventure" Willard Price

Saturday, September 6, 2014

My top 10 transformative books

Here are my top 10 transformative books (in chronological order (of my life)):
1. Adventure, by Willard Price - for instilling a love of the natural world and adventure
2. The Belgariad by David Eddings - for opening me to the world of fantasy and epic reading sessions (honourable mention to Red Wall by Brian Jacques).
3. Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer - Alexander Supertramp, the wildest (and most naive!) of wildmen.
4. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn - such joy, optimism and stoicism in the face of terrible hardship
5. The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan - fertilised my interest in food systems and agriculture
6. Fooled by Randomness by Nicholas Nassim Taleb - brilliant paradigm-breaking ideas about systems and risk (if you haven't read Taleb before, jump straight to Antifragile)
7. Wild Fermentation by Sandor Katz - for unleashing experimentation in by kitchen
8. The Antidote by Oliver Burkeman - a wonderful collection of pragmatic wisdom on how to be happy
9. The Great Disruption by Paul Gilding (currently reading) - for making me deal with the coming crisis on a visceral & emotional level

That's only 9! Ah well, I'm sure it will come to me in the next day or two ...