- A Place of My Own: The Architecture of Daydreams by Michael Pollan
- Subprime Attention Crisis: Advertising and the Time Bomb at the Heart of the Internet by Tim Hwang
Carried over from 2020
- Ten Percent Happier by Dan Harris
This book is likely just the kind of introduction to meditation that would help a lot of people be more open to the practice.
Human Scale Revisited: A New Look at the Classic Case for a Decentralist Future by Kirkpatrick Sale
I have long said that if I were to write a book, it would be about distributed systems in the world, decentralization. But my notions were fairly narrow and thinking mostly of examples rather than creating a systematic ecological philosophy. I’m glad I came across Human Scale Revisited because it’s exactly the kind of book I would have hoped to write only many times better. It’s helped solidify a lot of my own inchoate thinking and also to understand why some things just don’t resonate with me, which is one large part of why we ended up in Olympia rather than Seattle or Portland. It’s a long book and fairly detailed, but I highly recommend it.
Completed in 2021
Pottering: A Cure for Modern Life by Anna McGovern
This book was quick to read and the pacing and tone reminded me of “How to Be Alone“ in its gentleness and playfulness.
In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan
Three Simple Lines by Natalie Goldberg
This is the first book I have read in a very long time where I intentionally put it down several times because I wanted to savor the experience of reading it for the first time. Since reading this book, I have started writing some haiku myself, just including them in my bullet journal in the flow of the rest of the content. I may eventually split them out into a separate collection, but for now, they live in their rough, immediate form frozen in the moment that they first arose for me.
On The Shortness Of Life by Seneca, tr. C. D. N. Costa
- Rumi: Poems, edited by Peter Washington
- The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right by Atul Gawande
- The Story Of More: How We Got to Climate Change and Where to Go from Here by Hope Jahren (Thanks to my friend Patrick for turning me on to this book and continuing to be one of the people whose recommendations are reliably on point.)
The River Of Heaven: The Haiku of Basho, Buson, Issa, and Shiki by Robert Aitken
I was so excited about this, I had to bug the staff at Browsers to allow me to pre-order it back in August. Cal Newport’s work has been very influential on me, going back to So Good They Can’t Ignore You, but even more still in the last couple of years with Deep Work and Digital Minimalism, and it’s no stretch to say that he’s influenced the way I think about work more than any other single writer. A World Without Email falls right in line with the other monographs, but if you’re a listener to his podcast or have read his articles in places like The New Yorker, there’s not a lot new here.
The Haiku Handbook: How to Write, Teach, and Appreciate Haiku by William J. Higginson and Penny Harter
Whether you’re a manager or a managee, Lara’s book is full of gold. If you’re lucky enough to have a good manager, Lara gives a lot of insights into why they might do what they do. If you have a bad manager, you can learn to recognize a lot of poor management practices and even toxic patterns as a result of her descriptions of effective management. And if you’re thinking about management or organically stepping into more people leadership skills, she’s got the tools you need to find your footing fast. Highly recommended.