Book Reviews

We Had A Little Real Estate Problem

A stand-up comedy special from ten or fifteen years ago featuring an all-indigenous lineup used to have reruns on Canadian television. The author opens with this, relating that at least three different Native comedians told him that it inspired them to take up stand-up comedy. As he notes, this is what a balanced media representation…

Keep reading

The Order of Time

In this small book filled with giant ideas, Carlo Rovelli gently teases apart everything we take for granted about the concept of time. That it travels in a linear direction from the past to the future, that it exists independent of us, that we are subjected to it and at its mercy. One would not…

Keep reading

21 Lessons for the 21st Century

“Humans were always far better at inventing tools than using them wisely.” This is essentially the theme of this collection of essays. Not just technological tools but also our social and political systems, our fictions that hold up society and so on. Harari’s strength lies in interlacing ideas from multiple disciplines as though connecting diverse…

Keep reading

Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui

This is a simple but revelatory guide to freeing yourself from patterns, habits and the past by assessing your relationship with everything you own.  It outlines how clutter affects you – from keeping you in the past to making you feel tired and overwhelmed to even manifesting as extra body weight and it explores the…

Keep reading

How to Build a Car

As a new fan of Formula 1, I had never heard of Adrian Newey.  Karun Chandok, one of the F1 commentators, mentioned this book on air and it seemed like an interesting way to gain a better understanding of the the sport and its cars. It turns out Newey is instrumental in designing the changing…

Keep reading

Friends

In the last few years, most of us have taken stock of our relationships and have either strengthened or mourned changing dynamics. Yet, we don’t necessarily understand what creates these changes – whether it’s ultra personal to us or simply the nature of our social fabric.  Friends are good for us – they make us…

Keep reading

The Heart of Yoga

Another recommendation from Lewis Hamilton’s masterclass. Science and psychology are now studying and catching up with so many concepts explored in yoga. What suffering is, how it exists in our mind and our reaction to our circumstances, how we can build practices that alleviate our stress and so on.  If you’re learning yoga from a…

Keep reading

Thanks for the Feedback

Criticism can make us defensive, upset, and angry. Yet, being able to understand and absorb what we hear enables us to have better relationships, do better at work and develop a more harmonious existence. This book is a practical guide that helps by covering a daunting array of scenarios, relationships and circumstances. Within a single conversation…

Keep reading

Four Thousand Weeks

“We treat everything we’re doing- life itself, in other words – as valuable only insofar as it lays the groundwork for something else.”  What a revelatory, life-affirming book! It examines our relationship with time, how we perceive it, use it and try to outrun the knowledge that it is so limited for us – an…

Keep reading

The Four Agreements

Lewis Hamilton recommends this book in his masterclass which is, in itself, a comforting, authentic and sincere experience. Don Miguel Ruiz draws on Toltec culture – a pre-Colombian Mesoamerican culture of a state in Mexico to present the most simple statements to live by in order to develop a peaceful existence within oneself and the…

Keep reading

Putin’s People

Twenty years ago, in a frantic bid to prevent Russia from falling back in the hands of the communists, a handful of men pushed Putin into power and now deeply regret their choices. Those who were trying to create a free market economy in Russia either underestimated the KGB or had been working for them…

Keep reading

The Code Breaker

Never has a science conference sounded so fun and dramatic! This is an accessible and fast-paced biography of Jennifer Doudna, the 2020 Nobel laureate in chemistry, and the army of scientists who uncovered the many steps to make gene editing possible. At its heart, The Code Breaker celebrates how life-changing scientific discoveries come from all…

Keep reading

Bird by Bird

A living, breathing, experiential account of what it is to write, to want to tell stories, to struggle through the process, the meandering thoughts, the myriad methods of procrastination – all told in a  fresh, non-academic style.  Lamott lays out the fundamentals of writing, which will be familiar to most of those who have studied…

Keep reading

Fear

My favourite line in this book is – ‘Decartes said “I think, therefore I am”; but most of the time, the truth is more like, “I think, therefore I am not really here.”’ It’s a lesson I’ve been learning over the past two years and this book served as a timely refresher. Sometimes reading similar…

Keep reading

I’m OK You’re OK

You could use this book to either improve yourself or your writing! Transactional analysis is a model to understand human behaviour, identify patterns that are parent-like, child-like or adult-like and use this to solve emotional issues and stabilise the way in which the individual interacts with others. What little I knew of TA was through…

Keep reading

My Mess Is A Bit Of A Life

Georgia Pritchett is a writer on Veep, The Thick of It and… Spice World! And also a writer and EP on Succession. Must, must, must read this. A laugh-out-loud funny collection of short essays – half a page, three pages… It’s a hilarious account of a person living with anxiety, stumbling through the world and…

Keep reading

Endure

Endure is full of stories of individual athletes, coaching teams, scientists and corporate studying the nexus of the mind, brain and body to help humans break barriers on limits that seem impassable. Each chapters covers an element like pain, muscle, oxygen, heat and thirst, and how a belief in our own abilities enables us to…

Keep reading

Move

What a delightful and light book.  Williams explores types of movement from walking to dancing to stretching, fighting, breathing and so on and how each of these influences the body and mind. We obviously know that movement is good for us but this book dives into genes, genetics, how the brain communicates with organs and…

Keep reading

Empire of Pain

A wonderful tale of a chilling saga that tracks the multi-generational story of the Sackler family, starting with three brothers, Arthur, Raymond and Mortimer, who founded and acquired a group of businesses including Purdue Pharma, the company that created and sells OxyContin – basically, oxycodone – a close relative to heroin. The Sacklers are largely…

Keep reading

The Worm at the Core

This book makes a compelling argument that we are driven on an individual and societal level by our need to stave off our awareness of the inevitability of death.  It’s not a depressing book; rather, it made me much more aware of my thought patterns and gave me a sense of peace – knowing that…

Keep reading

The Lonely City

I don’t know what I expected of this book but it exceeded all expectations. I fell in love with it from the first page because the writing is warm, creative, original, and elevates the subject it confronts. Laing conveys the great depth and evocative truth of her experiences as she describes a broken relationship, moving to…

Keep reading

The Science of Meditation

There’s a useful distinction between ‘the deep path and the wide’ when it comes to meditation.  Most of us may not become deep meditators but even the toe we dip in the water brings benefits. Results can be seen in short meditations of five to ten minutes. The more regular one is even with these…

Keep reading

Exposure

This book sounds the alarm about what’s in our water and our blood, no matter where we are in the world.  Earl Tennent, a West Virginia farmer, realises that his land his rotting, his cattle dying and his family is getting sick because the company that produced Teflon, which makes our cooking utensils non-stick, is…

Keep reading

Becoming Wild

Killer whales use sonic sounds called codas to communicate – they have codas for their community, their family unit, for individuals. They know who they are with and whom they want to be with. At the first sign of threat, they can call for backup. They have been seen to form military-like defence formations when…

Keep reading

Entangled Life

This book took me on a breathtaking, life-affirming and inspired journey into the astounding interconnectedness of fungi and the role they play in the world around us. Sheldrake writes with compassionate understanding and vivid prose, and asks questions that shake the core of our self-centred definitions of intelligence, cognition and sensory perception. We need not…

Keep reading

Acid for the Children

Flea curls words into iridescent images of youth, memory, mistakes, yearning and a reflection on the sum of life’s experiences. The tiny moments that you didn’t bother to record, maybe hoped to forget, that, when recalled decades later, show the grit and shading of a character, a life and a complex community. I’m jealous of…

Keep reading

Seven Brief Lessons on Physics

This book is less than a hundred pages and it packs the biggest ideas in the universe into the most accessible language.  In seven short essays addressing space, time, black holes, the fundamental matter that makes up the universe and our own beautiful, dangerous, and fickle existence, Rovelli simultaneously makes you feel like your brain…

Keep reading

Difficult Conversations

“Difficult conversations are almost never about getting the facts right. They are about conflicting perceptions, interpretations, and values.” This book is gold. It tackles the conversations that we have almost daily by unpacking the elements into three separate threads – the ‘what happened’ conversation (perspective), the ‘feelings’ conversation (range of emotions) and the ‘identity’ conversation…

Keep reading

Pandemic

Shah weaves personal experiences with intense research that reads like a storybook. She takes us all the way from the early cholera epidemics of the 1800s (with far-too-vivid descriptions of shit-lined streets of New York City!) to the wet markets of China and explains exactly how new viruses evolve that otherwise never would if it…

Keep reading

The Art of Rest

A light and fun read. Hammond uses a survey of 18,000 people and the forms of rest that they prefer, then explores the psychology and research of the top ten to see how and why they work. She finds it amusing that the ten did not include spending time with friends and family and makes…

Keep reading

Loading…

Something went wrong. Please refresh the page and/or try again.


Subscribe!

No spam, only reviews.