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0 comments / Posted on by Amanda Brotman

I have happened to read some of my all-time favorite books in near succession over the last couple of years. Here they are.  Clearly, there is a bit of a theme, but if you have any appreciation for the natural world, these will be worth a read.  (According to me!)

 

1. Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants, by Robin Wall Kimmerer

If you feel even remotely connected to nature, this might be one of the most beautiful books you'll read. Botany as poetry, while also being the story of the author's life as an indigenous woman scientist.  

 

 

2. The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate—Discoveries from A Secret World (The Mysteries of Nature,1), by Peter Wohlleben

This book blew my mind. I don't think I could read a paragraph without turning to my husband to say, "Did you know that trees ______?!!  Did you know that they can do _____?!?!" The degree to which the forests are ALIVE is unreal. A truly fascinating drama - don't let the "botany" categorization fool you.

 

3. How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence, by Michael Pollan

Another one that sucked me in and blew my mind (figuratively speaking). Nature is truly magical, and absolutely the boss. 

 

4. The Overstory: A Novel, by Richard Powers

A remarkable piece of literature (Pulitzer Prize winning!) that draws you into its riveting stories of individuals and their relationship to the natural world, reminding us how interconnected everything on this planet is (and how much of a tragic catastrophe humankind is creating).

 

5. Awakening the Buddha Within: Tibetan Wisdom for the Western World, by Lama Surya Das

Off topic from the above theme, but a lovely read nonetheless. This book felt like something I'd read again and again, and made me feel like I could better live in balance with this often overwhelming world.

6. Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art, by James Nestor

I'll let Elizabeth Gilbert, of Eat Pray Love outline it for me: 

“A fascinating scientific, cultural, spiritual, and evolutionary history of the way humans breathe—and how we’ve all been doing it wrong for a long, long time. I already feel calmer and healthier just in the last few days, from making a few simple changes in my breathing, based on what I’ve read…Our breath is a beautiful, healing, mysterious gift, and so is this book.” 

 Stay tuned for the next installment of what we're up to, and give us your book recommendations in the comments below!

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