August 2017 Book Recommendations

Apologies to those anti-subtitlest, but subtitles seem to be the common thread this month  . . . read on . . . 

Perennial Seller - The Art of Making and Marketing Work that Lasts by Ryan Holiday

The world is big and confusing and changing and a lot of folks feel lost. Ryan does an amazing job taking those big and changing ideas and turning them into quick and clear and actionable items with a sincere respect for the grand task at hand - "We are fighting not just agains our contemporaries for recognition, but against centuries of great art for an audience."

The Four Seasons Punta Mita is where I'd read this book if I had another chance to.  A nice long weekend away, with a short flight back home to come up with action plans.

Shark Drunk - The Art of Catching a Large Shark from a Tiny Rubber Dinghy in a Big Ocean by Morton Stroksnes

I would have never come across this book had it not been for a bookstore. So number one piece of advice is to always go to bookstores.  And number two piece of advice is to be a decent human being and buy the book from the bookstore if you discover it there.

Shark Drunk is a spectacular conservation book, human story book, funny aside book, and a dozen other things. The core journey about two guys trying to reconnect with the past leads to side trips about the creation of the universe, the plight of cod, and factual tidbits about one of the world's longest living creatures, the Greenland shark (450 years old!)

Of course Greenland or Iceland is the place to take in this story. There are a couple ship based Greenland trips I'm aware of, but sea sickness is my enemy, so I'd recommend an Iceland Adventure. Nothing better than being fireside with the cold temperatures on the outside and a warm fire on the inside.

What Doesn't Kill Us: How Freezing Water, Extreme Altitude, and Environmental Conditioning Will Renew Our Lost Evolutionary Strength by Scott Carney

Wim Hof "madman or prophet" that's one of many questions Scott Carney had when researching this book that took him to the cold base of Wim Hof's method in Poland to a topless Kilimanjaro trek. The coldness defined Wim Hof originally - but the book does a good job showing how Hof is transitioning to focus on his breathing exercises and techniques.  Definitely worthwhile to check out the Vice Documentary on Wim Hof and if that connects with you, then the book will be a welcome discovery.

Definitely there's no better way to read about climbing Kili than while you're climbing Kili.

Mani: Travels in the Southern Peloponnese by Patrick Leigh Fermor

Patrick Leigh Fermor is my spirit author. If I could write like anyone, then it would be him. Fourth wall breaks, endless lists, big words that you have to look up, all of it just makes me smile. 

Mani is a sincere account of a place that Fermor sincerely loved. And that means a lot coming from a traveler and adventurer like Fermor. His genuine love of the folks of Mani really comes through.

I think everyone needs to read Mani twice. Once while getting ready to go to Greece and a second time while they're there. This has to be one of the best trips for it.

Natural Born Heroes: Mastering the Lost Secrets of Strength and Endurance by Christopher McDougall

I remember listening to the audio version of this book when it first came out and hearing Chris McDougall mention Patrick Leigh Fermor. He was recounting a daring adventure Fermor led during World War II that forms one of the core plots of this book. I made a note to look up Fermor and then promptly lost it. Fortunately someone recommended Mani to me and consequently I got to rediscover Fermor.  

Chris is a great author that approaches these grand feats of endurance and humanity with a curious awe. He does a great job connecting science with story succinctly. Greece is the obvious choice to read this one, but since the book was written in the states I feel like a National Parks itinerary might work for it. There's always something nice about longing for something far away, and I think the beauty of the parks plus the descriptions of Greece would make for some really good inspiration.