• Virginia Woolf portends an age of angry men I finally read Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own. Can I implore you to (re)read it in these modern times? It remains insightful and in being so, is quite a reflection of our lack of evolution. Or perhaps a reminder that some themes may always pervade. Woolf asks big questions about women and writing, more
  • The First, We Make the Beast Beautiful book club guide is here One of the reasons I wrote First, We Make The Beast Beautiful was to start a new conversation about anxiety. Every chat we have about anxiety –  with loved ones, friends, colleagues, strangers – brings us in closer, and making us feel less lonely, which, as I explain in The Beast, allows us to do more
  • We need a new moral code. Here’s my reading list. This is where I think we are going wrong right now. We lack inspiring, spiritual guidance. I’m going to rant for a bit, and provide some interesting links and reads for you. Then ask you to cite what guides you, with links. Cool? In the olden days, we had ritual and religion and social morays more
  • The sisterhood of pain and PTSD…an interesting perspective I just read Sebastian Junger’s Tribe. Junger is a war journalist who posits that post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among veterans is mostly an issue with homecoming. That is, the most devastating and longterm psychological stress doesn’t come from the horrors of war so much as from the cold contrast of reintegrating into a society that more
  • That’s the way real men behave. Good night. What do you make of this take on masculinity? Or, if you prefer, this take on the importance of certainty. Yes, this is another post inspired by Zorba the Greek. See my rant about uneasiness and letting go, too, if you like. The two nomad friends must part ways in the morning. The “Boss” can’t more
  • Why am I a nomad? Have you read Bruce Chatwin? I read Songlines, his fiction-meets-non-fiction account of his travels in deep Aboriginal country during a hiking trip at the start of the year. It’s worth a read. As I shared with my friend and National Geographic explorer Dan Buettner: “He is a rare writer who can actually insert himself into a story and more
  • What Zorba The Greek taught me about being free (prepare for f*cking gold!) I flagged a post ago about why Zorba the Greek is a book that must be read that I’ll be sharing several Zorba lessons. Such is the impact it’s had on me. The first was about my uneasiness in the face of the “is-ness” of life. Here’s another. It’s possibly the most succinct overview of what it takes more
  • In which I explain why Zorba The Greek must be read I’m in love with Zorba The Greek. He’s a character (in a novel), a real man (Nikos Kazantzakis based the character on someone he met in the 1920s), and he’s every Greek I’ve ever loved, for he distills all that I have in my heart, waiting to be expressed in full, in stunning exclamations that cut Right To more
  • The 9 best books that help heal anxiety I read widely and wonderfully while researching first, we make the beast beautiful, my book about my anxious journey. Actually, I’ve researched the topic for decades now and read many a fretty memoir, some more insightful and enriching than others. Here’s my pick of the bunch with short reviews. Because I did promise I’d provide more
  • Lonely much? Me too. This helps. Further to my post on Martha Nussbaum’s notion of seeking out difficulty to have a good life, I’d like to chat to you about a rant on the value of loneliness I came across today on BrainPickings.com. The rant picks up on an idea explored in The Lonely City by Olive Laing – that loneliess more
  • How to love mindfully Oh I do love a bit of Thich Nhat Hanh. I recently discovered that the Vietnamese monk who brought us the mindful concept of “washing the dishes, to wash the dishes” has written about mindful love in his book “How to Love”. It’s a beautiful read. It hits nails on relationship heads. But I was more
  • What to leave out: The key to creativity I highly recommend long reading. Not least because of the lovely knowledge that unfurls from it. I also think that committing to a long read narrows, focuses, hones and gets you still. It’s the antidote to the frazzle of short-form toggling. It’s a Sunday afternoon thing for me, to read all the lengthy prose I’ve more
  • In defence of bookstores Here’s a bourgeois inner-city faux-boh statement for you: The death of bookstores is another win for capitalism. Sounds like something people in fisherman pants said in the uni refectory back in 1993. But actually New York writer Adam Gopnik did. He argues that capitalism grew up with smaller, intimate institutions existing alongside – cafes, bookstores, more
  • This brutal trick for A-types will sift out mediocrity I came across a book by writer and business consultant Greg McKeown: Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less. I’m rather a fervent fan of the “less is more” approach. Actually, to be frank, I came across a read that mentions Greg’s book. In said read, one of McKeown’s ideas is fleshed out: that the busyness of the more
  • Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo I think this says it all: I thought this confronting tale of life in a Mumbai slum in the early 2000s was fiction (such was the “unrealness” of it) until I got to the end and read the epilogue where the The New Yorker poverty correspondent Katherine Boo explains that every single detail is true. And that she spent more
  • Wanderlust: A History of Walking by Rebecca Solnit I gravitate to reads about walking. Especially those that extrapolate the connection between mindful reflection and walking. Hence today’s review of What I’ve Just Finished Reading. Background to why I read this book: Walking and reflection sustain me through my angst and anxiety. My current theory: Walking works to the same pace as reflection, thus the more
  • Start with a big fat lump in your throat and run with it As an angsty teen I read Robert Frost’s The Path Not Taken and would feel all kinds of profoundnesses. I would also read the bible, looking for the same depth. I’ve liked to think I’ve moved on from such binary thinking. But I recently came across a reference to Frost’s approach to poem creation: “It begins as a more
  • Have you married yourself yet? I’ve just been introduced to the poet and philosopher, David Whyte. In his book The Three Marriages, he says we need to navigate, yep, three marriages in life: one to others (“particularly and very personally, to one other living, breathing person”), another to work and another to one’s self, “through an understanding of what it means to be more
  • Each of us is responsible for everything I’ve been reading Simone De Beuvoir’s The Blood of Others. It’s a grating read. It cuts to the pain of an ethical quandary that I feel should grate at us all – are we responsible for everything? Or should we just take care of ourselves? It goes to the heart of existentialist angst – the more
  • Just Show Up One of the highlights of my stay here in New York has been connecting with author, blogger and spiritual junkie Gabby Bernstein. Gab did my I Quit Sugar program a few months ago, blogged and SM’d about it to her vast and adoring audience and suddenly we were in each other’s orbits. The funny thing is this: more
  • This is why I cook I’ve been reading Michael Pollan’s latest book: Cooked, A Natural History of Transformation. I’m transfixed. I love it. I’m sure you would too. I’m learning all kinds of wonderful cookery thingerys. Like, salt any meat that’s to be braised or stewed for hours, if not days, before you cook it. Why? Salt obviously draws water more
  • 10 beefy reads for vegans + meat lovers I want to get to a point straight up today. I’ve been travelling around learning about meat production and reading more and more on the subject. A few weeks back I shared how I eat my meat, which prompted debate and more questions. I’ve read some more…and more…and figured y’all might like to do the more
  • five spiritual books to read this weekend I was asked this recently and promised to share. I’ll keep it simple and to the point…just a few reads that have made a difference to me and might to you, too. Feel free to add to the list below… A Path with Heart by Jack Kornfield A wonderful manual for deep meditation practice. His more
  • how to eat to fall pregnant: a Chris Kresser ebook I know many of you have asked, what’s the best way to eat when trying to get pregnant. I’ve since found an amazing resource…which follows the same principles I adhere to. I did a podcast with Dr Chris Kresser, a practitioner of integrative medicine and creator of The Healthy Skeptic blog, last year, and discovered that Chris more
  • five books: cookbooks and nutrition guides I eat by I’m starting an occasional series where I share a couple of my favourite books. First up, cookbooks and nutrition guides I live by. I’ve put nifty links to Amazon if you’re busting to get your hands on them…. Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions Sally is the co-founder and president of the Weston A Price Foundation, and more
  • this…this grips me today I would like to share this poem by Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Mary Oliver. I read an interview with her a while back in Oprah magazine and was touched by Mary’s authenticity and gentle approach to life. She’s always taken her time. She lives in a forest. She fell in love with her agent Molly and more
  • five books: that connect me to vulnerability I often get asked what books I’m reading. I’m really bad at answering definitely (on most things). In part because my memory is shocking. But also because everything is always “for now”. So, here are five reads I’ve experienced recently that touched me because the author truly went deep into their search or their fear more
  • we’re bone-heavy creatures…keep close I wrote yesterday in Sunday Life about going retro with my work habits…that I write out things longhand and that I’ve taken to using index cards to map out ideas before sitting down to a computer screen. It gets me closer to my creativity and slows things down to the pace at which I create more
  • good read: “the sound of a wild snail eating” I’ve just finished this sweet little book, The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating.  It’s the memoir of a woman who gets sick and waits out her illness watching a little snail that a friend delivered to her in a flowerpot. She learns from the snail about slowness, although the snail moves faster than she more
  • New Year idea: reading (and a list of the books I’m into right now) “I have sought rest everywhere, and have found it nowhere, save in a little corner, with a little book.” – Thomas à Kempis I’ve recently arrived at the same discovery as above. For the past month or two I’ve been coming home on a Saturday afternoon around 3pm and sitting in my cool loungeroom and more
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