I am a huge nerd. No surprise there.
Over the years I have accumulated (metaphorically) a library of all the books I have gotten to spend time with.
I owe a huge debt to these books, since they have taught me so much and made me who I am today.
I would like to share with you these sources of wisdom that come at no cost and may even inspire you to create the next innovative life-changing movement.
Today I would like to talk about books that really shift one’s thinking on our current culture (in the broad sense of the term) and its relationship with nature.
- My Ishmael – Daniel Quinn
- The Story of B – Daniel Quinn
- The World Without Us – Alan Weisman
- Tuesdays with Morrie – Mitch Albom
I am not partial to Daniel Quinn, but I must say that I am a big fan of his simple and personable writing with a fiction-reality twist. In the first book that is listed, My Ishmael, a young girl follows an ad that says, “Teacher seeking pupil,” and comes upon a gorilla who communicates telepathically to her. From there, everything about our past culture and our current culture gets unravelled. It is a nice read because you have the little girl asking all these questions you would have never really thought of and get answers from the wise gorilla. It is definitely an interesting approach to promoting a certain lifestyle that the author finds as an alternative to the one we have today!
In the second book listed by the same author, the focus gets shifted towards the religious aspect of life. The narrator is a priest who gets sent to Germany to inquire about a certain Anti-Christ. However, to his surprise, he finds himself learning and rethinking the place of religion as he comes to close contact with the people deemed to be his enemy. What is different about this book compared to the first one is that it is written in diary/personal journal format to show the opinion of the priest then at the back, there is the “recorded” speeches that contain life-changing insights on our culture and humanity. To be honest, I wasn’t a fan of this approach, as I didn’t realize it at first that the most dense information was at the back. I found the part before that section was a little hard to get through. When I got to the back of the book (though it was only around 20 pages), I pounded through it and found myself completely taken in by the ideas! So I recommend mixing both sections together (like the author suggested – oops) or else it will be confusing.
In the third book, Weisman brings the readers to a world, well, without us (as the title dictates). It is absolutely shocking, not only from the perspective of the amount of details in the description of this post-human world, but also from the realization that nature really does not need us to prosper. It is us who needs nature. Without nature, we’re good as dead. I think this book really brings you back to reality and really appreciate the value of the natural environment.
In the last, but not least, book, it is more of a philosophical story of a student who spends the remaining precious moments of his old teacher. This novel really changes your vision on what happiness, death, and life is all about. In our culture, where we are constantly brainwashed to distract ourselves with, dare I say it, useless things (both in the material and mental sense of the expression), this book opens our eyes to what is truly important. It makes you reevaluate everything (in a good way of course!). This is one of the few novels that managed to make me cry, not from sadness but from the new hope it inspires.
There you have it, my must-read recommendations that will change your life (for the better I hope) and your vision on the relationship between culture and nature.
Read away, my friends! Get inspired. Be adventurous. Love openly.