Spring Reads

Hello again! Spring is here in full force and I’ve been really enjoying watching the processes of growth happening all around me. Backyard production is in full swing. Here’s a little photo journal update of everything going on:

What I’m Reading

The Unsettling of America

Wendell Berry’s criticism of modern agriculture (and therefore culture) is poignant, sad, and maddening all at the same time. It was written in 1977 but feels like it might have been written last week. Berry comes down hard on the exploits of “agri-business”, our obsession with the future, and the industrial-revolution byproduct of each worker as an “expert” who can easily separate work and life. This “expert” driven society takes people from of their homes/communities and drops them into strange new environments like office complexes where ethical decisions can be divorced from the impact they may have on one’s life. This expert-worker, Berry claims, has a single focus while all other aspects of their life like financial planning, health, education, and even entertainment are outsourced to other specialists. The Unsettling of America is a long and, at times, uncomfortable read but I recommend it if you want to be introduced to one of America’s literary giants.

The Millennia-Old Model of Mentorship

A short Atlantic article that explores the ancient meaning of mentoring by looking at The Odyssey. As Odysseus leaves on his epic adventure, his 20-year old son Telemachus is placed under the authority of a family friend named Mentor. Mentor’s name comes from the Greek word menos which once thought to mean “heroic strength” now is more commonly understood as mental fortitude. Telemachus, like many young people, is unsure about his place in life and is referred to as napios meaning disconnected. The big learning from this word study is that a mentor is one who gives mental strength to someone who is disconnected from society.

Natural Born Heroes

I’m early-on in this one but shaping up to an interesting mash up of Tim Ferriss-like life hacks and WW2 history all centering around the amazing island of Crete and the band of odd-balls who defied the odds and challenged Hitler’s advances. The story is told through gripping vignettes of the war and modern day exploration of these events by author himself. Excited to read more!

Have a book that you recommend? Let me know!