Happy Friday, League of Wildness!
As the year wraps up, I wanted to share some of my favorite books with the League. Please share yours as well!
I suggest never taking an author at their word because their primary objective is to sell books. Do your research before you make major changes to things in your life, especially if it involves taking any sort of supplement because most of them are rackets not backed by peer-reviewed science.
I included an Amazon link for each book. There’s no affiliation pay associated with the links, I just figured it would make it easier to find the books. I encourage you to utilize libraries, Little Free Libraries, and local bookstores first and foremost.
Pitter-patter, let’s get at ‘er!
(If you know where I got that quote and said it in the voice of the characters, you get a fist bump for having great taste in weird shows )
The Comfort Crisis: Embrace Discomfort to Reclaim Your Wild, Happy, Healthy Self
by Michael Easter
If there was a single book that covered the Wild Gym ethos, this would come close. This an excellent read about the benefits of pushing ourselves into uncomfortable spaces to do hard things and the benefits we reap from doing so.
quote: “In misogi you’ll reach this edge where you are convinced you have nothing left,” he said. “But you’ll keep going anyway. And then you’ll look back and you’ll be way out beyond what you were certain was your edge. You won’t forget that.”
Move Your DNA: Restore Your Health Through Natural Movement
by Katy Bowman
Katy just has a way of explaining complicated human anatomy in ways that make sense and then she offers easy exercises that can have a major impact on our movement patterns. Our modern lives have made unnatural movement the norm and our bodies are paying the price. Katy’s information is part of the antidote.
quote: “We haven’t even begun to learn all the physiological processes that depend on interacting with the sun. Or the wind, the warm, the cold, the ground, or biophony for that matter.” [biophony is basically the combined sounds of nature in any given environment]
What Doesn't Kill Us: How Freezing Water, Extreme Altitude, and Environmental Conditioning Will Renew Our Lost Evolutionary Strength
by Scott Carney
This book also explores discomfort but is specifically related to environmental conditioning. There are many benefits to varying the temperatures we expose our bodies to. Our modern homes allow us to live in “climate perfection” with ultra-comfortable temperature and humidity levels. But our bodies benefit from the extremes that our planet has to offer and we should make more effort to expose ourselves to them.
quote: “The biological relationship between life and its environment is the most ancient transfer of knowledge that any human can ever experience.”
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
By Greg McKeown
Shifting gears a bit, this book is about learning how to filter out all the “junk” in life and shake out what is the most important. Essentialism is a system for prioritizing your most prized possession: your time. One of the most commonly experienced regrets of the dying is that they wish they’d had more courage to be themselves instead of living up to the expectations of others. This book aims to help you do that.
quote: “Remember, Essentialists don’t say no just occasionally. It is a part of their regular repertoire.”
The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles
By Steven Pressfield
This is an awesome read packed with valuable insight. The premise is how to overcome blocks to our creative process. What holds you back from engaging in creativity? Is it a belief that you aren’t good enough at it? Is it procrastination? Do you worry that someone else already did the same thing? This book covers it all.
quote: “Our job in this lifetime is not to shape ourselves into some ideal we imagine we ought to be, but to find out who we already are and become it.”
The Body: A Guide for Occupants
by Bill Bryson
Bill Bryson has a knack for humorous yet accurate explanations of everyday situations. In this book, he tackles the human body and its many amazing and sometimes bizarre properties.
quote: “Today the average American walks only about a third of a mile a day – and that’s walking of all types, including around the house and workplace. Even in an indolent society, it would seem almost impossible to do less.”
The Practice of Natural Movement: Reclaim Power, Health, and Freedom
By Erwan Le Corre
Link (this one only comes in hardcover I believe)
The author runs a company called MovNat that is focused on optimizing the range of natural human movement. This is a big book full of information and movement exercises along with some nutrition info.
quote: “If you want to become a force of nature, you need to interact with the forces of nature.“
Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art
By James Nestor
I covered this book in my email two weeks ago. It’s truly a groundbreaking book about the most basic act a human can do. This book will challenge how you think about the simple act of breathing. If you (like me) thought it was impossible to breathe incorrectly, I definitely recommend this.
quote: “To breathe is to absorb ourselves in what surrounds us, to take in little bits of life, understand them, and give pieces of ourselves back out. Respiration is, at its core, reciprocation.”
Chasing Excellence: A Story About Building the World’s Fittest Athletes
By Ben Bergeron
While most books on fitness tend to focus on physical demands, Ben argues that our mindset is the major level to success. Someone may be physically capable of great feats, but unable to achieve them due to a poor mindset. His insights are applicable not just to fitness but to other areas of life.
quote: “Elite athletes know something that most people don’t—adversity is the best thing that can happen to you. Ensuring there is no struggle, no challenge, and staying in your wheelhouse is a recipe for spinning your wheels without improving.”
The Primal Blueprint
By Mark Sisson
I have a passion for ancestral living and connections to past humans. I don’t agree with everything about the “primal/paleo” movement but Mark has been around a long time and his ten laws are pretty solid advice. If people could do those ten things 80% of the time they would be well on the path to optimal health.
quote: “We collectively adopt the belief that play is for youth. The truth is that play is for everyone.”
Please let me know if you have read any of these and what your thoughts are! I’d also love to hear what you are reading and find valuable in shaping your life into what you want it to be. You can just hit reply to this email. I always welcome book recommendations at any time.
Wishing you an awesome solstice and holiday season!