Snowmads Good Reads – Our Book Recommendations
Snowmads Good Reads is our series of book recommendations for you! Books we have with us on our travels, books we read on rainy days or lazy afternoons in the hammock. Snowmads Good Reads is no advertising for any book it’s simply what we like, what inspires us and what we think you should have on your reading list.
The Snowmads‘ way of traveling is a slow way of traveling, an intense and mindful way of exploring cultures, unknown mountain ranges and places far off the beaten path. Traveling slow for us also means taking time for reading, for inspiration and giving thoughts an open space. Reading offers fresh input, different opinions and perspectives on things that concern us.
This week Fabi Lentsch is sharing three of his favorite books that inspire him – find out which ones he is recommending and especially why!
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
by Yuval Noah Harari
“You could never convince a monkey to give you a banana by promising him limitless bananas after death in monkey heaven.”
“We did not domesticate wheat. It domesticated us.”
I love to read books which challenge the ways I perceive the world and Sapiens was definitely one of these books. We Homo Sapiens exist since about 70.000 years and spent most of this time in the nature moving around looking for food. Then the agricultural revolution happened which led towards the present way of life. We settled, build cities and also invented stories which make it easier to live together. Such as money, nations, gods, laws and many more. It surprised me how much of our today’s behaviour is still rooted in the genes of our ancestors and saw the patterns of how we became enslaved by bureaucracy, timetables and consumerism. An amazing book for everyone who wants to know more about our species or ultimately about her/himself.
“As far as we can tell from a purely scientific viewpoint, human life has absolutely no meaning. Humans are the outcome of blind evolutionary processes that operate without goal or purpose. Our actions are not part of some divine cosmic plan, and if planet earth were to blow up tomorrow morning, the universe would probably keep going about its business as usual. As far as we can tell at this point, human subjectivity would not be missed. Hence any meaning that people inscribe to their lives is just a delusion.”
Quotes by Yuval Noah Harari
by Gregory David Roberts
“Happiness is a myth. It was invented to make us buy new things.”
“Love is the opposite of power. That’s why we fear it so much.”
I always thought of myself as being this great traveler and adventurer until I read Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts. He escaped a maximum security prison in Australia and somehow managed to flee to India where he lives many existences over quite some years. Such as running a self built clinic in a slum, producing fake passports along with many other dubious activities for the mafia, going to war in Afghanistan and another time in prison in Mumbai. As a hunted man without an identity, home or family he’s searching for love and a meaningful life behind the curtains of a hidden Mumbai society.
Reading about his adventures made me question my way of traveling and the goals and values in life. Shantaram was one of my motivations to live in Iran right now and learn the language to experience life beyond just being a tourist.
“But the soul has no culture. The soul has no nations. The soul has no colour or accent or way of life. The soul is forever. The soul is one. And when the heart has its moment of truth and sorrow, the soul can’t be stilled.”
Quotes by Gregory David Roberts
How to Change Your Mind? – The New Science of Psychedelics
by Michael Pollan
“Why assume that “normal” consciousness is the real one, while the boundless and transcendent variety is somehow fake?”
“Compared with other drugs, psychedelics seldom affect people the same way twice, because they tend to magnify whatever’s already going on both inside and outside one’s head.”
Psychedelics are still quite a sensitive topic in our society and often linked to horror stories of people jumping out of windows. The truth is that humans are using psychedelics such as “magic” mushrooms since thousands of years which gives us reason to believe that they played a big part in our evolution. After the movement against psychedelics in the 1960s researchers have picked up the topic again and it even finds its way into therapeutic use. This book is about the history, recent research including brain scans while people are tripping and Michaels personal travelogues under the influence of these non-addictive drugs. I’ve made experiences with psychedelics during an Ayahuasca ceremony in Brasil about four years ago and this book managed to answer many questions I still had.
“Habits are undeniably useful tools, relieving us of the need to run a complex mental operation every time we’re confronted with a new task or situation. Yet they also relieve us of the need to stay awake to the world: to attend, feel, think, and then act in a deliberate manner. (That is, from freedom rather than compulsion.) If you need to be reminded how completely mental habit blinds us to experience, just take a trip to an unfamiliar country. Suddenly you wake up! And the algorithms of everyday life all but start over, as if from scratch. This is why the various travel metaphors for the psychedelic experience are so apt. The efficiencies of the adult mind, useful as they are, blind us to the present moment. We’re constantly jumping ahead to the next thing.”
Quotes by Michael Pollan
As someone once said: „Reading is dreaming with open eyes.“ We want to wish you happy dreams, relaxing moments, many inspiring words, quotes and a quality time out from the every day life!