I have been on a good spin with keeping up with my reading in 2019. Of course, making progress getting through books has also sparked a book acquisition spree… it remains to be seen if I will keep up the pace or be overwhelmed!


My books of summer 2019 and why


China plays a huge role in global affairs, and will continue to do so for the rest of the 21st century. I want to continue adding to my understanding and impressions of this huge entity. I have already wolfed down two of Ma Jian’s brutal dissident fictions, Dark Road and Beijing Coma. Hoping to round out those brillant, dark, and desperate reflections of the brutality of modern China with these next three works.


Empire, history and “Civilization”

The world as we know it today has been shaped by countless events and moments in history. However we perceive or understand different places and societies today, one can almost always peel off another layer and discover the deeper lines and forces at play. These books represent the current smattering of works in that vein.



Iron John has been recommended to me by a friend, in conversation about his men’s reading group and my youth group experiences. Seems like it is one of the classic reads on masculinity, I’ll be curious to see how it translates to today.


Society, community and belonging

These four books represent different facets of how humans come together and interact. Liars and Outliers is actually going to be a re-read. I read it when it first came out. I’ll probably take the time over summer to write up a review/prior on some of the key concepts from it that I have held on to over these years. Scale popped up as a good option for complex systems thinking and seeing the common patterns that pop up in various systems. Good general prep for the sustainability summer school I’m heading to in July. The Art of Gathering will hopefully yield some gems on how to cultivate and grow community. And Towards Self-sufficiency attempts to map out a model for resilient communities, ready to survive the coming ‘transition’ as the global economy and ecology collapses; Cheery stuff!

The goal is to get through all of these before the end of summer! Wish me luck, and if you are inspired to check any of these books out, I would love to hear your perspectives on them!