I read and watched this week:
Atomic Habits by James Clear: I had done my burpee-based calisthenics, blog posting, cold showers, and other habits sometimes for nearly a decade without missing a day when the book came out so took a while to read it. I consider myself skilled at starting and keeping up habits. I found the book engaging. I don’t think I learned much about starting and keeping habits, but recommend it.
Living, directed by Oliver Hermanus, screenplay by Nobel Laureate Kazuo Ishiguro, adapted from Akira Kurosawa’s Ikiru: I watched Ikuru last week or two and kept thinking about it, liking it more the more I thought of it. I heard last year someone remade it, taking place in England. It’s hard to consider the remake, Living, independent of the original. It’s solid, but tough to compare.
At Home on an Unruly Planet, by Madeline Ostrander: The premise of the book resembles David Gressen’s: recount actual Americans’ interactions with our environmental problems. It’s dire. I had trouble reading it yet another recounting of problems few are acting on.
Entangled Life by Merlin Sheldrake: I saw this book on fungi on 8th Avenue, abandoned in a restaurant shed—a hardcover no less. It looked like an interesting view on a part of nature so I read it. I enjoyed reading it but didn’t find it life-changing.
Why Poverty Exists in America by Matthew Desmond in the New York Times and a bunch of reviews of his book Poverty, By America and interviews of the the author: A participant of the workshop recommended the book for its looking at solving poverty at who benefits from it. The library’s copies were lent out so I could only put it on hold, but the author appears in many videos and wrote a long piece in the New York Times, which I link to. I agree with much of his analysis of the cause of poverty coming from people with control over resources finding ways to siphon money from those without. I look forward to reading the book and expect I’ll try to bring him to the podcast. I recommend reading the Times piece and watching videos on him.
I haven’t read his last book, Evicted, which won the Pulitzer Prize, but consider the cover one of the best and most poignant and haunting covers. It takes a second to realize what it is, what the image shows, how it got that way, and what it means to the people who once lived there.
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On initiative, leadership, the environment, and burpees