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These Unique Books are Soo Good - You Have to Read Them At Least Once

From the history of Rome to the history of salt

These Unique Books are Soo Good - You Have to Read Them At Least Once

Missing these unique books is a crime.

Today’s books range widely in topics. But each of them will show you a new world.

By reading them you’ll walk in the woods, learn the history of Rome, befriend animals, improve your relationship with the earth, and more.

Let’s get on with this unique journey!

These Unique Books are Soo Good - You Have to Read Them At Least Once

On building a reciprocal relationship with nature…

Kimmerer is a botanist. With her background in science and her roots in the Potawatomi tribe, she teaches us to renew our relationship with Mother Earth and its many gifts.

The author draws on ancestral wisdom. She also shares anecdotes and her personal experiences.

“Knowing that you love the earth changes you, activates you to defend and protect and celebrate. But when you feel that the earth loves you in return, that feeling transforms the relationship from a one-way street into a sacred bond.”

Kimmerer has taught her kids gardening so they have a mother (i.e. Earth) when she is gone.

The book traces the author’s journey as she learns her native language. She also learns how to braid traditional sweetgrass baskets.

“Our indigenous herbalists say to pay attention when plants come to you; they’re bringing you something you need to learn.”

This book will make you emotional. It will motivate you to fix your actions towards the nature around you.

These Unique Books are Soo Good - You Have to Read Them At Least Once

What happens after we die?

The author tackles a subject that many might find squeamish to talk about.

She tells us about the journey of the body after death. But it is not only about rotting and decaying. It includes the journey of cadavers who serve a purpose.

“You are a person and then you cease to be a person, and a cadaver takes your place.”

We all know about the dissections and medical services of human bodies.

But there is much we don’t know. For example, human bodies are used in car crash tests and for practicing cosmetic surgery.

The book doesn’t contain scientific information only. It also has the author’s reflections on death.

“Many people will find this book disrespectful. There is nothing amusing about being dead, they will say. Ah, but there is.”

She says that people who make elaborate requests of what should be done with their bodies are not at peace with not existing.

This book is a fascinating one. It will show you a whole other life after death. (not in the religious sense of course)

These Unique Books are Soo Good - You Have to Read Them At Least Once

Let’s live with the Romans.

What in the ABC is this book’s name?

I was confused and intrigued. As it turns out, the book takes its name from a Latin phrase, ‘Senatus Populusque Romanus’. It means ‘The Senate and people of Rome’.

“It is a dangerous myth that we are better historians than our predecessors. We are not.”

The author covers almost a thousand years of Roman history.

The book tells us about the founding of the Roman Republic and the various wars it had. It also details the internal conflicts like the issues between the ruling class.

Julius Caesar was assassinated to prevent the formation of a dictatorship, the book says.

“It cannot be stressed enough that there is no certain independent date for any of the archaeological material from earliest Rome or the area round about, and that arguments still rage about the age of almost every major find.”

If you are into Roman history, this book might do the trick.

These Unique Books are Soo Good - You Have to Read Them At Least Once

The role of Cod in historical events.

Kurlansky takes us through history by using Codfish as an anchor.

Did you know that Vikings air-dried Cod to help them last on long travels? Bet, they didn’t have freezers.

The author discusses the role of Cod fishing grounds as they provided food for many.

“Man wants to see nature and evolution as separate from human activities. There is the natural world, and there is man. But man also belongs to the natural world. If he is a ferocious predator, that too is a part of evolution.”

And then… Cod fishing became a mechanized industry. We all know where that goes.

Cod’s population was depleted.

“Nature remains focused on survival.”

The author lauds the fishing policies in Norway as they helped keep the Cod from going extinct.

The book also features traditional Cod recipes.

This book will show you how damaging man can be if he acts without consideration for the future.

These Unique Books are Soo Good - You Have to Read Them At Least Once

Travels into the earth.

Have you watched the movie, ‘Journey into the Center of the Earth’?

I have. It came out in 2008.

The author’s exploration in this book will remind you of that movie (if you have watched it).

“Time isn’t deep, it is always already all around us.”

Macfarlane travels to underground and remote places on earth. Through his expeditions, he examines the effect of humans on the landscape.

The book details 11 different journeys of the author.

It includes his interaction with the guides and other people accompanying him.

“Deep time is the dizzying expanses of Earth history that stretch away from the present moment.”

While in a mine under Boulby, Yorkshire, he meets a young physicist who is studying dark matter.

This book will leave you in awe of the earth’s dark underbelly.

These Unique Books are Soo Good - You Have to Read Them At Least Once

It’s time that we acknowledge what we don’t know.

Frans De Waal is a Dutch Primatologist.

Among other things, he studied the chimpanzee colony at the Arnhem Zoo for 6 years.

His papers and books acknowledge the emotional and cognitive capabilities of animals.

This is one such book.

“One can train dolphins to jump synchronously because they do so in the wild, and one can teach horses to run together at the same pace because wild horses do the same.”

Through his experience and research, De Waal makes us see all that we miss about animals. We don’t realize their level of intelligence.

The author says that there is no single form of cognition. A species’ cognitive abilities depend on what it needs to do in order to survive.

“Chimpanzees use between fifteen and twenty-five different tools per community, and the precise tools vary with cultural and ecological circumstances.”

He gives various examples that make the reader stop and think. Chimpanzees from different areas of the earth have developed different tools for their benefit.

This book will make you see animals in a new light.

These Unique Books are Soo Good - You Have to Read Them At Least Once

Your intuition deserves to be listened to.

The author advises us to recognize the signs from our intuition.

They keep us safe.

“It is understandable that the perspectives of men and women on safety are so different — men and women live in different worlds…at core, men are afraid women will laugh at them, while at core, women are afraid men will kill them.”

Through real-life examples, Becker shows us how trusting instincts saved many people.

On the other hand, when they were ignored, it led to someone getting hurt.

A police officer read the body language of two people in the back of the car and realized they had a gun. His observation and analytical skills saved his life.

While his friend, who was a bit rash with his decisions, got hurt in a separate incident.

The author tells us about the tell-tale signs of criminals and violent people. Like flaring nostrils or the use of the word, ‘we’ to connect with the victim.

“Denial is a save now, pay later scheme.”

This book will teach you how to be safe by trusting yourself.

These Unique Books are Soo Good - You Have to Read Them At Least Once

What do woods teach us?

I am envious of the author.

It has been a dream of mine to hike on trails and explore the wilderness. Why haven’t my dreams materialized is another story.

Through this book, we accompany Bryson on his 1996 hike on the Appalachian Trail.

“Walking for hours and miles becomes as automatic, as unremarkable, as breathing.”

We also meet Bryson’s friend, Stephen Katz who is his companion on part of this journey.

The author writes hilariously. He also reflects on civilization or its lack thereof. He acquaints us with various people (and bears) that he comes across.

“I wanted to quit and to do this forever, sleep in a bed and in a tent, see what was over the next hill and never see a hill again. All of this all at once, every moment, on the trail or off.”

Bryson describes a feeling of Zen when one is focused on hiking further and further devoid of all worldly commitments.

This book is an interesting account. Adventurers should definitely read it.

These Unique Books are Soo Good - You Have to Read Them At Least Once

The animal experience.

The other day I was watching videos about the Indus River dolphin with my kid. This freshwater dolphin is literally blind. It lives in murky waters and uses echolocation to find its way.

Due to the extensive irrigation system built on the river, the dolphin habitat has shrunk drastically.

“As we push animals away, we get used to their absence.”

This book touches on this issue as well. We humans dominate the planet and keep making changes according to what suits our senses.

We don’t acknowledge our neighbors on Earth. Those who share it with us. On them, our survival depends.

“A camel likely isn’t distressed by the baking sun, and penguins probably don’t mind huddling through an Antarctic storm.”

The author discusses animal senses like smell, taste, sound, and even pain.

We come to know of the complexity and reality of animal lives. And how little we can understand.

The last chapter focuses on sensory pollution and how it is hurting animals.

These Unique Books are Soo Good - You Have to Read Them At Least Once

Salt has an important role in history.

We have no shortage of salt. But that wasn’t always the case.

This book brings us the journey of salt through history.

“Salt is so common, so easy to obtain, and so inexpensive that we have forgotten that from the beginning of civilization until about 100 years ago, salt was one of the most sought-after commodities in human history.”

Where does salt come from? Sea water and mining.

Ancient Celts built their empire on salt.

People used salt to cure meat. It was also used in the mummification process. The Roman army needed salt for their men and horses.

Tax on salt, and the resulting uproar shaped the political and social history of the world.

“Proteins unwind when exposed to heat, and they do the same when exposed to salt. So salting has an effect resembling cooking.”

We cannot even imagine a kitchen without salt. It is a part and parcel of our daily life.

Learning in detail about this mineral is both fascinating and enlightening.


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If you enjoyed these book recommendations, check out the rest of my book lists on my blog-

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