Review: Filosofie van de duur­loop

Filosofie van de duurloop
Filosofie van de duur­loop by Mark Row­lands
My rat­ing: 5 of 5 stars

Fas­ci­nat­ing book, it is clear that the author spent a lot of time think­ing while run­ning with his dogs/wolf and is equal­ly deter­mined to write down and clar­i­fy his thoughts. There were a few big learn­ings for me, that put run­ning in a new per­spec­tive for me. Main­ly, in the Dutch ver­sion, he talks about “run­ning is remem­ber­ing”, remem­ber­ing what we have lost along the way. A sec­ond, unex­pect­ed les­son was a way to humbly face the inevitable decay that will set in, soon­er or lat­er. The final per­spec­tive that stuck with me was its focus on run­ning being a form of play, not of work and how unique that is.

The one thing that would take away half a star, would be the penul­ti­mate chap­ter in which there is just too much philo­soph­i­cal chitchat on his iden­ti­ty and what he is not, to exem­pli­fy Sartre’s view on the con­scious­ness. Per­son­al­ly i found it to be just a lit­tle con­fus­ing and not help­ing fur­ther his main argu­ment of his phi­los­o­phy on run­ning and its intrin­sic val­ue.

I was sur­prised by the many words I did­n’t know the exis­tence of, these real­ly stretched my vocab­u­lary, but again, makes the book less acces­si­ble to the read­er and pre­vents the deep­er under­stand­ing of its con­tents.

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Review: What We Talk about When We Talk about Books: The His­to­ry and Future of Read­ing

What We Talk about When We Talk about Books: The History and Future of Reading
What We Talk about When We Talk about Books: The His­to­ry and Future of Read­ing by Leah Price
My rat­ing: 5 of 5 stars

I found it to be a delight to lis­ten to this book out on a run, while real­iz­ing how I’ve incor­po­rat­ed more read­ing in my life through the abil­i­ty of being able to lis­ten simul­ta­ne­ous­ly and get lost in a vir­tu­al world as I do in the real world by foot. For me, there were a few fun­ny coin­ci­dences that I came across, one was talk­ing about the book Too Much Hap­pi­ness, which I planned to read this month for a book­club, but it got can­celled due to the coro­n­avirus con­cerns. The pas­sage was about bil­bio­ther­a­py and mis­un­der­stand­ing the book’s title as a self-help book. The prac­tice of doc­tors and psy­chi­a­trists pre­scrib­ing books as part of a cure is not a bad thought at all. I do think that I owe a very large por­tion of my cur­rent healthy lifestyle through read­ing, some­thing that I doubt would have hap­pened if a doc­tor told me so. Anoth­er fun fact was con­cern­ing the very first edi­tion of the veg­e­tar­i­an cook­book being made out of parch­ment, thus from dead ani­mals. Guten­berg’s press was most­ly used for sin­gle sheets indul­gences, to reduce one’s sins. And not for print­ing bibles what I had always assumed, so lots of nuggets and over­all it helped me appre­ci­ate how lucky I am to find myself in a time where one can read by lis­ten­ing. This book also dis­cussed its uses, virtues and how it impacts com­mu­ni­ties small and large. In the future I would like to have a phys­i­cal copy on my shelves.

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Review: Ser­i­al: Sea­son Two

Serial: Season Two
Ser­i­al: Sea­son Two by Sarah Koenig
My rat­ing: 4 of 5 stars

Sto­ries like these make me appre­ci­ate inves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ism and the thor­ough fact-check­ing that is required to deliv­er an objec­tive­ly as pos­si­ble look at the sto­ry at hand. I found the lat­ter episodes a bit lack­ing, as it did­n’t dis­cuss the moral quib­bles and the impact of long-term con­fine­ment. I would have like to know more how dif­fi­cult Bowe found it to read­just after get­ting back into soci­ety. Prob­a­bly there was not much footage, but that would have been more fas­ci­nat­ing to me than the polit­i­cal out­fall that ensued. Over­all, this was worth my time and I appre­ci­at­ed get­ting such an inti­mate glimpse in the mind of a per­son that strug­gled with these moral conun­drums.

As with S‑town, the ques­tion is whether this qual­i­fies as an audio­book, but for me this audio nar­ra­tive does. Per­son­al­ly, I want to keep track on the sto­ries and ideas that I expose myself to, so this for me falls in that cat­e­go­ry.

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Review: Dig­i­tal Min­i­mal­ism: Choos­ing a Focused Life in a Noisy World

Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World
Dig­i­tal Min­i­mal­ism: Choos­ing a Focused Life in a Noisy World by Cal New­port
My rat­ing: 5 of 5 stars

I have been toy­ing with this idea for a long time and per­son­al­ly had a few set­backs that with­hold me from attempt­ing anoth­er dig­i­tal detox. I do think that this book makes the strongest case and it came to me on a time that was right and felt I could imple­ment the key prin­ci­ples direct­ly. The exam­ples were great and diverse, the rest of the ‘the­o­ry’ was well-sup­port­ed and con­cise­ly for­mu­lat­ed. Com­pared to oth­er books of the same top­ic, I found it rather action­able and moti­vat­ing to take steps!
For sure, I will buy a phys­i­cal copy of this book, so I can browse through it at a lat­er moment in time. It would act as a reminder of the direc­tion I want to move in and since it takes mul­ti­ple cycles to get clos­er to this more pre­ferred state of inten­tion­al liv­ing, the chances are high that I would want to re-read it in the future. Best self-help book that I have read this past year!

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Review: How I Became Stu­pid

How I Became Stupid
How I Became Stu­pid by Mar­tin Page
My rat­ing: 4 of 5 stars

This nov­el was rec­om­mend­ed me by some­one from the book­club after read­ing Flow­ers for Alger­non. It promised a sim­i­lar explo­ration of the effects of intel­li­gence on the social life of the pro­tag­o­nist. The first half of the book was real­ly great and was five-star mate­r­i­al. There was lots of unique, absur­dists ideas that were great to explore. The pac­ing was quick and I could relate to the main char­ac­ter in var­i­ous ways. How­ev­er, half-way into the book, when the down­fall start­ed to hap­pen, I thought the book was going a bit to quick. Even though I dis­liked the course the book took, I think with some extra pages they could be explained bet­ter and it might have made more sense. Now it did­n’t do so much, and that is a pity, because I felt like this could be one of my all-time favourite books.

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Review: Het water komt

Het water komt
Het water komt by Rut­ger Breg­man
My rat­ing: 5 of 5 stars

This was a free book­let you could order online and it tries to get peo­ple take action in com­bat­ting cli­mate change and more specif­i­cal­ly, the rise of sea lev­el that would be real­ly chal­leng­ing to fight against, once the increase is a lot more than we have need­ed to fight in the past. As a stu­dent at Delft Uni­ver­si­ty of Tech­nol­o­gy, I was sur­prised to find out that even me and my friends did­n’t know about Johan van Veen, who was the father of the Dutch Delta­works. I vis­it­ed many parts of this world­fa­mous sys­tem to pro­tect the cit­i­zens from flood­ing and hav­ing to aban­don their home­grounds. The main les­son for me would be that his­to­ri­ans can real­ly teach us as a soci­ety a lot. It helps to put cur­rent events in per­spec­tive and they remind us of mis­takes our fore­bears made in the past.

I would be curi­ous to read the rest of the biog­ra­phy of this for­got­ten engi­neer. How­ev­er, I am a bit less opti­mistic than the author and feel that peo­ple should seri­ous­ly con­sid­er mov­ing to high­er grounds. While one has the chance it is bet­ter to build up a new life in a safer envi­ron­ment for the long term.

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Review: It’s Always Sun­ny in Philadel­phia: The 7 Secrets of Awak­en­ing the High­ly Effec­tive Four-Hour Giant, Today

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: The 7 Secrets of Awakening the Highly Effective Four-Hour Giant, Today
It’s Always Sun­ny in Philadel­phia: The 7 Secrets of Awak­en­ing the High­ly Effec­tive Four-Hour Giant, Today by The Gang
My rat­ing: 3 of 5 stars

There were def­i­nite­ly some humor­ous sec­tions in the book, but over­all it was a mediocre expe­ri­ence. I do like the tele­vi­sion series, but I must admit, I am not the biggest fan out there, so some of the ref­er­ences went over my head. There were also more pop­u­lar cul­tur­al ref­er­ences that I did­n’t get, because I am not an Amer­i­can cit­i­zen and some house­hold names just don’t ring a bell for me.

For me the book would have been a lot bet­ter, if they had removed the quizzes and just added some scripts of episodes that they would­n’t have the time or bud­get for to shoot. I find that it is real­ly easy to imag­ine the char­ac­ters act­ing out their role with their unique voic­es and man­ner­isms. Appar­ent­ly, these are called spec­u­la­tive scripts, but I would have like to read more of those.

Here’s an exam­ple I found on Red­dit: The Gang Goes Veg­an

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