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From the Library

May 20, 2019

1) Highland Folk Ways by I.F. Grant

Like Irish Folk Ways, which I discussed last week, this is another ethnographic/cultural study, this time of the Scottish Highlands, up to the Clearances, as well as some discussion of the transitions that occurred culturally following the Clearances. Really good look, and a pretty cool book. It’s kind of like The Foxfire Books, only in one volume, and in Sean Connery’s voice.

2) The Modern Art of High-Intensity Training by Aurelian Broussal-Derval

This is, hands down, the best look at “Crossfit” type conditioning work that I’ve seen yet. There’s a thorough discussion of what this type of PT can accomplish, and what it cannot. It covers why some of this type of conditioning work does amazing things…and why some of it is just stupid. It discusses both the primary cause of “Crossfit” injuries (spoiler alert: Bad coaching, pushing people to go faster, before they’ve got the strength and form to do so safely. Crazy, I seem to recall another author who mentioned exactly that in The Reluctant Partisan, Volume One….). It includes a bunch of WODs, some of which I’ve already started inputting into my Big Fucking Notebook of Training Misery for my own use.

And, the illustrator is amazing. The illustrations in the book are quality enough, this could be a coffee table art book…which means you could leave it out for visitors to see…leading to conversations about fitness…which can be a lead-in to discussing other training and training together…

3) 100 Edible Mushrooms by Michael Kuo

I’ve had this book for well over a year, when I first started looking at growing mushrooms on the farm. I haven’t used it much (because I still haven’t gotten around to inoculating mushroom spores), but I did recently have a neighbor who was looking for guidance on a mushroom he found behind his house. I pulled the book out and loaned it to him. They ate the mushroom in question for supper, after seeing it thoroughly described in the book, in text and photos, and using the contraindicators parts to ensure it wasn’t a poisonous lookalike.

People are deathly afraid of eating wild mushrooms. When you consider the presence of things like death caps, that makes sense. When you consider the 1000s of varieties of fungi present in the wild in North America however, and the fact that like only a couple dozen of them are poisonous, and of those, only a small few are actually lethally toxic…and you consider the potential health benefits of eating different mushrooms…it only makes sense to start learning about them to increase your self-reliance and autonomy. This is the book I recommend to people looking to start learning about which ones are yummy, and which ones are kill you dead yucky.

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  1. Vagus permalink

    It was a happy day when I foraged my first morel mushroom. I never was a big fan of mushrooms, but I can’t deny their place as a meat substitute.

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