Will Europe End With Marching Boots — or Malaise?

Where were you when the Berlin Wall fell on November 9, 1989?

I was sitting in the back room of our old house watching music videos on TV.

We didn’t have the specialty channels back then, but the cable company was running a free promo all week, and we could watch the movie channel and the music channel for free.

So It Goes by Nicolas Bouvier

“So it goes” recurs like a refrain throughout this collection of essays, and I found myself wishing it would go on and on.

Nicolas Bouvier is one of those legendary writers whose name circulates among travelers, but few of my North American road friends had ever heard of him. It was European friends who told me about his classic road trip book, The Way of the World.

Not a Hazardous Sport

Not a Hazardous Sport by Nigel Barley

Not a Hazardous Sport brings to a close Nigel Barley’s series of anthropological journeys that began with The Innocent Anthropologist and continued in A Plague of Caterpillars.

A Plague of Caterpillars

A Plague of Caterpillars by Nigel Barley

Nigel Barley returns to Cameroon in this hilarious follow up to The Innocent Anthropologist.

“Returns” is a bit of a misnomer. In truth, he’d only just left.

The Innocent Anthropologist

The Innocent Anthropologist by Nigel Barley

Nigel Barley was a rather unhappy “desk anthropologist” at a British university.

His fieldwork-hardened older colleagues never stopped reminding him of this, because back in their day, it wasn’t enough to camp out in a library cordoned off by stacks of journals. You had to get out and live with the natives.

The Best Books I Read in 2018

Best Books 2018

It’s that time again.

I typically read about 100 books a year. Everything from travel literature to poetry, history, psychology, fiction and memoir.

I love reading lists and recommendations, and I bet a few of you do, too. So at year’s end, I like to take a moment to share my top reads of the past twelve months.

Old Glory by Jonathan Raban

Old Glory by Jonathan Raban

After a childhood of river dreams inspired by readings of Huckleberry Finn, Jonathan Raban set out to travel the length of the Mississippi River from north to south in a 16-foot open aluminum boat.

On A Weekend Crusade

The Blurred Crusade — live, electric, and in its entirety…

The centrepiece of this packed London weekend I’ve been telling you about was two days of music with The Church at Bush Hall.

I travelled by thought with The Church long before I ever set out on the road for real.

Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life

Read this book: 12 Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson

If you came to my work through the personal freedom or lifestyle design articles I’ve written here and in publications like Early to Rise, then this is a book you’ll want to check out.

Intoxicating Stories to Shake Up Your Evenings

These books belong on every serious drinker’s shelf…

Once upon a time, cocktail hour was an occasion. A sacred space.

When the work day ended, you visited your favourite bar to put a little distance between the office and home.

This was not excess; it was ritual. A quiet moment of reflection.