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Reviews

Not a Hazardous Sport

N

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. This time, he leaves Africa behind and sets his compass for the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, where he hopes to live among the Torajan people, mountain pagans known for their elaborate ancestor cults and traditional...

A Plague of Caterpillars

A

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. Barley spent 6 months in London upon completion of a year and a half of anthropological fieldwork among the Dowayo people, a group of mountain pagans. But he’d barely settled back into academic life when rumours reached him via the bush...

The Innocent Anthropologist

T

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. I can relate to Barley, in a sense. Not just because I read Anthropology at uni, but...

The Best Books I Read in 2018

T

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. They made my list because they were either memorable, important, or just thoroughly...

Old Glory by Jonathan Raban

O

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. His journey took place in 1979. The waters he drifted down were much more dangerous than the river of his childhood imagination, but Huck’s urge to escape, to light out for the Territory before someone...

On A Weekend Crusade

O

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. I still remember where I was when I first heard their music. “Under the Milky Way” was rising up the North American charts in 1988. I was 16 years old, and sitting in my dad’s car...

Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life

J

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. Dr. Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life provides an antidote to the cultural divide that’s destroying the West. It’s kryptonite to shoddy social justice warrior “thinking,” and the bane of Postmodern Neo-Marxist...

Intoxicating Stories to Shake Up Your Evenings

I

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. I love classic cocktails, and I make a habit of seeking out historic bars and pubs whenever I travel. The only thing that comes close to sipping an ice cold...

The Best Books I Read in 2017

T

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. They made my list because they were either memorable, important, or just thoroughly...

My Sunny St. Lawerence Childhood

M

I’d like to tell you about a book I just read.  It’s about the Thousand Islands. In the 1950’s, an American writer called John Keats bought a small island in the St. Lawrence River. He got it from his brother-in-law, a stockbroker who had purchased the land for the three vintage boats that came with it. Keats was just a journalist, he couldn’t afford a faraway island with a run down boathouse and...

Ryan Murdock

Author of Vagabond Dreams: Road Wisdom from Central America. Host of Personal Landscapes podcast. Editor-at-Large (Europe) for Canada's Outpost magazine. Columnist at The Shift. Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

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