Monday, January 16, 2012

For May: The Wayfinders by Wade Davis

For May, we have selected The Wayfinders: Why Ancient Wisdom Matters in the Modern World by Wade Davis, an award-winning anthropologist, ethnobotanist, filmmaker, and photographer. Davis currently holds the post of National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence.
Every culture is a unique answer to a fundamental question: What does it mean to be human and alive? Anthropologist and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Wade Davis leads us on a thrilling journey to celebrate the wisdom of the world’s indigenous cultures. 
In Polynesia we set sail with navigators whose ancestors settled the Pacific ten centuries before Christ. In the Amazon we meet the descendants of a true Lost Civilization, the people of the Anaconda. In the Andes we discover that the Earth really is alive, while in the far reaches of Australia we experience Dreamtime, the all-embracing philosophy of the first humans to walk out of Africa. We then travel to Nepal, where we encounter a wisdom hero, a Bodhisattva, who emerges from forty-five years of Buddhist retreat and solitude. And finally we settle in Borneo, where the last rainforest nomads struggle to survive. 
Understanding the lessons of this journey will be our mission for the next century. For at risk is the human legacy — a vast archive of knowledge and expertise, a catalogue of the imagination. Rediscovering a new appreciation for the diversity of the human spirit, as expressed by culture, is among the central challenges of our time.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Our January Author: Andrew X Pham

This month we are reading The Eaves of Heaven: A Life in Three Wars a memoir of his father's experiences in Vietnam by Andrew X Pham. (A few years back we read the author's personal memoir, Catfish and Mandala). The author has a nice, intimate website ( and since interviews are scarce, this is perhaps the way to learn something about him.  You will find some biographical notes, Q&A, a photo gallery, a few posts on what inspires him and information about his books and current projects. And you thought it was hard to read his books without your stomach rumbling and wondering where you could get your hands on some fresh spring rolls? One of those projects is a culinary memoir he plans to self-publish later this year. Here is a teaser:

Andrew Pham discusses this proposed book at (love that blog name!) where he also offers a sample recipe for claypot fish.

You might also want to check out this video of Andrew Pham reading from Eaves of Heaven. 

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