Read With Me : The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

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Hey, hey, back with another Read With Me post. I actually felt like I was slacking this past month because I had the opportunity to read so much the first two weeks of the year. Don’t you hate how a past accomplishment can make the current moment feel a little less special? F that! Try to release yourself from that feeling. You don’t wanna be Matthew McConaughey in Dazed and Confused, you know, the football star that never grew up? He sucks. Please go back and watch that and see what I mean if the reference is escaping you. Back to the books!

A couple weeks ago, a cool cat gifted me The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. This book is freaking stellar, interstellar? Should we talk about McConaughey movies all day? No. Books! Although there was a movie made about this book. I haven’t watched it and the ratings look pretty low, so admittedly I not going to.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy was written by the late Douglas Adam’s and is actually a trilogy (which ended up turning into quintet), which sold more than a million copies in his lifetime. It’s science fiction doused in humor that is suspense driven – so totally quick, easy, and hilarious to read.  The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy reminded me of works by Tom Robbins or Kurt Vonnegut. Here’s the set of Hitchhiker books and a list of books similar to Hitchhiker’s Guide if you’ve already read it.

 

You’ll Enjoy Reading The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy If :

  • You like science fiction and humor.
  • You try not to take life too seriously.
  • You can laugh at the absurdity of life.
  • You need a story that can act as a temporary escape from life.
  • You need a book that propels you through it to get back into a good reading habit.
  • You want a book you can read with just about any friend of any age or sex.
  • You’re working your way through a list of ‘must reads’ because this appears on most.

Like I did with The Nature Fix, I thought it would be interesting to also fill in the benefits of reading list I shared on the Read With Me post with actual examples from the book I finished today, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. I may end up doing this with every book I read this year. I feel like it’s a good review and it tests my list and hey, it might possibly expand it too. We’ll see.

Why We Should Read More Often :

Expands your vocabulary and improves your writing

While there weren’t so many new words presented, except for made up ones, the sentence structure and syntax was extremely clever in this novel. Sometimes a scene would be set up so vividly only to be ended with a single, simple sentence as if a mega plot wasn’t just played out before us only to never be discussed again. See some of my favorite lines and passages below.

Improves your understanding of the world

This novel presented a refreshing view of the human race. One in which we know very little and aren’t in control at all. I love this idea. I think it’s pretty much accurate so to be able to read a novel based on it and built up with humor on all sides was welcoming.

Prepares you to take action and create change

Even a seemingly silly book like The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy can prep you to take action. If anything, the message in this book is that life is too damn short. You have no idea what will happen tomorrow so just by committing yourself to any action or personal change is a triumph.

Boosts your imagination and creativity and improves brain function

Hells yes. I’d say it is rare that I read fiction let alone science fiction. This book not only opened me up to a new genre, but it also presented new concepts for my own daydreams.

Reading sets a great example for those around you

While reading this book, I had no less than a dozen people tell me they a) want to read this book or b) read and loved the book. Woohoo for books bringing strangers together! Now I have to decide who to pass it on to.

 

A few favorite lines from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy :

“She wishes she knew what it was she was trying not to think about.”

“The immensity of time worried him, he could feel it as a presence.”

“The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy also mentions alcohol. It says that the best drink in existence is the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster, the effect of which is like having your brains smashed out with a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick.”

“Bypasses are devices that allow some people to dash from point A to point B very fast while other people dash from point B to point A very fast. People living at point C, being a point directly in between, are often given to wonder what’s so great about point A that so many people from point B are so keen to get there, and what’s so great about point B that so many people from point A are so keen to get there. They often wish that people would just once and for all work out where the hell they wanted to be.”

“Arthur blinked at the screens and felt he was missing something important. Suddenly he realized what it was.

“Is there any tea on this spaceship?” he asked.”

 

Books I’m reading now :

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson

How Emotions Are Made : The Secret Life of the Brain by Lisa Feldman Barrett

 

Books I’ve finished in 2018 :

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

The Tao of Pooh – I read this again as part of Meditative Mondays. You should give it a go!

The Nature Fix – read my thoughts on that here.

Invisible Monsters – read my thoughts on that here.

The Sun and Her Flowers

Again, this isn’t a competition, but if it was……..

Pages read in 2018 : 1120+

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Read With Me : The Nature Fix

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If you dislike reading, tune out now because this is the third post about books in two weeks. #Nerdalert OR get into it man! Now’s the time. Okay, I’ll shut up. Last week I touched on the positives of reading and clued you in on the books I was reading. You can see them all on our sidebar to the right and just FYI anything that you buy from Amazon by clicking through from our website kicks back a few cents to us at no additional cost to you. Pretty cool, huh?

I mentioned in my Year in Readview post that I was working on The Nature Fix : Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative – a neuroscience read but written by a journalist, not a scientist, so equal parts informative and entertaining. That sounded like a dig on scientists, it wasn’t, but geez their books can be a little heavy and hard to get through. Once I really focused on reading this book, I flew through it in three days.

Florence Williams does an excellent job of setting the scene for each city, park, and wilderness space she spends time in. She also lays out the scientific process and experiments as well as potential knowledge gaps in an understandable and often comedic manner. It’s easy to process without being bogged down by too many details and yet she’s not just skimming over the science stuff. She’s not skimming at all actually, this entire book focuses on our mental and physical health and yet it doesn’t read like a textbook. Ahem. You can also tell that Florence is doing her due diligence to not just feed you the success stories. She’s honest and she mentions the less than perfect results of some studies, again I point to the background in journalism. Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book. I was learning something page after page, positives about spending time in nature that I could share with my Schu Tours adventure groups and friends alike.

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Read With Me

Pages read in 2018 : 553.

This isn’t a competition or anything, but who is winning? Me or you? One of those books was poetry, so even I, the self-proclaimed reading champ, knows it shouldn’t count as full pages. Let’s not get hung up on the details. I just finished a book this morning at 5:30 AM, yes, I’ve been staying up that late early and it was so weird and wonderful and confusing that I really need to talk it out with someone. Thankfully, a friend loaned me the book so I can call him, but what about the next book? Who will be there to discuss? I’m trying to head this proposed catastrophe off by asking you to read with me

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Welcome January

Typically, on the first Wednesday of each month, we like to pause and take a look at what’s going on in the world around us, sometimes we focus on animal activity, celestial events, and our farmers’ fields and other times we expand the conversation to highlight relevant nature and environmental topics in the news, a discussion of our intentions for the month, and other bits of inspiration.

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In the News

Guys, there is something called a bomb cyclone and it’s coming for the east coast. Think hurricane, but wintery conditions. Ick. I moved to North Carolina to avoid winter and here we are talking about temperatures 20-40 degrees colder than usual. Typing that just sent a shiver down my spine. Hopefully, Santa brought that electric blanket I asked for, we’ll see at Russian Christmas this weekend in Saxis.

I thoroughly appreciated this nature in the news roundup for 2018. What to expect in 2018: science in the new year gives you a briefing of what we’ll hear about this year.

Two negatives and a neutral is what we’ll call this segment :

Human impacts on forests and grasslands are much larger and older than we previously assumed. Why does that matter? Well, carbon stocks in vegetation have a crucial role in the global climate system and if we’re going to take climate change and the Paris Agreement seriously, these studies are important for future bioenergy policies.

Boats are threatening the survival of Panama’s Bocas Del Toro dolphins. These dolphins are pretty special because there is a pod of about eighty who do not interbreed with the more common Carribean dolphins. Dolphin watching in the area is increasing, which may work in the dolphins’ favor as it will bring awareness and attention to this small, unique dolphin population.

Lastly, humans are kinda helpful here: Ecologists used maps produced before World War I to recent kelp forest surveys in the Pacific Northwest and found that they’ve been pretty stable over the past century. Read the article to find out why we surveyed kelp beds way back then in the first place, pretty interesting stuff.

 

Russian Christmas

If you’ve been a friend of the Schu family long enough, you know the whole crew gets together during the first weekend of January to celebrate Russian Christmas, which takes place on the 7th each year. The date marks the birth of Jesus on the Russian Orthodox Church’s calendar and really that’s where it starts and ends for the Schu fam. We use the date as an excuse to gather once more, which is especially convenient now that some siblings head to their inlaws for Dec. 25.

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Tea Season

For me, tea season is all year long, but I find myself doubling up this time of year. If there’s not a steaming mug of tea in my hands, likely I’m walking to the kitchen to procure one. Drinking tea has become one of my favorite daily rituals. Heating the water, picking my favorite mug, selecting a tea, allowing it to steep, reading the tag (kind of like a fortune in a cookie) sipping it in both hands until the mug is empty.. and repeat.

A few details of my tea routine :

  • My Mug – I used to photograph for Haand, a lovely local company, and I honestly love their mugs and dishes more than any I’ve ever used. First off, matte glazes. I could end there, but they’re also really easy to clean, they’re restaurant quality, so not easily chipped, and each piece is designed to interact with you and your food in a really delightful way. I use these three pieces every single day: the short large mug, the margay, and the caracal. My friends also bought me this eat, sleep, yoga, repeat mug, which is a great reminder and there’s a little golden smiley face waiting at the bottom of the mug for when you finish, which always brightens my day. So choose your mug wisely, it should bring you joy each time you pick it up and even while you wash it.
  • My Tea – Celestial Seasonings is my absolute favorite. I’ve been drinking their brews for years, but after visiting the factory in Boulder, CO and hearing the company’s story (basically a few flower-picking hippies) my love was solidified. They also minimize waste by skipping the teabag string, tag, and wrapper. I also like Yogi Tea because of the little tea fortune and I think Trader Joe’s makes a few great blends, but I really hate that they wrap each individual teabag in plastic. I don’t think I would have even thought of this if it weren’t for Celestial Seasonings. Brands that drive you to be more conscious of how you consume are the best brands, don’t you think? My favorite teas at the moment (some of these are always on the list): CS fast lane, CS sleepytime, CS tension tamer, Yogi Green Tea Kombucha, Yogi Breathe Deep, Yogi Relaxed Mind, Yogi Calming, and TJ’s Moroccan Mint.
  • My Brewing – I was a big fan of the teapot for a long time, but last year, I moved in with a roommate who used an electric tea kettle and I must admit I’m totally hooked and it’s the number one appliance I use, second up is my coffee grinder. You can buy a ceramic, stainless, or see-through version. Here’s a super secret teapot trick I didn’t learn until I was 22, you *never* need to take the lid off, just fill up the pot from the spout. Maybe you knew this? Maybe I revolutionized your life? No need to tell me which.

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New Year’s Resolution Success Story

It’s nothing major, but last year, a few of us sat around and wrote down resolutions. We then put the resolutions in a bowl, mixed them up, and picked one. The one I received was, “Read a book a month” and funny enough this was a resolution I made years prior, but never fully followed up on. After pulling that resolution from the bowl in 2017 however, I made it a point to always be reading a book or three. I just decided that I needed to reincorporate reading into my daily or at least weekly routine, and I did. Simple as that. I picked up a book and made time for reading again. This is me reminding you that READING IS FUN and awesome and totally worth it and way better than facebook or instagram or whatever else you’re wasting time on (besides this website obviously). Sometimes I find myself reading by way of procrastination, but honestly, that feels way better than scrolling through FB to procrastinate. I actually deleted my FB app over six months ago and haven’t looked back. I log on way less and my life feels full of interesting stories instead of mostly superficial ones. Here’s what I read in 2017.

On that note, are you a resolute person? But really, do you take the time to look at your year and plan for the next or do you treat the shifting from December to January just like you would February to March? I’m a bit of both. I value the pendulum that swings from December 31 to January 1st, but I also feel like each moment is an opportunity to decide to take action or cease bad habits. Did you hear about our Meditative Mondays email newsletter? Just a little opportunity to bring some calm into your atmosphere this year. Join us if you’d like 🙂 or pass it along to that friend who is always running circles in his or her mind.



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Two Bits & a Giveaway

 We want to break down these internet barriers and invite you into our lives and we’re hoping you’ll do the same.  You are welcome to share a bit of your week or day in the comments, or if they’re better represented by a photo, tag us on instagram @liveseasoned.

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Sarah here :

Happy Friday! It’s been only a few days since Kate and I left Saxis and parted ways, but man, do I miss her! I’m so grateful for our daily connection through this website and our joint Live Seasoned Instagram page and for that I want to thank YOU.

Kate and I started this website because we love learning, experimenting, and sharing our findings with you, but if there was no one on the receiving reading end, knowing us, we probably wouldn’t feel motivated to post here. So THANKS! It means a lot to me, to us, that you’re here. If you know someone else who would dig our material, needs recipe inspiration, wants to take a hike, or could use a bit of travel advice, send them over. As a gesture of gratitude (because saying it will never be enough) we’re hosting a teensy giveaway on our instagram feed. Head there for the details.

Now that I’ve shed a tear of gratitude and somehow turned that into self-promotion, we want to send you over to some sources, specifically a couple of print magazines that we love. These mags inspire us and encourage us to be our best selves and we hope they’ll do the same for you <3

Misadventures is my favorite** print magazine. Misadventures is a wee little babe yet, with only three editions, but I love it so damn much and I’m excited for it to take off like wildfire. Here are ten reasons why I love Misadventures mag :

  1. Misadventures is outdoor and adventure focused magazine for women, by women. Most outdoors magazines are written for men, by men. I love those magazines too, but I’m elated to finally hear from adventurous women. The top 10 magazines for women are about either about how to make yourself or your home look good. I think both those topics have merit, but I’m stoked to see something different that focuses on my interests.
  2. Misadventures features in-depth reporting and storytelling. In the age of social media, our attention spans are shrinking, but thankfully Misadventures mag features a few long form journalism pieces in each issue. I’m a sucker for a solid story, get outta here with those blurbs and sound bites, I want something solid.
  3. The covers of Misadventures are beautiful. Each cover features an outdoor lifestyle photograph. The cover and the photographs throughout are not overproduced, stylized, or heavily edited. It’s a welcome shift towards photojournalism and away from traditional magazine photography. I also loved that the back cover of the Winter 16 edition featured a couple of postcards to cut and send.
  4. The content to advertisement ratio is refreshing. There isn’t an advertisement on every other page or ads that disguise themselves as product round ups or stories and for that I’m grateful. I actually found myself complimenting the ads that do appear in the magazine because they’re tasteful and telling instead of in-your-face and selling.
**I really mean it.

 

Katie here :

Bet you didn’t see me coming! It’s been so long since I’ve posted a few bits about myself. I’m just relying on Sarah to do the heavy lifting and that includes expressing our feelings so perfectly. She has a way with words and I’m sitting here tongue-tied with all of the feelings and a pile of knitting on my lap.

I have to agree with Sarah’s points about Misadventures. It’s a stinking awesome magazine for all of the right reasons, and I’m psyched that we found it when we did. BUT I want to talk about another print magazine that amazes me with each issue : Taproot.

  1. Their tagline is “the magazine for makers, doers & dreamers”.  Each issue is written for the whole person with sections titled “head”, “hands”, and “heart”.  The stories and projects within these sections are linked by the issue’s overarching theme. This summer’s was Grow, the next issue is Trade, and then comes Rest. Their issues are so rich and diverse because their readers are too!
  2. The current issue on my lap is 110 pages long. That’s 110 pages of completely AD-FREE content. Do you know how much material you can fit in 110 pages?! Honestly I look at a single issue and think that this has to be the best yet, but surely they’ll run out of content for the next issue. They never do.
  3. Just as with Misadventures, Taproot digs deeply into topics. They have a nice mix of long and short stories, perfect for whatever I have the time to read. The articles may highlight an individual, a food, or a craft. The writing is fantastic with perfect attention to detail.
  4. The “do” sections are so diverse! A single issue will contain baking recipes, knitting and crochet projects, wood and paper crafts, potions for your medicine cabinet. With a nice range of technical difficulty.

Admittedly, I don’t feel like I’m doing the magazine justice with these four points. But I’m definitely not alone in my love for this publication, because I just learned that they are increasing their publication rate from 4 issues/year to 6!

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Sarah’s Favorite Wilderness Reads

It seems like Kate and her crew have been camping all year long. While I’m sure there’s not much time in her van to open up a good book, that’s all I do when I camp with Ca$h. Here are a few of my favorite woodsy wilderness reads for all your camping outtings this summer. I linked to the paperback versions, so pull out your headlamp and start flippin’ pages.

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Mycophilia: Revalations from the Weird World of Mushrooms – This is the type of book where you read a few pages and then run into the next room to tell someone else all the cool things you just learned. Mycophilia is a beautifull written first person narrative of the fungi world. Author Eugenia Bone meets masters of the mushroom sphere as she discovers and researches all type of uses from scientific to culinary. If you have any interest in mushrooms, I highly recommend this informative read.

John Muir – any of his essays or journals – I actually recommend Muir’s writings as a way to fall asleep and here I’m recommending it as inspiration for your own nature journals and writings. Reading about Muir’s adventures will have you sitting in your cozy camp chair in admiration as he details his romps in the wilderness with nothing more than a heel of bread and an army blanket.

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail – Made famous because of the movie, Wild, is a first person account of hiking the Pacific Crest Trail completely unprepared. These types of accounts encourage me to just do it. Stop the research and prep, go for it and see what happens. I enjoyed both the movie and the book – in that order too.

A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail – Bill Bryson’s account of the Appaliachian trail blends his witty walk in the woods with the history of the wilderness and suggestions for how we can conserve our wild lands. As someone who is itching to walk the AT, I love reading about others’ experiences with the trail.

Into the Wild – You probably know the story, but have you read the book? Into the Wild is one of those stories that has always stayed with me because I see so many similarities between myself and the main character, Chris McCandless. I also noticed the public’s split opinion, some feeling bad for Chris, while other’s did not and were almost angry with him because he was in the wilderness messing around. I find it interesting that any of us, even the most prepared, think that we’re capable of mastering mother nature. He did the best he could. RIP Chris.

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values – This book. I need to come clean here.. by the time I finished this book, I absolutely hated it. I was treking at high altitude and ripping out pages and burning them when I was finished. I was so over it. Cut to today and I’ve realized many, many times that Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance has had an enormous impact on how I view quality (a term that pops up at least 3,000 times in this book) and work. Believe it or not, I just ordered it again so I can read it with appreciation this time.

That’s that! My very favorite books to read outdoors. A perfect mix of inspiration and admiration lie within these pages. Don’t have any camping plans coming up? No problem, I’m in the habbit of turning off all my lights, opening the windows (to let the sounds of insects in) and reading by headlamp. At my little hut here in Chapel Hill, I feel like I’m in a tent in the middle of the woods 🙂

 

 

 

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Living The Tao of Pooh

“The main problem with this great obsession for saving time is very simple: you can’t save time. You can only spend it. But you can spend it wisely or foolishly.”

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Hi, friends!  A couple weeks ago, I took a quick trip to Philadelphia to help my childhood friend move into her first home.  As I’m waiting at the airport, I thought of another amazing friend and sent him a quick text, ‘Hey, pick me up on your motorcycle!’ I totally expected the text to be the start of another conversation instead of actually accepting the invitation. A few hours later, I’m waiting at the PHL terminal and a shiny blue motorcycle pulls up. I’m handed a helmet, I swing my leg over the seat and we’re off, speeding down I-95 towards the city of Brotherly Love.

After an iced chai and a funny catch-up chat, we headed to his house in my old neighborhood, Fishtown. I sat down and looked over his prints from a recent trip to the UAE, Oman and Turkey. While I could have looked at them for hours, the photo editor in me flipped through them insanely fast only allowing a fraction of the photos to leave an imprint in my mind. I can still imagine them today. I’m excited to see how he uses my favorites, but also the images that I may have passed by too quickly. Photos are magical in that the way in which you use them can completely alter the image and message. Saleem has an uncanny ability to work with his photographs in this manner.

While I was shuffling through the images, I kept thinking of my childhood friend, Steph, the one I was supposed to be helping move in. I was torn in opposite directions, stay and hang out with Saleem who so kindly picked me up from the airport or rush off to Steph’s since she was expecting me. I hated the creeping feeling of guilt so after a quick pitbull play session and a few minutes of chill time in the backyard I said my goodbyes to Saleem.

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