HomeRecommended Reads & ReportsRecommended Reads – 7 February

Recommended Reads – 7 February

Movement Matters: Essays on Movement Science, Movement Ecology, and the Nature of Movement by Katy Bowman

If you could fit our culture of convenience into a petri dish, what would it look like? Movement Matters is a series of essays in which bio mechanist Katy Bowman continues to explain the mechanics of a sedentary culture and the deep complexity of the phenomenon we call movement. By exposing convenience as a way of outsourcing movements, Katy’s ground breaking work in the relationship between movement and nature expands to models that have evolved from thinking of the body as a single structure to considering it to be a cluster of a trillion bodies, and how those trillion bodies are being loaded by our habitat and how we move to interact with it.

From movement nutrients to forest school to the problems with investigating parts, our culturally conditioned preference to be sedentary is explored from many angles.

Thought-provoking, inspiring, and always entertaining, Movement Matters is a collection of essays conducting a deep exploration of movement and its role in science, community, work, and social responsibility. Deftly deconstructing sedentary assumptions that underlie much of our research into human health, Bowman works to reclaim our space in and responsibility to nature and ourselves.

With essays on foraging, the near sightedness epidemic, and the limitations of a parts approach to health, Bowman’s gaze is sweeping and incisive, always with the underlying message that moving is powerful and important, and perhaps the most joyful, freeing, and efficient form of activism there is.


The Seat of the Soul by Gary Zukav

The Seat of the Soul has sold millions of copies around the globe and is a No 1 bestseller. A new edition contains celebratory prefaces by Oprah Winfrey and Maya Angelou, a new Foreword by the author, as well as an extensive study guide to help readers find deeper meaning and fulfilment in their lives. This iconic book encourages you to become the authority in your own life. It will change the way you see the world, interact with other people, and understand your own actions and motivations. In it, Gary Zukav takes you on a penetrating exploration of the new phase that humanity has entered: one where harmony, cooperation, sharing and reverence for life become more important than the ability to manipulate and control. Using his scientist’s eye and philosopher’s heart, Zukav shows us how to participate fully in this evolution, enlivening our everyday activities and all our relationships with meaning and purpose.


The Pearl that broke its shell by Nadia Hashim

Afghan-American Nadia Hashimi’s literary debut novel is a searing tale of powerlessness, fate and the freedom to control one’s own fate that combines the cultural flavor and emotional resonance of the works of Khaled Hosseini, Jhumpa Lahiri and Lisa See.

In Kabul, 2007, with a drug-addicted father and no brothers, Rahima and her sisters can only sporadically attend school, and can rarely leave the house. Their only hope lies in the ancient custom of bacha posh, which allows young Rahima to dress and be treated as a boy until she is of marriageable age. As a son, she can attend school, go to the market, and chaperone her older sisters.

But Rahima is not the first in her family to adopt this unusual custom. A century earlier, her great-great grandmother, Shekiba, left orphaned by an epidemic, saved herself and built a new life the same way.

Crisscrossing in time, THE PEARL THAT BROKE ITS SHELL interweaves the tales of these two women separated by a century who share similar destinies. But what will happen once Rahima is of marriageable age? Will Shekiba always live as a man? And if Rahima cannot adapt to life as a bride, how will she survive?


Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson

The author of the acclaimed bestsellers Steve Jobs, Einstein, and Benjamin Franklin brings Leonardo da Vinci to life in this exciting new biography.

Based on thousands of pages from Leonardo’s astonishing notebooks and new discoveries about his life and work, Walter Isaacson weaves a narrative that connects his art to his science. He shows how Leonardo’s genius was based on skills we can improve in ourselves, such as passionate curiosity, careful observation, and an imagination so playful that it flirted with fantasy.

He produced the two most famous paintings in history, The Last Supper and the Mona Lisa. But in his own mind, he was just as much a man of science and technology. With a passion that sometimes became obsessive, he pursued innovative studies of anatomy, fossils, birds, the heart, flying machines, botany, geology, and weaponry. His ability to stand at the crossroads of the humanities and the sciences, made iconic by his drawing of Vitruvian Man, made him history’s most creative genius.

His creativity, like that of other great innovators, came from having wide-ranging passions. He peeled flesh off the faces of cadavers, drew the muscles that move the lips, and then painted history’s most memorable smile. He explored the math of optics, showed how light rays strike the cornea, and produced illusions of changing perspectives in The Last Supper. Isaacson also describes how Leonardo’s lifelong enthusiasm for staging theatrical productions informed his paintings and inventions.

Leonardo’s delight at combining diverse passions remains the ultimate recipe for creativity. So, too, does his ease at being a bit of a misfit: illegitimate, gay, vegetarian, left-handed, easily distracted, and at times heretical. His life should remind us of the importance of instilling, both in ourselves and our children, not just received knowledge but a willingness to question it—to be imaginative and, like talented misfits and rebels in any era, to think different.

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