Mind-Expanding Reads from The Outdoor Realm

words & photo: Taylor Godber
cover: NYT

Stimulate your mind in the present moment with something beyond social media. Dive into a book to gain knowledge, expand your vocabulary, reduce stress, and improve memory and focus. Here are a few of our favourites:

Breathelogy: The Art of Conscious Breathing

By Stig Severinsen

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Four-time freediving champion and multiple world record holder, Severinsen shares methods on how to breathe more efficiently and how this shift in habits can be advantageous in all aspects of life.


Conquistadors of the Useless: From the Alps to Annapurna

By Lionel Terray

An insightful mountaineering narrative by a French lead figure in climbing and expeditions well-known for many first ascents in the Alps, Alaska, the Andes, and the Himalaya in the ’50s and ’60s.


The Wayfinders: Why Ancient Wisdom Matters to the Modern World  

By Wade Davis

Renowned anthropologist Wade Davis takes us on a stirring journey with a wide variety of indigenous cultures from across the globe to celebrate the wisdom they hold, and what is at stake if they are lost.


Mountains of the Mind: Adventures in Reaching the Summit

By Robert MacFarlane

The history of the human love affair with mountains.


Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman   

By Yvon Chouinard

Yvon Chouinard—legendary climber, businessman, environmentalist, and founder of Patagonia, Inc.—shares the persistence and courage that have gone into being head of one of the most respected and environmentally-responsible companies on earth.


The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance

By Steven Kotler

Kotler dives into understanding the state of consciousness known as “flow state”—a heightened state of decision making. Using action adventure-based athletes as case studies, he attempts to decode how they are entering the “flow” and how this knowledge can be applied across all domains of society.


The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life  

By Mark Manson

A book against the grain in the self-help section, both in how it’s written and the lessons taught. Manson debunks the assumption that using the power of positivity to override suffering is the answer to living a life of true meaning.


Deep: Freediving, Renegade Science, and What the Ocean Tells Us about Ourselves  

By James Nestor

In a journey to understand freediving, both human and animal, Nestor follows extreme athletes, adventurers, legendary water pioneers and scientists as they explore the ocean’s depths. Along the way, he shares his personal experience of unlocking his freediving skills and pushing the boundaries of what we believe to be possible.


Man’s Search for Meaning  

By Viktor E. Frankl

Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl shares his experiences of time spent in Nazi concentration camps during World War II—an experience that shaped and influenced a psychotherapeutic method that Frankl pioneered known as logotherapy. He discovers that life is not driven by pleasure, but in finding meaning. The ability to overcome immense suffering, which is inherently unavoidable, is possible through a shift in perspective.


365 Tao: Daily Meditations  

By Deng Ming-Dao

In this contemporary collection of meditations is an opportunity to enter a place of harmony with the outside world and one’s self every day. The Tao is constantly moving, and there is nothing that is not part of it: harmonious living is to know and to move with the Tao—it is a way of life, the natural order of things, a force that flows through all life.