• Origin of Species

    Als iemand nog een leuk verjaardagskado voor mij zoekt… Weer een geweldige uitgave van Folio Society.

    The book that revolutionised our view of life on earth more than any other, Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, is presented in a fabulous Folio Society limited edition of 500 numbered copies; half-bound in leather with hand-marbled paper sides.

  • The National

    The National is one of those bands that still feels obscure, but is now one of the biggest bands of the moment. Or as Phoebe Bridgers puts it nicely: “My friends and I have this joke about The National – obviously they’re hugely popular, but we still feel this ownership over them”. ”‘No but you don’t like them in the right way! Do you even understand how profound this band is?’”

    Entirely in that tradition I was asked to help put together the most Underrated songs of The National. The most popular songs, such as the most listened to on Spotify, are excluded from the list.

    Mijn favoriet? Het prachtige So Far Around the Bend dat uitkwam op Dark Was the Night. A album for the good cause with original songs from Arcade Fire, Beirut, Sufjan Stevens, amongst others. The album was produced by the Dessner brothers and vital ground for later collaborations such as Big Red Machine (with Bon Iver) and Taylor Swift. In Dutch you can listen to a a great podcast episode about this album.

    I also voted for beautiful 'small' songs from the band, such as Wasp Nest, All the Wine, Secret Meeting and Ada. And of course also the number 1 on the list: Mr. November.

    The podcast by Dutch radio station KINK can be listened here.

  • Jeff Tweedy

    With his band Wilco, Jeff Tweedy wrote several of my all-time favorite songs on albums like Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and A Ghost is Born. However, Tweedy also wrote three books over the past 5 years, which I all liked.

    Let’s Go (So we can get back) Is a wonderfully readable autobiography, which is full of his (particularly surprising) musical inspiration. And also very personal with family suffering, drug problems and depression. I read it when I just got out of hospital after my stroke and the book will always have a special place in my heart because of that. Just like the playlist with songs.

    How to write One Song, doesn't sound so interesting to someone who can only strike a few chords a-rhythmically, but turned out to be a great, down-to-earth, book about finding and preserving creativity.

    The recently released book World Within A Song goes even deeper into how decisive specific songs can be in your life. Just like Let's Go, it's wonderful how he interweaves his personal story through the chapters. Even songs that he finds terrible, or those that he has learned to appreciate. Dancing Queen by Abba for example.

    ‘It feels good to stop hating something.’

  • William Beebe

    Beebe’s Bathysphere

    A few years ago I stumbled upon The Remarkable Life of William Beebe, by Carol Grant Gould. A fantastic biography about one of the last real explorers (on planet earth).

    As a biologist/ornithologist/naturalist Beebe undertook countless expeditions which are hard to summarize in a short blog post. But the most imaginative are his deep sea expeditions met de Bathysphere. Vanuit deze kleine stalen bol daalde hij aan een kabel tot bijna 1km diep in de oceaan en beschreef het wonderlijke, lichtgevende leven op deze diepte.

    The Bathysphere adventure gets the attention in the recently published The Bathysphere Book by Brad Fox. On the basis of personal notes, drawings and photos, the expedition is further explored in short chapters. With trips to his friendship with Theodore Roosevelt and obsession with Charles Darwin and the Galapagos Islands.

  • Revolver

    Philip Norman's new George Harrison biography is a great opportunity to listen chronologically to his Beatles songs. Like the 'If I needed someone' on Rubber Soul. Or Tax Man, on Revolver, a record I hadn't listened to in a long time.

  • Finding Endurance

    The best book I read this year is Finding Endurance.

    The fascination with the Endurance expedition began for South African writer David Bristow-Bovey when his father told him that he had gone south with Ernest Shackleton. As a 10 year old boy, David even gave a speech at school about it. When his father dies shortly after, he finds out that something is not right. His father was not yet born when the Endurance sank.

    After Shackleton’s Endurance is found in 2022 deep in the sea near Antarctica, David starts a journey. In search of Shackleton's story, and how he manages to get all the members of the expedition home alive. But especially in search of his father, who was tied to his home after a stroke. And where, together with him, he created his own world.

    The survival story on the pack ice of Antarctica remains great to read. What made this book different is the personal journey, trying to find his dad, who passed when he was young. A search that will move readers who have parents with chronical illness, or are a parent with chronical illness themselves.

    Finding Endurance: Shackleton, My Father and a World Without End by Darrel Bristow-Bovey.

  • Kon-Tiki

    Along with Darwin's Voyage of the Beagle and South by Ernest Shackleton, Kon-Tiki by Thor Heyerdahl is one of my favorite travel stories. In 1947, Heyerdahl tries to prove that the origin of the Polynesians is from South America by sailing on a raft from Peru to Polynesia. This theory has now been debodied, but it yielded a great story. Through eBay I found this US pocket from 1950 including photos from the raft for a few euros.

  • New Garden

    With help from Studio May & June we are designing our future garden, with a lot of biodiversity and a larger garden greenhouse.

  • Leerboek der dierkunde

    One of my favorite natural history books for inspiration in my closet: Leerboek der Dierkunde (1884). Nice collection.

  • Alexander von Humboldt (1769 – 1859)