Phoenix is an oasis in the Arizonian desert. We do not have trees, real forests or mountains. But we have hills, canyons and giant handsome cactus. Sunsets are absolutely glorious out here and the warm breezy nights are beautiful. All the animals bury themselves into underground tunnels during the day and come to life in the night. Its 110 degrees and my sunburns dont heal easy. I changed my schedule to survive the weather. Get to the lab before sunrise or else, the bike rides are a misery. Get out by 7pm, eat dinner and sit outside to read a book of my choosing. Go home to cook, pack for next day and go to bed. Here is what I have been reading.






1. Simple living lessons and minimalism from Albert Einstein

2. Has travel become a consumer item to acquire ? Do we try to go to as many countries / climb as many mountains as possible to collect a list ?

3. Some amazing travers from our history books.

4. I am always observing the way people eat, how they look/feel and their health. A tiny island in the middle of nowhere, has a lot of healthy people who forgot how to die. And have some very good lessons for all of us.

5.  In search of silence, inside and outside.

6. The French Culinary does not have the monopoly on Sauces. Check out this compilation from Thailand

7. Fashion vs Clothing. Designers with no interest in textiles. Love of shopping disguised as love of fashion. A craft that became all about the catwalk show. Fast fashion created by bloodied hands.

8. Style. Very few have it. An interview with Richard Torregrossa.




I have a lot of mind space and lot more time these days to do the things I want. Thanks to life sans online shopping, hours cleaning and less distractions at work. I used to hang out in the lab all day long and read non-technical books sporadically. I now have 30 minutes of time allotted for reading that has nothing to do with work. Since my days in Arizona are coming to an end soon, I decided to use all this reading to learn as much as I can about the land – the ancient people, the animals, the geology, the sand, …..


1. Hopi : following the path of peace.

I read a book called Radical Simplicty, written by an engineer who empirically shows the math to calculate your carbon footprint and amount of deforestation that went into sustaining your lifestyle. The bigger your house, weight of stuff owned, amount of furniture, size of closet, electronics and toys in your home, books, etc – everything has a cost function. And there you have it – a heart breaking number of acres of forest you helped destroy. An excerpt from the book is an interview with a native AmericanIndian women of the Hopi tribe :

“Now they blast Mother Earth apart. Look at the crack in my home. They drop a bomb on Japanese people with uranium from our mountain. We are a peaceful people. They pump the aquifer to slurry coal. Now the plants are dying.”

“ What can I do to help?” the author asked. She said,“ Go back to your people and tell them to live simply. Then they wouldn’t be out here digging up Mother Earth for coal and uranium.

The Hopi tribe are natives of Arizona. I am reading a 101 book on their wisdom.


2. A Sand Country Almanac.

Essays on nature. I can use more of those. Symptoms of Yellowstone withdrawal.


3. John Muir, Magnificent Tramp.

His biography. Muir is my fav naturalist. He had a deep spiritual love for trees, mountains and animals.


4. Silent Spring, Rachel Carson.

More reading on environmental issues. I need to detox my skincare routine. I am addicted to some products. I could let go so much so far, inspired by what I have learnt till date. Trying to cram in more information for some extra motivation.


Thank you for reading. I have been overwhelmed by how supportive the comments on this blog have been. Thank you ! For taking the time to write to me. Thanks for all the positivity. For all the acquaintances made. As Douglas Adams would say, “So long, and thanks for all the fish”.