One Straw Revolution -by Masanobu Fukuoka

Zen and the art of organic rice farming

The One-Straw Revolution is not really written as an book, but as a collection of short discursions. These cover the author's life, his farming methods, his conversations with the students that visited his farm, and his philosophy on the impossibility of understanding nature. For me the book got a bit repetitive by the end, but it was never less than readable and thought provoking. With hindsight I would have simply launched straight into reading the book, and left the rather wordy introductions by other authors till later.

If you are interested in the Japanese approach to life, then you might find "Japanese Woodworking Tools: Their Tradition, Spirit and Use" by Toshio Odate, of interest too.

I suspect that often we are striving to find a technical solution to the wrong questions, when books like this can make us wonder if maybe we should be asking a better question. File next to Thoreau's Walden.