Monday, November 20, 2017
Books

What's Jaimal Yogis reading?

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Jaimal Yogis

We first met Zen surfer Yogis in 2009, with his book Saltwater Buddha. Since then, he has turned the book into a documentary, and he and his wife have had three sons, now ages 5, 3 and 1. This month, Yogis, 37, is seeing the publication of All Our Waves Are Water: Stumbling Toward Enlightenment and the Perfect Ride. The memoir follows the author from the Himalayas to Indonesia, to a Franciscan friary and journalism school in New York, to Jerusalem and finally to Ocean Beach in San Francisco.

We recently caught up with the author by phone from his home in California to talk summer, waves and, of course, his book picks.

What's on your nightstand?

I read many books at once. Like everyone, I wanted to read the Hamilton biography by Ron Chernow. I'm about halfway through it. It's so incredibly good and thorough. I also have My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward by Mark Lukach. It is a story of hope. It's a memoir about a couple. The woman continuously gets hospitalized during the process of having their first child. She goes completely crazy where she thinks she is the devil, but she goes back to being completely normal. It's heart-wrenching and a beautiful story. I also have a galley of a book coming out in August, Surfing With Sartre: An Aquatic Inquiry Into a Life of Meaning by Aaron James. It's a great book. James is a philosophy professor. He's written a beautiful book, essentially a dialogue with Jean-Paul Sartre about work and play. He's arguing that working less and playing more, especially in the surf, is not only an okay choice but a moral one. He makes a beautiful argument for why leisure and dedication to nature is a moral imperative at this time. It might sound like a stretch but he builds a case. The book also gives you a good excuse to surf a little more.

I picture you checking the surf report on your phone every morning, but along with that, what news publications, print or online, do you read?

These days I usually get the news on NPR as I drop the kids off at preschool. We do subscribe to the New York Times, but I also dabble in all kinds of stuff from reading Lion's Roar to the New Yorker.

And what do you encourage people to read when it comes to the outdoors?

I love Elizabeth Kolbert and Thomas Farber. His books are older. He wrote The Face of the Deep and On Water.

Contact Piper Castillo at pcastillo@tampabay.com. Follow @Florida_PBJC.

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