Mountaineer, environmentalist, and Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard started his outdoor equipment company selling Scottish rugby shirts in the ’70s. As it took off, he ensured that the brand stayed true to his anti-corporate, eco-activist ethos, offering free repairs to gear and famously encouraging customers not to buy products. His 2005 memoir, Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessmancharts Chouinard’s early life and the company’s meteoric rise to success.

In a reading list for Fast Company, Chouinard shared four of his favorite books that explore sustainable agriculture, the human microbiome, evolution, and social psychology. Find his recommended reads books below.


Call of the Reed Warbler: A New Agriculture, A New Earth by Charles Massy

“This groundbreaking book explores regenerative agriculture and the vital connection between our soil and our health.” -YC

The Mind-Gut Connection by Emeran Mayer

“Combining neuroscience with discoveries about the human microbiome, it’s a practical guide that demonstrates the link between mind and body.” -YC

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari (also rec’d by Janelle Monáe, Russell Brand & Tom Hanks)

“A stimulating narrative of humanity’s creation and evolution that explores the ways in which biology and history have defined us.” -YC

The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements by Eric Hoffer (also rec’d by Mark Cuban)

“A landmark in the field of social psychology. It’s mandatory reading for anyone interested in the way an individual becomes a fanatic.” -YC

(via Fast Company)