Book Review: “Breath”

Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art

by James Nestor

Mike’s Rating:

4 out of 5 cups of coffee!

I suppose it would be appropriate to begin by simply pointing out that this book is not related to Christianity or spirituality. You most likely won’t find it in your local Christian bookstore.

A few months ago I set out to take something of a sabbatical after a pretty continuous 23 years in pastoral ministry. One of several books I wanted to read (or listen to) was this book recommended on Mike Rowe’s podcast. Say what you like about Mike Rowe, but I enjoy his work. This particular episode included an interview with the author, James Nestor. Thus the book ended up on my reading list.

As a person that has had a lot of annoying but not life-altering sinus and respiratory issues through most of my life, I found this whole idea of improving life by altering one’s breathing patters to be really intriguing.

While I share some differences of perspective with Mr. Nestor, I have to applaud the lengths to which he has gone to provide the data and personal experience that form this book. It is truly impressive. I will say that, in simply experimenting with some of the suggestions herein, I can see the benefit.

I would recommend this book to anyone who suffers from panic attacks as it gives some insight into the power of breath to help regulate in such situations. I would also recommend it to anyone with chronic but not really acute respiratory, sinus/allergy, or even dental (structural) challenges. Nestor’s well-presented research could well open up some avenues to make a significant difference in the day to day life of some of these people.

I would not recommend this book to someone who will be offended by different worldviews or spiritual backgrounds. Nor would I recommend it to those who cannot read past occasional profanity without a harsh reaction.

For those who might wonder why I would suggest such a book, I would simply remind you of what I believe is the significance of humanity’s uniqueness in all of creation:

Then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.

Genesis 2.7

Your breath matters. How you use it might make a difference.

You can purchase “New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional” through these Amazon links:

Hardcover –

Paperback –

Kindle –

Audiobook –

(Note: I do receive a small commission on sales through these links!)

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