It strikes me that if you want to spot trends or engage with the zeitgeist a good way to start is to look at what people are reading, watching or listening to. A good example is the recent US best seller book list. Top of a recent list were a biography of Elon Musk and the story of the Wright brothers. What can we make of this? Possibly that the US is thinking about invention and new technology, but also that it is looking backwards to an era of great achievement and invention.
More interesting though is a book about wood (not in the list, but I’d predict a Christmas best-seller for 2015). I’m no Rorschach test expert, but I think this book might possibly tap into or illustrate a general mood. The book in question is Norwegian Wood: Chopping, Stacking and Drying Wood the Norwegian Way by Lars Mytting. Huh?
I think the reason this book is being picked up is twofold. Most fundamentally, this book is a reaction to a crisis of masculinity. Same with beards – are there any beard books? Second, it is symbolic of a human need to disconnect and engage with nature using our hands. That’s what I think anyway.