Mind & Body Newsletter for December

Well, it’s about that time of year when we look back and wonder where it all went. If you’re looking for inspiration, recreational reading or some health advice for getting back on track in the New Year look no further.

Library News

Cooking

The buzz words for this month’s selection of cooking titles are: food writing, fast (but healthy) food, economy, health and taste.
It’s all about sharing food with friends and family, while not spending too long in the kitchen. It’s also about entertaining and being entertained.

Syndetics book coverBest Food Writing 2012 / edited by Holly Hughes.
“Epicure, foodie, gastronome, gourmet, gourmand, glutton – whatever term you embrace, our cultural facination with food shows no sign of waning. And as in previous years, BEST FOOD WRITING 2012 is the place to go for heaping helpings of the most provocative, entertaining, delicious food writing of the year.” (Book Cover)

Syndetics book coverHome Cooking : A Writer in the Kitchen / Laurie Colwin ; illustrated by Anna Shapiro.
“Weaving together memories, recipes, and wild tales of years spent in the kitchen, Home Cooking is Laurie Colwin’s manifesto on the joys of sharing food and entertaining.” (Global Books)

Syndetics book coverCooking off the Clock : Recipes from my Downtime / Elizabeth Falkner ; photography by Frankie Frankeny.
“Presents a range of recipes for full meals and quick snacks that can be prepared with limited time and resources, in a volume that also shares the author’s imaginative approach to classic comfort foods.” (Library Catalogue)

Syndetics book cover101 Recipes You Can’t Live Without : The Prevention Cookbook / Lori Powell.
“Irresistible, easy dishes that will help readers cultivate healthy bodies. Half of Americans take dietary supplements, with little proof that they do anything to protect their health. What has been proven: the healing power of nutrients in food. In 101 Recipes You Can’t Live Without, readers will learn how to get everything they need from their plates–deliciously and without overdoing it on calories…. With 101 Recipes You Can’t Live Without you have the tool you need to craft the healthiest possible diet without feeling deprived. “–Provided by publisher.

Syndetics book cover101 Classic Cookbooks : 501 Classic Recipes / The Fales Library, New York University ; Marvin J. Taylor and Clark Wolf, editors ; text by Marvin J. Taylor.
“In this collection, some of the most respected figures in the food world have come together to choose 101 of the most important cookbooks of the twentieth century, the books that changed the way we eat over the years. From these 101 cookbooks, 501 signature recipes have been selected that reflect the author’s unique viewpoint, codify a revolutionary new technique, or magically invoke a particular time and place.” (Library catalogue)

Syndetics book coverFresh Food Fast / food director, Pamela Clark.
“This collection of recipes shows you how it is possible to cook delicious, fresh food fast in less time than it takes for pizza to be delivered.” (Book Cover)

Syndetics book coverFresh and Light : 180+ New Recipies and Flavour-packed Ideas to Find the Perfect Balance / Donna Hay.
“Fresh and light is my answer to my own best efforts to juggle for the perfect balance. Designed to complement my existing repertoire, it’s full of new recipes that combine the freshest ingredients, pantry staples and my personal tricks for a lighter touch. I’ve never been a fan of diets and this book is no exception. I don’t even like the thought of anyone being on a diet! For me, it’s always been about balance. Fresh and Light is mindful of fat and carbohydrates, but is focussed on flavour and variety — without the guilt.” (Global Books)

Syndetics book coverVegan à la Mode : More than 100 frozen treats for every day of the year / Hannah Kaminsky.
“This book is overflowing with creamy, dreamy imaginatiove delights that will have you churning ice cream around the clock.” – Julie Hasson, author of Vegan Diner – (Book Jacket)

Syndetics book coverThe Stress Free Diabetes Kitchen : over 140 easy & delicious diabetes recipes designed for no-hassle cooking / by Barbara Seelig-Brown.
“Author Barbara Seelig-Brown has spent the last decade creating and expanding the Stress Free Cooking® brand. Now she wants to bring this quick, easy, hassle-free method of cooking to people with diabetes. Just as she does with her general audience, Barbara aims to reshape the perception that cooking is time-consuming, boring, and unpleasant…. In this new book, Barbara takes the ingredients that have made her television shows and cooking classes so popular and reshapes them for those with diabetes.” – Provided by publisher.

Syndetics book coverThe Sweet Life : The Basics and Beyond– / Kate Bracks.
“Indulge your own sweet tooth with this glorious book of baked treats and dessert recipes from Australia’s MasterChef 2011 winner; and don’t forget the golden rule — always lick the bowl!” (Library Catalogue)

Syndetics book coverThe Hairy Bikers’ Big Book of Baking / [Si King & Dave Myers].
“With their irrepressible enthusiasm for great food, Si King and Dave Myers AKA the Hairy Bikers travel the length and breadth of Europe to discover the best baking recipes from the Continent. From Norway to Southern Spain, the guys eat their way across ten countries, making friends and swapping recipes along the way.” (Library Catalogue)

Read more

Sports, Fitness & Recreation

Arm-chair sports lovers – recline and enjoy reading about your favourite sports, be it sailing, tennis, cycling, game design, mountain climbing, kung fu, “glamping”, chess, walking. And the sports enthusiasts can find tips and tactics to improve their fitness and their game.

Syndetics book coverRamble On : The Story of Our Love for Walking Britain / Sinclair McKay.
“…Ramble On, published to coincide with the 80th anniversary of the founding of the Ramblers ” Association, tells the story of how country walks and rambling were transformed from a small and often illegal pastime to the most popular recreational activity in the country. But the story of rambling is not so much about parliamentary acts as it is about the remarkable people who campaigned for (and in some cases against) the pastime….” (Global Books)

Syndetics book coverCan We Have Our Balls Back, Please? / Julian Norridge.
“How the British invented sport (and then almost forgot how to play it)”–Cover.
“From the beginnings of ‘the beautiful game’ – raucous matches of folk football with hundreds of players – to the original bowls (a thin excuse for drunken gambling), here is everything you need to know about the very British love of sports and all the great games it’s produced.” (Global Books)

Syndetics book coverWheels of Change : How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom (with a few flat tires along the way) / Sue Macy.
“Take a lively look at women’s history from aboard a bicycle, which granted females the freedom of mobility and helped empower women’s liberation.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGlamping with MaryJane : Glamour + Camping / MaryJane Butters.
“Join the ranks of happy glampers – women who add glamour to camping while traipsing “outside” the norm. Whether you want to glam up a backyard retreat, porch, or rooftop; gussy up a vintage travel trailer (parked permanently in your back 40); or hit the road with your glampin’ girlfriends, MaryJane is THE guide for all things glamping.”–Cover.

Syndetics book coverChess Tactics from Scratch : Understanding Chess Tactics / by Martin Weteschnik.
“‘Chess is 99 per cent tactics’ is an old saying. This may be an exaggeration, but even the remaining 1 per cent still depends on tactics. When Martin Weteschnik started working as a trainer in his local chess club, he quickly realized that even the stronger club players had great weaknesses in their tactical play…. These players clearly needed a good book, but when Weteschnik looked for it he found nothing suitable, so he decided to write it himself…The first edition of this book, Understanding Chess Tactics, was hailed as a modern classic. This expanded and improved second edition offers more puzzles to test the tactical chess skill that Weteschnik helps the reader develop.” (global Books)

Syndetics book coverThe Time-Crunched Cyclist : Fit, Fast, and Powerful in 6 Hours a Week / Chris Carmichael and Jim Rutberg.
“No joke: The revolutionary training plans in The Time-Crunched Cyclist will help you build competitive fitness in six hours a week. You don’t need endless miles on the road. You don’t need endless hours in the gym. All you need is a commitment to six hours a week on your bike.Using the principles he developed for Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong,…. Chris Carmichael will show you how his new high-intensity, low-volume program will help you get in shape on a schedule that fits your lifestyle…. Book jacket.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverShelter from the Storm : The Story of New Zealand’s Backcountry Huts / Shaun Barnett, Rob Brown, Geoff Spearpoint.
“One of the defining and unique features of the New Zealand outdoors is the backcountry hut….Shelter from the Storm is a landmark publication, the first wide-ranging history of our hut network. The authors provide an overview of who built the huts….. as well as why they were. built…” –Publisher description.

Syndetics book coverThe Power Meter Handbook : A User’s Guide for Cyclists and Triathletes / Joe Friel.
“In The Power Meter Handbook, the most trusted coach in endurance sports offers a simple user’s guide to help cyclists and triathletes master the fundamentals of training with power…Armed with the techniques they need to know, riders will master power training concepts, accurately interpret their data, and learn how to harness this revolutionary technology to earn big performance gains from their day-to-day training. (Global Books)

Syndetics book coverOff the Track : Amazing but True Racing Stories from all Around the World / Barry & Alan Wood.
“Carefully chosen from the racing lore found in Australia, New Zealand and around the world, Off the Track features compelling stories written, selected and meticulously honed by two brothers who are passionate about the subject. The colourful personalities, the criminals, and the conmen. Horses that were so talented they were never beaten, and those that had the dubious distinction of always being beaten.” (Library Catalogue)

Syndetics book coverThe Secret Race : Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France : Doping, Cover-ups, and Winning at all Costs / Tyler Hamilton and Daniel Coyle.
“Hamilton pulls back the curtain on the Tour de France and takes us into the secret world of professional cycling like never before: the doping, the lying, and his years as Lance Armstrong’s teammate on U.S. Postal.” (library Catalogue)

Syndetics book coverScandalous : The Outrageous Behavior of Sports Stars / Barry Stone.
“There is no shortage of sporting stars making headlines off the field for all the wrong reasons. From dodgy dalliances bubbling to the surface, to marriages shattered, lucrative endorsement deals flushed down the toilet and clubs that can no longer hold onto players who have stuffed up in very big ways……. Scandalous will look at the many issues behind the scandals and why professional sport seems to keep going regardless.” (Global Books)

Syndetics book coverThe Big Miss : My Years Coaching Tiger Woods / Hank Haney.
“Hank Haney’s candid and surprisingly insightful account of his tumultuous six-year journey with Tiger Woods, during which the supremely gifted golfer collected six major championships and rewrote golf history.” (Library Catalogue)

Syndetics book coverThe Runner’s World Big Book of Marathon and Half-Marathon Training / Jennifer Van Allen, Bart Yasso and Amby Burfoot, with Pamela Nisevich Bede.
The first dedicated book on marathon and half marathon training from the renowned experts at Runner’s World. Runner’s World Big Book of Marathons (and Half Marathons) gives readers the core essentials of marathon training, nutrition, injury prevention, and more. (Library Catalogue)

Read more

Religion and beliefs

The latest arrivals feature a relook at angels, The Shack, the latest Deepak Chopra, and getting to know your neighbours.

Syndetics book coverBlasphemy : the true, heartbreaking story of a woman sentenced to death over a cup of water, by Asia Bibi with Anne-Isabelle Tollet.
Punjab, Pakistan, June 2009. At midday Asia goes to the nearest well, picks up a cup and takes a long drink of cool water. .. Suddenly one of her fellow workers cries out that the water belongs to the Muslim women and that with her actions, Asia – who is Christian – has contaminated it…. ‘Blasphemy!’ someone shouts… Asia was soon after thrown into prison and then sentenced to be hanged. Since then she has been kept in a windowless cell. …only two public figures came to Asia’s defence: the Muslim governor of the Punjab and Pakistan’s Christian Minister for Minorities, both have since been brutally murdered. Here, in equal measures shocking and inspiring, Asia Bibi, who has become a symbol for everyone concerned with ending the violence committed in the name of religion, bravely speaks to us from her prison cell.

Syndetics book coverAngels all around us : a sightseeing guide to the invisible world, by Anthony DeStefano.“The increasing secularization of society has led, in the words of Pope Benedict XVI, to a sort of ‘eclipse of the sense of God.’ Anthony DeStefano’s book, Angels All Around Us, is a welcome attempt to remind Christians of truths which, though mentioned explicitly in the Gospel and belonging to the deposit of faith, in recent decades have been overshadowed.” Archbishop Rino Fisichella, Vatican City, Rome.

Syndetics book coverThe shack revisited : there is more going on here than you ever dared to dream, by C. Baxter Kruger ; foreword by Wm. Paul Young.
Young’s novel, The Shack, has been embraced by Christians worldwide. Kruger explores this story of a man lifted from the depths of despair through his life-altering encounter with God, and guides readers into a deeper understanding of the core message of the novel: God is love. (summary courtesy of Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverIf you’re lucky, your heart will break : field notes from a Zen life, by James Ishmael Ford.
Using anecdotes from his own life, with quotations drawn from sources as varied as the Bible, and stand-up comedy, Zen teacher and Unitarian Universalist minister James Ishmael Ford shares the gifts won over his lifetime of full-hearted engagement with the Zen path. If You’re Lucky, Your Heart will Break breathes new life into the Buddhist ideas of karma and rebirth – as well as the Buddhist precepts of ethical action – and finds for them kinship in other spiritual endeavours. Even the most cynical of hearts will find resonance in Ford’s compassionate presentation of basic human truths. (drawn from the publisher’s summary)

Syndetics book coverIs God an illusion? : the great debate between science and spirituality, by Deepak Chopra, Leonard Mlodinow.
Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and Stephen Hawking have had a major impact on the loud and popular debate between ‘aggressive atheists’ and religion. Now ‘the rock star of the new spirituality’, Deepak Chopra, is entering this debate, sparring with leading physicist, Professor Leonard Mlodinow.

Syndetics book coverDrink, smoke, pass out : an unlikely spiritual journey, by Judith Lucy.
Judith Lucy’s Spiritual Journey takes us on Judith’s path from being a child so Catholic that she wanted to be a nun, to a genuinely curious adult looking for meaning via atheism, advanced yoga, astral travel and a whole lot more. Based on the popular ABC television series of the same name, this book features her trademark blend of her ‘brutal frankness and dazzling wit’ (The Age), and will appeal to anyone who has wondered about the bigger questions in life, as well as fans of her bestselling memoir, The Lucy Family Alphabet. (drawn from the publisher’s description)

Syndetics book coverEvolution of the Word : reading the New Testament in the order it was written, by Marcus J. Borg.
Contents : A chronological New Testament — Before anything was written — Paul and his letters — Time line — 1 Thessalonians — Galatians — 1 Corinthians — Philemon — Philippians — 2 Corinthians — Romans — Mark — James — Colossians — Matthew — Hebrews — John — Ephesians — Revelation — Jude — 1 John — 2 John — 3 John — Luke — Acts — 2 Thessalonians — 1 Peter — 1 Timothy — 2 Timothy — Titus — 2 Peter.

Syndetics book coverThe art of neighboring : building genuine relationships right outside your door, by Jay Pathak and Dave Runyon.
Once upon a time, people knew their neighbours. We now choose to live among strangers, and it can be hard to make lasting connections with those who live right outside our front door, although we have hundreds of “friends” through online social networking. This unique and inspiring book asks the question: What is the most loving thing I can do for the people who live on my street or in my apartment building? Through compelling true stories of lives impacted, the authors show readers how to create genuine friendships with the people who live in closest proximity to them. (drawn from the publisher’s description)

Syndetics book coverThe power of the Prophetic Blessing, by John Hagee.
“The power and permanence of the Prophetic Blessing has been clearly charted over the centuries in Scripture… This transforming supernatural blessing, when spoken by spiritual authority, has the power to sculpt your future! And as you’ll discover from Pastor John Hagee… the words of this blessing carry the power to revolutionize your life – and the lives of your children and grandchildren – for today, tomorrow, and forever, so that you may all experience spiritual, physical, emotional, and relational prosperity”–dust jacket.

Read more

Health

Coming into the silly season it’s good to put the focus back on health (before we all indulge over the Christmas break!). Our picks this month include guides to cholesterol and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, as well as a new title on hallucinations from renowned British neurologist Oliver Sacks. Also included this month, health memoirs about parenting and Aspergers, and a look at allergies and our inner and outer ecology (code for the parasites and microbes in our gut!). Enjoy!

Syndetics book coverGrace under pressure : going the distance as an Aspergers mum / Sophie Walker.
“When Sophie Walker’s daughter Grace was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, her world unravelled. Her high-powered job was in disarray, she couldn’t sleep, often woke in tears and felt hopeless and useless in her role as a mother. With extraordinary frankness, Sophie Walker shares the daily highs and lows of raising Grace.” (Library Catalogue)

Syndetics book coverGetting control / by Lee Baer ; with a foreword by Judith L. Rapoport.
“The first comprehensive guide to treating obsessive-compulsive disorder based on clinically proven behavioral therapy techniques, Dr. Lee Baer’s Getting Control has been providing OCD sufferers with information and relief for more than twenty years. In the same easy-to-understand format as the original, this updated edition includes: · Cutting-edge behavioral therapy techniques · Breakthrough advances in neuroscience · Brand-new material on hoarding · Expanded sections on how families can help OCD sufferers · The latest diagnostic standards · A completely revised list of resourcesOCD sufferers and their loved ones will find everything they need to assess their symptoms, set realistic goals, and create specific therapeutic exercises for managing this disorder.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe tell-tale brain : unlocking the mystery of human nature / V.S. Ramachandran.
“V.S. Ramachandran has exploded the boundaries of modern science – so much so that he has been praised by Richard Dawkins as a latter-day Marco Polo.*A specialist in brain damage, he is famous for an instinctive, intuitive approach to neurological disorders that has led him to successfully “amputate” phantom limbs, as well as solving the riddles of apotemnophilia (an obsession with self-amputation), and Capgrass syndrome (where patients who are in all other respects fully recovered become convinced that their loved ones are imposters). This new book will explore why the human brain is so unique and how it became so enchantingly complex. Taking us to the frontiers of neurology, he reveals what baffling and extreme case studies can teach us about the brain and how it evolved. Along the way we hear stories that are by turns moving, funny, tragic and disturbing, but always utterly fascinating.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHallucinations / Oliver Sacks.
“From the best-selling author of Musicophilia and The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, a provocative investigation into hallucinations-auditory, visual, tactile, olfactory-their many guises, their physiological sources, and their personal and cultural resonances. Hallucinations, for most people, imply madness. But there are many different types of non-psychotic hallucination caused by various illnesses or injuries, by intoxication-even, for many people, by falling sleep. From the elementary geometrical shapes that we see when we rub our eyes to the complex swirls and blind spots and zigzags of a visual migraine, hallucination takes many forms. At a higher level, hallucinations associated with the altered states of consciousness that may come with sensory deprivation or certain brain disorders can lead to religious epiphanies or conversions. Drawing on a wealth of clinical examples from his own patients as well as historical and literary descriptions, Oliver Sacks investigates the fundamental differences and similarities of these many sorts of hallucinations, what they say about the organization and structure of our brains, how they have influenced every culture’s folklore and art, and why the potential for hallucination is present in us all” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe eczema diet : eczema-safe food to stop the itch and prevent eczema for life / Karen Fischer.
“The Eczema Diet is the book all eczema sufferers have been waiting for. It includes all the facts and scientific research, as well as itch-busting treatments that offer immediate relief combined with a tried-and-tested diet – developed by nutritionist Karen Fischer over the past ten years through her work with eczema patients – that really gets results. Also included are 100 delicious recipes, suitable for everyone in the family, an extensive meal plan and shopping lists that are clear and easy to follow.” (Library Catalogue)

Syndetics book coverWhat men with Asperger syndrome want to know about women, dating and relationships / Maxine Aston ; foreword by Tony Attwood ; illustrated by William Z. Aston.
“Positive, practical and realistic, this book offers a wealth of information on women, dating and relationships for men with Asperger Syndrome (AS).Many AS men are totally confused and bewildered by women and relationships and find it hard to know what to do, what to say and how to get it right. For these men, understanding the emotional side to relationships and women’s needs can be a complete mystery and they often get it disastrously wrong. This practical handbook provides many of the answers to Asperger men’s frequently asked questions about women, dating and relationships, helping them to better understand the way relationships work and increasing their confidence and ability to have successful relationships.This comprehensive handbook is essential reading for men with Asperger Syndrome (and their partners). It will also be of considerable use to counsellors and other professionals working with such individuals” (Syndetics summary)

Read more

Personal Development

Delve into some thought-provoking new books for gaining fresh insights into our thinking and motivations. Whether you’d like to rip up the rule book or you’re just curious, you may want to do some things differently in your own life as a result.

Syndetics book coverThe antidote : happiness for people who can’t stand positive thinking / Oliver Burkeman.
“Self-help books dont seem to work. Few of the many advantages of modern life seem capable of lifting our collective mood. Wealth, even if you can get it doesn’t necessarily lead to happiness. Romance, family life, and work often bring as much stress as joy. We can’t even agree on what happiness means. So are we engaged in a futile pursuit? Or are we just going about it the wrong way? Looking both east and west, in bulletins from the past and from far afield, Oliver Burkeman introduces us to an unusual group of people who share a single, surprising way of thinking about life. Whether experimental psychologists, terrorism experts, Buddhists, hard-headed business consultants, Greek philosophers, or modern-day gurus, they argue that in our personal lives, and in society at large, it’s our constant effort to be happy that is making us miserable. And that there is an alternative path to happiness and success that involves embracing failure, pessimism, insecurity, and uncertainty – the very things we spend our lives trying to avoid. Thought-provoking, counterintuitive, and ultimately uplifting, The Antidote is the intelligent persons guide to understanding the much-misunderstood idea of happiness.” (Global Books in Print)

Syndetics book coverRip it up : the radically new approach to changing your life / Richard Wiseman.
“Most self-help books encourage you to think differently: to think yourself thin, imagine a richer self or to visualize the perfect you. This is difficult, time consuming and often doesn’t work. Ripping up the rule book, psychologist Richard Wiseman presents a radical new insight into your body and brain: actions are the quickest, easiest and most powerful way to instantly change how you think and feel. Drawing on a dazzling array of scientific evidence, Professor Wiseman shows how this simple idea can be used to increase motivation, overcome depression, lose weight, stop smoking and even slow ageing.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe 5 elements of effective thinking / Edward B. Burger and Michael Starbird.
The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking presents practical, lively, and inspiring ways for you to become more successful through better thinking. The idea is simple: You can learn how to think far better by adopting specific strategies. Brilliant people aren’t a special breed – they just use their minds differently. By using the straightforward and thought-provoking techniques in ‘The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking’, you will regularly find imaginative solutions to difficult challenges, and you will discover new ways of looking at your world and yourself – revealing previously hidden opportunities. Filled with engaging examples that unlock truths about thinking in every walk of life, ‘The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking’ is written for all who want to reach their fullest potential – including students, parents, teachers, businesspeople, professionals, athletes, artists, leaders, and lifelong learners. Whenever you are stuck, need a new idea, or want to learn and grow, The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking will inspire and guide you on your way.” (Global Books in Print)

Syndetics book coverHold me tight : your guide to the most successful approach to building loving relationships / Sue Johnson.
“In Hold Me Tight, Dr Sue Johnson shares her highly effective therapy programme: Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy. Forget learning how to argue better and making grand romantic gestures. Instead, Johnson teaches that the way to enhance – or save – a relationship is to re-establish a secure emotional attachment and preserve the ‘bond’ between you. This model has achieved an astounding 75 per cent success rate. Through illuminating case studies from her practice, advice and practical exercises, couples will learn how to nurture their relationships and ensure a lifetime of love.” (Book cover)

Syndetics book coverThe ravenous brain : how the new science of consciousness explains our insatiable search for meaning / Daniel Bor.
“Consciousness is our gateway to experience: it enables us to recognize Van Gogh’s starry skies, be enraptured by Beethoven’s Fifth, and stand in awe of a snow-capped mountain. Yet consciousness is subjective, personal, and famously difficult to examine: philosophers have for centuries declared this mental entity so mysterious as to be impenetrable to science. In The Ravenous Brain, neuroscientist Daniel Bor departs sharply from this historical view, and builds on the latest research to propose a new model for how consciousness works. Bor argues that this brain-based faculty evolved as an accelerated knowledge gathering tool. Consciousness is effectively an idea factory – that choice mental space dedicated to innovation, a key component of which is the discovery of deep structures within the contents of our awareness. This model explains our brains’ ravenous appetite for information – and in particular, its constant search for patterns. Why, for instance, after all our physical needs have been met, do we recreationally solve crossword or Sudoku puzzles? Such behaviour may appear biologically wasteful, but, according to Bor, this search for structure can yield immense evolutionary benefits – it led our ancestors to discover fire and farming, pushed modern society to forge ahead in science and technology, and guides each one of us to understand and control the world around us. But the sheer innovative power of human consciousness carries with it the heavy cost of mental fragility. Bor discusses the medical implications of his theory of consciousness, and what it means for the origins and treatment of psychiatric ailments, including attention-deficit disorder, schizophrenia, manic depression, and autism. All mental illnesses, he argues, can be reformulated as disorders of consciousness – a perspective that opens up new avenues of treatment for alleviating mental suffering. A controversial view of consciousness, The Ravenous Brain links cognition to creativity in an ingenious solution to one of science’s biggest mysteries.” (Global Books in Print)

Syndetics book coverWhat makes us tick? : the ten desires that drive us / Hugh Mackay.
“Why do we talk as if we’re rational, but act as if we’re not? Why do some people always want to take control? What is the true role of religion? Why do we seek change, yet resist it? Why do we want more of the things that have failed to satisfy us? Why are we so passionate about sport? Why do we fall out of love? As Australia’s leading social researcher, Hugh Mackay has spent a lifetime of listening to people talk about their dreams, their fears, their hopes, their disappointments and their passions. In a series of bestselling books, he has documented the impact of the changes that have been radically reshaping our society. Now, he reflects on some of the things that don’t change and identitifies ten desires that drive us all. Insightful and engaging, WHAT MAKES US TICK? reveals Mackay’s formidable skills as a chronicler and interpreter of our motivations. In his exploration of why we do the things we do, he goes to the heart of some of life’s big questions.” (Book cover)

Syndetics book coverHappier at home : kiss more, jump more, abandon a project, read Samuel Johnson, and my other experiments in the practice of everyday life / Gretchen Rubin.
“In the spirit of the #1New York Timesbestseller ‘The Happiness Project’, Gretchen Rubin embarks on a new project to make home a happier place. In The Happiness Project, she worked out general theories of happiness. Here she goes deeper on factors that matter for home, such as possessions, marriage, time and parenthood. Also, while Rubin wants to be happier at home, she wants to appreciate how much happiness is there already. So, starting in September (the new January), Rubin dedicates a school year – September through May – to making her home a place of greater simplicity, comfort and love. Each month, Rubin tackles a different theme as she experiments with concrete, manageable resolutions – and this time, she coaxes her family to try some resolutions, as well. With her signature blend of memoir, science, philosophy and experimentation, Rubin’s passion for her subject jumps off the page, and reading just a few chapters of this book will inspire readers to find more happiness in their own lives.” (Global Books in Print)

Syndetics book coverThe creativity cure : a do-it-yourself prescription for happiness / Carrie Barron and Alton Barron.
“Find a happy person, and you will find a project” wrote author and research psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky. In this insightful book, husband-and-wife physicians Carrie and Alton Barron draw upon the latest psychological research, a combined forty years of medical practice, and personal experience to demonstrate the truth of that statement, revealing that creative action is integral to long-term happiness and wellbeing. The five steps of The Creativity Cure – Insight, Movement, Mind Rest, Using Your Own Two Hands, and Mind Shift lead the way to a more meaningful, fulfilling life by simultaneously developing self-understanding and self-expression. With the Barrons’ detailed tools and strategies for cultivating creative outlets, overcoming unconscious fears and barriers to happiness, and linking internal thought to external action, readers will build the mindset and habits for happiness and positive change. They will experience and learn how to sustain the deep satisfaction that accompanies creating something by hand. The perfect self-help book for our handmade, homemade, crafting culture, ‘The Creativity Cure’ has a simple yet profoundly inspirational message: that you can find the authentic, contented life you crave by taking happiness into your own two hands.” (Global Books in Print)

Syndetics book coverNo storm lasts forever : transforming suffering into insight / Terry A. Gordon.
“As a cardiologist, Dr Terry Gordon dealt with life-and-death circumstances on a daily basis. He learned that life is precious and tenuous; it can change in an instant. Such a dramatic shift occurred when his son, Tyler, was involved in a car accident, sustaining a severe spinal-cord injury that left him paralyzed. Leading his family through the experience, Terry’s journey resulted in a spiritual awakening to a clearer understanding of life and the truths it has to offer. Terry has learned that our experiences become calamities only if we make the conscious decision to make tragedies out of them. Rather than lamenting adversities, we can choose to be grateful for them, embracing them as gifts from the Divine. These gifts provide fertile soil for growth and enlightenment, offering us the opportunity to transform turmoil, disappointment and suffering into understanding, insight and resolve. These gifts, and how to bring them into your own life, are offered to you in No Storm Lasts Forever.” (Global Books in Print)

Read more