News Blog > personal development

Mind and Body eNewsletter for March

This month’s Mind and Body newsletter features urban cycling, the big question about science, faith, and god, a festival survival guide, and the serious business of enjoying ourselves. You can also now borrow the brand new library tablets! See below for details.

Library News

Sports, Fitness & Recreation

This month’s selection includes books on cycling, boat racing, running, cricket soccer and fishing. Perhaps you’ll find inspiration for a hobby to take up in the new year!

Syndetics book cover Urban Cycling : from the BMX to the fixie / Laurent Belando.
“City cycling is on the up all over the world, and this stylish book is the perfect celebration of its growing popularity. With beautiful photography and street-style profiles of cyclists of all walks of life, Urban Cycling is a fascinating study of the cyclists that roam our city streets – from BMX gangs to cycle couriers and everything in between.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Winning Isn’t Luck : how to succeed in racing dinghies and yachts / Fred Imhoff ; translated by Chris Schram.
“Whether racing dinghies or yachts, every sailor wants to drive through the fleet and cross the line first. In this ground-breaking book, international racer Fred Imhoff shows how to do just that. By means of on-the-water action shots and detailed commentary about a sailor’s tactics, sail trim, helming, crew positioning and psychological attitude, Fred shares the secrets of competitive racing success….this book is full of never-before-discussed gold dust that will be absolutely indispensable to all racers, whatever their age or level.” (Sydetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Running Man : A Memoir / Charlie Engle.
“After a decade-long addiction to crack cocaine and alcohol, Charlie Engle hit bottom with a near-fatal six-day binge that ended in a hail of bullets. As Engle got sober, he turned to running, which became his lifeline, his pastime, and his salvation. He began with marathons, and when marathons weren’t far enough, he began to take on ultra-marathons, races that went for 35, 50, and sometimes hundreds of miles, traveling to some of the most unforgiving places on earth to race…. In Running Man, Charlie Engle tells the gripping, surprising, funny, emotional, and inspiring story of his life, detailing his setbacks and struggles–from coping with addiction to serving time in prison–and how he blazed a path to freedom by putting one foot in front of the other.” (Book jacket)
Syndetics book cover Fifty Places to Camp Before You Die : camping experts share the world’s greatest destinations / Chris Santella ; foreword by Mike Harrelson.
In Fifty Places to Camp Before You Die, Chris Santella illuminates the best destinations for exploring the great outdoors. The book features the world’s top spots for sleeping under the stars and enjoying a host of outdoor recreational activities that make camping such a time-honored tradition. Featuring favorite US National Parks destinations—as well as more exotic locales in Italy, Chile, France, Botswana, Germany, and more—Santella provides helpful information and tips that will appeal to novice campers and seasoned outdoorsmen alike.” (Amazon.com)

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Religion and beliefs

Syndetics book cover The world, the flesh & the Devil : the life and opinions of Samuel Marsden in England and the Antipodes, 1765-1838, by Andrew Sharp.
“By diving deeply into key moments – the voyage out, the disputes with Macquarie, the founding of missions – Sharp gets us to reimagine the world as Marsden saw it: always under threat from the Prince of Darkness, in need of ‘a bold reprover of vice’, a world written in the words of the King James Bible. Andrew Sharp takes us back into the nineteenth-century world, and an evangelical mind, to reveal the past as truly a foreign country”–Publisher information.
Syndetics book cover Awakening from the daydream : reimagining the Buddha’s wheel of life, by David Nichtern.
“Although traditionally thought of as modes of reincarnation, Nichtern describes the realms as mental states that we move between, sometimes quite rapidly. He clearly and briefly describes how each blocks our path towards enlightenment but also contain unique possibilities. He also provides concise and easily implemented meditation practices for coping with the negative effects of each and includes a basic guide to karma and advice for finding a spiritual guide. …this is a clear, and current introduction to Buddhist thought and practice.” (drawn from Publisher Weekly, courtesy of Syndetics).
Syndetics book cover Angels on Earth : inspiring stories of fate, friendship, and the power of connections, by Laura Schroff and Alex Tresniowski.
An inspiring book about the incredible impact that acts of kindness from strangers can have – impacting not only the receiver but also the giver. Schroff’s own journey has deepened her belief that angels (those sent by God) are all around us.
Syndetics book cover The big question : why we can’t stop talking about science, faith, and God, by Alister McGrath.
“McGrath develops a perspective in which science and religion enrich rather than threaten one another. That perspective highlights the formative influence of Christian faith during the scientific revolution and exposes the urgent need to move beyond the limits of contemporary science to find transcendent sources of morality and meaning. … McGrath calls for a full-bodied humanism invigorated by both scientific reasoning and religious devotion.” (Drawn from Booklist, courtesy of Syndetics) Also by the same author: Inventing the universe : why we can’t stop talking about science, faith and God.

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Health

This month, develop both strength and flexibility for a healthier you and understand the underestimated link between body, brain and wellbeing. Find strategies during the day for a better night sleep (for adults and babies). Finally, we explore the world of psychology & psychiatry through the ages.

Syndetics book cover The no-cry sleep solution : gentle ways to help your baby sleep through the night
“There are two schools of thought for encouraging babies to sleep through the night: the hotly debated Ferber technique of letting the baby “cry it out,” or the grin-and-bear-it solution of getting up from dusk to dawn as often as necessary. If you don’t believe in letting your baby cry it out, but desperately want to sleep, there is now a third option, presented in Elizabeth Pantley’s sanity-saving book The No-Cry Sleep Solution. Pantley’s successful solution has been tested and proven effective by scores of mothers and their babies from across the United States, Canada, and Europe. The No-Cry Sleep Solution offers clearly explained, step-by-step ideas that steer your little ones toward a good night’s sleep.” (Syndetics)
Syndetics book cover The autoimmune wellness handbook : a DIY guide to living well with chronic illness
“Autoimmune diseases sufferers Trescott (The Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook) and Alt (The Alternative Autoimmune Cookbook) searched online for answers and became guinea pigs for paleo diet pioneer Loren Cordain’s autoimmune protocol, a prescriptive eating plan that sets out foods to avoid and include, and provides detailed shopping lists for four weeks of menus using the recipes provided. Recipes are paleo-level protein-rich; merely reading a suggested Tuesday breakfast-lunch-dinner lineup of double-pork pesto patties, hidden liver chili, and curried chicken salad will be enough to make some swoon.” (Syndetics)
Syndetics book cover A vegan ethic : embracing a life of compassion toward all
“If veganism is about doing your best to not harm any sentient life, we must logically extend that circle of compassion to human animals as well, writes Mark Hawthorne in this practical, engaging guide to veganism and animal rights. Along with proven advice for going and staying vegan, an overview of animal exploitation, and answers to common questions about ethical eating (such as “Isn’t ‘humane meat’ a good option?” and “Don’t plants feel pain?”), A Vegan Ethic draws on the work and experiences of intersectional activists to examine how all forms of oppression – including racism, sexism, ableism, and speciesism – are connected by privilege, control, and economic power.” (Syndetics)
Syndetics book cover Festivals : a survival guide : cope with everything – tents, toilets, torrential rain, too much booze, and more
“Every year when summer rolls around, millions of us sacrifice the joys of a comfortable bed and warm running water in favour of a weekend of debauchery in a field in the middle of nowhere. Whether you’re planning a weekend hobnobbing with the A-listers at Coachella, trading goods in the desert at Burning Man, raving through the night at one of Croatia’s beachside parties or seeing the biggest bands in the world at Glastonbury, the pull of a music festival is undeniable, but it can all be a bit daunting.” (Syndetics)

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Personal Development

These could be New Year resolutions with far reaching implications, subverting the current consensus on tidiness and connectivity. Food for thought during the festive season!

Syndetics book cover The 2 AM principle : discover the science of adventure
“Adventures don’t happen by accident – just ask Jon Levy. Once a high school geek, he is now a world-traveling behavior scientist and the creator of the EPIC Model of Adventure, a breakthrough four-stage process for creating unforgettable experiences – from assembling the right team and the finer points of party crashing, to the science of being funny and ending the evening with style. The 2 AM principle combines outrageous triumphs, embarrassing failures, and life-changing lessons from Levy’s adventures with concrete science to show anyone how to life life more fully and adventurously.”(Syndetics)
Syndetics book cover Emotional agility : get unstuck, embrace change, and thrive in work and life
“The path to personal and professional fulfillment is rarely straight. Ask anyone who has achieved his or her biggest goals or whose relationships thrive and you’ll hear stories of many unexpected detours along the way. What separates those who master these challenges and those who get derailed? The answer is emotional agility. Emotionally agile people are not immune to stresses and setbacks. The key difference is that they know how to adapt, aligning their actions with their values and making small but powerful changes that lead to a lifetime of growth. Emotional agility is not about ignoring difficult emotions and thoughts; it’s about holding them loosely, facing them courageously and compassionately, and then moving past them to bring the best of yourself forward. Emotional Agility serves as a road map for a new way of acting that will help you reach your full potential.” (Syndetics)
Syndetics book cover Lecretia’s choice : a story of love, death and the law
“A successful young lawyer in Wellington, Lecretia Seales met and fell in love with Matt Vickers in 2003. In Lecretia’s Choice, Matt tells the story of their life together, and how it changed when his proud, fiercely independent wife was diagnosed with a brain tumour and forced to confront her own mortality. Lecretia wanted to die with dignity, to be able to say goodbye well, and not to suffer unnecessarily—but the law denied her that choice. With her characteristic spirit, she decided to mount a challenge in New Zealand’s High Court, but as the battle raged, Lecretia’s strength faded. She died on 5 June 2015, at the age of forty-two, the day after her family learned that the court had ruled against her. Lecretia’s Choice is not only a moving love story but compulsory reading for everyone who cares about the dignity we afford terminally ill people who want to die on their own terms.” (Amazon.com)
Syndetics book cover Isn’t this fun? : investigating the serious business of enjoying ourselves
“Michael Foley wants to understand why he doesn’t appear to be experiencing as much ‘fun’ as everyone else. So, with characteristic wit and humour, he sets out to understand what fun really means, examining its heritage, its cultural significance and the various activities we associate with fun. In fact, fun is a profoundly serious business often motivated as much by spirituality as hedonism. Also, while fun is a modern phenomenon it turns out to have recreated many of the elements of early ritual. His findings will invigorate you with insights, make you laugh at life.” (Syndetics)

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Holiday highlights – Home & Garden Newsletter

Enjoy some delightful recipes and cooking techniques and discover some gorgeous designs for knitting and quilting. Use clever ways to overcome stress and fear, regain good health and avoid pain with some great ideas found in the latest library arrivals, including new books about cooking, crafts, health and personal development. Take a look at the ones we have chosen for you, and  have a happy and healthy holiday season!

Library News

Cooking

With delectable recipes and dishes for every meal and occasion, this is a collection of cookbooks from around the globe.

Syndetics book cover Malaysia : recipes from a family kitchen / Ping Coombes.
“Drawing inspiration from her mother and from the late-night stalls and street markets in her hometown of Ipoh, Ping has put together over 100 delicious recipes that serve as a perfect introduction to the tastes and textures of Malaysian cooking. Chilli crab and caramel pork, spicy laksas and rendangs, satays and tangy sambals: these classic dishes are intensely satisfying to make, share and devour! Welcome to Ping’s family table – and as Ping’s mother would say, ‘sek fan la!’: come and eat!” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Spain : the Cookbook / Simone and Inés Ortega.
“The world’s best selling Spanish cookbook and the indispensable bible of traditional and authentic Spanish home cooking.” (Book Jacket)
Syndetics book cover France : the cookbook / Ginette Mathiot.
“With more than 1,400 recipes, Mathiot guides the reader through all the classic recipes and techniques of French cooking… with a clear and authoritative voice. The recipes, which have been fully updated by Clothilde Dusoulie, author of the popular Chocolate & Zucchini blog, prove that authentic French food doesn’t have to be complicated, heavy or too rich.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Greek : Heart-warming Traditional Recipes / [food director, Pamela Clark.]
“From the delicious dips and little morsels they call Mezze and eat with a glass of ouzo before dinner to the super-sweet honey-drenched baklava they eat with their coffee after dinner, Greek food is a culinary delight. Seafood is plentiful in Greece and there are recipes included here for prawns, sardines, squid and octopus. Peasant dishes such as moussaka, slow-roasted lamb, and dishes made from rabbit and goat are an important feature of the cuisine too. And there are celebration dishes – especially for Easter. And along with the beautifully photographed recipes, there are several beautifully photographed landscapes of Greece.” (Syndetics summary)

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Craft

Give your creativity a fresh start with gorgeous ideas from this selection of our latest craft books. Discover some glorious designs for quilts, inspired by the rich colours of the terracotta walls and the white churches of the Mediterranean. Happy crafting!

Syndetics book cover Knit together, share together : simple knitting for all the family / Marja de Haan ; translated by Barbara Mee.
“Knitting can bring generations together. This practical and beautifully illustrated book, which contains step-by-step knitting instructions and patterns, was inspired by a granddaughter knitting a simple doll’s sweater, her grandmother knitting the doll itself, and the girl’s mother knitting a matching sweater for her daughter. Even young children can learn to knit the basic stitches, and this book features projects suitable for every age and stage of experience. Knitting not only stimulates the mind and develops motor skills and dexterity but is also a way of creating something useful, with love, which can be cherished.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Knitting for the outdoors : merino handknits for active Kiwis / Gillian Whalley-Torckler ; photography Darryl Torckler.
“Merino wool is the best for warmth and comfort, especially in garments for active outdoor people. This book features quick knits in modern designs and includes hats, gloves, mittens, scarves, hoodies and vests which look good anywhere and appeal to men and women, girls and boys.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Scrap quilt secrets : 6 design techniques for knockout results / Diane D. Knott.
“Turn your scrappy mess into a quilting success! Armed with the easy-to-use S.C.R.A.P.S. system (style, contrast, repetition, accent color, palette, and selvages), you’ll sew extraordinary quilts from every last bit of the fabric you love–even the tiniest scraps. Personalize 16 beginner-friendly quilts using the blank coloring pages, or apply the concepts to tackle any scrap quilt you want to make. These 5 must-know scrap secrets will forever change the way you look at scrap quilting!” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Kaffe Fassett’s quilts in Italy : 20 designs from Rowan for patchwork and quilting.
“Che bella! Kaffe’s inspiration for the 20 new quilts in this book was drawn from the exquisite, richly colored villages of Cinque Terre on the Italian Riviera. The region, with its terracotta walls and handsome black and white churches set off by jewel-like glimpses of the Mediterranean, is beautifully reflected in the colors and patterns created by Kaffe and his team of designers. In addition to the gallery of quilts, the book provides detailed information on how to make each featured quilt, along with general practical patchwork and quilting information and a visual summary of Kaffe’s latest fabrics.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Health

Fight pain and regain health through a blend of strength and flexibility with this month’s selection. Get the latest edition of the New Zealand First Aid handbook, just in case… and reflect on the history and scope of modern medicine with the definitive illustrated doorstopper.

Syndetics book cover End everyday pain for 50+ : a 10-minute-a-day program of stretching, strengthening and movement to break the grip of pain“You’ve probably heard that as you get older, you are guaranteed to have more muscle and joint pain. That’s simply not true. These chronic ailments arise from years of decreased activity and poor posture—not aging. End Everyday Pain for 50+ presents a complete 10-minute-a-day program to correct previous damage, develop healthier joints, and stay pain free at any age. This book’s step-by-step approach provides quick relief and lasting solutions by fixing your body’s alignment through simple stretching and movement. No matter what part of your body is hurting, End Everyday Pain for 50+ offers a treatment to heal it.” (From Amazon.com)
Syndetics book cover Strong is the new beautiful : embrace your natural beauty, eat clean, and harness your power
“Olympic Alpine skier Lindsey Vonn wants women to stop thinking about “losing weight fast,” and instead focus on loving their bodies for what they are and what they can do. In Strong Is the New Beautiful, Lindsey lays out the never-before-seen training routines and her overall philosophy that have helped her become the best female skier in the world, tailored for women of all shapes and sizes. Lindsey backs up her fitness program with advice on what to eat and how to work out, and kicks readers into high-gear, helping bolster their self-confidence and build a better body image, with the tips and tricks she’s learned as a pro.”(Syndetics)
Syndetics book cover The New Zealand first aid handbook.
“This completely new edition of The New Zealand First Aid Handbook has been revised and updated by St John in 2016. Accidents and emergencies can occur at any time and in any place – and the action of people first on the scene often determines the outcome. The information in this comprehensive guide is essential for a wide variety of situations, from road accidents to bush walks, from the workplace to the home.”(Syndetics)
Syndetics book cover Medicine : the definitive illustrated history
“Follow the greatest stories of medicine and its breakthroughs, with incredible coverage of disease, drugs, treatment, and cures. Medicine covers the gory pitfalls and miraculous breakthroughs of medical history from trepanning, bloodletting, and body snatching to brand new developments in IVF and gene therapy with compelling stories and stunning illustrations. Clear diagrams explain major diseases such as cancer, and trace the progression of medical treatment through the centuries, from ancient healers and herbalists to scurvy and smallpox, and the World Wars to modern psychiatry.”(Syndetics)

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Personal Development

Times of crisis trigger stress and fear in the face of events we have no control over. This month’s books will inspire to find the power AND emotional agility within to help you not only cope with life’s trials but to thrive.

Syndetics book cover Happy : why more or less everything is absolutely fine
” Across the millennia, philosophers have thought long and hard about happiness, and come up with all sorts of different definitions and ideas for how we might live a happier life. This book explores the history of happiness from classical times until today, when the self-help industry has attempted to claim happiness as its own. His aim is to reclaim happiness for us all, and enable us to appreciate the really good things in life for what they are. Fascinating, entertaining and revelatory, this is a book for anyone who has ever wondered if there must be more to life.”(Syndetics)
Syndetics book cover Happiness and other small things of absolute importance / Haim Shapira ; translated from the Hebrew by Baruch Gefen.
“Join Haim Shapira as he navigates the terrain of happiness exploring and contemplating an eclectic range of theories and insights into the conflicts we face as we interpret and consider our lives on our journey to creating our own happiness.”(Syndetics)
Syndetics book cover The universe has your back : transform fear to faith
“In her latest book, The Universe Has Your Back, New York Times best-selling author Gabrielle Bernstein teaches readers how to transform their fear into faith in order to live a divinely guided life. Each story and lesson in the book guides readers to release the blocks to what they most long for: happiness, security and clear direction. The lessons help readers relinquish the need to control so they can relax into a sense of certainty and freedom. Making the shift from fear to faith will give readers a sense of power in a world that all too often makes them feel utterly powerless. When the tragedies of the world seem overwhelming, this book will help guide them back to their true power.” (Syndetics)
Syndetics book cover What if this is heaven? : how our cultural myths prevent us from experiencing heaven on earth
“Following her near-death experience as shared in the New York Times bestseller Dying to Be Me , Anita Moorjani knows well the truths that exist beyond common knowledge and acceptance. The clarity she has gained has led her to further understand who she was born to be. Part of that truth has involved contemplating the cultural myths infused into our everyday lives. Moorjani asserts it is now time for questioning in order to help us reach our fully informed, authentic selves.”(Syndetics)

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A talk with author Patti Clark

ThisWayUpCovercropped Patti Clark square

Do you long to lead an extraordinary life?

Come and hear author Patti Clark talk about her book This Way Up at the Central Library on Thursday 20 October at 1pm on the ground floor. She will discuss the motivation secrets she uses to help others effect positive change in their lives.

From Patti:
“This Way Up is a self-help book aimed primarily at women, but really it’s relevant to everyone.  It’s a story of healing for people who, after spending a lot of their  life nurturing and giving to others, struggle with feeling purposeless.
The first half of the book is a story, and the second half is a workbook.  The workbook’s aim is to help readers work through personal challenges, discover new inspiration, and harness their creative power. It’s a step-by-step way out of this sense of loss and into a life filled with meaning and joy.

From a Reader:
“This Way Up heals and transforms lives. Too often women struggle to find a purpose, after spending much of their life nurturing and giving to others. It’s a story and built-in workbook that supports you through personal challenges, unlocks inspiration through visualisation and harnesses creative power. Author, Patti Clark’s easy seven tools guide you out of feeling a sense of loss and into a life filled with enthusiasm, creativity, and abundant joy.”

In the Press:
http://www.stuff.co.nz/waikato-times/news/hauraki-herald/84408297/self-help-book-this-way-up-launched-in-thames

Saying yes to life – Self Help picks for January

At the end of a year and the beginning of the next, we examine our lives, our minds and our hearts, take stock and make decisions on how we will move forward. In this reflective time, why not take inspiration from Shonda Rhimes and her commitment to say Yes to what life throws at her, or find solace, humour and guidance in Mark Rowlands’ A Good Life.

Syndetics book coverYear of yes
“The talented creator of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal and executive producer of How to Get Away With Murder chronicles how saying YES for one year changed her life and how it can change yours, too. There was the side benefit of saying No for an introvert like Shonda: nothing new to fear. Then Shonda’s sister laid down a challenge: just for one year, try to say YES to the unexpected invitations that come your way. Shonda reluctantly agreed and the result was nothing short of transformative. In The Year of Yes, Shonda Rhimes chronicles the powerful impact saying Yes had on every aspect of her life and how we can all change our lives with one little word.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverEvery time I find the meaning of life, they change it : wisdom of the great philosophers on how to live
“A humorous and philosophical trip through life, from the New York Times-bestselling author of Travels with Epicurus. As a young college student studying philosophy, Klein filled a notebook with short quotes from the world’s greatest thinkers, hoping to find some guidance on how to live the best life he could. Now, from the vantage point of his eighth decade, Klein revisits the wisdom he relished in his youth with this collection of philosophical gems. He tackles life’s biggest questions, leaving us entertained and enlightened.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverOur grandchildren redesigned : life in the bioengineered society of the near future
“In this important and timely book, historian Michael Bess provides a clear, nontechnical overview of cutting-edge biotechnology and paints a vivid portrait of a near-future society in which bioenhancement has become a part of everyday life. He surveys the ethical questions raised by the enhancement enterprise and explores the space for human agency in dealing with the challenges that these technologies will present.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverTalking to crazy : how to deal with the irrational and impossible people in your life
“Let’s face it, we all know people who are irrational. No matter how hard you try to reason with them, it never works. So what’s the solution? How do you talk to someone who’s out of control? What can you do with a boss who bullies, a spouse who yells, or a friend who frequently bursts into tears? In his book, Just Listen, Mark Goulston shared his bestselling formula for getting through to the resistant people in your life. Now, in his breakthrough new book Talking to Crazy, he brings his communication magic to the most difficult group of all–the downright irrational.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverUnderneath my clothes : a woman’s guide to making peace with her body
“When and who decided that we should be judged solely by size and appearance? Why do so many of us set our mood for the day when we stand on the bathroom scales? Why does weight loss and being thin so often equate to being successful and beautiful? When we cease this fight, stop the negative internal dialogue and acknowledge our uniqueness by taking full responsibility for our wellbeing, it is only then that we can release our spirit from this struggle and find peace. You have one life to live so dont waste it feeling inferior based on weight, size, appearance or lack of self-worth. Today is a perfect day to change your life and make peace with your body.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverMindfulness for worriers : overcome everyday stress and anxiety
“This accessible book provides readers with mindfulness-based techniques to reduce worry, anxiety, stress and panic attacks. It will help readers deal with anxiety-inducing episodes by learning to accept and overcome strong emotions without getting caught up in negative and damaging thoughts. Aimed at anyone who is stressed or anxious, as well as people suffering from more extreme levels of anxiety, the book will provide the scientific evidence behind the effectiveness of mindfulness as well as lots of practical advice on how to quiet an anxious, racing mind.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverSuspicious minds : why we believe conspiracy theories 
“We’re all conspiracy theorists. Some of us just hide it better than others. In Suspicious Minds, Rob Brotherton explores the history and consequences of conspiracism, and delves into the research that offers insights into why so many of us are drawn to implausible, unproven and unproveable conspiracy theories. Conspiracy theories are not some psychological aberration – they’re a predictable product of how brains work. Of course, just because your brain’s biased doesn’t always mean you’re wrong. Sometimes conspiracies are real. Sometimes, paranoia is prudent.” (Adapted from Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverPrimary greatness : the 12 levers of success
“Dr. Stephen R. Covey’s teachings are beloved and have inspired countless readers and leaders. Primary Greatness once again delivers classic Covey wisdom in a compact and digestible form. In this posthumous work, Covey lays out clearly the 12 levers of success that will lead to a life of primary greatness: Integrity, Contribution, Priority, Sacrifice, Service, Responsibility, Loyalty, Reciprocity, Diversity, Learning, Teaching, and Renewal. For the first time, Covey defines each of these twelve qualities and how they provide the leverage to make your daily life truly “great”.” (From Amazon.com)

41U50ZY8oSL__SX293_BO1,204,203,200_A good life : philosophy from cradle to grave
“A Good Life is one man’s life (birth, death, education, religion, morality, illness and so on) told through a philosophical lens. It is a riveting examination of the ethical questions we face, and the decisions we must make, and a defence of the idea that at the beating heart of morality we find love. A Good Life is sometimes profoundly funny, sometimes deeply serious. It is as readable as a novel and as provocative as the best philosophy. It is the finest work to date by a charming and brilliant thinker.” (From amazon.com)

Human emotions – December Self-help picks

Find your authentic voice and make others hear you with the help of this month’s titles. You will also learn to live more “gamefully” and with gratitude, for a new, lighter outlook on life.

Syndetics book cover Light is the new black : a guide to answering your soul’s calling and working your light
Light Is The New Black is a guidebook for a new breed of women who are here to be bright lights in the world. At the Peace Conference in Canada in 2009, when the Dalai Lama said ‘The world will be saved by the western woman’, it was a call to action for women throughout the West. Light Is The New Black is a response to that call. It guides these women to come back home to who they really are, at soul level, and embrace their uniqueness so they can light up the world in a way that only they can. Gone are the days of following someone else’s well-trodden path.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLouder than words : harness the power of your authentic voice
“There has never been a better time to build an audience around your idea or product. But with so many people and companies clamouring for attention, it’s also more challenging than ever to do work that deeply resonates with the marketplace and creates true and lasting impact. Those who identify and develop their voices will gain more attention and wield more influence. Henry offers strategies, exercises, and true stories that illustrate the five attributes of resonant work:  Authenticity, Uniqueness, Consonance, Empathy, Timing. Henry’s book will help readers build a body of work that resonates deeply and achieves lasting impact.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverIntentional living : choosing a life that matters
“We all have a longing to be significant. We want to make a contribution, to be a part of something noble and purposeful. But many people wrongly believe significance is unattainable. The only thing you need to achieve significance is to be intentional. And to do that, all you need to do is start. You can’t make an impact sitting still and doing nothing. Every major accomplishment that’s ever been achieved started with a first step. This book will help you take that first step, and the ones that follow, on your personal path through a life that matters.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSuperBetter : a revolutionary approach to getting stronger, happier, braver, and more resilient 
“In this book, McGonigal reveals a decade’s worth of scientific research into the ways all games including videogames, sports, and puzzles change how we respond to stress, challenge, and pain. Being gameful means bringing the same psychological strengths we naturally display when we play games such as optimism, creativity, courage, and determination to real-world goals. McGonigal shows that getting superbetter is as simple as tapping into the three core psychological strengths that games help you build. SuperBetter contains nearly 100 playful challenges anyone can undertake in order to build these gameful strengths.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe gratitude diaries : how a year looking on the bright side transformed my life
The Gratitude Diaries follows journalist and former Parade editor in chief Janice Kaplan as she learns to gain a positive perspective and improve her life by becoming more grateful every day. In her fresh and witty journey, Kaplan discovers that gratitude isn’t the same as happiness (which can be fragile and fleeting) but has deeper emotional roots, is longer-lasting, and is impervious to change or challenges. She interviews dozens of experts and gathers extensive data from the national gratitude survey she conducted, to offer surprising findings about why gratitude changes your outlook in any situation.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMindware : tools for smart thinking
“Many scientific and philosophical ideas are so powerful that they can be applied to our lives to help us think smarter and more effectively about our behaviour and the world around us. Surprisingly, many of these ideas remain unknown to most of us. Drawing on his own groundbreaking research, Richard Nisbett presents these ideas in clear and accessible detail to offer a tool kit for better thinking and wiser decisions.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWinners : and how they succeed
“How do sportsmen excel, entrepreneurs thrive, or individuals achieve their ambitions? Is their ability to win innate? Or is the winning mindset something we can all develop? In the tradition of The Talent Code and The Power of Habit, Campbell examines how winners tick. He considers how they build great teams. He analyzes how these people deal with unexpected setbacks and new challenges and sets out a blueprint for winning that we can all follow to achieve our goals.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverIntelligence in the flesh : why your mind needs your body much more than it thinks
“If you think that intelligence emanates from the mind and that reasoning necessitates the suppression of emotion, you’d better think again–or rather not “think” at all. Guy Claxton draws on the latest findings in neuroscience and psychology to reveal how our bodies actually constitute the core of our intelligent life. From the endocrinal means by which our organs communicate to the instantaneous decision-making prompted by external phenomena, our bodies are able to perform intelligent computations that we either overlook or wrongly attribute to our brains. Claxton shows how an appreciation of the body’s intelligence will enrich all our lives.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe book of human emotions : an encyclopedia of feeling from anger to wanderlust
“Recent research suggests there are only six basic emotions. From anger to wanderlust, each entertaining and informative alphabetical entry reveals the surprising connections and fascinating facts behind our emotional lives. Whether you’re in search of the perfect word to sum up that cosy feeling you get from being inside on a cold winter’s night, surrounded by friends and good food (what the Dutch call gezellig), or wondering how nostalgia evolved from a fatal illness to enjoyable self-indulgence, Tiffany Watt Smith covers the globe and draws on history, anthropology, science, art, literature, music and popular culture to find the answers.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFail, fail again, fail better
“When her granddaughter was accepted to Naropa University, the celebrated author Pema Chödrön promised that she’d speak at the commencement ceremony. Fail, Fail Again, Fail Better contains the wisdom shared on that day. “What do we do when life doesn’t go the way we hoped?” begins Pema “We say, ‘I’m a failure.” But what if failing wasn’t just “okay,” but the most direct way to becoming a more complete, loving, and fulfilled human being? Here, Pema Chödrön offers us her heartfelt advice on how to face the unknown – in ourselves and in the world – and how our missteps can open our eyes to see new possibilities and purpose.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBrave enough
“Around the world, thousands of people have found inspiration in the words of Cheryl Strayed, who in her three prior books (including the best-selling Wild) and in her “Dear Sugar” columns has shared the twists and trials of her remarkable life. This book gathers more than 100 of Strayed’s indelible quotes and thoughts–“mini instruction manuals for the soul” that urge us toward the incredible capacity for love, compassion, forgiveness, and endurance that is within us all.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Christmas gifts & meals – Home & Garden November Newsletter

Welcome! We have a selection of new library books featuring fabulous ideas on making Christmas cards and gifts, easy and healthy meals, as well as exploring gardening projects that can be fun. Read about ways to address children’s health problems by both medical and natural methods, and challenge preconceived ideas about meditation. Enjoy!

Cooking

This collection of cookbooks will inspire you to create wholesome, healthy meals easily and without stress.

Syndetics book cover Salads in a Jar / Courtney Roulston.
“In our busy lives, we are always looking for nutritious, delicious, satisfying meals that are fast and simple to prepare. Salads in a Jar will show you how you can take it to another level, layering jars with salads to create lunches or breakfasts on the go….the salads are portable, the packaging is environmentally friendly and the recipes are delicious. Because the salads can last for several days in the fridge, you can always have yummy breakfasts and lunches ready to go.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover From Venice to Istanbul / Rick Stein.
“From the mythical heart of Greece to the fruits of the Black Sea coast; from Croatian and Albanian flavors to the spices and aromas of Turkey and beyond–the cuisine of the Eastern Mediterranean is a vibrant melting pot brimming with character. This book includes more than 100 spectacular recipes discovered by Rick during his travels. this collection of inspiring recipes evokes the magic of the Eastern Mediterranean at home.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Janella’s Super Natural Foods / Janella Purcell.
“With more than 150 fantastic recipes for healthy and delicious meals, desserts, snacks, drinks, and dressings,…Janella’s philosophy of using “food as medicine” is simple and easy to follow. Many of the recipes have been influenced by Janella’s travels to Italy, Japan, India, the Middle East, and South East Asia. Clearly marked with relevant codes–gluten free, vegan, vegetarian, dairy free, raw, soy free, nut free, or grain free–each recipe also contains a few alternative ingredient suggestions to please all of the friends and family seated around your table. ” (Syndetics summary)
Overdrive cover 天天吃海魚, 陳紀臨 (eBook)
“每菜一魚,標有其特徵、別名和烹調方法,還兼附魚相片,方便確認。作者是飲食世家出身,博學多聞,游走四方,全書挑選40多道魚菜,深入考究每種魚的資料,運用不同的烹調技巧,突顯菜式。篇末還附加海魚概說,增加閱讀興趣和常識。” (Overdrive description)

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Craft

There’s nothing more satisfying than making Christmas cards and gifts for your family and friends and you will find lots of new library books, packed with magical ideas and inspiration to help you make this season special.

Syndetics book cover Half yard Christmas : easy sewing projects using left-over pieces of fabric / Debbie Shore.
“Are you craving a crafty, creative Christmas? Let Debbie Shore show you how to create all the accessories you’ll need in the latest addition to her best-selling Half Yard series. Featuring six themed chapters – rustic, traditional, contemporary, monochrome, Scandinavian and kids – there’s something for everyone: you can select your favourite Christmas style or mix and match throughout your home. With over 30 simple, stylish projects requiring only half yards of fabric, this book will have you feeling festive in no time.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover The artful year : celebrating the seasons and holidays with family arts and crafts / Jean Van’t Hul.
“Celebrating the seasons and holidays is a wonderful opportunity to embrace creativity together as a family. It’s also a fun way to decorate, prepare for, and learn about the holidays we celebrate. In The Artful Year, you’ll find art activites, crafts, recipes, and more to help make each season special. By doing so, your family will create memories and mementos, you’ll develop creative growth in your children and yourself, and you’ll have lots of fun!” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Sew many dresses, sew little time : the ultimate dressmaking guide : interchangeable patterns to create 200+ unique dresses / Tanya Whelan.
“Tanya Whelan believes that dressmaking is easier than most people realize but that most sewing books are more complicated than they need to be. With her “choose-your-own-adventure” approach to sewing, Tanya offers an invaluable collection of patterns that empowers sewers to become designers. The trick is a set of patterns for 6 skirts and 8 bodices that line up perfectly at the waist, plus an additional 4 sleeve styles and 4 necklines. Tanya Whelan gives readers clear instructions and easy-to-follow step-by-step diagrams that allow them to use the enclosed pattern pieces to create up to 219 fitted dresses, including simple strapless designs, sheaths, and halter gowns. The book covers basic dress construction and altering techniques for women of all shapes and sizes.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Sew fab : sewing and style for young fashionistas / Lesley Ware.
Sew Fab is a style and sewing workbook for any girl aged 8-13 who loves fashion. It will teach you not just to sew, but how to wear your creations with flair. Start by finding your style tribe, learning to accessorize, identifying the best colors for you, and more. Now get ready to sew. Make yourself a mini studio, stock your sewing basket, and try out some hand stitching. There’s a mix of easy step-by-step projects to sew by hand or using simple machining, from a hair bow to a little black dress (but in the color that suits you best!). Packed with gorgeous illustrations, step-by-step projects, tips, and fun activities, you will be creating unique clothes and accessories in no time.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Handmade interiors / project editor, Laura Palosuo.
Handmade Interiors is the most comprehensive guide to soft furnishings and home sewing projects on the market. Handmade Interiors leads you through sewing projects such as how to sew curtains, a cushion cover or a Roman blind using step-by-step instructions and images. Compiled by experts in home design who offer advice on fabrics and variations to tailor to your specific home decoration needs. The easy to follow format makes this the perfect guide for novices and experts alike, covering the whole process of creating professional looking furnishings, from measuring, all the way through to installing your finished project.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Gardening and DIY

Spring is slowly on its way. This month’s gardening books highlight inspirational ideas across the world and DIY projects that are fun and practical.

Image from Fishpond DIY garden projects : step-by-step activities for edible gardening and backyard fun / Mat Pember and Dillon Seitchik-Reardon.
“Practical projects for small-space edible gardening and backyard fun from the much-loved Little Veggie Patch co. The book has 6 chapters – Kids, Recycled/Upcyled, X-Factor, Vertical Gardening, Gardening basics and Kitchen. There are 38 projects, and each chapter includes a break-out patch favourite feature project.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Gardens in France / edited by Angelika Taschen.
“From stylized Zen gardens in Provence to cactus displays on the Cote d’Azur, from classical palace gardens to quaint domestic beds, travel round the most beautiful gardens in France, home to some of the most elegant, charming, and inspiring horticulture in the world. The typical plants of each climatic region are represented–delphiniums, roses and irises in the North, and Californian poppies, santolinas, and lavender in the Midi. With pictures through every season, celebrate the particular beauty of spring, summer, fall, and winter, and discover plenty of inspiring ideas for your own garden.” (Library catalogue)
Syndetics book cover Kyoto gardens : masterworks of the Japanese gardener’s art / text by Judith Clancy ; photography by Ben Simmons.
Kyoto Gardens is a labor of love from master photographer Ben Simmons and Kyoto-based writer Judith Clancy. Simmons’ photographs present a fresh and contemporary look at Kyoto’s most important gardens. Their beauty is enhanced and humanized by gardeners tending the grounds using the tools of their art. Clancy’s graceful text provides historic, aesthetic and cultural context to the gardens. Combining wonder and rigor, she describes how Kyoto’s most beloved gardens remain faithful to their founders’ creative spirit and conception.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Life spaces : 120 award-winning interiors from the 2014 IDEA Awards.
“Since its inception in 2003, IDEA (Interior Design of Excellence Awards) has been celebrating the very best of an industry full of remarkable people and projects. This year, for the first time, we are publishing a book to celebrate the high quality of projects of the past year, the ones that have continually risen above the crowd to surprise and delight us.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Gracious rooms / Barbara Westbrook ; written with Heather MacIsaac.
“In her first book, the South’s most inviting designer explores her principles for creating a beautiful home rich with comfort and warmth. Barbara Westbrook has been designing classically inspired homes full of Southern charm and a European touch for more than twenty years.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Health

This month we read about running, children’s health through a combination of conventional and alternative medicine, diabetics management and how to develop healthy habits to give us the best chances to fight cancer and stay generally healthy.

Syndetics book cover Children’s health A to Z for New Zealand parents : help your child get better and stay well naturally
“Paediatrician Dr Leila Masson is well-known to many Auckland parents through her work in children’s health. She combines a traditional medical with complementary treatments in what is known as a `biomedical approach to children’s health. Her book is a practical guide to caring for your children using a mixture of traditional medicine alongside natural remedies, and the tried-and-true know-how of our mothers and grandmothers. Organised by symptoms, it is an essential guide for parents caring for children with sore tummies, bumps and bruises, skin irritations, ear infections, fevers and colds.” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Thriving with diabetes : learn how to take charge of your body to balance your sugars and improve your lifelong health
“This book empowers you to take charge of your diabetes, so you don’t just deal with your symptoms, but change the way you think to improve your health, happiness, and quality of life. Through a simple four-step process, you’ll learn how to intuitively understand your blood sugars and what causes both good and bad numbers. This proactive approach results in the ability to manage diabetes personally, not just by a set of notes from the doctor. The result is immediate and satisfying improvements to total health, both physically and mentally!” (Syndetics summary)
Syndetics book cover Can food be medicine against cancer?
“Does eating certain foods make any difference against cancer? How do I know which foods to eat? Can I trust what I read? In answering these questions, surgical oncologist Dr David Wilkinson, points out that nearly all cancers are not primarily genetic, but are influenced by factors under our control, including what we eat. You will be taken on a tour of the top foods that protect against cancer, and learn the scientific reasons why these foods are effective. Discover how cancer cells work and what turns them off. This book will change the way you look at food forever, and point you in the right direction to achieving cancer-resistant health for life.” (Syndetics summmary)
Syndetics book cover Light on yoga
The seminal yoga sourcebook for generations of yoga students around the world, first published in 1966, was republished in 2015.
“This definitive work features photo-illustrated, step-by-step guide to every yoga routine, and includes a week-by-week development plan, breathing techniques and yoga philosophy and spirituality for beginners and experienced teachers alike. B.K.S. Iyengar was the world’s most respected yoga teacher, widely credited as the person who brought yoga to the West. One of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Infulential People in the World, his teaching practice has been hugely impactful over the years. He died in 2014, aged 95.” (Book cover)
Syndetics book cover Attacking anxiety : a step-by-step guide to an engaging approach to treating anxiety and phobias in children with autism and other developmental disabilities
“Drawing on the principles of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), this book sets out a clear, enjoyable, step-by-step approach for addressing the sorts of anxieties, fears and phobias that are so common in children and teens with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and related challenges. Using this easy-to-follow model, parents and professionals will have the tools they need to help children and teens cope with and sometimes overcome anxieties caused by everyday occurrences. This book is an excellent resource for successfully alleviating many of the anxieties and phobias that interfere with life enjoyment, not only for the child but for the entire family.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

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Personal Development

This month we read books that challenge many preconceived ideas about the benefits of meditation, listening to our feelings and the trappings of the pursuit of happiness. Intrigued? Read on.

Syndetics book cover The outside edge : how outsiders can succeed in a world made by insiders.
“Our culture celebrates outsiders while in reality slamming the door in their face. The modern world encourages creativity while shutting-out all but a privileged few from individualistic expression. The Outside Edge is all about learning to harness the unique vantage point you possess in order to give yourself the edge required to succeed. It will show you when to embrace your outsider status and go against convention, and when to play the game, do as the insiders do and make sure you can get progress. Think of The Outside Edge as a manual for positively directing your insecurity, awkwardness and role-confusion towards a meaningful future, shaped and pursued on your own terms.” (Syndetics)
Syndetics book cover The Buddha pill : can meditation actually change you?
“In this new book, psychologists Dr. Miguel Farias and Catherine Wikholm explore the human ambition for personal change and its possible illusions, with a focus on yoga and meditation. They examine the psychological and biological evidence, from early research on Transcendental Meditation to recent brain-imaging studies on mindfulness. Controversially, The Buddha Pill argues that personal change effected by these spiritual practices can vary widely from one individual to another, and that peace and compassion may not always be the end result. Combining insights from decades of scientific research with fascinating accounts from gurus and prisoners, The Buddha Pill weaves together a unique story about the science and the delusions of personal change.” (Adapted from Syndetics)
Syndetics book cover The happiness trap : how to stop struggling and start living
“Russ Harris explains that the way most of us go about trying to find happiness ends up making us miserable, driving the epidemics of stress, anxiety, and depression. This empowering book presents the insights and techniques of ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) a revolutionary new psychotherapy based on cutting-edge research in behavioral psychology. By clarifying your values and developing mindfulness (a technique for living fully in the present moment), ACT helps you escape the happiness trap and find true satisfaction in life.” (Adapted from Syndetics)
Syndetics book cover Whole body intelligence : get out of your head and into your body to achieve greater wisdom, confidence, and success
“Executive coach Steve Sisgold, knows that the body–not the mind–is the most reliable and effective pathway to realizing your innermost desires and achieving success. His unique, body-centric approach will show you how to get out of your head and take charge of every area of your life with increased awareness, clarity, and confidence. Whole Body Intelligence teaches you how to become aware of subtle body sensations–such as gripping the phone or clenching your jaw during a tense conversation–and how to interpret their meanings, linking them to negative thoughts and behaviors that are impeding your success and happiness.” (Syndetics)

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Internal declutter – October self-development

Finding the essential and rejecting the surperflous in search of a more present, meaningful existence, balancing pleasure and purpose are some of the key concepts explored and discussed in this month’s selection to achieve greater happiness, fulfilment and ultimately health.

Syndetics book coverEssentialism : the disciplined pursuit of less
“McKeown began his mission for a less overcommitted life after he left his wife and hours-old baby in the hospital for an ultimately unproductive client meeting. Punctuated with zippy, thoughtful one-liners, this guide to doing “less but better” offers strategies for determining what is truly necessary, and shedding what is not. Instead of attempting to achieve everything, readers need to figure out how to do the “right thing the right way at the right time.” According to the author, the first step is un-committing: resisting the urge to join clubs, take on hobbies, and maintain unsatisfying friendships. Readers can stop making casual commitments, and can get over their fear of missing out.”(Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverCompelling people : the hidden qualities that make us influential
“When people look at us, what are they seeing? Most of us don’t realize what signals we’re sending, or how, and on what, people are judging us. Neffinger and Kohut, communications strategists and presentation coaches who met writing speeches and editing articles for Harvard faculty, posit that initial character judgments are based on two traits: strength and warmth. As they write, ‘We live most fully when we cultivate both in our lives, when we balance a high degree of individual capability with an unflagging regard for the needs and interests of others’.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book cover“Taming the drunken monkey : the path to mindfulness, meditation, and increased concentration
“In today’s busy world, the mind can often behave like a drunken monkey – stressed, scattered, and out of control. Instead of falling victim to frustration and anxiety, learn to be calm, focused, and free of unwanted thoughts with this easy-to-use guide to mindfulness.”(Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverHappiness by design : finding pleasure and purpose in everyday life
“Pretty much all the advice about happiness we have heard revolves around one basic assumption: that we can think ourselves happier. But in this book, behavior and happiness expert Paul Dolan reveals that the key to being happy does not lie in changing how we think–it’s changing what we do. This book combines the latest insights from economics and psychology to illustrate that in order to be happy we must behave happy. Our happiness is experiences of both pleasure and purpose over time and it depends on what we actually pay attention to. Dolan reveals what we can do to find our unique optimal balance of pleasure and purpose, offering practical advice on how to organize our lives in happiness-promoting ways and fresh insights into how we feel.”(Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverPsychology : 50 ideas you really need to know
“Packed with the latest research, case studies and the arguments of key thinkers, 50 Psychology Ideas You Really Need to Know is the perfect introduction to psychological theory. Professor Adrian Furham offers concise and accessible essays explaining the central ideas of psychology as well as provising the reader with a rich vocabulary to explain and describe behaviour.” (Book jacket)

Syndetics book coverUnthink
“How to think more successfully, by understanding how our unconscious mind works–and therefore how to lower your grocery bill, get someone to like you, and how best to give good news. Your life is dominated by your unconscious mind: by thoughts you’re unaware of and movements you don’t realize you are making. Words, colors, mannerisms, and other cues you don’t realize are affecting you, change what you think. This book explores the unconscious decisions we make, and… shows us how we can understand ourselves and others better, by having a greater understanding of the way that the unconscious mind has an impact of the way we live our lives.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverSuccess, your way : do what you’re meant to do
“Wharton business school professor, G. Richard Shell, teaches you how to define your success personally. But where is the map to help you discover that dream? In Success, Your Way, the author challenges you to set aside ideas of success as defined by society, family, and the media. Shell helps you probe your past, imagine your future, and measure your strengths. By identifying your unique passions and capabilities you will focus more on what gives meaning and excitement to your life. Get ready for the journey of a lifetime – one that will help you reevaluate your future and achieve success on your own terms.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverPowers of two : finding the essence of innovation in creative pairs
“All of us have experienced creative connection, and glimpsed its power. Yet, for centuries, the myth of the lone genius has obscured the critical story of the power of collaboration. In Powers of Two, Shenk argues that creative pairs are the exemplars for innovation. Using scientific and psychological insights, he uncovers new truths about epic duos – and sheds new light on the genesis of some of the greatest creative work in history. He reveals hidden partnerships among people known only for their individual work (like C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien), and even ‘adversarial collaborations’ among those who are out to beat each other. This revelatory and lyrical book will make us see creative exchange as the central terrain of our psyches.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverLove objects : emotion, design and material culture
“How are love and emotion embodied in material form? Love Objects explores the emotional potency of things, addressing how objects can function as fetishes, symbols and representations, active participants in and mediators of our relationships, as well as tokens of affection, symbols of virility, triggers of nostalgia, replacements for lost loved ones, and symbols of lost places and times. Addressing both designed ‘things with attitude’ and the ‘wild things’ of material culture, Love Objects explores a wide range of objects, from 19th-century American portraits displaying men’s passionate friendships to the devotional and political meanings of religious statues in 1920s Ireland.” (Syndetics summary)

September Self-development

This month we explore the field of psychology since Freud and our windy path to self-realisation, fulfilment and enlightenment.

Syndetics book coverThe psychology book : from shamanism to cutting-edge neuroscience, 250 milestones in the history of psychology
“A leading historian in his field, Pickren assembles 250 milestones in psychology, from shamanism to the 2013 White House BRAIN Initiative (brain research through advancing innovate neuro-technologies). Each entry has a page of concise description and explanation opposite a portrait, document, or work of art. Milestones include Aristotle’s De Anima; London’s medieval Bedlam (Bethlem Hospital); Robert Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy; Elizabeth Loftus on misinformation effect and false memories; and Bill Moyers’s “Mind-Body Medicine” on PBS. Some topics and pioneers, such as the brain, soul, tests, medications, Sigmund Freud, and Carl Jung, receive repeat attention. Suggested readings add to the value of this book for readers who wish to delve further into the milestones.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverMe, myself, and why : searching for the science of self
“Who are we? Who am I? Those are the questions science writer Ouellette (The Calculus Diaries, 2010) tackles in this elegant and very personal inquiry into identity and the science of the self. Ouellette examines the many aspects of the making of a self, including discussions on nature versus nurture. Ouellette leapfrogs through scientific, philosophical, and even pop history, which makes for fun reading as she expresses her views of an array of figures and artifacts, from Gregor Mendel to Francis Galton, John Locke to Kevin Bacon, Harry Potter movies to Christopher Nolan’s mind-bending sci-fi film, Inception. She discusses the so-called Prozac gene, brain scans, the hangover gene, avatars, sexual orientation and gender-atypical behaviours, the persistence and accuracy of memory, consciousness and the soul, and other provocative topics. An entertaining, insightful, and thoughtful reflection on our assumptions about ourselves and the mystery that is at the heart of the human story.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe good psychopath’s guide to success
“What is a good psychopath? And how can thinking like one help you to be the best that you can be? Dr Kevin Dutton has spent a lifetime studying psychopaths. He first met SAS hero Andy McNab during a research project. What he found surprised him, McNab is a diagnosed psychopath but he is a GOOD PSYCHOPATH. Unlike a BAD PSYCHOPATH, he is able to dial up or down qualities such as ruthlessness, fearlessness, decisiveness, conscience and empathy to get the very best out of himself – and others – in a wide range of situations. Together, they explore the ways in which a good psychopath thinks differently – and what that could mean for you. The Good Psychopath’s Guide to Success gives you an entertaining and thought provoking road-map to self-fulfilment, both in your personal life and in your career.” (Back cover)

Syndetics book coverHow to be alone
“Our fast-paced society does not approve of solitude; being alone is literally anti-social and some even find it sinister. Why is this so when autonomy, personal freedom and individualism are more highly prized than ever before? Sara Maitland answers this question by exploring changing attitudes throughout history. Offering experiments and strategies for overturning our fear of solitude, she helps us to practise it without anxiety and encourages us to see the benefits of spending time by ourselves. By indulging in the experience of being alone, we can be inspired to find our own rewards and ultimately lead more enriched, fuller lives.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverHow to deal with adversity
“No matter how insulated we are by wealth or friends we can all expect to undergo some form of loss, failure or disappointment. The common reaction is to bear it as best we can – some do this better than others – and move on with life. Christopher Hamilton proposes a different response to adversity. Focusing on the arenas of family, love, illness and death, he explores constructive ways to deal with adversity and embrace it to derive unique insight into our condition. Offering examples from history, literature and science, he suggests how we might recognize it as a precious source of enlightenment, shaping our very existence.”(Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverConstructive wallowing : how to beat bad feelings by letting yourself have them
“If you’ve ever ignored difficult feelings or if your inner critic has been riding you to be constructive every minute of the day, psychotherapist Gilbertson has written a counterintuitive self-help book that offers constructive advice for boosting self-compassion by wallowing in negative feelings. She begins with an easy premise: letting yourself experience both positive and negative emotions allows your body to have a healthy balance, which helps you to make informed, rounded decisions. Alternatively, ignoring healthy wallowing is a recipe for escalating problems as well as sustained depression and unresolved emotions. Although it’s a simple premise, it’s certainly not easy to change ingrained habits.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverWhy mindfulness is better than chocolate : your guide to inner peace, enhanced focus and deep happiness
“Mindfulness practice can help you reduce stress, improve performance, manage pain and increase wellbeing. These are the reasons why elite athletes, performing artists and business leaders are taking up the practice, and why it is being introduced into the world’s most successful companies, banks, business schools – even the US Army…David Michie introduces mindfulness practice and offers innovative solutions to common obstacles. Written with warmth and good humour, Why Mindfulness is Better than Chocolate is the ultimate guide to self-discovery. It will make chocolate taste better too!” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverCalming your angry mind : how mindfulness & compassion can free you from anger & bring peace to your life / Jeffrey Brantley, MD.
“Chronically angry people suffer loneliness, isolation, shame, and regret; experience dysfunctional interpersonal relationships; and are at increased risk for stress-related illnesses. Brantley’s primer recommends meditation based in mindfulness, compassion, and wisdom so those crippled by anger can eventually “enjoy a happier, kinder, life.” Borrowing broadly from Buddhist tradition and modern Zen master Thich Nhat Han, mindfulness guru Jon Kabat-Zin, emotional intelligence expert Daniel Goleman, and others, the author shows that the best way to learn “to uncouple the ‘thought train’ that carries anger” is to be present in the moment and make a commitment to a daily mindfulness meditation practice. Brantley employs the three basic mindfulness skills of intention, attention, and attitude, and the seven core elements of mindfulness practice-non-judging, non-striving, trust, patience, acceptance, a beginner’s mind, and letting go- as initiation into a personal meditation habit. In time, fear (usually the source of anger) dissipates and self-compassion and understanding emerge. Guided meditations appear throughout, in addition to individual stories, and data from studies on the benefits of mindfulness.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverBecoming Freud : the making of a psychoanalyst / Adam Phillips.
“Renowned psychoanalyst Phillips (One Way and Another) conjures up a vibrant portrait of Sigmund Freud, examining psychiatry’s most famous figure as it contends with the difficulties of placing his life in biographic form. In contrast to the more popular focus on an older Freud, Phillips introduces us to a younger version: the eldest son of Jewish immigrants, gifted but troubled by childhood trauma, whose future ideas were founded upon these aspects of his upbringing. And so the emergence of psychoanalysis comes at the end of this story, implying that the widely influential school of thought is merely one aspect of Freud’s larger story. Much like psychoanalysis itself, this book does not seek to claim and advance any singular sense of truth; instead, it encourages us to relish in the illuminations, indeed the very uncertainties of the process. As such, it’s a biography that might even have received the approval of Freud himself.” (Syndetics)

Resilience and wellbeing, at home and at work

This month in our personal development picks, there’s lots to help you survive in the office jungle and power through pressure at work. Plus, Michael Foely writes about happiness in the twenty-first century, and Kleiman and Wenzel give helpful advice for couples dealing with post-partum depression. Plus, mindfulness and reconsidering our priorities in the face of unexpected illness. Have a read!

Syndetics book coverThe age of absurdity : why modern life makes it hard to be happy
“In a world that demands conspicuous consumption, high-octane relationships and perpetual youth, we can find ourselves tormented by dissatisfaction and anxiety, fearful that everyone is having a better time than we are. This thorny problem of happiness is the subject of Micahel Foley’s entertaining and witty investigation into how fulfillment eludes us as we work, love and grow old in the twenty-first century. Drawing on a wide range of sources, from the earliest writings to the latest research in psychology, Foley sheds ironic light on the absurd nature of contemporary cultural conditioning. In conclusion, rather than denouncing and rejecting our age, he proposes a strategy of not just accepting but embracing modern life – by learning that absurdity is the new sublime.” (Book cover)

Syndetics book coverTokens of affection : reclaiming your marriage after postpartum depression
“Postpartum depression knocks most couples off their feet and Tokens of Affection serves as a ‘grab bar’ for regaining balance. Written with humour, sensitivity and remarkable insight, Kleiman and Wenzel have created a practical and effective roadmap for couples seeking enhanced connection and stability, not only during the postpartum period but at any phase of their lives.” (Book cover)

Syndetics book coverPowering through pressure : building resilience for when work gets tough
“We’re all working longer and harder than ever. Greater demands mean more pressure. Too much pressure can easily turn into stress. And stress, if not handled with care, simply leads to more pressure.
Power through pressure will show you how to build resilience, manage your stress, be at your best and still get the job done, even when the pressure is really on.” (Book cover)

Syndetics book coverMy manager and other animals : evolution and survival in the office jungle
“Deep down we’re just like animals. Part selfish ape, part chaotic ant. But how do the two elements clash and come together in ‘antagonistic harmony’? My manager and other animals examines the evolutionary psychology of work and the complex and fascinating tactics and instincts that we have developed to deal with working life. The idea of the selfish gene encouraged a focus on the ‘selfish’ side of evolution, and the assumption that we should ‘go ape’, and be ego-driven, aggressive, and competitive. More recently, astounding discoveries in human and animal behaviour have shown that, in all animals, cooperation and altruism is more common that we think and more useful than we could imagine.” (syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe confidence code : the science and art of self-assurance– what women should know 
“Broadcast journalists Kay and Shipman (Womenomics) address the self-confidence gap between women and men, consulting a range of experts to determine what female confidence looks like and how it can be achieved. Their sources include WNBA players, successful entrepreneurs, and senior U.S. military, all of whom admit to facing crises in confidence. They visit a neuropsychologist studying rhesus monkeys to explore nature vs. nurture theories on anxiety and the brain’s neurotransmitters that enhance or inhibit confidence. The authors discuss obstacles to self-assurance women face like “negative habitual thought,” internalized pressure to conform to feminine stereotypes, and a “hormonal tendency to avoid risk.” Studies cited suggest women are more critical of their own scientific skills and spatial reasoning, and speak up less in a group setting. Kay and Shipman provide a great blueprint for raising daughters by discouraging perfectionism, noting that perfectionism smothers achievement and is the enemy of confidence. For readers themselves, the authors include techniques for eliminating “negative automatic thoughts” with self-compassion and recommend “quick fixes” like meditation, correct posture, and healthy habits. All of this research, as well as the authors’ own recounting of experiences with doubt in their professional lives, effectively builds into a comprehensive set of ingredients for the confident woman.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe priority list : a teacher’s final quest to discover life’s greatest lessons 
“In fall 2006, high school teacher Menasche, then age 34, was diagnosed with an aggressive and deadly type of brain tumor, glioblastoma multiforme. Despite these challenges, in November 2012 he embarked on a journey-or Vision Quest, as he calls it-to recover his past by reconnecting with former students. Menasche, the son of booksellers, places literature at the center of his thinking and enlists it as a primary means of coping. A successful technique he used with students, the “priority list,” was useful in ranking the importance of different values and provided an effective tool for identify one’s own motivations. His chutzpah and quirky sense of humor more than explain Menasche’s popularity at Coral Reef Senior High School in Miami; after announcing his road trip on Facebook, former students in 50 cities agreed to meet with him and offered hospitality. By reconsidering his priorities, letting others care for him, and giving in to the “beautiful turmoil” of his illness, Menasche has been able to accept the break-up of his marriage and retirement from his job while reaping surprising rewards from his quest. Like Randy Pausch’s The Last Lecture, this memoir is a rousing testimony to the ways in which, in the face of death, living fully in the present moment becomes possible.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverA private history of happiness : ninety-nine moments of joy from around the world 
“Instead of advocating the latest guide or formula to achieve happiness, A Private History of Happiness presents a wider perspective on everyday moments of joy in different times and cultures – and invites us to discover the happiness in our own lives that can be found right here and now.” (Book jacket)

Syndetics book coverMindfulness at work for dummies
“Learn to: master your mind by making time for mindfulness in your daily routine; use mindfulness to improve your resilience and wellbeing; improve team performance through mindfulness practice.” (Cover)

Syndetics book coverYou are what you imagine
This book will “take you by the hand and guide you chapter-by-chapter through a series of practical exercises, including working with imagery, vizualization, meditation and journaling. Full of fascinating interviews, stories and wonderful insights, this book will give you the tools to help you listen to the whispers of your heart and soul.” (Back cover)

New Personal Development Books

The pursuit of happiness is an all-consuming aspiration for a lot of us. Reflections on what is happiness and how to attain it abound. Whether through meditation, mindfulness, exercise, the practice of positive thoughts or the attainement of excellence, you will find a lot of inspiration and enlightenment from the following titles.

Syndetics book coverPractising happiness / Ruth A. Baer.
“Mindfulness is a way of paying attention that originates in Eastern meditation traditions but is increasingly discussed and practised in Western culture. It is usually defined as focusing one’s complete attention on present-moment experiences in a non-judgemental and accepting way. Buddhist traditions suggest that the cultivation of mindfulness through the practice of meditation reduces suffering and cultivates positive qualities, such as insight, wisdom, compassion and equanimity. In recent years, the Western mental health community has adapted mindfulness meditation practices for use in medical and mental health settings, and several interventions based on mindfulness training are now widely available. Those with the best scientific support include mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT). These treatments can be applied to a wide range of problems, disorders and populations and the evidence increasingly supports their efficacy. Practising Happiness is the first self-help book to integrate the wisdom, skills and practices available from the four leading evidence-based mindfulness treatments.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe tell : the little clues that reveal big truths about who we are / Matthew Hertenstein.
“Drawing on poker’s concept of the “tell,” a mannerism that can yield clues to an opponent’s cards, and numerous behavioral studies in which he has been involved, psychologist Hertenstein has produced a study that is lively and engaging yet unremarkable in its conclusion that both environment and genes influence our decision-making. For example, he reveals that we’re able to predict ways an adult might behave by looking at early tells; thus, infants that have insecure attachments to their parents are more likely than those with secure attachments to develop some form of psychopathology later. Various studies have found that facial features can be useful in predicting aggression or lying and cheating: “In carefully controlled studies, men with wider faces were three times more willing to lie than slim-faced men.” In dating, women choose men based on facial attractiveness, symmetry, smell, and masculinity, while men choose “women who are attractive, youthful, and display signs of fertility.” Despite the inconclusiveness of evolutionary psychology, Hertenstein offers much material to ponder and suggests that we embrace the power of these tools for helping us predict behavior, though he also cautions against an overly prescriptive use of these approaches, which could lead to harmful cultural stereotypes. 31 b&w figures.” (Publisher Weekly)

Syndetics book coverMaking hope happen : create the future you want for yourself and others / Shane J. Lopez.
“Draws on research to offer strategies for adopting a high-hope attitude and shaping a successful future, and provides real-life examples of people who create hope and have changed the lives of their communities.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSmarter : the new science of building brain power / Dan Hurley.
“With vivid stories of lives transformed, science journalist Dan Hurley delivers practical findings for people of every age and ability. Along the way, he narrates with acid-tongued wit his experiences as a human guinea pig, road-testing commercial brain-training programs, learning to play the Renaissance lute, getting physically fit, even undergoing transcranial direct current stimulation.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe people you are / Rita Carter.
“In The People You Are, Rita Carter – award-winning science writer and international speaker – offers a new and vital understanding of personality. Rita explains that nearly every one of us is a team of personalities, working together, for the most part, to give the impression of a unified self. We are used to thinking of ourselves as one thing or the other – either introvert or extrovert, say – but things are rarely that simple for most of us. That’s why we sometimes feel like a different person depending on mood, company and surroundings, why we sometimes suffer unaccountable memory lapses, why we buy something we then decide we didn’t want in the first place, or why ‘somebody else’ turns off the alarm clock in the morning.Importantly, The People You Are is also a practical guide to building a happy ‘household’ of personalities, explaining how to identify these different versions of ourselves and how to enable them to co-operate so that we can function successfully in life. The People You Are is both an eye-opening and highly practical account of personality.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHardwiring happiness : the new brain science of contentment, calm, and confidence / Rick Hanson, Ph. D.
Why is it easier to ruminate over hurt feelings than it is to bask in the warmth of being appreciated? Your brain was wired this way when it evolved, primed to learn quickly from bad experiences, but not so much from the good ones. It’s an ancient survival mechanism that turned the brain into Velcro for the negative, but Teflon for the positive. Life isn’t easy, and having a brain wired to take in the bad and ignore the good makes us worried, irritated and stressed, instead of confident, secure and happy. Every day is filled with opportunities to build these strengths inside, but the brain is designed to ignore and waste them. This makes you come down harder on yourself than you do other people, feel inadequate even though you get a hundred things done, and lonely even when support is all around. Dr. Rick Hanson, an acclaimed neuropsychologist and internationally bestselling author, shows us what we can do to override the brain’s default programming. Hardwiring Happiness lays out a simple method that uses the hidden power of everyday experiences to build new neural structures that stick to happiness, love, confidence, and peace. Dr. Hanson’s four steps build a brain strong enough to withstand its ancient negativity bias, allowing contentment and a powerful sense of well-being to become the new normal. In mere minutes each day, we can transform our brains into oases of calm and happiness. We can hardwire in happiness.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMeditation made easy : with step-by-step guided meditations to calm mind, body and soul / Stephanie Brookes.Trying to find a work/life balance can be exhausting, and we are always looking for ways to release tension and relax. Meditation is the perfect solution, and yet people often worry that to meditate properly they need to sit for hours in a contorted position! Written in a down-to-earth, accessible style, Stephanie Brookes sweeps aside these outdated stereotypes, and shows us how to incorporate simple meditation techniques into our busy, non-stop lives. Stephanie has outlined bespoke meditations for a wide range of situations, including meditations for self-healing, meditations for relationships and meditations on the go. Packed with engaging and insightful information on meditation’s well-being benefits, this book will show you how even a very short meditation can reduce stress, ease tension and set you on the path to inner peace.” (From inside cover)

Syndetics book coverHow to think about exercise / Damon Young.
“A look at how and why exercise affects the way we think and feel. It can often seem like existence is split in two: body and mind, flesh and spirit, moving and thinking. In the office or at study we are ‘mind workers’, with superfluous bodies. In the gym we stretch, run and lift, but our minds are idle. Damon Young challenges this idea, revealing how fitness can develop our bodies and minds, together. Exploring exercises and sports with the help of ancient and modern philosophy, he uncovers the pleasures, virtues and big ideas of fitness. By exercising intelligently, we are committing to wholeness: enjoying and enhancing our full humanity.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Dude and the Zen master / Jeff Bridges & Bernie Glassman.
“Actor Bridges engages in a philosophical dialogue with friend and Zen master Glassman, an aeronautical engineer and mathematician in his early years, for an easy, fun read that poses some serious questions. The presentation is light-hearted and analogies are frequent; in discussing a fear of taking action, Glassman invokes “Joe, the centipede with a hundred legs, trying to figure out which leg to move first.” Later, Glassman recommends a musical approach to dealing with change: “Bear witness to the voices and the instruments-whether it’s a jazz band or life-and then move with them, flow with them, because in life you’re always in a band and you’re always swinging.” The Zen influence means a lot of nature imagery, with “Leaves turning, flowers popping open, rain falling on a leaf,” but it’s not cheap spirituality. Both men are involved in programs to promote peace and defeat hunger and they share stories of community artists, Holocaust survivors, and even Bridges’s long-time stand-in. Recognizing that frustration results from expectations, they say, “Work with whatever you have and make something beautiful.” Lest it all get too lofty, Glassman recalls his judo master’s advice: “When you get into trouble, the best judo defense is to run.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFocus : the hidden driver of excellence / Daniel Goleman.
“The ubiquitous reality of technological tools and gadgets in contemporary society can seem to impede the development of a conscious awareness of the world. Goleman, author of several works, including the acclaimed Emotional Intelligence (1995) and Social Intelligence (CH, Oct’07, 45-0941), explores here the issues this loss of awareness can create on an individual and global scale. He looks at the physiology of the brain and the way in which information, experiences, and emotions are tracked and processed. A storyteller at heart, Goleman makes complex scientific material accessible and captivating. He moves from personal to organizational to global in evaluating the need to strengthen “systems awareness” through three kinds of focus–inner, other, and outer–all of which are required for “a well-lived life.” Drawing on work with children and adults in multinational corporations and small inner-city schools, Goleman explores the dynamics of attention training. He draws the reader into a dialogue with critical long- and short-term dilemmas that will require a new type of systems focus if they are to be resolved. Realism is tempered by a positive optimism in this engaging work.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMindful learning : reduce stress and improve brain performance for effective learning / Dr Craig Hassed & Dr Richard Chambers.
“Mindfulness is now being used in educational environments to help students learn more effectively, develop personally, enhance their physical and emotional health, and deal with study and exam-related demands. In ‘Mindful Learning’, practical insights and exercises are given on how to successfully apply mindfulness in the educational setting.” (Syndetics summary)


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