3rd December 2019

Summer Reads: Get Your Life Together

Summer is the PERFECT time to get 👏 your 👏 shiz 👏 sorted 👏.... check out some of these non-fiction recommendations, to help you:

  • develop good habits;
  • build mental resilience;
  • learn some wholesome skills; and
  • try and figure out how to deal with the world in general  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

 

Summer Reads: Get Your Life Together

An Edited Life: Simple Steps to Streamlining Your Life, at Work and at Home – Anna Newton

Declutter every aspect of your life — from your wardrobe to your phone– with this realistic guide to getting neat and keeping things that way.
We’ve all tried to declutter, and given up halfway through, only to be haunted by a half-tidied cupboard for months at a time. Anna Newton knows that feeling too, and what’s more, she’s found a way to help. Lean how to make that digital detox last; how to craft a capsule wardrobe without a black blazer or skinny jeans, and above all, how to find the right amount of stuff for you, because we can’t all be Marie Kondo, can we? Learn how to edit your:

• home
• calendar
• exercise regime
• social life
• me-time
• capsule wardrobe
• household budget
• digital detox
• beauty routine
• office space

It’s about how to utilize your time and spend more of it doing what makes you happy. An Edited Life is here to help you stay on top of every aspect of your world.

 

Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones – James Clear

No matter your goals, Atomic Habits offers a proven framework for improving–every day. James Clear, one of the world’s leading experts on habit formation, reveals practical strategies that will teach you exactly how to form good habits, break bad ones, and master the tiny behaviors that lead to remarkable results.

If you’re having trouble changing your habits, the problem isn’t you. The problem is your system. Bad habits repeat themselves again and again not because you don’t want to change, but because you have the wrong system for change. You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems. Here, you’ll get a proven system that can take you to new heights.

Clear is known for his ability to distill complex topics into simple behaviors that can be easily applied to daily life and work. Here, he draws on the most proven ideas from biology, psychology, and neuroscience to create an easy-to-understand guide for making good habits inevitable and bad habits impossible. Along the way, readers will be inspired and entertained with true stories from Olympic gold medalists, award-winning artists, business leaders, life-saving physicians, and star comedians who have used the science of small habits to master their craft and vault to the top of their field.

Learn how to:

  • make time for new habits (even when life gets crazy);
  • overcome a lack of motivation and willpower;
  • design your environment to make success easier;
  • get back on track when you fall off course;

…and much more.

Atomic Habits will reshape the way you think about progress and success, and give you the tools and strategies you need to transform your habits–whether you are a team looking to win a championship, an organization hoping to redefine an industry, or simply an individual who wishes to quit smoking, lose weight, reduce stress, or achieve any other goal.

 

Change Your Schedule, Change Your Life: How to Harness the Power of Clock Genes to Lose Weight, Optimize Your Workout, and Finally Get a Good Night’s Sleep – Suhas Kshirsagar

An eye-opening handbook from a leading Ayurvedic physician that blends cutting-edge science on “clock genes” with ancient eastern wisdom to help us understand how to harness the power of chronobiology to effortlessly lose weight, sleep better, exercise stronger, reduce stress, and boost our wellbeing.

“It’s not you, it’s your schedule.” Does it sound like magic? It’s not. We’ve all heard of circadian rhythms—those biological processes that give us jet lag and make us night owls or early birds. But few of us know just how profoundly these diurnal patterns affect our overall health.

Bad habits like skipping meals, squeezing in workouts when it’s convenient, working late into the night to maximize productivity and then trying to “catch up” on sleep during the weekend disrupt our natural cycles. A growing body of research on chronobiology reveals just how sensitive the human body is to these rhythms all the way down to the genetic level. Our “clock genes” control more than we realize, and small changes can make the difference between battling our bodies, and effortlessly managing weight, sleep, stress, inflammation, and more.

Marrying ancient Ayurvedic wisdom with the latest scientific research, Dr. Suhas Kshirsagar’s holistic step-by-step 30-day plan gives you the tools—and the schedule—you need to transform your life. With diagnostic quizzes to determine your specific mind-body type, you will learn to adapt you schedule for effortless wellness for life.

 

Summer Reads: Get Your Life Together

 

Stillness is the Key: An Ancient Strategy for Modern Life – Ryan Holiday

All great leaders, thinkers, artists, athletes, and visionaries share one indelible quality. It enables them to conquer their tempers. To avoid distraction and discover great insights. To achieve happiness and do the right thing. Ryan Holiday calls it stillness–to be steady while the world spins around you.

In this book, he outlines a path for achieving this ancient, but urgently necessary way of living. Drawing on a wide range of history’s greatest thinkers, from Confucius to Seneca, Marcus Aurelius to Thich Nhat Hanh, John Stuart Mill to Nietzsche, he argues that stillness is not mere inactivity, but the doorway to self-mastery, discipline, and focus.

Holiday also examines figures who exemplified the power of stillness: baseball player Sadaharu Oh, whose study of Zen made him the greatest home run hitter of all time; Winston Churchill, who in balancing his busy public life with time spent laying bricks and painting at his Chartwell estate managed to save the world from annihilation in the process; Fred Rogers, who taught generations of children to see what was invisible to the eye; Anne Frank, whose journaling and love of nature guided her through unimaginable adversity.

More than ever, people are overwhelmed. They face obstacles and egos and competition. Stillness Is the Key offers a simple but inspiring antidote to the stress of 24/7 news and social media. The stillness that we all seek is the path to meaning, contentment, and excellence in a world that needs more of it than ever.

 

How to Survive the End of the World (When it’s in Your Own Head) – Aaron Gillies

There are plenty of books out there on how to survive a zombie apocalypse, all-out nuclear war, or Armageddon.

But what happens when it feels like the world is ending every single time you wake up? That’s what having anxiety is like – and How to Survive the End of the World is here to help. Or at least make you feel like you’re not so alone.

From helping readers identify the enemy, to safeguarding the vulnerable areas of their lives, Aaron Gillies will examine the impact of anxiety, and give readers some tools to fight back – whether with medication, therapy, CBT, coping techniques, or simply with a dark sense of humour.

 

You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life – Jen Sincero

In this refreshingly entertaining how-to guide, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author and world-traveling success coach, Jen Sincero, serves up 27 bite-sized chapters full of hilariously inspiring stories, sage advice, easy exercises, and the occasional swear word. If you’re ready to make some serious changes around here, You Are a Badass will help you: Identify and change the self-sabotaging beliefs and behaviors that stop you from getting what you want, blast past your fears so you can take big exciting risks, figure out how to make some damn money already, learn to love yourself and others, set big goals and reach them – it will basically show you how to create a life you totally love, and how to create it now.

By the end of You Are a Badass, you’ll understand why you are how you are, how to love what you can’t change, how to change what you don’t love, and how to use The Force to kick some serious ass.

 

Summer Reads: Get Your Life Together

The New Plant Parent – Darryl Cheng

For indoor gardeners everywhere, Darryl Cheng offers a new way to grow healthy house plants. He teaches the art of understanding a plant’s needs and giving it a home with the right balance of light, water, and nutrients. After reading Cheng, the indoor gardener will be far less the passive follower of rules for the care of each species and much more the confident, active grower, relying on observation and insight. And in the process, the plant owner becomes a plant lover, bonded to these beautiful living things by a simple love and appreciation of nature.

The New Plant Parent covers all of the basics of growing house plants, from finding the right light, to everyday care like watering and fertilizing, to containers, to recommended species. Cheng’s friendly tone, personal stories, and accessible photographs fill his book with the same generous spirit that has made @houseplantjournal, his Instagram account, a popular source of advice and inspiration for thousands of indoor gardeners.

 

Accessible Yoga: Poses and Practices for Every Body – Jivana Heyman

Yoga practice has so much to offer us physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. But many of us feel discouraged to practice because we see young, slim, flexible, well, and able-bodied people dominating yoga spaces. Yet, yoga is truly a practice for all–conferring enormous benefits to our overall well-being as our bodies change, age, and navigate various health challenges. Jivana Heyman, founder of Accessible Yoga, views yoga as a basic human right–saying we all deserve to practice it in whatever state we find our body or mind. Accessible Yoga offers a simple, clear, and wonderfully adaptable practice for all people regardless of ability, health, and body type. Heyman has spent over twenty years sharing yoga with people of all abilities and backgrounds, and in this book, he shares his knowledge by breaking down complex yoga poses, breathing practices, meditation techniques, and yoga teachings into clearly understandable and practical tools we can use every day, regardless of our limitations or challenges.

 

At its heart, yoga is a spiritual practice that can be used by anyone at any time – if you know how. Yoga is a path of self-exploration, self-study and self-awareness. People are more important than poses, and it’s better to adapt a pose to a person than a person to a pose.

 

BBC Talk

This is a series of book-and-CD language-learning courses for absolute beginners! We have sets for:

  • Arabic
  • French
  • German
  • Greek
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Spanish

 

The Noma Guide to Fermentation – Rene Redzepi

At noma – four times named the world’s best restaurant – every dish includes some form of fermentation, whether it’s a bright hit of vinegar, a deeply savory miso, an electrifying drop of garum, or the sweet intensity of black garlic. Fermentation is one of the foundations behind noma’s extraordinary flavour profiles.

Now René Redzepi, chef and co-owner of noma, and David Zilber, the chef who runs the restaurant’s acclaimed fermentation lab, share never-before-revealed techniques to creating noma’s extensive pantry of ferments. And they do so with a book conceived specifically to share their knowledge and techniques with home cooks. With more than 750 full-colour photographs, most of them step-by-step how-tos, and with every recipe approachably written and meticulously tested, The Noma Guide to Fermentation takes readers far beyond the typical kimchi and sauerkraut to include koji, kombuchas, shoyus, misos, lacto-ferments, vinegars, garums, and black fruits and vegetables. And – perhaps even more important – it shows how to use these game-changing pantry ingredients in 100 original recipes.

Fermentation is already building as the most significant new direction in food (and health). With The Noma Guide to Fermentation, it’s about to be taken to a whole new level.

 

Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don’t Know – Malcolm Gladwell

Something is very wrong, Gladwell argues, with the tools and strategies we use to make sense of people we don’t know. And because we don’t know how to talk to strangers, we are inviting conflict and misunderstanding in ways that have a profound effect on our lives and our world.

In July 2015, a young black woman named Sandra Bland was pulled over for a minor traffic violation in rural Texas. Minutes later she was arrested and jailed. Three days later, she committed suicide in her cell. What went wrong? Talking to Strangers is all about what happens when we encounter people we don’t know, why it often goes awry, and what it says about us.

How do we make sense of the unfamiliar? Why are we so bad at judging someone, reading a face, or detecting a lie? Why do we so often fail to ‘get’ other people?

Through a series of puzzles, encounters and misunderstandings, from little-known stories to infamous legal cases, Gladwell takes us on a journey through the unexpected. You will read about the spy who spent years undetected at the highest levels of the Pentagon, the man who saw through the fraudster Bernie Madoff, the suicide of the poet Sylvia Plath and the false conviction of Amanda Knox. You will discover that strangers are never simple.

No one shows us who we are like Malcolm Gladwell. Here he sets out to understand why we act the way we do, and how we all might know a little more about those we don’t.

 

 

Summer Reads: Get Your Life Together

 

Everything Is F*cked: A Book About Hope – Mark Manson

We live in an interesting time. Materially, everything is the best it’s ever been—we are freer, healthier and wealthier than any people in human history. Yet, somehow everything seems to be irreparably and horribly f*cked—the planet is warming, governments are failing, economies are collapsing, and everyone is perpetually offended on Twitter. At this moment in history, when we have access to technology, education and communication our ancestors couldn’t even dream of, so many of us come back to an overriding feeling of hopelessness.

What’s going on? If anyone can put a name to our current malaise and help fix it, it’s Mark Manson. In 2016, Manson published The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck, a book that brilliantly gave shape to the ever-present, low-level hum of anxiety that permeates modern living. He showed us that technology had made it too easy to care about the wrong things, that our culture had convinced us that the world owed us something when it didn’t—and worst of all, that our modern and maddening urge to always find happiness only served to make us unhappier. Instead, the “subtle art” of that title turned out to be a bold challenge: to choose your struggle; to narrow and focus and find the pain you want to sustain. The result was a book that became an international phenomenon, selling millions of copies worldwide while becoming the #1 bestseller in 13 different countries.

Now, in Everthing Is F*cked, Manson turns his gaze from the inevitable flaws within each individual self to the endless calamities taking place in the world around us. Drawing from the pool of psychological research on these topics, as well as the timeless wisdom of philosophers such as Plato, Nietzsche, and Tom Waits, he dissects religion and politics and the uncomfortable ways they have come to resemble one another. He looks at our relationships with money, entertainment and the internet, and how too much of a good thing can psychologically eat us alive. He openly defies our definitions of faith, happiness, freedom—and even of hope itself.

With his usual mix of erudition and where-the-f*ck-did-that-come-from humor, Manson takes us by the collar and challenges us to be more honest with ourselves and connected with the world in ways we probably haven’t considered before. It’s another counterintuitive romp through the pain in our hearts and the stress of our soul. One of the great modern writers has produced another book that will set the agenda for years to come.

 

No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference – Greta Thunberg

In August 2018 a fifteen-year-old Swedish girl, Greta Thunberg, decided not to go to school one day in order to protest the climate crisis. Her actions sparked a global movement, inspiring millions of students to go on strike for our planet, forcing governments to listen, and earning her a Nobel Peace Prize nomination.

No One Is Too Small to Make A Difference brings you Greta in her own words, for the first time. Collecting her speeches that have made history across the globe, from the United Nations to Capitol Hill and mass street protests, her book is a rallying cry for why we must all wake up and fight to protect the living planet, no matter how powerless we feel. Our future depends upon it.

 

The Freedom Trap: Reclaiming liberty and wellbeing – Craig Hassed

In many ways we have never been more ‘free’. We are freer to follow our dreams, set goals and live the life we choose. Yet mental health issues are sky-rocketing. Anxiety and depression are rife and more people feel overwhelmed by daily living. We are more addictive, distracted and pressured. This is a world that increasingly seems to breed discontent. So, is all our so-called freedom nothing more than a trap of our own making? Are we, as the saying goes, simply decorating the cage that keeps us imprisoned? Does everything that flies under the banner of freedom actually promote it? What can we do to change the status quo? The Freedom Trap is an inspiring call for clear thinking and a fresh appraisal of what our freedoms mean and can become. In this challenging, confronting and eye-opening look at what freedom actually is — examined from philosophical, psychological, political, social, legal, ethical, scientific, historical and neurological perspectives — mindfulness expert Associate Professor Craig Hassed explores how we can alleviate our burdens (our worries, regrets and material desires) and find a life of peace, happiness and harmony — true freedom.

Including practical thinking steps to help further your understanding of what freedom really means, this book is essential reading for anyone who has ever thought ‘there has to be more to life than this’.

Associate Professor Craig Hassed works at the Department of General Practice and is coordinator of mindfulness programs at Monash University. His teaching, research and clinical interests include mindfulness-based stress management, mind–body medicine, meditation, health promotion, integrative medicine and medical ethics. Craig is regularly invited to speak and run courses in Australia and overseas in health, professional and educational contexts. He was the founding president of the Australian Teachers of Meditation Association and is a regular media commentator. He writes regularly for medical journals and has published eleven books, as well as featuring in the documentary The Connection. Craig has a long-term interest in philosophy and the world’s great wisdom traditions

 

Sand Talk: How Indigenous Thinking Can Save the World – Tyson Yunkaporta

This remarkable book is about everything from echidnas to evolution, cosmology to cooking, sex and science and spirits to Schrödinger’s cat.

Tyson Yunkaporta looks at global systems from an Indigenous perspective. He asks how contemporary life diverges from the pattern of creation. How does this affect us? How can we do things differently?

Sand Talk provides a template for living. It’s about how lines and symbols and shapes can help us make sense of the world. It’s about how we learn and how we remember. It’s about talking to everybody and listening carefully. It’s about finding different ways to look at things.

Most of all it’s about Indigenous thinking, and how it can save the world

 

Keen for more recommendations? Check out the other reading lists in our Summer Reads Series!

And follow Surly on FB for more new books & recommendations 🙂

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