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Boost your wellbeing this Libraries Week with our top non-fiction picks

Written by · Published Oct 8, 2018

Self-care for the Real World, Happier Now, Spark Joy

Libraries Week runs from 8 - 13 October 2018. As this year’s theme is wellbeing, we’ve put together a list non-fiction titles to give you a boost.

See also:

Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics: a 10% happier how-to book, by Dan Harris, Jeff Warren & Carlye Adler

ABC News anchor Dan Harris used to think that meditation was for people who collect crystals, play Ultimate Frisbee, and use the word ‘namaste’ without irony. After he had a panic attack on live television, he went on a strange and circuitous journey that ultimately led him to become one of meditation’s most vocal public proponents.

“Here’s what he’s fixated on now: science suggests that meditation can lower blood pressure, mitigate depression and anxiety, and literally rewire key parts of the brain, among numerous other benefits. And yet there are millions of people who want to meditate but aren’t actually practising. What’s holding them back?

“In this guide to mindfulness and meditation for beginners and experienced meditators alike, Harris and his friend Jeff Warren, embark on a cross-country quest to tackle the myths, misconceptions, and self-deceptions that stop people from meditating.”

The Little Book of Ikigai: the essential Japanese way to finding your purpose in life, by Ben Mogi

“The Japanese talk about ikigai as ‘a reason to get up in the morning’. It is extraordinary that Japanese men’s longevity ranks 4th in the world, while Japanese women’s ranks 2nd. But perhaps this comes as no surprise when you know that the Japanese understanding of ikigai is embedded in their daily life and in absolutely everything that they do. In their professional careers, in their relationships with family members, in the hobbies they cultivate so meticulously.

“Ikigai is something that keeps one’s enthusiasm for life going, whether you are a cleaner of the famous Shinkansen bullet train, the mother of a newborn child or a Michelin-starred sushi chef. But how does one find ikigai? How does ikigai contribute to happiness? Neuroscientist and bestselling Japanese writer Ken Mogi provides an absorbing insight into this way of life.”

Help Me! One woman’s quest to find out if self-help really can change her life, by Marianne Power

Do self-help books really work? Marianne Power tested one book a month for a year. Find out whether they worked for her.

Happier Now: how to stop chasing perfection and embrace everyday moments (even the difficult ones), by Nataly Kogan

“This isn’t a book about positive thinking, silver linings, or always being happy. This is a book about living fully in good times and bad, and enjoying life more because of it.

“In her debut book Happier Now, nationally recognised happiness expert Nataly Kogan teaches readers how to stop searching for some elusive ‘big happy’ in the future and start finding more joy in everyday moments.

“Drawing from science, Eastern traditions, her experience as a refugee, and her own failing search to find lasting happiness through career success, Nataly shares simple practices to help readers live happier and have greater resilience when times get tough.

“Readers will learn how to experience more joy and meaning, boost their ‘emotional immune system,’ and embrace difficult times with compassion and stability. It’s time to stop saying, ‘I’ll be happy when…’ and start saying, ‘I’m happy now because’.”

How Healing Works: get well and stay well using your body’s power to heal itself, by Wayne B. Jonas

80 percent of healing can be attributed to the mind-body connection and other naturally occurring processes. Drawing on 40 years of research and patient care, Dr. Jonas lays out a revolutionary new way to be more in control of your recovery and lasting wellness.

We Flow Hard: the Y7 guide to crafting your yoga practice, by Sarah & Mason Levey

If you love yoga but you have no plans to become a leotard-clad vegan, this book is for you. The co-founders of Y7 Studios bring a beat-bumping energy to yoga fitness for today’s tribe of hip, provocative yogis.

Spark Joy, by Marie Kondo

Spark Joy is an in-depth, line illustrated, room-by-room guide to decluttering and organising your home. The book covers every room in the house from bedrooms and kitchens to bathrooms and living rooms as well as a wide range of items in different categories, including clothes, photographs, paperwork, books, cutlery, cosmetics, shoes, bags, wallets, and valuables.”

Marie Kondo’s books have become a phenomenon. She delivers lectures on tidying to thousands of followers in arenas now. In Spark Joy, she shares techniques to declutter your home and your mind.

Self-care for the Real World, by Nadia Narain & Katia Narain Phillips

Marie Kondo for the mind. One to dip in and out of.

“As wellness pioneers, Nadia Narain and Katia Narain Phillips have spent decades helping others to feel their best. But it took them a bit longer to learn to care for themselves as well as they looked after their clients.

“Here they share the small, achievable steps they picked up on a lifetime’s journey towards self-care and how you can apply them to your life, wherever you are.”

Advice Not Given: a guide to getting over yourself, by Mark Epstein

“Our ego, and its accompanying sense of nagging self-doubt, is one affliction we all share. And while our ego claims to have our best interests at heart, in its never-ending pursuit of attention and power, it sabotages the very goals it sets to achieve.

“In this book, renowned psychiatrist and author Dr Mark Epstein reveals how Buddhism and Western psychotherapy both identify the ego as the limiting factor in our wellbeing. With great insight, Epstein offers readers a how-to guide grounded in two traditions devoted to maximising the human potential for living a better life. Epstein uses the Eightfold Path, eight areas of self-reflection that Buddhists believe necessary for enlightenment, as the structure of the book.”

If I Could Tell You Just One Thing…: encounters with remarkable people and their most valuable advice, by Richard Reed & Samuel Kerr

“Richard Reed built Innocent Drinks from a smoothie stall on a street corner to one of the biggest brands in Britain. He credits his success to four brilliant pieces of advice, each given to him just when he needed them most.

“Ever since, it has been Richard’s habit, whenever he meets somebody he admires, to ask them for their best piece of advice. If they could tell him just one thing, what would it be?

“Richard has collected pearls of wisdom from some of the most remarkable, inspiring and game-changing people in the world - in business, tech, politics, sport, art, spirituality, medicine, film and design.”

Lagom: the Swedish art of eating harmoniously, by Steffi Knowles-Dellner & Yuki Sugiura

Lagom is the Swedish idea of being devoted to “just the right amount — living a balanced, harmonious life.” This book teaches that there is a time and place for every kind of food, and when everything is in equilibrium, you will be content and satisfied.

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, by Suhas G. Kshirsagar

“Dr. Suhas’s holistic step-by-step 30-day plan gives readers accessible, actionable goals - and the right schedule - to change their lives for good.”

Brandon King

I work in the Suffolk Libraries Stock Team