“That is, power is power. That is, power is a word the meaning of which we do not understand.”
― Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace
After a course in leadership and management I tried to define for myself the meaning of “power.” My strategy was to search through Winnipeg Public Library’s catalogue for books with the keyword “power” and then read all of them. While I am still pretty well stuck with the definition by Leo Tolstoy at this point, I managed to work myself through a whole mountain of books, some of which I would like to recommend.
The New York times has called Noam Chomsky, “arguably the most important intellectual alive” and “perhaps the clearest voice of dissent in American history.” Our expectations of Mr. Chomsky will not be disappointed by the collection of interviews in Power Systems : Conversations on Global Democratic Uprisings and the New Challenges to U.S. Empire. Chomsky explores many of the immediate threats to the U.S. and the dangers they pose to the “U.S. Empire.” Regardless of the fierce backlash he faces in his own country, he continues to be undeterred in his activism. He compares 9/11 to Bill Clinton’s bombing of a factory in Khartoum, Sudan, that resulted in as many as tens of thousands of Sudanese deaths. He charges the U.S with “stabilizing” countries by invading and destroying them. Regarding Osama Bin Laden’s death at the hands of U.S. troops he comments, “We might ask ourselves how we would be reacting if Iraqi commandos landed at George W. Bush’s compound, assassinated him, and dumped his body in the Atlantic.” Chomsky’s words will not find universal acceptance, but he isn’t afraid to speak his mind; and that is what makes his writing particularly exceptional and this book very worthwhile reading.
I have to admit that I tend to be more of a couch potato than an athlete, but I do love yoga and its many benefits. This is why Power Yoga for Athletes, by Sean Vigue, caught my attention. I was not disappointed. Whether you’re looking to improve balance, focus, control, breathing, posture or flexibility; strengthen your back, joints, or core; or reduce or heal injury, yoga has been recognized to help with all of that. In this book, however, the author goes a step further and adapts yoga practices to the sport of your choice, to enhance performance, strength, and focus. Each pose features step-by-step directions, instructional photography, the muscle groups being worked, the overall benefits, and the sports for which each is ideal. Whether you already practice yoga or not, this book is a great addition to your regimen of athletic development.
Many of us may be familiar with the idea of juicing for weight loss, detoxification and boosting energy. In Power Souping, nutritionist Rachel Beller explains how souping can do all that, with the added benefit of being low in sugar and high in fiber. Plus, with the colder months not so far off (sorry) a nice hot soup sounds a whole lot more enticing to me than juice. Good bye juicing! Hello souping! Beller offers more than 50 delicious soup recipes, most vegan and many gluten free. The book also contains an easy 3-step action plan:
- 3-Day Detox: pure, clean souping to jump-start your weight loss
- 3-Week Transformation: shed up to 15 pounds with tasty soups and other healthy meals
- Maintenance Method: tips to keep you on this simple and sustainable plan
What makes this book soup-erior (again, sorry), though is that it offers not only a practical, science-based weight-loss method, but also a guide to feeling your amazing, energetic best. This book is definitely worth a look, even if you do not need to lose weight and just want to boost your energy.
Plants and their healing properties have been known and used for thousands of years. Unfortunately, much of this traditional knowledge has been lost to the western world. Two of Canada’s top authorities in their fields, gardening expert Frankie Flowers and alternative medicine expert Bryce Wylde have teamed up to help regain some of the lost art of harnessing the healing powers of plants. You do not have to go wildcrafting to reap the benefits of certain plants. Power Plants: Simple Home Remedies You Can Grow introduces you to a carefully selected list of forty-nine plants that can be grown in almost any Canadian garden. With Flowers’s easy instructions you can go step by step from planting to harvesting. Bryce then picks up with clear guidelines on how to put the plants to work; fighting everything from constipation to heartburn, high blood sugar to bad breakouts. Even if you have the legendary black thumb the book will help you out with simple substitutions. So go ahead and plan to supercharge your health with a simple trip into your garden.
What do Canadian endurance athlete Brendan Brazier, world class tennis player Venus Williams, and Canadian two-time world champion pairs skater Meagan Duhamel have in common? Other than being super athletes, they are also vegan. Power vegan : plant-fueled nutrition for maximum health and fitness by Rea Frey is a guide to finding the foods that will power your daily life. The idea behind power eating is not a fad diet. Rather, it is about incorporating foods into your life which make you feel good, are easy to prepare, and are fairly inexpensive. I am confident that you will find more than one dish in there that you will thoroughly savour. The book is filled not only with tips, but easy 30-minutes-or-less recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, desserts, and snacks. Whether your goal is gaining energy, building muscle, or simply feeling and functioning better, you will be provided with the tools to get healthy while avoiding all-too-common pitfalls. This handy guide is not about being tied to the gym or the kitchen, but rather about creating a lifestyle for yourself that keeps you fit and healthy while being kind to the planet and all its creatures. In this complementary article you learn about Meagan Duhamel’s journey as a high-performance vegan athlete. Be encouraged to follow in her footsteps!
This is just a very small selection of materials I have found in the Winnipeg Public Library’s catalogue under the keyword “power”. There were so many more I really enjoyed, which got me interested in different subjects and broadened my horizon in a variety of fields such as history, politics, nutrition, sport and social psychology. As always the library has been a true treasure trove of knowledge and entertainment. A treasure trove right at your fingertips to explore, enjoy and challenge your brain, because “There is great treasure there behind our skull and this is true about all of us. This little treasure has great, great powers, and I would say we only have learnt a very, very small part of what it can do.” -Isaac Bashevis Singer