Author Archives: winnipegpublibrary

Gut Check

Did you grow up with the story that the appendix doesn’t matter and we have no idea what it does? Spoiler: we do know and it is rather useful. There are certain things I used to think – or not think — about the gut. Firstly, and probably most telling of all, is that I didn’t even realize that the colon is actually just another name for your large intestine. This was my starting point on gut-related knowledge when in early January I launched myself headfirst into The Psychobiotic Revolution by Scott C. Anderson. Now, at the beginning of May, I could regale you with torrid tales of just exactly how your food makes its way from teeth to tush. While that, I’m sure, would make for a scintillating blog post all on its own, instead I will share with you the book titles that got me started on my adventures in treating my chronic anxiety and depression with the cheapest, readily available medicine: real, good food.

psychobiotic The Psychobiotic Revolution: mood, food, and the new science of the gut-brain connection by Scott C. Anderson

The title of this book won me over right away. The concept of your gut acting as a second brain? Sign me up! Anderson, a science journalist, is joined in this book by two medical researchers who are actively studying the brain-gut connection and all those tiny little microbes that live within your belly. Written for the lay person, this is an immensely readable, often humourous, introduction to this new branch of science exploring the relationship between our diet and chronic conditions like mood disorders, autism, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and more. The sheer number of microbes (AKA bacteria AKA your fellow travelers on this crazy roller coaster we call life) that reside within our guts is staggering: they outnumber our own cells by more than 10 to 1! Anderson also includes reviews of probiotic products and explores the foods that best feed the beneficial bacteria calling you home, ensuring they camp out in your belly for as long as possible and crowd out potential pathogens by lighting up tiny little NO VACANCY signs.

If you liked this title you can also try Brain Maker: the power of gut microbes to heal and protect your brain – for life by David Perlmutter, MD and The Mind-Gut Connection by Emeran Mayer, MD.

 

gut Gut: the inside story of our body’s most underrated organ by Giulia Enders

I figured I was the only person ever to be interested in reading about the minutiae of how food is passed through your body but apparently not! While science journalist Mary Roach’s Gulp dates back to 2013 and provides some excellent coverage of digestion, Enders’ Gut (2015) was recently republished for 2018 and includes updated information on the science behind your second brain (your gut) and its delightfully complex microbiome. Also delightful? The strangely adorable illustrations that accompany some decidedly less-adorable subject matter. Plus, this is one title that will finally answer the question you asked your biology teacher back in middle school: what’s the deal with the appendix?

 

happiness The Happiness Diet : good mood food by Rachel Kelly

Now armed with the knowledge that our gut produces around 90% of a person’s serotonin (a feel-good chemical that is often the focal point in medication used to treat depression), it is not so surprising that what we eat (and how it is used by our bodies) has a noticeable effect on our moods. This book is part cookbook, part nutritional guide providing a handy chart of foods based on their impact on your mental well-being and overall health. The chapters are divided into therapeutic themes like Steady Energy and Beating the Blues. With lots of accessible science behind the recipes this is a great title to provide a less clinical introduction to nutritional therapy.

For more recipes, try Eat Your Way to a Healthy Gut by Dale Pinnock. With its matter of fact approach it calls for ingredients you may actually have on hand and the recipes don’t require you to juggle seventeen prep stations at once. Having a hard time saying “goodbye” to sugar? Try the Date, Almond and Chia Balls.

 

nosugar Year of No Sugar by Eve Schaub

After the realization that sugar was likely a big contributing factor to my own chronic conditions it was encouraging to find tales of other people trying to drop the sweet stuff from their diets. In Year of No Sugar Eve Schaub not only stops eating sugar but she somehow convinces her husband and two school-aged daughters to go along with the challenge as well. Schaub’s exploration into the world of no-sugar brings up some very familiar territory for me regarding the limitations of using bananas and dates to sweeten everything and just how far one is willing to go to find sweetness in a refined-sugar-less existence.

 

food Food: what the heck should I eat by Mark Hyman, MD

This last title is the one currently on my side table: Food: what the heck should I eat? by Mark Hyman, MD. If you’re as confused as I was about all the incongruous studies being published about food – okay, are eggs good or bad? Does all meat really raise your risk of cancer? Wait, drinking cow’s milk causes osteoporosis?! – this book takes a hard look at the scientific food studies past and present and sifts out the accuracies from the inaccuracies. Slightly irreverent, Hyman calls his preferred diet “pegan” — a cross between two contradictory diets (vegan and paleo) – and it focuses on whole, anti-inflammatory foods that don’t mess around with your blood sugar. Having this title on hand to get a level-headed look at what you’re about to put into your body is immensely helpful.

All this newly acquired knowledge of microbiomes (food cravings are actually those billions of little beasts living in your gut whispering to your brain about what they’d like to eat), the processes of digestion, how this all affects your mood, and just how to go about getting those systems firing on all cylinders can seem overwhelming. Changes to your daily routine are hard to make and it helps to go a bit at a time rather than dive in headfirst. Read one book, maybe two and see where they might lead you. Have you made any changes to your diet lately? Let me know what you’ve been reading — or eating!

-Laura

The Classics, Renewed

Do you re-read books, or do you prefer to find new ways to enjoy your favourite stories?

There was one family vacation where I read the third Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, 8 times within one week.  I had only brought two books, which was my first mistake, and the other was a murder mystery, disqualified because I had already figured out whodunit, which was my second. By the end of the week, I was quoting passages from specific pages that I had memorized, and I had grown thoroughly sick of the book! But when J.K. Rowling released the next volume in the series, I read it right away – and have with every book she’s released about Harry and his friends since, including The Cursed Child. 21 years after Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was first published, we still want to revisit those characters and that setting. Luckily, the books are still popular enough to warrant Rowling producing more content within the Harry Potter universe – but what do you do about other books that you’ve loved, with authors who are long gone?

With some, you can watch the movie and film adaptations: Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice was first adapted for the screen in 1938 as a television movie, then in 1940 as a film, as a TV miniseries in 1952, 1958, 1967, 1980, and 1995, and then again in 2005 as the film starring Keira Knightley as Elizabeth Bennet. This isn’t even counting the productions inspired by the plot and characters – Bride and Prejudice, the 2004 Bollywood musical version (which is very fun), the Lizzie Bennet Diaries, or Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. If Pride and Prejudice is your favourite, you have a plethora of ways that you can revisit the story. But enough: this is not a blog titled Adaptations of Pride and Prejudice, an Incomplete List.

texts My current favourite way to return to a story I have loved is through Daniel Mallory Ortberg’s Texts from Jane Eyre: And Other Conversations with Your Favorite Literary Characters. In it, Ortberg transforms each of the chosen classic (or contemporary!) tales, ranging from the Greek myths and Beowulf to The Hunger Games and Harry Potter, into a text message dialogue between two characters, and they are hilariously done. Check out this excerpt from the conversation between Odysseus and Circe as an example:

circe1

circe2

circe3

(Ortberg 14-16)

If you like comics and quick summations of stories, Henrik Lange’s 90 Classic Books for People in a Hurry might be just up your alley! Alternatively, maybe you want to take a bit more time with a book you’ve loved before: consider a graphic novel adaptation! Our collection has options ranging from Artemis Fowl to Shakespeare’s The Tempest. There’s something to suit everyone – including Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

Happy reading!

 

It’s Time to Read: The Ocean at the End of the Lane

It’s the first Friday in May, which means it’s release day for the latest Time To Read book club podcast! We’ve been reading The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman, and we’re excited to talk about it.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane is about a man who comes home for a funeral. He’s drawn to visit a farm house where, as a boy, he met a remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He starts remembering events from 40 years before that started with a tragic suicide and built into a strange, frightening, and dangerous adventure, something bigger than any person, let alone a child, should have to deal with.

It’s not a long book, and I found it an easy book to read – I was drawn in early and it really kept my interest. There’s a lot here to reflect on, once the danger has passed.

As the audio producer of the podcast, I’m the first listener for every episode, and I end up listening to it several times through the editing and producing process. I enjoy the insights that our hosts bring to the story, but my favourite parts of these discussions are the little tangents they end up going on, and the questions they raise. Even if you haven’t read the book, it can be a fun listen. This episode, we’ll hear the answers to a number of questions: do any of our librarians have tattoos relevant to this book? Is Young Adult fiction really a thing? Who actually wrote “You are my sunshine”? And what about our Bob, and their Bob?

As always, we look forward to hearing what you think about the book, and about the show. Visit our site to download the latest episode,  leave comments on our discussion page, and email us at wpl-podcast@winnipeg.ca with any thoughts you might have on the program.

For May, we’re reading Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell, so grab your copy now. We’ll have that episode available on the first Friday of June!

  • Dennis and the rest of the Time to Read crew

A book club meeting in a bag

I belong to a book club of friends that meets once a month. Members come and go, but the core group has been around for more than 20 years now (!). We’ve chosen books by almost any theme you can think of—prize-winning books, books in translation, genres, books from a certain country or continent—but one thing we love taking advantage of is the convenience of Book Club Kits from the library. You can’t beat getting 10 copies in a bag, plus a Readers’ Guide prepared by library staff.

There are a vast range of titles to choose among in the collection, from recent bestsellers (The Break) to perennial classics (Things Fall Apart) to more offbeat choices such as graphic novels (Fun Home) and non-fiction accounts (The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks).

Our adult Book Club Kit collection is one of the most popular here at WPL. We add a few new titles each year, trying to ensure that each one chosen will engage a wide variety of readers and offers a good “hook” or scope for lively discussion.

The Readers’ Guide for each title includes additional material such as discussion questions, reviews, and related books you might enjoy. (Can’t borrow a kit, but still want to get a copy of the Readers’ Guide? Just ask library staff!)

There are also French-language titles; Juvenile and Young Adult books; and Adult Basic Education kits as well.

So if it’s your turn to pick the book, find a title that interests you in our online catalogue, or drop in to Reader Services at Millennium Library for a discussion of which kits are available and what might work best for your club.

Danielle

Outreach Services recommends…

Have you heard of Winnipeg Public Library’s Outreach Services department? Made up of 5 staff and our trusty leader Kathleen, we travel around town promoting the library and bringing a mobile library to communities and festivals! You may have seen our fancy van cruising around Winnipeg. (Yes, we do love our van.) Check out our mobile library calendar to see when we might be in your neighbourhood.

In this post, you’ll get to meet the staff behind the lovely and oh so charming Outreach Services team, bringing you suggestions of books we’ve recently enjoyed.

Kim Parry, Outreach Librarian (part time)

After being on hold for The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline for a number of months I finally bought it and I’m so glad I did – so I can lend it out to everyone I know!  This is my pick because it is an incredibly powerful and super-smart story of Frenchie, an Indigenous teen on the run from government recruiters. Set during a time where climate change has progressed to a dire situation, it is an apocalyptic science fiction story,  but in the way that good science fiction writers (Octavia Butler, Ursula K Le Guin, and more) have, there is much that resonates with contemporary issues. I have suggested The Marrow Thieves to many of the community members I talk to across all ages during our mobile libraries.

Toby Cygman, Outreach Librarian (part time)

The best book I’ve read recently is Fifteen Dogs by Andre Alexis. About a group of dogs that are given the gift of human intelligence, it explores how they handle this new perspective on the world. It’s beautiful and devastating and so so unique.

Mauri Rosenstock, Outreach Librarian

I am eagerly awaiting the return of protagonist Allan Karlsson in the 101-Year-Old Man, and in the meantime revisiting the shenanigans he got up to in The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared. In The 100-Year-Old Man, readers are taken on a hilarious journey from the present to flashbacks of historical events in the twentieth century. Along the way we are introduced to loveable and outlandish characters created by Swedish author Jonas Jonasson. If you liked the characters in The 100-Year-Old Man, you may also enjoy Jonasson’s cast of quirky characters in The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden and Hitman Anders and the Meaning of It All.

Chris Laurie, Outreach Librarian

I recently made a simple change in my life. I switched from an ‘information’ radio station to a classical one. Now every morning I feel like I’m on vacation, from the moment I wake until I leave for work. The change is now spilling into other areas of my life, including what I’m reading. I’m on a classical composer kick, and I’m currently enjoying this mighty tome on Beethoven (also available as an ebook). It includes fascinating details of German and European history and of course, insights behind the beautiful music written by a genius who happened to be deaf.

Hugh O’Donnell, Outreach Assistant

It may be an understatement to say that I’m a war history buff, and as such, the main book that I am reading right now is The German Army at Passchendaele by Jack Sheldon. I like it because most accounts of the battle that I can access are written in English and rarely include what things were like for the Germans during the war. The book includes lots of firsthand accounts of the fighting as well as good quality sketches to track the locations and movements. If you are interested in learning more about Passchendaele,  check out our collection – we have lots to offer.

Doin’ the Dewey

Ben wished the world was organized by the Dewey decimal system. That way you’d be able to find whatever you were looking for…
Brian Selznick

364.1523, 641, 822.33, 910

Or, to express this in words, true crime, cookbooks, Shakespeare and travel essays. These are just a small random sample of the multitude of subjects and information you can find using the Dewey Decimal system. Doin’ the Dewey is second nature, something that I’ve used for most of my life to find what I’m looking for.

The human brain is hardwired to categorize and sort data. Sometimes it’s in long term memory, sometimes it’s in short term, sometimes it’s an image and sometimes it’s an aroma. Scientists are working on ways to map how the brain works, to try and discover how the brain organizes and retrieves all of the data that comes our way, and they’ve come up with some amazing conclusions.

Going to a library is a bit like being inside an enormous brain. Libraries house an astonishing amount of information, and just as with our brains we need to be able to retrieve anything at any time as quickly and as accurately as possible. The retrieval system in a library also needs to be replicated in varied locations and expand as needed to accommodate new materials, which is where the Dewey Decimal system comes in. Every subject and classification has its own number, and is the same in every public library in Winnipeg, so you can transfer the knowledge from one location to the next and still find what you’re looking for. It even works for any format – print, audio or video.

Still not feeling confident that you too can do the Dewey? Here’s a quick and easy overview of the Dewey classifications and what you can find where:

000 – Computer Science and Information

In this section you can also find information on UFOs, Bigfoot, the paranormal, the Guinness Book of World Records, books of lists, and so much more.

 

 

 

 

100 – Philosophy and Psychology

Here you’ll find selections ranging from the Platonic method to the latest insights on the human mind. The ideologies may conflict, but on these shelves everyone lives in harmony.

 

 

 

 

300 – Social Sciences

This section is home to money management, true crime, fairy tales, politics and the environment, to name but a few of the fascinating subjects on these shelves.

 

 

 

 

 

400 – Language

If you’re into grammar, need a dictionary or want to learn a new language this is the place to go.

 

 

 

 

500 – Science

Biology, chemistry, astronomy, natural sciences, mathematics,  if it’s part of the known or theoretical universe you’ll find it here.

600 – Technology

Whether you want to fix a bicycle, plant a garden, raise a pet, cook something new, or find a new way to connect with your child you’re sure to discover something in this section.

 

 

 

 

700 – Arts and Recreation

Crafters, painters, decorators, knitters, musicians and sports fans all come together in one section.

 

 

 

 

800 – Literature

Poetry, prose, humor and essays all  in one easy to find location. You’ll find some of the most beautiful and timeless literary works of all time, and guides to help you interpret them.

 

 

 

 

900 – History and Geography

Whether you want to travel back in time, or get the latest recommendations before your journey across the globe, the materials you find in the 900s will guide you on your way.

 

 

 

 

If’ you’re interested in an in -depth look at the Dewey classifications, stop by the Millennium Library and take a look at the Dewey decimal classification and relative index or the DDC as it’s affectionately known. These four volumes encompass every detail and decimal point in the world according to Dewey, and if it’s not in there then it’s quite likely whatever you’re after doesn’t exist.

 

 

 

 

See how easy doin’ the Dewey can be?

-Lori

3rd Annual Prairie Comics Festival

Prairie-Comics-Festival-by-Alice-RL

Are you a fan of local and Canadian writers, artists and creators? Are you a fan or writer of comics, graphic novels, zines and webcomics or are interested in finding out more about them? Well, do we have a treat for you! From Saturday, May 5th 10:30-5:00 pm to Sunday May 6th 1:00-5:00 pm at the Millennium Library in the Carol Shields Auditorium, we are co-hosting the 3rd annual Prairie Comics Festival. Over 25 Comics writers, artists and publishers will be exhibiting their works for purchase in the auditorium, meeting with fans and writers and participating in panels throughout the day.

This year we are also excited to have three special guests at the festival: Mariko Tamaki is a comics creator who co-created This One Summer with Jillian Tamaki, a graphic novel which received Caldecott and Printz Honors as well as the Eisner and Ignatz Awards. ALB is an illustrator and digital content creator, whose videos you may have seen on YouTube and CBC. Valentine de Landro is a Canadian comic book artist, illustrator and designer who has illustrated for Marvel, DC Comics, IDW, Valiant, and Dark Horse and is the co-creator of BITCH PLANET.

You can find a full list of all the exhibitors and publishing houses who will be attending the festival at the official website prairiecomics.com.

As I mentioned the festival will also be offering some amazing panels which all are welcome to attend, the following is the panel schedule for the two days.

 

Saturday May 5:

11 am-12 pm      

Working for U.S. Publishers

Comic creators discuss the experience of working as editors, colour artists, writers, and artists for the largest comic book companies in the world. How they broke in, what the benefits and limitations are of working for large publishers, and how their experience has changed over time.

Panellists include:

Mariko Tamaki (She-Hulk, writer, Marvel)

Chris Chuckry (The Flintstones, colour artist, DC)

Valentine de Landro (Bitch Planet, artist, Image)

Hope Nicholson (The Secret Loves of Geeks, editor, Dark Horse)

1:00-2:00 pm    

Social Media and Comics

Comic creators and journalists discuss the role of social media. Is it necessary? How far do you let your personal self shine through? How do you use different platforms, and why is it important to diversify your posts on each? What are the current hot topics when it comes to comics on social media?

Panellists include:

Nyala Ali (Comics journalist)

Autumn Crossman (Comic creator)

ALB (Comic creator/Youtube creator)

Ryan Harby (Webcomic creator)

3:00-4:00 pm                   

Breaking out of the Panel

Comic creators discuss the different formats comics can take, and innovative ways to showcase the medium. Whether this is in massive side-scrolling comics, mini self-made zines, or comics made in the shape of bubblegum wrappers, we will showcase ideas and brainstorm new ways to look at the medium of comics.

Panellists include:

Scott A. Ford

Robert Pasternak

Hely Schumann

Alice RL

 

Sunday May 6:

1:30-2:30 pm    

Young Adult Comics Panel

Come join a roundtable of librarians discussing what are the best young adult graphic novels to read! A focus on inclusive programming, this will also showcase graphic novels that are available to be checked out immediately from the library after the panel.

Panellists include:

WPL Librarians                

3:00-4:00 pm    

Prairie Comic Festival Guest Spotlight

Mariko Tamaki, Valentine de Landro, and ALB are our special guests this year for the Prairie Comics Festival. Come join the panel and hear about their current and past projects, and engage in an open Q&A where you can ask them questions about their work.

This festival and its panels are free to attend, so please come on down; we look forward to seeing you!

If you are unable to make it to the festival, the Blankstein Gallery at the Millennium Library will feature artwork by the local publishers and invited guests throughout the month of May.

 

-Aileen

It’s Time to Read: The Underground Railroad

If it’s the first Friday of the month, then you know what that means! It’s time for the latest release of the Time to Read book club podcast!

Who’s in our book club, you ask? Why, you are! Or at least, we’d love you to be. Your comments, questions, and observations, posted through social media or on our podcast webpage, help guide us through our discussion.  Love the book? Hate the book? We want to hear from you.  Email us at wpl-podcast@winnipeg.ca.

In this episode, we read Colson Whitehead’s Underground Railroad, a book worthy of lots of discussion, reflection, and commentary. When you first learned about the Underground Railroad as a kid, did you at first think it was an actual railroad? Well, some members of our book club sure did, as did the Whitehead himself. And even after learning more about the actual network of safe houses, smuggled wagon rides, and trails leading slaves north to freedom; Whitehead thought it would be fascinating to explore the idea of the Underground Railroad literally rather than just figuratively. The result is a fascinating and unsettling story of Cora, a 15-year old runaway slave who hops aboard the train and whose story reboots at each station stop in a different state.

Would you like to join our book club? It’s pretty easy: read the book (or don’t, we’ll never know!), and add your comments and questions to the discussion page or on social media. Then download  our latest episode and listen in as this month we talk magic realism, Stockholm syndrome, the trolley problem, and how I don’t like making left turns when I drive.

Up next is Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane – pick up a copy at your local branch and join us, won’t you?! We’ll be posting the podcast of that book club discussion on (you guessed it) the first Friday in May.

Visit wpl-podcast.winnipeg.ca to learn more and you can always email us at wpl-podcast@winnipeg.ca

— Kirsten and the rest of the Time to Read gang

Stories of Shannara

shannara

Image credits: Wikipedia, A Shannara Wiki, Goodreads,  and wallpapersdepo.net.

“The Ellcrys is dying. For centuries the magical tree has kept the demon hordes at bay. Created by elven magic she banished the demons and trapped them within a dimension known as the Forbidden. But as the Ellcrys’ power begins to fade the magic weakens. It is only a matter of time before the demons break out of their prison and wreak their terrible vengeance on the elves. Something must be done. The mysterious druid Allanon travels to the remote community of Storlock to recruit Wil Ohmsford. Years earlier the druid fought side-by-side Wil’s grandfather and defeated the Warlock Lord. Now it is Wil’s turn to join Allanon and stand against the forces of evil. Together the druid and his young companion must convince Amberle Elessedil, last of the Chosen, to join their quest and together they can save the Four Lands from destruction.”

The Elfstones of Shannara, by Terry Brooks, is the second novel in a fantasy series that features everything you might expect; fantastic beasts, magic, elves, treachery, redemption – even love. So why should you read another fantasy? What makes this novel worth reading?

Throughout the Shannara series, the reader follows the adventures of the Ohmsfords, a family of half-elves who live in Shady Vale, a peaceful community. Their lives are turned upside down when Allanon comes knocking at their door and asks two brothers to embark on a perilous adventure to save the Four Lands from a great and terrible evil. What’s interesting and different from other fantasy series is that each novel follows a new generation of the Ohmsford family.

In The Sword of Shannara (1977) Shea and Flick Ohmsford must find the fabled sword and destroy the Warlock Lord. In The Elfstones of Shannara (1982), it is Shea’s grandson Wil Ohmsford who has to rise to the occasion. And in The Wishsong of Shannara (1985), Wil’s children Jair and Brin Ohmsford travel to the Eastern land in order to destroy a magical relic.

As the descendants of Jerle Shannara, the Ohmsfords are able to use magic and wield magical weapons such as the fabled sword of Shannara and the elfstones, which is a blessing and a curse. Whenever a terrible evil threatens the Four Lands it is the Ohmsfords who must face it. Fortunately for them – fortune favours the brave.

The Elfstone of Shannara is available at a bookstore AND library near you.

— Daniel B

[Editior’s note: As a child, The Sword of Shannara sat on my father’s headboard and its cover, map, and illustrations captured my attention. I was too young to read it at the time, but when I saw it again years later, this was one of the first Fantasy books I ever read. -Mike E.]

The Upside of Downtime: Taking it Slow

I was recently talking with my parents recently about the early days of computers. Aside from the promise of a paperless society, we were also promised more leisure time. Did you know that people really, truly believed that we would save ourselves so much time using computers that we’d go down to a four-day work week, because we wouldn’t have enough to do to keep us busy five days in a row? Considering the number of time management apps and reminders and alarms programmed into my phone, this seems downright ridiculous!

Tuesday, April 10 will mark the hundredth day of 2018. What better time to sit down with a book and take it slow? If you feel like a quick breather is just what you need, then inhale to the count of three, exhale to the count of 4, and check out this list below for some slow-down inspiration:

The Slow Fix: Solve Problems, Work Smarter and Live Better in a World Addicted to Speed by Carl Honoré

Sometimes, you just can’t rush good work!

Addicted as we might be to the quick fix–pills, crash diets or just diverting attention from things about to go wrong–the quick fix never really works. Trying to solve problems in a hurry, sticking on a plaster when surgery is needed, might deliver temporary relief, but only at the price of storing up worse trouble for later. For those looking for a fix that sticks, The Slow Fix  will help you produce solutions in life and work that endure.

Less: Accomplishing More by Doing Less by Marc Lesser

A certain kind of busyness is crucial to life, allowing us to earn a living, create art, and achieve success. But too often it consumes us and we become crazy busy, nonstop busy, and we expend extraneous effort that gets us nowhere. Less is about stopping, about the possibility of finding composure in the midst of activity. The ideas and practices that Lesser outlines offer a radical yet simple approach to transforming a lifestyle based on endless to-do lists into a more meaningful approach that is truly more productive in every sense.

Overload: How to Unplug, Unwind, and Unleash Yourself from the Pressure of Stress by Joyce Meyer

If you favour a more spiritual approach to stillness, then Joyce Meyer has you covered.

As technology increases your accessibility, it becomes harder to mute the background noise of your life and receive God’s guidance. Joyce Meyer calls this OVERLOAD, when the demands of your busy life become all-consuming and overwhelming. Through the practical advice and Scriptural wisdom in this book, you’ll learn how to unplug and free yourself from burdens that weigh you down. You’ll gain simple, effective tips for better rest and stress management and discover the fulfilling life you were meant to lead.

Päntsdrunk: Kalsarikanni : The Finnish Path to Relaxation by Miska Rantenen

In Finland there is a special word – ‘kalsarikännit’ – to denote ‘drinking at home, alone, in your underwear’.

It is no coincidence Finland consistently rates in the top five in happiness ranking. In Finland, Päntsdrunk is considered a path to recovery and self-empowerment to help you face your future challenges, much like the ‘lagom’ or ‘hygge’ of their other Scandi neighbours.

The Päntsdrunk method also includes bingeing on Netflix, scrolling mindlessly on your phone, sweet and salty snacks, sofa time, and blocking all work communications. It will lead you to live a healthier, more energising and relaxing life – wherever, whenever.

The Slow Down Diet: Eating for Pleasure, Energy, and Weight Loss by Marc David

Our modern culture revolves around fitting as much as possible into the least amount of time. As a result, most people propel themselves through life at a dizzying pace that is contrary to a healthy lifestyle. Many of us come to the end of a day feeling undernourished, uninspired, and overweight. Citing cutting-edge research on body biochemistry as well as success stories from his own nutritional counseling practice, he shows that we are creatures of body, mind, and spirit. In this book, David shows how to decrease cortisol and other stress hormones and boost metabolic power through proper breathing and nutritional strategies that nourish both the body and soul, proving that fully enjoying each meal is the optimal way to a healthy body.

Ganja Yoga: A Practical Guide to Conscious Relaxation, Soothing Pain Relief, and Enlightened Self-Discovery by Dee Dussault

This one is pretty much exactly what it sounds like.

Dee Dussault, certified yoga instructor and the first person to bring ganja yoga classes to North America, outlines how to reap the benefits of cannabis’ scientifically proven effects on mental and physical conditions and incorporate it safely and effectively into your yoga practice. Suitable for both newbies and sages!

Deep sleep by David Arkenstone

You can find this relaxing album on hoopla digital, ready to help lull you into a restful sleep, or maybe just encourage a quiet and calm atmosphere in your home, car, or office.

 

Do you have any tips and tricks for stepping back and slowing down when life gets hectic?  I’d love to know, so please, share them below!

— Megan