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7 books to feed your mind

Winter & the start of spring is also a great time for reflecting on the year that has passed and the thinking about the start of a new one.

It is the perfect time to feed our mind with nourishment, knowledge and ideas. Throughout January and the rest of spring, take time to explore and embrace new things, not as goals but as enjoyment. Remember, we can do things not to achieve but for bliss.

With this in mind we have compiled a list of fantastic books to nourish your mind, help you to relax and unwind and enjoy January the right way.

Throw away that smoothie, take out your favourite blanket and get cosy with one of these books.

1. The Life of the Robin — David Lack

I have just started reading this book & am hooked already. We have 3 robins which live in our garden & over the last year we have noticed how they behave differently to other garden birds. They are very inquisitive, if you put something new in their territory they will be there investigating in a few minutes. They are also really territorial, two of our residents have been fighting since the beginning of December to get ready to find a mate in the coming months.

We decided we needed to learn more about the Nation’s favourite bird & this book is perfect. It is interesting & full of anecdotes & just enough scientific information to be engaging but not dry. David Lack was a biologist who pioneered work in observation. He believed that to understand birds we need to see them behaving as naturally as possible. He followed all the robins living in a certain area for several years & learned lots of new things about how they live & how their personalities differ from individual to individual. If you want to learn more about what goes on in your garden this book is for you.

2. Small Pleasures — The School of Life

A perfect book for January this book is the is a book to guide us to the best of life’s small pleasures: everything from the distinctive delight of holding a child’s hand to to the joy of the evening sky. Simple pleasures reminds us to divert our attention from life’s big pleasures to the small things that pass us by. It is a book full of excitement, and ways to heighten your senses through a mix of the simple things. This is a great book to enjoy the everyday.

3. Spark Joy — Marie Kondo

We featured this fantastic book in our Nesting HyggeBox in September. We were dubious at first because we’re not the tidiest of people, but Marie’s ‘KonMari’ method makes organising fun and magical.

This is an in-depth, manual on how to declutter and organize specific items throughout the house, from kitchen and bathroom items to work-related papers and hobby collections. User-friendly line drawings illustrate Kondo’s patented folding method as it applies to shirts, pants, socks, and jackets, as well as images of properly organized drawers, closets, and cabinets.

We particularly liked the focus on only keeping things in your house which s’spark joy’ in you. It takes this from a manual to a more philosophical level about how to enjoy your space. This book is perfect for anyone who wants a home — and life — that sparks joy.

4. Departures — Anna Hart

A fantastic travel novel by Anna Hart. It is perfect for any reluctant adventurers. Anna Hart truly belies that travelling is the very best thing you can do and her novel is a hilarious and honest review of the obstacles, that you might face as a lone female traveler. This book is inspiring, funny and really makes you feel excited about travelling to somewhere new!

5. The Soul of the Octopus — Sy Montgomery

There are lots of incredible nature books being written at the moment & this is one of the most inspiring we have read. We were driven to read it after watching Youtube videos of Octopus escapes & camouflage (seriously have a look at this, it is mindblowing).

Octopus are incredibly intelligent animals & in this book Sy Montgomery decides to spend time at her local aquarium getting to know some individuals. Their personalities are very different from Kali the friendly playful one who is always trying to escape to Octavia who is shy but inquisitive. The stories in this book are funny & moving & highlight how we are all basically the same. Even something as alien-looking as an octopus can communicate with us, understand our emotions & outwit us with their escape antics.

6. The River of Consciousness — Oliver Sacks

Very few people have an asteroid named in their honor, but very few people have contributed to the understanding of science, medicine, philosophy, and psychology the way the late Oliver Sacks did. In The River of Consciousness, we get glimpse of what he was working on up to his death. He examines the fallibility of memory, the nature of creativity, the still monumental insights of Charles Darwin, and more — all with his characteristic sensitivity and spirit of optimism.

7. Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life’s Most Important Skill

Matthieu Ricard has been described as the world’s happiest man. He is a scientist & Buddhist monk who spent years working for the Dalaii Lama. This book is an exploration of neuroscience & practical experiments on meditation, mindfulness & positive thinking. It is full of interesting findings & practical ways to help you become more happy & is also a great read.

Matthieu took part in a 12 year study of happiness & when meditating he was found to have brain waves never recorded before. He astounded the world of neuroscience & expanded people’s minds to the implications of happiness, meditation & consciousness. This is a great read.

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