Be inspired, challenged, motivated and intrigued by this month's selection of books
- Published: 06 December 2009
- Hits: 2248
The Happiness Trap
Dr Russ Harris, MD
Popular myths about happiness are directly contributing to our epidemic of stress, anxiety and depression - and many psychological remedies are making it even worse. In this easy-to-read, practical and empowering self-help book, Dr Harris reveals how millions of people are unwittingly caught in ‘The Happiness Trap’. We’re so busy trying to keep ourselves happy that we are having the opposite effect. What we need to do is acknowledge all our negative thoughts and actions, but not let them affect our life. We learn how to do this through a revolutionary new paradigm in Western psychology. Mindfulness is a transformative mental state of awareness, openness and focus, and thanks to a radical new approach that combines the best of Western and Eastern practice, coined Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, or ACT, we can now learn these powerful life-changing techniques in a matter of minutes. It’s not based on any religion or particular spiritual practice.
No Impact Man
In the growing debate over eco-friendly living, it seems that everything is as bad as everything else. Do you do more harm by living in the country or the city? Is it better to drive a thousand miles or take an airplane? In No Impact Man, Colin Beavan tells the extraordinary story of his attempt to find some answers - by living for one year in New York City (with his wife and young daughter) without leaving any net impact on the environment. His family cut out all driving and flying, used no air conditioning, no television, no toilets... They went from making a few concessions to becoming eco-extremists. The goal? To determine what works and what doesn't, and to fashion a truly 'eco-effective' way of life. Beavan's radical experiment makes for an unforgettable and humorous memoir and an attempt to answer perhaps the most important question of all: What is the sufficient individual effort that it would take to save the planet? And what is stopping us?
Rory Freedman & Kim Barnouin
What's good for the bitch is good for the bastard, say the authors of Skinny Bastard. Freedman and Barnouin are the authors of the bestselling Skinny Bitch, a no-nonsense wake-up call to healthy and ethical eating. Now they've turned their attention on the guys. "So you’re fat. Big deal," they say. "Chances are, you haven’t done so badly, despite the few extra lbs you’re carting around. (Women are so amazing—we can be madly in love with a man, despite how he looks.) But don’t kid yourself, pal: A hot-bodied man is a head-turner. So don’t waste your money on a stupid sports car to get chicks; a woman who cares about what kind of car a man drives is a vapid, shallow whore. Invest in yourself. (A woman who cares about how a man looks is also a vapid, shallow whore. But at least you’ll look good.) You have only one body to get you through this lifetime. So quit eating crap and abusing yourself! Even if you never look like Brad Pitt, if you’re eating well and exercising, you’ll be healthier, happier, and more confident. Chicks dig that shit." Enough said - just buy the book for your man friends.
Cold: Adventures in the World's Frozen Places
From avalanches to glaciers and seals to snowflakes, from igloos to icebergs, permafrost to hoarfrost, chilblains to frostbite, and from Shackleton's expedition to 'The Year Without Summer', Bill Streever unearths the consistent, ongoing influence of cold on the planet. Evoking history, myth, geography, and ecology, Streever's wide-ranging, lyrical quest for real, icy, forty-below cold gains purchase in July, while he's taking a dip in an Arctic swimming hole; in September, while excavating our planet's ice ages, ancient and not so ancient; and in October, while exploring animals' hibernation habits, from humans to wood frogs to bears. And in March he even does his best to escape it, bundling up in layers of polyester, spandex, and Primaloft fill to face thermometers reading twenty-three below. Guiding us through an astounding natural history that has shaped our planet and our culture, Streever shows us the cold that remains, and what's been left in its absence. A scientist and writer whose passion for cold runs deep, Streever is a wondrous guide.
Hope for Animals and Their World
Allen & Unwin
One of the world's most famous animal lovers tells a unique and passionate real-life story that gives reason to hope for the future of the natural world. The incredible rate at which various animals and plants are disappearing from the planet is shocking. Scientists believe that habitats across the globe are losing dozens of species every day. Jane Goodall, who has become one of the standard-bearers for animal conservation through her numerous books, television programs and intimate work with animals, is nonetheless defiant - 'While there is life there is hope', she states in her introduction to this profound and uplifting book. Working in very demanding natural and political environments, conservationists risk their lives to save animals from the brink of extinction. Jane's unique access takes us inside these programs, meeting first-hand a vast range of animals from Giant Pandas in China to the young generation of Whooping Cranes in Texas that are being taught new migration routes - led by human devotees in flying machines. Hope for Animals and Their World is a truly uplifting and energising celebration of the great work being done to protect our wildlife for future generations. Goodall's message rings loud and clear: we must not give up.
The Food Wars
Palgrave Macmillan (Aust)
Crucial analysis of how the West created the global food crisis The hike in global food prices has pushed hundreds of millions more people into poverty, and sparked riots and protests in the Middle East, Africa and the Americas. Walden Bello, the leading writer and activist on the global South, provides a penetrating analysis of the various causes: not just the rise in energy costs, but also the IMF and WTO-led restructuring of the worldwide agricultural system. Charting the evolution of the current crisis, Bello also offers a way forward: the principle of food sovereignty, allowing the developing world to protect and sustain a diverse range of crops. The Food Wars is an impassioned, informed and constructive account of a critical turning point in the system of global trade.
Books selected by Katrina Fox, Editor-in Chief