So, going into 2016 I’ve picked out a few things to read to make a good start on the new year. A couple were given to me as gifts, others I picked out myself as the stories intrigued me. All, I hope, will have a good effect on me over the next month or two, either through an immersive piece of fiction or through making real changes in my life which will yield some positive results. I look forward to what 2016 will bring and can’t wait to get stuck in.
52 Small Changes for the Mind by Brett Blumenthal
Small changes work. In this practical book, wellness expert Brett Blumenthal reveals how to hone in on the mind as the foundation of overall health and well-being. She presents one small, achievable change every week–from developing music appreciation to eating brain-boosting foods, practicing mono-tasking, incorporating play, and more. The accumulation of these lifestyle changes ultimately leads to improved memory, less stress, increased productivity, and sustained happiness. Backed by research from leading experts and full of helpful charts and worksheets, 52 Small Changes for the Mind provides a road map to a better life–and proves that the journey can be as rewarding as the destination.
Mindfulness: A practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world by Mark Williams & Danny Penman
MINDFULNESS reveals a set of simple yet powerful practices that can be incorporated into daily life to help break the cycle of unhappiness, stress, anxiety and mental exhaustion and promote genuine joie de vivre. It’s the kind of happiness that gets into your bones. It seeps into everything you do and helps you meet the worst that life can throw at you with new courage. The book is based on Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). MBCT revolves around a straightforward form of mindfulness meditation which takes just a few minutes a day for the full benefits to be revealed. MBCT has been clinically proven to be at least as effective as drugs for depression and it is recommended by the UK’s National Institute of Clinical Excellence – in other words, it works. More importantly it also works for people who are not depressed but who are struggling to keep up with the constant demands of the modern world. MINDFULNESS focuses on promoting joy and peace rather than banishing unhappiness. It’s precisely focused to help ordinary people boost their happiness and confidence levels whilst also reducing anxiety, stress and irritability.
In a Dark Dark Wood by Ruth Ware
Nora hasn’t seen Clare for ten years. Not since the day Nora walked out of her old life and never looked back. Until, out of the blue, an invitation to Clare’s hen party arrives. A weekend in a remote cottage – the perfect opportunity for Nora to reconnect with her best friend, to put the past behind her. But something goes wrong. Very wrong. And as secrets and lies unravel, out in the dark, dark wood the past will finally catch up with Nora.
A Year of Marvellous Ways by Sarah Winman
Marvellous Ways is eighty-nine years old and has lived alone in a remote Cornish creek for nearly all her life. Lately she’s taken to spending her days sitting on a mooring stone by the river with a telescope. She’s waiting for something – she’s not sure what, but she’ll know it when she sees it. Drake is a young soldier left reeling by the Second World War. When his promise to fulfil a dying man’s last wish sees him wash up in Marvellous’ creek, broken in body and spirit, the old woman comes to his aid. A Year of Marvellous Ways is a glorious, life-affirming story about the magic in everyday life and the pull of the sea, the healing powers of storytelling and sloe gin, love and death and how we carry on when grief comes snapping at our heels.