Books for Building a Mindful Habit

A few years ago, I was speaking to a friend who works for an investment bank. He told me that he felt run ragged and beaten and had decided to attempt some meditation. His face flushed pink as he said this, as though it were something bad. “Don’t laugh,” he pleaded, “My sister said it works really well, but I can’t work it out. What do I do when I sit there? What’s meant to happen?”

Humans are easy to shame. I still can’t work out why he thought I’d laugh at him, but it’s clear to me that many people have hangups about perceived spirituality and the very idea of sitting down with only ourselves for company can be a hand wringing experience. In reality, beginning a mindfulness habit can be a jittery experience.

Below are a few books that approach mindfulness from different points of view, from the spiritual to the scientific and the miniature to the tome. Pick one up at a library and prepare to sit down with yourself. Be brave!

To read the entire article, please visit Book Riot. 

Censorship, Howl and City Lights of San Francisco

I recently found myself in San Francisco for a few days. I hadn’t been to the city before and didn’t have too much time for exploring; I was willing to forego my usual exploration of bookshops, but in the end my heart was drawn to one: City Lights, a bastion of literary freedom since its foundation in 1953.

Wandering the shelves of City Lights is an excellent pastime in its own right—progressive politics, brilliant fiction and non-fiction picks and downstairs, shelves upon shelves of gender politics, minority histories, and even religion and philosophy.

In the wake of the 2016 election, the store opened a “Pedagogies of Resistance” section, which was a total joy to browse, filled with titles about revolutionary movements that aim to empower the reader for present and future moments of resistance. You might wonder what sort of bookshop assumes such a public responsibility, but the truth is that City Lights has a rich history of resistance. This is a bookshop with history sewn into the very fibre of its being.

To read the entire article, please visit Book Riot.