Book Review: The Book That Takes Its Time, An Unhurried Adventure in Mindfulness

Book Review: The Book That Takes Its Time, An Unhurried Adventure in Mindfulness

Part workbook, part guide and part creative journal, The Book That Takes Its Time, An Unhurried Adventure in Mindfulness is a hardcover containing paper-based goodies, such as booklets, postcards and whimsical little notes you can write to yourself.  https://vimeo.com/240654543 Written by Irene Smit and Astrid Van Der Hulst, the creative directors of cult creative magazine…

Book Review: The Domesticated Brain by Bruce Hood

Book Review: The Domesticated Brain by Bruce Hood

This is a riveting read from one of the leading lights of modern psychology, Bruce Hood of the University of Bristol. The book’s main premise is that 20,000 years ago our brains were 10% larger than what they are today. And that the reason for this is primarily the influence of social practices, culture and…

Welcome to the dizzying world of alchemy and the philosopher's stone in medieval times

History: The dizzying world of alchemy and the philosopher’s stone in medieval times

The word alchemy is derived from the Arabic root “kimia”, from the Coptic “khem” (referring to the fertile black soil of the Nile delta). The word “alchemy” alludes to the dark mystery of the primordial or First Matter (the Khem). Alchemy in medieval times was a concoction of science, philosophy and mysticism. Far from operating within…

Book Review: A Death in the Family by Karl Ove Knausgaard

Book Review: A Death in the Family by Karl Ove Knausgaard

* No plot spoilers in this review  A Death in the Family is Book 1 of the My Struggle six part autobiography of Karl Ove Knausgaard. This mammoth six part memoir really grabs a hold to the marrow of his family, friends and sexual relationships - the blood and bone. A Death in the Family…

Book Review: Island of Wings by Karin Altenberg https://wp.me/p41CQf-KRb

Book Review: Island of Wings by Karin Altenberg

*Contains no spoilers Born and brought up in Sweden, Karin Altenberg moved to Britain to study in 1996. She holds a PhD in Archaeology and is currently senior advisor to the Swedish National Heritage Board and a Fellow of the Linnean Society of London. Island of Wings is her first novel. It's the dazzling and…

Book Review: The Signature of all things by Elizabeth Gilbert

Book Review: The Signature of All Things

Elizabeth Gilbert is best known for her world-wide best-selling autobiography Eat Pray Love which was about her own journey of self-discovery, spirituality and travel. This girl’s own adventure was  music to the ears of many young women who were already embarking on the same path as Gilbert. This is Gilbert’s first fictional novel and one…

Book Review: Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat-Zinn

Book Review: Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat-Zinn

Jon Kabat Zinn is a Professor Emeritus of Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and is the founder of a stress reduction technique called MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction), which is used in hospitals and medical centres throughout the world. He is a student of Thich Nhat Hanh and a life-long teacher and…

Book Review: A Man Called Ove

Book Review: A Man Called Ove by Fredrick Backman

Another book from Scandinavia this time from debut novelist Fredrick Backman. Originally in Swedish, A Man Called Ove is a universally appealing narrative about a curmudgeonly old man who seems to encounter infuriating people and annoying situations at every turn, when all he wants is to be left in peace. Since being published, A Man…

Book Review: Boyhood Island by Karl Ove Knausgaard

Book Review: A Man in Love by Karl Ove Knausgaard

Book Two of the Min Kemp (My Struggle) in the series of six autobiographical volumes is possibly the least adventurous of his stories although still no less compelling and compulsively readable as the other ones. If you are unfamiliar with Karl Ove Knausgaard then you must have been living under a rock. He has been…

Book Review: Boyhood Island by Karl Ove Knausgaard

Book Review: Boyhood Island by Karl Ove Knausgaard

Boyhood Island is a no nonsense autobiographical tale of a boy called Karl Ove Knausgaard, aged 6-13 years old and his everyday adventures living and growing on the island of Tromøya, Norway in the late 70's. This is a strange and unusual novel in that it doesn’t follow traditional novelistic or storytelling conventions. It’s a meandering…

The Private Lives of Animals circa 1842

The Private Lives of Animals circa 1842

This collection of funny and witty animal fables was originally published in 1842 in French as Scènes de la vie privée et publique des animaux. The authors of these fables are a who's who of literature in the mid 19th-century including Honoré de Balzac, George Sand. Also The Private Lives of Animals boasts some fine,…

Book Review: Cats Galore, prominent cats throughout history

Book Review: Cats Galore, prominent cats throughout history

Spurred on by my recent missive about internet culture and the cult of cuteness, I moved very quickly down the rabbit hole into the depths of cat worship on the internet. Cats Galore is an art book with a difference. It’s what happens when internet culture gets mashed up and combined with the prominent art…

An exploration of the aesthetics of cuteness

The answer to why dogs and tiny horses can be used in therapy for PTSD and why cats rule the internet lays squarely in the pulling power of cuteness. But why do we find things cute and what are the commonly shared criteria for cuteness all over the world? According to psychologist Dr. Sandra Pimentel,…

Te Ao Maori and the aesthetics of cosiness

An indepth exploration of the aesthetics of cosiness

There’s a lovely subreddit I recently found called Cosy Places, which calls for people to submit their log cabins, hideaways and cosy loungerooms. This is a veritable treasure trove of different ideas for cosiness. Someone even parsed the photo content in the subreddit and came up with the recipe and criteria that make up a…

Experience the Perfect Soothing Tokyo Lullaby: Book and Bed

<3 The Internet: Recommend me a book

Stuck on what to read next? Hate judging books by their covers? Then the Recommend me a book app will delight you. The app takes you headlong into reading the first few pages of a book without knowing anything about the author, title or context of the book itself. This allows you to gain some traction and…

Book reviews

Book Review: A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki

Hi, my name is Nao. I am a time being. Do you know what a time being is? Well if you give me a moment, I will tell you. A time being is someone who lives in time, and that means you, and me and every one of us who is, or ever was, or…

Book Review: His Bloody Project by Graeme MacRae Burnet

His Bloody Project by author Graeme Macrae Burnet recounts the story of the triple murder and subsequent trial of accused 17 year old crofter Roderick McRae, who brutally slays three people in his remote village in 1896. Roderick lives with his family in a tiny croft on a property and land owned by the laird. His…

One Year Wiser by Mike Medaglia http://mikemedaglia.com/

Book Review: One Year Wiser by Mike Medaglia

Imagine if you will, a delightful and timeless book of wisdom that fits into the palm of the hand or your handbag. A hardback that looks at first inconspicuous and unimportant. And yet on opening this book you will unlock a treasury of wisdom that's beautifully illustrated on high quality paper. One Year Wiser by…

Book Review: 'Industrial Scars' The Beautiful Toxic Scars of the Earth

Book Review: ‘Industrial Scars’ The Beautiful Toxic Scars of the Earth

What happens when humans burn too much waste and destroy the planet? Modern Art. Photographs of the aftermath of environmental devastation aren't normally considered art. However photographer J Henry Fair has reimagined the decaying and suffering environmental landscape in the aftermath of human abuse in his mesmerising book entitled Industrial Scars. Fair wanted to poignantly…

Book Review: The Lonely City by Olivia Laing

Book Review: The Lonely City by Olivia Laing

The Lonely City by Olivia Laing is a mixture of reportage, biography and creative non-fiction. Weaving together strands of history, philosophy and art, Laing explores one of the last taboos of humanity which is loneliness. This is an alarming and at times uncomfortable book to read if you have been or are now lonely. Yet…