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Mindful : February 2018
A few years ago, ABC News reporter Dan Harris wrote 10% Happier about his unlikely journey from professional skeptic to meditation “evange- list” following an on-air panic attack. A natu- rally witty, even acerbic, commentator, his take on mindfulness is in-your-face and gritty—with a large dose of mockery of syrupy language or lofty accounts of “finding oneself ” through the practice. His latest book, Meditation for Fidg- ety Skeptics, dishes up more “real” talk about meditation, packaged in the form of a travelog ue from the 10% Happier Meditation Tour with Canadian mindfulness teacher Jeff Warren, his equal in sarcastic wit and aversion for fluff or naval gazing. Harris aims to make mindfulness even more accessible to people like him, so the book, like the tour, takes its cue from real questions from real people along the way. We hear about not having the time to meditate, thinking you (and you alone) are no good at it, and more, peppered with practices that feel friendly and doable. It’s often laugh-out-loud funny and refreshingly candid about Harris’ and his entourage’s foibles, head trips, and frequent ego crashes. “Just because you’ve started meditating—or even if you’ve written a whole book on the subject—your life is not going to become a nonstop parade of rainbows and unicorns,” Harris writes. “ You will, as I do, get caught up in the mindless momentum of doing and get- ting, of being stingy or distracted. We’re all like schnauzers who soil the rug and need to have our snouts shoved into it.... The Game—and you truly can’t hear this enough—is just to start over, again and again.” MEDITATION FOR FIDGETY SKEPTICS Dan Harris • Spiegel & Grau The title may be ironic, but Danny Wallace is quite serious in his concern that our rude- ness levels have reached epi- demic proportions. And this rudeness not only irritates, it also has weighty individual and social consequences. Case studies, anecdotes, and sociological research back up his argument. With equal parts humor and horror, Wallace delves into the heart of rudeness in society: from internet trolls to “manspread- ers” on public transit, pundits to politicians. Is rudeness contagious? And are millenni- als exceptionally rude, as per their reputation? While the analysis occasionally seems to conflate other cultural prob- lems (such as sheer idiocy or malice) with rudeness, this book packs an entertaining and disturbing punch. F YOU VERY MUCH Understanding the Culture of Rudeness—and What We Can Do About It Danny Wallace • TarcherPerigree Former model Alison Canavan struggled with undiagnosed depression most of her life. But after her son, James, was born, the combination of hormones, lack of sleep, and worry for the future sent her spiraling into a postpar tum state. It began a life-changing journey to gain control over her mental and emotional health, which culminated in studying nutrition and becoming a well- ness consultant. In Minding Mum she offers straight talk about the difficulty of having a child (“I remember think- ing how little I had been told about the reality of being a new mum,” she writes), and shares mindfulness practices, among other advice, to help new moms develop their own “happy living formula.” MINDING MUM It’s Time to Take Care of You Alison Canavan • Gill Books 76 mindful February 2018 reviews Bookmark This read...listen...download