Theme of the month…

Books are so important for our mind, heart & soul. The power to be found between the pages of a book is formidable. Good books comfort, challenge & inspire us. They are both the destination & the journey. To read is to voyage through time. “When I look back, I am so impressed with the life-giving power of literature. If I were trying to gain a sense of myself in the world, I would do that by reading” – Maya Angelou.

Each book is unique. Portable magic. “As you read a book word by word & page by page, you participate in it’s creation, just as a cellist playing a Bach suite participates, note by note, in the creation, the existence of the music. As you read, the book participates in the creation of you – your thoughts, emotions & feelings.” – Ursula Guin. A room without books is like a body without a soul.

Books are the quietest, the most constant of companions. The wisest of counsellors, the most patient of teachers. Maybe, this is why we read & why in difficult moments we return to books, to find the words for what we already know. A great book leaves us with immense joy & memorable experiences. In the end, we will all become stories…

I love the smell & sound of the pages flicking against my fingers. Reading is my escape, my consolation, my stimulant of choice. A source of pleasure, creativity, expression & beautiful stillness. I feel infinitely alive curled up on the sofa by a fireplace, reading a book. Imagine. Sometimes, we just need a book, coffee, time & silence…


World of wonders…

World of Wonders. Award-winning poet Aimee Nezhukumatathil writes a collection of essays about our natural world, the way it’s inhabitants teach & inspire. As a child, Nezhukumatathil called many places home – the grounds of a Kansas mental institution where her mother was a doctor, the open skies & tall mountains of Arizona where she hiked with her father, the chillier climes of New York & Ohio.

No matter where she was, no matter how awkward the fit or forbidding the landscape, she turned to our world’s most fierce & funny creatures for resilience, hope & motivation like the Axolotl encourages us to smile, even in the face of adversity. The Narwhal demonstrates how to survive in challenging environments. Even in the perceived weird & the unlovely, we can still find peace, beauty & kinship. Warm, lyrical World of Wonders is full of stimulation, sensitivity & joy.


Appreciating dance…

Appreciating Dance is a terrific & thorough history of various, vibrant forms of dance. Analyses everything from social, ballet to modern, tap, jazz, theatrical & contemporary dance. Explore a brief biography of notable dancers & choreographers, discover the intersection of dance & religion. Beautiful history of dance & the budding dance trends. Gain an incredible understanding of the role that self-expression through dance plays in our communities & cultures around the world. Passionate storytelling.


Be water, my friend…

Bruce Lee’s daughter, Shannon Lee illuminates her father’s most powerful life philosophies. Demonstrates how martial arts are a perfect metaphor for determination, resilience, passion & growth. “Empty your mind. Be formless, shapeless like water. Flow” – Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee is a cultural icon, renowned for martial arts & film legacy. But, he was also a philosophical thinker, learning that martial arts are more than just a physical discipline. Be Water, My Friend shares the concepts at the core of his philosophy. Each chapter brings a beautiful lesson from Bruce Lee’s “be water philosophy”. How being like water allows us to embody fluidity, empathy, naturalness, perception & self-expression. Inspires us to create, to overcome challenges, to find our own path to joy, peace & fulfilment. Awesome.


The wild journal…

Whether we live in rural or urban environments, this incredible book shows how to harness the natural world around us to feel more grounded & balanced. The Wild Journal is a brilliant guide from the nature writer Willow Crossley. Celebrates the vibrancy & potential of nature to nourish, mend, heal, bring solace & joy in our lives.

The Wild Journal suggests simple mindful activities like listening to bird songs, playfully collecting precious treasures like feathers, shells, pebbles & pine cones. Shares creative techniques to appreciate, honour & bring a little nature into our daily lives by planting & potting, star-gazing, bird-watching, identifying wild flowers or making essential oils. Beautiful.


People behind successful start-ups…

There’s an air of intrigue & mystery around successful business founders. What sets them apart? Is it their vision, drive, creativity, execution or insight? Great reads that shed the light on the real people behind successful start-ups & how much their imprint matters.

In Amazon Unbound: Jeff Bezos & The Invention Of A Global Empire, Brad Stone explains Amazon’s evolution from a mere success to an inescapable part of everyday life. Bezos is a founder against whom contemporaries are measured. Legendary 14 leadership principles (customer obsession, bias for action) inform decision-making at Amazon. Instrumental in the innovative development of Alexa, Amazon Web Services, Prime Video. Efficiency inspires Amazon’s expansive distribution network & fulfilment centres.

Tencent: The Extraordinary Story Of A Chinese Internet Enterprise by Wu Xiaobo argues Pony Ma transformed Tencent from a company that connected the internet to pagers into one that spans gaming, mobile payments, e-commerce & messaging service WeChat. A focus on creative strategic growth made Tencent adept at exploiting emerging opportunities. Guiding principles of product minimalism, user-driven strategy, rapid testing aren’t necessarily novel but Tencent executed it better than others. Can we tell the difference?


Women on nature…

In recent years, there’s been an explosion of writing about places, landscapes & our natural world. For the 1st time, a landmark anthology collects the work of incredible women who’ve written about the natural world in Britain & Ireland. Women on Nature embraces intuition & creativity.

Katharine Norbury has sifted through women’s fiction, poetry, household planners, gardening diaries & recipe books to share multitude of incredible ways in which they’ve observed nature. 14th century writing of the anchorite nun Julian of Norwich, 17th century travel journals of Celia Fiennes, keen observations of Emily Brontë & brilliant contemporary climate voices. Women on Nature presents a ground-breaking vision of our natural world. A scintillating anthology that shines a light on writers of unique importance in women’s history & the history of nature writing. Fascinating.


The journeys of trees…

An illuminating portrait of the forest migration, of the people studying forests of the past, protecting forests of the present & planting forests of the future. The Journeys of Trees. Forests are restless. Any time a new one sprouts, the forest that includes it has shifted. Today, an array of challenges – humans felling trees by the billions & invasive pests transported through global trade threaten to overwhelm these vital movements. Worst of all, climate is changing faster than ever before & forests are struggling to survive.

The Journeys of Trees explores the evolving movements of forests by focusing on 5 trees: the Giant Sequoia, Ash, Black Spruce, Florida Torreya & Monterey Pine. Journalist Zach St. George visits these trees across continents. Finds Sequoias losing their needles in California, fossil records showing paths of ancient forests in Alaska, domesticated pines in New Zealand & tender sprouts of American Chestnuts in New Hampshire. Meets passionate people on the conservation front lines trying to save many dying species. Examines how we can protect our incredible trees & planet to thrive. Beautiful.


All we can save…

There’s a renaissance blooming in the global climate movement. Leadership that’s characteristically feminine. Rooted in compassion, inclusivity, connection, creativity & collaboration. All We Can Save illuminates the insights of diverse women leading on climate in the US – scientists, journalists, lawyers, teachers, activists across generations & race. Advances a more representative, solution-oriented public conversation on the urgent climate crisis. Offers a spectrum of really imaginative, innovative & instinctual ideas to protect our planet. Bolsters our resolve & intent to not give up on our collective future. We can surely summon the resilience & courage to turn towards the life-giving possibilities of all we can save. The survival of our planet calls for a profound shift in the ways we relate to our natural world. A great read that offers audacious hope & much-needed inspiration.