Friday, April 29, 2016

Siddhartha's Brain by James Kingsland

Siddhartha's Brain: Unlocking the Ancient Science of Enlightenment by James Kingsland


Summary
By the longtime Guardian science journalist, a groundbreaking exploration of the science of enlightenment and mental wellness, illuminated by twin perspectives, ancient and modern: the spiritual wisdom of Siddhartha Gautama and the revelations of today’s scientists, who are confirming the Buddha’s profound insights into the human mind

In the fifth century BCE, in northern India, Siddhartha, the wandering sage who became the Buddha, developed a program, rooted in meditation and mindfulness, for mastering the mind and achieving lasting peace and contentment. Twenty-five centuries later, humans have transformed everything about our world—except our brains, which remain the same powerful yet flawed instruments possessed by our ancestors. What if the solution we seek to the psychological problems of life in the digital age—distraction, anxiety, addiction, loss of deep meaning—had already been worked out by the Buddha in ancient India? Appealing to readers of Eastern wisdom and Jon Kabat-Zinn, as well as to fans of bestsellers by Oliver Sacks and Malcolm Gladwell, acclaimed science writer and practicing Buddhist James Kingsland reveals how scientists are now unlocking the remarkable secrets of Siddhartha’s brain.

Moving effortlessly between science and scripture, Kingsland charts Siddhartha’s spiritual journey and explains how new research by leading neuroscientists and clinical psychologists—many of whom are interviewed in these pages—suggests that mindfulness practice reconfigures our brains to make us sharper, smarter, healthier, and happier, and that it can help treat stress, anxiety, depression, chronic pain, hypertension, and substance abuse. There have even been hints that meditation can enhance immune function, slow cellular aging, and keep dementia at bay. Featuring six guided meditations, Siddhartha’s Brain is a practical and inspiring odyssey of mind and spirit.

“Our life is shaped by our mind; we become what we think.”—Siddhartha 


Impressions
A very interesting book to learn more about our brain and meditation. 
I've enjoyed the way it was written through examples and excerpts to help you with perspective and meditation.
It's always difficult to explain why it has touched me as I've turned the pages early to know more about the author words and Siddhartha's storie. If you are interested in Buddhism, meditation and mindfullness, it will be a good one for you.
A really good read!


About the author
James Kingsland is a science and medical journalist with twenty-five years of experience at Nature, the New Scientist, and the Guardian. For the past five years he has been commissioning editor and contributor for the Guardian’s Notes & Theories blog, and writes frequently about neuroscience and Buddhist psychology. He lives in London.


Source
*Arc provided by Edelweiss
I received this book in exchange of a fair and honest review.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Improbability of Love by Hannah Rothschild

Summary
A dazzling, witty and tenderly savage satire of London life and the art world that is also a surprising and wonderful love story.

When lovelorn Annie McDee stumbles across a dirty painting in a junk shop while looking for a present for an unsuitable man, she has no idea what she has discovered.
Soon she finds herself drawn unwillingly into the tumultuous London art world, populated by exiled Russian oligarchs, avaricious Sheikas, desperate auctioneers and unscrupulous dealers, all scheming to get their hands on her painting - a lost eighteenth-century masterpiece called ‘The Improbability of Love’.

Delving into the painting’s past, Annie will uncover not just an illustrious list of former owners, but some of the darkest secrets of European history – and in doing so she might just learn to open up to the possibility of falling in love again.




Impressions
I was attract by the tittle and the plot with the painting.
And it was a really cool read!

Ok, I may have read diagonally some parts as sometimes too many details were draining the enjoyment and the mystery. However, the story is very well written.
It was interesting to dive into all this character's life and to understand how they were all related to this painting. The history part was also a very nice addition.

To be honest, I've really enjoyed the painting POV and all the love stories that were attached to its personal story. It was fresh and funny too.
Was less a fan of Annie but with all the different personnages, there is always someone to touch you.

It's well pictured and  i've spent a lovely time reading it.

Source
*Arc provided by Netgalley
I received this book in exchange of a fair and honest review.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Passenger by Lisa Lutz

Summary
From the author of the New York Times bestselling Spellman Files series, Lisa Lutz’s latest blistering thriller is about a woman who creates and sheds new identities as she crisscrosses the country to escape her past: you’ll want to buckle up for the ride!

In case you were wondering, I didn’t do it. I didn’t have anything to do with Frank’s death. I don’t have an alibi, so you’ll have to take my word for it...

Forty-eight hours after leaving her husband’s body at the base of the stairs, Tanya Dubois cashes in her credit cards, dyes her hair brown, demands a new name from a shadowy voice over the phone, and flees town. It’s not the first time.

She meets Blue, a female bartender who recognizes the hunted look in a fugitive’s eyes and offers her a place to stay. With dwindling choices, Tanya-now-Amelia accepts. An uneasy―and dangerous―alliance is born.

It’s almost impossible to live off the grid today, but Amelia-now-Debra and Blue have the courage, the ingenuity, and the desperation, to try. Hopscotching from city to city, Debra especially is chased by a very dark secret…can she outrun her past?

With heart-stopping escapes and devious deceptions, The Passenger is an amazing psychological thriller about defining yourself while you pursue your path to survival. One thing is certain: the ride will leave you breathless.

Impressions
A thriller with great psychological inside.

Following the main character, Tanya/Amelia/Debra, who is on the run after making some poor decisions, the reader turns the pages of this story to see what will happen in her crazy life.
Can't tell you too much about the plot or you will not be as surprised as you should while reading this story.
But don't expect explosions or fireworks, it's more subtle and the people she met are original too. especially Blue.
The auhor also raised the issue of morality through the story.
An interesting read on the psychological aspect.


About the author
Lisa Lutz is the New York Times bestselling author of the six books in the Spellman series, How to Start a Fire, Heads you Lose (with David Hayward), and the children's book, How to Negotiate Everything (illustrated by Jaime Temairik). Her latest book, The Passenger, a psychological thriller, will be published March 2016 by Simon and Schuster. Lutz has won the Alex award and has been nominated for the Edgar Award for Best Novel.

Although she attended UC Santa Cruz, UC Irvine, the University of Leeds in England, and San Francisco State University, she still does not have a bachelor's degree. Lisa spent most of the 1990s hopping through a string of low-paying odd jobs while writing and rewriting the screenplay Plan B, a mob comedy. After the film was made in 2000, she vowed she would never write another screenplay. Lisa lives in the Hudson Valley, NY.
http://lisalutz.com/

Source
*Arc provided by Netgalley
I received this book in exchange of a fair and honest review.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

The Inner Runner by Jason R. Karp


The Inner Runner: Running to a More Successful, Creative, and Confident You by Jason R. Karp

Summary
Why are so many people drawn to running? Why is running the most common physical activity? What is it about running that empowers so many people? And how can runners harness that power to create a more meaningful life? The Inner Runner addresses these questions and a whole lot more. This book is not about how to get faster or run a marathon; rather, it explores how the simple act of putting one foot in front of the other helps you harness your creative powers. Learn about the psychological, emotional, cognitive, and spiritual benefits of running and introduce lifestyle changes based on the latest scientific research on running and its effects on hormones and the brain.


As a nationally recognized running and fitness coach with a PhD in Exercise Physiology, Jason Karp brings his expertise in science-based coaching to runners of all levels. He believes that running gives you a chance to discover, challenge, and bring out the best in yourself by impacting your creativity, focus, imagination, confidence, and health. Let The Inner Runner help you become not only a better runner, but a more creative, productive, and imaginative person.

Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Sports Publishing imprint, is proud to publish a broad range of books for readers interested in sports—books about baseball, pro football, college football, pro and college basketball, hockey, or soccer, we have a book about your sport or your team.


In addition to books on popular team sports, we also publish books for a wide variety of athletes and sports enthusiasts, including books on running, cycling, horseback riding, swimming, tennis, martial arts, golf, camping, hiking, aviation, boating, and so much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to publishing books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked by other publishers and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.


Impressions

As I've started to run 6 months ago, I was attracted by the summary to learn more about the insight you can gain from running. It's amazing how fast you pass from not liking it to the addiction of the freedom, running gives to your body and mind.

I've liked the motivating way the author talk about running, about not comparing yourself to the others and the tones of great information, this running expert was able to give us on the body, the mind while you run.
Like the numbers given, the inspirational pep talks and the declaration from athletes.
Very interesting!

After finishing this book, I'm more determined to improve and to increase my time on my legs to find myself! :-D

A great read for those who run and the ones who want to start!


About the author
Jason R. Karp, PhD, is one of America’s foremost running experts, an established writer and author, an exercise physiologist, and creator of the Run-Fit Specialist certification.
Dr. Karp has given dozens of international lectures and has been a featured speaker at most of the world’s top fitness conferences and coaching clinics.

His previous books include Running a Marathon for Dummies, Running for Women, 101 Winning Racing Strategies for Runners, and 101 Developmental Concepts & Workouts for Cross Country Runners. He lives in San Diego, California.

Source
*Arc provided by Edelweiss
I received this book in exchange of a fair and honest review.

Poppies dreams


Poppies dreams

Seconds before I close my eyes, I see yours
My heart sings, my mind forbids the melody
I breathe deeply, banishing you to a mere memory
I’m tired of fate, its rich stores behind closed doors
Teasing me with hopeful occasional gleams.

I sigh, turn and return, then halt

I let my body be engulfed deeply by soft sheets
Powerless against Morpheus and his asinine treats
Intoxicating illusions of a world without reason
Where your smiles lead to passion and oblivion
A devastating drug called my hell, my dreams

I sigh, turn and return, then I realize

Soon the veil will be lifted, I’m ready to let you go
Without fire, your lukewarm arms are fruitless, heavy
Always, of our bond i will be fond, as well as of my fantasy
But Eos is finally calling, time for new sunrises to glow
I’m free to fly away, to enjoy life until the sun's last beams

Lucie
A5 Painting
Ink, Watercolor, Acrylic 


Saturday, April 16, 2016

Living in the Moment by Dani DiPirro

Summary
The second in a new series of vibrantly illustrated, feel-good gift books, this title features a wide range of inspirational quotes, insightful reflections, thought-provoking activities and empowering affirmations that encourage readers to live more mindfully for increased peace and contentment in their everyday lives.

Life transpires in the present. Yet so often we let the present moment slip away, wasting our precious seconds worrying about the future or ruminating about the past. But learning to "live in the moment" – also known as mindfulness – can have an incredibly positive impact on our lives, allowing us to focus on what’s happening right in front of us instead of the story we’re playing out in our minds.

Mindful people tend to feel more relaxed, less distracted, more balanced and decisive. They have increased energy and self-esteem as well as greater productivity, stronger relationships and an enhanced immune system.



Impressions

A collection perfect for people who are looking to reflect on gratitude and stay grounding in the present.

Trough famous quotes and easy reflecting thoughts, this book will be help you to practice and think about ways of staying in the Now.
If you are already an adept of mindfullness, meditation and trying to find a path that will free your brain from overthinking, this book may be a bit light and short in substance.
But it's still great to be reminding on some quotes to reflect on as we often forget what we have already learned. :-)

Probably more adapted to readers who wants to start seeing life differently and are a bit lost by where to start.
I still have had a great time turning the pages and I think it's a nice collection to offer if you have a friend overwhelmed by stress.


About the author
Dani DiPirro is an author, blogger, and designer who is passionate about living a positive life in the present moment you can learn more about Dani and her work at DaniDiPirro.com.

PositivelyPresent.com



Source
*Arc provided by Netgalley
I received this book in exchange of a fair and honest review.

Bodies of Work by Lauren P. Della Monica

Bodies of Work: Contemporary Figurative Painting
by Lauren P. Della Monica

Summary
Human forms can be intensely intimate or broadly universal. Here, figurative artists use the human form as a tool to express varied content and contemporary issues. 

These paintings depict our feelings and sentiments, our sense of belonging to a larger community in the contemporary world, while capturing the impulses behind the range of figuration presented by today's contemporary international artists.

Portraitist Marlene Dumas presents figures in a gritty, unsentimental manner, evoking the essence of the human condition, while Kerry James Marshall paints the life of African-Americans in the twentieth-century, employing recent historical review to document the social challenges. British artist Jenny Saville paints the figure in massive scale, combined with an overt, never-ending interest in the pure rendering of human flesh. 

Hope Gangloff paints her figures as characters, intimate friends, and acquaintances, narrating a drama from their canvases. An important resource for those interested in contemporary figurative painting.

Impressions
I like realistic paintings and drawings and when I've seen "Bodies of Work", I was curious to know more about nowadays figurative art.

Through the different artists and sensibilities, I was amazed at the details of the portraits and their originality. You can feel the emotions coming from the subject who is posing, like he/she was completely naked in front of you.
For some models, it's literally true and the way the artist see the nudity is also interesting to look at.

The second part is about social art. A section probably more conceptual, more darker for some artists who use their brushes to make engaged art. A great way of expressing your opinions, your views through images.

An interesting art book where I've discovered a lot of great artists and their amazing work.


About the author
Lauren Pheeney Della Monica is a New York-based art consultant specializing in advising private clients on building collections of fine art. She writes about contemporary art, American art, and art collecting.

Source
*Arc provided by Edelweiss
I received this book in exchange of a fair and honest review.

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