As we stock up on resolutions and hope for 2021, local literary institution Oblong Books & Music is here to recommend a few titles that will sharpen the mind and help sustain total wellness throughout the year:
Keep Sharp: Build a Better Brain at Any Age
By Sanjay Gupta, M.D.
Keep your brain young, healthy, and sharp with this science-driven guide to protecting your mind from decline by neurosurgeon and CNN chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta.
Throughout our life, we look for ways to keep our mind sharp and effortlessly productive. Now, globetrotting neurosurgeon Dr. Sanjay Gupta offers insights from top scientists all over the world, whose cutting-edge research can help you heighten and protect brain function and maintain cognitive health at any age.
Keep Sharp debunks common myths about aging and cognitive decline, explores whether there’s a “best” diet or exercise regimen for the brain, and explains whether it’s healthier to play video games that test memory and processing speed, or to engage in more social interaction. Discover what we can learn from “super-brained” people who are in their eighties and nineties with no signs of slowing down—and whether there are truly any benefits to drugs, supplements, and vitamins. Dr. Gupta also addresses brain disease, particularly Alzheimer’s, answers all your questions about the signs and symptoms, and shows how to ward against it and stay healthy while caring for a partner in cognitive decline. He likewise provides you with a personalized twelve-week program featuring practical strategies to strengthen your brain every day.
Keep Sharp is the only owner’s manual you’ll need to keep your brain young and healthy regardless of your age!
How Not to Diet: The Groundbreaking Science of Healthy, Permanent Weight Loss
By Michael Greger, M.D.
Discover the cutting-edge science behind long-term weight loss success, in this powerful new book from the New York Times bestselling author of How Not to Die.
Every month seems to bring a trendy new diet or weight loss fad—and yet obesity rates continue to rise, and with it a growing number of diseases and health problems. It’s time for a different approach.
Enter Dr. Michael Greger, the internationally-renowned nutrition expert, physician, and founder of the Nutrition Facts website. Author of the mega bestselling How Not to Die, Dr. Greger now turns his attention to the latest research on the leading causes—and remedies—of obesity.
Dr. Greger hones in on the optimal criteria to enable weight loss, while considering how these foods actually affect our health and longevity. He lays out the key ingredients of the ideal weight-loss diet—factors such as calorie density, the insulin index, and the impact of foods on our gut microbiome—showing how plant-based eating is crucial to our success.
But How Not to Diet goes beyond food to identify twenty-one weight-loss accelerators available to our bodies, incorporating the latest discoveries in cutting-edge areas like chronobiology to reveal the factors that maximize our natural fat-burning capabilities. Dr. Greger builds the ultimate weight loss guide from the ground up, taking a timeless, proactive approach that can stand up to any new trend.
Chock full of actionable advice and groundbreaking dietary research, How Not to Diet will put an end to dieting—and replace those constant weight-loss struggles with a simple, healthy, sustainable lifestyle.
The Power of Nunchi: The Korean Secret to Happiness and Success
By Euny Hong
Improve your nunchi. Improve your life.
The Korean sixth sense for winning friends and influencing people, nunchi (pronounced noon-chee) can help you connect with others so you can succeed in everything from business to love. The Power of Nunchi will show you how.
Have you ever wondered why your less-skilled coworker gets promoted before you, or why that one woman from your yoga class is always surrounded by adoring friends? They probably have great nunchi. The art of reading a room and understanding what others are thinking and feeling, nunchi is a form of emotional intelligence that anyone can learn–all you need are your eyes and ears. Sherlock Holmes has great nunchi. Cats have great nunchi. Steve Jobs had great nunchi. With its focus on observing others rather than asserting yourself–it’s not all about you!–nunchi is a refreshing antidote to our culture of self-promotion, and a welcome reminder to look up from your cell phone.
Nunchi has been used by Koreans for more than 5,000 years. It’s what catapulted their nation from one of the world’s poorest to one of the richest and most technologically advanced in half a century. And it’s why K-pop–an unlikely global phenomenon, performed as it is in a language spoken only in Korea–is even a thing. Not some quaint Korean custom like taking off your shoes before entering a house, nunchi is the currency of life. The Power of Nunchi will show you how the trust and connection it helps you to build can open doors for you that you never knew existed.
The Power of Ritual: Turning Everyday Activities into Soulful Practices
By Casper ter Kuile
Casper ter Kuile, a Harvard Divinity School fellow and cohost of the popular Harry Potter and the Sacred Text podcast, explores how we can nourish our souls by transforming common, everyday practices—yoga, reading, walking the dog—into sacred rituals that can heal our crisis of social isolation and struggle to find purpose—a message we need more than ever for our spiritual and emotional well-being in the age of COVID-19.
“After half a decade of research and hundreds of conversations with people around the country, I am convinced we are in the midst of a paradigm shift. That what used to hold us in community no longer works, and that the spiritual offerings of yesteryear no longer help us thrive.”–Casper ter Kuile
What do Soul Cycle, gratitude journals, and tech breaks have in common? For ter Kuile they offer rituals that create the foundation for our modern spiritual lives.
We are in crisis today. Our modern technological society has left too many of us—no matter our ages—feeling isolated and bereft of purpose. Previous frameworks for building community and finding meaning no longer support us. Yet ter Kuile reveals a hopeful new message: we might not be religious, but that doesn’t mean we are any less spiritual.
Instead, we are in the midst of a paradigm shift in which we seek belonging and meaning in secular practices. Today, we find connection in:
The Power of Ritual reminds us that what we already do every day matters—and has the potential to become a powerful experience of reflection, sanctuary, and meaning.
To order your copy of one of Oblong’s recommended wellness books visit oblongbooks.com/wellness
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