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Book Picks

from the Bamboo Book Club 


"Being Human" edited by Neil Astley


The companion poetry anthology to "Staying Alive" and "Being Alive" offers 500 poems arranged in categories such as About Time, Living in Hope and Body and Soul. An international collection of contemporary poetry for 'people who know they love poetry, and people who think they don't'.


"How Emotions are Made" by Lisa Feldman Barrett


What if what you think you know about why you feel what you feel is wrong? Barrett offers a radical theory of constructed emotion overturning the two-thousand year old assumption that each emotion has a distinct 'fingerprint' and my sadness runs through my body in the same way as yours does through yours. Fascinating study with essential tips for 'sculpting' future emotional experiences.


"Let Your Life Speak" by Parker J. Palmer


For those struggling with overload of choices and decisions, this short book of 120 pages offers a different way of thinking about how to engage with work and vocation by listening to ourselves more deeply.


"Bodyfulness: Somatic Practices for Presence, Empowerment, and Waking Up in This Life" by Christine Caldwell


Breathing, sensing, and moving—the ways we know our body—carry tremendous contemplative potential, and yet, we so often move through our days unaware of or in conflict with our physical selves


"The Pocket Guide to Polyvagel Theory, The transformative power of feeling safe" By Stephen Porges


The polyvagal theory explains the biological origins of a variety of social behaviors and emotional disorders. This book distills that theory into practical clinical tips, explaining its relevance to the social engagement system and offering clinical examples, including cases of trauma and autism


Anxiety for Beginners: a personal investigation by

Eleanor Morgan


Anxiety for Beginners offers a vivid insight into the often crippling impact of anxiety disorders, a condition that is frequently invisible, shrouded in shame and misunderstood. It serves as a guide for those who live with anxiety disorders and those who live with them by proxy

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Finding Meaning, The Sixth Stage of Grief by David Kessler


Many people look for “closure” after a loss. Kessler argues that it’s finding meaning beyond the stages of grief most of us are familiar with—denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance—that can transform grief into a more peaceful and hopeful experience.


Hold Me Tight by Sue Johnson


In Hold Me Tight, Dr. Sue Johnson presents Emotionally Focused Therapy to the general public for the first time. Johnson teaches that the way to save and enrich a relationship is to reestablish safe emotional connection and preserve the attachment bond

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Love and War in Intimate Relationships by Marion Soloman and Stan Tatkin


What happens between partners that makes love turn to war? How can couples therapists help deescalate the battles? Two leading therapists apply the latest neuroscience research on emotional arousal to help couples regulate each other’s emotions, maintain secure attachment, and foster positive, enduring relationships

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Love and War in Intimate Relationships by Marion Soloman and Stan Tatkin


What happens between partners that makes love turn to war? How can couples therapists help deescalate the battles? Two leading therapists apply the latest neuroscience research on emotional arousal to help couples regulate each other’s emotions, maintain secure attachment, and foster positive, enduring relationships


Brainstorm by Dan Siegel


Between the ages of twelve and twenty-four, the brain changes in important and, at times, challenging ways. In Brainstorm, Dr. Daniel Siegel busts a number of commonly held myths about adolescence—for example, that it is merely a stage of “immaturity” filled with often “crazy” behavior

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Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman


In the highly anticipated Thinking, Fast and Slow, Kahneman takes us on a groundbreaking tour of the mind and explains the two systems that drive the way we think. System 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional; System 2 is slower, more deliberative, and more logical

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The Art of Thinking Clearly by Rolf Dobell


Have you ever: Invested time in something that, with hindsight, just wasn’t worth it? Or continued doing something you knew was bad for you? These are examples of cognitive biases, simple errors we all make in our day-to-day thinking. But by knowing what they are and how to spot them, we can avoid them and make better decisions

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The Soul of Money by Lynne Twist


This liberating book shows us that examining our attitudes toward money―earning it, spending it, and giving it away―offers surprising insight into our lives. Through personal stories and practical advice, Lynne Twist asks us to discover our relationship with money, understand how we use it, and by assessing our core human values, align our relationship with it to our desired goals

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The Great Work of Your Life by Stephen Cope


An inspiring guide to finding your life’s purpose—what spiritual teachers call dharma—through mindfulness and self-exploration


Freedom from Your Inner Critic by Jay Early & Bonnie Weiss


We've all heard the voice of the inner critic―that part of us that judges us, shames us, and makes us feel inadequate. "You don't want to give in to the Critic, and it doesn't really work to fight against it," explains Dr. Jay Earley. "But there is a way to transform it into an invaluable ally." With Freedom from Your Inner Critic, Dr. Earley and psychotherapist Bonnie Weiss present a self-therapy approach for uncovering the psychological roots of our self-sabotaging inner voices and restoring our sense of worthiness

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The Boy the Mole the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy


The boy, the mole, the fox and the horse have been shared millions of times online - perhaps you've seen them? They've also been recreated by children in schools and hung on hospital walls. They sometimes even appear on lamp posts and on cafe and bookshop windows. Perhaps you saw the boy and mole on the Comic Relief T-shirt, Love Wins?


The Poetry Pharmacy by William Sieghart


This pocket-sized book presents the most essential poems in his dispensary: those which, again and again, have really shown themselves to work. Whether you are suffering from loneliness, lack of courage, heartbreak, hopelessness, or even from an excess of ego, there is something here to ease your pain. 'The book is delightful; it rightly resituates poetry in relation to its biggest and most serious task: helping us to live and die well' Alain de Botton

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Making Art a Practice by Cat Bennett


Helping artists catapult into further action, this guide is a treasury of insight and inspiration. Rather than focus on art techniques that build skills or overcome creative blocks through playful activities or writing, this guide walks the artist through exercises designed to develop the personal qualities critical to being an artist in the world, such as courage, the ability to look and see, and connection to the true creative self. 


Sand Talk - Tyson Yunkaporta


This remarkable book is about everything from echidnas to evolution, cosmology to cooking, sex and science and spirits to Schrödinger’s cat.


Tyson Yunkaporta looks at global systems from an Indigenous perspective. He asks how contemporary life diverges from the pattern of creation. How does this affect us? How can we do things differently?


Braiding Sweetgrass- Robin Wall Kemmerer


As a botanist, Robin Wall Kimmerer has been trained to ask questions of nature with the tools of science. As a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, she embraces the notion that plants and animals are our oldest teachers. In Braiding Sweetgrass, Kimmerer brings these lenses of knowledge together to show that the awakening of a wider ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgment and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the rest of the living world. For only when we can hear the languages of other beings are we capable of understanding the generosity of the earth, and learning to give our own gifts in return


Sensuous Knowledge - Minna Salami


Sensuous Knowledge inspires reflection and challenges us to formulate or own views. Using ancestral knowledge to steer us toward freedom, Salami reveals the ways that women have protested over the years in large and small ways—models that inspire and empower us to define our own sense of womanhood today.

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Small Arcs of Larger Circles - Nora Bateson


Building on Gregory Bateson’s famous book Towards an Ecology of Mind and her own film on the subject, Nora Bateson here updates our thinking on systems and ecosystems, applying her own insights and those of her team at IBI to education, organisations, complexity, academia, and the way that society organises itself


The Dawn of Everything - Graeber and Wengrow

A dramatically new understanding of human history, challenging our most fundamental assumptions about social evolution—from the development of agriculture and cities to the origins of the state, democracy, and inequality—and revealing new possibilities for human emancipation.


Citizens - Jon Alexander


Citizens opens up a new way of understanding ourselves and shows us what we must do to survive and thrive - as individuals, as organizations, as nations, even as a species

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Waking up - Indra Adnan


Everyone thinks they know what it means to be 'woke' - whether they're proudly declaring it, or angrily attacking it. But writer, political entrepreneur and psychosocial therapist Indra Adnan has written a comprehensive and necessary account of 'waking up' - to the realities of climate crisis, social breakdown, and personal agency - which implicates us all. In the internet era, no one escapes the global revolution of learning, connecting and mobilising and its entangled consequences. This reality demands a political response.


You matter more than you think- Karen O'brien


Every single one of us matters in the process of transforming our future - but do we really believe that? What if we are underestimating our individual and collective capacity to change ourselves, our cultures, and our systems to create a thriving future for all? Through the lens of quantum social change, Karen O'Brien presents a radically different way of thinking about how we address climate change and wider social change. Inspired by ideas from quantum physics and quantum social science, her book challenges the mindsets of certainty and determinacy that lure us into believing that there is nothing that we can do about complex global problems like climate change. It offers new ways to think about our potential to shift the cultures and systems that perpetuate them.


Inflamed- Raj Patel


A work of exhilarating scope and relevance ... What a rare and powerful experience to feel a book in your very body' Naomi Klein

'Health is not something we can attain as individuals, for ourselves, hermetically sealed off from the world around us. An injury to one is an injury to all.'

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Invisible women- Caroline Criado Perez

Imagine a world where...

* Your phone is too big for your hand

* Your doctor prescribes a drug that is wrong for your body

* In a car accident you are 47% more likely to be injured.

If any of that sounds familiar, chances are you're a woman.

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How to be an Anti-racist - Ibram X Kendi


In How to Be an Antiracist, Dr. Ibram X. Kendi presents a theory of antiracism, a system of ideas and policies that fight racial inequity. As teenager, Kendi gave a public speech full of stereotypes about young Black people like himself

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What works - Iris Bohnet


"Compelling, lucid, and filled with actionable insights, What Works draws from a deep well of research to explain how we can end gender inequality."-Adam Grant, author of Give and Take and Originals


Regeneration - Paul Hawken


A radically new understanding of and practical approach to climate change by noted environmentalist Paul Hawken, creator of the New York Times bestseller Drawdown


Regeneration offers a visionary new approach to climate change, one that weaves justice, climate, biodiversity, equity, and human dignity into a seamless tapestry of action, policy, and transformation that can end the climate crisis in one generation. It is the first book to describe and define the burgeoning regeneration movement spreading rapidly throughout the world


Entangled Life - Merlin Sheldrake


Entangled Life is an eye-opening exploration of this mysterious taxonomic kingdom… a journey into an untapped world. It is both a wonderful collection of fungal feats… and a personal account of Sheldrake’s experiences with these miraculous organisms.”


Monoculture - F.S Michaels


As human beings, we've always told stories: stories about who we are, where we come from, and where we're going. Now imagine that one of those stories is taking over the others, narrowing our diversity and creating a monoculture. Because of the rise of the economic story, six areas of your world - your work, your relationships with others and the environment, your community, your physical and spiritual health, your education, and your creativity - are changing, or have already changed, in subtle and not-so-subtle ways. And because how you think shapes how you act, the monoculture isn't just changing your mind - it's changing your life.

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The spell of the sensuous - David Abram


Animal tracks, word magic, the speech of stones, the power of letters, and the taste of the wind all figure prominently in this intellectual tour de force that returns us to our senses and to the sensuous terrain that sustains us. This major work of ecological philosophy startles the senses out of habitual ways of perception.


Sacred economics - Charles Eisenstein


Sacred Economics traces the history of money from ancient gift economies to modern capitalism, revealing how the money system has contributed to alienation, competition, and scarcity, destroyed community, and necessitated endless growth. Today, these trends have reached their extreme—but in the wake of their collapse, we may find great opportunity to transition to a more connected, ecological, and sustainable way of being

Re-imagining capitalism in a world on fire-  Rebecca Henderson


Free market capitalism is one of humanity's greatest inventions and the greatest source of prosperity the world has ever seen. But this success has been costly. Capitalism is on the verge of destroying the planet and destabilizing society as wealth rushes to the top. The time for action is running short.

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Net Positive - Paul Polman and Andrew Winston


In this seminal book, former Unilever CEO Paul Polman and sustainable business guru Andrew Winston explode fifty years of corporate dogma. To thrive today and tomorrow, they argue, companies must become “net positive”—giving more to the world than they take. Net Positive sets out the principles and practices that will deliver the scale of change and transformation the world so desperately needs


Doughnut Economics - Kate Rawlings


The great mistake of economics, argues Raworth of Oxford university’s Environmental Change Institute, is thinking of the economy as separate from the society of which it is part and the environment in which it is embedded. She is right… and this is an admirable attempt to broaden the horizons of economic thinking


Flourish - Michael Pawlyn and Sarah Ichioka


What will it take to restore balance to our world? How can we repair our devastated environments, and secure future generations’ survival? And what’s the key to unlock the mindset shift to enable truly regenerative transformation?


Designing Regenerative Cultures - Daniel Christian Wahl


This is a 'Whole Earth Catalog' for the 21st century: an impressive and wide-ranging analysis of what's wrong with our societies, organizations, ideologies, worldviews and cultures - and how to put them right. The book covers the finance system, agriculture, design, ecology, economy, sustainability, organizations and society at large


Human Permaculture Life Design for Resilient Living- Bernard Alonso and Cécile Guiochon


Human Permaculture is a powerful, forward-thinking guide that uses permaculture principles of ecological design rooted in people care, Earth care, and fair share for redesigning your life and community to align with the resources available on the planet.


Rewild - Nick Baker

As our busy, technology-driven lives become more sedentary and less connected to wildlife, it is important to remember the natural, human connection we have to the wilderness

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The Awakened Brain - Lisa Miller

A groundbreaking exploration of the neuroscience of spirituality and a bold new paradigm for health, healing, and resilience—from a New York Times bestselling author and award-winning researcher


Burnout - Emily Nagoski and Amelia Nagoski

This groundbreaking book explains why women experience burnout differently than men—and provides a simple, science-based plan to help women minimize stress, manage emotions, and live a more joyful life.

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4000 weeks - Oliver Burkeman

The average human lifespan is absurdly, insultingly brief. Assuming you live to be eighty, you have just over four thousand weeks.

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Coming Back to Life - Joanna Macy

Deepening global crises surround us. We are beset by climate change, fracking, tar sands extraction, GMOs, and mass extinctions of species, to say nothing of nuclear weapons proliferation and Fukushima, the worst nuclear disaster in history. Many of us fall prey to despair even as we feel called to respond to these threats to life on our planet.


Stolen Focus - Johann Hari

Our ability to pay attention is collapsing. From the New York Times bestselling author of Chasing the Scream and Lost Connections comes a groundbreaking examination of why this is happening--and how to get our attention back.

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The Art of Retreats - Fabrice

Business leaders need to find inner peace if they’re going to create an inspiring and sustainable future but how can we develop the strength and foresight we need to lead with purpose when growth and profit are constantly driving our efforts? How can we link our actions with results amid increasing noise and complexity, how can we think strategically and expand our consciousness when technology keeps us hooked to our devices?


Woke racism - John Mc Whorter

New York Times bestselling author and acclaimed linguist John McWhorter argues that an illiberal neoracism, disguised as antiracism, is hurting Black communities and weakening the American social fabric.

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