Giving your city a break

MINDFULNESS & THE ART OF URBAN LIVING: DISCOVERING THE GOOD LIFE IN THE CITY

BY ADAM FORD

This is a wonderful short book that I read in just a couple of hours. Like many of us city dwellers, I regularly find myself falling out of love with my surroundings. The traffic, noise, pollution, neighbours, anti-social behaviour – the list goes on, if we let it. Adam Ford’s book tackles breaking this cycle of negative thoughts about the city we live in and embracing our urban lives instead.

“Mindfulness,” he says, “is a way of living, a way of knowing oneself and the world. It involves taking stock regularly of the way things are, living consciously, becoming more aware and realistic about life.”

He encourages us to apply this approach to the way we live our lives in cities throughout the world by making time to think about ourselves in the here and now and to notice more, to look for the peace and for the beauty when moving around our neighbourhoods. Ford explores creative uses of small spaces in cities with inspiring ideas for urban gardens, allotments and even bee-keeping. He asks the reader to look around again at the wealth of parks, gardens, galleries, buildings and vistas that we may have taken for granted or been too busy rushing past to have ever really observed properly. Continue reading

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On the booze with F. Scott Fitzgerald

On boozeON BOOZE BY F. SCOTT FITZGERALD

This very short and charming book would make the ideal gift for the intellectual party animal among your friends.

This is an elegantly presented collection of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s best writing about booze. It sums up the author and the Jazz Age in which he lived – and drank!

“First you take a drink, ” he once noted “then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes you.” This kind of line is typical of what can be found here.

Fitzgerald wrote alcohol into almost everything he produced. This collection draws mainly from The Crack Up as well as from other letters and works. Continue reading