Four Autumn Reads: 2013

The App Generation

How Today’s Youth Navigate Identity, Intimacy, and Imagination in a Digital World By Howard Gardner and Katie Davis Yale University Press

“There’s an app for that.” It’s cliché now but, as the cliché goes, all clichés are true. Apps are ubiquitous. You bank on your phone, nd out where you are, search for where you want to be. In The App Gener- ation, two professors assess how a world navigated by apps a ects adolescent development. The conclusion is yin-yangy: bad, but maybe good. The level of inquiry, though, elevates the discussion beyond knee-jerk complaints about “those #@#!! kids who are on their phones all day.”

Tai Chi

The Perfect Exercise By Arthur Rosenfeld • Da Capo Lifelong Books

“If sitting at a desk is the new smoking,” says Arthur Rosenfeld, “then tai chi is the new yoga.” A master of the martial art, Rosenfeld introduces both the practice and philosophy of tai chi and makes a con- vincing case for it as a form of exercise for any age. As scienti c evidence reveals the practice’s e ectiveness in lowering blood pressure, increasing immune response, and strengthening the body’s core, Rosen- feld emphasizes other bene ts: it isn’t just for conditioning the body, he says, but also for “growing the spirit and strengthening the mind.”


A Natural History of Transformation By Michael Pollan • Penguin Press HC

America is obsessed with food. And Michael Pollan is obsessed with Ameri- ca’s obsession. Yet he says cooking had been more like furniture for him—just kind of there—not a passion. But no more. In Cooked, Pollan goes beyond social critic and pamphleteer and joins the ranks of great food writers such as M.F.K Fisher (The Art of Eating) and Margaret Visser (Much Depends on Dinner). His exploration of the history, chemistry, and rituals of preparing meals is a mouthwatering ride. There are lessons, but they’re like spices, sprinkled throughout the main courses.

Mind Whispering

A New Map to Freedom from Self-Defeating Emotional Habits
By Tara Bennett-Goleman • HarperOne

Tara Bennett-Goleman is concerned with how our sense of the world can become distorted in our own minds. As an exam- ple, she quotes something Broadway director David Cromer once said: “I was easily defeated, easily insulted. If the train door closes right before you, you go, ‘Oh, I missed the train.’ What I would do was, ‘The train hates me. I don’t deserve to get on the train.’” Mind Whispering o ers an approach designed to help us awaken our ability to recognize such troublesome modes and move beyond them.

Goodnight Mind
Turn O Your Noisy Thoughts and Get a Good Night’s Sleep By Colleen E. Carney
and Rachel Manber

The Need to Please
Mindfulness Skills to Gain Freedom from People Pleasing and Approval Seeking
By Micki Fine, MEd, LPC Foreword by Diana Winston

Everybody Present: Creating a Mindful Classroom
By Nikolaj and Didde Flor Rotne

50 Human Brain Ideas You Really Need to Know
By Moheb Costandi

Unfinished Conversation
Healing from Suicide and Loss By Robert E. Lesoine

Sitting Still Like a Frog
Mindfulness Exercises for Kids (and Their Parents)
By Eline Snel