Of mindful meditation, crime fiction and beating air pollution

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New Delhi–Tried meditation and failed? Let a new book reorient your approach to battling stress; follow a Scandinavian detective on his mission to uncover bizzare crimes; and finally, teach yourself to “grow” fresh air with tips from two experts.

The IANS Bookshelf has a mixed bag for the weekend:

1. Book: Stress Less, Accomplish More: The 15-Minute Meditation Programme for Extraordinary Performance; Author: Emily Fletcher; Publisher: Pan Macmillan; Price: Rs 599; Pages: 252

A guide for people who have “tried meditation” but failed to clear their mind or found themselves just sitting, “Stress Less, Accomplish More” claims to reorient your approach towards meditation. Focussed on stress relief, mental clarity and improved productivity, the approach aims to tackle the busy modern lifestyle.

Authored by Emily Fletcher, who has trained over 15,000 people through online meditation, the book has a very simple message: do less – without the stress – and accomplish more. It categorises meditation into three Ms: Mindfulness, Meditation and Manifesting.

“Meditation, as I define it, is helping you get rid of your stress from the past. The less stress you have in your body, the easier it is for you to perform at the top of your game,” Fletcher advises in the book’s introduction.

2. Book: The Department of Sensitive Crimes; Author: Alexander McCall Smith; Publisher: Hachette; Price: Rs 699; Pages: 227

Ulf Varg works in Malmo’s Department of Sensitive Crimes. Like all Scandinavian detectives he has his issues. In his case these include his unresolved feelings for his colleague, Anna; his impatience over the seeming incompetence of his irritating colleague Blomquist; and his concerns for the health of his hearing-impaired dog, Marten, the only dog in Sweden who is able to lip-read.

Along with his colleagues, Ulf is called upon to investigate a bizarre attack on a market trader, the disappearance of a handsome man who may or may not exist, and the affairs of a variety of young female students whose relationships with one another leave a great deal to be desired.

Ulf and his team come to realise that the world is a puzzling place, lycanthropy (were-wolfism) exists and fish might have something to teach us. There is so much to learn if you are a Swedish detective, and in the first book in this new quasi-Scandinavian series, Ulf Varg embarks on these lessons with spirit and good humour.

3. Book: How To Grow Fresh Air: India’s Top Experts Teach You How to Beat Air Pollution; Authors: Kamal Meattle and Barun Agarwal; Publisher: Juggernaut; Price: Rs 299; Pages: 228

Declutter your home, leave your shoes at the door, invest in a good air purifier, ventilate indoor spaces, use indoor plants that give you fresh air and more importantly, participate in community efforts to clean air: These are the pearls of wisdom offered by a book by top experts who teach you how to beat air pollution.

Co-authored by Barun Agarwal who heads an indoor air quality solutions company, and Kamal Meattle, who does the same and has also delivered a TED talk on ‘How to Grow Fresh Air’ with over 30 lakh views, the book lists simple and actionable solutions to mitigating air pollution effects in a modern, urban city. It contains a foreword by Suresh Prabhu, who says that the book chronicles how environmental education can lead to urban sustainability.

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