Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life

Author: Héctor García, Francesc Miralles

Language: English

Summary:  “If hygge is the art of doing nothing, ikigai is the art of doing something—and doing it with supreme focus and joy.” —New York Post

Bring meaning and joy to all your days with this internationally bestselling guide to the Japanese concept of ikigai (pronounced ee-key-guy)—the happiness of always being busy—as revealed by the daily habits of the world’s longest-living people.
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The Travelling Cat Chronicles

Author: Hiro Arikawa

Language: English

Summary: Nana the cat is on a road trip. He is not sure where he’s going or why, but it means that he gets to sit in the front seat of a silver van with his beloved owner, Satoru. Side by side, they cruise around Japan through the changing seasons, visiting Satoru’s old friends. He meets Yoshimine, the brusque and unsentimental farmer for whom cats are just ratters; Sugi and Chikako, the warm-hearted couple who run a pet-friendly B&B; and Kosuke, the mournful husband whose cat-loving wife has just left him. There’s even a very special dog who forces Nana to reassess his disdain for the canine species.

But what is the purpose of this road trip? And why is everyone so interested in Nana? Nana does not know and Satoru won’t say. But when Nana finally works it out, his small heart will break…

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The Girl with Seven Names: A North Korean Defector’s Story

Author: Hyeonseo Lee, David John

Language: English

Summary: An extraordinary insight into life under one of the world’s most ruthless and secretive dictatorships – and the story of one woman’s terrifying struggle to avoid capture/repatriation and guide her family to freedom.
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Sigh, Gone: A Misfit’s Memoir of Great Books, Punk Rock, and the Fight to Fit In

Author: Phuc Tran

Language: English

Summary: For anyone who has ever felt like they don’t belong, Sigh, Gone shares an irreverent, funny, and moving tale of displacement and assimilation woven together with poignant themes from beloved works of classic literature. Continue reading “Sigh, Gone: A Misfit’s Memoir of Great Books, Punk Rock, and the Fight to Fit In”

When in Vanuatu

Author: Nicki Chen

Language: English

Summary: When Diana quit her job and followed her husband to Manila, she believed the move would work for both of them: Jay would finally have his dream job, and she would take time off from her accounting career to start a family.

Four years later, however, she’s still not pregnant. Her fertility doctor advises her to relax―an undertaking that is easier said than done in one of the noisiest, most crowded cities in the world. Nevertheless, Diana tries. She takes up yoga and meditation. She buys goldfish. Then one day, while Jay is away on business, a violent coup d’etat erupts. The rebels bomb the presidential palace and occupy parts of the city.

Clearly, Diana decides, something needs to change. Determined to have a baby while she’s still young enough, she convinces Jay to transfer to the small South Pacific nation of Vanuatu, said to be “the most relaxing place on earth.” It isn’t long before she realizes that the island’s tropical beauty hides dangers and disappointments that will test her courage, her marriage, and her ability to open herself up to new possibilities.

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A Life in Music

Author: Daniel Barenboim

Language: English

Summary: A Life in Music reviews five decades of the rich and uniquely varied musical life of Daniel Barenboim. A child prodigy as a pianist and a virtuoso conductor of symphonies and opera, he has known and worked with many of the most distinguished and exciting musicians of the 20th century, not least his own wife Jacqueline du Pré. With memories of music heard and performed, and thoughtful examinations of global influences and professional inspiration, A Life in Music offers a profound window to the mind of one of the twentieth century’s greatest musicians. Continue reading “A Life in Music”