Read our posts about soul

Culture Tip: Searching for Sugar Man

Culture Tip: Searching for Sugar Man

Perhaps it’s because I am trying the sugar detox plan that I reached so readily for the DVD of Searching for Sugar Man this week. I am glad I did. It is a heart warming documentary following a quest by two fans to find out what really happened to their American musical recording hero of the late ‘60s, Rodriguez. Lauded at the time as writing lyrics to rival those of Dylan, Rodriguez performed only in North American dives and, despite the attention of celebrated producers, his records bombed and he disappeared into obscurity. That was in America. The story was very...
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What Lena Dunham's Girls Can Teach Us About Female Friendships

What Lena Dunham's Girls Can Teach Us About Female Friendships

In popular culture female friendships have often been portrayed either as giggly gossips or as catty and competitive, while girls (and women) themselves are on a quest for an ideal girlfriend - a soul mate who always understands them, with whom they share all intimate secrets and with whom they never argue. For giggly, think of the Sex and the City quartet doubled over in wicked laugher at the men they take to bed; for catty, think of Lady Edith doing her best to ruin Lady Mary’s chances for happiness in Downton Abbey, for the ideal, think of sweetness between...
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The Restful Mind

The Restful Mind

“It is with our mind that we create our world.” That’s the philosophy that underpins The Restful Mind, a new book by His Eminence Gyalwa Dokhampa that aims to show readers how to “open it up and let the world in.”  Dokhampa has earned an international reputation for making the life-changing parts of Buddhist thought approachable and easy to understand. In the introduction to this book he makes the case that there are so many things in the world that we can’t control and they are usually the things that get us down, why not forget about them and focus on the things we...
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Let’s Do Lunch – in a Graveyard

Let’s Do Lunch – in a Graveyard

When I tell people that, for four years, I have spent most of my spare time in graveyards, they always look a little alarmed. They shouldn’t. In the process of writing and researching my book Finding the Plot: 100 Graves to Visit Before You Die, I have visited scores of graveyards: grand and tiny, Victorian and modern, manicured and tumbledown.  Not depressing, nor weird, they are fascinating places with so many things to notice: those names (like Myrtle, Ethel etc) you’d forgotten existed, intriguing epitaphs, and some amazing monuments which, in places such as Highgate in...
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Culture Tip: The Circle

Culture Tip: The Circle

I was racing through Dave Eggers' The Circle over Christmas and enjoying it so much, I just had to tweet something about it. But what? "Am loving the way this book makes social media sound like a totalitarian state #1984"  Or "Mister Cool Dave Eggers is acting like a technophobic dinosaur" Or simply "Step away from the screens!"? To explain. This novel is about a young woman, Mae Holland,  who gets a job at a Google-(or is it Facebook?)like company and gets drawn further and further into a technological takeover of her life. What starts out as social...
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CULTURE TIP: Christmas Films

CULTURE TIP: Christmas Films

Christmas movies are the Stilton of the seasonal cheeseboard. They’re big and smelly but it wouldn’t be Christmas without a slice of their sentiment. Our familiarity with them  builds a wonderful sense of continuity. Like  Christmas itself, you know what to expect. And if the Christmas that lies ahead may not be all that you hoped,  or you are feeling low or lost or wishing you were anywhere else, they are a wonderful distraction.  Here are Welldoing.org’s top five mincemeat-flavoured cinema treats   It’s a Wonderful Life: the incomparable James...
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CULTURE TIP: The Luminaries

CULTURE TIP: The Luminaries

Not everyone is going to love the Man Booker Prize-winning blockbuster, The Luminaries. But I did. And not only because the author is a New Zealander (as I am), and the youngest person to ever scoop the £50,000 jackpot. It’s a deep, rich treasure of a book with an empathetic heart. Perfect for the longeuers of Christmas in front of a fire. Set in the 1860s, it starts with a mysterious combination of occurrences: a rich young landowner has disappeared, a prostitute has tried to kill herself, and a large sum of money is found in the house of a dying man. A dozen locals...
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