Need a Break? 4 Books that Give You Permission to Do Just That

Let’s face it: even though summer is arguably the most fun season, it can be just as stressful as any other time of year. The pressure to plan adventures and trips is high, plus most of us still have to go to work every day, or maybe even have kids home from school who need entertainment. It’s also wedding season, which brings travel and expenses and demands from family or friends.

This much fun and excitement and sunshine can be draining, so don’t forget to take a breather when you need it! Luckily, there are a bunch of books that can help with this very thing. Here’s a few highlights that celebrate relaxation or give advice on how to let some stuff go:

The Joy of Doing Just Enough by Jennifer McCartney
$14, hardcover

McCartney’s slim little book breaks down the ways to live well by not over-promising. The chapters illuminate how to do “just enough” in your home, relationships, work, social life, culture, and health & beauty. Includes lots of personality quizzes and fun ideas to try.

The Art of the Wasted Day by Patricia Hampl
$25, hardcover

Minnesota favorite Hampl returns with this brilliant, inspiring meditation on the lost art of leisure, daydreaming, and solitude. Weaving personal experience with history, literature, and science, Hampl reminds us that there is pure value in downtime and invites us to reclaim it.

Mindfulness on the Go by Jan Chozen Bays, MD
$12, paperback

A tiny paperback that will fit in a pocket or purse, with 25 quick Zen exercises to slow you down and re-focus your mind. Also includes expanded reflections on the exercises for when you have more time. A handy little book!

Alone Time by Stephanie Rosenbloom
$25, hardcover

A travelogue of Rosenbloom’s solo trips to four different cities, the lessons of this book can also be applied at home. Rosenbloom finds that the time she spent alone abroad–eating, looking, and trying new things–translate into a way of living every day that can enrich our lives. Relishing the world without the burden of company, we can rediscover the value and benefits of solitude.

Take it easy out there!






Staff Picks Bonanza: Nonfiction

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As much fiction as we read, even booksellers like a dose of reality every now and then! Here are some brilliant nonfiction titles that the M&Q staff loves. Memoirs, biographies, essays, and history–these titles are all the more fascinating for their examination of real lives and places.

Magers and Quinn Presents: Holly Hughes and BJ Hollars

In September we hosted two authors whose love of birds was evident in their work. Holly Hughes read from her poetry collection, Passingswhile B.J. Hollars gave the audience a preview of his forthcoming memoir Flock Together: A Love Affair with Extinct Birds.

Holly and B.J. talk about spark birds, extinction, famous last birds, and more in this unusual and fascinating evening of poetry and prose!



Recorded on September 4, 2016 at Magers and Quinn Booksellers.


About Holly J. Hughes’ poetry collection Passings:

In a timely, moving collection of elegies, Holly J. Hughes gives voice to these and other bird species that no longer fill our skies. If their names sound as a litany of the hundreds of species we’ve lost, these fifteen poems ring as a reminder that their stories are still with us. In clear, well-crafted poems, Hughes serves as witness to these birds’ stories, offering each a poignant account that acts as a cautionary tale for the many species whose habitats now face threats from climate change. In her preface, Hughes introduces us to the birds she first knew and loved, and her impassioned afterword reminds us that it’s not too late to learn from these birds’ extinction and take action to protect the species that remain. “Take note,” she writes. “These birds are singing to us. We must listen.”

About BJ Hollars’ forthcoming memoir Flock Together: A Love Affair with Extinct Birds:

With the help of a supporting cast of ornithologists and experts, as well as a hermit, a painter of birds, and five billion extirpated passenger pigeons, B. J. Hollars delivers a finely crafted and often profound memoir, Flock Together: A Love Affair with Extinct Birds. For his protagonist Hollars chooses a remarkable creature known as the Lord God Bird, and as the book’s narrator Hollars marries scientific rigor with wide-eyed wonder, letting readers enjoy both his command of and joy in his subject. Available February 2017.

Read the full Colorado Review here: