Human Hibernation

Writer Anne Lamott said, “Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.” So slow down, curl up, and ruminate this season with one of these thoughtful reads.

Compiled by:
Jack K.
The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why it Matters

Priya Parker
Adult Nonfiction - 302.1 Par

The author, deemed a “Martha Stewart of the conference table,” discusses what makes gatherings memorable, such as committing to a purpose and reminding attendees why they’re together while celebrating milestones along the way.

The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter

Margareta Magnusson
Adult Nonfiction - 648.5 Mag

A funny, wise, and practical guide to letting go of belongings before death. The author discusses mortality with a refreshing matter-of-factness.

How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy

Jenny Odell
Adult Nonfiction - 303.4833 Ode

Part how-to guide, part political manifesto, Odell examines ideas about detaching from life online by drawing from other writers, artists, philosophers, and critics.

How We Show Up: Reclaiming Family, Friendship, and Community

Mia Birdsong
Adult Nonfiction - 307 Bir

A hopeful how-to on cultivating interdependent communities. The author presents practical ideas through personal anecdotes and cultural critique.

Nothing Much Happens: Cozy and Calming Stories to Soothe Your Mind and Help You Sleep

Kathryn Nicolai
Adult Nonfiction - 791.4672 Nic

For those who have trouble sleeping during winter, wind down with this collection of gentle short stories to help doze off. Based on the charming podcast.

Onigamiising: Seasons of an Ojibwe Year

Linda LeGarde Grover
Adult Nonfiction - 977.0049 Gro

In this engaging collection of essays, Grover reflects on the spiritual beliefs and everyday practices that guide the Ojibwe through the year and connect them to the land known as "Onigamiising."

Pause, Rest, Be: Stillness Practices for Courage in Times of Change

Octavia F. Raheem
Adult Nonfiction - 158.1 Rah

Drawing from yoga philosophy and teaching experience, Raheem offers short reflections and practices to help guide the reader through liminal periods of change.

Silences So Deep: Music, Solitude, Alaska

John Luther Adams
Adult Nonfiction - 780.92 Adams Ada

The Pulitzer Prize-winning composer writes about creating music in the four decades he lived in Alaska. Recommended soundtrack: the author’s piece The Far Country, available on Freegal.

Who is Wellness For?: An Examination of Wellness Culture and Who it Leaves Behind

Fariha Róisín
Adult Nonfiction - 613 Roi

In this blend of memoir and criticism, the author critiques the wellness industry through an exploration of commodification and appropriation. Róisín concludes that wellness must be collective, accessible, and available to all.

Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times

Katherine May
Adult Nonfiction - 155.93 May

May discusses traditions such as winter solstice at Stonehenge, Finnish saunas, and polar bear plunges, in order to reflect on the harshness of life and the “wintering” process it requires.

Work Won’t Love You Back: How Devotion to Our Jobs Keeps Us Exploited, Exhausted, and Alone

Sarah Jaffe
Adult Nonfiction - 331.2 Jaf

Jaffe offers a witty and well-researched examination of pay, job security, and work-life balance. For those seeking to imagine new possibilities for the workplace.