Coffee Beans & Libraries

31 March 2021 Laura Hannah

Coffee Beans & Libraries

Here are 5 things that have inspired me over the last few weeks – I hope they have a similar effect on you.


By Melanie Challenger


This book is an exploration of the human habit of ignoring our more animalistic tendencies. It is a history of the Homo Sapien and how we think about ourselves, and how that thinking has strayed from accepting our animal nature. It has fascinating insights into how we think, why we think this way and the consequences of this thinking. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys history and exploring the mind, it’s a wonderful mix of both.


I don’t know where I would be without an audiobook to listen to at night. I started listening when my mind was racing with thoughts, unable to sleep I searched for something soothing that might help me fall asleep. Since then I have listened to countless books on Audible, so much so that it is now part of my ritual. If books aren’t your thing, they also have wonderful sleep casts that are amusing and effective. My favourite is listening to Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations, I want to listen so much but they are read in such a soothing way you can’t help but fall asleep.


Over the past few years, I have become more conscious of what I buy and where I buy it from. I try to think sustainably, and I attempt to choose businesses I know to have a strong moral compass. UpCircle Beauty came to my attention this month as a company that knows what they stand for and unashamedly shout about it. They use repurposed ingredients that would otherwise be thrown away in other industries, for example, ground coffee beans from coffee shops become a face scrub with UpCircle. Their company mission is to leave the world a better place than when they found it, simple but inspiring. Plus, their products are amazing.


Resilience is a word that has appeared time and time again for me this month. I was lucky enough to attend a talk with Paula Power, one of the first female explorers to make it to the North Pole, and she discussed resilience in terms of challenging yourself. Personally, I decided to change my diet for lent to try something new and found it incredibly challenging. Suddenly I needed more resilience – not quite a trip to the North Pole but still mentally draining, so I started looking into what tricks I could use to help me. Lucy Hone’s talk shares 3 secrets that really do work, it also touches on parental bereavement which can be upsetting, but supports what she shares in a truly powerful way.

Just click the image below to play the video.


As we slowly find our way out of lockdown there are still lots of companies offering great distractions. The British Library is hosting a wealth of online events, talks, quizzes and exhibitions that are well worth looking into. Most cost between £5 – £7.50 others are free, I recommend exploring their offering for something a bit different. I’m very aware of a need to break some of my lockdown habits, and this is a great place to start – rather than Netflix, I’ll be watching some of my favourite authors discuss their work.

Image: Mike Peel / Licence here.


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