Deanna's Picks

by Streets, Annabel

“Walking is not—and has never been—boring,” writes novelist Streets in this inviting exercise guide to a year’s worth of walking. The book describes walking divided into a weekly program, with each week dedicated to a certain type of walking. This would definitely be a motivational book to read to start the new year with a goal of wellness! Examples included: “a stroll in winter”, with advantages of walking in the cold including increased cognition and reduced stress. The benefits of slow walks (shown to lower cholesterol and help regulate insulin levels), early morning treks (exposure to sunlight helps start the day off right), and post-meal strolls (which help with digestion) were also described. The information is refreshing as are the psychological and physical benefits of some movement in the “outside." We're urged to appreciate the world around us, with the added plus that there's no gym fee required!

by Ritchie, Fiona

This is a wonderful book that beautifully depicts intertwined musical traditions from radio host Ritchie. It gives a detailed look at migration patterns that promoted close connections between Appalachian and Scots-Irish ballad traditions. The book lends itself to a conversation with the authors. The illustrations and photographs make this historically complex topic easy for anyone to enjoy. Don’t be discouraged by the textbook-like layout, as it very friendly, informative and entertaining. It also includes a CD of recordings by musicians including Dolly Parton and Anais Mitchell and many more musicians with insightful approaches. Non-musicians will have no trouble appreciating this book and discerning the information. It was wonderful to both read and hear about my roots in music and my family’s Scot-Irish heritage that was brought to life.