Minding the mind was a priority for Irish readers last year, with booksellers noting a 28 per cent increase in the mind-body-spirit genre in 2014. As the Fortnight Festival, which has been championing mental health issues, comes to a close across the country, Dubray Books has put together a selection of its most popular titles in the genre.
According to the bookseller, Tiddy Rowan's The Little Book of Mindfulness sold 15,000 copies in the Irish market, on a par with Christmas bestsellers from Graham Norton, Colm Tóibín and Cecelia Ahern. There were also strong sales from books by the mindfulness expert and Irish Times journalist Padraig O'Morain and classics of the genre such as Thich Nhat Hanh's Buddhist text, The Miracle of Mindfulness.
“Initiatives such as the First Fortnight festival show that there is movement in Ireland towards openness and conversation around the area of mental health,” said Maria Dickenson, MD of Dubray Books.
“This is reflected in the increase in books bought on the subject. There is much that can be done in the arts world to create awareness and help to de-stigmatise mental health issues. For many people, reading a book or attending an arts event can be the first step in that dialogue.”
Pressures of the recession and the challenges of the last few years have also created a need for reflection among Irish readers, according to Dickenson. “Mindfulness encourages us to be aware only of the moment that we are in, and is proven to reduce stress and promote wellbeing. The increase in sales of these titles indicates a desire for a calmer, happier life,” she said.
The list, entitled Mindfulness: Books to Change your Path in Life, includes popular books on mindfulness techniques, along with a range of fiction, biography and health titles which share similar themes. These include Wild by Cheryl Strayed, the American author who walked 1,100 miles in search of redemption, and Deepak Chopra's latest book, What are you Hungry for?
"There are also a number of Irish authors whose work has helped to inspire and motivate readers," said Dickenson. "Maureen Gaffney's book Flourishing has been a fixture in the mind-body-spirit bestseller charts since its publication, while Simon Fitzmaurice's It's Not Yet Dark provides inspiration to strive for happiness in even the most challenging of circumstances. For 2015, we're expecting Becoming Your Real Self by Operation Transformation psychologist Dr Eddie Murphy and Padraig O'Morain's Mindfulness for Worriers to be popular titles."
The full list of titles is below.
Mindfulness: Books to Change your Path in Life, compiled by Dubray Books:
Little Pocket Book of Mindfulness, by Anna Black (Cico Books)
Eat Yourself Well, by Bernadette Bohan (Gill & Mac)
What are you Hungry For? By Deepak Chopra (Random)
Alchemist by Paulo Coelhlo (Harcol)
Mindfulness Diet by Patricia Collard (Octopus)
Little Book of Mindfulness by Patricia Collard (Octopus)
Naked Paleo by Pat Divilly (Blackwater)
Complete Running and Marathon Book by DK (Penguin)
Mindfulness Colouring Book by Emma Farrarons (Macmillan)
Cut the Crap by Ruth Field (Littlebrown)
It's Not Yet Dark by Fitzmaurice Simon (Hachette)
Taking Heaven Lightly by Roisin Fitzpatrick (HBI)
Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl (Random)
Eat. Nourish. Glow by Freer Amelia (Harpercollins)
Flourishing by Maureen Gaffney (Penguin)
The Examined Life by Stephen Grosz (Random)
Siddharta by Herman Hesse (Penguin)
Thrive by Ariana Huffington (Random)
Quiet the Mind by Matthew Johnstone (Littlebrown)
Wherever You Go by Kabat-Zinn (Littlebrown)
On the Road by Jack Kerouac (Penguin)
Mindfulness Journal by Marcia Mihotich (Macmillan)
Happiness by Ricard Matthieu (Atlantic)
7 Things that Will Change Your Destiny Today by Paul McKenna (Transworld)
Miracle of Mindfulness by Nhat Hanh (Random)
Mindfulness on the Go by Padraig O'Morain (Hodder)
What I Know For Sure by Oprah Winfrey (Macmillan)
Food for the Fast Lane by Derval O'Rourke (Gill & Mac)
Tale for Time Being by Ruth Ozeki (Canongate)
Medicinal Chef by Dale Pinnock (Quadrille)
Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts (Littebrown)
Colour Yourself Calm by Tiddy Rowan (Quadrille)
Little Book of Mindfulness by Tiddy Rowan (Quadrille)
Little Book of Friendship by Tiddy Rowan (Quadrille)
Little Book of Quiet by Tiddy Rowan (Quadrille)
Wild movie tie-in by Strayed Cheryl (Atlantic)
Mindfulness: a Practical Guide by Mark Williams (Littlebrown)
Gift of Mindfulness by Jane Yvette (Summersdale)