Cathy Rentzenbrink was born in Cornwall, grew up in Yorkshire and now lives in London. An ex-bookseller, she is now Project Director of the charity Quick Reads and Books Editor of the Bookseller magazine.
Modern life, the real and vibrantly emotional side of modern life, is on show in this truly lovely and big-hearted novel that I simply adored. A small London community sits centre stage as the residents move about their business and inside and out of each others homes. While the focus remains on Juliet, Liam and their son Charlie, this is a wider look at navigating family and friendships. Everyone is Still Alive is bestselling author Cathy Rentzenbrink's first novel, and what an eloquently beautiful read it is. The setting is a relatively affluent suburban street that welcomes you in and feels like home. With huge compassion, themes concentrate on the more difficult side of life in our modern world, including grief, anxiety, and envy. I also walked with humour, encouragement and affection, and balanced that exquisite tightrope of emotions that people experience each day. This wonderful novel feels like a celebration, a hand held out in support and in love, and I just had to choose it as a Liz Robinson Pick of the Month. Powerful yet gently soothing, Everyone is Still Alive is a novel that gives a warm embrace as it slips into emotions and makes them sing.
In the summer of 1990, Cathy's brother Matty was knocked down by a car on the way home from a night out. It was two weeks before his GCSE results, which turned out to be the best in his school. Sitting by his unconscious body in hospital, holding his hand and watching his heartbeat on the monitors, Cathy and her parents willed him to survive. They did not know then that there are many and various fates worse than death. This is the story of what happened to Cathy and her brother, and the unimaginable decision that she and her parents had to make eight years after the night that changed everything. It's a story for anyone who has ever watched someone suffer or lost someone they loved or lived through a painful time that left them forever changed.
Why do we want to write and what stops us? How does the urge to express ourselves fight with the worry that no-one will care or that we will get in trouble? How do we identify and overcome everything that gets in our way so we can start making work? Sunday Times bestselling author Cathy Rentzenbrink shows you how to tackle all this and more in Write It All Down, a guide to putting your life on the page. This is a kind, encouraging and stimulating book that explores the nature of memoir writing and offers helpful guidance on how to write your life on paper. Rentzenbrink will help you to discover the pleasure and solace to be found in writing; the profound satisfaction of wrestling a story onto a page and seeing the events of your life transformed through the experience of writing the self. Perfect for both seasoned writers as well as writing amateurs and everyone in between, this helpful handbook will steer you through the philosophical and practical challenges of writing the self. Intertwined with reflections, anecdotes and exercises, Write It All Down is at once an intimate and enjoyable narrative and an invitation to share your story.
It might sound odd, but I can honestly say knitting has saved my life. When mental illness strikes, we need tools at our side to help make things better, that give meaning, relief and dare we say...happiness. From wild swimming and mindful running, to community singing and everyday yoga, the inspiring stories in this book reveal the power of activities and hobbies to distract, exorcise and calm, helping us to heal and recover from depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses. From the team behind the bestselling The Recovery Letters, this honest, uplifting and motivational book will help you to discover the activity or hobby that will transform your life and make every day that much brighter.
'I loved this book . . . I'm so desperate for you all to share in its wonder' - Elizabeth Day, author of How To Fail. Dear Reader is a moving, funny and joyous exploration of how books can change the course of your life, packed with recommendations from one reader to another. For as long as she can remember, Cathy Rentzenbrink has lost and found herself in stories. Growing up she was rarely seen without her nose in a book and read in secret long after lights out. When tragedy struck, books kept her afloat. Eventually they lit the way to a new path, first as a bookseller and then as a writer. No matter what the future holds, reading will always help. From the Sunday Times bestselling author of The Last Act of Love. 'A love letter to stories and reading . . . a book to cherish' - Nina Stibbe, author of Love, Nina
'I devoured A Manual for Heartache in one sitting . . . a kind, honest and wise book about how to make a friend of sadness.' - Rachel Joyce, author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry. When Cathy Rentzenbrink was still a teenager, her happy family was torn apart by an unthinkable tragedy. In A Manual for Heartache she describes how she learnt to live with grief and loss and find joy in the world again. She explores how to cope with life at its most difficult and overwhelming and how we can emerge from suffering forever changed, but filled with hope. This is a moving, warm and uplifting book that offers solidarity and comfort to anyone going through a painful time, whatever it might be. It's a book that will help to soothe an aching heart and assure its readers that they're not alone.