25 books to support positive mental health this Blue Monday and every day

Blue Monday, the third Monday in January, is considered to be the gloomiest day of the year. Despite the fact that there is no credible evidence behind the concept of a most depressing day of the year, it has been coined as such and it grabs our attention year in year out.

We all have mental health and we can all feel down from time to time. Mental health impacts every aspect of our lives, whether we’re aware of it or not. Mental illnesses have always been here but thankfully we are now living in a society that is beginning to understand the importance of discussing these issues and being more accepting of individuals who struggle with their mental wellbeing.

For many, knowing where to begin can be a challenge. Even defining the term can be difficult, as it applies to a broad range of conditions, disorders, and issues, from stress, anxiety and depression to obsessive-compulsive disorder. Understanding these issues is an important first step to coping and surviving the difficult times, and helping others do the same.

Research shows that there are 5 steps you can take to improve your mental health and wellbeing. Trying these things could help you feel more positive and able to get the most out of life

  • Connect with other people
  • Be physically active
  • Learn new skills
  • Give to others
  • Pay attention to the present moment (mindfulness)

The collection of books we have compiled here are united in their focus on mental health. They are united in their support of positive mental health and offer clarity and insight into important areas of wellbeing as well as methods to help people cope in moments of despair.

You're Crushing It

You're Crushing It

Author: Lex Croucher Format: Paperback Release Date: 13/06/2019

On YouTube Croucher discusses everything from veganism to politics and uses her platform, in particular, to empower the female sex.  Although the book You’re Crushing It is designed for a teen audience, it is an engrossing, honest, and passionate must-read for anyone who wants to embrace their actual real and unedited self. As Croucher says: “do what you can but do no more and no less” and her positive advice for living in the real world, in this crazy, topsy-turvy, whirlwind ride we call life, is compelling. Her hints and tips on everything from being kind to yourself to riding to social media wave, to dealing with setbacks are positive, attainable, funny and really enjoyable. A recommended read.

The Light in the Dark

The Light in the Dark

Author: Horatio Clare Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/10/2019

Offering a deep and abiding connection with nature and our landscape around us, this winter journal really is the most poignant yet uplifting, and emotionally observant read. Horatio Clare explains in his prologue that he is embracing winter, in order to raise a torch against depression. Declaring that “I will not lose touch with nature”, he says he wants to stop turning inwards, and start looking outwards. What follows is a journal that starts on the 16 October and travels through winter into early Spring. With a gift for seeing what others may have missed, for expressing and painting with words, Horatio Clare is able to take the reader by the hand and share the memory with us too. As he battles the darkness to be found in winter, he sends out a blazing light. I adored the snippets of new-found (for me) information, including that in Welsh lore dragons thrive as green woodpeckers. I have since seen a green woodpecker in their low, darting, rolling flight with completely new eyes! The Light in the Dark is so eloquently descriptive and beautiful, emotional goosebumps kept me company as I read, and oh, that ending! Highly recommended, this just had to feature as one of our Star Books.

Star Books
This Too Shall Pass

This Too Shall Pass

Author: Julia Samuel Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/04/2021

Acclaimed psychotherapist Julia Samuel provides a valuable and insightful guide to surviving modern life and the perspectives on the self.  If change is the natural order of things, why do we struggle with the inevitable nature of change particularly at significant milestones in our lives? In this Sunday Times bestseller, Julia draws on hours of conversations with her patients by presenting case studies to show how we can learn to adapt and even thrive during our most difficult and transformative experiences. A remarkable book that looks at the hard times unflinchingly. Illuminated by the latest social and psychological research, these powerful, unforgettable and deeply intimate stories about everyday people help us to accept change and tackle it in a different way ensuring that we take control of our own response to change and improve the way we approach challenges at every stage of life.

Bigger Than Us

Bigger Than Us

Author: Fearne Cotton Format: Hardback Release Date: 20/01/2022

For anyone seeking a path through our confusing lives, this read offers inspiration for tapping into the strength and support of those around us and releasing the blockers that hold us back. Including interviews with authors, thought-leaders, spiritual guides as Cotton calls them "amazing brains", she works with these wise minds to gain a better understanding of their specialities and how we can use this insight and advice to implement into our own lives. As Cotton peels back the layers of her own anxiety and self-limiting beliefs the reader joins her in this explorative, expansive, eye-opening and humbling journey to wisdom and to the destination of a happier and more hopeful life.

Audiobooks of the Month
Calm

Calm

Author: Fearne Cotton Format: Hardback Release Date: 27/12/2017

What a lovely, warm, kind and friendly book this is, Fearne Cotton writes about the state of calm, and how to find it in our modern, hectic lives. This isn’t just to read, it’s an interactive book too, encouraging you to make notes, to revisit thoughts and feelings. Fearne looks at everyday life, she also visits anxiety, trauma, and PTSD, she highlights breathing, living in the moment, and also introduces us to various friends and experts who have the ability to reach or teach a sense of calm. The book itself feels calm, the colours, font, and layout all help to soothe, to give you a hug as you read. While this could be read in order from beginning to end, I also feel you can dip in and out, take your time, visit when you have a moment. Calm is reassuring and revitalising, it’s the perfect helping hand for you to make some time for yourself, to reflect, and look for peace.  ~ Liz Robinson

eBooks of the Month
First, We Make the Beast Beautiful

First, We Make the Beast Beautiful

Author: Sarah Wilson Format: Paperback Release Date: 16/05/2019

If you have anxiety, this book is for you. If you love someone who is anxious, this book is for you. I Quit Sugar founder and New York Times bestselling author Sarah Wilson has lived through high anxiety - including bipolar, OCD and several suicide attempts - her whole life. Perhaps like you, she grew tired of seeing anxiety as a disease that must be medicated into submission. Could anxiety be re-sewn, she asked, into a thing of beauty? So began a seven-year journey to find a more meaningful and helpful take on anxiety. Living out of two suitcases, Sarah travelled the world, meeting with His Holiness The Dalai Lama, with Oprah's life coach, with major mental health organizations and hundreds of others in a quest to unravel the knotted ball of wool that is the anxious condition. She emerged with the very best philosophy, science and hacks for thriving with the beast. First, We Make the Beast Beautiful is a book with a big heart, paving the way for richer, kinder and wiser conversations about anxiety.

Reasons to Stay Alive

Reasons to Stay Alive

Author: Matt Haig Format: Paperback Release Date: 31/12/2015

This accessible and life-affirming memoir of Haig's struggle with depression and how his triumph over the illness taught him to live is a must-read for anyone battling with the disease. Like nearly one in five of us, Haig suffers from depression. Reasons to Stay Alive is his inspiring account of how, minute by minute and day by day, he overcame the disease with the help of reading, writing, and the love of his parents and his girlfriend now-wife Andrea. It's an inspiring, honest, hopeful and vivid read.

eBooks of the Month
A Cure for Darkness

A Cure for Darkness

Author: Alex Riley Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/02/2022

After years of experiencing depression himself – during which was prescribed anti-depressants and underwent therapy – award-winning science writer Alex Riley began to question the effectiveness of the available treatments for what has become “one of the world’s most prevalent disorders”. In A Cure for Darkness, Riley tells his own story before delving into centuries of science and treatments, illuminating past and present methods, as well as new hopes, for the future of mental health. It's a fascinating look at the treatment of depression that blends popular science, narrative history, and memoir.

The Wild Remedy: How Nature Mends Us - A Diary

The Wild Remedy: How Nature Mends Us - A Diary

Author: Emma Mitchell Format: Paperback Release Date: 23/12/2021

Compellingly personal, and resplendent with hand-drawn illustrations, Emma Mitchell's The Wild Remedy is a treat for confirmed nature-lovers, and a trove of inspiration for those of us who are looking for fresh ways to enrich and mend our mental and physical wellbeing.  Charting the author’s observations of nature through the year, this diaristic delight frames its purpose in the context of “the countryside being a means of easing melancholy, inspiring creative thought and hastening recovery”. A context made all the more profound in view of the fact that the author has suffered with depression for 25 years, and finds much solace in nature. Reading this honest, generous-spirited book feels a little like you’re exploring trails and lesser-trodden paths alongside the author, encountering all manner of birds, blooms, butterflies and shoreline finds along the winding way. Packed with personal insights and wonderfully sensory descriptions of the natural world, this will surely inspire many of us to turn to the awe-inspiring outdoors to find joy and peace in the coming year.

eBooks of the Month
Get a Grip, Love

Get a Grip, Love

Author: Kate Lucey Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/01/2021

'Clever, kind, funny and wise, this book is an uplifting and useful addition to your self help library.' Daisy Buchanan, How to Be a Grown-Up We're all talking about mental health a lot more now than we were ten years ago, which is great . . . isn't it? Kate Lucey has been 'officially' depressed (as in, diagnosed) for six years. In that time she's experienced everything from bad therapy, knock-out meds, and friends-with-too-many-opinions, to good therapy, medication, and solutions that actually work. This book recognises that getting help is not as easy as 'just telling someone' or 'taking some pills'. It weaves real peoples' experiences of depression with the opinions of actual qualified experts and facts from scientific studies to create a no-nonsense guide to mental health. Funny, irreverent, and relatable, Get a Grip, Love also tells you what to say to those mates who fancy themselves as amateur psychologists, and speaks honestly about how it feels to live with a mental health disorder. Crucially, as well as poking fun at mental illness and all its absurdities (because what are we without laughter, hey?), Kate reminds you that it's fine not to feel ok. That you can go back to crying at any time. And that you do not need to get a grip.

Good Vibes, Good Life

Good Vibes, Good Life

Author: Vex King Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/12/2018

Be the best version of you that YOU can be.   How can you learn to truly love yourself? How can you transform negative emotions into positive ones? Is it possible to find lasting happiness? In this book, Instagram guru Vex King answers all of these questions and more. Vex overcame adversity to become a source of hope for thousands of young people, and now draws from his personal experience and his intuitive wisdom to inspire you to: practise self-care, overcome toxic energy and prioritize your wellbeing cultivate positive lifestyle habits, including mindfulness and meditation change your beliefs to invite great opportunities into your life manifest your goals using tried-and-tested techniques overcome fear and flow with the Universe find your higher purpose and become a shining light for others In this book, Vex will show you that when you change the way you think, feel, speak and act, you begin to change the world.

Audiobooks of the Month
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

Author: Mark Manson Format: Hardback Release Date: 28/06/2021

New York Times Bestseller In this generation-defining self-help guide, a superstar blogger cuts through the crap to show us how to stop trying to be positive all the time so that we can truly become better, happier people. For decades, we've been told that positive thinking is the key to a happy, rich life. F**k positivity, Mark Manson says. Let's be honest, shit is f**ked and we have to live with it. In his wildly popular Internet blog, Manson doesn't sugarcoat or equivocate. He tells it like it is-a dose of raw, refreshing, honest truth that is sorely lacking today. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k is his antidote to the coddling, let's-all-feel-good mindset that has infected modern society and spoiled a generation, rewarding them with gold medals just for showing up. Manson makes the argument, backed both by academic research and well-timed poop jokes, that improving our lives hinges not on our ability to turn lemons into lemonade, but on learning to stomach lemons better. Human beings are flawed and limited- not everybody can be extraordinary, there are winners and losers in society, and some of it is not fair or your fault. Manson advises us to get to know our limitations and accept them. Once we embrace our fears, faults, and uncertainties, once we stop running and avoiding and start confronting painful truths, we can begin to find the courage, perseverance, honesty, responsibility, curiosity, and forgiveness we seek. There are only so many things we can give a f**k about so we need to figure out which ones really matter, Manson makes clear. While money is nice, caring about what you do with your life is better, because true wealth is about experience. A much-needed grab-you-by-the-shoulders-and-look-you-in-the-eye moment of real-talk, filled with entertaining stories and profane, ruthless humor, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k is a refreshing slap for a generation to help them lead contented, grounded lives.

How to Fail

How to Fail

Author: Elizabeth Day Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/12/2019

Inspired by her hugely popular podcast, How To Fail is Elizabeth Day's brilliantly funny, painfully honest and insightful celebration of things going wrong. This is a book for anyone who has ever failed. Which means it's a book for everyone. If I have learned one thing from this shockingly beautiful venture called life, it is this: failure has taught me lessons I would never otherwise have understood. I have evolved more as a result of things going wrong than when everything seemed to be going right. Out of crisis has come clarity, and sometimes even catharsis. Part memoir, part manifesto, and including chapters on dating, work, sport, babies, families, anger and friendship, it is based on the simple premise that understanding why we fail ultimately makes us stronger. It's a book about learning from our mistakes and about not being afraid. Uplifting, inspiring and rich in stories from Elizabeth's own life, How to Fail reveals that failure is not what defines us; rather it is how we respond to it that shapes us as individuals. Because learning how to fail is actually learning how to succeed better. And everyone needs a bit of that.

How to Be Human The Manual

How to Be Human The Manual

Author: Ruby Wax Format: Paperback Release Date: 27/12/2018

Ruby Wax's trademark wit shines though as she seeks help from a monk and a neuroscientist in order to answer every questions you can think of from evolution to addiction, family compassion. This is a conversational and engaging manual with seperate chapters focusing on each topic as well as a chapter dedicated to a variety of mindfulness exercises. I can see myself returning to this book again and again.  

Stress Less Accomplish More

Stress Less Accomplish More

Author: Emily Fletcher Format: Audiobook Release Date: 21/02/2019

Stress Less, Accomplish More is more than just a book (or audiobook) about meditation and mindfulness. It contains practical, common-sense advice on dealing with stress, sleeping well, boosting your brainpower and changing your lifestyle for the better. Emily Fletcher discusses how to ‘up-level’ yourself by raising your priorities and goals in life; making small, but purposeful adaptations to your daily schedule can change how you think and also how you perceive the world. The book concentrates on a particular technique called Ziva meditation, which involves just 15 minutes of meditation twice a day. The science behind the technique is explained well, along with real-life case studies to highlight its benefits. The narration is very clear, in a relaxing, chatty style, and it felt as though I was listening to a knowledgeable friend or professional counsellor. A big advantage of listening to an audiobook about meditation and mindfulness, rather than simply reading a print version, is that I could practise the exercises at the same time. I found myself listening with my eyes shut, which enabled me to concentrate more easily. Stress Less, Accomplish More provides an interesting way to think more positively and reduce your stress levels, particularly if (or when) you’re feeling overwhelmed by your hectic lifestyle. I’ll definitely be listening to audiobook again, several times, to practise the techniques.

Audiobooks of the Month
Pretty Unhealthy

Pretty Unhealthy

Author: Nikki Stamp Format: Paperback Release Date: 09/01/2020

Pretty Unhealthy is written in a personal and chatty style to educate, inform and entertain. When heart surgeon Dr Nikki Stamp was diagnosed with high blood pressure, she began to look more closely at not just her own lifestyle but what being healthy really means. In modern society, health and beauty have become intertwined, with people’s looks and size being (falsely) seen as an indication of their overall physical and mental health. This book wades through the barrage of health information reaching us on a daily basis via books, websites, blogs, social media posts and magazines/newspapers. How do we know what to believe? How much of this often-conflicting information is based on actual science and written by qualified experts, rather than the popular so-called ‘wellness experts’? And is it really making us healthier – or just more miserable? Dr Stamp covers various contemporary topics, including diet fads, exercise trends, body positivity & body image and weight bias. This isn’t a diet manual – it’s about how to get back a healthy relationship with food and exercise, concentrating on how we feel rather than how we look. This book won’t tell you what to eat and drink – that has to be your decision – but it will tell you how to be in control of your own choices, rather than be influenced by the pseudoscience, false hope and ‘magic bullets’ around you.  I ended the book thinking about my lifestyle and what I enjoy and how, above all, it’s important to be kind to myself. Can’t get better messages than that.

How to Be Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable

How to Be Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable

Author: Ben Aldridge Format: Paperback Release Date: 09/06/2020

It’s difficult for most people to step out of their comfort zone – but even more so if they suffer from anxiety. In How To Be Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable, Ben Aldridge explains how pushing his personal boundaries helped him to deal with his own anxiety and panic attacks. This book is written in a simple, chatty style, explaining his experiences in a visual and emotive way. It touches on psychology and philosophy in relation to mental resilience and how to challenge negative thoughts using cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). Most of the book, though, concentrates on the 43 challenges Ben took on his year-long journey of self-improvement.  Ben’s challenges are split into three categories – skills, physical and mental. They range from the seemingly straightforward (eat something unfamiliar, learn a language) and the entertaining (outrageous clothing day, skip like Rocky) to the physically demanding (complete a triathlon, climb a mountain). With each challenge, he writes about his personal experience and what he learnt from it. He also suggests how you can make the challenge your own, or even go one step further by making it harder for you. How To Be Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable was a fascinating read and, as someone who doesn’t often step out of her comfort zone, it made a lot of sense to me. I enjoyed going through Ben’s list, ticking off the challenges that I have already achieved (e.g. have acupuncture, read a technical book, public speaking…). And now I just need to choose which challenge to try… A book that will help you to face your fears and improve your mental and physical wellbeing!

Saltwater in the Blood Surfing, Natural Cycles and the Sea's Power to Heal

Saltwater in the Blood Surfing, Natural Cycles and the Sea's Power to Heal

Author: Easkey Britton Format: Paperback Release Date: 14/09/2021

In Saltwater in the Blood, lifelong surfer, marine social scientist, writer, artist and menstruality mentor Dr Easkey Britton has created a book that’s as all-encompassing as the ocean she so loves. At once intimate and sweeping, it’s a rousing exploration of the vital role the sea plays in personal and planetary well-being. Underpinned by a sense of mindfulness, Britton frames her book through sharing how she was personally shaped by the sea as a result of being from a family of surfing sea-lovers, and within the context of humankind’s longstanding connection to the ocean:  “Western science is just beginning to realize what indigenous cultures have always known, what our ancestors knew – water has the power to heal. Engagement with healthy ocean environments can support, enhance and restore our health and wellbeing, especially mental health”. Of particular note is Britton’s female approach to surfing - rather than viewing it as a means of having mastery over the waves, she surfs to connect with it more closely, as physical cycles are attuned to the phases of the moon and sea. Within this, the author also addresses the climate crisis to create a compelling holistic account of the beauty and power of the sea.

Empower Yourself

Empower Yourself

Author: Xenia Tchoumi Format: Hardback Release Date: 08/12/2020

Why You Should Empower Yourself is an easy-to-read book about resilience, building confidence and turning negative thinking into positive action. This small hardback has the subtitle of ‘How to Make Lemonade when Life Gives You Lemons’ and is all about taking control of your life at a time of crisis. It packs a lot of helpful advice and ideas within its 200 pages, from self-care and digital detoxing to self-awareness and empowerment. Read how to create healthy lifestyle habits and boost your confidence. Challenge your preconceptions and think for yourself. Be disciplined as you work towards your goals. Look after your physical health, getting plenty of sleep and using meditation and breathing techniques to boost your wellbeing.  There’s a strong focus on spending less time on social media - a particular interest area of the author. She discusses the importance of technology but also the benefits of regular downtime, while using the digital world as a tool when building your own brand. There’s also a chapter on gender equality and feminism, including women’s changing roles within society, and why it’s important to stand up for others as well as yourself. Why You Should Empower Yourself imparts important life lessons. It will help you to become more self-aware, face your flaws, see your own strengths and know your own worth. And, above all, bounce back when life doesn’t go quite the way you planned. A book that you’ll want to dip into again and again.

eBooks of the Month
Burnt Out

Burnt Out

Author: Selina Barker Format: Ebook Release Date: 28/01/2021

Burnout is a buzzword of recent years, as technology plays an increasing role in our lives, with 24/7 access to the world. It’s not surprising that it’s hard to switch off at times. In Burnout, author Selina Barker explains ‘how to thrive with a hectic lifestyle’, using practical tools and exercises to guide us. The book is colourful and well-designed, making it a pleasure to read. It begins with a ‘Burnout SOS’ for those of us in need of urgent help because we’re physically and mentally exhausted, already right in the middle of a major burnout, or about to have one. The rest of the book takes a step back (prevention is far better than cure), for those of us not yet at the burnout stage. It explains what can cause burnout, how to get our energy levels back and how to redesign our lives. It’s a book that you could dip in and out of, and refer to again and again. It was fun to read – making me laugh at times – and highly encouraging. The comforting companion you need at a tough time.

eBooks of the Month
21 Breaths

21 Breaths

Author: Oliver James Format: Hardback Release Date: 28/04/2021

21 Breaths by Oliver James is a gorgeous little yellow hardback book. It’s excellent quality, inside and out. The first section of the book focuses on the benefits of breathing techniques. Oliver James relates the story of when he discovered breathing techniques could change his life, followed by simple explanations of how these can affect different parts of your body, and how they may help to change how you feel too. Then there’s a chapter with four simple tests to check how to assess whether you’re breathing correctly – it really did make me think about ‘how I breathe’ and how my breathing could be improved. In the main section of his book, Olive James describes breathing techniques to suit various physical and mental needs, including pain, constipation, sleep, confidence, anxiety, posture and stress. Each breathing technique is explained clearly, with simple tips to follow. The book contains beautiful black-and-white drawings of the author demonstrating each breathing exercise, and these really helped me to get my posture and positioning right. A fascinating book that’s easy to dip into or read all the way through – and it looks great too!

You Are Positively Awesome

You Are Positively Awesome

Author: Stacie Swift Format: Hardback Release Date: 09/07/2020

You are Positively Awesome is a book that’s designed to be noticed, from the bright colourful illustrations that cheered me up instantly, the short snappy wording that made me think about my own needs and the self-empowering messages that left me glowing inside. This book could have been written just for me as, like many, I struggle with self-confidence and self-belief at times. It’s important to remember that so many other people – often people we least expect – do feel the same way too. Stacie Swift has written a clear, concise guide to taking care of the number one person in our life – ourselves. Because if we don’t do that properly, we may find it harder to take care of anyone else. It’s easy to forget the positives in our lives if we focus on the negatives, and easy to ignore the giant leaps forward when we dwell on each little step back. This is a perfect book to dip into when you need a boost of self-care; a book that you may want to add to over time, reminding yourself of what you’ve achieved and what you’ve overcome to achieve it. It’s also a lovely gift if you know someone is struggling to cope with life’s ups and downs. You are Positively Awesome made me reflect on the past, think about the present and dream of the future – that it’s okay to feel overwhelmed at times and focus on my own needs for a while. It made me smile, reminded me of my own strengths and achievements, gave me some valuable ‘me’ time and made me realise just how ‘positively awesome’ I really am!

Bella Figura

Bella Figura

Author: Kamin Mohammadi Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/04/2019

“The concept of bella figura is about making every aspect of life as beautiful as it can be...It is a notion at once romantic and practical”, as Kamin, the author of this charming book, reveals through sharing her experience of replacing her dark days of redundancy and heartbreak with a fresh life in Florence when she moves to a friend’s apartment. There, sage bartender Luigo introduces Kamin to the concept of bella figura, framing it as a form of self-care. The author embraces the notion, and it’s not long before she “bloomed in the warmth of Dino’s affection,” and then luxuriates in Bernardo’s picture-perfect country house. As passion blossoms, so too does Kamin’s physical wellbeing. She loses weight and radiates health simply through walking and enjoying food that tastes like an explosion of sunshine (the narrative is peppered with some of her favourite recipes). While such a move might be unfeasible for most people, the epilogue shares attainable tips for those inspired by the effects of the author’s bella figura ethos - walk with style and good posture. Seek out nature. Find exercise you love. Drink alcohol in moderation. Eat quality fresh foods. Love yourself. Be happy. Part inspirational memoir, part practical self-help manual, part poetic celebration of Tuscan beauty, this feel-good feast will be devoured by fans of Eat, Pray Love. 

Repotting Your Life

Repotting Your Life

Author: Frances Edmonds Format: Hardback Release Date: 13/05/2021

Repotting Your Life is a book about self-renewal – recognising when it’s time for try something new, and being brave enough to take the plunge. This was highly entertaining, with all of its plant, nature and gardening analogies. Replanting ourselves so that we can grow and flourish again, whether it’s in a new environment or a new situation. The author uses her own experiences to help you think about who you really are, what you would really love to do, and what you’re capable of doing next. Her step-by-step plan – from wilting and withering and being potbound to making pots and plans, then pulling up the roots and, finally, bedding in – will help to give you the confidence you need to find new pastimes, change your career, move house, find new friends and relationships... An inspirational book for anyone stuck in a rut and looking for a way through the tangled hedging to fresh pastures on the other side.

Dalvi: Six Years in the Artic Tundra

Dalvi: Six Years in the Artic Tundra

Author: Laura Galloway Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/02/2022

An ancestry test suggesting she shared some DNA with the Sami people, the indigenous inhabitants of the Arctic tundra, tapped into Laura Galloway's wanderlust; an affair with a Sami reindeer herder ultimately led her to leave New York for the tiny town of Kautokeino, Norway. When her new boyfriend left her unexpectedly after six months, it would have been easy, and perhaps prudent, to return home. But she stayed for six years. Dálvi is the story of Laura's time in a reindeer-herding village in the Arctic, forging a solitary existence as she struggled to learn the language and make her way in a remote community for which there were no guidebooks or manuals for how to fit in. Her time in the North opened her to a new world. And it brought something else as well: reconciliation and peace with the traumatic events that had previously defined her - the sudden death of her mother when she was three, a difficult childhood and her lifelong search for connection and a sense of home. Both a heart-rending memoir and a love letter to the singular landscape of the region, Dálvi explores with great warmth and humility what it means to truly belong.

Star Books
A Manual for Heartache

A Manual for Heartache

Author: Cathy Rentzenbrink Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/12/2017

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.

Calm the F**k Down Journal

Calm the F**k Down Journal

Author: Sarah Knight Format: Paperback Release Date: 31/10/2019

This journal helps you gather your thoughts so you worry less about the little things in life and learn to stop dwelling on the things you can’t change. A great way to reduce your anxiety levels, now and in the future. You can read it as a standalone, but it works particularly well with the other books in the series.

All the Tw*ts I Met Along the Way

All the Tw*ts I Met Along the Way

Author: Carolyn Hobdey Format: Paperback Release Date: 18/01/2021

Shot-through with the kind of humour suggested by its title, All The Tw*ts I Met Along The Way is an engaging, chatty, no-holds-barred account of a woman’s experience of life’s challenges, to put it mildly. When it comes to suffering bad boyfriends, less-than-satisfactory sex, coercive partners and passionless marriage, Carolyn Hobdey has been there, done that and bought the t-shirt. She’s written the book on it too, and what blast of a book it is. Here she bares her soul with refreshing honesty, much like a witty best friend telling it like it is over a bottle of wine.  While Carolyn has a flair for in-your-face, funny writing, the book is underpinned by a sense of resilience and hope; by a strong and vital thread about never blaming yourself for the flaws, misdemeanours and outright abominable behaviours of others. While this deeply personal memoir will no doubt resonate with the many, many women who’ve experienced similar, many men could learn plenty from it too, for it exposes how not to treat women, with razor-sharp wit to boot.

The Red Arrow

The Red Arrow

Author: William Brewer Format: Hardback Release Date: 12/05/2022

Brutally, bravely honest in its portrayal of depression, suicidal tendencies, failing to fulfil obligations, and failing to live up to one’s promise, William Brewer’s The Red Arrow also offers a luminous sense of hope that it is possible to emerge from the dark mist of depression experienced by his protagonist. Our narrator was once a promising young writer with a big book deal to write a big American novel about a chemical spill in West Virginia. But, crippled by depression since childhood, he’s unable to write the book and winds up with a huge debt to his publisher. A way to work himself out of debt presents itself when an esteemed physicist requests that the narrator ghost-writes his memoirs: “the more of his life I write, the more of my life I get back”. This is why the writer finds himself travelling through Italy with his wife, on a second honeymoon, but also on the trail of the physicist. As he digs deeper into his subject’s life, he peels back layers of own life, revealing what led him to this point, memories of his Italian grandparents, family arguments, a succession of obsessive distractions, worsening depression, and the transformative psychedelic treatments that saved him. His eventual meeting with the physicist is a devastating denouement - clever, unexpected and radiant.

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