New Year, New You!

Make 2020 the best yet!

The New Year bursts with opportunity and is a time to commit to getting more out of life. Whether you plan to improve your cooking skills, eat healthier, be more mindful and boost your mental health or expand your horizons we have the book for you!

We look forward to embarking upon this new year together and holding your hand throughout 2020 and helping you accomplish your goal of reading more from our reviews of wonderful books we love.

The Consolation of Food

The Consolation of Food

Author: Valentine Warner Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/10/2019

Is it a cookbook? Is it a memoir? No, it’s a super genre-defying anthology that eloquently exemplifies the notion of “comfort food” in its most elemental form. As the author sets out in his introduction, “this is a story book with food in it, and, of course, that other essential embroidery for life, music.”   What follows is a set of personal vignettes - stories about the author’s family, his food travel experiences, his professional insights - peppered with recipes that have accompanied pivotal life moments. One such recipe is “Pleasure and Pain Soup” that follows Warner’s recounting of a strange hangover experience that came in the gloomafter his father’s death.   Sizzling with self-deprecating wit (“I just hope you find at least one thing, maybe two, that make the purchase worth it”, he addresses the reader) and humour (“If God is a vegan, well that’s me screwed”), this is a book to relish in a single cover-to-cover sitting, and to return to when in need of food-based consolation.

A Cloud A Day

A Cloud A Day

Author: Gavin Pretor-Pinney Format: Hardback Release Date: 19/08/2019

This really is the most gorgeously scrumptious book, showcasing some truly beautiful and awe-inspiring skies. 365 photographs and paintings, information, science, poetry and quotations all sit inside this rather lovely cover. The book is a great size, not too unwieldy, and after the introduction, which also gives some handy page numbers of some of the highlights, every single page is adorned with clouds. Did you know there was a Cloud Appreciation Society? I didn’t, but of course it makes complete sense! Gavin Pretor-Pinney started the society and says: “Having your head in the clouds, even for just a few moments each day, is good for your mind, good for you body and good for your soul. This book aims to show you why.” It certainly does show you why, you can open it at random, return again and again, and just soak up the images. The next time you head out, you can look up and know a little bit more about our beautiful skies. A Cloud A Day is a stunner, visually and mentally stimulating, it has been chosen as a LoveReading Star Book.

Star Books
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.

The Art of Not Falling Apart

The Art of Not Falling Apart

Author: Christina Patterson Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/01/2019

How to describe this beautifully engaging and fascinating book… it is certainly a memoir, it is also a series of small interviews and chats with people coping with the different shocks and traumatic events that life can throw at you, and it’s a riveting foray into the literary and artistic world. Christina Patterson is a journalist and broadcaster, working for The Sunday Times and the Guardian and regularly commenting on radio and TV. I started reading and just soaked up the words, I felt as though Christina Patterson was sitting beside me, speaking directly to me, connecting with my own thoughts and feelings. I slowly began to discover her life (she reveals her own life events with a composed yet gentle thoughtfulness), I also found her humour, friendships, frustrations, fears, and love for bubbles and crisps. She offers the very opposite of a self-help book, yet I feel there is much to be found within these pages by those in need of a little comfort. As I finished reading, I wanted to applaud and also hug her with thanks for writing this compelling and fabulous read. Incredibly moving, The Art of Not Falling Apart touched me deeply, a huge surge of hope and optimism also lies within, just waiting to be discovered.

Audiobooks of the Month
Rewild Yourself

Rewild Yourself

Author: Simon Barnes Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/11/2018

We're not just losing the wild world. We're forgetting it. We're no longer noticing it. We've lost the habit of looking and seeing and listening and hearing. But we can make hidden things visible, and this book features 23 spellbinding ways to bring the magic of nature much closer to home. Mammals you never knew existed will enter your world. Birds hidden in treetops will shed their cloak of anonymity. With a single movement of your hand you can make reptiles appear before you. Butterflies you never saw before will bring joy to every sunny day. Creatures of the darkness will enter your consciousness. And as you take on new techniques and a little new equipment, you will discover new creatures and, with them, new areas of yourself that had gone dormant. Once put to use, they wake up and start working again. You become wilder in your mind and in your heart. Once you know the tricks, the wild world begins to appear before you. For anyone who wants to get closer to the nature all around them and bring it back into focus, this is the perfect read.

Becoming

Becoming

Author: Michelle Obama Format: Hardback Release Date: 13/11/2018

I was dying to read this book and it did not disappoint. It is an incredible story, beautifully told with humour and warmth and I could almost hear Michelle reading it to me as I flew through the pages. One of the most iconic women of our era, it was fascinating to read her story, and understand her journey from the South Side of Chicago to her time spent in The White House as First Lady. I didn’t know much about her background previously and hers is a powerful story of humble beginnings and outstanding achievements leading to Princeton University and Harvard Law, to her early career as a lawyer at the law firm Sidley Austin where she met Barack Obama. Her intelligence and grace shines from every page and I was enthralled as she took us on her journey with Barack from law to the Presidency and seeing the development of their relationship every step of the way. A captivating read. Deborah Maclaren, from our Best Autobiographies Ever Blog

Audiobooks of the Month
The Science of Meditation

The Science of Meditation

Author: Daniel Goleman, Richard Davidson Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/09/2018

A fascinating and practical guide from two New York Times bestselling authors, backed by state-of-the-art scientific research Drawing on cutting-edge research, friends and Harvard collaborators Daniel Goleman and Richard Davidson expertly reveal what we can learn from a one-of-a-kind data pool that includes world-class meditators. They share for the first time remarkable findings that show how meditation - without drugs or high expense - can cultivate qualities such as selflessness, equanimity, love and compassion, and redesign our neural circuitry. Demonstrating two master thinkers at work, The Science of Meditation explains precisely how mind training benefits us. More than daily doses or sheer hours, we need smart practice, including crucial ingredients such as targeted feedback from a master teacher and a more spacious worldview. These two bestselling authors sweep away the misconceptions around these practices and show how smart practice can change our personal traits and even our genome for the better. Gripping in its storytelling and based on a lifetime of thought and action, this is one of those rare books that has the power to change us at the deepest level. 

Craftfulness

Craftfulness

Author: Rosemary Davidson, Arzu Tahsin Format: Hardback Release Date: 18/10/2018

Featured on Episode 7 of the LoveReading Podcast.

Notes on a Nervous Planet

Notes on a Nervous Planet

Author: Matt Haig Format: Ebook Release Date: 05/07/2018

The world is messing with our minds. Rates of stress and anxiety are rising. A fast, nervous planet is creating fast and nervous lives. We are more connected yet feel more alone. And we are encouraged to worry about everything from world politics to our body mass index.  How can we stay sane on a planet that makes us mad?  How do we stay human in a technological world?  How do we feel happy when we are encouraged to be anxious? After experiencing years of anxiety and panic attacks, these questions became urgent matters of life and death for Matt Haig. And he began to look for the link between what he felt and the world around him.  Notes on a Nervous Planet is a personal and vital look at how to feel happy, human and whole in the 21st century. 

eBooks of the Month
Lost Connections

Lost Connections

Author: Johann Hari Format: Hardback Release Date: 11/01/2018

This book is in a word: brilliant. In many more words, Lost Connections is an insightful look into the causes of anxiety and depression. However, the book is not written by a preacher or self-help guru, but someone with the first-hand experience of anxiety and depression who is trying to work out his own place in and amongst all of the research.  Lost Connections is partly a tale of Johann’s own journey of understanding about his mental health. It is also partly a summary of research that connects to depression and anxiety from experts in a wide range of fields. And finally, it is partly an attempt to offer effective solutions to those in despair. I was left astounded at a number of points in this book - mainly at the dates of the studies mentioned, and why I (and no doubt so many others) hadn’t heard that one of the most talked about “causes” of depression may not really be a cause at all. As someone who feels like they constantly have to manage anxious thoughts I found this book a breakthrough and I was enthralled from the first chapter, never wanting to put it down once I started reading.  Johann Hari’s easy, almost colloquial writing would appeal to anyone with a professional or personal interest in psychology. It is a spectacular and groundbreaking look at two of today’s most significant mental health issues. 

eBooks of the Month
Joe's 30 Minute Meals 100 Quick and Healthy Recipes

Joe's 30 Minute Meals 100 Quick and Healthy Recipes

Author: Joe Wicks Format: Hardback Release Date: 06/09/2018

Easy and quick 30-minute recipes from Britain's best-loved healthy chef, Joe Wicks Bestselling author Joe Wicks, aka The Body Coach, presents this gorgeous book featuring more than a hundred nutritious recipes that are perfect for sharing. Proving once again that you don't need loads of time to cook great food, Joe's 30-Minute Meals is packed with everyday healthy dishes that you'll want to make, time and time again. Most chapters are simply organised by main ingredient, making it easy to find a recipe for every occasion. Every recipe is labelled as either reduced-carb or carb-refuel, which makes this book a brilliant addition for those already familiar with Joe's popular Lean in 15 eating structure (carbs following workouts or on active days), but the meals are also enjoyable and tasty for all, whether you are following Joe's plan or not. If you're looking for a crowd-pleasing lunch like the Bang Bang Chicken Stir-Fry or something tasty to chuck in the oven at the end of a long day such as Joe's Sausage and Mushroom Pie, Joe's 30-Minute Meals makes it easy to make a fuss-free, tasty plate of food, every single day.

How to Retrain Your Appetite

How to Retrain Your Appetite

Author: Dr. Helen McCarthy Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/01/2019

How to Retrain Your Appetite provides a ‘no nonsense’ approach to weight loss, based on science and psychology. Most diet books concentrate on what you should and shouldn’t eat and are filled with recipes and meal plans. How to Retrain Your Appetite takes a very different approach. This book isn’t about denying yourself the foods you love but concentrates on controlling your appetite, so you learn to eat only when you’re hungry and savour every mouthful. The science is explained simply and clearly, with plenty of self-help tips, real-life case studies and checklists, creating an interactive, practical workbook. This book isn’t a quick fix solution. It takes time to ditch unhelpful eating habits that have become a natural part of your daily life. Instead, it’s a book to read slowly, one step at a time, identifying your current habits, exploring why you eat when you’re not hungry and working out how to change your eating routine. This is also a book to read again and again, digesting the information until it becomes a natural part of your day. How to Retrain Your Appetite provides a fascinating insight into hunger, self-control and emotional eating – and could potentially help you to achieve permanent weight loss.

Debut Books of the Month

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