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Looking to change your life? Whether it’s physical, emotional or spiritual change you seek, these books may have some answers. If you’re seeking to enlighten, enlarge or explore your mind, check out our Mind & Body section for a more comprehensive range of books.
Katherine Rundell’s brief introduction which explains why hope is so important and why we should look for it in stories and illustrations sets a context for the wonderful range of very short stories, poems, thoughts and illustrations which will certainly give hope as well as laughs and surprises to readers of all ages. Perfect for dipping into, the anthology is a treasure trove of story treats starting with Michael Morpurgo’s uplifting ‘A Song of Gladness’ and ending with Rundell’s own ‘The Young Bird-Catcher’. Lauren Child, Axel Scheffler, Chris Riddell and Jackie Morris are just some of the wonderful artists whose black and white illustrations light up the pages of this hand this handsome volume. Dedicated to all the workers in the NHS and with proceeds going to NHS Charities Together, The Book of Hopes will certainly bring hope to all.
Cambridge University Press’s first venture into mass market publishing is certainly worth a place in any school library. Authored by a Professor in Psychology, whose research specialises in body image issues, the reader can have every confidence that the contents are backed up by authoritative evidence, but this is no dry academic tome. As she states in her introduction, Dr Mackey is a mother of 12 and 14-year-old girls so she really cares about girls having the information they need to make the right decisions and to develop healthy habits. When young girls are bombarded with images of airbrushed celebrities and social media pressures it is no wonder that most girls are dissatisfied with some aspect of their bodies and this can lead to anxiety, depression and worse. With an estimated 1.25 million people in the UK having an eating disorder there can be no doubt that there is a real need for a book like this to counter the misinformation out there. The ten chapters cover very clearly and concisely an enormous amount of information ranging from puberty and body changes to self-care, mental health, basic nutritional science, healthy eating habits and making food fun, physical activity and loving our bodies for what they do (not how they look)and how to handle social media and challenging fat shaming language. Each chapter has My Story sections with real life experiences, myth busting boxes, Q&A and a valuable concluding summary of the key points. Combined with an excellent glossary and helpful illustrations the reader can quickly find the information that they need at any given time. But the unpatronizing and non-didactive tone also makes this an enjoyable and engaging read likely to be read from cover to cover. Highly recommended for age nine upwards to the many adults who would benefit from its wisdom too!
As Tough Women’s subtitle declares, these are “stories of grit, courage and determination”. True tales from twenty-two tough women from around the globe who undertake awe-inspiring adventures across the globe, from canoeing the Canadian wilderness, to hiking Pakistan, to cycling South America. Its editor is the intrepid Jenny Tough, a Canadian mountaineering expert who notes in her introduction that “the outdoor industry is actually fully of women, but when it comes to the highest level of media…the demographic dwindles to one”. Fortunately, this sexist state of affairs could be on the verge of changing - through giving voice to the “badass outdoorswomen” who here tell their extraordinary stories, this book might just change that narrow narrative and inspire new generations of female adventuresses. Each account enthrals like the best kind of travel writing. There are dazzling evocations of, for example, rugged Himalayan mountain-scapes, lush South American jungles, and howling Norwegian glacial valleys. Many of the women’s stories reveal monumental physical and emotional challenges - challenges tackled and overcome with super-human strength and resilience - and all of them underpinned by a joyously life-affirming spirit of curiosity.
Xochi Balfour changed her life from her little London kitchen and, as The Naturalista, has been blogging about her experience of balancing and simplifing her life in harmony with the natural world. Without recourse to expensive ingredients, all-consuming cleanses or dramatic diets, Xochi has taken the principles of naturopathy and created a way of life, from a gentler way of eating to simple beauty recipes as well as bringing relaxation and mindfulness into your everyday routine. Her food is gluten- and dairy-free and predominantly plant based, but straightforward and delicious, her skincare recipes can also be made from kitchen ingredients and her techniques for everyday mindfulness can be fitted into the busiest of lives. Her recipes include power balls and energy bars, raw chocolate, sea salt and pistachio fudge, cornershop turmeric and coconut dahl and beetroot falafel as well as a gluten-free carrot and flax bread. For your body, there is a rosewater facial spray, passionfruit and papaya face mask and lavender and shea butter body lotion, while for your home, Xochi will show you the benefits of barefoot earthing and how to make your own incense.
A distillation of prescriptions given – and taken – on William Sieghart’s online Poetry Pharmacy. No harm to be got from these prescriptions, instead there is comfort, love, advice and experience aplenty. I was immediately taken by the poems of Hafiz, a C14 Persian poet, short sublime poems, had to google to find more so a poets index would have been useful. As anthologies such as this are useful springboards, short author biographies would too have been welcomed. Overall though, a calming collection of words for troubled souls and lovely to have a cloth bound book to treasure. ~ Sue Baker Like for Like Reading: Staying Alive: Real Poems for Unreal Times by Neil Astley The Novel Cure: An A to Z of Literary Remedies by Ella Berthoud and Susan Elderkin
Renowned cardiologist William Davis explains how eliminating wheat from our diets can prevent fat storage, shrink unsightly bulges and reverse myriad health problems. .
In his New York Times best-seller Wheat Belly, renowned cardiologist William Davis explained how eliminating wheat from our diets can prevent fat storage, shrink unsightly bulges and reverse myriad health problems. Now with his 30-minute (or less!) Cookbook you can put his advice into practice and see the difference it can make for yourself. For decades, we have been consuming nutritionally bankrupt grains that have left us with diabetes, obesity, heart disease and countless other common ailments like brain fog and dermatitis. Removing wheat from your diet stops these regrettably widespread diseases - and can even help you to lose weight without having to calorie count or exercise. But because wheat is such a ubiquitous ingredient in today's recipes, preparing healthy, wheat-free meals may seem like a daunting task, especially when you don't have hours to spend in the kitchen. The Wheat Belly 30-Minute (or less!) Cookbook provides the solution: 200 new quick and easy recipes which will help you lose your wheat belly and keep it off - deliciously! From triple-berry muffins to Clam Chowder and Jambalaya, you'll find fuss-free ideas for every meal of the day. Every recipe is designed to take 30 minutes or less, because you shouldn't need to sacrifice time in order to lose the wheat.
Most books about public speaking don't tell you what to do when you open your mouth and nothing comes out. And they don't tell you how to get over the anxiety about performance that most people naturally have. They don't tell you what to do in the moments when you are made, as a woman, to feel small. They don't tell you how to own the room. This book does. From the way Michelle Obama projects 'happy high status', and the power of J.K.Rowling's understated speaking style, to Virginia Woolf's leisurely pacing and Oprah Winfrey's mastery of inner conviction, what is it that our heroines do to make us sit up and listen - really listen - to their every word? And how can you achieve that impact in your own life? Here's how.
I think all of us at some time in our lives when we reach a certain age worry a little about cancer. I think the thought, “how will I react” crosses our minds occasionally. That this brave lady chooses to make her ordeal so public, she produced video diaries and tweets and now her written diary, has helped thousands. At the end of the book she encloses some messages of thanks, a few from those who didn’t make it. It is tear-jerking but it is also laced with humour. Throughout, whenever possible, she kept working, collecting the kids from school and running her hectic household with the enormous support of her wonderful partner. During the end stages of thirty sessions of chemo, she had to drive forty-odd miles round trip between work and school collection for a ten minute appointment her local hospital couldn’t do. Well she was certainly a fighter, although that is not what she calls herself. She believed talking about it really helped alleviate the fear and despair. She was diagnosed shortly after she started hosting a daily news and current affairs show for BBC2 and takes us through her fascinating work as well as the 301 days of treatment. A brave lady.
I think all of us at some time in our lives when we reach a certain age worry a little about cancer. I think the thought, “how will I react” crosses our minds occasionally. That this brave lady chooses to make her ordeal so public, she produced video diaries and tweets and now her written diary, has helped thousands. At the end of the book she encloses some messages of thanks, a few from those who didn’t make it. It is tear-jerking but it is also laced with humour. Throughout, whenever possible, she kept working, collecting the kids from school and running her hectic household with the enormous support of her wonderful partner. During the end stages of thirty sessions of chemo, she had to drive forty-odd miles round trip between work and school collection for a ten minute appointment her local hospital couldn’t do. Well she was certainly a fighter, although that is not what she calls herself. She believed talking about it really helped alleviate the fear and despair. She was diagnosed shortly after she started hosting a daily news and current affairs show for BBC2 and takes us through her fascinating work as well as the 301 days of treatment. A brave lady. ~ Sarah Broadhurst
Not the cheapest book, but for your money you get a thorough and inspiring guide showing how to transform your eating habits and feel the benefit in weight loss, greater health and energy, a new you indeed. From the team at Grayshott Spa, a ten-point plan enabling you to up your nutritional knowledge, heal your gut and with the aid of the recipes, follow a new diet plan with Adam Palmer’s recipes. Like for Like Reading Gut Reaction, Gudrun Jonsson Healthy Eating for Life: Over 100 Simple and Taty Recipes, Robin Ellis
A sharply amusing and captivating memoir based on the attempt of the author to make a new life in France. Tommy Barnes and his girlfriend escape the 9-5 of the UK after being made redundant. Surrounded by animals, friendly locals, and stunning countryside, Tommy struggles to start a micro-brewery in the heart of the Loire Valley. The author is more than happy to poke fun at himself, he is also incredibly honest. His writing ensured I didn’t feel too badly as I chortled, smirked and raised my eyebrows as he somewhat stumbles through life. Rather stealing the show is Burt the dog, described by Tommy as squat, surly and defiant, Burt makes it his life mission to cause chaos wherever he is. I also just have to mention the gorgeous cover, which most definitely called out to me. ‘A Beer in the Loire’ is an engaging, ever so entertaining read, oh, and there are several recipes for beer too, how fabulous!
Michelin-starred chef Tom Kerridge has been developing top recipes for nearly three decades and knows how to make things taste good. He also understands how much willpower it takes to shift unhealthy excess weight, because he has lost over 11 stone in the last four years by following a low-carb diet. Now Tom is turning his attention to helping food-lovers who have chosen a lower-calorie diet as their own route to weight-loss. This is a lower-calorie diet with a difference - it's based on hunger-satisfying portions of delicious, lower-calorie dishes that taste amazing. The focus is on the food that we can and should be eating to lose weight, which is easy to make and won't make you feel as though you are missing out.
Peri-peri chicken, cottage pie, fudgy chocolate brownies - this is diet food with a difference. Following on from the No.1 bestseller Lose Weight for Good, top chef Tom Kerridge shows you how to shed the pounds and kick-start a more active lifestyle with ALL of the maximum-taste, lower-calorie recipes from his upcoming BBC2 TV series. Expect MASSIVE FLAVOURS and NUTRITIONAL POWER-PUNCHES! Having lost more than 12 stone in the last five years, Tom knows from experience how important it is to motivate yourself to start dieting and exercising - and to stay on track. 'When I first set out to lose weight, I concentrated mainly on what I was eating,' he says. 'But now I know that it's to do with fitness as well: the two working together is the winning formula for getting maximum results and maintaining those results long term. And the number one rule when it comes to eating well on a diet is to keep food interesting! Every recipe in this book not only sustains you through the day, but provides fantastic tastes and textures with each mouthful.' With light bites and veggie feasts, meal-prep to see you through the week and tasty sweet treats, Tom has got it covered. The focus is on BOLD FLAVOURS and BIG PORTION SIZES, so you'll never go hungry and you'll always feel satisfied. Recipes include Quick black dhal; Steak tacos with burnt corn salsa; Charred mackerel and potato salad; Lamb bhuna; blueberry meringue sundaes and many more. At the back of the book, you'll find a fantastic bonus chapter with a workout that will help you get started with a healthier lifestyle, no matter where you're at now. It's all about taking control of your life in a positive way, so get ready to EAT better, DO more and LOSE WEIGHT with Tom Kerridge!
Ditch the fads, ditch the fat and get lean for life - let Max, Lloyd, James and Tom show you how. This book is not a quick fix - it's a new way of life. With Max, Lloyd, James and Tom as your guides you'll never feel tied down by a regime, like you can't accept a drinks invitation or like you have to force down that poached chicken fillet that you'd rather swap for fries. Feauturing: over 60 easy-to-do recipes from PB & J French Toast and cookie dough protein bars to hearty salads, stir fries and roast chicken with a twist; breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks and on-the-go, the sweet stuff and 4-ingredient heroes; workouts for every body: Tabata circuits, home workouts, buddy training, gym how-to's and stretches and advice to keep you motivated, life hacks for fitting fitness into your life (and not the other way around!) and a host of myth-busting. These guys know their stuff; let them be your go-to-experts to getting leaner, fitter and stronger for good.
We all need a little direction sometimes and this section is crammed full of great ideas for ways of improving your outlook, in all aspects of your wellbeing. Help from the shelf. From tips for good nutrition and taking care of your body (Optimism: Reflections on a Life of Action by Bob Brown) to coping with all the emotional situations in life, relationships, bereavements, stress, depression (Mind Whispering: A New Map to Freedom from Self-defeating Emotional Habits by Tara Bennett-Goleman). Discover the potential you have for being the ‘you’ you’ve always wanted to be or the ‘you’ you had no idea was in there.
Take a look at our monthly recommendations to find exactly what you’re looking for. Bear in mind though (and even ‘body and spirit’ too …), that just ‘reading’ them may not be enough. There’ll be homework!