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Whether you are continuing your health journey or just beginning, our Mind & Body section will help you be better, at Mindfulness, Moving or managing each day more efficiently. Have a look through our collection and fulfil your potential today! Looking for more lifestyle literature? Check out our Lifestyle & Health selection.
International in scope and sweeping in history, Yvette Cooper’s She Speaks compendium gives voice to a dazzlingly diversity of powerful speeches selected on the basis of them being delivered by “women who believe in using words to build a better world, and persuading others to join them as they do so.” The introduction is both inspirational and edifying, with Cooper surveying the hostile landscape women have traversed - and still traverse - while making their voices heard, integrated with personal insights from her career as a Labour MP, Cabinet Minister and Secretary of State.Throughout it’s a joy to the savour the words and wisdom of dozens of seminal female figures, from Boudica’s stirring two thousand year-old polemic against violations of women, to Diane Abbott’s powerful 2019 House of Commons speech on the brutally unjust Windrush scandal. Other British women with political pedigree include the fabulously fierce Barbara Castle (her speech here is an exquisite example of sharp, scathing, socialist-minded oratory), Jo Cox, with her poignant maiden speech as an MP, Yvette Cooper herself, and former Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. While it might seem out of place for Cooper to re-amplify the Iron Lady’s inflammatory “ideological assault on the public sector” by including her “the lady’s not for turning” speech, she frames the decision by referring to Thatcher’s mould-breaking persona and indestructible self-belief. Thatcher’s inclusion is also testament to the gracious spirit that runs through the anthology. Indeed, Theresa May’s speech on modernising the Conservative party is also included.Beyond Britain we hear from Audre Lorde, Benazir Bhutto and Michelle Obama; from razor-witted US Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Nigerian novelist and feminist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and young education campaigner Malala Yousafzai. I was especially stirred by the 1851 speech of Sojourner Truth, a former slave turned activist whose work saw her campaign against slavery and champion women’s rights, and whose words sang for the oppressed. The last words are given to Greta Thunberg because “no one speaks about the future with more clarity or urgency than Greta Thunberg”.“She Speaks, I must listen”, Cooper writes in her introduction and this finely-curated anthology will certainly inspire readers of all ages to pay close attention to the women’s words it shares.
“Curiouser and curiouser”, as Alice remarked during her Wonderland sojourn, a description that might also be applied to this genre-melding book. It’s a creative collision of genre and style (fiction, travel writing, self-help thinking and script), steeped in R.D. Laing’s theories, and underpinned by the view that life cannot be understood or explained in a linear fashion. It opens by drawing an analogy between a rollercoaster ride and “the way we use technology to make sense of the open-endedness, instability, and unpredictability of our life”. The author seeks to “provide whatever helps us make sense on every section of the ride,” doing what he can “to provoke us to (re)think and (re)locate exactly where we stand when faced with such uncontrollable rollercoaster feelings.” Referencing art, theatre, history and poetry, and (for one example) describing how physical interactions with nature intersect with digital counterparts (such as checking Trip Advisor and maps), this passionately descriptive, personal work organically leaps, jolts and careers in a manner somewhat reminiscent of a surrealist manifesto. There’s a strong thread on the dissonance between one’s real and constructed digital self: “All my waking hours, I wander around the Internet. I am constantly online on every social network. I never reveal a social status, and I never tick a ‘like’ box, unless someone says something flattering about me...My photos are always carefully posed.” And yet, “I am totally terrified. I do not know who I am behind this carefully lacquered artifice.” Like the human mind and the modern world, this book has its own curious logic and will be an exhilarating experience for readers interested in psychoanalysis, especially those seeking insight into navigating the jungle of contemporary communications.
An Ode to the NHS. The twisting and turning story of Henry's sciatica treatment. a non-fiction account of both private and public healthcare covering any and all aspects of Henry's illness including being temporarily paralysed, the characters on the wards, spinal surgery and recovery, addiction to pain medication and his treatment by the doctors nurses and physiotherapists throughout. This is a story of hope as well as a letter of gratitude. As someone who has grown up with parents working in the NHS, the work patterns and experiences of the staff were familiar to me. I also found this a very insightful read, it is not only about Henry's diagnosis and treatment, but about how desperately we need the NHS to keep going, and how much the human mind and body can endure. The characters described throughout keep you interested in their treatment as well as Henry's and provide light relief during darker periods of his journey. They act as a balm to the reader as well as the writer while describing the weeks and months of constant pain, worry, doubt and depression that would have otherwise been all-encompassing. A brilliant book full of the ups and downs of a long term and life-changing illness, made even more endearing that 50% of the proceeds go to the charity that supports the NHS hospital so frequently mentioned throughout. Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador
Hello! Mrs Hinch here! Welcome to your very own Hinch activity journal! This little book is all about giving yourself the gift of time out: time to plan, time to dream, time to relax, time for us to have a bit of a giggle and a de-stress. We all live such busy lives and it can be hard to take a moment just to breathe, but I want this book to be all about YOU. Something that we can all enjoy together. So, make yourself a cuppa and curl up with this journal on the sofa in the mornings, or use it to wind down every evening before bed; whenever you get a spare few moments - just don't forget your crystal pen, as there are loads of relaxing, light-hearted activities for you to have fun with. Plus plenty of pages for you to plan your own hinching lists ready for the week ahead. Read from start to finish or dip in on random pages - there are absolutely no rules here! Think of it as a book-shaped slice of you time. You deserve it! Love, Mrs Hinch xx
Four very different characters take centre stage in this unusual and beautifully illustrated book. There’s a horse, wise and reliable; a boy, Christopher Robin-like in his curiosity and kindness; a mole, driven by an optimism, and love of cake; and a fox, vulnerable and in need of love and understanding. The story of their friendship is told through Charlie Mackesy’s evocative pen and ink sketches. Most but not all are accompanied by three or four lines of text, not so much a narrative but rather meditations, little flashes of insight into the human condition: “We have such a long way to go,” sighed the boy. “Yes, but look how far we’ve come,” said the horse. It’s a book full of tenderness and compassion, with much to make readers smile and more yet to prompt a sense of forgiveness, even of ourselves. Though simple enough for the youngest children, words and pictures will resonate just as much with adult readers. A very special book.
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.
A stimulating, fresh, and thoughtful read that ponders and wanders through some of the big questions in philosophy. When I initially picked this book up, I did wonder whether it was a quirky guide to training your dog, I very quickly realised that it is in fact an interesting introduction to philosophy (for humans). The author Anthony McGowan is an award winning writer for children and young adults, and has lectured widely on creative writing and philosophy (he has a BA, Mphil and PhD in philosophy). He has joined the two together to produce the most fabulous book for anyone who has questions about the way we humans think and act. The author and his dog Monty chat about philosophy on their daily walks. And so we join them as they take a humorous light stroll through some really pretty big subjects, including happiness and ethics. It made me consider and think about some of the things I take for granted, the discussion between the two helps stimulate thoughts. There is one part where I simultaneously wanted to berate and hug the pair, you’ll know what I mean when you get there! At the end there are suggestions for further reading, including on logic, and the meaning of life. If you’re at all curious about philosophy and want a fascinating introduction, then look no further than How To Teach Philosophy to Your Dog as it is a wonderfully inspiring read.
`We spend our whole lives in one body and yet most of us have practically no idea how it works and what goes on inside it. The idea of the book is simply to try to understand the extraordinary contraption that is us.' Bill Bryson sets off to explore the human body, how it functions and its remarkable ability to heal itself. Full of extraordinary facts and astonishing stories The Body: A Guide for Occupants is a brilliant, often very funny attempt to understand the miracle of our physical and neurological make up. A wonderful successor to A Short History of Nearly Everything, this new book is an instant classic. It will have you marvelling at the form you occupy, and celebrating the genius of your existence, time and time again. `What I learned is that we are infinitely more complex and wondrous, and often more mysterious, than I had ever suspected. There really is no story more amazing than the story of us.' Bill Bryson
*The Sunday Times bestseller* 'Reading this book made me feel more normal about the things I feel sometimes... It's a great book; however you're feeling, it'll help' - Ed Sheeran It's OK if everything might feel a bit overwhelming. It's OK to talk about it. It's OK to not want to talk about it. It's OK to find it funny. It's OK to be human. Over 70 people have shared their powerful, funny and moving stories exploring their own mental health, including Sam Smith, Emilia Clarke, Candice Carty-Williams and Adam Kay. One in four of us will experience a mental health issue. This book is here to tell you, or someone you care about, it's OK. With writing from: Adam Kay - Alastair Campbell - Alexis Caught - Ben Platt - Bryony Gordon - Candice Carty-Williams - Charlie Mackesy - Charly Cox - Chidera Eggerue - Claire Stancliffe - Davina McCall - Dawn O'Porter - Elizabeth Day - Elizabeth Uviebinene - Ella Purnell - Emilia Clarke - Emma Thompson - Eve Delaney - Fearne Cotton - Gabby Edlin - Gemma Styles - GIRLI (Milly Toomey) - Grace Beverley - Hannah Witton - Honey Ross - Hussain Manawer - Jack Rooke - James Blake - Jamie Flook - Jamie Windust - Jessie Cave - Jo Irwin - Jonah Freud - Jonny Benjamin - Jordan Stephens - Kai-Isaiah Jamal - Kate Weinberg - Kelechi Okafor - Khalil Aldabbas - KUCHENGA - Lauren Mahon - Lena Dunham - Maggie Matic - Martha Lane Fox - Mathew Kollamkulam - Matt Haig - Megan Crabbe - Michael Kitching - Michelle Elman - Miranda Hart - Mitch Price - Mona Chalabi - Montana Brown - Nadia Craddock - Naomi Campbell - Poorna Bell - Poppy Jamie - Reggie Yates - Ripley Parker - Robert Kazandjian - Rosa Mercuriadis - Saba Asif - Sam Smith - Scarlett Curtis - Scarlett Moffatt - Scottee - Sharon Chalkin Feldstein - Shonagh Marie - Simon Amstell - Steve Ali - Tanya Byron - Travon Free - Yomi Adegoke - Yusuf Al Majarhi
A thoughtful, sometimes emotionally painful, yet unforgettable medical memoir I feel everyone should read. Our expectations of our medical and emergency teams are high, we trust, we rely, we hope. When a best-selling novelist, with the most beautiful way with words, tells the story of her time as a junior doctor, you just have to sit up and listen. Each chapter begins with thoughts from different people and roles within the medical profession. Joanna Cannon opens her arms wide and lets you in to her story, her way with words ensures you can see a full and vivid picture. Heartbreakingly honest, we see how she is overstretched, twanging like elastic that is on the point of completely fraying. A number of times her words resonated so strongly, they gave me goose-bumps. She not only made me look with different eyes at our medical practitioners, she also made me think about my own thoughts and words. I don’t think I will ever forget her “we each measure words with different scales”. Breaking and Mending is one of my Liz Robinson picks of the month, and a LoveReading Star Book... I smiled, I cried, afterwards I sat and hugged it!
I have never studied philosophy as such but I thought I knew what stoic and stoicism meant. To my mind it was a description of the British 'stiff upper lip' but it seems that common usage has very much altered the original meaning of these terms. In 'The Modern Marcus: Stoic Meditations for the 21st Century', Jason Ball sets out to re-interpret the basics of this philosophy as if written in the present day. Marcus Aurelius wrote his 'Meditations' between 170 and 180 AD and they're personal reflections on what it means to live a good life, a life of doing not just thinking. Reason, fairness, justice, compassion and self-reliance are at the heart of the 12 books that make up the original work. Jason Ball's work is in two parts. Firstly, he explores the five core themes of the whole work: mortality, mindfulness, consumerism, indifference and interconnectedness, each section ending with five questions for the reader to ask himself about his own life. The second part is a rewrite of each of the 12 books, in a slightly changed order, in that the author feels the first book sits better at the end. The author also feels the reader can adopt one of two approaches to his book. It can either be read cover to cover to gain an overall picture or used as a daily source of food for thought by selecting a passage at random and meditating on it's personal application to what is going on at that moment. I have to say I found the latter far more rewarding and have abandoned the former. This interpretation of stoicism is interesting and relevant to modern life, well worth the time it takes to become even slightly acquainted with it. It's thinking is fundamental to CBT therapies and has many other applications in society. A serious but not over-taxing read. Drena Irish, A LoveReading Ambassador
Includes two audiobook-exclusives: a sermon from Max on how worship can lead to a happy heart and a conversation between Max and narrator Ben Holland! In a world searching for happiness, bestselling author Max Lucado provides a personal plan for a life filled with lasting and fulfilling joy, supported by Jesus’ teaching and modern research. Do you feel happy? How long has it been since you felt a level of contagious, infectious, unflappable, unstoppable happiness? Maybe your answer is, “All the time.” If so, God bless you! (And consider suggesting this book to someone who needs it.) For many of us the answer is, “Well, it’s been a while. I used to be happy, but then life took its toll.” Only one-third of Americans surveyed said they were happy. How can this be? Education is accessible to most. We’ve made advancements in everything from medicine to technology, yet 66 percent of us can’t find an adequate reason to check the “yes” box on the happiness questionnaire. Worldwide, people profess that happiness is their most cherished goal. Marketers get this. “Want to be happy?” they ask. Eat at this restaurant, drive this car, wear this dress. Happiness happens when you lose the weight, get the date, find the mate, or discover your fate. It’s wide, this way to happiness. Yet, for all its promise, it delivers a fragile joy; here one day, tomorrow scattered by the winds of comparison, disappointment, or unmet expectations. Max writes, “There is another option. It requires no credit card, monthly mortgage, or stroke of fortune. Age and ethnicity aren’t factors . . . an unexpected door to joy.” In this audiobook Max shares the unexpected path to a lasting happiness, one that produces reliable joy in any season of life. Based on the teachings of Jesus and backed by modern research, How Happiness Happens presents a surprising but practical way of living that will change you from the inside out. Reflection questions are available in the audiobook companion PDF download.
If you feel like a bit of a makeover is in order, but know that quick fixes never work, then our new Mind, Body and category could be perfect for you.
We have a selection of books that will give you the knowledge to make changes to your life physically, intellectually, and emotionally.
From books on better backs to coping better with relationship break ups all the books can help in some way, but please don’t expect any quick fixes or miracle cures!