A stunningly provocative and thought-provoking book viewing England from a different perspective, one where: “magic and rebellion and destruction are the horses to which the country is hitched. On these fabled shores we are all castaways, whether our family has lived here for four thousand years or four”. Stephen Ellcock’s books are particular favourites of mine, I regularly dip into All Good Things, and The Book of Change. Here he has joined forces with Mat Osman, whose short texts sit as an introduction to each chapter where the images chosen are allowed to sing. I love Mat’s introduction! He perfectly describes Stephen’s talent for choosing images and picking up on the thoughts and feelings of the moment. He also brings England to life: “Like a teenager sulking in their room, England is in one of its periodic spasms of insularity - but no matter, we’ve been here before”. Look deeper, explore roots that are bound to the ancient and to wilderness, join protests and anti-fascist marches, adore our absurdity while remaining aware of our capacity for division and discord. While our dark times are explored, hope springs in the form of a new breed of artists, the images chosen here matter, they speak of and to our deepest emotions. This book has helped me to feel connected again with the country in which I live, my eyes opened in a new awareness. A LoveReading Star book, England on Fire is truly beautiful, it’s astute, inclusive, and absolutely magical.
Hugest of huge recommendations from me for this bold, provocative, compassionate and thoughtful, yet real as heck debut novel. I adored the characters, plot, and writing, Kasim Ali is an author to watch. After falling in love Nur is welcomed into Yasmina's family, but after four years he can’t bring himself to tell his own that he’s even got a girlfriend let alone living with Yasmina. Love, it should be simple, but with outside influences so often isn’t. Kasim Ali zigzags through the years of the relationship, allowing you to see ahead of time, to feel the weight of the decisions taken. As the little pops of understanding were released Nur, Yasmina, and their friends and family slipped into my heart. The characters are finely drawn, the flaws, the imperfections all add credibility. This is just so easy to read, yet the bittersweet plot ensures a level of tension remains throughout. I cared so much for these characters I was genuinely fearful of what was to come. I thought the ending was perfect in every way, standing ovation time for Kasim Ali. Wonderfully stimulating yet subtly thought-provoking Good Intentions emotionally connects with heart and mind. I’ve chosen this absorbing and rewarding read as a LoveReading Star Book, and Liz Pick of the Month.
Philosophising over the many different facets of wisdom. ‘Wisdom: A Very Valuable Virtue That Cannot Be Bought’ by Jason A. Merchey is a look into the idea that wisdom in its many forms is needed to achieve ultimate contentment and satisfaction in life, yet seems to be the one thing that's lacking most from society. Although the author’s main focus and context is in America - it’s people, government and actions (by this I mean the author relates his ideas back to Trump, how America handled the COVID-19 pandemic etc.), the broad scope of ideas throughout this book could be applicable to anyone reading. Each chapter focuses on it’s own area of wisdom including: altruism, emotional regulation, critical thinking, empathy, self-discipline and open mindedness. I liked the layout of this book and that you can read from cover to cover or skip to the sections you have more of an interest in exploring. At the end of each section you can also find that the author has shared an additional “inspirational array of thoughts, beliefs, and quotations from many individuals throughout the ages”. A multifaceted and detailed book that has been well-researched and put together in a way that is clear and easy to understand. ‘Wisdom’ is a book for those with an interest in sociology and philosophy as well as self-improvement. Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador
Combining science and religion with history and politics and more, ‘God 4.0: On the Nature of Higher Consciousness and the Experience Called 'God'’ by Robert Ornstein looks to explore why humans are still fixated on our higher purpose, the meaning of life, and our wider consciousness. This book is well written and although dealing with multiple sources and sometimes technical ideas, I think that it will be easily accessible to a wide range of readers. Written by award-winning psychologist and brain researcher Robert Ornstein with his wife Sally Ornstein, you’d expect nothing less. Each part of the book is clearly defined, with chapters and sections that develop their ideas in a way that is clear and enlightening. This book is aimed at those who want to think critically about our world and consciousness; not just the day-to-day life we see before us but the higher consciousness we experience that some people connect to religion or spirituality. This book sets out that it is neither an argument for science or religion, but looks to explore the connections between the two, and many other topics besides. The recognition that this transcendence would take us beyond faith and to a level of consciousness which could provide the answers for a lot of our world's problems. I found ‘God 4.0’ to be an enlightening and inspiring read, and one that can fit among the self-help (or should I say self-understanding?) genres alongside those of science and spirituality. Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador
AS HEARD ON THE CHRIS EVANS SHOW Which scents can lower stress? What music can make you more productive? And why does coffee taste better from a red cup? Our senses have a powerful effect on how we think, feel and behave; yet we don't use them to anywhere near their full potential. Using his extensive knowledge of sensory science, multisensory expert Russell Jones shows you how to make small changes to your day and experience life like you never have before. So, whether you want to feel energised in the morning, get the most from your exercise, be efficient at work, really enjoy your food or have the most restful night's sleep possible, read this book and discover the real power of your senses. Previously published as Sense.
From the world-leaders in strategic thinking and the multi-million copy bestselling authors of Thinking Fast and Slow and Nudge, the next big book to change the way you think. Imagine that two doctors in the same city give different diagnoses to identical patients - or that two judges in the same court give different sentences to people who have committed matching crimes. Now imagine that the same doctor and the same judge make different decisions depending on whether it is morning or afternoon, or Monday rather than Wednesday, or they haven't yet had lunch. These are examples of noise: variability in judgements that should be identical. In Noise, Daniel Kahneman, Olivier Sibony and Cass R. Sunstein show how noise produces errors in many fields, including in medicine, law, public health, economic forecasting, forensic science, child protection, creative strategy, performance review and hiring. And although noise can be found wherever people are making judgements and decisions, individuals and organizations alike commonly ignore its impact, at great cost. Packed with new ideas, and drawing on the same kind of sharp analysis and breadth of case study that made Thinking, Fast and Slow and Nudge international bestsellers, Noise explains how and why humans are so susceptible to noise and bias in decision-making. We all make bad judgements more than we think. With a few simple remedies, this groundbreaking book explores what we can do to make better ones.
In Sweden, refugee children fall asleep for months and years at a time. In upstate New York, high school students develop contagious seizures. In the US Embassy in Cuba, employees complain of headaches and memory loss after hearing strange noises in the night. These disparate cases are some of the most remarkable diagnostic mysteries of the twenty-first century, as both doctors and scientists have struggled to explain them within the boundaries of medical science and - more crucially - to treat them. What unites them is that they are all examples of a particular type of psychosomatic illness: medical disorders that are influenced as much by the idiosyncratic aspects of individual cultures as they are by human biology. Inspired by a poignant encounter with the sleeping refugee children of Sweden, Wellcome Prize-winning neurologist Suzanne O'Sullivan travels the world to visit other communities who have also been subject to outbreaks of so-called 'mystery' illnesses. From a derelict post-Soviet mining town in Kazakhstan, to the Mosquito Coast of Nicaragua via an oil town in Texas, to the heart of the Maria Mountains in Colombia, O'Sullivan hears remarkable stories from a fascinating array of people, and attempts to unravel their complex meaning while asking the question: who gets to define what is and what isn't an illness? Reminiscent of the work of Oliver Sacks, Stephen Grosz and Henry Marsh, The Sleeping Beauties is a moving and unforgettable scientific investigation with a very human face.
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.
WINNER OF THE SAGA PRIZE 1997: a literary award for trailblazing new Black British novelists 'A quietly outstanding work of fiction . . . an exemplary novel' Bernardine Evaristo A shattering portrayal of family, guilt and unshakable bonds as a family's deepest secrets explosively unravel When Anita finally returns home to London after a long absence, everything has changed. Her father is dead, her mother is away, and she and her sister Beth are alone together for the first time in years. They share a house. They share a family. They share a past. Tentatively, they reach out to one another for connection, but the house echoes with words unspoken. Dazzling and heart-breaking, Bernard and the Cloth Monkey is a searing portrait of family, a rebellion against silence and a testament to the human capacity for survival. Selected by Booker Prize-winning author Bernardine Evaristo, this series rediscovers and celebrates pioneering books depicting black Britain that remap the nation.
I came across ‘Rewriting Our Stories’ by Dr Derek Gladwin at the perfect time. This is a well-written and clearly structured book that forms a part of the MindYourSelf book series - a series created with the intention of providing clear, peer reviewed information from frontline professionals that, although not a replacement for personalised medical advice from your doctors, can help us to take better care of ourselves. Very clear and broken up into easy to follow chapters, ‘Rewriting Our Stories’ focuses on how we use storytelling in our everyday lives to form narratives about ourselves and the world around us. These narratives are formed by our experiences and shape the way we feel and think. Taking us gradually through why we tell stories to how to change the negative things we say and think about ourselves, Dr Derek Gladwin provides information and practical advice on how to reframe these negative narratives into positive affirmations as well as changing our perceptions of the world around us. I personally found the ‘Thinking Too Much’, ‘Living Moment by Moment’ sections to be most helpful. I really enjoyed the layout of this book, the summarising bullet points and the reflection questions throughout let you ponder over recent topics, allowing you the time for greater insight of how internalised narratives affect your thinking before moving through the chapters to more practical tips on how to change the stories we tell ourselves. I also liked the concept, as a bookworm I felt at home with the analogy of internalised beliefs are stories we tell ourselves, and how to practice editing and rewriting these narratives. I personally struggle to remember to implement the advice in self help books but I feel that the author has hit on a really clear to understand perspective with ‘Rewriting Our Stories’, and one that I know I will remember and be able to reflect on and utilise in the future. Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador
AS HEARD ON THE CHRIS EVANS SHOW A fascinating and revelatory look at how we can unlock the true potential of our five senses and use them to vastly improve every single part of our lives. How can colour prime you for creative thinking? What kind of music helps you run faster? Which scents can help you fall asleep? Our senses have a powerful effect on how we think, feel and behave; yet we don't use them to their full potential. For over a decade, multi-sensory marketing expert Russell Jones has been using the science of the senses to design products, brands and retail environments that tantalise our senses in revolutionary ways. In this incredible new book, Jones takes research from the worlds of neuroscience, experimental and behavioural psychology and beyond, and shows you how to live more multi-sensorially; paying attention to the sounds, scents, colours, objects, shapes and textures that constantly surround you, to profoundly impact and improve every aspect of your life. Whether it's helping you feel energised in the morning, get the most from your work-out, be efficient at the office, avoid getting caught in the traps of savvy retailers or creating the perfect sensory background to enjoy your food with. And, finally, he helps you have the most restful evening and night's sleep you possibly can. Sense is a fascinating and revelatory look at how you can use your senses in a way you never have before.
When thirty-five-year-old Sonja Wasden is involuntarily admitted to a psychiatric hospital by her husband and father, she is sure it is a mistake. Wife of a CEO, mother of three, living in a beautiful suburb, Sonja’s life appears ideal. How did she get here? In a gripping and breathtaking narrative that makes the reader feel as though they are listening in on a private conversation, Sonja tells the compelling real account of her struggle with marriage, motherhood, and mental illness. An Impossible Life is an unforgettable true story of perseverance when all hope seems lost. Intriguing and heartfelt, Sonja’s personal account of her mental health journey shines a beacon of hope to all who feel overwhelmed by the specter of mental illness.