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‘Inner Alchemy’ by Zulma Reyo is a book that helps its readers on a path of personal growth and universal understanding. Written by Psychotherapist Zulma Reyo, who also has in depth knowledge and understanding of a variety of alternative therapies and practices, ‘Inner Alchemy’ mixes theoretical based teaching with practical opportunities for understanding. This is a book to ponder over and to return to in future, potentially with new eyes and from a further enlightened perspective. Constant change, reflection and learning is encouraged throughout the book. As we get older, experience new things, challenge ourselves in new ways, 'Inner Alchemy’ will offer even more rewards, as its teachings take on a new meaning, or become clearer. This spiritually enlightening read is well-laid out and easy to follow. The images used throughout are beautiful. Rich, bright and colourful but meditative graphics featuring mandalas and landscapes evoke our connection to the world around us, but the brightest light connects to the centre of the subject, reiterating that all change in the world starts from within. I liked the glossary of key terms at the beginning, this is a useful tool as you work your way through the lessons in this book and ideal for any beginner. I also liked the ‘review’ subheadings at the end of each section, I feel these allow you to take an extra moment to pause and reflect on key points as well as taking the time to put in to practice the questions and affirmations As stated, ‘Inner Alchemy’ is a revised and updated edition of ‘Mastery: The Path of Inner Alchemy’ a book that was originally published in 1989. Changes have been made in order to reflect the world around us, amid a pandemic and the economic instability and cultural changes taking place currently. This is an intriguing and informative read that I would recommend for those looking for spiritually and meditatively focused change. Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador
A small thought-provoking book that holds huge impact, I recommend opening your heart and mind and letting the stories in. Martin Shaw, author, mythologist, and wilderness guide, describes himself as a teacher of old stories and a guide into deep places, which resonates profoundly with the contents of this book. He invites us to step into three stories and register, in fact, properly absorb their meaning. If you have an interest in stories, if you currently look around you and feel that there is something missing in your world, then allow yourself to fall through the layers of the story and explore. He mentions that he’s always written for those at a crossroads, and that now he finds we’re all at one, Smoke Hole is his attempt to meet one infection with another: beauty. I found myself nodding in agreement, his words make sense as does the way he sees the world. I enjoyed the way he brought meaning to the stories, he encourages you burrow and hunt and search before then letting the stories sit in their own glory and be truly themselves. Smoke Hole is a wonder of a book, beautiful in itself, and in what it encourages you to find, to be. I absolutely adored it.
For centuries much has been written about a mother’s love for her son, fewer words have been dedicated to the reverse. When his controlling elderly father becomes a danger to his aged mother, Shaun Deeney takes the decision to place his mother in a charming care home. Later, following his father’s sudden death, he takes the unusual decision to remove her from the care home and to provide for her himself, in the family home, with the assistance of paid-for carers. So unheard of is this, the care home themselves have never heard of anyone doing it before and no-one even knows what forms are required. The softly spoken truth is that residents rarely leave such places until their final journey. What follows is an endearingly candid account of Denney facing down his doubts, and those of others, to provide the very best care for his Mother. In so doing he rediscovers the Mother he loves but hardly knows and forgoes his ‘new-found freedom’ as a divorcee to embrace his role as a dutiful caring son. With diversions into his daughter-assisted forays into internet dating, and his quest for love and a relationship, Deeney writes with engaging honesty and humour on the mistakes and triumphs of his decisions and explores the power of forgiveness, tolerance and understanding in this affecting account of what it means to be a son, a father and a man who faces up to the responsibilities of all three. His generosity of spirit in sharing the truth of his experience makes this a highly readable tale of redemption and a celebration of love’s many hues. The LoveReading LitFest invited Shaun Deeney to the festival to talk about Love & Care. You can view the event by subscribing to the LitFest programme for as little as £6 per month - or you can pay per view. For just £2, go, see Shaun in conversation with Paul Blezard and find out why everyone should read this book. Check out a preview of the event here.
A practical guide to taking control of your mental health for today, tomorrow, and the days after, from the Sunday Times bestselling author and beloved entertainer 'There's a moment at the end of every day, where the world falls away and you are left alone with your thoughts. A reckoning, when the things you have been pushing to the background, come forward and demand your attention.' Written by Daniel Howell, in consultation with a qualified psychologist, in an entertaining and personal way from the perspective of someone who has been through it all - this no-nonsense book gives you the tools to understand your mind so you can be in control and really live. Split into three chapters for each stage of the journey: This Night - how to get through your toughest moments and be prepared to face anything. Tomorrow - small steps to change your thoughts and actions with a big impact on your life. The Days After - help to look after yourself in the long term and not just survive, but thrive. You will laugh and learn - but most of all, this book will assure you that even in your darkest times, there is always hope. You will get through this night.
Part memoir, part dismantling of the perceived fixed ideas on identity and sexuality, ‘Bent’ is based on the author's own experiences of sexuality and manhood. I really enjoyed the author’s honest and witty writing style, and found it very easy to become immersed in tales. Using lived experience to explore issues around labels and preconceptions. I think that this book brilliantly gets across the message that the connection to another person is the important part of any relationship. I also loved that he takes the opportunity to discuss consent and how to work through this topic with a teenager. I read this book in one sitting. Vibrant, educational and thought provoking, this is a brilliant book for expanding your horizons and perhaps reframing how you look at the world. I would heartily recommend this book to nonfiction and fiction fans alike, if you are looking for a deeply personal narrative with moments to pause and reflect. Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador
Your Mental Health Workout focuses on giving your mind some attention, in the same way you might change your eating or exercise habits to get physically fitter. Think of it as the mental health equivalent of a five-week gym membership, focusing on your thoughts and feelings and how you respond to them. The book was very easy to navigate, with weekly checklists and planners at the beginning to keep me on track (printable copies are available from the author’s website). Everything in the book is very practical and explained in simple terms and a friendly tone. I loved the way Zoe Aston, a psychotherapist, approaches a mental health workout in the same way we would approach a physical one – setting goals, warming up, weekly workouts and daily workouts – with easy exercises to build ‘mental muscle’. There’s even an additional chapter on ‘Physio for your feelings’. A fun and informative way to look after my mental health and keep stress and anxiety at bay.
In the bedazzling world of adventure sports, many would say (me included) that Anna McNuff burns the brightest. The title for her latest book, Bedtime Adventure Stories for Grown-Ups, may surprise many of her following who don’t regard Anna as especially grown-up and may also be surprised at the implication that she ever sleeps! There’s a laugh on every page of this compilation of some of the author’s "mini-adventures” over the years - although what’s mini for Anna might be mega for most... Close to home and abroad, on wheels and on foot, at all times of the day and night … Anna’s appetite for adventure is insatiable and her talent for wordplay and punchlines ensures that the stories are lively, colourful and likely to turn up your lust for living. But perhaps the most remarkable thing about these dreamy adventurous bedtime tales… is that they are actually, really, true. I mean, who climbs over their backyard gate to be sent all over Europe by the public egging her on with daily votes on where to head to next? Answer: This gal. Find our full list of recommended adventure reads for the London Mountain Film Festival Bookfest 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.
A wonderfully readable, thoughtful yet amusing, and sometimes painfully honest memoir from journalist Emma John as she asks: “What does happily ever after look like when your Prince Charming never shows up”. Emma is in her forties, she is not in a relationship, nor plans to be, in Self-Contained she looks at a society that views single as a temporary arrangement and, what it actually means to be on your own. Emma visits her past as she galloped through her twenties into her thirties and then entered her forties. She explores with intense personal reflection and writes with a self-depreciating wit. She is also incredibly honest and friendly, I felt as though I was having a heart to heart with one of my best friends. I have to admit to blushing beet red as I read one particular section, I still cringe at the memory of twenty-something me saying to a friend: “someone will come along when you’re least expecting it” and her vexed reply that she: “wasn’t looking”. Self-contained isn’t in the slightest bit preachy, it just feels as though Emma is allowing you into her thoughts, and in turn it made me think about mine. Chapter 14 is a wonderful closing chapter and it really, really made me smile. Self Contained: Scenes from a Single Life is a book for everyone, no matter how old you are, whether in a relationship or not, there is much to discover and appreciate between the pages.
With the right tools, you can change your experience of menopause. In this supportive book, and its ten relaxing audio downloads, mindful hypnotherapist Sophie Fletcher equips you with powerful skills to manage the challenges of perimenopause and menopause. Drawing on years of experience helping women at times of transition, Sophie will show you: Effective ways to harness the mind, body and hormone connection Visualisations, affirmations and mindfulness exercises to reduce anxiety and stress Techniques to ease insomnia, weight gain and hot flushes Mindful Menopause will ensure you feel empowered, in control and ready to embrace this liberating time of life.
Diary of a Young Naturalist recounts a year in the life of an autistic and highly gifted 15 year old, struggling with school, bullies, moving house and fearing the decline of the natural world whilst rejoicing in it. Dara McAnulty is clearly an extraordinary person and a beautiful and mature writer. His descriptions of his adventures in nature are inspiring for children, but also sure to brighten the souls of many an adult too. The intensity with which nature presents itself to the author is overwhelming, and his ability to share this with the reader is enthralling. It’s a rollercoaster ride being in the head of this young man, but the book has the magic to open our eyes and ears to what beauty is around us each and every day - if only we looked! McAnulty's knowledge of wildlife and nature is simply extraordinary. His autism is a burden but also a super-power, providing him with piercing insight to a world that simply cannot be ignored with all its truth, tragedy and hope pouring out of every hedgerow, pond and dry stone wall. This is a diary which highlights our essential connection with the natural world, the landscape and our history embedded within it - but more importantly, it is also about our futures. Dara McAnulty is on a mission, and if the quality of this book is anything to go by, he will have a huge impact. For many children, this book will be the beginning of a wondrous journey. ~ Greg Hackett Greg Hackett is the Founder & Director of the London Mountain Film Festival
Written by Ben McCarty, technically reviewed by Ari Schloss and with a foreword by Malek Ben Salem, this is a thoroughly revised and polished book that uses the concept of ninjas to take the reader through the variety of different areas that you need to be aware of when it comes to cybersecurity. Using relatively recent translations of Ninja scrolls, information that for most of history has been kept hidden, ‘Cyberjutsu’ contains theories of how ninjas were so successful at being the elusive and deadly characters we know, and how this analogy can be used to allow the reader, “think like a hacker”, gain perspective and use a variety of different methods to improve and protect their programs, software or personal details from attack. Although the intended audience for this book is security professionals, I found that the language used throughout and the use of the ninja analogies helped to translate concepts into scenarios I could visualise. With an easy to follow layout which is explained in the opening pages, this book takes you through teachings and philosophies from 400 year old ninja scrolls before going on to explain how these teaching can be connected to cyber security and finally what you can do to keep your organisation safe as well as a checklist of recommended security settings. An interesting book full of useful information and recommendations that would be beneficial for anyone who has information online.