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Health & Fitness

August 2021 Featured Books

Walking Away from Hate: Our Journey through Extremism

Walking Away from Hate: Our Journey through Extremism

Author: Jeanette and Lauren Manning Format: Paperback Release Date: 12/08/2021

As a troubled teen, Lauren Manning sought refuge online in the angry world of black metal music. When she met a recruiter who offered her the acceptance she craved, the doctrine of white supremacy supplanted the values of her middle-class upbringing, and Lauren traded suburbia for a life of violence and criminality on the streets of Toronto. Told from the perspective of both mother and daughter, Walking Away from Hate chronicles Lauren's descent into extremism, her life within the movement and her ultimate reconnection with the family she once denounced and the mother who refused to give up on her.

Crying in H Mart

Crying in H Mart

Author: Michelle Zauner Format: Hardback Release Date: 05/08/2021

From the indie rockstar Japanese Breakfast, an unflinching, powerful, deeply moving memoir about growing up mixed-race, Korean food, losing her Korean mother, and forging her own identity. In this exquisite story of family, food, grief, and endurance, Michelle Zauner proves herself far more than a dazzling singer, songwriter, and guitarist. With humour and heart, she tells of growing up the only Asian-American kid at her school in Eugene, Oregon; of struggling with her mother's particular, high expectations of her; of a painful adolescence; of treasured months spent in her grandmother's tiny apartment in Seoul, where she and her mother would bond, late at night, over heaping plates of food. As she grew up, moving to the east coast for college, finding work in the restaurant industry, performing gigs with her fledgling band - and meeting the man who would become her husband - her Koreanness began to feel ever more distant, even as she found the life she wanted to live. It was her mother's diagnosis of terminal pancreatic cancer, when Michelle was twenty-five, that forced a reckoning with her identity and brought her to reclaim the gifts of taste, language, and history her mother had given her. Vivacious and plainspoken, lyrical and honest, Michelle Zauner's voice is as radiantly alive on the page as it is onstage. Rich with intimate anecdotes that will resonate widely, Crying in H Mart is a book to cherish, share, and reread.

The Power of Your Senses

The Power of Your Senses

Author: Russell Jones Format: Paperback Release Date: 22/07/2021

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.

Coasting

Coasting

Author: Elise Downing Format: Paperback Release Date: 08/07/2021

In Coasting, Elise Downing sets out to run the entire coastline of Britain - a 5000 mile / 300 day journey of pain, gratitude and discovery. Endearingly honest and unassuming, Elise describes herself as someone completely unsuited to the task - and yet she did it. She judges herself as an adventure imposter - and yet she isn’t. One wonders how on earth she manages to keep going - and yet she does. There must be thousands of women in their early twenties just like Elise - fresh out of a boozy university experience, career-disillusioned and in a toxic relationship - but the last time I looked they weren’t all queuing up in their trainers to set off round the country from Greenwich. There is certainly something extraordinary about Elise Downing, but of course she doesn’t think there is, and that absence of self-belief is what makes the book so engaging and relatable. With lots of support and encouragement from her adventure community, parents who should probably get an award of some kind and the inexhaustible kindness of strangers, she covers much of the distance with friendly co-runners and free access to warm spare rooms. The trip, however, is not without its traumas and tears - lots of tears - so many in fact one worries she might contribute to a rise in sea levels. Coasting is a classic adventure story wherein an individual has erased the challenges of their life through a bigger, all-consuming challenge and by putting themselves somewhere they perhaps shouldn’t be, has discovered much more of who they really are. 

The Comfort Book

The Comfort Book

Author: Matt Haig Format: Hardback Release Date: 06/07/2021

The Comfort Book is just that. A beautifully packaged, beautifully comforting hug in a book. Haig’s lists, aphorisms, quotes, case studies and recipes are an antidote to today’s busy lifestyles, medicine for our crazy lives. It is suggested that you should read it how you want; “it’s as messy as life”. And there is something incredibly liberating about being told there are no rules on opening a book. So then I flicked. Because I could. Because I was given permission to.  I came to a chapter: Short. Life is short. Be kind. And it make me stop and think about when I last displayed kindness. Am I too busy in my life juggling. existing. coping. to show kindness as much as I should.  We need to give ourselves space. To breathe. And I spent 15 minutes on that page. Six words. Another page with 10 words I laughed out loud at. Pasta, is all I have to say. This book really made me stop. And think. And breathe. The pace of my life stopped each time I picked it up. And that space was so needed. The book is filled with Haig’s reflections on hope, survival and the messy miracle of being alive. He shares his collection of consolations learned in hard times and suggestions for making the bad day’s better. For now, I’m still enjoying it but know I’ll keep it by my bed or maybe next to the toilet for people to share. It’s a book to be savoured. To be enjoyed. To come back to. It’s a marathon. Not a sprint. He includes quotes from Henry David Thoreau, Emily Dickinson, cultural anthropologist Ernest Becker, Nietzsche, existential philosopher Rollo May, Bruce Lee. Haig’s witty. He’s wise. I love the way he writes, the way he imparts wisdom, shares his nuggets on life and I recognise that I haven’t got a routine baggy enough to live in. Thank you Matt for the comfort. I’m off to make Matt’s hummus. And eat crisps. And get some “baggy” in my life.  

Star Books
Marathon Man: My Life, My Father's Stroke and Running 35 Marathons in 35 Days

Marathon Man: My Life, My Father's Stroke and Running 35 Marathons in 35 Days

Author: Alan Corcoran Format: Paperback Release Date: 27/06/2021

I was really interested to read this book, as I enjoy running myself. However, the thought of even one marathon is alarming let alone 35 in 35 days! However, that is what Alan Corcoran did in the summer of 2012. Following his father’s sudden stroke, Alan decided he needed to do something to channel his energy and raise money for the charities that helped his father. He thought up this idea of running around Ireland, which broke down to a total of 35 marathons. This book details his journey from thinking up the challenge, to setting it in motion, to each marathon at a time. He encountered huge challenges along the way even before he started, especially with the sheer amount of logistics involved from accommodation, to food, to a support team. He details each of the marathons that he completes and the highs and lows. I really felt for him along his journey and was willing him on as he encountered injury, after injury. The amount of determination this man has is incredible and I whole heartedly admire him for what he did – a fantastic read.  Nicola Coen, A LoveReading Ambassador

Indie Books We Love
Love and Care

Love and Care

Author: Shaun Deeney Format: Hardback Release Date: 20/05/2021

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.

Healing Is the New High

Healing Is the New High

Author: Vex King Format: Audiobook Release Date: 13/04/2021

Achieve genuine inner healing, let go of trauma and find clarity, resilience and freedom with #1 Sunday Times bestselling author Vex King. Vex developed powerful inner healing techniques to help him break free from his troubled past, heal his emotional pain and trauma, and create a new and empowering belief system. Since then, he's helped thousands of people worldwide unlock their own healing journey. And now he's here to help you become your own healer too. Vex shares how to experience healing through the layers of the self, combining yogic principles and simple, accessible techniques for exceptional, long-lasting results. These transformative practices include: · Working with your body's energy · Exploring and raising your inner vibration · Creating positive relationships · Exploring your personal history and rewriting limiting beliefs · Uncovering your true self and reigniting your fire Taking charge of your inner healing is one of the greatest acts of self-love. By committing to this process and raising your vibration - the energy that courses through you and you radiate out into the world - you'll create space to welcome more joyful experiences into your life.

Audiobooks of the Month

July 2021 Featured Books

The Crazy Busy Cure

The Crazy Busy Cure

Author: Zena Everett Format: Paperback Release Date: 08/07/2021

How we spend our time is one of the greatest indicators of how successful we will be. We achieve our goals when we ruthlessly prioritise tasks and people that are important to us. This book is for you if: You feel unrelentingly busy and overwhelmed. 3pm arrives and you've not done any of the tasks you intended. When you're not working, you're still 'on' - checking emails and always thinking about what you haven't done. You over-commit and find it hard to say no. You sacrifice your own priorities for disorganised people's urgent demands. Meetings, emails, and constant interruptions suck the life out of you. Your HR department's emails about wellness week are the final straw: meditation won't help your wellbeing, less meetings would. If we focus our time, energy and attention on the wrong things we will never achieve the success or happiness that we aspire to. The problem is that the low value, low impact tasks that distract us from our priorities, are hard to ignore. They scream out at us all day: digital distractions, other people's urgent demand for 'five minutes' that's never five minutes, the meetings that you shouldn't be in, the pointless email chains, the reports you write that don't get read. We get a hit from ticking these tasks off a list. It's got us hooked on crazy busyness. But all we are doing is scratching off a layer of fake work on top of the real, valuable work. The Crazy Busy Cure is full of intensely practical tips to save you from this addiction and get productive again. It will show you how to have a laser focus on your priorities, manage others so they can get on with the work and find more head space. With tips for remote working and office working alike as well as productivity hacks for people with learning and thinking differences, this lively read is jam packed with solutions. Zena Everett is executive coach and organisational psychologist and draws from her many thousands of hours and coaching and speaking to people about productivity blockers and how to shift them. Stay energised, find your freedom from distractions and regain your productivity.

How to Have a Mindful Pregnancy and Birth

How to Have a Mindful Pregnancy and Birth

Author: Sian Warriner, Mark Pallis Format: Hardback Release Date: 08/07/2021

Written with real mothers, real partners, and real life in mind, How to Have a Mindful Pregnancy and Birth will help you develop a set of simple yet hugely powerful skills that can transform your emotional experience and wellbeing during pregnancy and birth. The 30 exercises include: mindful breathing, visualisations, journaling prompts, sensory awareness practices and lots of simple, easy-to-master tools to help you relax and connect with your baby while you are pregnant - and to help you prepare for the birth.

Backable

Backable

Author: Suneel Gupta, Carlye Adler Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/06/2021

Bold in claims, incisive in style and potentially huge in impact, Suneel Gupta’s Backable sets out to set the record straight as to what distinguishes those who succeed from those who struggle to realise their business ambitions. Namely, Gupta argues, those who get on in business do so due to their powers of persuasion and not (as is typically assumed) through connections, charisma or raw talent. After having pitch after pitch rejected, the author was driven to discover why that was, and - importantly - how to change that pattern. An epiphany came when he realised that “people who change the world around them aren’t just brilliant…they’re backable. They have a seemingly mysterious superpower that lies at the intersection of ‘creativity’ and ‘persuasion’. When backable people express themselves, we feel moved. When they share an idea, we take action.” If that’s a given, the issue then becomes how can a person become backable? Gupta acknowledges that he wasn’t one of those naturally backable people. He’s “an introvert by nature”. The good thing is, as Gupta discovered and put into action, it’s eminently possible to play the role of a backable person in order to change your lot. His advice for doing just that is shared throughout the book, perhaps best encapsulated by this line: “A typical pitch communicates that an idea is new. A backable pitch communicates that an idea is inevitable,” and from here you can potentially capitalise on people’s fear of missing out. Offering tonnes of fascinating examples, and citing individuals from a range of industries - venture capitalists, start-up founders, Oscar-winners, and leaders of iconic brands - Backable delivers practical tips in a personable style. It also considers the big picture and specific details in equal measure, sharing for example, meticulous examples of pitches that worked (and others that didn’t).

Bent

Bent

Author: J. Adams Format: Ebook Release Date: 16/05/2021

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

Indie Books We Love
What Happened to You?

What Happened to You?

Author: Oprah Winfrey, Dr Bruce Perry Format: Audiobook Release Date: 29/04/2021

Oprah Winfrey and renowned brain development and trauma expert, Dr. Bruce Perry, discuss the impact of trauma and adverse experiences and how healing must begin with a shift to asking, “what happened to you?” rather than “what’s wrong with you?” Through wide-ranging, and often deeply personal conversation, Oprah Winfrey and Dr. Perry explore how what happens to us in early childhood – both good and bad - influences the people we become. They challenge us to shift from focusing on, “What’s wrong with you?” or “Why are you behaving that way?,” to asking, “What happened to you?” This simple change in perspective can open up a new and hopeful understanding for millions about why we do the things we do, why we are the way we are, providing a road map for repairing relationships, overcoming what seems insurmountable, and ultimately living better and more fulfilling lives. Many of us experience adversity and trauma during childhood that has lasting impact on our physical and emotional health. And as we’re beginning to understand, we are more sensitive to developmental trauma as children than we are as adults. ‘What happened to us’ in childhood is a powerful predictor of our risk for physical and mental health problems down the road, and offers scientific insights in to the patterns of behaviors so many struggle to understand. A survivor of multiple childhood challenges herself, Oprah Winfrey shares portions of her own harrowing experiences because she understands the vulnerability that comes from facing trauma at a young age. Throughout her career, Oprah has teamed up with Dr. Bruce Perry, one of the world’s leading experts on childhood trauma. He has treated thousands of children, youth, and adults and has been called on for decades to support individuals and communities following high-profile traumatic events. Now, Oprah joins forces with Dr. Perry to marry the power of storytelling with the science and clinical experience to better understand and overcome the effects of trauma. In conversation throughout the book, the two focus on understanding people, behavior, and ourselves in the context of personal experiences. They remove blame and self-shaming, and open up a space for healing and understanding. It’s a subtle but profound shift in our approach to trauma, and it’s one that allows us to understand our pasts in order to clear a path to our future - opening the door to resilience and healing in a proven, powerful way. Grounded in the latest brain science and brought to life through compelling narratives, this book shines a light on a much-needed path to recovery – showing us our incredible capacity to transform after adversity.

Audiobooks of the Month
Winning the War in Your Mind

Winning the War in Your Mind

Author: Craig Groeschel Format: Audiobook Release Date: 16/02/2021

Are your thoughts out of control--just like your life? Do you long to break free from the spiral of destructive thinking? Let God's truth become your battle plan to win the war in your mind! We've all tried to think our way out of bad habits and unhealthy thought patterns, only to find ourselves stuck with an out-of-control mind and off-track daily life. Pastor and New York Times bestselling author Craig Groeschel understands deeply this daily battle against self-doubt and negative thinking, and in this powerful new book he reveals the strategies he's discovered to change your mind and your life for the long-term. Drawing upon Scripture and the latest findings of brain science, Groeschel lays out practical strategies that will free you from the grip of harmful, destructive thinking and enable you to live the life of joy and peace that God intends you to live. Winning the War in Your Mind will help you: Learn how your brain works and see how to rewire it Identify the lies your enemy wants you to believe Recognize and short-circuit your mental triggers for destructive thinking See how prayer and praise will transform your mind Develop practices that allow God's thoughts to become your thoughts God has something better for your life than your old ways of thinking. It's time to change your mind so God can change your life. Exercises and appendix are available in the audiobook companion PDF download.

Audiobooks of the Month
Rewriting Our Stories:  Education, empowerment, and well-being

Rewriting Our Stories: Education, empowerment, and well-being

Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/02/2021

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

Indie Books We Love
How to Run a Marathon

How to Run a Marathon

Author: Vassos Alexander Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/01/2021

In addition to all the essential technical advice and insider knowledge that one would expect from a solid “How to..” book, the first half of How to Run a Marathon is very much focused on the “Why?". A few chapters in, you realise why radio presenter and sports journalist Vassos Alexander has afforded as much time to inspiration as he has to execution. Unless, deep down, you really want to run a marathon, it simply isn’t going to happen. To help you find the itch there are many inspiring (and funny!) tales of why running 26.2 miles is something so life-changing. From the blind to the barefoot, we hear the running stories of some extraordinary people from a man who seems to know everyone in the game. From Athens to Boston we run alongside a community where love and support are as present as personal achievement. And from Vassos himself we get the inside track on the very personal journey of the marathon runner in all its fun-loving, food-poisoned, rain-soaked and wall-hitting glory. Learn how to train, how to stretch, how to ‘respect the taper’.. and gain some crucial nuggets of wisdom: “A good laugh and a long run are the two best cures for anything”. This book has everything to get you over the line.    Find our full list of recommended adventure reads for the London Mountain Film Festival Bookfest 2021.

Symona's Still Single

Symona's Still Single

Author: Lisa Bent Format: Paperback Release Date: 08/10/2020

What do you do when you’ve reached 37 and your biological clock is ticking so loud you can’t hear anything else? Decide to change your fortunes by going out there and actively looking for Mr Right, of course. Symona’s journey through the dating world is as funny as it is frustrating and I had more than one laugh-out-moment. Smart and astute, I really enjoyed reading about her adventures in dating and often felt as though I’d met some of those men at certain points in my life.  Selected by Dorothy Koomson, Our Summer 2021 Guest Editor. Click here to read the full Guest Editor Piece. 

Older and Wider

Older and Wider

Author: Jenny Eclair Format: Hardback Release Date: 02/07/2020

THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER! 'If you're after an in-depth medical or psychological insight into the menopause, I'm afraid you've opened the wrong book - I'm not a doctor . . . However, I am a woman and I do know how it feels to be menopausal, so this book is written from experience and the heart and I hope it makes you laugh and feel better.' JE Older and Wider is Jenny Eclair's hilarious, irreverent and refreshingly honest compendium of the menopause. From C for Carb-loading and G for Getting Your Shit Together to I for Invisibility and V for Vaginas, Jenny's whistle-stop tour of the menopause in all its glory will make you realise that it really isn't just you. Jenny will share the surprising lessons she has learnt along the way as well as her hard-won tips on the joy of cardigans, dealing with the empty nest (get a lodger) and keeping the lid on the pressure cooker of your temper (count to twenty, ten is never enough). As Jenny says, 'I can't say that I've emerged like a beautiful butterfly from some hideous old menopausal chrysalis and it would be a lie to say that I've found the 'old me' again. But what I have found is the 'new me' - and you know what? I'm completely cool with that.'

The Squiggly Career

The Squiggly Career

Author: Helen Tupper, Sarah Ellis Format: Audiobook Release Date: 09/01/2020

Career ladders and jobs for life are a thing of the past Today, we're living in a world of squiggly careers, where moving frequently and fluidly between roles, industries, locations, and even careers, is becoming the new normal. Squiggly careers can feel stressful and overwhelming, but if you know how to make the most of them, they can be full of opportunity, freedom and purpose. And to make the most of our increasingly squiggly careers we need to answer some important questions: What am I good at? What do I stand for? What motivates and drives me? Where do I want to go in the future? In The Squiggly Career, you'll learn how to: - Play to your super strengths - Discover your values - Overcome your confidence gremlins - Build better support networks - Explore your future possibilities Packed with insights about the changing shape of work, exercises to fuel your growth, and tips and inspiration from highly successful people, this book will help you be happier, and ultimately more successful in your career.

Audiobooks of the Month

June 2021 Featured Books

Still Hot!

Still Hot!

Author: Kaye Adams, Vicky Allan Format: Paperback Release Date: 17/06/2021

Every menopause has its own story. It's time we listened to them. The Big M - not to mention the Big Peri-M - is a subject reduced to whispers or the cheap laughs of a hot flush. No one quite tells you the truth. No one prepares you for it. But now that silence is lifting. So, let's be bold and wise; let's overshare. Let's rejoice as we step free of the menopausal closet. The menopause is not one story, but many and diverse . . . and, whatever your experience, you are not alone. Measured, rebellious, fierce and upfront, each of STILL HOT!'s 42 voices speaks straight from the heart.  

The Transparency of Time

The Transparency of Time

Author: Leonardo Padura Format: Paperback Release Date: 10/06/2021

Leonardo Padura’s Detective Mario Conde crime novels form the basis of Netflix’s Four Seasons in Havana and, after becoming utterly involved in The Transparency of Time (the ninth and final book in the series), it’s clear to see the appeal for producers. Padura’s writing balances a playful spirit of intellectualism with his distinct observations of people, place and time. Multi-layered, and rich with insights into Cuba’s history and current climate, The Transparency of Time sees Mario Conde become immersed in a centuries-old occult mystery. With his sixtieth birthday on the horizon, he ponders his shifting identity (“Didn’t they start calling Hemingway “Old Man” a few years before his suicide at sixty-one? What about Trotsky? Wasn’t he, at sixty, known as the Old Man when Ramón Mercader split his head in two with a Stalinist and proletarian blow from an ice ax?”) and decides “he had reason enough to avoid so much as aspiring to the category of Old Man”. Rather, “he was, at best, going to become an old fart.”   That decided, Conde needs a new case to get stuck into and his need is answered when Bobby, a former high school classmate implores him to find a stolen Black Madonna statue that belonged to his grandmother. A vehement follower of Santeria, an African-Cuban religion that fuses Catholicism with West African Yoruba spiritism, Bobby is desperate: “She’s powerful! Truly powerful!.. You’re my only hope. And you have to help me, right? For old times’ sake?” Conde helps, of course, and with him readers are led on a complex journey through occult history, back to the Crusades as he works to ascertain the provenance of the statue, with interwoven episodes from the Spanish Civil War. At once entertaining and challenging, Padura is a writer with distinct style and scope.

Sunshine Warm Sober

Sunshine Warm Sober

Author: Catherine Gray Format: Hardback Release Date: 10/06/2021

Sunshine Warm Sober embraces the joys of sobriety. This sequel to Catherine Gray’s The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober covers what she has learnt over last three years, now that she has reached her eighth sober year. Using flashbacks to her past, she highlights her positive experiences of being ‘sunshine warm sober’ rather than ‘stone cold drunk’ during birthdays, holidays, dog sitting and other occasions. In her book, she explores addiction using medical, psychological and behavioural experts and case studies, discusses the role of alcohol in society, and answers thought-provoking questions such as: What does the label ‘addict’ really mean? Can you have an addictive personality? Is alcohol a parenting aid? Sunshine Warm Sober is filled with honesty, wit and warmth, as well as facts and personal stories. This fascinating read may help you to reassess your relationship with alcohol and change your life for the better.

eBooks of the Month
When We Become Strangers

When We Become Strangers

Author: Maggie Hamilton Format: Paperback Release Date: 10/06/2021

Loneliness has become a significant health risk in the UK. When We Become Strangers explores the impact of loneliness, isolation, disconnection and estrangement on our lives, and our (over)reliance on devices and the impact of social media. We live in a society where we don’t need to see another human for days but can still remain connected to the world. Sending a message to family and friends isn’t the same as a face-to-face encounter, though, and many relationships are struggling. We don’t even need to live alone to feel lonely. People can feel isolated in a busy household, surrounded by technology and retreating from the world around them. Loneliness may be caused by feeling little, or no, sense of belonging in a crowded room. When We Become Strangers is a thought-provoking look at the modern world. It’s an easy read and makes a lot of sense, with practical suggestions to combat loneliness, not just as individuals but as a society, connecting with nature, better building and city design, and more. This is a book of hope – that making changes to our lives now can reduce the impact of loneliness in the future.

Unbreak Your Heart

Unbreak Your Heart

Author: Katie Marsh Format: Paperback Release Date: 10/06/2021

There is often something extra-affecting about novels that have their roots in real life events and Unbreak Your Heart is no exception. Seven-year-old Jake has spent much of his short life in hospitals receiving treatment for a life threatening heart condition and is absolutely determined not to leave his single dad, Simon, to live alone, resolute in his ambition to find Simon someone to love and to love him.  His hopes for his father are equally mirrored by Simon’s love and hopes for his son and the sacrifices he makes to ensure that Jake’s life is as good as it can be. Into this mix Marsh introduces us to the wonderful Beth, who moves into the cottage next door and who changes Simon and Jake’s lives forever. Inspired by the courage of Katie’s daughter who was born with a cleft lip and palate and who underwent seven operations in eight years, Marsh’s latest is an extraordinary story about, hope, love, yes of course, but also of courage.  It also about the redemptive and healing power of friends and family, how persistence pays off and above all a reminder that even in the darkest times of pain and difficulty, the light does shine through and can transform broken hearts. Marsh is always at her best when depicting the dynamics of close personal relationships and has a talent for crafting completely addictive stories that are both heart-wrenching and life-affirming without veering into schmaltz. That Unbreak Your Heart is also perfectly seasoned with some beautifully weighted moments of humorous relief merely adds to the pleasure of this transformative tale.

The Insomnia Diaries

The Insomnia Diaries

Author: Miranda Levy Format: Paperback Release Date: 10/06/2021

If you have ever read any of Miranda Levy’s journalism you can’t fail to have been impressed by her straightforward, no-nonsense approach to any subject she turns her pen to and The Insomnia Diaries is no exception. Following a catastrophic single event, Levy had one sleepless night followed by another that became severe, crippling insomnia that affected every aspect of her life for eight years and which she recounts every stage of in this, often painfully honest, part memoir, part reportage. With over 16 million in the UK suffering from insomnia and a third of adults affected at least once a week according to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence - and this before the COVID-19 pandemic struck - Levy charts her own struggle, through medical treatment that led to dependency, via a Reiki practitioner, a hypnotist and multiple therapists and personal trainers as she leaves no stone unturned in her quest for the relief of a good night’s sleep. The links between sleep, mental health and wellbeing are well documented and with a foreword by scientist and sleep expert Dr. Sophie Bostock and contributions from a host of experts on the medical aspects, Levy makes it clear that there is no "one-size-fits-all" solution to this quiet, desperate condition.  What she does is to offers insights and guidance to anyone who wants to appreciate the issues and understand the complexities of finding the best way to get the rest they need.

Joe's Family Food

Joe's Family Food

Author: Joe Wicks Format: Hardback Release Date: 10/06/2021

Spend less time in the kitchen and more time together with 100 brand new family-friendly recipes from Joe Wicks, aka The Body Coach, the nation's favourite PE teacher and record-breaking bestselling author. With 100 healthy, tasty, simple recipes to feed the whole family, this book is sure to provide new favourite go-to meals for speedy suppers, celebrations and everything in between. As the proud dad of two kids, Joe understands the realities of life as a busy parent. Sometimes you're short of time, and it's hard to come up with a balanced meal when you have a thousand things to think about! This book does the hard work for you, so cooking and sharing nutritious food can become a social, fun activity for your family. Each recipe is specially designed to please every family member, leaving you all feeling healthy, happy and satisfied. Including: Mexican chicken burgers with avocado smash and sweetcorn salsa Peanut butter popcorn Frying-pan pizzas with little trees and fennel sausage Cheesy orzo-stuffed tomatoes Broccoli and pancetta carbonara Filled with swaps to cater to all tastes and ideas for involving the kids when you're cooking, this flexible cookbook will soon become your family favourite. The man who kept the nation moving during lockdown, Joe has sold more than three million books in the UK alone. He has more than four million followers on social media, where fans share their personal journeys towards a happier, healthier lifestyle. All of his books have been non-fiction number one bestsellers.

Becoming: The Greatest You

Becoming: The Greatest You

Author: Krahtay Gaylah Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/06/2021

‘BECOMING: The Greatest You’ by Krahtay Gaylah is a book created in order to help you become the best version of yourself you can be.  Developed from the author’s own experiences this book contains Krahtay’s journey as well as exercises, examples and affirmations that you can use in order to discover your own path to become your best self. This book has been created to offer inspiration and guidance and is the kind of book that you can return to at any time and re-read with new eyes and a greater understanding. Each chapter is self-contained, with an introductory scenario, from the author's life or more allegorical as well as more detail about the lessons that can be found in each lived experience. This book also includes affirmations and questions that can help the reader to gain greater self-awareness and put each of the lessons held within this book into action. I found ‘BECOMING’ was really well laid out, and liked that you can jump between the topics that are of the most interest to you at the time. I liked that the author included their own experiences and introduced ideas with clear scenarios as opposed to only featuring more abstract “lessons”. I feel this helped to give context and also offer examples of how to incorporate these new ways of thinking into your life. I appreciated the opportunity to read this book and I think that 'BECOMING' is a really informative read for anyone looking to understand themselves more, perhaps heal from past trauma and make sure that life is lived to the fullest. Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador 

Indie Books We Love
Becoming: The Greatest You

Becoming: The Greatest You

Author: Krahtay Gaylah Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/06/2021

‘BECOMING: The Greatest You’ by Krahtay Gaylah is a book created in order to help you become the best version of yourself you can be.  Developed from the author’s own experiences this book contains Krahtay’s journey as well as exercises, examples and affirmations that you can use in order to discover your own path to become your best self. This book has been created to offer inspiration and guidance and is the kind of book that you can return to at any time and re-read with new eyes and a greater understanding. Each chapter is self-contained, with an introductory scenario, from the author's life or more allegorical as well as more detail about the lessons that can be found in each lived experience. This book also includes affirmations and questions that can help the reader to gain greater self-awareness and put each of the lessons held within this book into action. I found ‘BECOMING’ was really well laid out, and liked that you can jump between the topics that are of the most interest to you at the time. I liked that the author included their own experiences and introduced ideas with clear scenarios as opposed to only featuring more abstract “lessons”. I feel this helped to give context and also offer examples of how to incorporate these new ways of thinking into your life. I appreciated the opportunity to read this book and I think that 'BECOMING' is a really informative read for anyone looking to understand themselves more, perhaps heal from past trauma and make sure that life is lived to the fullest. Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador 

Indie Books We Love
How to Make Good Things Happen

How to Make Good Things Happen

Author: Marian Rojas Estape, M. D. Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/06/2021

How to Make Good Things Happen is a well-researched book on managing your stress and anxiety levels, and how our mental health influences our physical health and day-to-day lives. Written by an American psychiatrist, it’s not a quick read or self-help book, but is more of a scientific look at our hormones and how our brain works in relation to our emotions – love, sadness, happiness, guilt – especially at times of stress. To combat stress, we need to train ourselves to see positivity in all situations, rather than focusing on negativity, and we also need to learn how to stop overthinking. The book uses practical approaches based on science, including the evidence for mindfulness and omega-3 foods in brain health. I loved the case studies dotted around the book – short stories about people the author has met over the years, some as patients and others just in passing. The book seeks to help its readers see the good in everything so that they can lead a healthier, more fulfilling life. An interesting read.

eBooks of the Month
Wild Nights Out

Wild Nights Out

Author: Chris Salisbury Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/06/2021

Calling all outdoor adventurers who want to walk on the wild side by the light of the moon! While there’s no shortage of brilliant books to inspire and guide nature exploration in young adventurers, Chris Salisbury’s Wild Nights Out is the first nature guide to focus on night-time activities, which gives both the book and its activities a distinct and decidedly magical edge.   With a foreword by Chris Packham, this is a brilliant book for grown-ups to use with 7+-year-olds who share their passion for the great outdoors. The text addresses adults, as opposed to chattily speaking to children direct, but with a background in theatre and environmental education, and currently working as professional storyteller alongside directing the Call of the Wild Foundation programme for educators-in-training, the author is well-placed to advise on how to engage young explorers.   As for the activities, the book covers a blend of games, walks and sensory experiences, the latter of which form an excellent foundation from which to explore the world at night, with exercises designed to focus and enhance one’s sensory perceptions. Then there are practical activities covering the likes of learning to call for owls, detect bats and understand the night sky alongside immersive theatrical activities, such as hosting nocturnal animal performances and fireside storytelling. With black-and-white illustrations throughout and activities to last the entire summer holidays, this certainly shines an inspiring and informative light on night-time nature.     You can find more recommended adventure reads in our curation for the London Mountain Film Festival Bookfest 2021.    

The Enchanted Life

The Enchanted Life

Author: Sharon Blackie Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/06/2021

A thought-provoking book that almost shakes thoughts loose and sets them free in a bid to reclaim the enchantment within ourselves and the natural world around us. There are concerning studies that suggest: “the brains of people in this generation might be developing differently because of their almost constant interaction with technology”. This book explores history and myth, other peoples musings and findings, through to Sharon’s own thoughts in order to offer us the tools to find the enchantment again, to relish and really live with it. Dr Sharon Blackie is an award winning writer and we are confirmed fans here at LoveReading. Sharon is our June Author in the Picture, editorial expert Joanne said If Women Rose Rooted creates: “a richly interesting perspective on other ways of living” and I simply adored the 13 bitingly beautiful stories in Foxfire, Wolfskin and Other Stories of Shapeshifting Women. She is also a psychologist and mythologist, she understands our need to connect to the world around us. From the first few paragraphs The Enchanted Life really resonated with me, it made me stop and listen, it captured and thoroughly provoked my thoughts before setting me on the trail: “to live an enchanted life is to fall in love with the world all over again”. I read, I agreed, I believed, The Enchanted Life is a meaningful and truly lovely book that I can thoroughly recommend.

Star Books
An Extra Pair of Hands

An Extra Pair of Hands

Author: Kate Mosse Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/06/2021

An Extra Pair of Hands is an emotional journey, following Kate Mosse as she became a carer for her father, mother and then mother-in-law in a short space of time. This is a book about what it’s like to be a carer, not as a paid employee but to be there for your family at times of illness, crisis and increasing fragility – because you want to be, not because it’s just part of a job. I felt like I was there in her memories, not only during her practical day-to-day activities and dealing with their essential needs, but also the impact on her own mental health. Carers silently, stoically and heroically do what they do out of love and for little or no reward. It can be hard, both physically and emotionally – always thinking of, and dealing with, loved ones’ needs other than their own. In her book, Kate Mosse also touches on the impact of pandemic and lockdowns and the shielding of older & vulnerable people. An Extra Pair of Hands is a celebration of family and love and an exploration of grief and ageing – it’s raw, witty, heartbreaking and honest.

Inner Alchemy

Inner Alchemy

Author: Zulma Reyo Format: Hardback Release Date: 29/05/2021

‘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

Indie Books We Love
Repotting Your Life

Repotting Your Life

Author: Frances Edmonds Format: Hardback Release Date: 13/05/2021

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.

Self-Contained Scenes from a single life

Self-Contained Scenes from a single life

Author: Emma John Format: Hardback Release Date: 06/05/2021

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. 

Mummin' It

Mummin' It

Author: Harriet Shearsmith, Toby & Roo Ltd Format: Hardback Release Date: 29/04/2021

The book is split into five main sections: food, home, travel, body/beauty and life. The food section is particularly helpful, from meal planning and budgeting to delicious-sounding recipes and step-by-step cooking with kids (with full-colour photos). Inside, there are easy ways to make your home child-friendly, stylish and tidy(ish), followed by tips on travelling with kids (abroad, at home, camping etc), beauty and fashion tips (on a budget, with little time) and finally how to still have a life (friendships, sex life and work life). It’s written in a ‘best friend’ tone – easy to read with plenty of humour – and I found myself nodding along at the advice. You can’t get much more practical than this, with its tick-off checklists, space for meal plans and notes, and even a ‘working mum guilt’ word search. Mummin’ It is ideal for parents with children at nursery and/or primary school, and a book that you’re likely to return to again and again.

eBooks of the Month
Win at Work and Succeed at Life

Win at Work and Succeed at Life

Author: Michael Hyatt Format: Audiobook Release Date: 20/04/2021

You don’t have to choose between your career and your personal life. Many people feel fulfilled by their professional accomplishments, and they should. Yet, career wins can come at great cost to your health, relationships, and personal well-being. Failure in those areas can boomerang on your career’s success. Why does it seem impossible to both win at work and succeed at life? Michael Hyatt and Megan Hyatt Miller know we can do better because the five principles in this book have revolutionized their professional achievements while supporting personal lives rich in meaning, relationships, and vitality. Today, Michael and Megan coach their clients to live the Double Win. The Double Win sees work and life in partnership, not opposition. Succeeding at life, in turn, fosters a clear mind, creativity, and a rested body so we can focus on the work that matters most. This is not an abstract hope. It’s a concrete, daily reality. Michael, Megan, their employees, and their clients live it. And it’s a real possibility for you as well. Backed by insights from psychology and organizational science and illustrated with eyeopening case studies from across the business spectrum and their own coaching clients, Win at Work and Succeed at Life is their manifesto on how you can achieve work-life balance and success.

Audiobooks of the Month
Soundtracks

Soundtracks

Author: Jon Acuff Format: Audiobook Release Date: 06/04/2021

Overthinking isn't a personality trait. It's the sneakiest form of fear. It steals time, creativity, and goals. It's the most expensive, least productive thing companies invest in without even knowing it. And it's an epidemic. In Soundtracks, New York Times bestselling author Jon Acuff offers a proven plan to change overthinking from a super problem into a superpower. If you want to tap into the surprising power of overthinking and give your dreams more time and creativity, learn how to DJ the soundtracks that define you. If you can worry, you can wonder. If you can doubt, you can dominate. If you can spin, you can soar.

Audiobooks of the Month
The Sparks In My Skull

The Sparks In My Skull

Author: I D Atkinson Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/03/2021

‘The Sparks in My Skull’ by I D Atkinson is a science fiction based Young Adult novel. An interesting concept, where young adults suffering from migraines develop additional cognitive abilities called aether varying from precognition to psychokinesis. The downside of these additional abilities are their time-bomb brain, that could suddenly develop a fatal brain bleed.  In this dystopian story, where society lashes out in fear towards things and people that they don’t fully understand, we meet Echo and Flynn, who flee to a sanctuary for others with aether, but are they really safe there?  ‘The Sparks in My Skull’ is an interesting storyline and each of the characters are infused with personality. The book introduces you slowly to each character and to the different forms and abilities that aether can take. I found the speech a little contrived and the initial incident at the party with Echo personally a bit frustratingly unbelievable. I feel a younger audience may like this book more and this book made me consider that maybe I am now a bit too old for Young Adult fiction. The plotline is interesting and entertaining, and I wanted to read more to learn about aether, and what would happen to Echo and Flynn. I would say ‘The Sparks in My Skull’ is an easy to read story that would be a great recommendation for fans of YA dystopian fiction and fantasy. Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador 

Why The F*ck Can't I Change

Why The F*ck Can't I Change

Author: Dr Gabija Toleikyte Format: Ebook Release Date: 21/01/2021

Why the F*ck Can’t I Change? is a scientific look at our emotions and why it can be difficult for us to change our mindset, long-standing habits and productivity. While the title is a sweary one, the book’s contents aren’t sweary at all. This is a fairly academic book on behavioural change, focusing on the biology and anatomy of the human brain. It has been well-researched by its neuroscientist author, using scientific studies and reference books. There are some case studies, self-help advice and practical tips, but it’s not a quick read. The book features some medical jargon so it may not work for everyone, but each chapter has a useful summary at the end. If you’re looking for a book that gives you more than the usual self-help ‘change your life’ advice, because you want to understand the root cause of why you feel, think and behave the way you do, then this book may be the answer. Purchase Why the F*ck Can't I Change from: Amazon Apple Kobo Google