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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.
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.
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. ~ Greg Hackett You can hear Anna discussing her new book at the London Mountain Festival 2021 And find our full list of recommended adventure reads for the London Mountain Film Festival Bookfest 2021 - plus extra festival news!
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
21 Breaths by Oliver James is a gorgeous little yellow hardback book. It’s excellent quality, inside and out. The first section of the book focuses on the benefits of breathing techniques. Oliver James relates the story of when he discovered breathing techniques could change his life, followed by simple explanations of how these can affect different parts of your body, and how they may help to change how you feel too. Then there’s a chapter with four simple tests to check how to assess whether you’re breathing correctly – it really did make me think about ‘how I breathe’ and how my breathing could be improved. In the main section of his book, Olive James describes breathing techniques to suit various physical and mental needs, including pain, constipation, sleep, confidence, anxiety, posture and stress. Each breathing technique is explained clearly, with simple tips to follow. The book contains beautiful black-and-white drawings of the author demonstrating each breathing exercise, and these really helped me to get my posture and positioning right. A fascinating book that’s easy to dip into or read all the way through – and it looks great too!
‘Noise: A Manifesto Modernising Motherhood’ is a fresh look at how mothers can raise children while still maintaining their own identity outside of this role. Informed and inspired by the author’s experiences of being a single parent, teenage mum, mum to triplets and a successful academic and working parent, ‘Noise’ has been created, not as a book that holds the answers, but as a book that asks pertinent questions so you can find your own answers. As stated constantly throughout, every mother experiences motherhood differently and the author is very clear in acknowledging this manifesto has grown from her experiences. I like the clear boundaries of how Danusia introduces a topic, an obstacle to maintaining a clear sense of identity and her own experience of the ‘caught between a rock and a hard place’ positioning of being a mother and expected by society to give everything to her children and a human, who need space time and their own desires met in order to flourish. Then the author steps back to ask more abstract questions, allowing any mother or mother-to-be reading this to work out how the “Mother Stoppers” and internalised idealised rigid structures and “noise” of motherhood has had an impact on them. I liked the concept of this book as an opportunity for discussion. This book is a chance, not to eradicate the “noise” of internalised societal roles and structures, but to alter the noise that exists in order to make it more realistic, supportive and beneficial for future generations of mothers. I think that this is an insightful and educational book for anyone who would like to be a mother. Charlotte Walker, A LoveReadng Ambassador
Written by an experienced practitioner, the principle aim of the journal is to encourage the user to appreciate the value of living in the present rather than constantly searching for happiness in future - possibly hypothetical - events. It is written in a clear, non-jargonistic way, using language that is accessible to its readers. The author reminds us that just as following a daily morning routine is known to be beneficial to our well-being, completing a journal can be a valuable and positive tool in our journey of self-development and improvement. Links with other positive roots in yoga, meditation and slow, controlled breathing is also encouraged. The first part of the book consists of ways which help the reader to understand how best to make use of the ten daily, reflective questions which form the body of the journal. The author employs his own experiences in order to convince us of the real benefits to be had in responding each morning to these ten empowering questions. The examples given are easy to understand and fall within most people's range of everyday thinking. In order to extend the impact, we are also encouraged to answer mentally or speak aloud thoughts and ideas that will not fit into the space given. Every seven days, three new questions are included. Each daily journal begins with a quotation and is arranged over two pages. The back of the journal consists of a short meaningful conclusion and lined pages for note making. This is the type of book that I would purchase for myself and would give to like-minded friends as a gift. I would however choose a hardback copy. I especially like the unpretentious approach and its simplicity of format. Often when quotations are used, they are there for effect but the ones included here are varied in provenance and I personally found them extremely reflective. There are a lot of similarly themed books on the market at the moment so competition for marketing feels tough. Many are 'pretty' and seem to have no real foundation to them whereas this feels genuine and as if the author really cares for his readers. However, I feel that a little more focus upon its aesthetics might encourage its appeal and I would have welcomed the inclusion of some simple illustrations and variety of text formats to enable this. Val Rowe, A LoveReading Ambassador
Burnout is a buzzword of recent years, as technology plays an increasing role in our lives, with 24/7 access to the world. It’s not surprising that it’s hard to switch off at times. In Burnout, author Selina Barker explains ‘how to thrive with a hectic lifestyle’, using practical tools and exercises to guide us. The book is colourful and well-designed, making it a pleasure to read. It begins with a ‘Burnout SOS’ for those of us in need of urgent help because we’re physically and mentally exhausted, already right in the middle of a major burnout, or about to have one. The rest of the book takes a step back (prevention is far better than cure), for those of us not yet at the burnout stage. It explains what can cause burnout, how to get our energy levels back and how to redesign our lives. It’s a book that you could dip in and out of, and refer to again and again. It was fun to read – making me laugh at times – and highly encouraging. The comforting companion you need at a tough time.
Four very different characters take centre stage in this unusual and beautiful tale. 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. 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, the words will resonate just as much with adult readers. A very special book.
An interesting and immersive book about the undeveloped potential of mushrooms. If our relationship with nature interests you, if you believe that in order to thrive we should live in harmony with nature, then I can highly recommend reading In Search of Mycotopia. Doug Bierend is an American journalist who writes about science and technology, food, education, and how we can live in a sustainable world. Here he looks at the potential of fungi, and we meet a variety of people and ideas that could contribute to our working in harmony with nature. The author challenges the reader throughout this book, he questions our idea of expertise and asks us to look at fungi in a completely new way. The various chapters include a section at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in London where it is clear that amateurs and experts have worked together throughout its history in the study of fungi. This is readable, inclusive, and the big messages that I kept hearing throughout this book, were about bringing people together and working together in order to gain a better relationship with nature. In Search of Mycotopia highlights the importance of fungi in an eloquent and engaging way.
Nobody Tells You is a brilliant and reassuring companion for anyone starting out on the path to parenthood, from getting pregnancy all the way through to feeding your baby. Featuring diverse real-life stories, it feels so natural and personal, like you’re chatting with friends. These are real people (with their twitter handles and photos) answering real questions about different types of pregnancies, babycare and parenthood. So you know that whatever you’re thinking – or feeling – is normal, and that you’re not alone. It’s a reminder that parenting may be a struggle at times – all those niggling things that no one else is going to tell you and you’ve not yet dared to ask. ‘Yes, contractions can hurt.’ ‘It’s natural to worry about your baby.’ ‘It may take time to bond.’ This book is packed with simple advice from healthcare professionals too, featuring essential tips on morning sickness, hospital items, and more. I wish I had been given a book like this before my two sons were born.
Second Thoughts by Lynn Berger is a literary and scientific insight into having and being a second child. Translated from Dutch, it is part memoir and part discussion about birth order, sibling rivalry and sibling relationships. By the time the author wrote this book, she already had two children. But here she recaps on her decision-making process to have a second child after her daughter was born. Second Thoughts is a balanced look at second-time parenthood. There’s a lot packed into its 200 or so pages – it’s written in a balanced, non-judgemental way and isn’t intended to sway readers in one direction or another. Lynn Berger explores psychological research and speaks to experts to see whether (or how) birth order may influence personality and development. She brings the science to life with personal anecdotes about growing up with a young sister and the interactions between her son and daughter as they discover each other and the world around them. Having a second child tends to be a heart-led decision, rather than a scientific one. But this will be helpful background to anyone with an interest in psychology.
The inescapable truth of life, of all life, is that it ends. It is argued that some societies deal with this inevitability better than others, but the pain, the loss and as Coles puts it, the madness, are universal. In December 2019, Reverend Richard, variously a member of Bronski Beat, The Communards, the BBC and a man of the cloth, lost his beloved partner, David. It was unexpected. It was a shock. While it might be reasonably assumed that a ‘death professional,’ as Coles has described himself, might be prepared for such a personal tragedy, the reverse is true. As he charts the administration, the ‘sadmin,’ required to deal with the formalities of death, Coles’ chronicles the emotions that flood and drive him, from the weirdness of midnight shopping for no matter what (and ending up with three sorts of parmesan) to the awful realisation that the loss of his partner is also the loss of their planned future. In “The Madness of Grief” Coles runs his hand along the grain of grief and documents every knot and splinter. What he has written is such an evisceratingly eloquent account of personal anguish, rich with honesty, pathos and yes, humour, that it is in fact a universal hymn to bereavement that will resonate with each and every reader. It marks Coles out as the C.S. Lewis of - and for - our times.
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. ~ Greg Hackett Join Vassos in conversation with fellow ultra-runner Damian Hall at the London Mountain Film Festival 2021. And find our full list of recommended adventure reads for the London Mountain Film Festival Bookfest 2021 - plus extra festival news!
From finding your sparkle (which the author defines as “unleashing the natural talent inside you” and "feeling and believing you can do anything”), to dealing with anti-social media, Suzanne Virdee’s A Girls’ Guide to Being Awesome is a pitch-perfect guidebook for girls navigating the confusing path to adulthood. The author, an award-winning TV journalist and radio broadcaster, contextualises her approach and advice through her experience as a tenacious, aspiring journalist who refused to give up. Sassy inspirational soundbites (“life is tough but so are you”; “success is a decision”; “don’t wish for it, work for it”) sit alongside detailed discussions of big issues, among them education, anxiety, sex and online grooming. The book also suggests empowering practical exercises, and provides nicely-designed space for readers to jot down their own thoughts on the likes of dreams and ambitions, using one’s sparkle, social media, and feminist icons, which will surely prompt deeper thinking and help young women hone valuable life skills.
Bellybutton: The Source of my Strength is an inspirational, autobiographical tale of Danny, and his struggles to cope with bereavement and his journey towards embracing the Christian faith and his work to support his family. Daniel Felix tells his story in the first person from the beginning, born prematurely and brought home into a heavily religious West Indian family living in the East End of London. The book continues to share what growing up was like and how the bond he shared with his mother developed over the years. I liked the interesting perspective that was used to tell the story of Daniel's birth and time as a premature baby in hospital and there are humorous comments dotted through the text that made me smile. Bellybutton: The Source of my Strength is a very different title, but as I read I understood more that it not only represented Danny’s connection to his mother and her faith but perhaps to creation overall, and the development of his Christian faith. From reading this book it is clear that Daniel was able to use his faith to help him find the strength he needed to be there for his family. I think that this is a good book for those who enjoy autobiography and for readers looking for a book that focuses on an autobiographical tale of spiritual enlightenment.
Joe Dispenza, DC, has spent decades studying the human mind-how it works, how it stores information, and why it perpetuates the same behavioral patterns over and over. In the acclaimed film What the Bleep Do We Know!? he began to explain how the brain evolves-by learning new skills, developing the ability to concentrate in the midst of chaos, and even healing the body and the psyche. Evolve Your Brain presents this information in depth, while helping you take control of your mind, explaining how thoughts can create chemical reactions that keep you addicted to patterns and feelings-including ones that make you unhappy. And when you know how these bad habits are created, it's possible to not only break these patterns, but also reprogram and evolve your brain, so that new, positive, and beneficial habits can take over.
We all know the pressure of feeling like we should be grinding 24/7 while simultaneously being told that we should 'just relax' and take care of ourselves, like we somehow have to decide between success and sanity. But in today's complex working world, where every hobby can be a hustle and social media is the lens through which we view ourselves and others, this seemingly impossible choice couldn't be further from our reality. In Working Hard, Hardly Working, entrepreneur and self-proclaimed 'lazy workaholic' Grace Beverley challenges this unrealistic and unnecessary split, and offers a fresh take on how to create your own balance, be more productive and feel fulfilled. Insightful, curious and refreshingly honest, Working Hard, Hardly Working will make you reflect on what you want from your life and work - and then help you chart your path to get there. A BOOK TO HELP YOU Create your own Productivity Method: Work smart and do more of what you love Make your routine work for you: Optimise your habits and reap the benefits Understand your value: Get into your flow and enjoy your everyday Engage in effective self-care: How stepping back can help you move forwards
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.
Our March 2021 Book Club Recommendation Click here to see our Reading Group Questions. This is such a welcoming and warming read with community spirit, traditional craft, and the environment at its heart. Author Robert J Somerville was commissioned to build an elm barn by hand in Hertfordshire. Over the course of a year volunteers gathered together to help build the barn, and this is the story. There are so many positive elements to this read. A community of volunteers come together to: “teach, practice and celebrate skilled rural craftsmanship”. And while Dutch elm disease has decimated our Elm population, there is hope for the trees survival. As Robert Somerville says: “Elm is a species that suffered a major pandemic, but its incredible determination to survive prevails. Elm is proving itself to be a tree with an enduring life force, and, to my mind, is an appropriate icon for getting closer to nature, the resurgence in making things by hand and for bringing old skills back to life”. The book contains a myriad of interesting illustrations and photos as well as the story from concept to raising of the barn. At a time when community really matters, when our environment needs love and nurturing, Barn Club echoes with all that is good. It is a wonderful read that lightened my spirits and made me smile.
A rewarding and eloquent book that focuses on our connection with nature and how it can bring us back to ourselves, to become more grounded and aware of the world around us. Dr Ruth Allen is a psychotherapist, writer, speaker, and adventurer. She is very aware that we don’t all have equal access to nature, yet she shows that access is possible and encourages us to forge relationships with our natural environment. She has: “suggestions, tools, approaches and inklings” and I found an accessible, satisfying read that really spoke to me. She introduces her own story with nature, followed with a guide on how to use the book, stating: “You don’t have to be wealthy, athletic, ‘outdoorsy’, from an adventurous family or of any particular age demographic, gender, ethnicity, nationality or sexuality: the words over the following pages are for all of you.” Beautiful photos accompany her guidance, suggestions, and activities. I feel that this is a book you can take your time with, dip in and out of, or just get on and do, be, and find what strikes a chord with you. Balanced and wise, Grounded helps us to explore our relationship with nature, and I’m pleased to recommend it as a Liz Pick of the Month. Find out more when Ruth Allen talks to Lizzie Carr in the London Mountain Film Festival, 2021 And find our full list of recommended adventure reads for the London Mountain Film Festival Bookfest 2021 - plus extra festival news!
How to be Sad by Helen Russell is part memoir and part exploration of sadness and grief using expert sources. It is split into three parts – looking after ourselves when we’re sad, how to talk about being sad, and what to do when you’re sad (including the benefits of reading). It isn’t an obvious self-help book, focusing a lot on the science and psychology of how and why we feel sad, and why this emotion shouldn’t be a taboo topic. But it’s written in a chatty style and is well researched, featuring interviews with scientists and journalists and with an extensive list of references at the end. Helen Russell discusses key events in her own life that have led to sadness, including the cot death of her baby sister, and how perfectionism and expectations have led to eating disorders and addictions. Her book is personal, reflective and insightful; following her research into happiness for a previous book, she realised that many people are phobic about being sad (or admitting to being sad). Here, her message is that sadness and tears are an important part of life and shouldn’t be held back.
Doctors Get Cancer Too is the 18-month diary of a cancer patient who is also a GP. Dr Philippa Kaye was diagnosed with bowel cancer at the age of 39. In her book, she gives a personal, honest insight into her cancer scans, surgeries and chemotherapy, from diagnosis to recovery. She writes about how each stage felt and looked, the decisions she had to make and the impact it had on her and her family’s daily life, using humour to cushion the graphic details. Her GP role meant she understood the medical side of being a cancer patient, but the practical side was a steep learning curve for her, now seeing everything from the patient’s chair instead. She includes copies of the ‘just in case’ letters she wrote to her three young children, packing list for a hospital stay and home post-op tips. Her diaries weren’t originally written to be published. But by bravely sharing her thoughts, emotions and experiences in such a public manner, she hopes to provide some support, reassurance and comfort to other cancer patients – and to also highlight that bowel cancer can affect people at any age.
The Life in Full Colors: Unlock Your Childlike Curosity to Uncover and Activate the Creative Intelligence is a clear, easy read to read book, the book is written in an informal friendly style, like a conversation with a close friend. It’s like a calming voice telling you what to do. There are 7 steps to creating a life in full colour and she talks about Creative Intelligence which we all have but just need to find and activate. I especially like that Corry has a refresh and review which is a bullet point summary of the main things talked about, at the end of each chapter. I find the book is like a gentle step by step guide with lots hugs and reassurances. Maisie Hoang, A LoveReading Ambassador
This book has the longest ever book title but it’s captured my attention. I find this book bubbling with enthusiasm but overloaded with information/ suggestions and statistics. I find the sentence and paragraph too packed together which makes it a little hard to read. I also find that there are so many descriptive words in each sentence, that it makes it lengthy and therefore you have to read it quite a few times to understand. But saying this, it is a fastinsting book that goes down to the bare basic, why we overeat as there are 7 root causes. The book is quite interactiveness, there is a Self assessment quiz and whole chapter with recipes which is very helpful. The author also talks about ancient food wisdom which included religion, cultural traditions, Eastern healing systems and nutritional science studies. These all give a person an idea of how food should be from an early age. I find this book gives a well round idea on why we overeat and back up with lots of Scientific theory. Maisie Hoang, A LoveReading Ambassador
The long-awaited sequel to 12 RULES FOR LIFE, which has sold over 5 million copies around the world In 12 Rules for Life, acclaimed public thinker and clinical psychologist Jordan B. Peterson offered an antidote to the chaos in our lives: eternal truths applied to modern anxieties. His insights have helped millions of readers and resonated powerfully around the world. Now in this much-anticipated sequel, Peterson goes further, showing that part of life's meaning comes from reaching out into the domain beyond what we know, and adapting to an ever-transforming world. While an excess of chaos threatens us with uncertainty, an excess of order leads to a lack of curiosity and creative vitality. Beyond Order therefore calls on us to balance the two fundamental principles of reality - order and chaos - and reveals the profound meaning that can be found on the path that divides them. In times of instability and suffering, Peterson reminds us that there are sources of strength on which we can all draw: insights borrowed from psychology, philosophy, and humanity's greatest myths and stories. Drawing on the hard-won truths of ancient wisdom, as well as deeply personal lessons from his own life and clinical practice, Peterson offers twelve new principles to guide readers towards a more courageous, truthful and meaningful life.
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!