Mind & Body - books to help you be better

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.

November 2021 Featured Books

The Ruin of All Witches

The Ruin of All Witches

Author: Malcolm Gaskill Format: Hardback Release Date: 04/11/2021

Oh my, The Ruin of All Witches is absolutely fascinating! Detailing the witch-hunting that took place in a frontier town in Massachusetts during 1651, this is a darkly enthralling read. The author describes it as a historical reconstruction rather than a novel. Written using historical documentation including court records, sermons, letters, diaries, deeds, and wills, this dual sense of story and history ensures a deeper awareness. It begins almost as a fairytale would, the style of writing placed me in time and location. I was able to look around and soak up the atmosphere. I felt a connection to the place and people, could reach a level of appreciation for thoughts and feelings. Examining small details, looking behind fears, beyond survival, makes this an accessible and thought-provoking read. The maps help plant the location, the Sources and Methods detailed at the back confirm the thought process behind this book. Malcolm Gaskill is a leading expert in the history of witchcraft and his knowledge and research shows. The Ruin of All Witches is a vivid, captivating and intriguing walk into the past and I’ve chosen it as a Liz Robinson Pick of the Month.

Star Books
Peeing is Relieving

Peeing is Relieving

Author: Robert Eddison Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/11/2021

Followers of Robert Eddison on social media (Twitter - @roberteddison1) will know that he is the undisputed master of the contemporary, pithy, one liner, with over 29,000 original aperçus on 150 different subjects to his name and tens of thousands of followers across his various platforms. In Peeing is Relieving he reveals a huge talent and endearing fascination for the quirks and power of language and also displays a playful, light hearted, world view that, while it occasionally toes the line of decency, never actually steps over it. There are chuckles aplenty  - and some rather lovely illustrations - in this compact volume, which will leave you pondering the more profound insights of some of the entries as you revel in the simple absurdity of others. In the introduction, by the Times’ diary editor, Patrick Kidd makes the point that “it takes real craft to express home truths in just a handful of words, especially when they are so funny,” and he is absolutely right. Rennison joins an illustrious band of writers and thinkers throughout history who have managed to marshal a love of language and wordplay and crystallise a skewed look at life in all its ridiculous glory. As Rennison says “The English language is not so rich that it has the mot juste for everything,” but as he ably demonstrates, in the hands of a master, it comes pretty darn close. He also says that “For most of us, the straight and narrow needs widening,” and Peeing is Relieving will certainly broaden your outlook.

Medusa

Medusa

Author: Jessie Burton Format: Hardback Release Date: 28/10/2021

Jessie Burton’s fiery feminist re-telling of the Greek myth of Medusa blazes with intrigue and beauty courtesy of author’s elegant style and Olivia Lomenech Gill’s fabulously evocative colour illustrations. It’s an incredible feat of intellect and imagination that takes down toxic masculinity and victim-blaming culture through an ingenious reframing, reclaiming of Medusa. The gods have exiled Medusa to a remote island, with no one for company but the snakes she has for hair. That is, until impossibly beautiful Perseus arrives and transfixes her: “I know a lot about beauty. Too much in fact. But I’d never seen anything like him…I wanted to eat him up like honey cake.” Desires awoken, Medusa won’t reveal her name, or let him see her: “I was just going to sit on the other side of this entrance rock and pretend that boys like him washed up on desert islands all the time.” This excerpt encapsulates one of the many marvellous things about this book. The writing - cleverly, and compellingly - feels both timeless and modern. Medusa’s narrative, and the dialogue, is laced with wit, and infused with tremendous detail. But betrayal swoops in the wake of desire, and all-too familiar mechanisms of patriarchy come into play with ferocity. Ultimately, though, and with a magnificent sense of sisterhood, Medusa comes to a new state of being: “Self-awareness is a great banisher of loneliness. And my sisters, the immortals, are with me.” This is terrifically inspiring and empowering in the ways of timeless myths, but also in ways that are very, very real - “you will find me when you need me, when the wind hears a woman’s cry and fills my sails forward. And I will whisper on the water that one must never fear the raised shield, the reflection caught in an office window, or the mirror in a bathroom.”

This is the Canon

This is the Canon

Author: Joan Anim-Addo, Deirdre Osborne Format: Hardback Release Date: 28/10/2021

Highlighting reads that encourage you to explore new beliefs, ideas, and opinions, this was an eye-opening read for me. Recommending a collection of 50 novellas and novels from around the world, with voices from all backgrounds and races, the reader is encouraged to rethink the novels that are considered the classics of literature. It is explained as: “an intervention that offers opportunities for readers to explore a broader reach of works than those that are perennially taught and examined, or promoted”. Prior to reading this I believed that I read far and wide, across genres, continents, and authors, and yet and yet, I’ve only read books by four of these authors. It really brought me up short and has made me rethink my reading lists. I know that some of my LoveReading reviewing colleagues have already read many of these books, but for me, the majority will be new. Joan Anim-Addo, Deidre Osborne, and Kadija Sesay are well respected and explain their thoughts, reasoning, and hold their arms wide in welcoming you to This is the Canon. Each of the 50 books is introduced and includes details of publishing, the author, and other recommended books. The Afterword encourages you, as a reader, to make a difference in the literary world, to make your voice heard. Sitting as a LoveReading Star Book and Liz Pick of the Month, This is the Canon offers a huge opportunity to the reader, and one that I will be taking up.

Star Books
Daily Affirmations for a Happier You

Daily Affirmations for a Happier You

Author: Michelle Lee Format: Paperback Release Date: 20/09/2021

‘Daily Affirmations for a Happier You’ by Michelle Lee is a direct and practical guide to incorporating positive  affirmations into your daily life. The author manages to collate her own personal story, the ways in which positive affirmations and positive thinking can have an impact on your life, how to incorporate affirmations into your day-to-day routine and lists of examples that can be tailored to suit the individual all in less than 100 pages. I would say this book is a concentrated shot of positivity and I think that everyone would be able to take something from it. This book is a reminder that everything you say to yourself, about yourself, has an impact and it’s important to be kind to ourselves. The author also touches on how having a more positive mental attitude can also lead to greater chances of success, as demonstrated through her affirmation journey. ‘Daily Affirmations for a Happier You’ is accessible and a great place to start if you’re looking for simple ways to incorporate more positivity into your life.

Indie Books We Love
HAUNTED

HAUNTED

Author: Tony Marturano Format: Paperback Release Date: 16/11/2020

The second book in the series ‘Haunted’ by Tony Marturano continues the story of Marco Battista who, after the events of the first book, heads to the small village of Porthcoe with his wife to recuperate and renovate his late father’s holiday home. It is encouraged before and as you start reading that you begin the ‘Haunted’ series with book number one: Psychosis, and it is something I would also recommend as the events of that first book are referred to a lot. This is a tense thriller filled with ghosts, secrets and questions. I liked the style of narration, for the duration of this book we the reader are a constant confidant to Marco as he tells us of the strange occurrences within the house, even seeking confirmation at times which sent me scooting back up the page to double check. I felt like this added to the creepiness and at least in a bookish sense had me double checking every corner and looking over my shoulder as I read. Also, the references to the events in the previous book, even for those that haven’t read it, suggests that Marco may be an unreliable narrator which is something I liked for adding tension and uncertainty to the story.  Tension, strange dreams, a couple that enjoy jumpscaring each other and the jumpscares built into the plot all amount to a brilliant horror story, ideal for the darker winter months. The scene with the moth still sends shivers up my spine even after I’ve finished reading, eugh! With the addition of character developments and a storyline that you can get invested in (this book is most certainly not all about the scare), I think that this is a brilliantly thrilling, page-turning horror.

Indie Books We Love

October 2021 Featured Books

The Wheel

The Wheel

Author: Jennifer Lane Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/10/2021

This fascinating and engaging read will satisfy the reading curiosity of anyone who has an interest in witchcraft, pagan paths, or those who miss nature in their stressful daily lives. Nature journalist Jennifer Lane charts a year in her life after realising that she needed to step outside of the anxiety of her office based environment. I travelled with Jennifer as she looked back to her past and began to reconnect with her love for nature and witchcraft. I joined her in festivals and rituals, various courses including Shamanism and Astrology, and on her walks in our natural environment. This is a gentle and thoughtful introduction to Witchcraft and Paganism, a group of contemporary religions based around a reverence for nature. Jennifer describes her beliefs as: “balance, harmony, and living seasonally”. In the 2011 census, over 56 thousand people identified as pagan, however it is likely that numbers are far higher, as due to other people’s misunderstanding or falsification of the religion, it can remain a hidden part of their lives. The Wheel is a thought-provoking and interesting glimpse into Jennifer’s love for nature and witchcraft. 

Liz Robinson's Picks of the Month
Resilience

Resilience

Author: Elise Christie Format: Hardback Release Date: 30/09/2021

Unflinchingly frank, Elise Christie’s autobiography recounts her experiences as an elite athlete - the immense pressures, the ups, the downs, the triumphs and the trials - alongside sharing her struggles with self-harm, low self-esteem and PTSD. While getting the inside story of what it’s like to compete at such an elite level is compelling and revelatory (as Triple World Champion, ten-time European Champion and former world record holding short track speed skater Christie sure knows what that’s like), Resilience is a sports autobiography that transcends the genre.  Christie’s voice is incredibly engaging - the book’s style is conversational, chatty, witty, and strong. Here she tells it like it is no matter what her subject - relationship break-ups, corrupt doping practices, dubious penalty and disqualification decisions, the abuse she endured (including death threats) in the aftermath of an incident at the 2014 Winter Olympics. Then there’s her struggles with self-harm, which she explains provided “a good couple of hours of relief” while acknowledging that she “absolutely hated myself for doing it, I thought it was so fucking weak.” Powerful stuff, and always shot-through with an inspirational steely determination that will see Christie compete in the 2022 Beijing Olympics - “Whatever happens going forward, I’ll be fine. And that includes the Olympics in 2022.”

September 2021 Featured Books

Big Panda and Tiny Dragon

Big Panda and Tiny Dragon

Author: James Norbury Format: Hardback Release Date: 16/09/2021

A guiding light in the darker months, Big Panda and Tiny Dragon is the beautifully illustrated and mindful journey of two friends through the seasons, inspired by Buddhist philosophy Lost in the swirling mists they fall asleep under glittering stars. It is spring by the time they emerge and while they sit watching a warm sunrise, it dawns on them that another magnificent adventure awaits . . .  'Which is more important,' asked Big Panda, 'the journey or the destination?' 'The company,' said Tiny Dragon. Friends Big Panda and Tiny Dragon journey through the seasons of the year together, day and night, in rain and in sun. Travelling through nature, they find hope and inspiration in the world around them, realising that even in the darkest of days, Spring will always return. Feel the calming influence of Big Panda, who reminds us of the bigger picture while appreciating the simplicity of small moments. Explore your surroundings with the inquisitive eye of Tiny Dragon, our friend who is big in heart if not in stature. And on their journey through the ever-changing seasons, join these two friends as they learn how to live in the moment, be at peace with uncertainty, and find the strength to overcome life's obstacles, together. Inspired by Buddhist philosophy and spirituality, James Norbury has captured in these whimsical characters the ideas that have helped him through his most difficult times.

Just One More Drive

Just One More Drive

Author: Robert James O’Brien Format: Paperback Release Date: 10/09/2021

Personal memoirs are complex to write and often hard to read.  Some fall at the first hurdle by coming across as self obsessed, the author expecting readers to buy into a sort of self-therapy in print. Others can be too revelatory, when the author has failed to exercise any sense of self-editing and allows the urge to confess all, or explain minutiae, to get in the way of the wider story. They can, at worst, be self-indulgent tracts, of interest only to the writer. Robert James’ O’Brien’s wonderful Just One More Drive is none of those. It is a searingly honest, wonderfully written story of O’Brien’s metamorphosis from stuttering adolescent and confused pubescent in Ireland to becoming the man he hoped he could and always wanted to be. What makes this a really special account of one man’s discovery of his true self, is O’Brien’s ability to tell his story with admirable sensitivity to the people he lives with, works with and knows, but also to himself. He depicts his strong early sense of himself and his potential, and describes the frustration and self awareness of not being that person with such clarity that, from the very first chapter, you will be willing him to succeed, urging him to leap the hurdles that life has put in his path. And then there are the cars. From the Mini he owned on passing his driving test to the growling BMW beast he tames as he takes control of himself and his life, they appear throughout as avatars of his self-perceived status and mark the yardsticks of success on his path to self-discovery and self-assuredness. At its core this is a touching testimony of one man’s triumphs in his struggles, both of himself and for himself. It is, to use that much over used term, a “journey” on many levels and as you get to know him and how he thinks it will have you cheering him on, with every heart-warming page.

Return to the Light Within: How I Woke up, Rediscovered Who I Am, and Found Happiness

Return to the Light Within: How I Woke up, Rediscovered Who I Am, and Found Happiness

Author: Dmitria Burby Format: Ebook Release Date: 09/09/2021

A spiritual memoir ‘Return to the light within’ by Dmitria Burby tells readers of the author's journey from corporate executive to rediscovering herself. Written to share her story of self-enlightenment in the hopes it will resonate and help others on their own journey. This book is succinct and well constructed, broken down into easy to digest chapters and sections that works through the author’s initial questioning of ‘who am I?’ to reconnection with her spirit and finding her purpose as a spiritual guide and healer. I liked the conversational and open tone used to write this book, it felt as though I was listening to someone’s journey without feeling directly instructed. I think that this would be an interesting book for someone looking for their own spiritual advancement, or perhaps those caught at a crossroads and looking for a more spiritual alternative to a more traditional self-help book. Regardless of personal beliefs there are plenty of lessons that can be taken away from ‘Return To The Light Within’. Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador

Blue Spaces

Blue Spaces

Author: Dr Catherine Kelly Format: Paperback Release Date: 29/04/2021

Why do so many of us feel drawn to water? Researchers around the globe are increasingly intrigued by our psychological response to blue space: oceans, rivers, lakes, canals and waterfalls. Research is showing that they are good for us, inducing a positive mood and reducing negative feelings. Many people naturally gravitate towards the nearest blue space for their regular walks. There is an innate soothing quality that water brings, whether it's crashing waves, the gentle lapping beat of the water's edge or the reflections we see... Water brings on a meditative, 'blue mind' state. Dr Catherine Kelly uses the study of Blue Mind, a term coined by Dr Wallace Nichols, which explores the study of water and why it makes us happy, to explore and understand the importance of blue space (water environments) and their therapeutic benefits. Looking at the most up-to-date research and evidence that supports its importance for our wellbeing, she suggests how we can all integrate blue mind practices into our lives, providing examples and exercises that anyone can use to enhance their mental health. *** You can hear Catherine Kelly explore our emotional connection to water and the therapeutic benefits of cold water swimming at A Day at the Riverside, 18th September.

Gene Keys

Gene Keys

Author: Richard Rudd Format: Audiobook Release Date: 24/07/2018

Is our destiny written inside our very DNA? Richard Rudd suggests that humanity is on the verge of a major shift in consciousness rooted in a new understanding of how our genes operate. He introduces this fantastic possibility, showing how the 'gene keys' are an inner language designed to transform our core beliefs about ourselves and raise us to a higher level of awareness. The book works alongside state-of-the-art online profiling software that provides instantaneous free 'Hologenetic Profiles,' based on astrological data and revealing the underlying genetic patterns governing relationships, finances, and health.

Audiobooks of the Month

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!