Lifestyle, Hobbies and Leisure Books

May 2022 Featured Books

The Mind Manual

The Mind Manual

Author: Alex George Format: Paperback Release Date: 12/05/2022

Dr Alex is on a mission to empower us to make our own health choices, take positive control and feel equipped and inspired to make those small changes today that energise and future-proof for life. 'Health and happiness come from the cumulative effects of many small and positive daily changes to our lifestyle. It's about building sustainable and healthy habits - taking small and purposeful steps to a healthy future. By the end of the book I hope my readers have developed their own "bespoke health toolkit" to be used across every aspect of their lives, and to make long-lasting and meaningful change.' What you do consistently has a direct impact on your day-to-day health, your immune system, your mental health, your metabolism, your bone density, your heart health, your blood pressure, your energy levels and how you fight disease genreally. Your lifestyle is often your body's biggest support system and the more robust you can make that, the more you can rely on it to get you through. Think of it like your life insurance policy.

I Belong Here

I Belong Here

Author: Anita Sethi Format: Paperback Release Date: 12/05/2022

I knew in every bone of my body, in every fibre of my being, that I had to report what had happened, not only for myself but to help stop anyone else having to go through what I did. I knew I could not remain silent, or still, I could not stop walking through the world. A journey of reclamation through the natural landscapes of the North, brilliantly exploring identity, nature, place and belonging. Beautifully written and truly inspiring, I Belong Here heralds a powerful and refreshing new voice in nature writing. Anita Sethi was on a journey through Northern England when she became the victim of a race-hate crime. The crime was a vicious attack on her right to exist in a place on account of her race. After the event Anita experienced panic attacks and anxiety. A crushing sense of claustrophobia made her long for wide open spaces, to breathe deeply in the great outdoors. She was intent on not letting her experience stop her travelling freely and without fear. The Pennines - known as 'the backbone of Britain' runs through the north and also strongly connects north with south, east with west - it's a place of borderlands and limestone, of rivers and 'scars', of fells and forces. The Pennines called to Anita with a magnetic force; although a racist had told her to leave, she felt drawn to further explore the area she regards as her home, to immerse herself deeply in place. Anita's journey through the natural landscapes of the North is one of reclamation, a way of saying that this is her land too and she belongs in the UK as a brown woman, as much as a white man does. Her journey transforms what began as an ugly experience of hate into one offering hope and finding beauty after brutality. Anita transforms her personal experience into one of universal resonance, offering a call to action, to keep walking onwards. Every footstep taken is an act of persistence. Every word written against the rising tide of hate speech, such as this book, is an act of resistance.

eBooks of the Month
The Hairy Dieters' Simple Healthy Food

The Hairy Dieters' Simple Healthy Food

Author: Hairy Bikers Format: Paperback Release Date: 12/05/2022

The nation's favourite food heroes, aka the Hairy Dieters, are back to show you that losing weight and staying healthy doesn't mean losing out on taste and enjoyment. With more than 80 great new recipes, Si and Dave prove that healthy food can be delicious food - and also easy, accessible and affordable. With the abundance of health and nutrition information being published, it can be hard to keep up with what's good for you and what's not; what the latest advice is on low-fat products; or what you need to know about gut health or high fibre diets. As consumers, we are constantly bombarded by conflicting messages about what to eat and when - and unsurprisingly this can become overwhelming. Ten years on from the release of their first, multi-million copy selling diet book, THE HAIRY DIETERS, Si and Dave are aware of how confusing this can be. THE HAIRY DIETERS: SIMPLE HEALTHY FOOD is here to provide clear, simple nutritional ground rules - based on the advice of medical experts, including Professor Roy Taylor, and professional athletes - and delicious low-cal recipes to help you eat well, lose weight and stay healthy for the long term. This book is brimming with good-hearted healthy food, including tasty ways to start the day, light takes on lunch, speedy snacks, satisfying dinners and brilliant batch-cook basics. All made with easy-to-find ingredients and packed with the Hairy Bikers' trademark knockout flavours, so you won't feel like you're missing out when you cook from this book - these are healthy meals that the whole family will love.

England on Fire

England on Fire

Author: Stephen Ellcock Format: Hardback Release Date: 10/05/2022

A stunningly provocative and thought-provoking book viewing England from a different perspective, one where: “magic and rebellion and destruction are the horses to which the country is hitched. On these fabled shores we are all castaways, whether our family has lived here for four thousand years or four”. Stephen Ellcock’s books are particular favourites of mine, I regularly dip into All Good Things, and The Book of Change. Here he has joined forces with Mat Osman, whose short texts sit as an introduction to each chapter where the images chosen are allowed to sing. I love Mat’s introduction! He perfectly describes Stephen’s talent for choosing images and picking up on the thoughts and feelings of the moment. He also brings England to life: “Like a teenager sulking in their room, England is in one of its periodic spasms of insularity - but no matter, we’ve been here before”. Look deeper, explore roots that are bound to the ancient and to wilderness, join protests and anti-fascist marches, adore our absurdity while remaining aware of our capacity for division  and discord. While our dark times are explored, hope springs in the form of a new breed of artists, the images chosen here matter, they speak of and to our deepest emotions. This book has helped me to feel connected again with the country in which I live, my eyes opened in a new awareness. A LoveReading Star book, England on Fire is truly beautiful, it’s astute, inclusive, and absolutely magical.

Star Books
The Nutmeg Trail

The Nutmeg Trail

Author: Eleanor Ford Format: Hardback Release Date: 28/04/2022

Beautifully presented, Eleanor Ford's The Nutmeg Trail blends delicious recipes with fascinating spice-trading history and travel writing flair to concoct a book that’s informative, inspirational and bursting with wonderful ways to spice-up your menu. “Using recipes as our maps, we are embarking on a culinary journey that weaves through history and halfway around the world, following the ancient maritime trade known as the spice routes”. The journey begins with an introductory A-Z spice library that’s invaluable, as are the flavour profiles detailing which spices are sweet and warming (like nutmeg, cinnamon, clove and allspice), and which are hot, earthy, medicinal, fragrant and floral, and sour. And so the scene is set for a glorious gastronomic trip. Each spread is a colourful delight, from the map displaying the origins of spices, to the elegant food photography. The chapters and recipes are organised by spice as the book follows the ancient spice route to present recipes from Indonesia, Malaysia, China, Vietnam, Thailand, China, Sri Lanka, India, Iran, and the Emirates. Ginger, for example, with its “rasping heat and woody notes” is represented by the likes of tangy Burmese ginger salad, salted chicken, and aphrodisiac greens, while black pepper (once known as “black gold”) features in recipes for Balinese green bean wraps, hot and tingly hand-pulled noodles, and sticky-sweet pepper pork. Meanwhile, chili adds fire to explosive gunpowder okra, Malaysian devil’s curry, and Kashmiri vindaloo. And, when you’re in the mood for something earthier (think cumin and turmeric), take your pick from curried udon noodles, or Indonesian spiced beef martabak. With eighty recipes, all of them easy to follow and eminently achievable, and tonnes of tips on how to layer flavours, The Nutmeg Trail is a spicy slam-dunk of a book.

Through A Vet's Eyes

Through A Vet's Eyes

Author: Dr Sean Wensley, Miranda Krestovnikoff Format: Hardback Release Date: 28/04/2022

'A compelling account of the trials, tribulations and triumphs of life as a vet - and a lesson to us all on how we should treat the animals with which we share our lives.' - Stephen Moss, naturalist and author Dr Sean Wensley is an award-winning vet and lifelong naturalist who has contributed to animal welfare and conservation projects all over the world. His debut book is about how we can choose a better life for animals, from the chickens we eat to the pets we keep. As our societies become more urbanised, we are further removed from the reality of where and how our food is produced. Surveys suggest that nearly 1 in 4 UK adults don't know that bacon comes from pigs. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the humanisation of our pets is a risk to their welfare; with over 60% of UK dogs being overweight or obese, we are effectively killing them with kindness. Through A Vet's Eyes seeks to redress this imbalance so that we see all animals as thinking, feeling beings not dissimilar to ourselves. As he takes us through the years in which he trained to become a vet, and set against a backdrop of inspiring natural spectacles, Dr Wensley shares his first-hand experience of how animals are treated and used for our benefit. He interrogates the different levels of welfare afforded to them and reveals how we the general consumer can reduce our animal welfare footprint through the choices we make every day.

Riding Out

Riding Out

Author: Simon Parker Format: Hardback Release Date: 21/04/2022

Simon Parker’s 3,400 mile bike ride which begins and ends at Muckle Flugga in Shetland would have been remarkable at any time. Instead he ventures out into the murky throes of a pandemic, pursued by his own troubles which are then further exacerbated by news of a close friend’s death. His journey, like all journeys, is a metaphor for life, a journey of self discovery interwoven with observation and the freedom granted by just ‘passing through’. This metaphor is brought into sharp focus when he is unable to attend the funeral of his friend but pays his respects from a pavement. It is a heartbreaking picture that like much of the book exposes the author’s vulnerability but also the truth that every moment is a crossroads - even when it’s an ending. Despite some moments of darkness the book is very humorous and Parker spins many a good yarn as he pedals down and then back up the country. Collectively the land is broken, fractured by a virus, confused by rules and moral dilemmas, tormented by grief and worry. In all this our traveller finds hope through adventure. Somehow by threading his way around our island it is as if the author has stitched it back together again, patching things up and making it strong once more. Riding Out can be read as an inspiring cycling travelogue, but it is also a record of a very strange time for which many of us paid a price, not only for a lockdown bike, but with our mental health.

The Hedgerow Apothecary Forager's Handbook

The Hedgerow Apothecary Forager's Handbook

Author: Christine Iverson Format: Paperback Release Date: 14/04/2022

Before picking up the Forager’s Handbook, the practice of ‘foraging’ seemed to me something of a dark art or perhaps even an act of desperation. Having spent a few evenings with this book, I now find myself planning trips out of town to hunt for beech nuts that I can make coffee with, or elderflower to create my own cordial. It’s so obvious, of course, that the countryside is packed with wild plants that provide remedies, health foods, and hold secrets that can be put to other uses in the home. We're just not looking anymore. Over the past centuries our knowledge of foraging has slipped away, like so many things, as we’ve sacrificed simple and sustainable living for mass manufacture and distribution. Author Christine Iverson writes, “When I go foraging in the hedgerows I feel I am following in the footsteps of our ancestors.” There is no doubt an emotional, or perhaps even spiritual benefit to be gained from ‘living off the land’ as much as possible, and discovering the gifts that nature has tucked away for us in the hedgerows. Helpfully, this apothecary focuses very much on the practical. It is arranged by season so you know what you have a chance of finding when you venture out, how to identify what you are looking for, and of course what the common uses are for what you find. The Forager’s Handbook is a wonderful companion to inspire a fun day out, but also to slip into your pocket as you stroll along should the opportunity for some spontaneous foraging arise.

The Armourer's House

The Armourer's House

Author: Rosemary Sutcliff Format: Hardback Release Date: 15/01/2022

What a treat it is for a Rosemary Sutcliff treasure to be newly presented to the world, and in a beautiful package that befits the story’s historic charms and thrills, with charming chapter heading illustrations by Isabel Greenberg, and an introduction by Lara Maiklem, the acclaimed author of Mudlarking. This Manderley Press edition of The Armourer’s House will make a glorious gift for fans of historic fiction who relish intrigue and atmosphere, and comes highly recommended for readers who love Eva Ibbotson’s writing, and contemporary writers like Celia Rees and Katherine Rundell. First published in 1951, The Armourer’s House is set in London during the reign of Henry VIII, and rich in the engaging period detail Sutcliff is renowned for. When her grandmother dies, Tamsyn leaves her Devonshire seaside town and ship merchant Uncle Martin to live with Uncle Gideon in his armourer’s house on the Thames. Having a wife and large family, Gideon is deemed a more suitable guardian, but Tamsyn “did not want to be brought up properly, she only wanted to be happy”. She also longs to “have adventure and sail the seas of the world” — how on earth will she manage so far from the sea? Though something of a fish out of water in London’s chaos, Tamsyn’s imagination and heart are captured by the river traffic that passes Dolphin House, with her new excitement engagingly evoked alongside details of life in Tudor London — the Royal Dockyard, Billingsgate fish market, the autumnal “pink-flushed sky” behind Westminster, King Henry VIII himself travelling in the Royal Barge with Queen Anne Boleyn. Tellingly, Tamsyn “liked the Queen best, observing how her eyes were “terribly unhappy”. Then, on magic-charged Midsummer’s Eve, a Wise Woman presages that Tamsyn will find her “heart’s desire”, enhancing the novel’s aura of enchantment, and leading to a delightful denouement. Heartily satisfying for 9+ year-olds who love historic fiction, this also comes recommended as wonderful book to read together — no one is too old for the joys of reading aloud and being read to, and this ideal for exactly that.

Come Sail With Me

Come Sail With Me

Author: Wendy Leo-Smith Format: Paperback Release Date: 20/09/2021

Adventures and challenges of a life at sea, ‘Come Sail With Me’ by Wendy Leo-Smith describes the moment the author accepts an opportunity to sail a small racing yacht to Brazil from Gran Canaria. Life onboard and its challenges are described as well as the relationship with Rory, the ship’s owner and only other crew. This is an interesting read for armchair travellers and sailing aficionados, the author describes the trials and tribulations of sailing, the myriad of things that break, the temperamental weather and the vital hard graft as well as the moments of peace, stunning experiences of nature and far flung destinations. The author manages to maintain the diary style format when creating ‘Come Sail With Me’ and I found this writing style and format easy to enjoy while it also clearly sets out how much time has passed. Having read about this experience from a different perspective in ‘Jabula’ by Rory Leo-Smith, I found that ‘Come Sail With Me’ went into more detail about the day-to-day life aboard the Zingara. The entertaining trials in order to sort out the laundry, Bella, Zingara’s feline mascot, the Rio carnival and the ventures to find Sloths are just some of the details that I think help this book to appeal to a broader audience interested in travel. There’s a relatable tone to ‘Come Sail With Me’ and I found this a very well-rounded account that I think fans of travel as well as fans of sailing would enjoy. Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador

Indie Books We Love

April 2022 Featured Books

Go Camping

Go Camping

Author: Katherine Latham Format: Hardback Release Date: 14/04/2022

Go Camping is a celebration of the freedom that camping brings - the perfect gift either to yourself or for a friend who may be toying with the idea of taking the plunge into this world of wilderness, wonder and escapism. This is a book to keep close at hand, to pick up and put down between tasks and chores to remind yourself that there are big and small adventures out there just waiting for you to turn up and have them. The book is packed with inspiring tips, info, quotes and photographs which beckon to your inner explorer from every page, willing you to get out there and do it! Open the book at random and you’ll discover pitching tips, turn a few pages and you’re checking out tasty camping recipes… from bushcraft to foraging, in tents or in campervans… kit lists, destinations, birdwatching, wild swimming, games… you name it. Go Camping feeds your camping dreams and introduces you to one of life’s purest and most fulfilling experiences. Don’t miss it.

The Slimming Foodie in One

The Slimming Foodie in One

Author: Pip Payne Format: Hardback Release Date: 14/04/2022

THE FOLLOW-UP TO THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER The bestselling Slimming Foodie is back with a fantastic new collection of slimming recipes. These dishes are as tasty as ever but even simpler to prepare, as they can all be made in one pot, pan, tray or dish. The Slimming Foodie is known for her simple approach to food; she's a firm believer that you don't need to spend hours in the kitchen to deliver amazing results, nor do you have to completely change your eating habits to lose weight. With Pip's clever swaps and cooking techniques, you can slim down while still enjoying all your favourite foods - it's a modern weight-loss method that puts flavour first. In her first book, the Slimming Foodie showed us how easy and enjoyable slimming recipes can be. Now she has made dinnertime even simpler by creating delicious all-in-one meals with surprisingly few calories. From flash-in-the-pan dinners to slow-cooked comforts, you will find something for the whole family to enjoy without fuss and with minimal washing up! The Slimming Foodie in One is made up of seven chapters, each one reflecting a different method of one-pot cooking: Chapter 1: In a Pot Includes Pizza mac 'n' cheese, Chicken lemon pepperpot and Jumbled cottage pie Chapter 2: In a Pan Includes Black bean & mushroom dal, Special chow mein and Kofta meatballs with harissa chickpea sauce Chapter 3: In a Tray Includes Bombay burritos, Roesti-topped fish pie and Cheeseburger balls with loaded chippies Chapter 4: Soup-er Includes Arrabbiata orzo soup, Salmon & miso broth and Chicken & prawn laksa Chapter 5: In a Slow-cooker Includes White chicken chilli, Coffee-rubbed barbecue pulled pork and Fakeaway doner kebab Chapter 6: All in the Prep Includes Tex-mex macaroni, Crunchy Japanese-style rice salad and Chickpea & tuna salad Chapter 7: Jazz it Up Includes Speedy preserved lemons, Ketchup with a kick and Veggie salsa verde

The Glow Plan

The Glow Plan

Author: Abigail James Format: Paperback Release Date: 12/04/2022

Abigail James wants you to use The Glow Plan to feel beautiful, inside and out. Beauty is not about perfection, but about feeling happy in your skin and the inner glow that comes from cultivating self-care. This book shows you how, presenting a 4-week programme to uncover your inner and outer radiance. Week by week, it offers simple but incredibly effective facial massage exercises as well as wellbeing tips that will ensure your inner calm shines through your skin. You will learn how to: Optimize mental health through restorative mindfulness and self-care practices Improve your skin through movement using yoga and breathing techniques Get your skin glowing by following the 4-week facial massage programme which also targets specific problem areas such as neck and jawline, droopy eyelids, tired and lacklustre skin Integrating practical facial massage with inspirational lifestyle tips, including nutrition advice and yoga techniques, The Glow Plan is a revolutionary programme for achieving healthier, firmer and radiant skin

Everyday Ways to Save Our Planet

Everyday Ways to Save Our Planet

Author: Laura Tobin Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/04/2022

With over 200 “sustainable swaps” for families to implement, Everyday Ways to Save Our Planet by TV meteorologist Laura Tobin is a personal, practical and achievable guide to countering climate change. Written in response to many people feeling overwhelmed by what they can personally do to make a difference, Tobin takes us back to basics by breaking down the science in clear terms, before explaining how we can all do our bit to have a collective big impact, and it’s all underpinned by an inclusive can-do outlook: “My philosophy is that no one can do everything, but everyone can do something”. Sharing anecdotes from her own family's experiences, Tobin takes readers through areas of everyday life — from energy, water and transport, to how we manage our bathrooms, gardens and kitchens. Alongside fact files and infographics that make for sobering reading, we're presented with fixes to habits that hurt the environment. We can, for example, all easily brew our tea better, bathe better, and buy better. In short, Everyday Ways to Save Our Planet is an informative and welcoming step-by-step resource for anyone who isn’t sure how to start living their best eco-friendly life.

Amongst Our Weapons

Amongst Our Weapons

Author: Ben Aaronovitch Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/04/2022

PRE-ORDER THE HIGHLY-ANTICIPATED BRAND NEW NOVEL IN THE #1 BESTSELLING RIVERS OF LONDON SERIES NOW There is a world hidden underneath this great city... The London Silver Vaults - for well over a century, the largest collection of silver for sale in the world. It has more locks than the Bank of England and more cameras than a celebrity punch-up. Not somewhere you can murder someone and vanish without a trace - only that's what happened. The disappearing act, the reports of a blinding flash of light and memory loss amongst the witnesses all make this a case for Detective Constable Peter Grant and the Special Assessment Unit. Alongside their boss DCI Thomas Nightingale, the SAU find themselves embroiled in a mystery that encompasses London's tangled history, foreign lands and, most terrifying of all, the North! And Peter must solve this case soon because back home his partner Beverley is expecting twins any day now. But what he doesn't know is that he's about to encounter something - and somebody - that nobody ever expects... Effortlessly original, endlessly inventive and hugely entertaining - step into the world of the much-loved, Number One bestselling Rivers of London series. 

Get Changed

Get Changed

Author: Kat Farmer Format: Hardback Release Date: 31/03/2022

Get Changed is for the countless women out there who are wondering whether they know who they are anymore. Loss of identity is an experience all too familiar to Instagram style guru and professional stylist Kat Farmer. In her own life, she found that fashion helped her regenerate herself and rediscover her confidence. In Get Changed, Kat's authentic, down-to-earth voice, trademark humour, and insights into some of her personal anxieties make you feel like she's right there in the room with you. The book delivers the personal stylist experience to readers, a step-by-step practical guide to building the ultimate new wardrobe. Borrowing from the structure of a recipe book, the prep, the ingredients and the method, Kat breaks down the process with easy-to-remember tips and tricks; the reader will come away inspired and confident that they can build a wardrobe of clothes they love. Most importantly, Kat will show that finding your confidence again and discovering the new you can be as simple as getting changed. The book covers all the basics - sorting out and assessing your current wardrobe, working out what works for your body type and your lifestyle, how to shop successfully, key wardrobe pieces (crucially that will work together) all tackled with Kat's helpful, warm and funny approach.

Life Lines What Your Handwriting Says About You

Life Lines What Your Handwriting Says About You

Author: Tracey Trussell Format: Hardback Release Date: 28/03/2022

Framed in the context of graphology dating back to the time of Confucius (“it did not just rock up in the twentieth century”), and underpinned by the belief that analysing a person’s handwriting can “uncover pretty much everything – someone’s character, behaviour, skill sets, values, aspirations and proclivities, core motivation and potential”, Life Lines by Tracey Trussell offers readers clearly presented, comprehensive insights into this fascinating field, with a distinctly holistic approach. Part One presents an intriguing compilation of personal and professional case studies that set out to show how “handwriting is intrinsically and unequivocally linked to the brain, inadvertently supplying a direct line to the human mind”, pointing out how people might hide their true character through their handwriting, revealing fears, insecurities and contradictions to the trained eye. It’s also fascinating on the way our handwriting changes through time, and how couples’ compatibility might be seen through the way they write. Part Two covers “the mental health landscape”, with up-to-the-minute detail on the effects of the pandemic, and how the likes of stress, dementia and criminality manifests itself through handwriting, while the section on the ”humanity of handwriting” makes a powerful case for why we should continue to write by hand in this era of communicating via keyboards and touch screens.

Superheroes, Orphans and Origins

Superheroes, Orphans and Origins

Author: Foundling Museum Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/03/2022

What a fascinating, thought-provoking, and fabulous book this is! I am a bit of a comic fan, have been since I was a child, and yet I’d never, not once, considered just how many of the characters found in comics and graphic novels were orphaned or abandoned children. Just think about some of the iconic superheroes, Superman, Spiderman, Batman, Wolverine, and there are many more who are also orphaned, adopted, and fostered. The Foundling Museum and Unicorn Publishing explore the last 125 years of comics and graphic novels, travelling to nine different countries and three continents in order to encourage: "a new way to experience comics”. In her foreword, Caro Howell the Foundling Museum Director mentions Lemn Sissay’s poem, Superman was a Foundling, which sits as a mural in the museum, and says it: “presents an implicit challenge to the viewer: Why, when looked-after children have such a powerful presence in culture, are they so marginalised in real life?” she hopes to: “raise awareness of the immense resilience needed to overcome separation, loss, stigma and society’s indifference, and to build a sense of self and self-worth”. Brilliant, vividly vibrant artwork appears, along with the thoughts and perspectives from different contributors who have been in care. I found my thoughts exploring new paths, and I want to stand up and applaud this book. Superheroes, Orphans and Origins is an eye-opening exploration that I can highly recommend, and it’s been chosen to sit as a LoveReading Star Book.

Star Books
Out of Isolation A Charity Anthology

Out of Isolation A Charity Anthology

Author: Susie Coreth Format: Hardback Release Date: 28/03/2022

Out of Isolation: A Charity Anthology is a collection of poems, essays, diaries and personal reflections from well-known writers, all written during the Covid-19 pandemic. This book provided me with much-needed distraction over a weekend, away from the rest of the world, as I dipped in and out of its written treasures. It took me on a literary journey across time and space. All of the entries were thought-provoking and beautifully written. The most poignant contributions for me included the anonymous contribution by a junior doctor, the diary of a complicated pregnancy, and an amusing poem about being stuck inside during lockdown, when you're naturally an outdoors person (with an outdoors dog) - these are real people leading seemingly ordinary lives struggling to cope with the extraordinary circumstances of a pandemic and its impact, particularly on mental health. The anthology is raising money for the charity Shout 8528, which offers free 24/7 mental health text support in the UK. 

The Slow Road to Tehran A Revelatory Bike Ride through Europe and the Middle East

The Slow Road to Tehran A Revelatory Bike Ride through Europe and the Middle East

Author: Rebecca Lowe Format: Hardback Release Date: 24/03/2022

This is a brilliant travel adventure that scratches so far beneath the surface it might have struck oil. Rebecca Lowe’s rich knowledge of the Middle East is fascinating enough in itself to keep the pages turning, but add to that a rookie cyclist going for a risk-filled 11,000km ride to Iran and the results are not only culturally enlightening but hilarious. The author has a wickedly witty style that weaves effortlessly between her day to day travails and the people, mosques and historical sites that she seeks out to bring Islamic history to life. A talented journalist, Lowe is equipped to cut through the media image of the region that we have lazily settled for, and her description of why the bicycle is the best way to uncover what somewhere is truly like is the best I have read. Her observations in places once held under Ottoman rule, or in cities such as Venice where Muslim commerce made such an impression, turn the dial from negative towards positive in measuring the impact the Muslim world has had on western heritage and economies. There is an ingenious arc to this book from an early conversation with Muslim ‘outsiders’ in France to her own experience as an outsider in Tehran where western journalists are met with suspicion. Ultimately The Slow Road to Tehran follows a path full of human kindness, bravery and compassion through a world unnecessarily divided.

The Best British Travel Writing of the 21st Century

The Best British Travel Writing of the 21st Century

Author: Jessica Vincent Format: Hardback Release Date: 10/03/2022

This is an impressive collection of travel writing taken from British media which finds untold stories in all corners of the world. Night trains, diving, pilgrimages, coastal walks … the Congo, Iraq, Kent, the Ganges… this single volume hits you hard with the overwhelming possibilities of travel with no less than thirty brilliant writers assembled. This century brought fresh challenges for these journalists in a world well-explored and now widely reported by visitors with bucket lists and armed with social media. But good writing is good writing, and here it is in abundance seeking out characters landscapes and histories converging in a fast-changing world and requiring a special talent to nail down. It may seem a little early in the century to be presenting such a compilation but of course the pandemic has provided a natural break for travellers to be still and reflect. For once, editor Jessica Vincent was spending more time reading than writing and this led to a reassessment of her motives for travel - not to tick off sights and cover as much ground as possible in an endless drive to ’see’ or ‘move’ - but the true essence of travel - which she says is to feel. Co-editor Levison Wood had a similar experience exploring from his armchair and finding a new level of appreciation for his own adventures and the stories that inspired him. You will also be inspired by these stories, perhaps to read more and learn more, or even to travel, but most of all to feel.

Feed Your Family

Feed Your Family

Author: Nicole Pisani, Joanna Weinberg Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/03/2022

Goodbye, beige; hello, colour! How refreshing to find a family cookbook that refuses to shy away from bold flavours, fresh twists or a generous helping of food theatre. A collaboration between Nicole Pisani, Head Chef and co-founder of Chefs in Schools, and cookery writer and columnist, Joanna Weinberg, this is a little gem for any family looking to break free from their cooking rut, without breaking the bank in the process. This beautifully curated book is bursting with culturally diverse recipes interspersed with the stories of the school chefs responsible for bringing them to dining halls across the country. For those just starting out on their food journey, classics like fish fingers and bolognese have been given a fragrant face-lift (and an added nutritious punch). For more adventurous children, wholesome dishes like SouSou’s Moroccan Chicken, Samia’s Samosas or a seafood Keralan Curry will all add a little joy to those midweek menus. There’s a fabulous selection of street food perfect for streetwise teenagers and look out for special contributions too from kitchen heroes including Thomasina Miers and Yotam Ottolenghi. The target audience for these delectable recipes may be school-aged children, but that’s no reason to stick to safe, time-tested favourites. Feed Your Family is about celebrating the excitement and drama that food can bring and laying down the foundations for positive relationships between children and the food they eat. It’s an absolute delight. 

Gardening for Mind, Body and Soul

Gardening for Mind, Body and Soul

Author: Annie Burdick Format: Hardback Release Date: 10/02/2022

This is a joyful and handy book which focuses on guidance for finding happiness and living in tune with your own personal piece of the great outdoors. Over the past few years we’ve found ourselves at home more than we might normally wish to be, and for those of us lucky enough to have them, we have grown to love our gardens even more. Gardening for Mind, Body and Soul cuts to the chase, zooming in on anything and everything in the garden that can bring you fulfilment, calm and well-being. Turning the traditional gardening book on its head this comes from the point of view of why gardens are good for us and includes sections on everything from mood-boosting and fitness to sensory experience and spiritual wellness. I particularly liked the pages dedicated to creativity and the ideas around music, art and writing in the garden - a far cry from facing up to the chores of weeding or mowing the lawn! This book has given me all sorts of inspiration for turning my garden into a stress-busting source of energy and has opened me up to the possibilities of its healing gifts. If you ever find yourself wanting to run away and escape the stresses of modern living, you may discover through this book that the answer is closer to home than you thought.

Broken Alliances Inside the Rise and Fall of a Global Automotive Empire

Broken Alliances Inside the Rise and Fall of a Global Automotive Empire

Author: Carlos Ghosn, Philippe Ries Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/10/2021

A detailed exploration into the dramatic removal of Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance chairman Carlos Ghosn in 2019. ‘Broken Alliances Inside the Rise and Fall of a Global Automotive Empire’ by Carlos Ghosn, Philippe Ries provides an incredibly detailed insight into the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance and the events which led to Ghosn becoming the most famous fugitive on the planet when her fled house arrest in Japan. I was previously vaguely aware of Carlos Ghosn, but the full details of this scandal and shock-filled story had passed me by. I found this book to be incredibly well researched and laid out in a way that someone less familiar with the story could follow. The personal insight from Carlos Ghosn added an extra dimension to the clear and comprehensive context and narrative. The mix of business, industry, politics and national identity is a heady one, with lots of parts in play and potential for pitfalls throughout this Franco-japanese alliance. Perhaps from naivety, I was surprised that the respective governments are so involved in the car manufacturing industry and even more shocked at the workings of the Japanese judicial system throughout ‘Broken Alliances’. An alliance between car manufacturers saved Nissan in the 1990s, but when the companies began to show promise, with expansion led by Ghosn from US, China and Russia to Brazil, Morocco and Thailand, it would seem that Japan wants its companies back, by any means at its disposal. An enlightening and shocking look into a modern business and motoring history that is a must read for any motoring enthusiast. Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador

Indie Books We Love

March 2022 Featured Books

Glucose Revolution

Glucose Revolution

Author: Jessie Inchauspe Format: Paperback Release Date: 31/03/2022

Dietary science is on the move. For decades, people were wrongly focused on reducing fat and calories, whereas we now know that the real trouble-makers are the foods that deregulate our blood sugar levels. In writing both clear and empathetic, biochemist Jessie Inchauspe explains why blood sugar spikes are so bad for us and how to flatten those spikes to transform our health. By analysing decades of research and running thousands of original experiments on herself wearing a continuous glucose monitor, she has distilled 10 simple and surprising hacks that can be easily incorporated into everyday life. By the end of this book, you'll be aware of how food impacts your biology. You'll know which breakfast choices may be causing your cravings, in which order you should eat the food on your plate, what not to do on an empty stomach, which foods lead to mood swings, and how to avoid being sleepy at 3pm. You'll evolve the way you eat, take control of your health, and your life will flourish.

Feel Good Food

Feel Good Food

Author: Joe Wicks Format: Hardback Release Date: 17/03/2022

Make the food that makes your day What we eat has a huge impact on how we feel. From energy-boosting breakfasts to satisfying family feasts, the food you eat can transform your day. So I've created over 100 quick and tasty recipes that will put a spring in your step and have you feeling your best. With easy weeknight dinners and home-cooking hacks, energy-packed snacks and delicious food to feed a crowd, these nutritious meals are designed for energy and balance, and take the stress out of healthy home cooking. Packed with feel good food that everyone will love, it's never been easier to eat well. Joe Wicks was a number 1 Sunday Times Manuals bestseller in the w/e June 13th 2021

You Can Have a Better Period

You Can Have a Better Period

Author: Le'Nise Brothers Format: Paperback Release Date: 08/03/2022

A practical guide to understanding your cycle and balancing your hormones with nutrition, lifestyle changes and yoga for calmer, less painful periods. Written by Le’Nise Brothers, a nutritional therapist, yoga teacher and popular women’s health coach, You Can Have A Better Period is a straight-talking resource to help women understand their menstrual cycles and finally get answers to questions such as: “why am I so moody right before my period?”, “are periods supposed to be so painful?”, “why is my period so heavy?”, “is it normal to get headaches right before my period?” and more. Le'Nise takes us through each phase of our cycle, including clear and practical nutrition and lifestyle changes. The book explains which supplements work and the key stress management habits we can implement to bring long-lasting and sustainable changes to our hormones and menstrual health. In Western society, we have accepted a cultural narrative that periods are supposed to be painful, emotional and messy. This book is a practical guide that helps women change the way they look at their period and menstrual cycle to finally harness the power of the fifth vital sign.

The Instant

The Instant

Author: Amy Liptrot Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/03/2022

Wishing to leave behind the quiet isolation of her Orkney island life, Amy Liptrot books a one-way flight to Berlin. Searching for new experiences, inspiration and love, she rents a loftbed in a shared flat and looks for work. She explores the streets, nightclubs and parks and seeks out the city's wildlife - goshawks, raccoons and hooded crows. She looks for love through the screen of her laptop. Over the course of a year Amy makes space hoping for the unexpected. And it comes with an erotic jolt, in the form of a love affair that obsesses her. The Instant is an unapologetic look at the addictive power of love and lust. It is also an exploration of the cycles of the moon, the flight paths of migratory birds, the mesmerising power of Neolithic stonework and the trails followed by a generation who exist online.

Mama A World of Mothers and Motherhood

Mama A World of Mothers and Motherhood

Author: Hélène Delforge, Quentin Gréban Format: Hardback Release Date: 17/02/2022

Undoubtedly a beautiful gift to give and share for Mother’s Day, Mama also makes the perfect present for mums-to-be, new mothers, and long-time mamas. Hélène Delforge's stirring, honest words are a universal, lyrical wonder, with Quentin Gréban's portraits of mothers from all corners of the globe, across many different eras, infused with life, love and radiant detail. Mama presents a journey through motherhood in all its complexity from those first steps, first words, first giggle, first exclamation of “Mama!” and first “I love you”, through to worries about the world — how mothers need to be “a fortress against the hardships of the world”. Then there are those guilt-inducing remarks, the conflicting “unwanted advice” about breastfeeding, bottles, how to handle a crying baby, and where your baby should sleep. It’s an emotive tale of change, of mother and child journeying together, of planting seeds, tending them, and watching them bloom. Above all, this is a soulful once-a-mama-always-a-mama story to treasure, no matter how old you or your child might be.

Atlas of the Heart

Atlas of the Heart

Author: Brené Brown Format: Audiobook Release Date: 14/02/2022

In her latest book, five-time #1 New York Times bestselling author Dr Brené Brown, writes, "If we want to find the way back to ourselves and each other, we need language and the grounded confidence to both tell our stories, and to be stewards of the stories that we hear. This is the framework for meaningful connection." In Atlas of the Heart, Brown takes us on a journey through 87 of the emotions and experiences that define what it means to be human. As she maps the necessary skills and lays out an actionable framework for meaningful connection, she gives us the language and tools to access a universe of new choices and second chances - a universe where we can share and steward the stories of our bravest and most heart-breaking moments with one another in a way that builds connection. Over the past two decades, Brown's extensive research into the experiences that make us who we are has shaped the cultural conversation and helped define what it means to be courageous with our lives. Atlas of the Heart draws on this research, as well as Brown's singular skills as a researcher/storyteller, to lay out an invaluable, research-based framework that shows us that naming an experience doesn't give the experience more power, it gives us the power of understanding, meaning and choice. Brown shares, "I want this to be an atlas for all of us, because I believe that, with an adventurous heart and the right maps, we can travel anywhere and never fear losing ourselves. Even when we have no idea where we are."

Audiobooks of the Month
Adrift

Adrift

Author: Tracey Williams Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/02/2022

A charming, thoughtful, quirky yet stunning little book awaits anyone with a yen for beauty, and in particular those with a love for lego, beach combing, the environment and the impact of humans on our oceans. Beachcomber Tracey Williams has been finding lego washed up on beaches for years, ever since a container of nearly 5 million pieces of lego fell off a cargo ship in 1997. Here she examines the journeys the lego pieces have taken, the history of beach combing, and the environment consequences of plastic in our oceans. Even though I’m well aware of the fabulous books Unicorn publishes, I have to say that I wasn’t quite expecting this treasure to fall into my hands. It is full of colourful images including photos, paintings, and sketches. Personal memories, newspapers cuttings, poems, notes, and interviews populate the pages. While there is much to delight, the consequences of our littering of the oceans is made abundantly clear. The irony of much of the lego pieces belonging to a set about the sea, is not lost. Oceanographer Dr Curtis Ebbesmeyer began following the lego spillage back in 1997, and his section really hits home. He talks about one spillage in the Pacific where items floated around the world and he says of the plastic: “I like to tell people how one green frog washed up in the Gulf of Mexico, having been in the sea for twenty-six years”. He succinctly finishes: “It looks like James Bond had it wrong. It’s not diamonds that are forever. It’s actually plastic”. The story of the lego is a fascinating one, from the beach combing art of the finds, through to highlighting the environmental impact. This book would make a perfect gift for all ages, younger children will be fascinated by the colour as an older reader guides them, lego enthusiasts will be thrilled, anyone with an interest in the ocean and our environment I am sure will be captivated. Adrift really is special, it contains 183 pages of engaging information and images, and we declare it a LoveReading Star Book.

Star Books