Small ways to expand your horizons

Almost every day, we’re faced with photos, tweets, Facebook ‘check-in’s’ of people jetting off across the other side of the world to go travelling. People who have spent the day in a waterfall, exploring another culture, sky-diving, snorkeling – you name it and you’ve probably seen someone you know on social media doing it. Whether you follow any travel bloggers or not, there’s always posts cropping up about why you should travel, how travel makes you a better person, how to find yourself by travelling and so on. I’m not making fun of people who travel; I think if it’s what you want to do and you have the means to do it then that’s amazing and you should totally go for it. But I am saying that not all of us can, should or want to travel. And that’s okay too.

Continue reading “Small ways to expand your horizons”

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BOOK REVIEW: When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

Format: Library book
Links: Goodreads | Amazon UK
Blurb: At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, the next he was a patient struggling to live.

When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a medical student asking what makes a virtuous and meaningful life into a neurosurgeon working in the core of human identity – the brain – and finally into a patient and a new father.

What makes life worth living in the face of death? What do you do when when life is catastrophically interrupted? What does it mean to have a child as your own life fades away?

Paul Kalanithi died while working on this profoundly moving book, yet his words live on as a guide to us all. When Breath Becomes Air is a life-affirming reflection on facing our mortality and on the relationship between doctor and patient, from a gifted writer who became both.


Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi”

BOOK REVIEW: The Happy Brain by Dean Burnett @faberbooks @portassoph @garwboy

So it would appear that on my blog this month, the general theme is “happiness” Earlier in the month I reviewed the book How To Be Happy by Eva Woods (which, spoiler alert, was incredible) and next week I have a “50 things that make me happy” post going live. Gosh, that’s an awful lot of positivity and happiness for one month isn’t it? Well, apparently not because today I’m here to talk about The Happy Brain by Dean Burnett. And then that’s enough happy-related content for the month, I think. I wouldn’t want to over do it now, would I?

Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: The Happy Brain by Dean Burnett @faberbooks @portassoph @garwboy”

BOOK REVIEW: Life to the Limit: My Autobiography by Jenson Button

Format: Hardback, Christmas present
Links: Goodreads | Amazon UK
Blurb: Jenson Button is one of the greatest racing drivers of his generation. His seventeen years in Formula 1 have seen him experience everything the sport has to offer, from nursing underpowered cars around the track to winning World Championships and everything in between.

Here, Jenson tells his full story for the first time in his own honest, intelligent and eloquent style. From growing up as part of a motor-racing-mad family under the guidance of his father, John, to arriving at Williams as a fresh-faced 20 year-old, to being written off by some as a playboy and his fight back to the very pinnacle of his sport. Jenson’s World Championship victory for the unsponsored and unfancied Brawn GP team is one of the most extraordinary against-the-odds sports stories of the century.

Jenson’s book lifts the lid on the gilded and often hidden world of Formula 1. He reveals his relationships with some of the biggest names in Formula 1- Lewis Hamilton, Michael Schumacher, Fernando Alonso as well some of the most colourful characters like Flavio Briatore, Ron Dennis, Frank Williams and serial winner Ross Brawn. Above all, he puts you right inside the cockpit, in the driving seat, travelling at over 200 miles per hour, battling the fear of death, showing you what happens when it goes wrong at high speed and allowing you to experience the euphoria of crossing the line first. Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: Life to the Limit: My Autobiography by Jenson Button”

My favourite books of 2017

If there’s one thing that never let me down this year, it was books. I’m not a fast reader and I don’t read as many books in a month / year as most other book bloggers I know but 2017 has been such a strong book year for me. Of course there’s been a couple that haven’t particularly taken my fancy – you can’t enjoy everything – but I’ve read some stellar books this year so narrowing it down to 10 favourites was really difficult. And… for the first time ever, I’m actually putting them in order. I’ve never done this because it just seems too stressful haha! Ready? Let’s see who made the top 10 steps of 2017! (Not all of these were published in 2017)

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BOOK REVIEW: No Filter by Grace Victory

Format: Hardback, birthday present!
Links: Goodreads | Amazon UK
Blurb: From struggling with an eating disorder and body image issues to flashing Harry Potter (yes, that really did happen), Grace Victory has experienced it all.

Here, in No Filter, Grace shares her inspirational story of growing up in a troubled household, battling with depression and finally overcoming it all by learning to love herself just as she is. After years of self-loathing and self-destructive behaviour, she hit an all-time low but thanks to therapy, good friends and an award-winning blog, she has rebuilt herself to become a TV presenter and an inspirational role model for young people. Thanks to her bravery, instinctive honesty and ability to break down taboos, Grace is now able to speak openly about her personal battles and she regularly offers guidance to her legion of fans.

Brimming with hilarious anecdotes and no-nonsense advice, the Internet’s Big Sister tells you everything you need to know about accepting yourself and fighting back, in style. Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: No Filter by Grace Victory”

Book review: Project Semicolon by Amy Bluel

*** Trigger warnings: Suicide, suicidal thoughts and mental illness ***

Format: Uncorrected proof
Publisher: Harper
Links:Amazon UK  | Goodreads


Review: This doesn’t really have a blurb so I’ll just explain myself what Project Semicolon is all about. Basically, Project Semicolon is a suicide awareness organisation, founded in 2013 by Amy Bluel and is dedicated to preventing suicide. The idea of the semicolon is that in a novel, when an author uses a semicolon, it signifies that the sentence isn’t over and using a semicolon in this instance is to signify that your own personal story isn’t over, especially if you’ve been affected by severe mental health, suicidal thought or suicide attempts. This book is a collection of short paragraphs and short essays from people all over the world with a whole spectrum of mental health conditions and stories where they share what they’ve been through, their darkest times and how they’ve come through the other side. Continue reading “Book review: Project Semicolon by Amy Bluel”