Review: Around The World In 80 Days at Leeds Playhouse Around The World In 80 Days is an adaption by Toby Hulse of the Jules Verne book and is directed by Alexander Ferris. 37 more words

via “Time is a funny thing” — South Leeds Life


52 Things to Try Once in Your Life – Lynn Gordon

About the book

From learning a foreign language to writing a letter to the president and spending an indulgent day in bed, this revised and updated deck features ideas big, small and fun, that are perfect adds to anyone’s to-do list. -Goodreads

My review

A lot of these books that I pick up seem to be by Americans but as with all books we take what we want from them. It’s a good little book full of ideas.

It starts with inspiring you to remember the magic of the circus to travelling,staying inbed all day or to writing letters. That bit intrigued me as handwriting letters are a lot more personal than an email or text. Or as in the book you don’t have to send them it’s just getting it off your chest.

So if you fancy a quick read some ideas have a look.

Thank you for reading




Want A Free Book?

Chris Nickson

Well, of course you do. Who wouldn’t? I mean…a free book. FREE. The downside…it’s one of mine. And you’d do well to pay attention. I’m from Yorkshire, I very rarely give anything away.

Free from All Danger, the seventh, and possibly final, Richard Nottingham book has just come out in paperback. I have a copy or two of it right here, and I’d like to give one away. Who knows, maybe it’ll be too you – although I’m afraid postage rates mean UK and NI only…sorry.

“If you have any appreciation of good storytelling, you will enjoy this book… Free From All Danger is historical crime fiction right out of the top drawer.”

I’ll get to the details in a minute. But first, a little about Richard Nottingham, the fictional character and the real person.

It’s certainly an interesting coincidence, as Richard has been on my mind lately…

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The Curious Dreamer’s Dream Dictionary by Nancy Wagaman #NetGalley


Thank you to NetGalley for a copy of this book

Book review: Jog On: How Running Saved My Life by Bella Mackie

Divorced and struggling with deep-rooted mental health problems, Bella Mackie ended her twenties in tears. She could barely find the strength to get off the sofa, let alone piece her life back together. Until one day she did something she had never done of her own free will – she pulled on a pair of trainers and went for a run.

That first attempt didn’t last very long. But to her surprise, she was back out there the next day. And the day after that. She began to set herself achievable goals – to run 5k in under 30 minutes, to walk to work every day for a week, to attempt 10 push-ups in a row. Before she knew it, her mood was lifting for the first time in years.

In Jog On, Bella explains with hilarious and unfiltered honesty how she used running to battle crippling anxiety and depression, without having to sacrifice her main loves: booze, cigarettes and ice cream. With the help of a supporting cast of doctors, psychologists, sportspeople and friends, she shares a wealth of inspirational stories, research and tips that show how exercise often can be the best medicine. This funny, moving and motivational book will encourage you to say ‘jog on’ to your problems and get your life back on track – no matter how small those first steps may be. GoodReads

My review

“Whatever emotion you’re feeling at the time is the correct emotion for the time”

I discovered this book via a friend who had seen it somewhere due to my love of running. I haven’t done it in over a year due to health issues and a big part of me is missing it. I took ill and basically got into the mindset of if I did any exercise it would be damaging and that and a lot of other things lead to my depression and anxiety worsening.

In recent years I have tried self-help books and just didn’t feel like there was any heart in them. I wanted to try a different tack. In recent months I have tried some different auto-biographies and this has had a better effect.

The author of this book is very frank throughout and I love how she explains things throughout the book. I could relate to quite a lot of it, like the part where she mentions she would become obsessed with something only to fall out of love with it. I’ve noticed lately I keep repeating certain acts and if I am not careful I will never want to see a burger or bagel again.

‘Your anxiety can make you introverted, never seeing what’s around you, always forcing your brain to see the negative, scary things instead’

I also liked the fact she draws on other people’s experiences one guy saying how doing exercise for an hour helped some young people take back control and as through anxiety we can feel we lose it. For me I have tried most self-help things, some I admit I may have not giving enough benefit of the doubt to, and gave up, others just didn’t work and I think that’s another thing we forget, not everything is for everyone and that’s ok. We all deal with our problems differently and evwn if you don’t want to go running I recommend this book for an interesting insight into anxiety and depression.

And one last note, don’t forget if you do take it up, while out running, to remember to take in your surroundings, look up and perhaps have an aim, so like visiting a cafe and then returning. I might try this, even with just walking and then get the bus back, obviously with a cool down if needed.

I highly recommend this book and can’t thank my my library enough  for stocking this book.

Thank you for reading


The Art of Not Falling Apart by Christina Patterson

39782807We plan, as the old proverb says, and God laughs. But most of us don’t find it all that funny when things go wrong. Most of us want love, a nice home, good work, and happy children. Many of us grew up with parents who made these things look relatively easy and assumed we would get them, too. So what do you do if you don’t? What do you do when you feel you’ve messed it all up and your friends seem to be doing just fine?

For Christina Patterson, it was her job as a journalist that kept her going through the ups and downs of life. And then she lost that, too. Dreaming of revenge and irritated by self-help books, she decided to do the kind of interviews she had never done before.

The resulting conversations are surprising, touching and often funny. There’s Ken, the first person to be publicly fired from a FTSE-100 board. There’s Winston, who fell through a ceiling onto a purple coffin. There’s Louise, whose baby was seriously ill, but who still worried about being fat. And through it all, there’s Christina, eating far too many crisps as she tries to pick up the pieces of her life.

‘The Art of Not Falling Apart’ is a joyous, moving and sometimes shockingly honest celebration of life as an adventure, one where you ditch your expectations, raise a glass and prepare for a rocky ride. – Goodreads

My Review
“Almost every night of my life, I have gone to bed asking myself what I’ve achieved and concluding that it isn’t enough. I’m beginning to learn that it is sometimes OK just to say: I had a nice day.”
The title caught my eye, I can’t remember where I saw it but it made me smile and thought yeah that’s me. As the author says there are hundred and hundreds of self-help books out there and like her have tried them. All I want at the moment is someone to ‘fix me’ or say do this and you’re cured. It isn’t happening. I am getting bogged down with all the ‘instruction books’ and just don’t know where to turn. Thank fully like the author of this book I have some good family and friends who have got me to where I am now.
This book was a bit light relief regarding self-help, although not ‘a do this, do that‘ it’s more that someone else has been through things and has said, ‘yeah I tried this it didn’t work’.
The author talks about her own and her friends experiences and in a sense she’s almost dedicating the book to them in forms of mini gratitude. Although some of us aren’t as lucky in able to get help straight away as the mental health system is under so much pressure that in the end it’s the people around us who help the most and the author in a way says this, a little reminder of who is in your life, almost like a hug in a book on a cold day. Well worth a read.
‘When Life doesn’t go according to plan, what do you do? You just get on with it.
Thank you for reading

Loving Yourself to Great Health: How to Live a Nutrient-Rich Life for Health, Happiness and Longevity by Louise L. Hay, Ahlea Khadro , Heather Dane

24514990About the book

For decades, bestselling author Louise Hay has transformed people’s lives and health by teaching them to let go of limiting beliefs and create the life of their dreams. Now in this tour de force, 88-years-young Louise teams up with her go-to natural health and nutrition experts, Ahlea Khadro and Heather Dane, to reveal the other side of her secret to health, happiness and longevity: living a nutrient-rich life. In this book, you will learn to take your health, your moods, your energy and your life to the next level. You will tap into the secrets Louise has used for decades to supercharge the effectiveness of affirmations and bring your body back into alignment with your mind. You will discover what nutrition really means and how to cut through the confusion about which diets really work. You will learn to hear the stories your body is eager to reveal. You will uncover techniques for longevity, vitality, good moods, deep intuition and for meeting your body’s unique healing needs at all stages of life. -Goodreads

My Review

“illness is an invitation to change your relationship with yourself for the better.”

A lot of things about self-help these days is about ‘loving yourself’ ‘how you think and what you eat.’. The world has turned to changing the way we think to. Louise Hay has quite a lot of books on these subjects. This one is quite interesting almost like a manual you pick up and put down when needed. It is a big mix of things. It also has a meal plan at the back with some interesting recipes. I have picked a couple but don’t think I could carry out a lot of them as I live on my own and haven’t heard of half the ingredients but I have picked up some tips. So if you want to dip into the idea of loving yourself and a different way fo thinking this is one to try. Although it has a lot of american references it’s still a good read. Oh and try your local library, mine has a wealth of self-help books.

Thank you for reading


The Life of P.T. Barnum by P.T. Barnum

About the book:

36589640HarperCollins is proud to present its incredible range of best-loved, essential classics.

Meet the greatest entertainer of the 19th Century…

In 1834, desperate to create a better life for his family, small-time Connecticut businessman P. T. Barnum moved to New York City. With true entrepreneurial spirit and against all odds, he wowed audiences with his ensemble of musical spectacles, attractions and variety shows. A master showman, his crowning achievement was the world-famous circus, Barnum Bailey’s Greatest Show on Earth.

In this account of his life and work, written by the man himself and first published in 1855, P. T. Barnum creates an aura of excitement about himself and his enduring fame, confirming his reputation as the greatest impresario of all time

My Review

I saw the film when it came out not knowing much or anything about it and came out singing. As with films based on real life some of it is embellished. After all for centuries as humans all we want to be is entertained regardless of the subject. Look at TV soaps, how popular they are and a lot of it is constant suffering.

This book is not for the faint hearted. The text is small and could probably have doubled the book in size however it is a very interesting insight into the life of P.t.Barnum. Each chapter outlines different areas of his life and what I found interesting was the detail he went into for his ventures, from the lottery to the Jenny Lind tour. He was quite a businessman. There’s no mention of the circus and hardly anything about his wife and family. To me it was one of those books I had to read and although I didn’t feel like learning anything new it was interesting to learn how human behaviour hasn’t really changed much.


The Miracle of Anna: An Awakened Child by John Nelson


Mad Girl by Bryony Gordon


Mad Girl by Bryony Gordon

Bryony Gordon has OCD.

It’s the snake in her brain that has told her ever since she was a teenager that her world is about to come crashing down: that her family might die if she doesn’t repeat a phrase 5 times, or that she might have murdered someone and forgotten about it. It’s caused alopecia, bulimia, and drug dependency. And Bryony is sick of it. Keeping silent about her illness has given it a cachet it simply does not deserve, so here she shares her story with trademark wit and dazzling honesty.

A hugely successful columnist for the Telegraph, a bestselling author, and a happily married mother of an adorable daughter, Bryony has managed to laugh and live well while simultaneously grappling with her illness. Now it’s time for her to speak out. Writing with her characteristic warmth and dark humour, Bryony explores her relationship with her OCD and depression as only she can.

Mad Girl is a shocking, funny, unpredictable, heart-wrenching, raw and jaw-droppingly truthful celebration of life with mental illness.


My Review

I hold my hands up, I only read this book because it was yellow and cost me 20p and I liked the title. I don’t particularly go into autobiographies, but while I was flicking through I thought I would give it a go and I am glad I did. It seems to be a trend in recent years for celebrities to talk about mental health. For me I find a stab of jealousy as it’s ok for them (even though I don’t know their situation) because they have money and things can be ‘easily fixed‘ which in the case of Bryony Gordon wasn’t necessarily the case and the help didn’t just come with the good contacts but more the fact she had a good loving network both at home and at work. Again in some cases some people aren’t as lucky to have. Some people don’t h av e that and what is worse is The NHS struggles with the mental health side of things with many people on long waiting lists.

“I just think you can’t let your demons ruin your day.”

What I loved about Bryony’s story is how she held her hands up and was brutally honest in some cases she didn’t see she needed help which is often the case and sometimes she said ‘hey it’s not working I need help’or ‘It didn’t all turn out a bed of roses because she found someone to love’. She is very frank and honest about everything.

One part dsc_2267that really hit home was how when she was a teenager and struggling with A-levels and her Mum says to her ‘I know you’ve had a hard time ….. You have no idea that locked away in this room in your own misery, you are dictating the mood of the rest of the house.’ Growing up this happened with my Dad we had to watch his moods and then throughout my adult years I realised that we all do it, when our mental health is bad we become selfish, we don’t realise how we act, or how our actions affect others, me included and yet instead of trying to work out why a lot of the time we are told to avoid negative people.

One of the things I loved about this book is the journey. How one therapist told her to enjoy the small things, like binge watching your favourite tv programme, even the small things help and if it makes you smile do it more. She mentions CBT which I have continued to struggled with, partly because in most cases it’s given in group work and your sent away with a book and told to get on with it and for me that hasn’t worked.

Like her I might try it again but I might try to find another way to approach it. Maybe watch You Tube videos or something. Or perhaps give Star Wars a go and become a jedi. But seriously for an autobiography and a story on mental health it really has struck me and it actually gave me a little hope that at nearly 39 I might be able to turn myself round and achieve something with my life, as her husband says ‘Life is what happens when you’re busy making plans’ I realised all my plans were more based around other people’s goals and I never really made mine, the main one being owning my own home. So perhaps it’s time to start and look after me and hope one day I can have a catalogue home I always dreamed of with artificial turf lawn.

One thing that I am glad she picked up on is, later in the book she describes talking to a burly bloke on  a train and how he was having issues and that to the world anyone can be having problems regardless of their status/appearance and that sometimes we all just need to be a little kind to each other. You never know what that small smile or hello can do for someone’s day. Remember the little things as they are as important as the big things.

Thank you for reading