Dad Jokes? I Think You Mean Rad Jokes! by Elias Hill #DadJokes?IThinkYouMeanRadJokes! #NetGalley

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My review

I love a good bad joke, if that makes sense. All the cheesy ones are the best and this little book is full of them. Here’s just a few…….

‘Someone told me that their dog could retrieve a ball from up to a mile away.’ – ‘seems a bit far-fetched’

‘What drink always has a cold?’ – ‘Cough-ee’

‘What type of desert is always late to the party? Choco-late’

‘Why did the printer go to the gym? to get toner’

This little book would be a lovely little pocket gift for all those who like bad jokes. I think my friends and family were glad when I finished it. definitely worth a read.

Thank you to NetGalley for the free article

Thank you for reading

xxx

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Creative Adventures in Cursive by Rachelle Doorley #CreativeAdventuresInCursive #NetGalley

About the book:

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My Review
At school my writing was horrendous so I took up calligraphy. Recently I took up drawing and lettering again and have used the internet to find styles of writing to use to draw quotes.
This book has lots of tips and tricks, it starts off with suggesting doing a warm up exercises along with lots of doodles and sketches to try, I didn’t think about this and will give it s try. I thought this was a very good tip. It even shows you how to make a feather quill!
It full of great ideas, from thank you cards, invitations, a bullet journal to cakes! It uses a variety of materials from balloons, paper to wool and pipe cleaners and the latest craze rock painting. This book is great for the holidays, lots of ideas for young and old, whether you are just beginning or need fresh ideas.

Thank you to NetGalley for the free book.

Thank you for reading

xxx

Overcoming Anxiety for Dummies by Charles H. Elliott, Elaine Iljon Foreman, Laura L. Smith

Book descrip2353881.jpgtion: This guide shows readers practical methods for reducing their anxiety levels and achieving a less stressful existence. It has information on: prescription medications, common herbs and supplements; step-by-step guidelines to therapeutic exercises; and advice on nutrition, relaxation and support.

 

My review

This year I am eager to try all sorts to help with my mental health, from exercise  (within reason) to reading, trying to be creative again, with drawing and now sewing. I have sought out charities who do workshops to and in between that I have sourced books from my local library.

I thought I would try this one, as the title suggests I thought it wouldn’t be an overload of information. I absolutely loved it. I’m amazed to find that anxiety isn’t just feeling nervous regardless of the situation. It has lots of useful information from healthy eating, vitamins, meditation, mindfulness and challenging your thinking.

I tried CBT a couple of years ago and didn’t find it helpful, it might be because it was in a large group where you just listened to someone talk, then take away a book and learn it yourself. In my current situation I find too much information overloads me and I can panic and not take it in. This time I have taken it more slowly, seeking help where I can. With the books I’ve been reading I’ve learned to just take what jumps out at me and try it.

“Understand that at times, you will feel uncomfortable. View that discomfort as progress; it’s part of how you overcome your fears.”
It looks into unhelpful thinking and what struck me is that it says we shouldn’t belive everything we think and that sounded odd and made me feel like a bit of an idiot, why should we not belive what we think, but then I remembered about the discussion I had recently about the stories we tell ourselves, how we tell them to others. The book looks at different types of anxiety and roles we play and even looks into childhood anxiety, and how it can affect you in adulthood, when you would think it wouldn’t. One term stood out for me which was ‘magical thinking’ I never heard of this term but it is a harmless ritual that they can think something to happen. I had something similar as a child which I think affects me now when good things happen. Basically when my Dad used to be in a good mood I never trusted it as something bad would happen, i.e his mood would change and quite often this happened. I would worry when things felt to safe. I think it’s why I struggle on and off now. It’s something I am working on but letting go of the past makes me scared and worried that if I somehow beat this and be happy, I don’t deserve it but I can no longer live in this sinkhole. It just takes too much energy.
If you think about it anxiety is a funny thing it really is. For our ancestors it was helpful in the fight against danger as they would have to run from lions, tigers etc except these days it reacts in the same way but doesn’t realise we are not in as much danger when going into a meeting or when sat in traffic, unfortunately the body has to get rid of all that energy and that’s where anxiety comes in, it can make you fidget, feel on edge, jump out of your skin and so on. People react in lots of different ways and trying to explain how it affects you is hard, especially when it sounds irrational to someone else.
One thing that my friends keep telling me and is in the book is, when faced with a task, however simple, to take baby steps and this is in the book to. Basically it tells you to stop dwelling on the task as a whole and to break it down into steps and then tick them off. It also suggests making small goals and they could be as simple as making a phone call, asking someone to go for a coffee, whatever makes you anxious set yourself a goal and see how it makes you feel when you achieve it. I still need to make a list of goals for myself  but for now the main thing is to keep talking, asking for help and going easy on myself when I have bad days as it is allowed. We’ve all got to remember to be more gentle with ourselves when we aren’t running on full power.
Thank you for reading
xxx

Watch for Me by Twilight – Kirsty Ferry with @ChocLituk and @kirsty_ferry

40965331The past is never really the past at Hartsford Hall … 

Aidan Edwards has always been fascinated by the life of his great-great uncle Robert. A trip to Hartsford Hall and an encounter with Cassie Aldrich leads him closer to the truth about Robert Edwards, as he unravels the scandalous story of a bright young poet and a beautiful spirited aristocrat in the carefree twilight of the 1930s before the Second World War.

But can Aidan find out what happened to Robert after the war – or will he have to accept that certain parts of his uncle’s life will remain forever shrouded in mystery?

Book 2 – Hartsford Mysteries. Book 1 – Watch For Me By Moonlight  & Book 3 – Watch for Me by Candlelighthttps://www.choc-lit.com/dd-product/watch-for-me-by-twilight

About the Author:

Kirsty Ferry is from the North East of England and lives there with her husband and son. She won the English Heritage/Belsay Hall National Creative Writing competition and has had articles and short stories published in various magazines. Her work also appears in several anthologies, incorporating such diverse themes as vampires, crime, angels and more.

Kirsty loves writing ghostly mysteries and interweaving fact and fiction. The research is almost as much fun as writing the book itself, and if she can add a wonderful setting and a dollop of history, that’s even better.

Her day job involves sharing a building with an eclectic collection of ghosts, which can often prove rather interesting. Source: Choc Lit

My review

Have you ever wondered what your ancestors were like? As I’ve mentioned in previous reviews I have tried looking into my family history and Aiden does just this and is looking for more information on the life of his great-great uncle Robert.  This leads him to Hartsford Hall where he meets Cassie Aldrich who is preparing for a Living History Weekend.

In amongst organising the event, and with Aiden’s help to restore parts of the Hall, both characters busy lives interrupt at times to take them away from looking for Aiden’s Uncle however it keeps creeping back and  they are surprised by what they discover as the  house and grounds slowly reveals secrets which help Aiden find out more about his Uncle and the life he led.

‘How did one cope with something like that? Because the people living back then had had no choice but to deal with it.’

I loved the settings, dipping in and out of the time periods between the present and world war two, it just makes you realise how we things have changed and how we deal with things are so different. What I loved most was the fact that the two blended together and that the past can always teach us lessons even without realising it.

Once again Kirsty’s research shines through. What I love about her books is the descriptions of the characters and the settings making them come alive on the page and sucking you in to both worlds.

”Aiden Edwards decided just go for it. He needed to feel alive again after the winter, so he would follow the road and just see where it took him.’

What journey will you take?

Thank you to Choc Lit for a copy of this book. To find out more about Choc Lit check  out their website here.

Thank you for reading

xxx

It’s All in Your Head: True Stories of Imaginary Illness by Suzanne O’Sullivan

Pauline first became ill when she was fifteen. What seemed to be a urinary infection became joint pain, then life-threatening appendicitis. After a routine operation Pauline lost all the strength in her legs. Shortly afterwards, convulsions started. But Pauline’s tests are normal: her symptoms seem to have no physical cause whatsoever.

This may be an extreme case, but Pauline is not alone. As many as a third of people visiting their GP have symptoms that are medically unexplained. In most, an emotional root is suspected which is often the last thing a patient wants to hear and a doctor to say.

We accept our hearts can flutter with excitement and our brows can sweat with nerves, but on this journey into the very real world of psychosomatic illness, Suzanne O’Sullivan finds the secrets we are all capable of keeping from ourselves. –Amazon.co.uk

My review

I’m not sure how I came across this book, I think it may have been a post on social media. Anyway I checked my library and was able to reserve it. One of the reasons is because of my depression and stress-related epilepsy. Today we treat depression in many ways and one is to do with how we think and how we can change it, if not with tablets. Same with certain illnesses tablets are used to control it. For me I should reduce the amount of stress in my life otherwise my body could react with a seizure and this seems to be coming in different forms. I remember the neurologist looking at me when he said you ‘looked stressed’ after telling me my diagnosis and I was thinking ‘well yeah, you’ve just blown everything out of the water to what I thought was wrong’. Plus I couldn’t accept what he was telling me, but who can? After all is knowledge a good thing?

We all think having a diagnosis is a validation to what is wrong and yet these last 3 months it’s completely turned everything on its head, every slight headache, twinge I’ve panicked and ‘googled the symptoms’ and linked nearly everything to the tablets or the diagnosis and after talking to friends and reading this book realised how much damage I am actually  doing to myself. I grew up with epilepsy and the stigma and it’s not gone away, to no fault of anyones. Yes some of my views are perhaps outdated but its been like a shadow from my childhood that’s never disappeared.

saying that “It’s all in your head” perpetuates the notion that psychosomatic illnesses are ‘imagined’. I don’t agree. It’s time that we all realised that it IS all in your head, but that doesn’t mean it’s not real.

This book goes through several cases majority of them different but a lot linked to seizures. The author goes on to explore how people react to situations and how the body can react. In some cases the body is actually trying to protect us when we fall ill, like a warning sign, which I think happened to me last year. One thing it looks into is stress and how its managed.

With social media such a big part of our lives and tv before that painting  a picture of how our lives should be, we put a lot of unnecassry stress or create anxiety in oursleves. This book looks at how in some cases when we think we have everything, sometimes that pressure to get it or keep it maintained can cause illnesses and this intrigued me. In the past it would be how big your house was, how much material possessions you had to show your wealth, these days on social media we promote ourselves to show people how good our lives are when in fact perhaps they’re not. We communicate so differently now that we can find it difficult to reach out and ask for help or it can be seen as an embarrassment if we do and that’s why most of us struggle with our mental health. The man should be the bread-winner and when he’s unable to he beleives or is seen as a failure and the list goes on.

‘Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart.’ -Carl Jung. Memories, Dreams, Reflections (1961) 

To think our subconscious can sabotage our daily lives with something from the past is not as silly as it sounds. It’s just these days we keep hearing ‘it’s in the past you should let it go’ ‘stop letting it affect today’ But what if this is coming up because something that is happening now is reflecting that and we are going back to something familiar and it’s actually that, that we need to deal with first?

‘But society has not fully woken up to the frequency with which people do the opposite – unconsciously think themselves ill.’

We can’t tell what each other is thinking or how certain conditions/illnesses affect us. Every one deals with things differently.  After reading this book I’m wondering if my period pain is just in my head. After years of pain, right since the beginning, has never subsided and I wonder if my brain, on realising it is happening instantly increases the pain. What if I took another approach in the way I deal with it, would it disappear. When I saw a gynecologist over 15 years ago she turned round and said there wasn’t anything physically wrong and that I just suffered bad periods. perhaps that is what I am doing with the epilepsy and depression. I’m so worried I will be ill I actually make myself ill in the process? I’m not saying that all the tests I’ve been through are for nothing but perhaps I’m looking at this the wrong way and when I get to see a therapist this could be something to look at. We shall see.

This book is an interesting read. The sources she uses and the cases she discusses brings to light that we are a complex being. I’m not saying that this book is to cure people but its an interesting look at how our minds can work in times of stress and how our bodies are in a sense trying to warn or protect us from danger.

If you read it let me know what you think.

Thank you for reading

xxx

The Mermaid by Christina Henry

“Humans often valued what they should not, she reflected, and most often they did not value what was right before their eyes.”
About the Book
‘The Mermaid is a story about what it means to be human or humane, actually.  It’s also about love, friendships, and loyalty.

From the author of Lost Boy comes a historical fairy tale about a mermaid who leaves the sea for love and later finds herself in P.T. Barnum’s American Museum as the real Fiji mermaid. However, leaving the museum may be harder than leaving the sea ever was.

 

 

 

 

 

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 -Advertisement for the Feejee Mermaid from the Charleston Courier, January 1843

Once there was a mermaid who longed to know of more than her ocean home and her people. One day a fisherman trapped her in his net but couldn’t bear to keep her. But his eyes were lonely and caught her more surely than the net, and so she evoked a magic that allowed her to walk upon the shore. The mermaid, Amelia, became his wife, and they lived on a cliff above the ocean for ever so many years, until one day the fisherman rowed out to sea and did not return.

P. T. Barnum was looking for marvelous attractions for his American Museum, and he’d heard a rumor of a mermaid who lived on a cliff by the sea. He wanted to make his fortune, and an attraction like Amelia was just the ticket.

Amelia agreed to play the mermaid for Barnum, and she believes she can leave any time she likes. But Barnum has never given up a money-making scheme in his life, and he’s determined to hold on to his mermaid.-Goodreads

My Review
‘Centered around a reimagining of a hoax played by P.T. Barnum about the Feejee Mermaid, in early 1840’s New York, with a tour ending in Charleston, SC.’
Earlier this year I went to see The Greatest Showman at the cinema. I hadn’t heard of P.T.Barnum until I saw this. I had seen the trailer and thought it looked amazing. Since Moulin Rouge I have loved musical films and this one was no exception. As for reading I love a good mixture, from fairytales, adventure, to crime and on occasions a bit of romance.  Then I discovered Christina’s work when I found her version of Alice. I love the origianl Alice in Wonderland and I have a copy from my childhood, which I think I recieved from school. So when this book was due out I jumped at the chance to buy it. I absolutely loved it.
The Mermaid explores all sorts of subjects, how we hold secrets, the fascination of humans and society we create, intrigue of  the unknown, how our curiosity can get the best of us. How as humans we can exploit the vunerable by promishing them the world and praying on our dreams.  I also found another review online which also made some interesting points which at first I didn’t pick up on until I read their review:
‘The Mermaid functions on this idea of belief. People want to believe, to escape, to get away from the reality they despite and to cling to something else.’ source
I highly recommend you grab a copy today. 
I think my next book will be about P.T.Barnum as I am really intrigued to find out more.
In the meantime some links here:
Thank you for reading
xxx

Love reading? Join Choc Lit – @ChocLituk

I’ve always loved reading and around 5-6 years ago I joined a book club. once a month I would go to the pub and join in a discussion about the book that had been chosen, sometimes I couldn’t finish this book, it wasn’t to my taste but it was a good way to discover something new. Then I started a book club on my local radio and met someone who is now a good friend. The radio club along with me going to book club came to an end. Then recently she told me about the Choc Lit taster It was her who introduced me to Choc Lit and their taster panel and its been a very interesting journey.

So if you want to try something different, I highly recommend getting in touch with Choc Lit and joining their panel. You get a book to read, and a brief on what genre (I think that’s the right word) it is and away you go. When you’re finished there’s a form with a few questions on which you send back, it’s really rewarding

Oh and don’t forget to check out their catalogue of books. There’s some fantastic reads on there, some of which I’ve reviewed on this blog.

ChocLit-logo-WebAbout Choc Lit

Taster panel -https://www.choc-lit.com/join-the-choc-lit-tasting-panel/

 

Thank you for reading

xxx

 

Summer at Carrick Park by Kirsty Ferry

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A summer wedding, fifty cupcakes and a man she thought she would never see again … 

When Joel Leicester walks into the hotel where Rosa Tempest works, she can’t believe her bad luck. Out of all the hotels in all of North Yorkshire, the man who broke her heart would have to walk into Carrick Park!

The last time Rosa saw Joel it was after a whirlwind holiday when they’d been greeted at his flat by a woman claiming to be his fiancée. Rosa never stuck around to hear Joel’s side of the story but now, six years later on, Fate has another trick up its sleeve as a potentially disastrous summer wedding at Carrick Park can only be saved by Joel and Rosa working together … Choc Lit

About the Author:

Kirsty Ferry is from the North East of England and lives there with her husband and son. She won the English Heritage/Belsay Hall National Creative Writing competition and has had articles and short stories published in various magazines. Her work also appears in several anthologies, incorporating such diverse themes as vampires, crime, angels and more.

Kirsty loves writing ghostly mysteries and interweaving fact and fiction. The research is almost as much fun as writing the book itself, and if she can add a wonderful setting and a dollop of history, that’s even better.

Her day job involves sharing a building with an eclectic collection of ghosts, which can often prove rather interesting. Source: Choc Lit

My Review

What more could a girl want? A story that involves a wedding, lots of cake, self-discovery, family support and some great settings. I absolutely loved this book and it kept me gripped for days, it made me gasp, smile and want to eat lots of cake.

In this story we meet Rosa, the eldest of three sisters who thinks she is the sensible one and in being so doesn’t take risks. Rosa works with her two Uncles in their bakery and has a talent for baking cakes. When She goes to collect some leaflets for the bakery she has a chance meeting with Joel, who invites her to meet up with him to discuss more about cakes. Roll on three weeks later and she is off on a trip to Cornwall with him and on the return disaster strikes when they return and find  a woman in his flat claiming to be his fiancée. Hurt by previous relationships, her guard is up and Rosa flees not wanting to listen to his excuses. However Joel tries everything including social media to try to explain but she goes to great lengths to ignore him.

Six years later, Rosa, unable to take over the bakery, She now works in a hotel as senior receptionist. The hotel hosts lots of weddings and on one occasion who walks in, but Joel, he is there to be best man at one of the weddings. Cue lots of soul-searching, a missing cake, a race to save a wedding and we have a great story, not only about how our actions can affect things, but also others actions can deeply affect you and how you act but more importantly how a chance encounter can change your life for ever.

Thank you for reading

xxx

Remake Your Brain by Dr Leonid Altshuler MD

Thank you to NetGalley for a copy of this book

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Everyone is born with the capacity to be happy and content. Later something happens and we develop problems with our moods. Many people become depressed and anxious.

There is a genetic predisposition to age-related hormonal changes and how we react to the different types of stresses we experience in our lives. These factors play a role in the development of unhappiness. It is up to all of us to do what in in our power to avoid destroying our happiness because of these factors.

One of the related challenges of modern-day medicine is metabolic syndrome, which affects many hundreds of millions of people all around the world. Modern brain research has established a link between metabolic syndrome and the appearance of certain types of mental illness related to our day to day happiness. The brains of people with metabolic syndrome shut down key processes for the manufacture of neurotransmitters responsible for feelings of well-being and overall happiness.

This book will help you to overcome these problems and remake your brain, to recover how your brain naturally functions, and to become happy again because of this. Your brain does not lose its capacity to experience the full spectrum of emotions. You just need to remake that capacity. –Amazon

My Review

‘When they become depressed they tend to not pay much attention to what they eat and to the amount of physical exercise they perform and it makes the metabolic syndrome worse.’

I suffer from depression and anxiety and have recently developed other health issues which led to me losing my appetite and love of food. Because of this, when it came to reintroducing food it hasn’t been easy. Also the lack of exercise has taken its toll. Partly due to being scared to leave the house the other because I don’t have the energy.

‘Metabolic syndrome and its connection to mental health’

‘the neurotransmitters, develop a different variety of mental problems —anxiety, depression, mood swings, anger, irritability, low motivation, problem with attention and concentration, memory problems, insomnia. ‘

One part I really loved was about feelings and how we treat ourselves and others, how love is an important factor. the world is changing in how we interact with each other. In some cases I think we talk less as we have instant ways of getting in touch with people, either via text messaging or social media but less and less do we actually pick up the phone and talk. At one point we would do the weekly phone call or write a letter, and when we would meet up in the pub or whatever we did we would have loads to discuss. Now we tell everyone everything again via text or social media that sometimes when we do come face to face we have less to talk about. The author makes a good point about love and loneliness…..

Adults need love, too. Many adults suffer from feeling lonely, especially in the big cities. Adults spend too much time having an intimate relationship with modern day technology that is incapable of giving them an adequate amount of love. 

The book also provides guidance on meditation from focusing on an object in the room that you’ve seen dozens of times and then sitting for 20 minutes and writing everything negative down and doing it for seven days. This has often been suggested to me but not for such a length of time. I do this on and off then I just rip it all up, but the author suggests reading it after the 7 days and picking out the positives.

 ‘Loneliness comes from the false perceptions that only humans can hear and understand you. Not at all! – You do not need to seek advice only from humans. You can ask the Universe a question. It is better to ask this question before you fall asleep. ‘

It also focuses on loneliness, one of the biggest things I have to deal with and didn’t realise how much until a few years back when a job I loved started to go wrong and then it just continued. It suggests getting out and talking to your surroundings and that everything can give you advice from birds to trees to the universe. A part of me is a bit sceptical of this but in recent years I have been trying to do different hings, I think most of the times things don’t work because you don’t belive in it like not believing in your own self-worth. That’s how we end up ill because we no longer look after ourselves. Later he mentions food is medicine, this bit is true as I have vitamin deficiency brought on by my bad diet or lack of eating. In recent months I’ve relied on ready meals but most days I just have a smoothie and toast and this needs to change as obviously my body is becoming weaker. So after reading this book I intend to do some meal planning and from next month try to rebuild myself and hopefully my health will improve both mentally and physically.

You are always the one who heals yourself. 

Thank you for reading

xxx

Book review: Moonbeams in a Jar (Little Spitmarsh Book 3) @ChocLituk

Moonbeams in a Jar (Choc Lit) (Little Spitmarsh Book 3) by Christine Stovell

39683860A fabulous heart-warming story that’s set in Christine’s fictional seaside town, Little Spitmarsh and Hong Kong. Makes a perfect weekend read!
When Chloe Potter wishes on a star that she’ll find a man who’ll accept her and her noisy dachshund Wilma, she doesn’t think that she’ll bump into one quite so soon …
But almost immediately she meets Ryan Green and his boisterous basset hound, Fred. Ryan is larger than life, ruggedly handsome and, most importantly, a dog lover – surely a match made in heaven?
But Chloe soon finds that trying to tie a man like Ryan down is like trying to catch moonbeams in a jar. Ryan’s job as a photographer means that when he’s not in the middle of a war zone, he’s trying to catch just the right light at the top of Mount Snowdon.
Chloe wants stability and when it becomes clear that Ryan will always put his job first, she knows she has to move on. But then a once-in-a-lifetime trip unexpectedly brings them together once again …
my review

What a story. I’ve always been a fan of stories where two characters are meant to be together but it’s never straight forward. It always made me hope that one day I would find someone and live happily ever after. I’m still waiting.

Back to the book. What a beautiful story we meet Chloe who is always wanting to know whats happening tomorrow, and has the worse history of love with a slimy ex who wishes upon a star to find love. The wish appears to work in the form of Ryan who lives moment to moment always ready to go photograph something new, yet she doesn’t know it.

What I loved about this book is the depth of the characters, Chloe affected by her parents, how her Dad let her Mum bring her up, thinking that was the thing to do, the negativity from her Mum rubbing off, meant she picked men like slimy Guy when it came to relationships, and then when she wishes upon a star and a rugged man called Ryan turns up, with a basset hound called Fred, who is completely opposite to her, always off looking for the next photograph, not looking to settle down. I just loved how this book explored the characters as individuals, how the background characters helped build the story especially the animals.

This is a book about self-discovery, about finding love and accepting it in all its forms and discovering sometimes you need to take that chance.  It’s hilarious, warm and funny, not just with the main  human characters but with the evil twin cats called Bob and Vic and the adorable basset hound Fred who is in love with the dachshund Wilma, it’s definitely one to read.

I recommend you grab a copy today.

Thank you for reading

xxx