#BookReview By Lou of #TravelMemoir – Thinking On My Feet – The Joy of Putting One Foot In Front of Another By Kate Humble @katehumble @Octopus_Books #NonFiction #Walks #ThinkingOnMyFeet #TravelWriting #Travelogue #Memoir #KateHumble #Travel

Thinking On My Feet
The Joy of Putting One Foot In front of Another
By Kate Humble

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Thinking on My Feet is an inspiring, interesting travel memoir full of places to walk, the people Kate Humble met and their walk of life. Thanks to Octopus Publishing for gifting me this book. Discover more below in the blurb and my review below…

Thinking on my feet (2)

SHORTLISTED FOR THE WAINWRIGHT PRIZE**    Thinking on my feet
** SHORTLISTED FOR THE EDWARD STANFORD
    TRAVEL WRITING AWARD

– TRAVEL MEMOIR OF THE YEAR                                                         

 

Blurb

Thinking on my feetI’ve discovered that going for a daily walk has become as essential to me feeling good for the rest of the day as that first cup of tea. But I would argue that all I am doing is responding to a natural need we all have. Humans have always been migrants, the physiological urge to be nomadic is deep-rooted in all of us and perhaps because of that our brains are stimulated by walking. I solve all sorts of problems, formulate ideas, work things out to that gentle rhythm of self-propelled movement.’ – Kate Humble

Thinking on My Feet tells the story of Kate’s walking year – shining a light on the benefits of this simple activity. Kate’s inspiring narrative not only records her walks (and runs) throughout a single year, but also charts her feelings and impressions throughout – capturing the perspectives that only a journey on foot allows – and shares the outcomes: a problem solved, a mood lifted, an idea or opportunity borne. As she explores the reasons why we walk, whether for creative energy, challenge and pleasure, or therapeutic benefits, Kate’s reflections and insights will encourage, motivate and spur readers into action.

Also featured are Kate’s walks with others who have discovered the magical, soothing effect of putting one foot in front of the other – the artist who walks to find inspiration for his next painting; the man who takes people battling with addiction to climb mountains; the woman who walked every footpath in Wales (3,700 miles) when she discovered she had cancer.

This book will inspire you to change your perspective by applying walking to your daily endeavours

Review

This is a lovely descriptive book where you can follow in the footsteps of Kate Humble on her walks. The subtitle – “The Joy of Putting One Foot Infront of Another” appears to perhaps have two meanings. She seems to enjoy going on various walks, which means putting one foot in front of another to move, but along the way, she meets up with various people who are metaphorically putting one foot in front of each other (or taking one day at a time), as life presents itself and so to just try to lead life to overcome various issues they have with their physical health, addictions and more… and are also using extreme walking to help them overcome these, to improve their lives and outcomes.  There is also, just in general, the joy of not knowing who you might meet whilst out walking and then finding out the path in life and in a geographical sense, they are taking.

The book is written to, even if in a small way, spur people on and to inspire them to walk. I myself enjoy walking, nothing strenuous or as big as a huge hillwalk for the most part, but walking features in my life, and recently walked for MS Society to raise money for them. I also find, as this book talks about, that creativity can be inspired by walking. I mostly do it for pleasure and fun or to go somewhere as walking is a mode of transport if you like.

There are many reflections on walks throughout a year that Kate Humble writes about, sometimes in fascinating places, sometimes meeting people, she perhaps may not have met otherwise and probably not in her daily life, which perhaps added to her own inspiration. Thinking on my Feet has a mix of emotions written through it, from when Kate Humble is feeling lonely 

All in all, it is an interesting book that is great for dipping in and out of and will perhaps spark inspiration in many readers.

Discover a little of #NonFiction #Book Twentyone Olive Trees By Laura Formentini @FormentiniLove @igbooks @lovebookstours #BlogTour #BlogBlitz #TwentyoneOliveTrees

Twentyone Olive Trees
By Laura Formentini

Today I have an interesting and perhaps rather different book called Twentyone Olive Trees to share the blurb with you all. The author has something to tell you about some rather shocking news she received and how she coped with the tragedy of what happened… Disover the blurb below…

Twentyone Olive Trees

Nothing could have prepared Laura Formentini for the shocking news of her son’s death by suicide. Seeking solace during her time of grief, Laura turned inward to transform her pain and shock into healing and peace. She accomplished this by writing letters, poems, and fables to her son, Blaise, in the year after his untimely death. This became the beautiful tribute Twentyone Olive Trees: A Mother’s Walk through the Grief of Suicide to Hope and Healing. This book traces the author’s path from grief to understanding and healing. Laura shares the important message that it is in your power to overcome even the most traumatic events by creating something beautiful in the wake of death, divorce, disease, and destruction from natural and man-made disasters. Inspired by teachers like Deepak Chopra, Laura achieved her own healing transformation through creatively writing the morals and wisdom she gained in the twenty-one years with her son. The fables, accompanied by beautiful illustrations, have a playful, childlike way of helping the reader cope with loss and embrace acceptance and healing. It is Laura’s hope that these stories will act as a balm for those going through their grief and dark moments, while encouraging them to embrace their new beginnings. This is the perfect book to help those seeking to heal and transform in the wake of a traumatic loss.

About the Author

Laura Formentini is a nonprofit photographer, activist, and fundraiser. A member of Photographers Without Borders, she lives nomadically with her family.

#BookReview By Lou – Mother of the Brontes By Sharon Wright #SharonWright @penswordbooks #NonFiction #Biography #Brontes #MariaBranwell #TheLifeOfMariaBranwell

Mother of the Brontes
The Life of Maria Branwell
By Sharon Wright

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Mother of the Brontes is a highly interesting account of Maria Branwell. Thanks to Pen and Sword for gifting me the book. Discover what the book is about and my opinion in the blurb and my review.

Mother of the Brontes cover

Maria Branwell has spent 200 years in the shadow of her extraordinary children, Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë. Now the first biography of Mrs Brontë appears as a beautiful bicentenary paperback edition in October 2021, with a commissioned portrait of Maria at 38 based on the only two existing images in the Brontë Collection. Sharon Wright’s critically-acclaimed biography reveals Maria’s fascinating life as a Regency gentlewoman who went looking for an adventure and found one. A sudden passion and whirlwind love affair led to the birth of the most gifted literary siblings the world has ever known. From a wealthy home in Penzance, Maria was a contemporary of Jane Austen and enjoyed the social status of a prominent family with secrets. So how did Maria fall for the penniless curate she called ‘My Dear Saucy Pat’ hundreds of miles from the home she loved? And what adventures lead lover Patrick Brontë to their fateful meeting in Yorkshire? What family scandals did Maria leave behind in Cornwall? How did wealthy and independent Miss Branwell of balmy Penzance adjust to life as Mrs Brontë in Yorkshire during the industrial revolution? And what was her enduring legacy in the lives of those world famous daughters and troubled son?

Review

It is well documented about lives of the Bronte sisters – Charlotte, Anne and Shirley, through the novels and poetry they wrote and biographies other people have written, even more is known about their brother – Branwell Bronte and their father – Patrick Bronte than the matriarch of the Bronte family – Maria Branwell. This book goes some way to rectifying this biography of her life in this treasure of a book that uncovers her life and her part as an individual and as part of the family she created.

Really delving into history and setting the scene to create background to how things were in the time of Maria’s life, it goes into detail about the backdrop of socio/economical/political scenes. This I felt was necessary to people now and into the future to understand how things were and also puts her life into context. You really get under the surface of how the world looked when she was alive, not just in broader terms, but also the families she may have known or seen around Penzance in Cornwall, the houses that were there and religious beliefs. It provides a focused texture and understanding in the first few chapters.

The book becomes even more compelling to discover why Patrick, so penniless, left Ireland and Maria leaves Cornwall for Yorkshire and how they courted each other and fell in love, even though there was class division of him being poor and her being wealthy, with social standing, but attraction and love won out, however unlikely that would initially seem, but they did and created a life and family together.
There are letters of this period of time, which were later handed down the family. There are extracts of her letters in the book, that feels really special to read and gives readers a glimpse into her letter writing style and means the book is able to retain some of her “voice” for present and future generations. It heightens providence and a real care of the Bronte family. The research is meticulous and the passion of its author – Sharon Wright to ensure this part of the family’s history can be read about in this way, really shines through.

There’s a look into day to day life within the Parsonage that really brings the place, that is still standing, located in Harrogate, Yorkshire, England, (now a museum), to life. It shows life within those walls of husband and wife and their children, who, especially their daughters, were to become literary giants, whose work is still popular and is now shown in many media forms. Lesser known however, is that Maria could also write and there is a little bit of this within the book.

The book takes readers right to the end of Maria’s life and the impact her death had on how the family then behaved in their day to day living and continuing of their own lives.

This is an absolutely fascinating read and to be able to read it in her bicentenary year makes it somewhat even more lovely.

1922 – Scenes From a Turbulent Year By Nick Rennison #NickRennison @OldcastleBooks #NonFiction #History #1920s #1922 #TheRoaringTwenties

1922
Scenes From A Turbulent Year
By Nick Rennison

Rating: 4 out of 5.

1920’s or the The Roaring Twenties is a prominent decade. 1922, especially, was a period of a lot of change, musically, film making, politically, prominent people coming to light and some reaching the end of their lives and much more in this interesting look into 1 busy year. Thanks to Old Castle Books for gifting me the book. Check out the blurb and then my review to find out about the book of the year, 1922.

1922 cover1922 was a year of great turbulence and upheaval. Its events reverberated throughout the rest of the twentieth century and still affect us today, 100 years later.

Empires fell. The Ottoman Empire collapsed after more than six centuries. The British Empire had reached its greatest extent but its heyday was over. The Irish Free State was declared and demands for independence in India grew. New nations and new politics came into existence. The Soviet Union was officially created and Mussolini’s Italy became the first Fascist state.

In the USA, Prohibition was at its height. The Hollywood film industry, although rocked by a series of scandals, continued to grow. A new mass medium – radio – was making its presence felt and, in Britain, the BBC was founded. In literature it was the year of peak modernism. Both T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land and James Joyce’s Ulysses were first published in full.

In society, already changed by the trauma of war and pandemic, the morals of the past seemed increasingly outmoded; new ways of behaving were making their appearance. The Roaring Twenties had begun to roar and the Jazz Age had arrived.

1922 also saw the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb, the arrest of Mahatma Gandhi, the death of Marcel Proust, the election of a new pope, the release of the first major vampire movie, and the brief imprisonment in Munich of an obscure right-wing demagogue named Adolf Hitler.

In a sequence of vividly written sketches, Nick Rennison conjures up all the drama and diversity of an extraordinary year.

Review

1922 was a busy year. Nothing stood still. Great change was on the horizon and new ways of thinking, new art and music forms were breaking through, the film industry was pushing through its scandals and experiencing growth. It wasn’t only in the arts that things were changing, the shape of countries was also changing as well as their politics as well as leaders who had ideals, inspired from the past and their 1922 present. Nick Rennison in his book about this year informs in an interesting snippets that make me think of newsreel articles in some ways. Each part isn’t overly long and yet has enough depth to pique interest and there are many events that occurred that readers may not know about this period of history. Each part, as well as being short is split into each month of the year.
This is a book that people ought to read as the impact is everlasting. By impact I don’t mean it is all negative, there’s positives too. It shows more that each year doesn’t live in isolation of the year previous or what comes after.

There is clearly a lot of research in documenting a lot of what happened in 1922 and then to write it in a way that doesn’t feel too text book like and is actually interesting enough to make you continue reading past the first pages to find out what else happened from the well-known and the perhaps lesser-known.

The book tells a bit of The Spanish Flu and its effects, which no doubt will bring people to think about the present times (at time of writing this blog post). It also documents the deaths for many reasons – from illness to assassination, of prominent people such as Shackleton, Alexander Graham Bell and more. There are people who I certainly haven’t heard of and yet made an impact on the world and there are many people who I have heard of who also have made a lasting impact on the world. The book respectfully tells the truth about them and means people aren’t forever forgotten about, whether they were good people or not.

There are a number of murders woven into months where there was better news such as the emergence of people who were to become sportstars and film stars of their time and their achievements as well as all the above in the blurb and so much more…

There is also political turmoil in a few countries in the world, including Russia, China, Italy as Fascist (far right) and Communist (far left) had emerged and getting stronger, especially Communism. It’s interesting for those who don’t know some of the smaller details that had a huge impact and both exist today, sometimes strong and powerful, some politicians on the edges and getting closer to far right or far left politics in the world. The countries still don’t stand still as the fall of empires occur and near the end of the year, the formation of the USSR.

Jazz had emerged and the Roaring Twenties was starting to really flow and The Jazz Age had well and truly arrived and the changing dancing styles as older figurations of dancing started to completely transform into something more energetic and, considered by some, quite outrageous.

This is a book that will interest people who like history, are interested in the 1920’s or just wondering what was happening in 1922 to expand their knowledge. There’s something in it for all adults as so much was happening that lots of wider topics such as music, film, politics, famous people are covered and so much more… There is much people of any age can learn about.

#BookReview by Lou of Own Your Period @chellaquint@QuartoKnows #PeriodPositive #YA #Teens #NonFiction #NonFictionNovember

Own Your Period
By Chella Quint

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Periods, they are the most natural things in the world in a girl and woman’s cycle, but for some can feel a bit of a taboo subeject and this can be a good resource. To a certain extent Own Your Period is empowering. It most definitely helps to increase knowledge about periods and answers those questions 9 year old plus girls may have. Find out more in the blurb and more informative review below.
Thanks to Quarto Knows publishers for gifting me a copy to review.

Blurb

Own Your Own PeriodHaving a period is an incredible thing – Own Your Period celebrates what the body can do and provides young people (age 9+) with everything they need to be prepared… and empowered.  

This fact-filled guide to periods is bursting with positive, honest advice on managing and understanding menstruation, covering every aspect of periods as well as lots of advice on puberty and growing up in a warm, friendly and reassuring way.

Topics covered include the fascinating science behind why things happen, with all the details of menstruation through to the menopause explained, as well as answers to all essential questions like what’s a vulva and what does it look like, what do periods actually feel like, and what happens if blood stains your clothes?

Menstrual expert and educator Chella Quint’s witty text slays superstitions, busts common myths and fights period shame, while providing practical information about menstrual products, tracking cycles and sharingher own personal stories.

Funny, insightful and warm illustrations with friendly chatty text makes this an everything-you-need-to-know essential handbook, which pre-teens can refer to before their periods start, and will appreciate when their cycle is more established. 

This complete guide will prove an invaluable companion to any young person about to start their first period, and will help them embrace their cycle with positivity and pride, and grow into healthy, happy people!

Review

Own Your Own Period is a valuable book for ages 9+ and aims it just right at this age group. It’s informative and reassuring. It is warm and inviting and full of illustrations that go with the information provided. It will answer all those pressing questions without scaring pre-teens and teens alike. In doing so it will debunk myths, presumptions, misconceptions. It will prepare older children and teenagers for starting their periods and take away some of the awkwardness. The tone of the book also assists in this and makes it readable for this age group and makes it less text book like. The title is also great because it isn’t anyone else’s period but your own, but what the book shows is shared experiences that some may be able to relate to with their own periods.

There are sections about what you may feel when you get your period as well as the biology so you can understand your body more. The environmental part isn’t quite so well done and could have been done a bit better so it doesn’t feel so pressurised as people try to find what works best and feels comfortable for them.
The explanation of how to use some sanitary products is good enough.

There is some wit in some of the anecdotes provided and this lightens the mood and will make it feel more comfortable for readers experiencing or going to experience their periods for the first time. The fun-facts also make this easy for information to digest, as does the structure of the book that also goes some way into encouraging the end of period shame. The cover is also great at showing girls, that whatever your skin colour, you’re likely to have a period and hopefully it can go someway to help break down barriers in all cultures and backgrounds. The chatty layout normalises it to a certain extent and brings some positivity in the fact that this can be used to enhance, gain knowledge in a real way.

The book can also be used as a tool for 9 plus year olds to start a conversation with their parents because when with something like a book, it can make this easier as it arms you with info that you may want to talk about, and the same goes with parents/carers too with their children or young people in their charge.

The Suicide Prevention Pocket Guidebook @welbeckpublish #welbeckbalance #TheSuicidePreventionPocketGuidebook #NonFiction #NonFictionNovember #MentalHealth

The Suicide Prevention Pocket Guidebook
By Joy Hibbins

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Would you know how to support someone who is in crisis and having suicidal thoughts? This book will assist you in enhancing your knowledge. Thanks to Welbeck Books/Welbeck Balance for gifting me this important book to review. Discover the blurb and my review below.

Blurb

The Suicide Prevention Guidebook cover picUnderstandably, we may feel extremely cautious about how to approach or talk to someone who is having suicidal thoughts; we may be worried about saying or doing the ‘wrong thing’ – and this often creates a barrier to helping.

In this pocket guidebook, Joy Hibbins, founder of the charitySuicide Crisis, shares her invaluable experience of helping people through suicidal crisis. Using the charity’s groundbreaking approach, Joy helps you gain the practical skills, knowledge and confidence you need to support friends, work colleagues or family members during a time of crisis.

This book will show you how to: 
• Understand the complexity of suicidal feelings and what may lead to a crisis 
• Be aware of factors that can increase someone’s risk of suicide 
• Directly ask someone about suicidal thoughts 
• Build empathy and a strong connection with the individual in crisis 
• Learn strategies to support someone and help them survive

The fact that you care, and you want to help, can make such a difference to someone who is in need of support.

Review

This is an easy to follow and digest guidebook that is accessible to all. The book is broken up into short, easy to read paragraphs, with some examples too, which enhances understanding and firms up what the chapter is saying, as does the short summaries at the end of each chapter. There are also a comprehensive list to who to call when you need support for yourself, a loved one or a complete stranger who you find yourself supporting. Being a pocketguide makes it easily transportable to have easy to hand.

The book is covers all manner of sub-topics and takes your hand on what is a huge subject and leads you through. It goes through what you may be feeling when faced with someone who has suicidal thoughts and vaildates them, such as fear of saying or doing the wrong thing, guilt and more, as well as reassuring that the book will equip you with the tools to manage this situation, that you may not already have. This can be highly useful because you just don’t know if or when you will come across someone who is suicidal. The book splits suicide into parts, including Passive Thoughts of Wanting to Die, Active Thoughts About Suicide, Suicidal Intent. It also explains certain terms as well as increases your understanding about what may lead to a sucidal crisis. The book then goes onto debunking as many as 10 myths/misinformation about suicide. The book then tells you of warning signs, including what they may say or do and potential mood changes. So, this gives you information that puts everything into context and what to look out for. The book develops from here into how you can help practically and lists questions you can ask and how to handle them as they helpfully include many permeatations in answers; your body language and actively listening; tone of voice; topics to focus on; how to help them survive (again, if it is more than 1 crisis point they have experienced in their lives) and creating a safety plan.

The book responsibly also talks about how to care for yourself after supporting someone who is at suicidal crisis point. It also says about what support the person in crisis can also recieve and who you can call.

The book is all in all one that seems very valuable for everyone.