#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…

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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.

#Review By Lou – Drinking Custard – Diary Of A Confused Mum By Lucy Beaumont @LucyABeaumont @Octopus_Books @RandomTTours #DrinkingCustard #Memoir #Parents #Families #NonFiction

Drinking Custard – Diary Of A Confused Mum
By Lucy Beaumont

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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Today I am on a blog tour for an entertaining non-fiction – autobiographical book – Drinking Custard – Diary of a Confused Mum. Discover more in the blurb and review below. Thanks first to Random T. Tours for inviting me to review on the blog tour and for Octopus Books for gifting a hardback copy of the book. 

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Drinking Custard Graphic 1About the Lucy Beaumont
and the Book

Known for her sharp, witty and surreal view on everyday life, Lucy shares the unpredictable craziness of being a mum in this brilliant and laugh-out-loud ‘mumoir’. Mums everywhere will recognise the madness of it all. From when Lucy was hospitalised with indigestion in her third trimester (blame the burrito), to when she was *this close* to slapping her hypnobirthing instructor, to fi nding herself drinking a whole pint of custard in one sitting.
Drinking Custard also captures Lucy’s marriage to comedian Jon, as they navigate Lucy’s raging pregnancy hormones and balk at pram prices together.

 

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Review

Firstly, Lucy Beaumont makes it clear she hasn’t written a parental advice book. As I read through the book, this is a book with humour and with anecdotes that parents may be able to relate to in their own lives.
There is about Lucy herself, who is also a comedian and her lifestyle as well as how she met fellow comedian – Jon Richardson, who she rubs up the wrong way from time to time. It’s really rather funny!

The way the book is set-out is fun, quick and easy to read for those busy parents. It’s easy to dip in and out of. It’s an entertaining enough book for something different to read to lift people’s mood.

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There are some serious moments too, about hormones, the changes within her body whilst being pregnant and the challenges of those night feeds. There’s also joy of reaching certain milestones too, between missing the life pre-baby. There’s the changes in conversations from Homes Under The Hammer exchanged to Paw Patrol and Bing etc. and the groups to join up to and progressing onto nursery runs.

The book is entertaining and seems to be an honest, yet humorous account of life and becoming and being parents.

 

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#Review By Lou Coming To England – 25th Anniversary Edition by Floella Benjamin @FloellaBenjamin @MacmillanKidsUK #ChildrensBook #Memoir #NonFiction

Coming To England
By Floella Benjamin
Illustrated by Joelle Avelino

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Review written by Louise (Lou) @Lou_Bookmarks

Floella Benjamin, I am sure a lot of people will have heard of her. I certainly remember her in Playschool, probably nearer the end of that series. Hers is perhaps the main name I remember as she captivated my childlike imagination. Now she is made a Dame and has been in parliament and done more good, so to have the opportunity to review her book is just astounding and a big honour! This isn’t just an exciting book, because I’m picky about contents of books, no matter who is writing it), and this is one excellent book that is informative and has a lot of colour and life to it that makes it absolutely fascinating to read about travelling between Trinidad and England.
Coming to England is great for Middle-Grade readers and is being re-released. She first wrote it over 20 years ago and then it was published again in 2016 and now on 15th April, it is ready for this new generation of children to enjoy and is a very special 25th Anniversary Edition you can buy now.
It’s perfect for bookcases everywhere and in classrooms. Teachers and children’s group leaders could easily find creative ways of using this book, there’s so much scope to be inspired from it to teach children of Trinidad through the memoir, the carnival, the food. There’s also a lot of discussion about different topics that come through in the book too. It is as relevant then as it is for today’s generation. Coming To England is Timeless!

As I write this and my full review, I find my fingers flying across the keyboard in excitement in what I found within the book, which is a memoir that is incredibly well-written for children and is as relevant today as it was in yesteryear.

Thanks to Macmillan Children’s Books/Pan Macmillan for gifting me Coming To England.

Find out more about this special 25th Anniversary Edition of Coming To England in the blurb and my full review and buy links.

Coming To England

Blurb

This 25th anniversary edition of Floella Benjamin’s classic memoir, Coming to England, includes a foreword by the author and some additional historical information. It is beautifully illustrated by Michael Frith.

Floella Benjamin was just a young girl when she, her sister and two brothers arrived in England in 1960 to join their parents, whom they had not seen for fifteen months. They had left the island paradise of Trinidad to make a new home in London – part of a whole generation of West Indians who were encouraged to move to Britain and help rebuild the country after the Second World War.

Reunited with her mother, Floella was too overwhelmed at first to care about the cold weather and the noise and dirt from the traffic. But, as her new life began, she was shocked and distressed by the rejection she experienced. She soon realized that the only way to survive was to work twice as hard and be twice as good as anyone else.

This inspirational story is a powerful reminder that courage and determination can overcome adversity.

Review

Coming To EnglandWith a brilliantly coherent foreward, that is a Must Read, (I say because I know that some people skip over these parts and miss a great deal), it gives an insight for what’s to come, with some of the history and circumstances laid out. The entire book is hugely interesting and many children will be able to relate to so many aspects themselves or learn so much from it and will (hopefully) see that moving can be challenging, especially to a different country and what can be faced and also how challenges can be overcome. They will also (hopefully) learn that humans, whatever their race etc don’t need to be mean to each other (putting it politely) and learn tolerance and also learn something about the Windrush Generation. It is a book that may inspire and is written in such a way that children will be able to get into easily and understand immediately and may prompt curiosity and questions and thoughts. Floella Benjamin, with her new foreward proves she’s still got it when it comes to children and young people, to reach out to them and their level. 

Readers get to know a little of Dame Floella Benjamin’s brothers and sister – Ellington, Sandra and Lester whose mother they call Marmie, in affectionate terms, who met Dardie aged 19, all of which I think is just lovely. The memoir starts with Life in Trinidad and it feels quite uplifiting in some ways and warm. There is much enjoyment for children to get their teeth into and so much knowledge to be gained about food and other parts of the culture. No matter where you’re from, whatever your culture, it shows that some things are the same the world over, such as baking. This is one of the beauties of this book, it starts off showing that there are similarities in life, after all, who doesn’t at the very least, like cake or ice cream? It has such a positive feel to it for children to read about that is heartwarming as it will make it easy then for children to warm to it. Then there’s school life, so some of this will be familiar to children too, although there are some changes, but this is where it’s interesting for children, and it was for me growing up too, as I grew up without the fear of the belt, whipping down on me, but in the 60’s, 70’s this seemed more like the norm.

There is the fun and spectacle at the carnival and there are some great illustrations of this, as there are throughout the book. Between that and church life, children will be able to see the British (and other countries) influences.

The reasons of creativity as to why people were moving out of Trinidad to England are fascinating and England seemed perfect for creating styles of music, such as Jazz etc that weren’t so popular in Trinidad. The memoir takes readers on a real journey of life and even to the crossing of the sea, which is great, I was glad this wasn’t missed out as it seems so pivitol and adds more to the story, instead of just landing in England without this part and I think children will be able to also feel the excitement (as I do, thinking of this book as a child might), for the family to make it across the sea safely. The atmosphere really comes through and carries the story across those waves and onto the train when the ship meets the land. The book is truthful and shows those natural anxieties during the trip.

There’s a stark turning point of the book when the family reaches England, with the changes in colour and increased traffic and the way people behaved towards them, which is far from pleasant and children will either be able to relate to or sympathise with and recognise this, it also shows resilience and how people lived in certain areas and what was endured. The book however, has another turning point that will give hope and brightness and also enters the family’s grown-up lives so readers can read about what happened next. There is also a bit about The Windrush Generation in general which children can learn much from in just a few pages. So, yes, unfortunately due to the world views at the time etc, she, like lots of others within the Windrush generation had to work twice as hard, but it is not all as harshly written as that sit-up and take notice blurb, it does have some lightness, It is detailed but refrains from overly complicating things. It’s a book for today’s generation and generations to come with its timeless themes and it is properly interesting and is a surprising page-turner, not least because who doesn’t care about Dame Floella Benjamin? But you care about her, her family and the whole windrush generation and hopefully everyone will see everyone as just being human and bring some humanity, no matter how small it is and just some peace and live and work together and see differences, but also similarities and find ways to not segregate or anything like that. This book could provide some hope for the future as adults may well read this with their children too, no matter where they come from, what their race is. It is relevant for everyone. It is about one family but is further-reaching than that…

                  Buy Links

Coming To England

 

Waterstones

 

WHSmith

Scholastic

 

#BookReview by Lou of One Thousand Days and A Cup of Tea by Vanessa Moore @Scribblingpsych @Kyle_Books @Octopus_Books @RandomTTours #Memoir #NonFiction

One Thousand Days and A Cup of Tea
By Vanessa Moore
Rated: 4 stars ****

Heart-rendering and emotional to the max; truthful with a surge of hope, no matter how hard things get, is depicted with searing honesty that is all affecting to the core.

Grief, it strikes all of us at some point or another, including the people you would least suspect, in this case, a clinical psychologist. This is her Vanessa Moore’s memoir. At the end of my review are a few interesting facts about grief. 

I thank Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me to review. I thank the publishers Octopus Books and Kyle Books for providing me with a copy.

Meander down to find out more about the author, the blurb, my review, some facts and I’ve included a couple of links you may find useful.

About the Author

Vanessa Moore Author pIcVanessa Moore is a clinical psychologist. She studied Psychology at the University of Bristol, gained her PhD in Experimental Psychology from University College London and trained as a clinical psychologist at the Institute of Psychiatry. She has had a long career in the NHS working in clinical, teaching, research and senior management roles. She specialised in working with children and families early in her career and she has published extensively in academic journals, mainly in the field of child psychology. She is a specialist magistrate in the family courts and she lives in Hampshire.

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Blurb

Vanessa’s husband Paul dies suddenly and tragically on their regular Sunday morning swim.
How will she cope with her dilapidated house, her teenage children, the patients who depend on her? Will therapy help? Why do mysterious white feathers start appearing in unexpected places?

As a clinical psychologist, Vanessa Moore is used to providing therapy and guidance for her patients. But as she tries to work out how to survive the trauma that has derailed her life, she begins to understand her profession from the other side. Like her, many of her patients were faced with life events they hadn’t been expecting – a child born with a disability or life-limiting illness, a sudden bereavement, divorce, failure – and it is their struggles and stories of resilience and bravery that begin to help her process her own
personal loss.

Taking us through her journey towards recovery as she navigates the world of dating and tries to seek the right therapy, Vanessa uses her professional skills to explore the many questions posed by unanticipated death and find a way forwards. Beautifully written and honestly relayed, One Thousand Days and One Cup of
Tea is a heartbreaking grief memoir of the process of healing experienced as both a bereaved wife and clinical psychologist.

“This book is about a period of great loss in my life, a time when the tables were completely turned on me. I was a qualified therapist who suddenly found myself needing psychological therapy. I was a trained researcher who became my own research subject, as I tried to make sense of what was happening to me. I was an experienced manager who now struggled to manage the events taking place in my own life. Yet, throughout all this turmoil, my patients were always there, in the background, reminding me that there
are many different ways to deal with loss and trauma and search for a way forwards.”
Vanessa Moore

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Review

Grief, it’s always around people. We live, we die and most people know someone who has died and most have experienced grief. The book is an honest account from Vannessa Moore who is a clinical psychologist, who needed assistance from psychological therapy herself to move past her own grief and turning her research onto herself as she became her own research subject. It’s a brave move to have made and even more so to write about in such a judgemental world. I will say, grief is experienced differently by everyone and that’s okay. This is very much Vanessa Moore’s account of it, but she has been through a huge gambit of emotions that somewhere, people will be able to relate to some part or all of it. It’s a searing look at each stage of grief as it is lived through.

The book starts off sedately with just how normal life can be trundling along, until the next moment, it isn’t like that anymore and it changes because of a sudden and most unexpected death. It has emotion and the racing thoughts of who you need to instantly call and what to tell the children and the lead-up to the funeral. She talks of desires of unburdening onto complete strangers. People may find this relatable, if they’ve unburdened onto someone else or someone has onto them. She talks candidly about how she feels when she sees Jennifer – a Psychotherapist, who listens and sometimes shows some concern. This is certainly her accuracy and account. I cannot say if this is true for everyone, but it is for Vanessa Moore and her experiences are very interesting.

It’s a surprisingly pacy book. I half expected to be trudging through it and was glad that this isn’t the case at all. It is however a book that can be dipped in and out of and is perhaps wise in some ways to do this, depending on how you’re feeling yourself, but it is a worthwhile read as it isn’t a “poor me” story, it goes beyond that. Something terribly sad happened, but it has a truth of warts and all about it, but is just about matter-of-fact too, with some of the pragmatic.
It also seems not to hide anything that she experienced in her grief, from being so low that she found solace and comfort in talking about it, to being enraged to finding a psychosymatic calmness in white feathers and imagining they are a symbol. She seems to have experienced it all. The book does move on from her counselling sessions and onto some of her work and clients and more into her own personal life, such as the quandry as to whether to date or not and into some pretty dark corners, but also, for her, and maybe for others reading this, brings some hope for a brighter future.

There is also an interesting snapshot into how things are changing in the NHS and her views on this. It also gives interesting illumination into psychotherapists. The attitudes and more…It comes to a great and very truthful conclusion, that many readers, I’m sure will find agreeable, she also manages to give a bit of hope for everyone now as she ends on a hopeful note about the pandemic, which everyone can relate to, no matter how you’ve lived through it.

What I do think would be perhaps wonderfully helpful in books that tackle such emotive and universal subjects such as these, is a list of just a few websites and contact numbers to charities who specialise in the book’s topic, in case there is anyone who would like to reach out. That aside, this is such a worthwhile book to read. I of course, also wish 

Facts:

  • Some 800,000 women lose their spouses each year in the UK. Statistically, women are far more likely to be widowed and far less likely to remarry than men.
  • A study done by Amerispeak found that 57% of Americans are grieving the loss of
    someone close to them over the last three years.
  • According to Child Bereavement UK, a parent of children under 18 dies every 22
    minutes in the UK; around 23,600 a year. This equates to around 111 children being
    bereaved of a parent every day.
  • 1 in 29 5-16 year olds has been bereaved of a parent or sibling – that’s a child in every
    average class.

Useful, Confidential Links

ChildBereavementUK                    Samaritans

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#BlogBlitz by Lou – A Rendezvous To Remember by Terry and Ann Garretson Marshall @SJonasBooks @lovebookstours

A Rendezvous To Remember
By Terry and Ann GarretsonMarshall

A Rendezvous To Remember

Today I present you with a rather romantic looking book, just in time for the lead up to Valentine’s Day, but all isn’t as simple as it would first appear…. Take a trip into a memoir of the 1960’s as you check out the  blurb and cover I have for you today.
Thanks to Kelly and Meggy atLove Book Tours for inviting me to present you with this material.

A Rendezvous To Remember

Blurb

The true story of a soldier, a pacifist, and the woman who loved them both

In June 1964, Ann Garretson skips her college commencement to tour Europe with Lieutenant Jack Sigg, a tank commander on the German-Czech border, with the hope of returning as his fiancé. A month later, her best friend, Terry, proposes marriage—by mail—throwing all their lives into turmoil.

Jack offers the military life Ann grew up with. Terry, a conscientious objector, will leave for the Peace Corps at summer’s end, unless the draft board intervenes and sends him to jail. Her dilemma: she loves them both. Caught between the old mores and winds of change, Ann must make an agonizing choice. 

In alternating voices, A Rendezvous to Remember presents firsthand accounts by the two who eventually married, enriched by letters from the rival, whose path led him elsewhere. Provocative and delightfully uncensored, this coming-of-age memoir is a tribute to the enduring power of love and family.

Praise:

“A love story you’ll never forget.”—Hope Edelman, #1 New York Times best-selling author of Motherless Daughters

“A story about what it means to be human—to struggle with love and what we truly want out of life—especially when being pulled in two different directions. Humorous and heartbreaking, the dueling narrative is stunning, surprising, and inspiring.”—Samantha Vérant, author of Seven Letters from Paris.

About the Authors

Terry and Ann Marshall

Chris G. Pffum picTerry Marshall grew up on a farm in Center, Colorado. Ann Garretson Marshall was an army brat who spent her childhood on military bases in the United States and Italy. After getting married, they taught English in the Philippines as Peace Corps volunteers and later served as Peace Corps country codirectors in the Solomon Islands, Kiribati, and Tuvalu. Back in the States, they worked side by side as community organizers and activists in Colorado.

Terry went on to write fiction and nonfiction works on discrimination, poverty, rural development, and intercultural conflict. Ann has thirty years of experience as a writer, editor, and community-government go-between for issues related to nuclear and hazardous waste cleanup.

Always seeking adventure, Terry and Ann have travelled to 43 countries. They live in Las Vegas, Nevada.