Reading Maze For Book Reviews

Reading for the Young & Old

Ilse Crawford’s Home Is Where The Heart Is?

I have just finished a quite joyous read, and before I start looking up its numerous references I wanted to pop on a quick post about the book.

Ilse Crawford's home is where the heart is?

This short volume will probably sit in Interior Design sections of book stores, but could as easily grace LifeStyle, or even Self Help.

The author has basically written a series of beautifully worded essays and, because of who she is, has been able to get them published.

It’s a little surprising to pay £20 for this. After all they are only really six reasonable length magazine articles. But if you subscribe to her life philosophy you’ll almost certainly be delighted to have your suppressed thoughts and desires expressed by someone who should know.

Ilse asks a question I have often pondered – why is the toilet usually in the bathroom. Someone’s foul air certainly doesn’t add to the sense of sanctuary you hope to find there. Locate the bog somewhere else.

This lovely little book talks about food, about love, security, work, and something that I consider hugely important – Respect, for yourself, and those around you. Photography by Martyn Thompson is beautiful, and fits the bill perfectly. I’d love to know who lives in the main apartment that features through much of the book.

I’m now going to spend awhile online looking up the many places she recommends buying from, and references for material, I suspect that the £20 it cost to buy the book will be vastly outweighed by the number of things I’ll look up and love. But as Ilse recommends, I’m a fairly frugal soul, and unless I need the thing I definitely won’t buy it just for the sake of it.



Finding inspiration from death

The phrase ‘carpe diem’ (roughly: seize the day) is familiar to many, and undeniably is a very positive ethos which we as a species and as individuals could do well to keep in the foreground of our thoughts. Our time on earth is limited and it pays to remember this. But keeping that philosophy in mind whilst going about your daily toil can be difficult, as the stresses and strains wear away at our energy and intentions.

A new book which has just been published by psychologist Marie de Hennezel is a great reminder and a valuable tool in the eternal fight to celebrate the here and now in a life-affirming way. It is called ‘Seize the Day: How the Dying teach us how to Live’ and is based on the author’s personal experience of working with terminally ill patients in France over many years.

Already a best-selling author, her previous non-fiction book was an international hit. She describes how accepting death as part of life is essential in order to seize the day and find peace and joy in our everyday lives, using her encounters to illustrate the fundamental themes of the book. It’s easy to see why her work has been called ‘inspirational’ and even for the most cynical of readers, there are valuable messages to be found in every chapter. And what makes the themes more accessible is the fact that the book is based on real people, real life stories and real deaths; this is not some ‘hippy-trippy’ tome thought up entirely in someone’s head.

This is a worthwhile, life-enhancing book for anyone to read. After all, the one thing all humankind has in common is that we will all die. That’s never been in question – the more pressing issue should be how we live our lives before our time expires.

The Viagra Alternative

If you’ve ever suffered from erectile dysfunction then you’ll know how debilitating it can be. This book aims to help sufferers by recommending natural remedies; after all not everyone is keen on taking Viagra, and holistic treatments are, for some, the only way they can treat their impotence. The Viagra Alternative discusses holistic cures to help your mind, body and spirit, and Dr. Bonnard also discusses dietary changes, herbal remedies, homeopathy, yoga and aromatherapy.

Marc Bonnard is a psychiatrist specializing in sex therapy. Interestingly, he was an investigating physician for the premarket Viagra clinical trials in France and he regularly lectures throughout Europe on erectile dysfunction.

The first chapter of the book explains all you need to know about Viagra, particularly the side effects.  Bonnard is at pains to point out that Viagra is not an aphrodisiac — it has no affect on libido or sex drive, acknowledging that a healthy sex life is impossible without being healthy physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally.

Remember though, that Bonnard is primarily a sex therapist and he encourages relationship therapy as a method of avoiding unnecessary chemicals or supplements. Keep an open mind; not everyone will be interested in yoga, aromatherapy and herbs as a treatment for impotence — most men just want their normal sex lives back as quickly as possible, whatever it takes. However, if you already have an organic lifestyle and the thought of a dangerous little blue pill makes you cringe, then this is a well written book with some excellent suggestions.

If you suffer from erectile dysfunction, then this book is worth a read, simply to see how you can change your sexual routines holistically. However, do see your doctor for advice on all the treatments available – it may just be that for you, Viagra is the only cure.

Chinese Massage Manual: The Healing Art of Tui Na

The Chinese Massage Manual: The Healing Art of Tui Na by Sarah Pritchard is a great introduction to the art of Tui Na (a form of Chinese manipulative therapy). This 144 page paperback gives a clear overview of various parts of Traditional Chinese Medicine including the Eight Principles, Five Elements and the Yin/Yang Theory.

Detailed throughout the book are 20 Tui Na hand techniques with helpful diagrams, some of which you can easily pick up and other you will have to practise. There is also section on making your own rice bag to practise on instead of your unwitting friends and family.

At the end of the book the author gives some helpful Tui Na techniques for various common ailments such as muscle pain and headaches and a list of recommended reading for those who want a more in-depth look into Traditional Chinese Medicine.

The Chinese Massage Manual is a great beginner’s guide to Tui Na techniques and gives you an insight into this traditional form of healing.

River Cottage Every Day Cook Book

“River Cottage Every Day” is truly a cookery book for the modern-age. With the hectic pace of life that so many families and young people lead, there is often very little time to spend cooking in the kitchen, and as a result many people find themselves eating poorly all-too frequently.

The author, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, has compiled a comprehensive list of simple recipes that not only take minutes to prepare, but will also add to a balanced and nutritious diet. Working mainly as a writer and broadcaster, Fearnley-Whittingstall’s “River Cottage” series has earned him countless awards including the Michael Smith Award for Work on British Food at the Guild of Food Writers and, on three occasions, the Andre Simon Food Book of the Year.

What makes this book even more appealing is that the majority of recipes listed are geared towards the budget-conscious, and there is some invaluable advice on how you can eat healthy without paying a high price. But the author also covers what you need to know away from the cooker and there are also some tricks and tips for finding time to spend in the kitchen. However, the key ingredient is always fresh food.

River Cottage Every Day” takes care of every meal you could think of – family dinners, breakfasts, quick snacks are all included – and there is also useful advice for what to put in the kids’ lunch boxes. Whether you want to have a more balanced diet or are looking for easy-to-cook and budget-friendly recipe ideas, this book comes highly recommended.

River Cottage Every Day

Ben Goldacre

Some of the most recurrent news issues to hit the headlines in recent times are panics over health – MMR vaccines causing autism, obesity epidemics, bird flu, most recently swine flu, often accompanied with fearful warnings about mass contamination and incalculable death tolls. Most of which, it would appear, fail to materialise. 

For those who are becoming sceptical about the latest media frenzy about health, Ben Goldacre is the perfect antidote. His book Bad Science, published in 2008, is an extended and revised compilation of the weekly columns he writes for The Guardian newspaper, in which he insists on using sound, scientific fact to debunk and refute spurious claims and unnecessary panic. In these articles you will find Goldacre’s forensic analysis of the distorting effects on real science of consumer product marketing, the pharmaceutical industry’s often far too cosy relationship with some prominent medical journalists,  and of pseudo-science and plain quackery masquerading as fact. With the satirical astringency of a radical pamphleteer, he famously exposed the scientific limitations of a certain celebrity ‘health expert’ by obtaining a ‘certified professional membership’ from the American Association she claimed membership of – for his pet cat.

Goldacre is not merely an amateur sceptic – he knows what he is talking about. Working as a junior hospital doctor in the NHS, he is also a qualified psychiatrist. Having won numerous awards for his medical journalism, Goldacre substitutes the voice of truthful reason in place of fear, inaccuracy and, on occasions, sheer falsification.

Books On Herbal Highs

We’ve been looking into book about medical issues and natural remedies, and we’ve found a book called Natural Highs which also covers Herbal Highs.

The Natural highs book is written by Patrick Holford and has a ISBN number of 1583331336.

First released in 2002 by Avery.

Customer reviews of the herbal high book on amazon 4.5 out of 5  which isn’t often seen, making this book a definite hit and valuable buy.

Here is a clippet from an amazon review

“I’ve known Dr. Cass’s work for a number of years now and so, expected quality. But this book is even better than I expected, in terms of the breadth and depth it covers.”