Books I Recommend
Here are some of the best books I've read in recent years on various topics. There are books here on menopause, aging well, self development, racism and also some novels. Enjoy!
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Cheeky I know to start with my book! But... I couldn't find a book that covered everything I was looking for: menopause, ageing well, self development in midlife and beyond, and challenging all the negative narratives about women and age. So I wrote one!
I unpick the accepted status quo and negative stereotypes associated with women’s midlife and aging. The book presents a radical research-based rebranding of midlife and menopause, highlighting the possibilities inherent in this transformational time in a woman’s life.
Far from menopause being the beginning of the end, I believe it can be an exciting catalyst for a more fulfilling next chapter. In this fresh approach to midlife, menopause, and aging, the reader is empowered and provided with resources to get the messy stuff sorted; then guided through a step-by-step blueprint to create a truly magnificent midlife—and beyond. Enjoy!
This practical nutrition and lifestyle guide provides women with the tools to build their own menopause diet which specifically targets the symptoms that are relevant to them. There are so many ways that nutrition can support a healthy and happy menopause, but a one-size-fits-all approach simply won't work.
Flash Count Diary is a powerful exploration into aspects of menopause that have rarely been written about, including the changing gender landscape that reduced levels of hormones brings, the actualities of transforming desires, and the realities of prejudice against older women.
Including chapters on menopause, sex, culture, work, rage and freedom, writer and journalist Sam Baker shares her experiences of life post 40 and shows women how to create their own story. This needn't herald the era of loose clothing and hair dye; or hot flashes and bad sleep (though there is that too). A very personal book about menopause.
Grow Your Own HRT shows the scientific proof of why some women menopause without a problem and how you can become one of them.
In Beating Brain Fog, neuroscientist Dr Sabina Brennan guides us through the science to show how our brains work, and why we might experience confusion and anxiety. She offers tools to help you identify your own cognitive profile, determining the causes of your specific symptoms, and explains the simple strategies that can help you feel like yourself again.
This is the book about menopause that Andrea McLean wished for as she found herself in uncharted territory, grappling with the physical aftershock of a hysterectomy and the psychological fallout of a difficult transition.
Second Spring offers a new vision for menopause, mapping the psychological phases and showing how this period in your life can be a time of personal growth. Like your slightly sweary best friend, Kate Codrington guides you through managing physical challenges with lifestyle changes and understanding what might be causing them. Whether you choose a natural route, HRT or a combination of both, there’s a wealth of self-care practices available here to soothe your symptoms. These include journaling prompts, practical tips and soulful enquiries real-life solutions for managing symptoms with kindness, helping you to become the person you always longed to be.
The XX Brain presents groundbreaking research showing that women's brains age distinctly from men's, due mostly to the decline of a key brain-protective hormone: estrogen.
After reading hundreds of studies and talking to numerous experts, Annabel and Susan compiled almost 100 short cuts to health in mid and later life, including: how, when and what to eat; the supplements worth taking; when, where and how to exercise; the most useful medical tests; how to avoid health-threatening chemicals; the best methods for keeping the brain sharp; and how to sleep better.
A leading blogger and researcher into ageing, Suzi has created this easy Alternative Ageing action plan to give you more energy and vitality. Follow the tips in Alternative Ageing and you'll soon discover a new you who looks and feels great and runs rings around your children - and even grandchildren.
The book explains the roots of ageism - in history and in our own age denial - and how it divides and debases, examines how ageist myths and stereotypes cripple the way our brains and bodies function, looks at ageism in the workplace and the bedroom, exposes the cost of the myth of independence, critiques the portrayal of olders as burdens to society, describes what an all-age-friendly world would look like, and concludes with a rousing call to action.
In The Age-Well Plan, Susan draws on almost a decade of extensive research into healthy longevity and her experience as a health coach to give you the tools you need to live your own age-well life. Her simple, clear and easy-to-follow six-week plan will show you how to make changes -- small and large -- to support healthy ageing, and prioritise the changes most appropriate for your body, lifestyle and circumstances.
For most of human history, death was a common, ever-present possibility. It didn't matter whether you were five or fifty - every day was a roll of the dice. But now, as medical advances push the boundaries of survival further each year, we have become increasingly detached from the reality of being mortal. So here is a book about the modern experience of mortality - about what it's like to get old and die, how medicine has changed this and how it hasn't, where our ideas about death have gone wrong. With his trademark mix of perceptiveness and sensitivity, Atul Gawande outlines a story that crosses the globe, as he examines his experiences as a surgeon and those of his patients and family, and learns to accept the limits of what he can do.
SELF DEVELOPMENT/ WELLNESS
The practical strategies in Ditching Imposter Syndrome will help you to identify and then fully release Imposter Syndrome's subconscious drivers, in a way that's fast, fun and forever. You'll learn the secrets of natural resilience, true inner confidence and how to take off those secret masks, to show up as the leader you were born to be - so you can make the difference you are really here to make in the world.
Finding your ikigai is easier than you might think. This book will help you work out what your own ikigai really is and equip you to change your life. You have a purpose in this world: your skills, your interests, your desires and your history have made you the perfect candidate for something. All you have to do is find it.
Now with ageing parents, teenage daughters, a bigger bum and a To-Do list without end, Caitlin Moran is back with More Than A Woman: a guide to growing older, a manifesto for change, menopause and a celebration of all those middle-aged women who keep the world turning.
In Mating in Captivity, Esther Perel looks at the story of sex in committed couples. Modern romance promises it all - a lifetime of togetherness, intimacy and erotic desire. In reality, it's hard to want what you already have. For couples in midlife, who may have been together for years and years, this book can be a chance to reclaim the erotic!
In this irreverent and humorous how-to guide, motivational speaker and coach Juju Hook gives it to you straight about why you’ve likely come to dread middle age, and why it should be the time of your life.
In 'Your Next Chapter', Angela now offers inspiration, guidance and simple tools to help you navigate doubt, anchor into your true worth and access your courage, confidence and creativity. She also shares her own raw stories of recovery from addiction, and transition through three major work-life changes to the business that sustains her soul today.
While author Terri Hanson Mead wrote Piloting Your Life as a love letter to GenX women, the messages and stories transcend age providing women of all ages with permission to design and live a life of our own creation. Diverse women from around the world share their personal stories of learning, growing and thriving through midlife to inspire you to explore and experiment.
For much of the 20th and 21st centuries, women's sexuality was an uncharted territory in science, studied far less frequently--and far less seriously--than its male counterpart. That is, until Emily Nagoski's Come As You Are, which used groundbreaking science and research to prove that the most important factor in creating and sustaining a sex life filled with confidence and joy is not what the parts are or how they're organized but how you feel about them.
Daring Greatly is the culmination of 12 years of groundbreaking social research, across every area of our lives including home, relationships, work, and parenting. It is an invitation to be courageous; to show up and let ourselves be seen, even when there are no guarantees.
With this book, you're being handed the keys to a turned-on life - a life that is authentic, radiant and open to pleasure and joy, whatever your age. Regena Thomashauer has long noticed that 'pussy' is one of the most pejorative words in the English language.
Gottman has scientifically analysed the habits of married couples and established a method of correcting the behaviour that puts thousands of marriages on the rocks. He helps couples focus on each other, on paying attention to the small day-to-day moments that, strung together, make up the heart and soul of any relationship. This is the definitive guide for anyone who wants their relationship to attain its highest potential.
With the End in Mind is a book for us all: the grieving and bereaved, the ill and the healthy. By turns touching and tragic, funny and wise, it tells powerful human stories of life and death.
In this refreshingly entertaining how-to guide, bestselling author and success coach, Jen Sincero, serves up 27 bitesized chapters full of hilariously inspiring stories, sage advice, easy exercises, and the occasional swear word, helping you to:
- Identify and change the self-sabotaging beliefs and behaviours that stop you from getting what you want
- Create a life you totally love. And create it NOW
- Make some damn money already. The kind you've never made before.
Five years ago, Tara Mohr began to see a pattern in her work as an expert in leadership: women with tremendous talent, ideas and aspiration were not recognising their own brilliance. They felt that they were ‘playing small’ in their lives and careers and wanted to ‘play bigger’, but didn’t know how. And so Tara devised a step-by-step programme for playing big from the inside out: this book is the result.
With wisdom, compassion, and gentle humor, Parker J. Palmer invites us to listen to the inner teacher and follow its leadings toward a sense of meaning and purpose. Telling stories from his own life and the lives of others who have made a difference, he shares insights gained from darkness and depression as well as fulfillment and joy, illuminating a pathway toward vocation for all who seek the true calling of their lives.
Waking Up is part seeker's memoir and part exploration of the scientific underpinnings of spirituality. No other book marries contemplative wisdom and modern science in this way, and no author other than Sam Harris-a scientist, philosopher, and famous sceptic-could write it.
Dr. LeMay also talks about the fact that the female and male sex drives are different but there is no reason to apologize for such a difference. There is nothing wrong with women that have a low sex drive and not all men are addicted just because they like sex. This book offers a compilation of tips and ideas to increase assertiveness and honesty during sex.
For over 25 years, renowned brain coach Jim Kwik has worked closely with top actors, athletes, CEOs, and superachievers in all walks of life to unlock their true capabilities. In this groundbreaking book, he reveals the science-based practices and field-tested techniques that the world's top performers use to accelerate their learning and create world-class results.
Determined to give people a way to discover for themselves what she had experienced, Katie has developed a simple method of self-enquiry that she calls The Work, four simple questions that allow you to see the problems that are troubling you in a whole new light. The Work is a life-transforming system for discarding the stories we tell ourselves, which are the source of our suffering, and replacing them with the truth and a life of joy and peace.
In this book, the first of its kind written by a scientific expert, Professor Matthew Walker explores twenty years of cutting-edge research to solve the mystery of why sleep matters. Looking at creatures from across the animal kingdom as well as major human studies, Why We Sleep delves into everything from what really happens during REM sleep to how caffeine and alcohol affect sleep and why our sleep patterns change across a lifetime, transforming our appreciation of the extraordinary phenomenon that safeguards our existence.
This classic, inspirational book from internationally respected feminist psychologist Harriet Lerner explores the ways in which anger can lead into a destructive ‘dance’ within women’s relationships- permanent fighting with your nearest and dearest, distancing yourself through silence or blaming others for the failure of your relationships.
Drawing on more than twenty years of academic research and her own experiences, Susan David PhD, a psychologist and faculty member at Harvard Medical School, has pioneered a new way to make peace with our inner self, achieve our most valued goals and live life to the fullest. Become aware of your true nature, learn to face your emotions with acceptance and generosity, act according to your deepest values, and flourish.
Part inspiration, part memoir, Untamed explores the joy and peace we discover when we stop striving to meet the expectations of the world, and instead dare to listen to and trust in the voice deep inside us. From the beloved New York Times bestselling author, speaker and activist Glennon Doyle.
Since its first publication, The Artist's Way has inspired the genius of Elizabeth Gilbert, Tim Ferriss, Reese Witherspoon, Kerry Washington and millions of readers to embark on a creative journey and find a deeper connection to process and purpose. Julia Cameron guides readers in uncovering problems and pressure points that may be restricting their creative flow and offers techniques to open up opportunities for growth and self-discovery.
Whether you want to leave a dead-end job, heal a relationship, grow a business, master your money, or just find two free hours in your day, Everything is Figureoutable will train your brain to think more positively and help you break down any dream into manageable steps.
In this accessible, relatable book, she explores the various reasons for sexual problems, such as stress and incessant multitasking, and tells the stories of many of the women she has treated over the years. She also provides easy, effective exercises that readers can do on their own to increase desire and sexual enjoyment, whether their goal is to overcome a sexual difficulty or simply give their love life a boost.
Marina Cantacuzino seeks to investigate, unpick and debate the limits and possibilities of forgiveness – in our relationships, for our physical and mental wellbeing, how it plays out in international politics and within the criminal justice system, and where it intersects with religious faith. Cantacuzino speaks to people across the globe who have considered forgiveness in different forms and circumstances. She talks to a survivor of Auschwitz; to someone who accidentally killed a friend; to people who have lost loved ones in acts of violence; to a former combatant in The Troubles as well as to the daughter of someone he murdered.
From the bestselling author of With the End in Mind, this is a book about the conversations that matter and how to have them better – more honestly, more confidently and without regret. A child coming out to their parent. A family losing someone to terminal illness. A friend noticing the first signs of someone’s dementia. A careers advisor and a teenager with radically different perspectives.
There are moments when we must talk, listen and be there for one another. Why do we so often come away from those times feeling like we could have done more, or should have been braver in the face of discomfort? Why do we skirt the conversations that might matter most? By bringing together stories with a lifetime’s experience working in medicine and the newest psychology, Mannix offers lessons for how we can better speak our mind and help when others need to.
For years, rumors of the 'Marsh Girl' have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life - until the unthinkable happens.
Forced to return to her childhood home to live with her dysfunctional, bohemian parents (but without the help of her devoted, foul-mouthed sister Ingrid), Martha has one last chance to find out whether a life is ever too broken to fix - or whether, maybe, by starting over, she will get to write a better ending for herself.
Sylvie, Jude, Wendy and Adele have a lifelong friendship of the best kind: loving, practical, frank and steadfast. But when Sylvie dies, the ground shifts dangerously for the remaining three. These women couldn't be more different: struggling to recall exactly why they've remained close all these years, the grieving women gather for one last weekend at Sylvie's old beach house. But fraying tempers, an elderly dog, unwelcome guests and too much wine collide in a storm that threatens to sweep away their friendship for good.
Lily has grown up believing she accidentally killed her mother when she was four years old. Now, at fourteen, she yearns for forgiveness and a mother's love. Living on a peach farm in South Carolina with her harsh and unforgiving father, she has only one friend, Rosaleen, a black servant. When racial tension explodes one summer afternoon, and Rosaleen is arrested and beaten, Lily chooses to flee with her. Fugitives from justice, the pair follow a trail left by the woman who died ten years before. Finding sanctuary in the home of three beekeeping sisters, Lily starts a journey as much about her understanding of the world as about the mystery surrounding her mother.
Set in the Niger Delta, Tiny Sunbirds, Far Away is the witty and beautifully written story of one family’s attempt to survive a new life they could never have imagined, struggling to find a deeper sense of identity along the way. Told in Blessing's own beguiling voice, Tiny Sunbirds Far Away shows how some families can survive almost anything. At times hilarious, always poignant, occasionally tragic, it is peopled with characters you will never forget.
Jess Thomas has two jobs and two kids and never enough money. And when life knocks her down she does her best to bounce right back. But no one told her it's okay to ask for help. Ed Nicholls is the good guy gone bad. He had it all, then one stupid mistake cost him everything. Now he'll do anything to make it right. Ed doesn't want to save anyone and Jess doesn't want saving, but could Jess and Ed add up to something better together?
In the dimmed lights of their apartment, Dovie and Gillian love each other in secret. Mixing drinks, dancing to slow jazz, they guard their lives closely, knowing they'll never truly be safe. And yet, outside, someone suspects the truth. Gillian fears the worst, and grips on to Dovie more tightly. But Dovie, seeing the good in people, lets the door open . . .
Twenty years later, Dovie and Gillian are long gone. But the apartment's new occupant, Ava, picks up the trail of their story. What happened to the two women, for them to disappear out of the blue? And is there anyone left in New York who can help uncover the truth?
Growing up after the war in Westmere, an English seaside town, Kitty has been sheltered by her parents, but meeting Danny changes all of that. She decides to leave everyone and everything she knows to follow Danny to London, in pursuit of glamour and opportunity, and this sets in motion a series of events that will echo down the generations. Over fifty years later, when Kitty's body is found in her beach hut with a suicide note by her side, her great-niece will help to unravel all the secrets which the family has kept hidden over the decades.
Meet Rachel Walsh. She's been living it up in New York City, spending her nights talking her way into glamorous parties before heading home in the early hours to her adoring boyfriend, Luke. But her sensible older sister showing up and sending her off to actual rehab wasn't quite part of her plan. She's only agreed to her incarceration because she's heard that rehab is wall-to-wall jacuzzis, spa treatments and celebrities going cold turkey - plus it's about time she had a holiday. Saying goodbye to fun and freedom will be hard - and losing the man who might just be the love of her life will be even harder. But will hitting rock bottom help Rachel learn to love herself, at last?
Greece in the age of heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the court of King Peleus and his perfect son Achilles. Despite their differences, Achilles befriends the shamed prince, and as they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine, their bond blossoms into something deeper - despite the displeasure of Achilles's mother Thetis, a cruel sea goddess. But when word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, Achilles must go to war in distant Troy and fulfill his destiny. Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus goes with him, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they hold dear.
This is Britain as you've never read it. This is Britain as it has never been told. From Newcastle to Cornwall, from the birth of the twentieth century to the teens of the twenty-first, Girl, Woman, Other follows a cast of twelve characters on their personal journeys through this country and the last hundred years. They're each looking for something - a shared past, an unexpected future, a place to call home, somewhere to fit in, a lover, a missed mother, a lost father, even just a touch of hope . . .
Perched on a hill above a village by the sea, the high house has a mill, a vegetable garden and a barn full of supplies. Caro and her younger half-brother, Pauly, arrive there one day to find it cared for by Grandy and his granddaughter, Sally. Not quite a family, they learn to live together, and care for one another. But there are limits even to what the ailing Grandy knows about how to survive, and, if the storm comes, it might not be enough.
Unsettled Ground is a powerful novel of betrayal and resilience, love and survival. It is a portrait of life on the fringes of society that explores with dazzling emotional power how we can build our lives on broken foundations, and spin light from darkness.
Mahmood Mattan is a fixture in Cardiff's Tiger Bay, 1952, which bustles with Somali and West Indian sailors, Maltese businessmen and Jewish families. He is a father, chancer, some-time petty thief. He is many things, in fact, but he is not a murderer. So when a shopkeeper is brutally killed and all eyes fall on him, Mahmood isn't too worried. It is true that he has been getting into trouble more often since his Welsh wife Laura left him. But Mahmood is secure in his innocence in a country where, he thinks, justice is served. It is only in the run-up to the trial, as the prospect of freedom dwindles, that it will dawn on Mahmood that he is in a terrifying fight for his life - against conspiracy, prejudice and the inhumanity of the state. And, under the shadow of the hangman's noose, he begins to realise that the truth may not be enough to save him.
Nora's life has been going from bad to worse. Then at the stroke of midnight on her last day on earth she finds herself transported to a library. There she is given the chance to undo her regrets and try out each of the other lives she might have lived. Which raises the ultimate question: with infinite choices, what is the best way to live?
It is 1974 on the island of Cyprus. Two teenagers, from opposite sides of a divided land, meet at a tavern in the city they both call home. The tavern is the only place that Kostas, who is Greek and Christian, and Defne, who is Turkish and Muslim, can meet, in secret, hidden beneath the blackened beams from which hang garlands of garlic, chilli peppers and wild herbs. This is where one can find the best food in town, the best music, the best wine. But there is something else to the place: it makes one forget, even if for just a few hours, the world outside and its immoderate sorrows.
In the centre of the tavern, growing through a cavity in the roof, is a fig tree. This tree will witness their hushed, happy meetings, their silent, surreptitious departures; and the tree will be there when the war breaks out, when the capital is reduced to rubble, when the teenagers vanish and break apart.
Decades later in north London, sixteen-year-old Ada Kazantzakis has never visited the island where her parents were born. Desperate for answers, she seeks to untangle years of secrets, separation and silence. The only connection she has to the land of her ancestors is a Ficus Carica growing in the back garden of their home.
The Island of Missing Trees is a rich, magical tale of belonging and identity, love and trauma, nature, and, finally, renewal.
Accompanied only by three Amazigh Muslim men and their camels, Scottish explorer Alice Morrison set off to find a hidden world. During her journey along the Draa river, she encountered dinosaur footprints and discovereda lost city, as well as what looked like a map of an ancient spaceship, all the while trying to avoid landmines, quicksand and the deadly horned viper.
Dálvi is the story of Laura's time in a reindeer-herding village in the Arctic, forging a solitary existence as she struggled to learn the language and make her way in a remote community for which there were no guidebooks or manuals for how to fit in. Her time in the North opened her to a new world. And it brought something else as well: reconciliation and peace with the traumatic events that had previously defined her - the sudden death of her mother when she was three, a difficult childhood and her lifelong search for connection and a sense of home.
This riveting memoir by Laura Davis, the author of The Courage to Heal, examines the endurance of mother-daughter love, how memory protects and betrays us, and the determination it takes to fulfill a promise when ghosts from the past come knocking.
The mixed population is the fastest-growing group in the U.K. today, but the mainstream conversation around mixedness is stilted, repetitive and often problematic. At a time when ethnically ambiguous models fill our Instagram feeds and our high street shop windows, and when children of interracial relationships are lauded as heralding in the dawn of a post-racial utopia, journalist Natalie Morris takes a deep dive into what it really means to be mixed in Britain today.
Me and White Supremacy teaches readers how to dismantle the privilege within themselves so that they can stop (often unconsciously) inflicting damage on people of colour, and in turn, help other white people do better, too.
Rich with the combination of myth, landscape and eco-feminism that took her earlier work If Women Rose Rooted to cult status, Hagitude reclaims the mid-years as a liberating, alchemical moment - from which to shift into your chosen, authentic and fulfilling future. Drawing inspiration from mythic figures and archetypes ranging from the wise woman and the creatrix to the henwife and the trickster, as well as modern mentors, Sharon Blackie plots a liberating new path into elderhood.
In this ground-breaking history Elinor Cleghorn unpacks the roots of the perpetual misunderstanding, mystification and misdiagnosis of women's bodies, illness and pain. From the 'wandering womb' of ancient Greece to today's shifting understanding of hormones, menstruation and menopause, Unwell Women is the revolutionary story of women who have suffered, challenged and rewritten medical misogyny. Drawing on Elinor's own experience as an unwell woman, this is a powerful and timely exposé of the medical world and woman's place within it.
If Women Rose Rootedhas been described as both transformative and essential. Sharon Blackie leads the reader on a quest to find their place in the world, drawing inspiration from the wise and powerful women in native mythology, and guidance from contemporary role models who have re-rooted themselves in land and community and taken responsibility for shaping the future.
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