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Welcome to Biscuit Land: A year in the life of Touretteshero [Kindle Edition]

Jessica Thom , Stephen Fry
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £12.00
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Book Description

Jess Thom has Tourette’s Syndrome, a neurological condition that manifests itself through multiple vocal and physical tics. She says ‘biscuit’ up to 16 times per minute, (about 6 million times a year), she beats her chest regularly, her walking is in her own words ‘chaotic’ and, in common with only 10% of the 300,000 people in the UK with Tourette’s, she swears involuntarily. When she agreed to talk about the condition for Stephen Fry’s series, Planet Word, little did she realise the impact it would have. Her humour, courage and complete lack of self-pity touched the audience and led Fry to declare her ‘a true hero’. Other media followed, including interviews on the Today programme and This Morning, and now her remarkable story is told in full in WELCOME TO BISCUIT LAND. Based on her entertaining blog, Touretteshero, the book follows a year in Jess’s life, and shows that although living with Tourette’s is tough, it can also be funny and inspiring. As her alter ego, Jess transforms herself into a superhero to educate children and adults about her condition, and to empower others who have it not to feel downhearted. With wit and considerable frankness, she describes her daily challenges, while celebrating the creativity and humour of her condition. (‘Biscuit’ may be her most common word but others are more poetic with “The history of iguanas can be written in a tea pot” and “The clouds are chasing Helen Mirren” being two favourites). Jess introduces Leftwing Idiot, Fat Sister, King Russell, Poppy, and others, who provide friendship and support and enable her to go to work and live in her own flat. She talks of the frustrations of coping with everyday tasks when her body won’t stay still, such as using a cash machine or washing her hair. She reveals how she deals with the inevitable funny looks and nasty comments, and how the simple kindness and understanding of strangers can make a big difference. Through WELCOME TO BISCUIT LAND, and her blog, Jess aims to alter the perceptions of Tourette’s, showing it as the creative, if somewhat surreal, force that it is.

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Review

The blessed Jess Thom… who chose to embrace the condition, to be open, funny, frank, intelligent and enchantingly entertaining about it… Now she has been and gone and done and written this charming, touching and valuable book. --Stephen Fry

About the Author

Jess has written for the Guardian on disability issues, and appeared in many TV and radio interviews. She was one of the most engaging contributors to Stephen Fry s Planet Word.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Read 3 Oct. 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
What an amazing read, bought this for Kindle and started reading it last night, and I couldn't stop it was funny, emotional, thought provoking and fabulously written - Jess Thom who wrote the book is an amazing lady who has found a way of dealing with Tourettes in a positive way - she is a true inspiration and will ensure Tourettes is more understood, my son has tourettes and the difficulties he goes through every day amaze me - I find sufferers of this condition to be amazing talented individuals that have a disability but are not letting it hold them back - Well Done Jess for a fabulous book

My advice for anyone thinking of buying this book is to do so you won't be disappointed
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars an amazing read 9 Oct. 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've been following Jess's blog for some time now but the book was a revelation about how in the course of a year Jess came to terms with her condition. She is a remarkable woman who has faced the challenges that life has dealt her in a unique way. She has a wonderful support network with Leftwing Idiot, Fat sister and many others who really love and care for her and many times I was brought to tears while reading the book, not just by the dreadful reactions from the public, but by the kindness of strangers.

If anyone can make a difference to how Tourettes is perceived by the public, it will be the most amazing Jess
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Always funny, sometimes sad, never boring! 4 Oct. 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In no uncertain terms, you want this book.

Jess has really opened a window on what it is like to live with tourettes. The reality of her condition is laid bare, and is in equal amounts surprising, funny and educational. I couldnt stop reading when it arrived. If you have any questions about tourettes, or been curious to know more, then this book is the perfect place to get started!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth reading 7 Oct. 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
An honest account of living with Tourette's syndrome that is free of self pity and full of warmth and humour. It's well worth reading for all sorts of reasons, not least increasing awareness of an often misunderstood condition. It also shows the wit and creativity that flow out of Jess's tics - some of them are creasingly funny, some are sharply insightful and some are sheer poetry. Buy one copy for yourself, and one to give as a present!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book should really be titled 'Everything you wanted to know about Tourettes but were afraid to ask'. It is a rollercoaster of a read and not for the faint hearted. It had me laughing out loud in parts then feeling quite sad the next. With brutal honesty, Jess gives the reader a graphic insight into what it means to suffer from Tourettes with all its complexities, warts and all. I take my hat off to Jess; she is inspiritional in how she just keeps on going, dealing with all the demands Tourettes places on her, no matter how difficult and frustrating yet still managing to find humour in there somewhere. I learned a lot of new things about the syndrome and in particular how not to treat someone with Tourettes. I feel that this is a very important book educationally and I am very glad that someone decided to write it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Changing the world one tic at a time 26 Oct. 2012
By Alixio
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Faultless book. One of the most inspirational books I've ever read. Filled with dream-like, almost psychedelic, amblings and utterances. Tinged with sadness and unheard of human effort. It's a battle with knights in shining armour (often in the form of children, friends, family and NHS professionals) and baddies (in the form of people who refuse to accept her condition, people in 'authority'). She is not trodden by it though she does feel its weight sometimes. There are laugh out loud moments and moments when you might just shed a tear, as I did. What a fighter she is and what a truly great project she has started. You might just fall in love with her.

Tourettes Hero, to, Biscuit, infinity and, biscuit, beyond!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By L. H. Healy TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
'Tourettes is a mysterious neurological condition. Having it means I make movements and noises I can't control - these are called tics. Sometimes they're simple and just involve me squeaking or nodding my head. Sometimes, though, they're more complicated and involve me saying stuff like 'Sexually frustrated dog food.' And that's when it gets interesting.'

Jess has Tourettes Syndrome, which results in her making sounds and movements much of the time and over which she has no control. She is one of about ten percent of people with Tourettes Syndrome who swears. Welcome to Biscuit Land is an intimate account by Jess of her life over the course of one year. Jess set up Touretteshero, which the book explains is 'an organisation that celebrates the humour and creativity of Tourettes without mocking or self-pity...It's about reclaiming the most frequently misunderstood syndrome on the planet.' Jess proclaims at the start her account that 'from this point on Tourettes won't be my problem - it'll be my power. From now on, I'm going to be Touretteshero.'

Jess writes openly and honestly about living with Tourettes and about the ways in which it can and does affect her daily life. I found this an informative, honest and very moving account and found I learned a lot about Tourettes through the straightforward way that Jess has recorded her thoughts, activities and tics here. Her account is very readable, and I hope it encourages more people to find out about and understand Tourettes a bit more, which in turn ought to help further reduce any preconceived ideas about the syndrome. If you're wondering about the title of the book, 'biscuit' is one of the tics that Jess found herself uttering an awful lot at the time of writing.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Different
Unusual and interesting but it felt a bit repetitive at times and didn't really seem very well constructed.
Published 1 day ago by Mrs R.
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny and thought provoking
This book is so open and honest. Several times I laughed out loud but I also found myself cringing in sympathy at the way some people react to Jessica's tics. Read more
Published 21 days ago by Cat
4.0 out of 5 stars Touretteshero tells it like it is!
Very honest account of daily living with Tourettes. Painfuly truthful, shocking, but at times very funny. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Mel
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
funny and informative about her challenges.
Published 2 months ago by Mrs Helen Carter
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic book!
Book comes highly recommended! great read . very amusing on such a serious matter.Hats to you Jessica, one cannot imagine what it must be like to live with Tourettes.
Published 7 months ago by Agnieszka Kaminska
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow
What an amazing young lady. I brought the book because my husband has Tourette's and he isn't very good at explaining his experiences and I wanted to here about others with the... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Mrs. Selvidge
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant - read this immediately
This is one of the best books I've ever read. It's gripping - which is a strange thing to say about a book of blogs, but it is. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Char March
5.0 out of 5 stars honest book so beautifully. I am going to give it to both ...
Jess, you're my hero now. Thank you for writing this inspirational, honest book so beautifully. I am going to give it to both of my teenage sons to read. Read more
Published 9 months ago by MS J. L. Russell
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic, informative, intelligent and funny
Jessica Thom is a natural, witty writer, positive in her outlook and excellent at portraying her life with Tourette's! Fantastic.
Published 11 months ago by Jacqui M
5.0 out of 5 stars Honest, witty and full of biscuits !
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. As a mother of a teen with Tourettes Syndrome I was intrigued to read an open and frank account of someones personal journey with it. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Scott
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