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Lisa Jackson (London, UK)
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Trail Zone: The Complete Guide To Trail Running
Trail Zone: The Complete Guide To Trail Running

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent guide for newbie trail runners, 29 Aug. 2013
Having accidentally entered two super-tough trail marathons (the South Downs Way and Beauty And The Beast) I belatedly realised there's a lot more to trail running than just changing your shoes! A marshal gave me some pointers about how to run downhill without braking too much which really helped, so I was keen to find a book that gave more tips on tackling the trails. I found this guide invaluable - and inspiring - and can't wait to try out all the technique tips I learned.


Shamanism and Spirituality in Therapeutic Practice: An Introduction
Shamanism and Spirituality in Therapeutic Practice: An Introduction
by Christa Mackinnon
Edition: Paperback
Price: £16.48

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very accessible introduction to Shamanism, 14 Jun. 2013
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Shamanism is a subject I had little knowledge of before reading this book so I was delighted to find this was a highly readable introduction and not the technical tome most such books usually turn out to be. Christa is a first-rate therapist and researcher and this shines through in the book, as does her passion for what she does. I'm a clinical hypnotherapist and have also found several of the techniques she describes really useful, particularly where you take your client on a journey to find their Power Animal. These techniques may not suit the belief systems of everyone, but used judiciously can help clients to gain wonderful insight into the challenges they're facing. Christa has obviously lived this book and her first-hand accounts of her journeys in the spirit realm are fascinating.


Travels In Blood and Honey: Becoming a Beekeeper in Kosovo
Travels In Blood and Honey: Becoming a Beekeeper in Kosovo
by Elizabeth Gowing
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Charming portrait of Kosovo, 14 Jun. 2013
I simply loved this book even though it made me hungry (with all its descriptions of fabulous honey-soaked delicacies) and gave me itchy feet (I'd hardly known anything about Kosovo before and this induced a strong urge to visit). This book is full of fascinating historical detail, but it's the people the author meets that really stick with you: the locals who teach her how to keep bees and who share their fast-disappearing culture with her. The writing is lyrical, but there are many laugh-out-loud moments too. The language barrier means most of us tourists will sadly never get under the country's skin like Elizabeth has done, so this is a wonderful travelling companion if you're thinking of visiting the region as we are.


Marathon Woman: Running the Race to Revolutionize Women's Sports
Marathon Woman: Running the Race to Revolutionize Women's Sports
by Kathrine Switzer
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational, candid and laugh-out-loud funny - but make sure you've got someone to share it with!, 13 Feb. 2013
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Packed with hilarious anecdotes, gossip from behind the scenes of major marathons, life lessons, and numerous fabulous photos, Marathon Woman is one of the best running books I've ever read. Be warned, however - do not read this book while you're alone as parts of it are so funny or moving you'll deeply regret not having had someone to read them out aloud to (as I continually did to my long-suffering husband while on holiday!)

Having seen the iconic photos of the day a race official tried to rip off Kathrine's race number when she entered the all-male Boston Marathon I was keen to know more about the incident and the woman who caused such a stir, and this book - part memoir, part historical document, part love story - certainly delivered on all counts. Fifteen years after I first started running marathons (I've now done 36 and two 56-mile ultras), it came as a real surprise to learn that being `allowed' to run 26.2 miles, which was seen as too gruelling for us delicate ladies, was all thanks to Kathrine Switzer. This is because she didn't just pave the way for elite women to enter marathons and campaign to get the women's marathon recognised as an Olympic sport, she tirelessly fought to make marathon running accessible to women throughout the world by developing the mass-participation women-only Avon Running programme.

Kathrine is a very experienced and accomplished journalist and this is evident throughout the book - she knows exactly how to keep you feverishly turning the pages by weaving strands from her often turbulent personal life with details of her punishing training schedule and stellar career. Kathrine's story is proof that the right training programme and sheer guts can turn an `ordinary' runner into an exceptional one (even if you have to work and commute): she ran her first marathon in a very average time of 4h20, went on to win the 1974 New York City Marathon with a time of 3h07, and subsequently did a PB of 2h51 in Boston in 1975. As a super-slow runner, who came last in three marathons in 2012, I found her story incredibly inspirational.

There are so many lessons to learn from Kathrine's journey: it's easier to ask for forgiveness than permission (to satisfy her employer Avon, for whom she did PR, she strung a banner advertising the brand across the finish line of the Avon International Marathon in London at the last minute - so cunningly side-stepping the BBC's ban on advertising), that one should never let good ideas go to waste (she based her proposal for the Avon Running programme on scribbled notes she stuffed into a shoebox over many years) and that hard work always pays off.

I was formerly a fitness-phobe and marathon running has transformed my life and motivated me to write my book Running Made Easy Zest: Running Made Easy (Zest Magazine), which has inspired thousands of women in the UK to give walk/running a go. I only wish I could have read Kathrine's life-affirming book in my 20s as I'm sure it would have encouraged me to take up running 10 years earlier than I did. In Marathon Woman, Kathrine repeatedly proves how running is so much more than putting one foot in front of the other - it's a way of empowering us and giving life meaning.


First Steps out of Depression (First Steps Series)
First Steps out of Depression (First Steps Series)
by Sue Atkinson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £4.93

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Encouraging, practical and engaging, 26 July 2011
I often work with depressed patients and have read many books on the subject, most of which I've found to be too theoretical, complicated or unhelpful. I read Sue's book from cover to cover at the weekend and will be recommending it to all my patients as it actually offers realistic - and heart-felt - advice. I also valued the personal touches where Sue shared her own experiences of this debilitating condition. This book is full of useful ideas the author has used herself - and is written in an engaging and interesting way. Best of all it's short and to the point with dozens of really practical ideas, such as giving yourself 10 minutes' worry time or asking yourself whether you'd worry about something on your deathbed. I also enjoyed her distraction techniques, such as listening to uplifting music. It won't take you long to read but it could change your life - for good.


Bipolar Disorder - The Ultimate Guide
Bipolar Disorder - The Ultimate Guide
by Sarah Owen
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.39

51 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Invaluable for anyone with bipolar disorder - and their carers, 13 Aug. 2009
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I am posting this review from a friend in South Africa at her request as I gave her this book as a gift and so she wasn't able to post a review on Amazon herself.

My daughter is 22 years old and has bipolar disorder. I live in South Africa and having read this book, it is as if a light has come on for me. For years I have been trying to manage my daughter's illness in the dark but I can now see how she has had bipolar disorder all along. She had seen psychologists since the age of nine and was eventually, at the age of 15, diagnosed with severe depression. She kept taking herself off the medication and then a different psychologist would put her on it again. But she was often so happy and outgoing that no one believed that she was depressed. Then at the age of 19 she was tested for bipolar disorder and it was immediately confirmed. The medication made a big difference and she was once again able to cope with life. However, I did not have any tools to help her in other ways. I assumed that the medication on its own would sort her out. Only since reading the book do I understand what the implications are for the carer. I have made BIG mistakes and can see, in hindsight, how they contributed to her mania and depression. I can also see how many of her childhood idiosyncrasies were actually symptoms of bipolar disorder. I am so glad that children can now be diagnosed earlier - even if they are not put onto medication - so that their environment can become "bipolar friendly". I would have done so many things differently, had I known earlier. The other issue the book highlighted very strongly was that the illness is hereditary. I will make sure that my son and my brother read the book, as their children or grandchildren may have this illness. What I have also changed, is not saying that my daughter is bipolar, but that she has bipolar disorder.
The last chapter of the book, mentioning all the famous people who have been diagnosed with the illness, or are thought to have had the illness, makes it so much more "ok" to have the illness oneself. The in-depth information about sectioning is also most illuminating as it reveals how severe this illness really is. Here in South Africa there are still so very many people that think that one can just "pull oneself together". I have finally found a sense of peace and can share that with my daughter and the rest of my family. I have recommended this book to everyone who has bipolar disorder or who knows someone with the illness. Thank you, Sarah and Amanda, for your excellent research and for taking the trouble to write this book.


Parenting for Dummies, UK Edition
Parenting for Dummies, UK Edition
by Helen Brown
Edition: Paperback
Price: £17.99

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Down-to-earth, honest parenting advice, 20 May 2007
Having worked with Helen Brown many years ago, I knew this book was bound to be meticulously and painstakingly researched. However, I'm not a big fan of the Dummies format so I didn't expect to like this book nearly as much as I did. My neighbour, who's a new mum, kept raving about the book (she didn't know I knew Helen) and as I now teach HypnoBirthing classes I thought I'd get a copy to see if it would be a good book to recommend to my parents-to-be. I keep dipping in and out of it and am continually amazed by the common-sense and humorous approach. My friend kept mentioning the parenting mantra 'Once more, with feeling' as something she's kept using when her six-month-old son has been driving her round the bend all day. She says that this mantra, which encourages you to get enthusiastic and excited about what your child is doing and summon that last tiny spurt of energy to really engage with your child (one more time!) has made all the difference. Reading this book, you know Helen really has been there, and has put all the wisdom she's gained as a parent and journalist into one, really easy to read, book. I'm now recommending Parenting For Dummies to all my HypnoBirthing parents as I know they'll find its sanity-saving advice invaluable.


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