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Bob Johnston

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Why Worry?
Why Worry?
Price: £0.00

5.0 out of 5 stars A really great book, 7 Jan. 2014
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This review is from: Why Worry? (Kindle Edition)
I enjoyed this book and really learned from it. It is amazing to think that it was written over 100 years ago. Well worth reading if you see yourself as a "worrier".

It has an interesting approach based on what ancient philosophers had to say about worry.

Not the usual kind of "self-help" book.

Never Seconds: The Incredible Story of Martha Payne
Never Seconds: The Incredible Story of Martha Payne
by Martha Payne
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very honest book - an excellent read, 24 Nov. 2012
I bought this book since I've been interested in the Neverseconds story from early on. It is an excellent book but really difficult to describe, and different from what I expected. The book gives the background story of Martha Payne's blog about her school lunches and the world-wide uproar which resulted when the local authority banned her photographing her lunches. The background is provided by Martha's dad David, with blog entries from Martha.

The story of the book can be viewed in a number of different ways:
* A David and Goliath story - big local authority against the ordinary people
* Parents trying to protect their family from media interest and intrusion
* The emerging importance of social media in society
* Working for better school meals
* How unlikely occurrences can provide opportunities to help others.
* The contrast between Scotland and Malawi.

It is a very honest book, and totally different to what I had expected. I had expected that it might just be a rather sentimental retelling of the happenings of the past few months with the main value in buying it being the contibution to Mary's Meals. Not so. The book does not hesitate to talk about bullying at school, about the family struggling to do what was best for all the kids, about thinking (wrongly) that relatives had sold photos of Martha to the media, about the difficulties of decision making in the face of media requests for access and instant responses.

It's the background stuff that makes this book so interesting - how they worked togeher as a family; the involvement of the grandparents; the detail of the confrontation with the council officials; the deviousness of some sections of the press; the offers they were made to go here there and everywhere. This family had the internal resources to deal with the bad things in this and divert them into a good outcome, but it left me wondering if other families would have coped as well.

A great read. But I'm glad Martha has such a good family around her. Being 'famous' at 10 years old is maybe not a good thing. It will be interesting to see what she makes of these past few months when she looks back on it all in a few years time.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 1, 2012 6:41 PM GMT

The Happy Depressive: In Pursuit of Personal and Political Happiness
The Happy Depressive: In Pursuit of Personal and Political Happiness
Price: £2.07

4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, open and honest, 12 Jan. 2012
I enjoyed reading this mini ebook. A very honest and open approach from Alastair Campbell.

The title, however, is perhaps a little deceptive. It's not, as I though it was going to be, an account of his depression and how he none-the-less keeps happy. Rather it is basically about happiness - both for the individual and nationally.

How we can measure happiness in society (and compare countries, and social groups) is a main theme of the book.

It's a short read, but interesting.

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