Sunday Sevens – book reviews

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I’ve struggled a little with the concept of Sunday Sevens because in all honesty my life is pretty ordinary and not all that exciting, but I enjoy reading other bloggers posts and it is only fair to share. All in all, its been a pretty quiet week – no migraines thankfully! so I thought I would use the opportunity to write a little book review and a few of the simple things that have given me pleasure this week.

 

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Firstly, I am really enjoying this Sencha Sakura Green Tea from Char in Winchester. It is a scented tea – and has a delicate cherry flavour that is simply divine! perfect for Spring.

Rivers of London Book review

I really enjoyed this book! Right from the beginning I felt incredibly sorry for the protagonist – DC Peter Grant – he has a sardonic humour! To quote the blurb… Meet DC Peter Grant he will show you his city. But it’s not the capital that you all see as you make your journey from Tube to Bus, from elephant to castle. It’s a city that under its dark surface is packed full of crime. And of magic. A city that you never expected…

This is a wonderful book, (I am delighted that this is the first in a series) it has been described as Whitechapel mixed with Harry Potter – it is a great imaginative mix. There are the vampires living in a basement, a witness to a murder comes forward .. the only problem is the witness is ‘corporeally challenged’ as in not having a body because he is a ghost. It is a really good read and one that will keep you turning the pages.

Self care revolution

There are so many books on Self Care at the moment – many of which I have passed over because they are pretty thick and to be honest… boring. This one stands out because there is a lot of pictures… and I do love pictures! There is a lot of wisdom in the pages, but it is laid out in such a way that you can take chunks at a time for example there are a couple of yoga poses that could be done before bed. They take ten minutes and it has helped me achieve the desire to do more yoga because its achievable – I found the hour and a half sessions I attended a struggle if I am honest! but ten minutes before bed, four restorative poses – that is achievable!

There are various sections covering all aspects of good living – movement and nutrition, sleep rest and relaxation, coping skills, physical environment, social connections, mood boosters, goal setting and accomplishments and finally values and purpose.

It is written with such honesty, the author was in need herself – and she is honest about her depression which helps. Sometimes self help books are written in such a way that you feel the author has never had a problem – but Suzy Reading is open about her own journey which seems to make the advice more authentic.

The Simple Home Book Review

I had to have this book as a physical book because I bought Rhonda’s simple living on my kindle and really wished I had bought the book. Rhonda gave up the rat race of life.. realised that the key to freedom lay in living simply – within your means and cutting back on all the should haves and must haves. She writes a great blog, down to earth about her life growing their own vegetables and making her own bread. This book is set out in home making areas by season. (although you have to tweak it a little because we are in the northern hemisphere)

A month to month guide to self reliance, productivity and contentment.. With all the talk of financial uncertainty, sky-high property prices – I know this book can help people, you and older, live well in difficult times. There needs to be a way forward that gives ordinary folk the power to choose family and home life instead of intense consumerism and the bleak consequences of it. Living simply can e that way forward.

It is so easy to underestimate just how our lives are tethered to a consumerist culture.. the must have phone upgrades that have us in debt for another couple of years, the lifestyles pumped into our living spaces unconsciously by Television programming as well as advertising. Not to forget that since the introduction of the national curriculum – independent living skills have been virtually eradicated from education – instead of spending 6 weeks a year learning to cook, children spend most of that time designing packaging for their food product – running an imaginary food company. Debt has become a way of living and shopping a way to pass time – made even easier at a click of a button. What we don’t realise is that it takes our lives away, we are selling our time and future for items that really don’t matter. Living within your means without debt – is the way to freedom. Eating food made from scratch – is taking back the control for your health.

ok… rant over. This book is awesome – I am only disappointed that I can’t have chickens anymore!

Paris Undressed Book

In America women save their best lingerie for date night or Valentines day. French women don’t need a special occasion or permission. They resist cookie cutter definitions and labels for love. Why put a quota on pleasure? If lingerie feels good next to your skin, why not wear it as much as possible? Life is the special occasion. Today. Right here. Right now.

We pretty much follow our American cousins when it comes to lingerie – and so lingerie shopping in the UK is very limited. I have to admit I am ashamed of the underwear I reach for every day – its not pretty but it is – thankfully comfortable!

I am certain I am not alone – I have piles of bras that I have worn that have tortured my body until I can bare it no more… it is why I have now taken the sum total of five bra making courses! Yet I the perfect bra seems to elude me! I have a large pile of toile bras that simply don’t fit well either…

But here lies the problem.. French Women spend a lot of money on their lingerie and they have a wide choice of shops to choose from. Here I pick up a £3.00 bra in Sainsbury’s and wonder why the blasted thing is so irritatingly uncomfortable before chucking it on the ever growing pile of torture devices that I hide in overflowing drawers.

Its not just not as simple as Kathryn kemp-Griffin makes out – I’ve visited Agent Provocateur and spent a lot of money on lingerie and yes, you can tell the difference in quality, but sadly, what lingerie manufacturers don’t seem to understand is that women above size 10 would like something beautiful. And yes, women with a cleavage a bit bigger than a D cup would like the same amount of pretty lace and bows that you get on a double AA cup! Why does it all disappear after C I wonder?

ok… yet another rant over.. !

There is a lingerie shop near where I get my hair done… I will make an appointment and let you know how it goes. I really would like to believe that it is as easy as Kathryn kemp-suggests – lots of beautiful lingerie that is comfortable and pleasurable next to the skin!

This book does suggest the holy grail of comfortable underwear exists.. you just have to visit Paris … !

Emotional Sensitivity Book review

This little book rocked my world and has helped me more than all the growing self help books on my shelves. I am an Highly Sensitive Person – its a bit like having extra sensory perception and it does make life incredibly hard sometimes.

I have to admit, there were early chapters in this book that brought tears to my eyes. Imo Lo knows a great deal about her subject – because finally a lot of my painful past not only made more sense but I realised I was not alone – that there are others who also struggle.

There is great practical advice – how to look after yourself, how not to close down and shut off all feeling. Being HSP means that if you sit with an angry person – you feel their anger, their rage, it is uncomfortable – it is painful and it is overwhelming at times. It means you cannot hurt someone – no matter how much they deserve it, without feeling that hurt too. So it makes you very vulnerable – and a target that seems to bring out the bully in a lot of people.

I cannot recommend this book enough – it is practical and offers strategies that give me hope.

Be Gentle to yourself

I have finished another little quilt – these little sewing meditations are soothing and relaxing. You can read about my first little quilt here.

 

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19 thoughts on “Sunday Sevens – book reviews

  1. Opps! That escaped before I meant it to. I was going to say, I agreed with almost everything you said – if not everything.
    I think bigger bras are getting prettier, but yes, they aren’t cheap and good bras take time to choose and yes, maybe make. Do you feel you’re getting there with making your own? Do you read Beads and Barnacles blog? I think Pippa has or is planning to have ago at making her own bras – maybe you can swap notes or even have a bra sew along 🙂 ? She and her sister are very talented sewists.

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    • Hi Bekki, thanks for the kind words.. I haven’t read that blog, I will pop over and try it out. I think it is fitting issues mostly, once I have the toile right it will be easier. I did find a couple of pretty M&S bras which surprised me – when I looked six months ago there was nothing! Maybe it is left over from Valentines day!

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  2. Glad to hear you’ve been feeling better this week. 😊 So many interesting books to add to my reading list, great reviews. I’m particularly intrigued by Imo Lo’s book, what you described sounds like empathy without boundaries, and I agree that there are some people who can spot that and abuse it. X

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    • Being HSP is really complicated at times – you could say it is the complete opposite scale of Autism… you are hyper aware of how every person you come into contact with is feeling. its like a sense of smell. I think you would enjoy the Simple Home – I think it resonates with your values.

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  3. Ooh I might have to go try out that tea place, haven’t been to Winchester in a while. Some lovely book reviews, I might have to take a look at some of those! 🙂

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  4. Hmm, some very interesting books there; The Simple Home book/blog is definitely one I’m going to have a closer look at in a minute. I suppose I should consider myself lucky in being very happy with M&S bras, both fit and design, although I still can’t wait to discard them at the end of a long day, such is the burden of big boobs. I love the description ‘little sewing meditations’…..says it all, really:)

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  5. Love your post Fred! It made me laugh especially the lingerie part 😀 😀
    I think I’m going to look into some of your books – they sound fab!
    I too am a HSP in fact I was once called ‘a sensitive little butterfly’ which displeased me!!! HSP is much better!

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  6. What a lovely post! I now want to read all of these books. I’m also an HSP, and yes, it is so hard. And people who aren’t HSPs don’t really have a way to process how we are affected so easily by others’ emotions. Yeah, it’s just tough sometimes. And exhausting! It sounds like Imi Lo’s book would be a great read for me. And the books on simple living and self-care are also what I’m looking for at the moment. I’ll be sure to check these out. Thanks for sharing!

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    • Hi Denise and fellow superwoman…. I think HSP is a superpower thanks for your lovely comments its good to hear from you. Imi Lo’s book is phenomenal – it put so many of my demons to rest and has given me an understanding of how I tick. I hope it does the same for you. I look forward to reading your own views on your blog.

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