The Book I wish Was Written Ten Years Ago – The Book of Knowing – Gwendoline Smith

Battling with mental health issues and depression can be a daunting and sometimes insurmountable task. People haphazardly throw around the words “I know how you’re feeling”, when really, they don’t have a clue. Those words, whilst coming from a good place, can often make you feel inadequate and frustrated. Because, lets be real, nobody really knows what you are battling in your own self depreciating brain. Well, that’s what I thought until I read this book.

The Book of Knowing, by Gwendoline Smith, offers you your own personal tour of that complex and often unforgiving entity that is the human brain. With its content built on the premise of CBT (Cognitive behavioural Therapy), The Book of Knowing explores strategies and ideas to help individuals take control of their own emotions and thought patterns in day to day life. Whilst targeted at teens and adolescents, the book offers insights that are valuable to any individual or demographic who struggle to keep on top of their emotions and thoughts. Furthermore, the book is littered with helpful diagrams that illustrate more complex ideas in comfortable and humorous ways.

The book’s real value lies in it’s propensity or ability to empower the reader. Personally, It’s helped me to realise the true power I have regarding my own wellbeing. To be completely honest, it has been a saving grace. I have actually found it more valuable than any counselling or therapy session I’ve taken part in.

So please, if you are in need of some help in navigating your way through troubling times, read this book. You really won’t regret it.

Arohanui

Novel Thoughts

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5 Minute Poetry – Fighting


Fighting


Squandered and bleak, pillaged and plundered.

It is a feeling of being desolate and barren, 

glimmered with a touch of hope and wonder 

that holds you this side of the soil



You don’t want to be so acrimonious but your lenses are more maroon than rose-tinted

But why?

Why does it have to be this way?

Always an ache to follow an ache,

And what feels like nothing in between

To soften the blow


Who can dare do this to you

But yourself

With all your gifts and curses,

Nightmares and dreams


How does one fight that?

Book Review – My Grammar and I – Caroline Taggart

I picked this book up at a second-hand store for a few dollars in the hopes it could help me to correct some of the discrepancies in my writing.

One afternoon a few weeks later, I sat bored in the living room, thinking hard about nothing at all. I looked over at my bookcase and thought I might as well crack into something. Anticipating I wouldn’t last long reading that day, I picked up the small grammar guide and jumped into page one. It was about 100 pages and an hour and a half later when I put the book down.

Initially, I expected a dry informative book, which demanded an unhealthy passion for apostrophes. So I was surprised when I was instead confronted with an engaging and witty exploration of grammar that genuinely made the topic feel fun!

I ended up finishing the book that day; it was that engaging.

While I can’t claim the book has made my grammar particularly perfect. It has reignited some of my passion for the subject and left me with a few handy tips to take away.

Would definitely recommend.

Arohanui

Novel Thoughts

Book Review – Canal Dreams – Iain Banks

One of my favourite books of all time is The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks. I remember reading the novel in Highschool and being amazed and intrigued by the disturbing and sadistic mind of the protagonist. Bank’s imagination was like none I had ever encountered. Eight years later, and I’ve just made it through Canal Dreams. My initial impression of Banks’ skill remains unchanged.

At first, I found the novel a little slow in its development, with Banks carefully introducing the Hisako, the novel’s protagonist. A Japanese cellist with a crippling fear of flying, Hisako immediately made me feel like I was reading a Murakami novel. This feeling further instilled by the dream sequences throughout the story. However, the slow start of the book established a sense of comfort in me as a reader, which worked well to leave me shocked and enthralled, when Banks’ pulled no stops in his details of bloodshed at the end of the novel.

While not a recommendation for the light-hearted or squeamish reader, Canal Dreams is a confronting depiction of what we can be when we have nothing left to lose. Hisako’s journey from a classical cellist to a Ramboesque heroine, illustrating that at heart, we can all be killers.

4/5 

Peace & Love

Novel-Thoughts

That Short Story That changed your life?

E. M Forster The Machine Stops, that was mine. I remember reading, incredulous to the idea that it had been written over 100 years ago. Questioning, how could someone who hadn’t seen the invention of television be describing the lives of humanity in a digital age.

Today, the stories relevance and commentary on the way technology can corrupt humanity is more important than ever.

So what short story made an impact on you? Why should everyone read it?

Comment and let me know

Peace and love,

Novel-Thoughts

That one you’ve never read..

No matter how versed in literature you may be, everyone has that one book they’ve always intended to read and never quite managed to do it. It’s that book that you feel guilty about. That book you know you should have read.

So what’s yours? Leave me a comment.

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Cormac McCarthy – The Road – Study Notes

Novel-Thoughts is now adding new content for our The Road Study Notes.

A great novel by a great author, The Road is a must-read for anyone who enjoys post-apocalyptic fiction. McCarthy’s unique, sparse writing style is engaging, and the bleak future he paints in the novel adeptly pulls the reader into the sense of despair he develops.

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