Newest Lifestyle Reviews

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Rockstar Retirement Programme: How to retire like a rockstar by Dominic Watson

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Lifestyle

Even with a birthday fast approaching, I'm still a bit young to be reading about retirement. My next life change in the pipeline will be a big one, and it does involve leaving the 9 to 5 behind for a yacht and the silky blue waters of the Caribbean, but only for a year, and then I will be back, tanned and refreshed but barely 40 and with many working years still to come. Also, I like work. My job is interesting, I get to travel, what we do matters and it's not badly rewarded. So no, I'm not planning to retire just yet. But as the premise of this book is about planning (and if not now, then when?) I was still intrigued. Full Review

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Spiritual Atheist by Nick Seneca Jankel

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Lifestyle, Spirituality and Religion

Spiritual Atheist is a new 'bible' for the spiritual not the religious, according to the tagline. This is a taboo smashing book which solves the problem of modernity and explains how to be a 'spiritual technologist' who can live and love freely in 'spiritual fullness' without relying on a belief in god. Touching on everything from 'brain science' to AI, Jankel offers a 'path to meaning', allowing us to move beyond consumerism towards an ethical life. Full Review

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Trials and Tribulations of a Travelling Prostitute by Andrew Mackay

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Lifestyle, Business and Finance

Just chance you think that you're picking up a book about what can go wrong in life for an itinerant sex worker I'd better explain exactly what it was that author Andrew Mackay did for thirty three years. A travelling prostitute is a worker who is employed by one company but his services are sold out to other countries, usually at a substantial profit to the employing company and a lot of inconvenience to the employee. Mackay was an engineer who knew all that there was to be know about turbines and generators, or if he didn't could soon be up to speed to the extent of being able to teach other people. Occasionally his skills were used in the UK, but frequently he was abroad. Just every now and again he would be in those parts of the world which has the rest of us green with envy, but then there were those areas which feature heavily in the news and not in a good way. Full Review

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Parenting through the Eyes of a Child: Memoirs of My Childhood by Tabitha Ochekpe Omeiza

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Autobiography, Lifestyle

Tabitha Ochekpe Omeiza was brought up in Nigeria and came to Britain to study for her A levels when she was 18. Her parents used their savings to give her this opportunity and called it an investment in her future. Now a qualified pharmacist, married and with a child of her own, Tabitha looks back at her childhood and reflects on the way her mother and father raised her. And she gives their parenting top marks. Full Review

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Stream Punks by Robert Kyncl and Maany Peyvan

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Lifestyle, Entertainment

I watch quite a lot of YouTube. I play music videos when I want to listen to a particular song I don't already have in my collection. I use it to find out how to do things, with the instruction videos they seem to have for pretty much anything. At the gym, I'll stick it on on my phone, prop it up on the cross trainer and watch some behind the scenes interviews with the cast of my favourite shows. And sometimes I'll treat it as if it is Netflix, to watch series with new episodes releasing every few days, exclusively on YouTube. Having a new smart TV adds an extra, easy way to watch without having to plug in my laptop or squint at a small phone screen. So yes, I like YouTube and I use YouTube. But I didn't know a whole lot about the site it until I read this book.Full Review

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Tea Gardens (Britain's Heritage Series) by Twigs Way

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Lifestyle, History

Tea Gardens really began in London in the late 18th century: a trip to Kings Cross or St Pancras was effectively a trip to the country in those days. Men had their coffee houses, but they were not places where women could or would be seen. Tea was introduced to England in the 17th century but it was not until 1784 that the high duty was reduced from 119% to 12½% and tea became the drink of choice for the nation. Until then the working classes had been fuelled largely by cheap gin. Only, where would this beverage be drunk? One answer was the pleasure gardens where the fashionable went to see and be seen: by the mid 1600s tea was also being served in places such as Ranelagh Gardens. Full Review

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Mr Tambourine Man by Nicholson

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Lifestyle, Travel

Back in 1965 we heard Mr Tambourine Man by the Byrds on the radio very regularly. Nicholson was thirteen and saw the 45rpm recording of the song in the window of the local music store and would have loved to be able to buy it but didn't have the money. Thirteen-year olds didn't in those days unless it was a birthday or Christmas and you couldn't get a part-time job until you were fifteen. There would be a few of those badly-paid jobs before he finished his A levels and went to New York for three months. It's this trip which Nicholson feels turned him from being a boy into a man and allowed him to see the bigger picture.

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Personal Stereo by Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Lifestyle

These tiny 'Object Lessons', a range of books which are more like a long-form essay, explore often seemingly mundane items. Personal Stereo packs a lot of information into a small space. Split into three distinct sections: Novelty, Norm, and Nostalgia, 'Novelty' traces the origin of the Sony Walkman, from its conception by two Japanese business men to it becoming a recognised entity on the streets of America. 'Norm' follows on from the universal success of the personal stereo, relating this to the technology which it set the groundwork for, such as the ubiquitous proliferation of MP3s, the iPod, and Smartphones, leading to the eventual downfall in the popularity of the Walkman. Finally, in 'Nostalgia', Tuhus-Dubrow examines our need to hark back to a simpler time, when the personal stereo seemed the height of freedom. Full Review

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A Bientot... by Roger Moore

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Autobiography, Entertainment, Lifestyle

The news of the death of Sir Roger Moore in May 2017 came as a great shock: he was one of those people you knew would go on for ever. There was just one small glimmer of light in the sadness - the news that a matter of days before his death he'd delivered the finished manuscript of his book, À bientôt…, to his publishers. Just a few months later a copy landed on my desk and I didn't even bother to look as though I could resist reading it straight away. Full Review

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21 Doors to Happiness: Life Through Travel Experiences and Meditation by Chit Dubey

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Lifestyle

I know that I'm not alone in having been brought up to achieve, to look down on those who had different (lesser, it would have been said) aims, but there comes a point in life when you wonder about the point of it all. Do you need to keep on achieving, and if so, why? Many years ago I had a light-bulb moment when I realised that achieving more, having more money, more material possessions didn't make me happy - and surely the point of it all was to be happy? Superficially that sounds very simple: live a life doing only what you want to do and pleasing yourself, but that doesn't bring happiness either. Chit Dubey believes that happiness is inside you and you just need to delve a little deeper to find it. Full Review

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My Psychosis Story: A Story of Fear and Hope Through Adversity by Emmanuel Owusu

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Lifestyle

My Psychosis Story recounts Emmanuel Owusu's journey into and eventually out of psychosis. In late 2014, during a visit home for Christmas, he found himself exhausted, anxious and unable to sleep. Symptoms persisted and soon he was suffering from noise sensitivity and intense headaches. Various visits to A&E failed to diagnose a physical cause. Things deteriorated further and possible diagnoses of anxiety and post traumatic concussion were suggested. And still things got worse. Eventually, Owusu's condition deteriorated so far that he was suffering from delusions and hallucinations. An ambulance was called and he was detained - sectioned - under the Mental Health Act in 2015. Full Review

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Mind of a Survivor by Megan Hine

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Lifestyle

Megan Hine is probably the type of person that you'd want with you in a crisis situation. Cool, calm and capable; this survival expert is equally at home in desert, mountain, tundra and jungle environments. She's navigated her way around some of the most inhospitable regions on the planet and survived to tell the tale. But just what is it that makes some people more capable in a survival situation than others? Physical fitness? Bushcraft skills? Experience? Whilst all of these are important, Hine argues that attitude is one of the most important factors in survival. In this book, she examines how the right mindset can mean the difference between life and death when isolated in the wilderness. Full Review

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The Kitchen Garden (Britain's Heritage Series) by Caroline Ikin

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Lifestyle

I love visiting country houses, but you can keep the interiors and the flower gardens - what interests me is the kitchen garden: seeing one which has been restored to its former glory is a real treat, as was Britain's Heritage: The Country Garden when it landed on my desk. There was no longer any need to guess at the work that had been done: here was the history complete with glorious illustrations as well as some wonderful advertisements. Canary Guano. For Greenhouse and garden. Perfectly clean. May be used by a lady. is still making me giggle. Full Review

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Cracking the Obesity Crisis by Veronica M McNally

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Lifestyle

Any weight-related book, whether one that considers issues from a medical or sociological perspective, or one that provides advice on how to eat well or lose weight, whose opening pages feature such as controversial statements as: fat people are basically insecure, unhappy people trapped inside very unattractive bodies, or Islamic people however are at an advantage as they do Ramadan and they are not overweight, there is hope for overweight and obese people, but I don’t see a way back for the clinically aid [sic] morbidly obese or my personal favourite: as women’s hands are smooth and soft in many cases, females would be useful behind soldiers to be there as assistants to men quickly reloading magazines of bullets speedily, any such book needs to provide an awful lot of valuable content in the pages that follow to have a chance of redeeming itself. Full Review

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This Modern Love by Will Darbyshire

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Lifestyle

Love is love, but at the same time love is changing, the way we find it, the way we express it, the way we walk away from things. You can change a Facebook status and tell the entire world the ins and outs of your relationship, you can meet people online, you can conduct long distance relationships in much more real time than in the past when you had to rely on the postman to deliver your heartfelt, handwritten note. This book, a compilation of letters and other contributions, explores what love is in the 21st century. It's certainly international – there were 15,000 submissions from over 100 countries – and it's also touching, funny, frustrating and all those other things. Full Review

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Grandpa Diet and Diabetes by Laura Williams

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Lifestyle

Nick's Mum is an accident and emergency nurse and life can get a bit hectic at times, particularly when she has to arrange for someone to look after Nick and his twin sister Emma. One day in the school holidays Grandpa had the pleasure of looking after the kids and Nick thought this was cool. Grandpa used to be a bit of a rocker, you see, and that's the sort of music he always has playing. He might have a stick but Nick's sure that he doesn't really need it - it's there just in case. He does have a problem though and Mum explains it by saying that Grandpa has to eat at the right time every day because he has diabetes. Full Review

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Allotments (Britain's Heritage Series) by Twigs Way

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Lifestyle

Allotments came about originally from the enclosure of land, primarily for sheep pasture. Fearing that the enclosures would leave peasants unable to feed themselves, Elizabeth I issued an act requiring all new cottages to have four acres of ground, something which has been honoured more by history than by Elizabeth's contemporaries. It was the first in a long line of legislation with that aim in mind - which largely failed to achieve their aims. Full Review

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The Anxiety-Elimination System by Nicos Nicolaou

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Lifestyle

Nick Nicolau suffered a major panic attack and was told by his doctor that he would need medication to control the attacks and that there wasn't much more that he could do - apart that was, from going home to sleep. The next morning he had another attack which he could neither stop nor control and before long was having panic attacks every day and developed generalised anxiety and phobias. After a great deal of work and research he discovered how to reverse and beat his anxiety - and now he helps others to do the same. No one is born with a chemical imbalance in the brain and genes do not determine behaviour. The proof of the efficacy of his system is that through the course of a particularly challenging life event - his divorce - he didn't slip back into inappropriate anxiety. Full Review

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Eat With Pleasure by Akon Margaret Kalu

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Lifestyle

When you think about a certified nutrition coach you probably imagine someone who is going to be very strict with you about what you should or shouldn't be eating. You visualise someone who will insist that you eat worthy (and probably tasteless) food and completely avoid those foods which you really love. Gone will be the bar of chocolate and possibly even the mug of coffee which gets you going in the morning. It was particularly refreshing and something of a relief to encounter Akon Margaret Kalu - certified nutrition coach and food blogger at www.therealakon.co.uk. She's outspoken. She believes that the occasional treat does you no harm so long as you don't make it a regular habit. In fact you're better having a small, occasional, indulgent snack than resisting and finally giving into cravings and binging. In other words, she lives in the real world with the rest of us imperfect beings. Full Review

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Say Yes to New Opportunities! by Ruth Pearson

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Lifestyle

Ruth Pearson was deputy headteacher of her school and was studying for a Masters degree. She was made redundant from this school and was working in another school when she suffered an emotional breakdown as a result of the stresses of the job. The breakdown was so severe that she was afraid to return to the classroom, but rather than sitting back and letting the circumstances overwhelm her she allowed what had happened to become a catalyst which would help her to change her life. In Say Yes to New Opportunities she shares what she learned from the experience. To come back from this situation requires strength, honesty and a sense of purpose, all of which Pearson demonstrates quite clearly throughout this book. Full Review

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Confessions of Modern Women by Spadge Whittaker

link=Category:{{{rating}}} Star Reviews Lifestyle

She's back! Huzzah! Do you remember when Spadge Whittaker faced her (and our) deepest fears? We loved the way she did that. EXCEPT FOR THE SPIDERS. Full Review