Category Archives: Books

Books I’ve Read…

Books are to film what a whole food plant based diet is to junk food. Films are nothing but highly processed stories, that give the general outline of the story and characters without any of the depth that the book contains. Consuming hours of video each and every night, flooding our brains with thousands and thousands of shallow story lines each week, is not healthy for our minds.

The worse of it is is that most people watch video for several hours in the evening before going to bed. This completely disrupts our brain’s melatonin cycle, which in turn completely disrupts our sleep and dream cycles. This leaves us anxious, tired, depressed, paranoid and ageing far quicker than we should be. Essentially, video before bed is unhealthy on every level.

So take a break from video and read some books instead. Ditch the TV licence and buy some books, or a Kindle, instead. Slow down your brain’s consumption of new characters and story lines and allow yourself to sleep, dream, rest and recover as you need to do for good health, fitness and wellbeing.

Evening should be a time to relax and chill out quietly. If you find yourself falling asleep while reading that’s because you’re tired and need to sleep. So instead of fighting it and flooding your brain with television and film, just go to sleep – even if it is 6pm. You’ll feel so much better in the morning.

So below are some books i’ve read and enjoyed to get you started on your reading journey – enjoy…

Lotus Blue (book review)…

Lotus BlueLotus Blue by Cat Sparks
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed the book right up until the end, which just didn’t seem to come up to the standard of the rest of the book. After a really enthralling adventure it really felt like the ending was rushed to its conclusion – hence only 4 stars.

It’s not too far fetched to imagine a future like the one depicted within this book, or the causes for it. The more we begin to rely on drones and augmented soldiers to fight wars, slowly but surely handing over more and more control to computer intelligence, the closer we get to the characters in the book and ultimately entities like ‘Lotus Blue’.

I’m hoping the ending in this book isn’t the end and that there’ll be more books in this dystopian future.

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The Night Circus (book review)…

The Night CircusThe Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A wonderful piece of fantasy writing, and certainly not the normal fantasy stuff that seems to be churned out a lot these days. I would put it on the shelf along side Neil Gaiman’s ‘Stardust’ – if you liked that then you’ll like this.

The Night Circus is a wonderful imagined space and would love to read more stories from within and around it’s fence. Erin’s currently working on her second book so who knows. There’s definitely a lot of space within the Night Circus for more fun and adventure to be played out in further novels.

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Waiting For Monsieur Bellivier (book review)…

Waiting For Monsieur BellivierWaiting For Monsieur Bellivier by Britta Röstlund
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is one of those books where you’re never quite sure what it is you’re reading or why but you just can’t put it down because it keeps grabbing your attention. After a short while, because you read it so quickly because, like i say, it keeps grabbing your attention, you get to the end, and then you’re left thinking…

…what did i just read?

I like it. Looking forward to Britta writing some more and me getting to read.

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Sourdough (book review)…

SourdoughSourdough by Robin Sloan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you like the ‘Penumbra’ books then throw this on your reading list and have at it – more of that Robin Sloan style for you to enjoy.

If, however, you’ve come across this book because you’re into sourdough baking and expect a story to read that reflects the real challenges and difficulties etc., of baking your own sourdough breads – then you’ll probably want to read something else….

….but, conversely, if you’ve come across this book because you’re into sourdough baking and can put aside your strict ‘sourdough nazi’ expectations for a while to read a fun story about a magical and strange starter and it’s journey and exploits, then you just might really enjoy a good read and become another Robin Sloan fan like the rest of us.

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The Keeper of Lost Things (book review)…

The Keeper of Lost ThingsThe Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A really enjoyable book.

The best thing about owning a Kindle is discovering ‘Kindle Daily Deals’ and ‘Kindle Monthly Deals’. For 99 pence including delivery you really can’t go wrong trying out book simply judged by their titles and covers. This one was a certainly a diamond in the rough.

Ruth’s treatment of Down’s Syndrome was a breath of fresh air in a world so full of ignorance and stigma, and her treatment of Alzheimer’s disease equally so. Ruth really isn’t afraid to delve into lives that few writers would fear to tread and does so with care and understanding.

Definitely a book for anyone wanting to read a lovely, well thought out, enjoyable story with great characters (Ruth even manages to include a likeable ghost) you can’t help but enjoy.

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Ajax penumbra: 1969 (book review)…

Ajax Penumbra: 1969 (Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, #0.5)Ajax Penumbra: 1969 by Robin Sloan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I came across the main book, ‘Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Book Store’ while i was looking for stories about people in book shops, having just read ‘The Little Paris Bookshop’.

And i’m glad i did go looking. I really enjoyed Mr. Penumbra’s, and was more than happy to discover this little back story, ‘Ajax penumbra: 1969’.

Robin has quickly become a favourite writer – i just started reading ‘Sourdough’ immediately after finishing this. His stories have a really nice flow with interesting likeable characters and nice easy going English.

Which should one read first? Knowing what i know now, i would read Ajax penumbra 1969 first, as i now feel that i need to go and re-read …24 Hour Book Store again to give it more clarity.

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The Pleasure Trap (book review)… #youarebeingfarmed

The Pleasure Trap by Douglas J Lisle is probably one of the most important books for surviving the modern age.

My take on it is this…

When Homo sapiens first stood upon the Earth we were born into a savage garden where most things either wanted to eat us or were poisonous, and if we wanted to survive and help our children to survive to an age where they could have children we had to learn to navigate that savage garden in a precise way to avoid the predators and parasites and toxic things that live within it.

Fast forward to the 21st century and our savage garden is now capitalism. And the predators and parasites are corporations and the poisonous things are the food and medicine that they sell to us. They lure us in by using our evolved nature – that suited us perfectly upon the Earth thousands of years ago – against us. We are for the most part seemingly defenceless against the tirade of sweet, fat and salty food and medicines that relieve symptoms but never deal with the cause.

But are we defenceless?

Not if you’re aware of the pleasure traps that they have created to enslave you.

Chronic diseases, the diseases that once were the diseases of kings and the ruling classes, are now the diseases of almost everyone thanks to the corporatisation of the food chain and the medical industry. And chronic disease is caused by nothing more than eating too much of the wrong foods and taking the wrong medicines.

Read this book and learn how to avoid the pleasure traps and how to extract yourself from them when you fall into them.

Your future and your children’s future and their children’s future lies within your grasp of the pleasure traps that corporate predators and parasites have placed in the savage garden of capitalism.

It’s your choice.

Take your sickly, suffering part in their eugenics experiment or walk away from it and be healthy and free.

Best wishes.

Breatheology (book review)…

…or to give it its full title, ‘Breatheology: The Art of Conscious Breathing’ by Stig Avall Severinsen.

Being a four time world champion freediver, Stig certainly knows a thing or two about breathing and he lays it all out in this great book that is aimed at everyone who wishes to improve their health, fitness and wellbeing – not just freedivers.

Breathing is one of the most important things we do in life, if not the most important, yet we pay so little attention to it until something goes horribly wrong.

Stig’s book explains pretty much everything you needed to know about good breathing practise and how to achieve a much more healthier life with a great variety of exercises that will improve your breathing. And you don’t need to be a great athlete to benefit from this book. Even people bedridden with disabilities can benefit from some of these simple to practise exercises.

So whether you’re a freediver or not, it’s a great book to have on your shelf.

Best wishes.

Run Wild (book review)…

Before we go any further, i do need to state that there are a couple of mentions of Jimmy Saville in the book, a keen city marathon runner, which obviously some people may find too distressing. The book was written just before the truth came out and i think it’s fair to say that these mentions would not have made the final cut had Boff known at the time. It’s incredible how angry one can feel just reading about Saville like this, how he had so many people fooled with his charity work, like he was one of the good people. CUNT!!! Nuff said!

So yeah, i found myself in the library the other day just having a mooch around seeing what books they had on health, fitness and wellbeing, and also Dartmoor. And i came across a book titled Run Wild and couldn’t resist the temptation to have a look at the cover notes.

What made me take the book home was that it is written by Boff Whalley, one of the founders of Chumbawamba, which used to be one of my favourite ever bands, before they signed for EMI and had that awful hit, ‘Tubthumping’. I never forgave them for signing for (selling out to) EMI and never will. Half the original band left (the very day i had a ticket to go and see them in Camden so the gig got cancelled at the last minute just adding to my disdain towards the whole fiasco) and had to be replaced and what the world saw as Chumbawamba when they played Tubthumping was not the Chumbawamba that i, and many others, had known, respected, admired and totally loved. And i really did love that band.

But Chumbawamba EMI sell out issues aside, the fact that Boff had written a book about running, and wild running at that, had me really eager to take the book home and give it a read, and i was not disappointed.

What’s sad is that a lot of people will never read this book because they’ll think it’s just another book all about running and how to run, and it isn’t. It’s far more than that. It’s a great look at society as a whole through the lens of a wild runner, but with an anarchist, a punk, a musician, a father of two young children, guiding your view.

The book doesn’t at all go into any advice on how to run, other than why to stay away from the cattle herding of big city marathons and to get out into the countryside trails and just enjoy the freedom they offer, and in so doing it’s a very approachable book even for non runners.

One of the paragraphs i feel that sums the book up is this one…

It’s not sponsored or televised, but it’s all fun. All this tripping over tree roots and not knowing precisely where I’m going and falling like a clown into rivers. But it is, I swear – it’s fun. It’s not (as some have described it) like going back to being a child again, as if in regression. It’s just that the natural, exuberant, no-holds-barred playfulness we have as humans is educated out of us as we get older, squeezed out by convention and responsibility. Responsibility! Our first responsibility must surely be to enjoy ourselves. To have our children see us enjoying ourselves, so they might grow up thinking that, yes, life is a quest for joy, not a set pattern of inhibitions and denials. Adults, scared of looking foolish, won’t even run for a bus they’re about to miss. Somehow, as we grew older, running became silly, part of a job lot of joys and pleasures that, as we turn from kids to adults, we’re supposed to tie up in a big hessian sack and throw into the nearest canal, where they can sink with a splash, a glug and a muffled yelp.

Also from the book…

‘People must not do things for fun. We are not here for fun. There is no reference to fun in any act of Parliament.’ (A. P. Herbert, British politician)

That said, it’s also a great book for runners, both runners of man made surfaces and runners of natural surfaces and anyone either thinking of taking up running or has just started and not sure what direction their running wants to take them.

So if you live in Devon then you should be able to order this book through any Devon library from Exmouth library. Other libraries may vary. Or buy it! It’s worth the money.

And then go and have some good old fashioned fun – like you used to before you grew up!

Best wishes.