Mike Engleby says things that others dare not even think. When the novel opens in the 1970s, he is a university student, having survived a "traditional" school. A man devoid of scruple or self-pity, Engleby provides a disarmingly frank account of English education. Yet beneath the disturbing surface of his observations lies an unfolding mystery of gripping power.
For me this is Sebastian Faulks' finest work. The tightness of the main character, how he constantly surprises, amuses and shocks is astounding. How does anyone begin to write something that consistent.
The number of people with some form of shyness has increased, and research now suggests that up to 50% of people experience it. Many of these are ""shy extroverts"" - people who are publicly outgoing, but privately experience painful thoughts or feelings. Social phobia, the more chronic form of shyness, is now thought to affect about 13% of people. People who are shy are also at increased risk of depression and anxiety.
This book is so much better than the gung-ho nonsense that is so often peddled under the auspices of 'self help' or 'self confidence'. It deals with the causes and the symptoms in a practical and empathetic manner.
The simple reason for the book's success is that it is written by an experienced nurse. She knows what she's talking about and has a practical bedside manner.
She talks at one stage of Shyness being a gift. At first I thought 'hand on a minute!' But she does make some valid points and, cynic though I am, I did finish listening to that section feeling more confident about the way my mind works and who I am.
What was REALLY nice about the book was that I was not compelled to change and be something I'm not. It is OK to be a bit shy - that's part of me. And that, again, made me feel more confident!
Either way with some practice I have felt a lot better about myself, less shy and very grateful to nurse Ruth (even though she has a man's voice in this audio book!)
13 of 19 people found this review helpful
A vigorous immune system is vital to good health, both physical and mental. Chronic fatigue, endless colds, and symptoms of allergy are just some of the common manifestations of a weakened immune system, while there is increasing awareness of outright autoimmune disorders such a rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and Sjögren's syndrome.
Despite the slightly formal delivery style of the narrator, it is a good source of ideas for maintaining health.
Theresa Cheung focuses on the practical steps you can take without over stepping her authority. She includes technical detail which can get a bit dull but where it's irrelevant I just skipped it.
Skin brushing was an interesting suggestion. I can see why it's included (and very pleasant it was too) but I'm not convinced that it works for me.
Don't let that put you off though. It's a good book offering lots of ideas. Take the ones that work for you and you'll be on to a very good thing.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Few people lack confidence all the time, and many people are more confident with friends, or when practising a skill they know, such as working on a computer or cooking a meal. Yet, too often, these skills of confidence in everyday contexts may be dismissed as "that's nothing" or "that doesn't count" precisely because they are so familiar.
The thing about confidence is that the people who have loads of it don't realize that they have it - they just take it for granted.
So trying to become more confident is an interesting and potentially frustrating challenge as ultimately you want to be in a position where you don't worry or think about it, you are just yourself and happy in yourself.
The Confidence Book doesn't have all the answers - no book can do. But it does provide a really useful starting point to begin addressing the issues that cloud your own opinion of yourself and your abilities. It doesn't try to teach you too much but leaves you with some really useful exercises so that the development can continue afterwards.
Other more cerebral or longer books may suit some people but this one worked for me as a good introductory guide.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Food intolerance is far more common than food allergy, with which it is often confused. It is also surrounded in controversy - with limited research in the area, estimates for the number of sufferers in the UK differ wildly - from 2% to 60% of the adult population - and so it can be confusing for those seeking relief from their ill-health.
As one who is allergic to dairy products and, according to the exclusion diet I did, peas, bananas, chicken, citrus fruit and lots more, handling what everyone else takes for granted can be really, really frustrating.
But it's not all bad. I cooked for a friend who has a life threatening allergy to almost everything as far as I could tell (dairy, chicken, pepper (yes, pepper), peas, beans, and on and on).
As a fellow food allergy sufferer I understood what it's like to go to a dinner party and expect to eat only 40% of what's on offer and feel guilty about being a pain.
I cooked him a full on three course meal - he had to check the recipe books I'd used to make sure there was nothing in there that was going to kill him. It was the first full meal he'd eaten in ages.
This is the sort of approach "Living with Food Intolerance" takes. The emphasis is on Living. You've got it so accept it and find solutions. Keep it in proportion and be creative.
Depending upon how severe your allergy is you can, as I do, occasionally indulge in the odd bit of cream on the dessert or whatever it is you shouldn't eat.
But 1. It really is frustrating and a bit of a social burden, 2. You're not alone, 3. There are ways of dealing with it that this books succinctly outlines much better than my rambling review.
In short it's a good starting point for the right philosophy that you'll need to develop.
Whatever the cause of your pain - arthritis, backache or migraine - this book is for you. Pain can dominate your life and leave you exhausted and depressed. If pain restricts your movement and keeps you awake at night, it holds you back from getting involved in all that life has to offer.
It helps when someone writes from experience. This book cannot solve all your pain problems and you need to make some effort to reap the benefits, but it's well worth listening to the suggestions and giving them a really good go.
You have to be prepared to practice but the alternative is just to endure pain, this gives you some really useful tools to cope - even fight back a bit if that's your approach!
For just a few dollars it's definitely value for money.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Headaches, bloating, craving for sweets, irritability and cramps are all familiar symptoms of PMS, or pre-menstrual syndrome. There is plenty of information about PMS, but what women really want is to know how to control their own individual condition.
Simple, practical suggestions of the different things to try. Most didn't work for her, but they're not all supposed to. She found two things that did (one diet, one exercise related) and, believe me, everyone in our household is a lot happier!
Guys, find a polite way of getting this audio book into the hands of your wife/ girlfriend/ partner (or sister for that matter). It's a gem.
Jasmine Birtles believes that anyone can be better off, she just needs to show you how...
Packed full of practical financial advice and brilliant money-saving ideas, The Money Magpie shows you how to spend less, make more and invest what's left over, even in hard times. Based on this key idea, Jasmine tells you how to: Be the King or Queen of cash by getting the best deals on utilities, credit cards and food. Assess and manage your finances with clear, easy-to-follow techniques.
One of the reassuring things about Jasmine Birtles is that she genuinely wants to help other people.
If you're in debt then don't go to one of the companies that advertise on TV - there are free charities that will negotiate with your creditors (the people you owe money to) for you.
What's more there are loads of little things you can do right now to save and make money. They are spelt out in easy, simple steps and they work.
Margaret Hills was crippled as a young woman, but was determined not to let it hold her back. When orthodox treatment could do nothing for her, she used her nurse's training to develop her simple, natural treatment, which, against all her doctor's predictions, was completely successful. This new and fully revised edition offers updated information about diet and reveals the effects of the new arthritis drugs.
Apparently this book sold very well as a physical bound book because of the simple language, easy steps and empathetic perspective of the authors.
I would argue that this audio version should do even better - surely this is exactly the sort of subject matter that audio books were invented for.
0 of 7 people found this review helpful
Rejected by the Freemasons? Not bright enough for the Illuminati? Burnt by the Hell Fire Club? No friends in high places to get you into the Bilderberg or the Bohemian Grove? Feeling isolated and powerless? Fear not. There is an answer... Why not start your own secret society to add an air of mystery to your life and instantly alter the way you are perceived by family, friends and society at large
This book is really two books in one - a serious study and an entertaining parody.
Once you realize that the author, Nick Harding, arbitrarily mixes the two approaches you are in for a great listen.
Of particular brilliance is the description of the inauguration ceremony he witnessed wherein a new member was brought into a secret society. It reads like one of the finest of Monty Python sketches!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful