ready for today’s book reviews? Let’s get started:
Headlines, Headaches and the Human Condition by Steve Whiddett
This book sounded very promising. In the blurb, the author argues that, although the media would have us believe that only bad people do bad things and only stupid people do stupid things, we all do bad and stupid things sometimes, often as a result of both internal and external factors that influence, often without us even realising it, our behaviour. They are not done out of malice or ignorance, but due to the use of normal processes to deal with different situations that have helped us survive for thousands of years but don’t work anymore in our modern society. If we understand them, we could prevent a lot of headaches and headlines.
To make his point, Whiddet explores what caused both some of the main events widely reported by the papers, like the banking crisis, and some of his everyday headaches, problems that he caused for himself. Problem is, he only skims the surface. None of the concepts he outlines in the book are discussed in depth, and therefore only give us the most basic understanding of these topics. And that often amounts to good old common sense.
Yet, despite their shortness, the chapters are hard to follow. The blurb says the book is written “using everyday language”, but I don’t know anyone who speaks in such an academic, convoluted way. Maybe in academic circles, but not everywhere else. As a result, his message often gets lost, forcing the reader to read the same passage two or three times to grasp what he is trying to say.
And that’s a shame. The information in this book is both useful and insightful. It just needs to be better presented. Each chapter should be fully developed in an engaging, almost colloquial style that would both entertain and educate. Should this book get a second edition where its flaws are corrected, I would highly recommend it. As it is, it falls short on too many levels.
Available at: Amazon
Talk Rx: Five Steps to Honest Conversations That Create Connection, Health, and Happiness by Neha Sangwan M.D.
Did you know that poor, dishonest conversations can negatively affect your physical health? Dr Neha Sangwan noticed this while working at a hospital. Although she had been trained to treat only the physical symptoms, she realised that most of the diseases and illnesses her patients were suffering from were either caused or made much worse by stress. So, she became curious, and startied asking her patients what else was wrong in their lives. “The same issues resurfaced: Unresolved conflict. Unmet expectations. Misunderstandings. Broken promises. Unspoken truth. Heartbreak. Fractured relationships. Separation and Loss. Confusion. Depression. Unhappiness. Somewhere along the way, their communication with lovers, with friends, with co-workers, with family, with themselves—had broken down, and they were unable to bridge the gap. And it had almost killed them.” Once they realised the connection between their physical and emotional well-being, and took steps to fix the relationships with their loved ones that had deteriorated, their health improved. Even when their illness was a fatal one, this new insight gave them the motivation and the tools to vastly improve the quality of their lives during their last months.
Although communication seems simple (aren’t we all doing it every day?), it is rarely honest. We refuse to have conversations that are difficult or unpleasant, lie or simply don’t tell the whole truth for fear that others won’t like us anymore if we were completely honest, and often misunderstand what other people are saying (did you ever think you had come to an agreement with someone only for her to tell you she hadn’t committed after all?). This book provides all the tools on how to have and navigate those conversations. Dr Sangwan helps you listen to your body’s signals to better manage stress, articulate your frustrations and desires effectively, understand and handle your emotions, and much more. Her book is full of powerful insights and tips that can help improve your communication with other people and, as a result, help you live a better life. Highly recommended.
Available at: Amazon
What You Can When You Can: Healthy Living on Your Terms by Roni Noone and Carla Birnberg
We all know we should exercise more, eat healthily, and just take better care of ourselves. But doing that is another matter entirely. Good intentions aren’t enough to change the bad habits that prevent us from being as healthy as we can be and achieve our goals and dreams. So what should we do? What we can, when we can.
Perfectionism, trying to achieve everything well straight away, doesn’t work. It just makes you feel bad about ourself and give up. Instead, you should acknowledge that you are human. That there can be a thousand reasons why we made that misstep, and that you should be compassionate toward yourself. And then look for opportunities to do something that brings you closer to your goals. Didn’t have time to go to the gym this afternoon? No worries. Take a walk after dinner. Indulged too much at dinner? Have something healthy for breakfast the next day. Don’t give up on your good intentions just because you have made a misstep. Do what you can, when you can, at your time, in the situation you are in. That’s the #wycwyc (pronounced wickwick) philosophy. And it applies to anything, not just eating and exercising.
This book helps you shift your mindset from one of perfectionism to one of realistic expectations and compassion, and offers lots of practical tips on how you can live the #wycwyc life, one little step at a time. Its message is simple, but very powerful. And conveyed in a compassionate, friendly tone that makes you feel like you’re just talking to friends. Highly recommended.
Available at: Amazon
What do you think of these books?
Disclaimer: this book was sent by PR for consideration. In addition, this post contains affiliate links.