Book review: “The Art of Happiness – A handbook for the living,” by HH Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler.

This book is not something I would usually read, but because of the way my path is changing for the better, along with other things that have helped me to get where I am today, I chose to read this book.

This book, my mum is now reading, after waiting patiently. She was very curious as to why I was reading it, as well as interested herself. My mum does not really know everything I have been doing, to get where I am today. When there has been parts I have revealed to her, because I thought they would be helpful to her, she did not take them on board. Maybe she will, when she has read this book herself, although my mum has other qualities already, like easily showing empathy for other people.

This book should be read by everyone, as there is something we would all learn by reading it.
This book is not preaching religion and it doesn’t matter if you are religious, or not, or whatever religion you are, we all have something to learn from this book, to better ourselves.
I have enjoyed reading every page of this book and although I’m doing some things already, I still have lots to take on board.
Once mum has read this book, I shall pick up this again, reading it all through once more and maybe taking some notes along the way. Then later, it will be useful to read in parts where needed.
This book will remain on my bookshelf and prove to be useful, in the future.

Now don’t be put off with the contents of this very informative book, as it is easy to read in small doses and pick back up on where you left off. But that’s if you can put it down.

Contents of this book:

Authors notes

1. The Purpose of Life
Chapter 1: The Right to Happiness
Chapter 2: The Source of Happiness
Chapter 3: Training the Mind for Happiness

2. Human Warmth and Compassion
Chapter 5: A New Model for Intimacy
Chapter 6: Deepening Our Connection to Others
Chapter 7: The Value of Benefits of Compassion

3. Transforming Suffering
Chapter 8: Facing Suffering
Chapter 9: Self-Created Suffering
Chapter 10: Shifting Perspective
Chapter 11: Finding Meaning in Pain and Suffering

4. Overcoming Obstacles
Chapter 12: Bringing about Change
Chapter 13: Dealing with Anger and Hatred
Chapter 14: Dealing with Anxiety and Building Self-Esteem

5.Closing Reflections on Living a Spiritual Life
Chapter 15: Basic Spiritual Values



Book review: “Depression is a liar,” by Danny Baker

Danny Baker written this book almost two years after his last depression episode. The book is about everything he has felt and experienced with his struggles, to eventually his triumph over his depression.
Danny Baker wanted to tell his story, so that other people with depression will realise they are not alone and that there is recovery. He also wanted to share his lessons he’d learnt along the way, that eventually led to his recovery.
For four years he suffered from life-threatening bouts of depression, which led to alcoholism, drug abuse, medicine-induced psychosis and multiple hospitalisations. Since his recovery, these days he’s happy, healthy and loves life.

Reading this book you get to learn about what a person can feel when depression takes hold. As in this case, you are learning how Danny Baker felt and his experiences.
For those who have never experienced depression before, this book will raise awareness.
For those of us that have suffered depression of different degrees, you may relate to this book; the struggles getting out of bed, struggling with life, being a huge self-critic and low self-esteem, are just some of the examples.

Danny Baker has a website where you can find out more about him and further books he has written. This can be found at

(This post review is my own personal review. I have not been asked to write this.)

Book review: “Reasons To Stay Alive,” by Matt Haig.

This is a true story how author, Matt Haig came through his mental illness that almost destroyed him and he learnt to live again.

This book I believe, would be a good book to raising awareness of mental illness. He tells it as it was, for him, which many will relate to.
For something that was such a dark time for him, before he learnt to live again, the book is moving, funny and joyous, that will keep the reader engaged.

When I picked up this book to read, I learnt the author lived in Nottinghamshire. (I don’t know him.) He now lives in Brighton and he is the best-selling author of five novels, including “The Humans,” “The Radleys” and “The Last Family in England.” Matt Haig has also written some award-winning children’s books.

If you want to find out more about Matt Haig and his books, then visit

Book review: “Heartfelt,” by Pippa Middleton

“Heartfelt,” by Pippa Middleton is a book that Pippa Middleton worked alongside a team of experts to produce this book. All the proceeds from the book go to British Heart Foundation.
This book came out 2 years ago and I have had my own copy for about just over a year when I spotted this book for sale in The British Heart Foundation shop.You can still get this book here:, which will take you the The British Heart Foundation. The hardback book has over 100 delicious recipes and there is healthy eating advice.

Contents of book:

  • A Heartfelt hello
  • The foundation of a healthy heart
  • I Heart Breakfast
  • I Heart on-the-go
  • I Heart family
  • I heart date night
  • I heart hosting

Some recipes that are in this book:

  • Oaty drop scones with cranberries
  • Quinoa porridge with blueberry compote
  • Seeded soda bread
  • Spicy tomato and spinach baked eggs
  • Beef and lentil cottage pie
  • Terragon chicken goujons
  • Lemon, red onion and fennel cod traybake
  • Banana, blueberry and oat muffins
  • Steamed date puddings
  • Rhubarb and custard semi freddo
  • Berry roulade

Giveaway Time – One book to give away

Remember when I reviewed this book; “101 Ways To Live Well?”

book cover of 101 Ways to Live Well

Well I am deciding now that it is time to give this book away, as it sits on the bookshelf, unused and not referred to as I once did. Anything I see that does not get used, is clutter to me and I don’t like clutter as you know. So I would like to give this book away to someone who would like it here.

So if you would like this book, then please email me on:
making sure in the subject header of the email you write “101 Ways To Live Well.”
You do not need to give me address at this point. I will ask for your address, should your name be drawn.

I will keep his giveaway open until 6th July 2018, 9am UK time.

Later on that day, when it closes, if quite a few have entered, I will put all names into a bag and draw one name out. (The name will be announced in a new post, when they have informed me where to post their book.)

If no one has entered, this book will just be put in a donation bag I have one side for a charity shop. (I will mention also in a blog post if it turns out this happened.)

  • This giveaway is open to everyone, regardless where you live.
  • The winner will be notified by email and they will have 7 days to reply by, letting me know of their name and full address of where they would like to send me this book. Please make sure you give full address, i.e. USA, Canada etc… so I can address and post the book correctly, should your name be drawn out.
  • Once I have an official winner, I will announce later, in a new blog post their name and blog link, if they have a blog and I will update at the end of this post too.
  • As always, details given are only for the use of this giveaway and not shared to anyone else. Details will not be kept once the giveaway has ended.


Good luck to everyone that takes part.

Post Update: And the winner has been announced here: 

Winner of the Giveaway Time – One book to give away


Book review: “The Year of Less,” by Cait Flanders.

Wanting to see if there were new ways of spending less and after scouring the internet, I came across the mention of this book, “The Year of Less,” by Cait Flanders. From scouring lots of pages, I don’t know where I originally learnt of this book and the positive review that was given, but I looked on Amazon and read the reviews there, which mostly seemed all positive.
I have now read the book and although this review may start of negative, it doesn’t finish off that way.

I was excited when I received this book and I could not wait to start and read it. After a few pages in, I was feeling disappointed, but I continued to read, because I was enjoying what I was reading. Although several more pages, I was still slightly disappointed, as it was not what I was expecting. I then started flicking through the pages of this book and found what I was expecting, was more near the back. So the layout of this book was not what I expected. I then mindfully read this book for what it was and not how I was expecting it and continued to enjoy reading it.
As I have not come across Cait Flanders before, reading her story before the tips at the back I was expecting, was handy for me and so the book layout worked well in the end. You get to know Cait Flanders in this book, as to what she used to spend, the debt she incurred and how she changed it all.
Through her mindfully changing her ways, she cleared off her debt and also saved money, learning how to fix some things herself and she truly discovered what mattered to her.
After learning about her year of less, you then read about how you can do it too.

I don’t know how much I will take and use myself from this book, because I am doing most of these things already, but I will definitely be using some of her tips, like only buying something when I have run out. There is also another that is a good reminder for myself; asking myself, do I really need it? before buying it. There is a useful chart in her book with questions on this line, to get you really asking this question on something you may be thinking of buying.

Although this book won’t be staying on my bookshelf, I have made the notes I need and I have enjoyed reading the book. This book I am now passing onto a friend, for her to read and when she has finished with it, she is welcome to keep it, or pass it on.