Books I was given for my Birthday

Amazingly I was gifted five books for my 21st, all of which I had not read which is frankly a miracle, given the amount of books I own.

Step by Step follows Simon Reeve through his amazing adventures traveling around the world (often to countries I have never even heard of) while showing the world truly as it is, the good, the bad and sometimes the bloody.

‘I had travelled through some of the most remote and beautiful areas of the world. I tried to tot up how many countries I’d visited. It was scores. I lay there in that grotty hotel garden and chuckled away to myself. I was sick and drained of energy. But I was in Gabon. I had been a teenage delinquent who left school without qualifications and went on the dole… But I had overcome my fears and failings, written books, travelled the world and met some of the most inspiring and extraordinary people on the planet.’

Reeve’s is wonderfully intimate and truthful about his past mistakes and his issues with mental health giving behind the scenes glimpses into his private life, making him more than just an empathic presenter we watch on tv. He’s honesty and candor gives someone like me (who suffers from mental health issues and panic attacks) hope, as he willing admits his teenage self needed Cindy, his mother to accompany him on public transport for his first day at the Sunday Times.

Waterstones – Amazon –

A short video about coercive behaviour and how the law stands in the UK

I Hold Your Heart – Karen Gregory is based around A level students Gemma and Aaron’s relationship which quickly intensifies and evolves beyond the realms of normal and healthy. Karen Gregory beautifully shows the joys of first time love and how easy it is to be swept in romance, while also showing the dangers of coercive relationships.

‘And I realise the strange truth of it: both Aarons are him. The boy who loves me, the man who hates me. I think about all the fear I’ve carried, of never being good enough, loved enough. It was there long before I met Aaron. All the ways I’ve been selfish and unkind. Perhaps the dark places are in all of us if we look hard enough.’

I hold your heart also demonstrates the value of true friendship as Gemma’s friends Esi and Callum all ask her to heed caution about her relationship with Aaron, even though they were well aware it would negativity effect their friendship. Prior to being given this book I had not heard of the author, so I’m now looking forward to checking out Karen’s other novels.

Waterstones – Amazon –

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