Hertfordshire County Council Launches Togetherall
Hertfordshire County Council’s Public Health team have launched Togetherall, an evidence-based, clinically moderated, online 24/7 peer-to-peer mental health community, for residents of Hertfordshire who may be feeling low or depressed.
At least one in four Hertfordshire residents will experience mental health problems at some point in their lives. Togetherall can also help prevent mental health un-wellness with a range of support, courses, and advice with the additional benefit of professionals monitoring for any signs of distress.
Any Hertfordshire resident aged 16+ can join by:
- Visiting togetherall.com > Click ‘Register Button’ > then followed by ‘My Area is Registered’ tile.
- Create a username
- Complete a few basic questions
- Verifying your account by clicking on the button within an email sent by Togetherall to activate your account.
Recommended Health Related Books
Below are health related books on topics such general well-being, child-parent relationships, menopause, end of life, grief and sleep.
To generate this list, we have personally asked 1000’s of doctors and patients for their recommendations so hopefully it is a pretty rich list.
The time health professionals have to spend with each person may unfortunately feel too short. It does to us too! Books can distill hours of expert wisdom that can benefit those who enjoy reading. We have not personally read all these books, so we can't endorse everything they say. The list is also not exhaustive.
Be aware that that used books are available more cheaply at https://www.betterworldbooks.com At https://blackwells.co.uk/bookshop/home and Amazon there is usually a ‘used’ option for common books. Also https://reading-well.org.uk is a scheme run by UK libraries with various reading lists- e.g. young people's mental health, long-term conditions, dementia. They are all available to borrow through UK libraries and is supported by NHS and GPs.
Books with a * have been recommended by doctors
Mental health book list
Given the importance of mental well-being and the stress many people are under, mental health reading seems a good place to start.
Mental health can be thought of as a scale from very poor to excellent. We see often see patients when they are at rock bottom. For some, a crisis can be a turning point. For others, a crisis is the most difficult time to make positive changes. Anything we do to strengthen our mental health can build our resilience so we cope better when challenges come. So if your mental health is currently reasonable, taking the time to learn more about yourself and helpful strategies can build your resilience for later
*Chimp paradox by Professor Steve Peters
Do you sabotage your own happiness and success? Are you struggling to make sense of yourself? Do your emotions sometimes dictate your life? The Chimp Paradox is an incredibly powerful mind management model that can help you become a happy, confident, healthier and more successful person.
* Lost connections Johann Hari
Depression and anxiety are now at epidemic levels. Why? Across the world, scientists have uncovered evidence for nine different causes. Some are in our biology, but most are in the way we are living today. Lost Connections offers a radical new way of thinking about this crisis. It shows that once we understand the real causes, we can begin to turn to pioneering new solutions - ones that offer real hope.
*The Art of Imperfection by Brene Brown
This is the first self-help book I thoroughly enjoyed. Not only does the author define concepts like guilt, shame, self-worth she also shows you how to deal with and practically apply those concepts in real life. It also tells you how to lead a positive life without all the unicorn and rainbow crap you see in other self-help books. Everytime you read it something new sinks in! Like an 'ahaa' moment.
* I had a black dog by Matthew Johnstone.
'Finally, a book about depression that isn't a prescriptive self-help manual. Johnston's deftly expresses how lonely and isolating depression can be for sufferers. Poignant and humorous in equal measure.
An equally touching and beautifully illustrated book, written for those who care for those suffering from depression; friends, family members, colleagues, and even therapists
* Reasons to stay alive by Matt Haig
A moving, funny and joyous exploration of how to live better, love better and feel more alive, Reasons to Stay Alive is more than a memoir. It is a book about making the most of your time on earth.
*The Silent Guides: by Professor Steve Peters
The Silent Guides explores some neuroscience and psychological aspects of the developing mind, unconscious thinking, behaviours, habit formation and related topics in an easy to understand way. It then offers practical ideas and thoughts for the reader to reflect on using 10 helpful habits
* The Body Keeps the Score - Mind, Brain and Body in the Transformation of Trauma
The effects of trauma can be devastating for sufferers, their families and future generations. Here one of the world's experts on traumatic stress offers a bold new paradigm for treatment, moving away from standard talking and drug therapies and towards an alternative approach that heals mind, brain and body. Steady explanation of the issue of trauma, whether childhood or adult, followed by many varied techniques to deal with it. It armed me with the information I needed to understand what I had repressed, allow it to be there, and then the tools to integrate the traumatised child back into my adult self in a way that helped me to live comfortably.
*The Poetry Pharmacy collected by William Sieghart.
Sometimes only a poem will do. These poetic prescriptions and wise words of advice offer comfort, delight and inspiration for all; a space for reflection, and that precious realization - I'm not the only one who feels like this.
*A manual for heartache by Cathy Retzenbrink ,
Cathy describes how she learnt to live with grief and loss and find joy in the world again. She explores how to cope with life at its most difficult and overwhelming and how we can emerge from suffering forever changed, but filled with hope.
* Mindfulness, finding peace in a frantic world by Mark Williams. This has become a word-of-mouth bestseller and global phenomenon. It reveals a set of simple yet powerful practices that you can incorporate into daily life to break the cycle of anxiety, stress unhappiness and exhaustion.
*Happy: Why More or Less Everything is Absolutely Fine by Derren Brown.
Happy aims to reclaim happiness and to enable us to appreciate the good things in life, in all their transient glory. By taking control of the stories we tell ourselves, by remembering that 'everything's fine' even when it might not feel that way, we can allow ourselves to flourish and to live more happily.
* An Unquiet mind by Kay Redfield Jamison
A definitive examination of manic depression from both sides: doctor and patient, the healer and the healed. A classic memoir of enormous candour and courage, it teems with the wit and wisdom of its creator. 'It stands alone in the literature of manic depression for its bravery, brilliance and beauty.'
When Nora Seed finds herself in the Midnight Library, she has a chance to make things right. Up until now, her life has been full of misery and regret. She feels she has let everyone down, including herself. But things are about to change.
Big Magic - Elizabeth Gilbert
By sharing stories from her own life, as well as those from her friends and the people that have inspired her, Elizabeth Gilbert challenges us to embrace our curiosity, tackle what we most love and face down what we most fear. Whether you long to write a book, create art, cope with challenges at work, embark on a long-held dream, or simply to make your everyday life more vivid and rewarding, Big Magic will take you on a journey of exploration filled with wonder and unexpected joys.
Michael Rosen’s Sad Book.
It chronicles Michael's grief at the death of his son Eddie from meningitis at the age of 19. A moving combination of sincerity and simplicity, it acknowledges that sadness is not always avoidable or reasonable and perfects the art of making complicated feelings plain.
A beautifully illustrated read for adults and children about love and loss which explains why it's ok to be sad sometimes.
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close - Jonathan Saffran Foer (fiction)
Oskar is a 9-year-old boy whose father was killed in the 9/11 attack, and who is trying to cope with his grief, partly by going on a quest to find the lock which is fitted by a key his father left. He meets with a variety of characters, some of which are sympathetic, despite having problems of their own. Hardly have I ever read a book so full of tragedy that brings out hope and new beginnings towards its end.
The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer
An extraordinary portrait of one man’s descent into mental illness. A brave and groundbreaking novel. It is a deeply moving, very well written piece of work It gives a very real insight into what it must be like for those suffering from various sorts of it and why people think as they do.
A Headache In The Pelvis: The Wise-Anderson Protocol for Healing Pelvic Pain by David Wise
Pelvic pain is a very difficult to treat and common medical condition. It is understood that often pelvic floor pain is correlated with psychological distress; the book guides the reader through a holistic treatment integrating physical therapy and meditative relaxation, a protocol that studies show allows one-third of patients to stop all drugs after six months.
‘It really gave me an amazing boost to my healing. Lovely to read too. Experiential yet factual and robust. really helpful for anyone with pain in the pelvis /reproductive organs’
Nonviolent Communication -- A Language of Life: Life-Changing Tools for Healthy Relationships by Marshall B Rosenberg
A wonderful solution to the problem of how to communicate pleasantly and effectively with other human beings and to how to considerably increase the chances of you getting your needs met. A very easy concept. But the book explains in detail as to how to apply it and why it works. Has helped me take control of tricky interactions with human beings and optimise the outcome, minimise the stress and maximise the happiness. ‘My marriage began to experience communication problems, Reading this book things changed almost instantly!’
Feel the fear and do it anyway by Susan Jeffers
Susan Jeffers has helped millions of people overcome their fears and heal the pain in their lives with her simple but profound advice. Whatever your anxieties, Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway® will give you the insight and tools to vastly improve your ability to handle any given situation. You will learn to live your life the way you want - so you can move from a place of pain, paralysis, depression and indecision to one of power, energy, enthusiasm and action.
The rules of life by Richard Templar
Over 100 little tips for getting the most out of life, written with humour and very relatable author, who doesn't try to be clever with language. I have now bought it for my daughter and suggests she just dips in and out of it.
The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking by Oliver Burkeman
Oliver Burkeman turns decades of self-help advice on its head and paradoxically forces us to rethink our attitudes towards failure, uncertainty and death. It’s our constant efforts to avoid negative thinking that cause us to feel anxious, insecure and unhappy. What if happiness can be found embracing the things we spend our lives trying to escape? Wise, practical and funny, The Antidote is a thought-provoking, counter-intuitive and ultimately uplifting read, celebrating the power of negative thinking.
The Breathing Book by Donna Farhi.
A new approach to improving quality of life through your most accessible resource: your breath. Refreshingly simple and practical guide to reestablishing proper breathing techniques that will dramatically improve your physical and mental health. A thorough and inspiring program that you can tailor to your specific needs. Whether you need an energy boost or are seeking a safe, hassle-free way to cope with everyday stress, you will find answers here. These safe and easy-to-learn techniques can also be used to treat asthma, depression, eating disorders, insomnia, arthritis, chronic pain, and other debilitating conditions.
Eleanor Oliphant - Gail Honeyman (fiction)
Eleanor Oliphant is happy. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled life. Except, sometimes, everything. Change can be good. Change can be bad. But surely any change is better than... fine? A powerful, uplifting, thought-provoking, funny, and absorbing book. It tackles loneliness in a brilliant way, using wonderful, believable characters.
The Examined Life by Stephen Grosz
Stephen Grosz puts across the frailties of the human condition with total reverence, understanding and compassion. He tackles lots of the issues that seek to intrude into our everyday lives and each one is written about in plain, easily read language.
The Wild Remedy by Emma Mitchell
Emma Mitchell's richly illustrated and evocative diary records her nature finds over the course of a year and shows how being in the wild benefits our mental and physical wellbeing. She suffers with depression, and has done for twenty-five years. She swapped days in the office for walks in the wood. There she began to get better. And better. Her encounters with nature proving to be as medicinal as any therapy or drug. This is a book for those who want to bring a little piece of the outdoors with them, whether you struggle with low mood or just love discovering more about the natural world.
Healing Back Pain: The Mind-Body Connection
Dr. Sarno is a medical pioneer whose program has helped thousands of people find relief from chronic back conditions without drugs, physical therapy, or dangerous surgery. With case histories and the results of in-depth mind-body research, Dr. Sarno describes how patients recognize the emotional roots of their TMS and sever the connections between mental and physical pain... and how, just by reading this book, you may start recovering from back pain today.
The Choice by Edith Eger.
In 1944, sixteen-year-old ballerina Edith Eger was sent to Auschwitz. Separated from her parents on arrival, she endures unimaginable experiences, including being made to dance for the infamous Josef Mengele. When the camp is finally liberated, she is pulled from a pile of bodies, barely alive. The horrors of the Holocaust didn't break Edith. In fact, they helped her learn to live again with a life-affirming strength and a truly remarkable resilience. The Choice is her unforgettable story. It shows that hope can flower in the most unlikely places.
The Reality Slap: How to survive and thrive when life hits hard by Russ Harris
Sometimes it can feel like there's a gap between what we plan or hope for in our lives and the reality we're faced with – what ever this is, it can cause us great distress. Based on the scientifically proven mindfulness-based approach called 'Acceptance and Commitment Therapy' (ACT), this self-help book will teach you how to cope effectively when life hurts and you will learn not only how to survive life's unexpected curve balls, but also how to thrive, despite them
Burn after writing by Sharon Jones
The phenomenally popular secret journal filled with private prompts for personal reflection, self-exploration, and fueling creativity. Push your limits, reflect on your past, present, and future, and create a secret book that's about you, and just for you. This is not a diary, and there is no posting required. And when you're finished, toss it, hide it, or Burn After Writing.
Food and lifestyle
How we live, eat, move and relate to others has more impact on our health than anything. These books give inspiration, science and practical ideas that can help us to make steps towards health.
* Four Pillar Plan by Rangan Chatterjee’s
An incredibly simple framework for taking control of our health. He divides health into four pillars: diet, rest, sleep and movement. By making small, easily achievable changes in each of these key areas, you can find and maintain good health - and avoid illness.
* 8 week blood sugar diet by Dr M Mosley
n this book about the greatest health problem of our time Dr Michael Mosley pulls together the latest scientific studies and weaves in moving human stories. If you have raised blood sugar levels or type 2 diabetes and are interested in trying to regain full health, this is the book for you.
* Gut by Giulia Enders
Our gut is as important as our brain or heart, yet we know very little about how it works and many of us are too embarrassed to ask questions.
In Gut, Giulia Enders breaks this taboo, revealing the latest science on how much our digestive system has to offer.
From our miraculous gut bacteria — which can play a part in obesity, allergies, depression and even Alzheimer’s — to the best position to poo, this entertaining and informative health handbook shows that we can all benefit from getting to know the wondrous world of our inner workings.
* Spoon-Fed: Why almost everything we’ve been told about food is wrong by Tim Spector
A groundbreaking book that forces us to question every diet plan, official recommendation, miracle cure or food label we encounter, and encourages us to rethink our whole relationship with food. Diet may be the most important medicine we all possess. We urgently need to learn how best to use it, not just for our health as individuals but for the future of the planet.
*Fast, Feast, Repeat by Gin Stephens on intermittent fasting and the insulin hypothesis of weight loss/gain
Diets don't work. You know you know that, and yet you continue to try them, because what else can you do? You can Fast. Feast. Repeat. After losing over eighty pounds and keeping every one of them off, Gin Stephens started a vibrant, successful online community with hundreds of thousands of members from around the world who have learned the magic of a Delay, Don't Deny(R) intermittent fasting lifestyle.
* The Circadian Code by Satchin Panda
New science is revealed, showing that the timings of our day (when we eat, sleep, exercise, work) are more crucial than we ever thought before. And that, most importantly, if your daily schedule is out of sync with your circadian rhythms, you can fix it!
* Magical art of tidying up by Marie Kondo
Transform your home into a permanently clear and clutter-free space. It will not just transform your space. Once you have your house in order you will find that your whole life will change. You can feel more confident, you can become more successful, and you can have the energy and motivation to create the life you want.
Alignment matters by Katie Bowman
Clear, engaging, enjoyable and unconventional ride through the human body, include stretches, habit modifications, spiritual insights, and enough belly laughs to soften even the tightest psoas. Couch potatoes, professional athletes, and everyone in between all have something to learn about movement. With this book readers will gain a better understanding of the incredible, complex, and always fascinating human body.
Mindless Eating by Brian Wansink
Studies have shown that 90% of our eating decisions are made without any conscious choice. Dr Brian Wansink lays bare the facts about our true eating habits to show that awareness of our patterns can allow us to lose weight effectively and without serious changes to our lives. Forget calorie counting and starving yourself and learn the truth about why we overeat in this fascinating, innovative guide.
The 28 Day Alcohol-Free Challenge: Sleep Better, Lose Weight, Boost Energy, Beat Anxiety by Ruari Fairbairns
Be happier, healthier and more productive by taking a break from booze! An essential day-by-day guide packed with inspiration and practical help, The 28 Day Alcohol-Free Challenge is the only help you need to reset your drinking habits and discover a hangover-free world of quality time to achieve your goals. Including having a great time at parties, resisting appeals from friends to 'just have the one' and, most importantly, how to make the most of the health benefits of going sober.
Recommended books about parenting
Parenting is extremely hard work! As understanding of child development and psychology has developed, new ways to think about parenting has developed also. Parenting decisions are very personal. Many people find books that offer inspiration, ideas and new ways to understand children to be helpful and encouraging.
* How to Talk so Kids Will Listen...And Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Fabre
Effective step by step techniques to help you improve and enrich your relationships with your children. Break a pattern of arguments. Cope with your child's negative feelings. Engage your child's co-operation. Set clear limits and still maintain goodwill. Express your anger without being hurtful. Resolve family conflicts peacefully
* The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read by Philippa Perry.
Whether you are interested in understanding how your upbringing has shaped you, looking to handle your child's feelings or wishing to support your partner, you will find indispensable information and realistic tips in these pages. Philippa Perry's sane, sage and judgement-free advice is an essential resource on how to have the best possible relationships with the people who matter to you most.
* No Bad Kids: Toddler Discipline Without Shame by Janet Lansbury
Provides a practical, indispensable tool for parents who are anticipating or experiencing those critical years when toddlers are developmentally obliged to test the limits of our patience and love. Armed with knowledge and a clearer sense of the world through our children's eyes, this period of uncertainty can afford a myriad of opportunities to forge unbreakable bonds of trust and respect.
*How are you feeling today?
Children have strong feeling and they can't always handle them very well. Perfect for sharing, How Are You Feeling Today? is packed with fun, imaginative ways to help children understand and cope with a whole range of different emotions. This delightful book gives parents the tools they need to help their child deal with those feelings - without it all ending in tears!
* Playful parenting by Lawrence Cohen
Easy read about how to make good connections with children. Through play we join our kids in their world and help them to: Express and understand complex emotions, break through shyness, anger, and fear, empower themselves and respect diversity, play their way through sibling rivalry, cooperate without power struggles.
* Unconditional parenting by Alfie Konn
Most parenting guides begin with the question “How can we get kids to do what they're told?” and then proceed to offer various techniques for controlling them. In this truly groundbreaking book, nationally respected educator Alfie Kohn begins instead by asking, “What do kids need—and how can we meet those needs?” What follows from that question are ideas for working with children rather than doing things to them.
* Elevating childcare by Janet Lansbury
Janet Lansbury's advice on respectful parenting is quoted and shared by millions of listeners worldwide. She encourages parents and child-care professionals to perceive babies as unique, capable human beings with natural abilities to learn without being taught. Instead of the quick-fix tips and tricks of popular parenting culture, Janet's insightful philosophy lays the foundation for a closer, more fulfilling parent/child relationship, and children who grow up to be authentic, confident, successful adults.
*The Gentle Discipline Book by Sarah Ockwell-Smith
The Gentle Discipline Book analyses common discipline techniques and explains why so many are ineffective. It focuses on helping parents understand why children misbehave and how to respond in a way that will help them work with - rather than against - their child.
* My Hidden Chimp by Professor Steve Peters
My Hidden Chimp is an effective and powerful new educational book that offers parents, teachers and carers some ideas and thoughts on how to help children to develop healthy habits for life. The science behind the habits is discussed in a practical way with exercises and activities to help children think the habits through and start putting them into practice. The neuroscience of the mind is simplified for children to understand and then use to their advantage.
* How to Talk so Teens will Listen & Listen so Teens will Talk by Adele Fabre
Discover the tools to combat the often stormy years of adolescence. Packed with practical, accessible advice and guidelines, both parents and teens will learn how to: engage cooperation, take appropriate action, avoid lectures, express your feelings and understand each other, work out solutions together.
*Sex Positive Talks to Have With Kids by Melissa Pintor Carnagey
Your guide to creating an open, shame-free connection with the young people in your world. These talks will help caregivers create the kind of bond that keeps kids safer, empowered, and returning to you for support along their journey.
Women's Health and Pregnancy Loss
Here is a selection of books recommended by doctors on female sexuality, menopause and breast cancer. There is also a selection of books on little discussed topic of pregnancy loss, which can have a profound effect on people.
* Come as you are by Emily Nagoski
Come as You Are reveals the true story behind female sexuality, uncovering the little-known science of what makes us tick and, more importantly, how and why. Sex educator Dr Emily Nagoski debunks the common sexual myths that are making women (and some men!) feel inadequate between the sheets.
Underlying almost all of the questions we still have about sex is the common worry: ‘Am I normal?’ This book answers with a resounding Yes! We are all different, but we are all normal - and once we learn this, we can create for ourselves better sex and more profound pleasure than we ever thought possible.
*The M Word: Everything You Need to Know About the Menopause by Dr. Philippa Kaye (GP)
The menopause does not have to mean the end of your libido, of sex, of work, or of feeling like who you used to be. The M Word is a complete one-stop guide to the peri-menopause and menopause, covering everything from understanding symptoms to managing relationships to which treatments really work. Discussing HRT as well as self-help and lifestyle tips, this book will be your companion through the years before, during and after the menopause.
* Me & My Menopausal Vagina: Living with Vaginal Atrophy
by Jane Lewis.
One women's journey of menopause and vaginal atrophy. Written in collaboration with her daughter in a `tongue in cheek' way to help break taboos of vaginal atrophy. This book is informative, serious, tear-jerking and guaranteed to make you laugh. Through this book you'll learn the hidden secrets of menopause aimed to help you during your own experiences, informing women, men and health professionals of all ages.
The authors are outstanding doctors who have also experienced breast cancer first-hand. A trusted, thorough and up-to-date source of information. Designed to empower you during your breast cancer treatment, it covers: Breast cancer treatment, coping emotionally, sex and relationships, staying healthy during and after treatment, dealing with the fear of recurrence, living with secondary breast cancer.
A moving account of Elle's pregnancy, Teddy's life, and what happens when a mother leaves hospital with empty arms. In the UK, 1 in 4 pregnancies end in loss, but conversations about the heartbreakingly frequent experience are few and far between. In this honest and hopeful exploration of mothering, Elle shows us how she navigated a parenthood no one had prepared her for.
* Saying Goodbye by Zoe Clark-Coates
Losing a baby, whether through miscarriage, stillbirth or neonatal death, leaves so many parents lost in grief and full of unanswered questions.
Zoë Clark-Coates, and her husband Andy, have personally faced the loss of five babies.
Now, Zoë writes a moving account of their experiences and how they found a way through to provide help and support for others.
Books on grief and end of life.
Grief and loss is an extremely personal and often painful experience. As a culture, we don’t easily discuss these topics. As a result, this can make coping when we faced with end of life issues more difficult. Here is a selection of books by doctors and patients have found helpful in this area
It’s okay your’re not okay: meeting grief and loss in a culture that doesn’t understand by Megan Divine.
Megan reveals a path for navigating grief and loss not by trying to escape it, but by learning to live inside of it with more grace and strength. Through stories, research, life tips, and mindfulness-based practices, she offers a unique guide through an experience we all must face. Here she debunks the culturally prescribed goal of returning to a normal, "happy" life, replacing it with the skills and tools to help us experience and witness the pain of loss in ourselves and others--so we may meet our grief knowing it to be a natural step in the greater journey of love
‘Option B’ by Sherly Sandberg.
Thoughtful, honest, revealing and warm, OPTION B weaves Sandberg’s experiences coping with adversity with new findings from Adam Grant and other social scientists. The book features stories of people who recovered from personal and professional hardship, including illness, injury, divorce, job loss, sexual assault and imprisonment. These people did more than recover―many of them became stronger.
* With the End in Mind: How to Live and Die Well by Kathryn Mannix
With the End in Mind is a book for us all: the grieving and bereaved, the ill and the healthy. By turns touching and tragic, funny and wise, it tells powerful human stories of life and death.
A powerful and emotional book based on a lifetime’s clinical experience, With the End in Mind offers calm, wise advice on how to face death, live fully and find a model for hope in dark times.
*Dear Life A Doctor’s Story of Love, Loss and Consolation by Rachel Clarke
If there is a difference between people who know they are dying and the rest of us, it is simply this: that the terminally ill know their time is running out, while we live as though we have all the time in the world. Dear Life is a book about the vital importance of human connection, by the doctor we would all want by our sides at a time of crisis. It is a love letter - to a father, to a profession, to life itself. A vibrant, tender and deeply personal memoir that finds light and love in the darkest of places.
*Grief Is the Thing with Feathers by Max Porter
‘This is an astonishing book. That sounds like an over-the-top comment, but I have read many books on grief and the grieving experience, and unlike so many churned out by others, this one so accurately portrays the complicated experience of widows/widowers, especially with kids. It is half-poetry, half-prose, and conveys stunningly well the emotional tsunami of grief's madness while still having to take care of everyday life as a new parent without your other half.‘
Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom.
In this heartbreaking delivery of hope and acceptance, a terminally ill Professor with a debilitating disease is reunited with a former student in the final chapters of life. Both learn to value friendship, to relish in the simplest delights in life and to seize the day while there is opportunity.
*Being mortal by Atul Gawinde
For most of human history, death was a common, ever-present possibility. It didn't matter whether you were five or fifty - every day was a roll of the dice. But now, as medical advances push the boundaries of survival further each year, we have become increasingly detached from the reality of being mortal. So here is a book about the modern experience of mortality - about what it's like to get old and die, how medicine has changed this and how it hasn't, where our ideas about death have gone wrong.
Psychosomatic illness (Ie Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome)
* It’s All In Your Head by Suzanne O’Sullivan
‘This is an incredibly well written and informative book on the mysteries of psychosomatic illness. What I really appreciated about it is that it was written with compassion not ridicule of people who have suffered greatly with illnesses that although serious, had no physical cause. I think it will bring hope to those who have been told 'it's all in their head' and encourage them to seek help for some of the deeper roots of their physical problems. ‘
Some body i used to know by Wendy Mitchell
How do you build a life when all that you know is changing?
How do you conceive of love when you can no longer recognise those who mean the most to you?
A phenomenal memoir - the first of its kind - Somebody I Used to Know is both a heart-rending tribute to the woman Wendy Mitchell once was, and a brave affirmation of the woman dementia has seen her become.
Autism, Asperger’s and Sensory Processing disorder
* The girl with the curly hair by Alis Rowe
My family have known me my entire life. Yet, they still don’t really know what it’s like being me, having Asperger’s Syndrome. So I wrote this book. The hardest thing about having Asperger’s Syndrome is that it can seem like an invisible condition. I hope this book will build the bridge between people with Asperger’s Syndrome and the rest of the world. Most people with Asperger’s Syndrome are able and willing to work and live a “normal” life, with the right support and adjustment. The main problem is that most people are just unaware of how they can help. So, let us begin our journey into the wearing but wonderful world that is Asperger’s Syndrome.
* The Reason I Jump: one boy's voice from the silence of autism by Naoki Higashida
What is it like to have autism? How can we know what a person - especially a child - with autism is thinking and feeling? This groundbreaking book, written when he was only thirteen, provides some answers. Severely autistic and non-verbal, Naoki learnt to communicate by using a 'cardboard keyboard' - and what he has to say gives a rare insight into an autistically-wired mind. He explains behaviour he's aware can be baffling such as why he likes to jump and why some people with autism dislike being touched; he describes how he perceives and navigates the world, sharing his thoughts and feelings about time, life, beauty and nature; and he offers an unforgettable short story.
* The Rosie project by Graeme Simsion
‘I've read a lot about relationships with people on the autism spectrum and this book really spoke to me. I remember the moment my husband realized he loved me and I know that I just have to go back to that moment any time the doubts creep in. This is an incredibly astute book that demonstrates the quirkiness and sensitivity needed to deal with such a confusing situation.’
* Fingers in the Sparkle Jar: A Memoir by Chris Packham (inspired BBC documentary, Asperger’s and Me )
An introverted, unusual young boy, isolated by his obsessions and a loner at school, Chris Packham only felt at ease in the fields and woods around his suburban home. But when he stole a young Kestrel from its nest, he was about to embark on a friendship that would teach him what it meant to love, and that would change him forever.
* The Out of Sync Child by Carol Stock Kranowitz - a groundbreaking book that explains Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)--and presents a drug-free approach that offers hope for parents