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Best books to cuddle up with and hide from the cold

  • Hazel Butterfield
  • 17 November 2019

It’s cold, we’re skint anticipating Christmas/party season and the pre-winter bugs are making the rounds. It’s time to grab the blankets, get a good bottle of red, turn up the heating (it’s time), cuddle your dog (cats and hot water bottles also work) and get stuck into a good book.

Best books to cuddle up with and hide from the cold

My Life in 37 Therapies - Kay Hutchison

This was such an interesting selection of therapies, some of which are now on my list (The Fuck-It Yoga retreat in Italy), others filled me with dread (a 10 day silent retreat with an orange and apple classed as a ‘full’ meal). But the theory of exploration and openness to try new treatments and why is what this book is really about. What is good is to see that not only are there a variety of methods out there. You don’t need to try one, fail and give up. Our options are many and varied. Not only do we have a variety to embark upon, but as Kay shows us, they can complement each other and fill gaps where other therapies aren’t quite cutting it. Some are more long term, others one-offs. You won’t know what is good for you until you give something a go, nothing ventured nothing gained.

This book is a great opportunity to read about and decide for yourself from Kay’s experiences what may work for you. To learn about the breadth of therapies available and how they work. And yet one of my favourite reasons to read book such as ‘My Life in 37 Therapies’ is to go on a journey with someone. To share that we all have our crosses to bear, that we don’t always know who we are, what we want or even understand what should be important to us.

Listen to our chat to Riverside Radio here.



Mummy JoJo Uncut - JoJo Fraser

Move over Botox, it’s time for a mojo injection!

What a refreshing book, uplifting, real, funny and covering an array of issues. This book gives you a chance and the toolkit to rationalise, accept and let go of guilt, overthinking and to just be who you are.

Everyone has their way of parenting and just being, we are individuals and that is what we should embrace. ‘Wasps’ that want to judge and buzz around you with criticism are not people you should be aiming to please. You don’t have to be that mum that makes perfect scones (although Tesco do a great pre-mix, so much easier), don’t focus on what you can’t do. Find what makes you unique.

One of the main issues with the mental health endemic is based around loneliness, if we open up about our sadness then what does that mean for those that say “surround yourself with positive people”? If we admit we’re not feeling positive there is a very real fear of being ousted. But the more open and real we become in society the less people will suffer in silence and implode.

Please get involved with Jojo’s podcasts at https://mummyjojo.com/the-podcast-2/and listen in to our interview at Women’s Radio Station below and do buy the book!


What’s Left Unsaid - Deborah Stone

When Sasha’s son, accidentally hears a disturbing slip of the tongue from his dementia ridden grandmother, he embarks on a fact finding mission through the guise of stating he wants to create a family video diary as a ‘momento’ for later years. The whole family uncover more than the lies they thought they had hidden in the cupboard.

We can’t and often don’t always know the truth or extent of someones circumstances,  nor do we all see the same life experiences similarly. We are entitled to our privacy, our secrets but what is left unsaid can cause heartache and confusion.

Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practise to deceive! I was hooked very quickly and I do like the ‘different perspective’ format when telling a story, especially going back in time.

Find out more and get the book from here.


Mad Girl - Bryony Gordon

Ok, yes I loved it. Which is bizarre to say of a woman telling her story of a lifelong struggle with depression, anxiety and OCD, but stick with me. She covers a variety of issues, life stages, milestones to overcom, in a non-preachy but brutally honest way. The way she explains her involuntary thoughts that overtake any rationale, how she distracts herself from what is painfully obviously an issue that will not 'pass'... I now think that 'my OCD' is potentially not just wanting a tidy home, it goes much deeper and explains many of my actions and issues I've needed to overcome or find coping mechanisms for. Which I guess was one of her goals in writing this book, to open up discussions and awareness about anxiety and depression. The more we know and share, the less stigma there is and the more opportunity to raise support for a failing mental health system currently in place in the UK.

At one point I was so engrossed that many buses passed the bus stop I was reading at, it was like I had forgotten why I was even there! Mad Girl is funny, insightful, with a bizarre and unexpected 'feel good' ending. If you like this, for a slightly more intentional laugh out loud autobiographical part of her life, try Bryon Gordon's other Best Seller, 'The Wrong Knickers'. Regardless of any mental illness, she is unapologetically mad as a box of frogs, but all the best people are.


The Gatekeeper- Russ Kane

Jesus, it’s deep. Where do I even start? The Gatekeeper is a mixture of sarcasm, politics, paranormal activity, theology, travel, a history lesson and a dollop of global warming to finish things off. The precision in the detail of the places he visits, the history, methodology, the scrupulously defined characters and their independent knowledge of their field. I found myself constantly stopping to google what I’d just supposedly learnt to confirm its authenticity, which were constantly confirmed.

The idiosyncratic conspiracy theories were quite frankly incredible and how Russ Kane managed to cobble this all together is outstanding. Oh and the sarcasm just fit me like a glove.

Anything in the paranormal genre would normally be a complete no for me but the juxtaposition of humour, horror, personality and sheer intricacy of knowledge had me hooked. The research was impeccable. It’s addictive, quick and very clever.

The devil really is in the detail.



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‪“Our wounds are often the openings into the best and most beautiful part of us.” ― David Richo