With many people taking the time to read a little more over the past few weeks and months, we felt it would be a great opportunity to have a place where we could share what we are reading as someone else might enjoy it or find it beneficial too. Our EXCAPE Book Club has been running for over a month now and we are thrilled to share some reviews from what some people have been reading. This is free and open to everyone so if you would like to join our Excape Book Club, please click here.
Author: Professor Steve Peters
Summary: This is a self-development book which was written by a Consultant Psychiatrist who specialises in optimising the functioning of the mind. Although there is a scientific aspect behind the ‘Chimp Model’ which is outlined in the book, it approaches the model in a very easy to digest way which makes the approach accessible to everyone. ‘The Chimp Paradox’ helps you to better understand the thoughts, feelings and struggles which flood your mind on a daily basis. It provides a very useful manual to how we can better cope with, and manage the mind, in order to become a happier and more successful version of ourselves,
Why you’re recommending it? This has been one of the most insightful and beneficial self-development books I’ve read as I found myself very easily relating to it, but also being able to implement the suggestions and approaches very easily. After reading it, I felt like I had a whole new understanding of my mind and I could approach so many situations in a much more effective manner. I felt like I had the tools I needed to cope better with day to day life, and I think this is something that everyone could benefit from.
Favourite or memorable quote: I guess there’s not really a ‘quote’ as such but one little nugget that stuck with me from the book was:
"To change or improve, you must recognize that you are not always functioning in the way that you want to because you are not always the person that you want to be, or you don’t always seem to have control over your emotions or what you think you do. You must want to do something about it and be willing to accept change."
Author: Gail HoneymanDescription: Fiction.Summary: Spoiler alert – Eleanor Oliphant is not fine at all. This book centres on Eleanor whowould rather avoid social interaction of any kind and pretty much says exactlywhat she’s thinking, confounding whoever happens to be in earshot. From earlyon it hints at childhood trauma but overall is an extraordinary insight intoloneliness and the effect this can have on an individual. As a result of an unlikelyfriendship Eleanor navigates new situations with weirdness and wit – hilarityensues!Why am I recommending it? I love love LOVE this book. I have read it so many times and will likely read it againnow that I’m spending so much time at home. It is hilariously funny but equallyheart-breaking and uplifting and so well written. Definitely one to enjoy duringlockdown, it’s not overly taxing on the brain but so very enjoyable. The audiobookversion on audible is super, narrated in a lovely Scottish accent!Memorable Quote: So many quotable lines – I need 3!“A philosophical question: if a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it,does it make a sound? And if a woman who's wholly alone occasionally talks to apot plant, is she certifiable? I think that it is perfectly normal to talk to oneselfoccasionally. It's not as though I'm expecting a reply. I'm fully aware that Polly isa houseplant.”“She had tried to steer me towards vertiginous heels again - why are these peopleso incredibly keen on crippling their female customers? I began to wonder ifcobblers and chiropractors had established some fiendish cartel.”“I had to google "mofo"; and must confess to being slightly alarmed by the result.”
Description: Non-Fiction/Memoir/Mindfulness.Summary: This one is part memoir, part mindfulness how-to. Dan is a TV presenter on a USmorning current affairs show and a news anchor. He’s very endearing, quite acynical and ambitious character so a far cry from the super chilled floaty typesyou would usually associate with meditation; he claims he originally wanted totitle the book “The voice in my head is an asshole”. In the book he describes howa weekend drug habit led to a humiliating on air panic attack followed by a lessthan typical journey of self-discovery. Now an advocate of daily meditationpractice, he asserts that “meditation makes you 10% happier. That's an absurdlyunscientific estimate, of course. But still, not a bad return on investment”Why am I recommending it? I have to admit straight away that I don’t meditate daily, my “mindfulness practice” can be described as random at best. That said, whether mindfulness interestsyou or not I’d still recommend it as a great read. I found Dan’s story really intriguing and he is very witty and engaging. His tale of a 2-week mindfulness retreat which he did NOT enjoy (not to begin with anyway) is brilliantly funny. Another book I have read a few times and a great one for audible.Memorable Quote: "Your demons may have been ejected from the building, but they’re out in the parking lot, doing push-ups.”