Take the reading remedy...
These are the books I recommend from the piles that come across my desk every week... Anxiety for Beginners: A Personal Investigation by Eleanor Morgan (Bluebird/£16.99)
This full-throttle, no-emotionor- symptom-spared account immerses the reader in a successful journalist’s confrontation with gut-gripping panic attacks, depression and the consequent fear and shame. Talking to other sufferers and leading experts, Eleanor explores the roots of her own anxiety disorder and investigates the factors that result in what is now a major global health problem. She explains how she eventually arrived at acceptance and, comfortingly, learned to live well.
A Smell of Burning by Colin Grant (Jonathan Cape/£16.99)
Colin remembers with terrifying clarity the morning in 1983 when his brother Christopher had his first epileptic seizure. In this moving memoir, he combines Christopher’s story with a history of the condition, those affected and various treatments, from blood-letting (the Romans’ panacea) to modern drugs. Around one in 100 people have epilepsy, but diagnosis is difficult, according to the Epilepsy Society, and the cause unclear. Warning symptoms may include a smell of burning, hence the title.
Perfectly Clear: The Perfect Guide to Clear Skin by Dr. Nick Lowe and Dr. Philippa Lowe (Matador Books/£14.99)
Written by two highly respected dermatologists (a father-and-daughter team), this clearly presented handbook offers a complete guide for day-to-day management of acne, covering both professional and self-help solutions for this common and distressing condition. Recommended for all ages.
Gluten Attack by Professor David Sanders (Vermilion/£12.99)
This evidence-based guide by a professor of gastroenterology, who also runs the UK ’s leading clinic for gluten-related conditions, is a must-read for anyone who thinks they have a problem. Specialist allergy website Foods Matter (www.foodsmatter.com) recommends ‘this reader-friendly book, which counters the common view that gluten sensitivity is a mythical condition propounded by faddy eaters’.
Daisy’s Gift: The Remarkable Cancer-Detecting Dog Who Saved My Life by Dr. Claire Guest (Virgin Books/£12.99)
After her dog Daisy alerted Claire Guest to her own breast cancer, which was then successfully treated, Claire founded the charity Medical Detection Dogs. Now the scientist and animal-behaviour expert has won the First Women Award for Science and Technology. This is the story of how she discovered that our four-legged friends can detect the odour of human disease far more accurately than machines. They can also warn diabetic owners of dangerous falls in blood sugar.
This updated edition of the bestseller by mother, nanny and maternity nurse Rachel had our pregnant reviewer and her husband hooked with its practical and professional advice, ‘particularly how to establish a flexible feeding pattern and the lists covering topics such as what to take to hospital and what supplies you need while feeding. It’s very well signposted, so you can easily access the advice when needed.’
A Funny Old World in Pictures by Pictures to Share (Pictures to Share Community Interest Company/£20)
As dementia takes hold, it is often hard to find something to talk about with the sufferer. Pictures to Share books was started by Helen Bate, a specialist in visual communication and dementia, and has proved a wonderful support for carers and patients. There is a wide range of titles – on topics such as gardening, pets, the countryside and childhood – which have large, clear pictures with short texts in big print. Some are snatches of lyrics, such as ‘Good Morning’ from Singin’ in the Rain.
Shally Tucker’s daughter Dani compiled this gorgeous recipe book from her mother’s handwritten recipes after her death. Shally suffered from disabling and painful autoimmune diseases, including psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. The recipes are ‘quick, easy and exceedingly tasty – mostly based on kitchen staples,’ according to our reviewer. Proceeds go to Dermatrust, a national skincare charity, to fund research into skin conditions.