In this Audible Original audiobook, Emma J. Bell tackles the ultimate question: why go through life merely surviving, when you could be thriving?
Drawing on the insights of 50 inspiring people who have suffered a wide range of trauma but are thriving nonetheless, Emma J. Bell has extracted nine enlightening secrets from their experiences. You’ll listen as they talk about how they found renewed purpose in life; how they learned to forgive rather than hold on to resentment; and how they developed practices to create calm and live authentically. Whether you want to apply their life changing lessons to your relationships, your work or the way you deal with setbacks or challenging past experiences, each story offers something different and inspiring for you to draw on.
Traditionally I've avoided books that I thought looked a bit 'self-helpy' - I think my inner repressed brit balks at the thought of asking anyone (even a book!) for help, and it's this same inner sabuteur that prevented me from dealing with my mental health until my early 30's.
Had I known that a book like '9 Secrets to Thriving' existed though, I may have thought very differently...
Yes - this is a book that shows the readers they can thrive, grow, and persevere, and the advice is clever, wise, and not remotely patronising - there's a practicality and an understanding that not everybody is going to be willing, or able, to make some of the change suggested here.
What makes this book so brilliantly well though, are the real life stories that are threaded throughout - shocking, thought provoking true tales that allow the reade to empathise, but also gave me a wonderful sense of perspective.
As a former lawyer and judge, author and narrator Bell has clearly seen more than her fair share of the world, and of the many issues that people in it face, and overcome. As such, her prose and narration is wise - but also friendly and kind - there is no judgement here, but understanding and advice.
I finished this audio book feeling both emotional and empowered, and I'll be returning to it in the future!
Many thanks to MidasPR for the copy.
FIVE friends go to a cabin.
FOUR of them are hiding secrets.
THREE years of history bind them.
TWO are doomed from the start.
ONE person wants to end this.
NO ONE IS SAFE.
For five friends, this was supposed to be one last getaway before going their separate ways--a chance to say goodbye to each other, and to the game they've been playing for the past three years. But they're all dealing with their own demons, and they're all hiding secrets.
Finn doesn't trust anyone since he was attacked a few months ago. Popular girl Liva saw it happen and did nothing to stop it. Maddy was in an accident that destroyed her sports career. Carter is drowning under the weight of his family's expectations. Ever wants to keep the game going for as long as they can, at all costs.
When the lines between game and reality start to blend with deadly consequences, it's a race against time before it's game over--forever.
Are you ready to play?
Three things I love - Role Playing Games, Good Books, and Minority Representation.
Three things I got in huge amounts from 'Even if we Break'!
A group of five old friends head to a house in the woods - five friends who, over the years, have grown apart and increasingly resentful of each other. This is a last hurrah - a chance to return to their younger days and to spend what is likely a last weekend together before they move on to very seperate lives.
Until they start dying...
To say that this is a tense read would be a collosal understatement - I was on the edge of my seat throughout, and finished the book in an evening. There is a truthfulness to the book that feels quite unsettling - the main monsters here are human emotions, rather than the supernatural.
Special credit should be given to how diverse the cast of characters are - the characters are naturally diverse and don't feel forced - and it's a refreshing change from the bunch of white, cisgendered, able bodied straight folks you normally get as the cast in YA Thrillers. What's especially important is that the author utilises characters who just happen to identify as non-binary, or are disabled etc.- they are by far not defined by that characteristic, and are written as real, complex people.
Fascinating, thrilling, and thought-provoking - 'Even if We Break' is my thriller of the fall!
Many thanks to MidasPR for the copy
Alan Noland discovers his father's memoirs and learns the truth about the violent man he despised. In this unsparing family history, Alan distils his father's life in the Dutch East Indies into one furious utterance. He reads about his work as an interpreter during the war with Japan, his life as an assassin, and his ruthless murders of fellow Indonesians. He fled to the Netherlands to escape being executed as a traitor, and there he met Alan's mother. As he reads his father's story, Alan begins to understand how war transformed his Father into the monster he knew.
Author Alfred Birney was born in 1951, and his works span both fiction and non-fiction, often featuring his family's Dutch-Indies history in a central role. For The Interpreter from Java, he has been awared the Libris Literature Prize, the Netherlands' premier literary award, and the Henriette Roland Holst Prize. He lives in the Netherlands.
A read that is as personal as it is brutal, The Interpreter from Java is an open and no-holds barred account of the relationship between father and son, and of the lasting damage that the cruelty of war can inflict on not just a man, but on entire generations of his family.
For a book this personal, it's remarkable that Birney chooses to be as balanced as possible, allowing the reader full insight into what made the father the man he became. These sections, set in the WWII during the conflict between the Dutch Indies and the Japanese Army, are hugely educational (I'm shamefully under-educated about this section of WWII), and massively raw and vivid - drawing the reader not just into the words, but into the brutal, bloody and cruel conflict that Alan's father found himself in. Reading the toll these hideous situations take on a man - pushing him to and beyond the verge of sanity and into a man who commits as much cruelty as those he encounters, is a hard read - but ultimately a fulfilling one, and Birney is clearly keen to paint a full picture of the father - warts and all.
The translation by David Doherty is excellent, although I found the style took a little getting used to - it moves around in terms of formats and voices initially, which, whilst initially a little startling, actually worked well overall - this is an immersive read that delivers the reader to uncomfortable truths with an admirable honesty. Highly recommended - many thanks to Amber at MidasPR for the copy.