Being a bookworm is good for your health

Recently I saw this article that stated something that I’ve been sure of for years – being a bookworm is good for your health.

Neurologists suggest that reading is one of the brain stimulating activities that can decelerate the deterioration in cognitive function that occurs as we age. Reading is good mental exercise and like any exercise, to gain the most health benefits the exercise has to become a habit. After reading the statistics in the article I am sure that my reading addiction is not a habit that I am willing to kick any time soon.

I also found this post on the web, which gave some additional interesting benefits of reading. These include stress reduction and improved self esteem.

I can definitely relate to the stress relieving power of books. They are my escapism, where I do not have to deal with the pressures of work, being a mum, my illness etc.

How do you think books and reading benefit your health?

Review: Golden Boy

book cover image

Golden Boy is one of my favourite “reads” (I listened to the audiobook) so far this year.

Max is popular, intelligent, talented and good looking. You would think that his life should be perfect, but Max has a secret. A secret that leads to events that turn his life upside down and threatens to tear his life and his family apart.

The story is told in separate narratives by different characters. These multiple perspectives really add to the pain and emotion that the author is trying to portray. I found the audiobook gripping and I couldn’t stop listening whilst hoping for a happy ending. As I listened I found myself empathising with Max, willing the other characters to act with his best interests and wishes in mind. I felt not only Max’s pain but the pain and emotions of his family. As a mother I have no idea what I would do if my child was in a similar position.

The author has taken a difficult, rarely talked about subject and delivered a strong, thought provoking novel that will hopefully give readers a new perspective on the issues faced by people in Max’s situation.

Golden Boy –

Review: The Brightness of Stars

          ***Sponsored review.  I received a free ebook copy of this book in return for writing a review.

The Brightness of Stars Book cover image

Through Goodreads I received a request to read & review this book, which of course I gladly accepted.

As I read the Acknowledgements at the beginning of the book, I started to get a sense of how emotional this book was going to be.

The Brightness of Stars is a first hand account of what it is like to have been a child/young person in the British ‘Care’ system.  It is brilliantly written and comes across as both inspiring and thought-provoking.

Together with the author’s own story, there are stories from other ‘care leavers’.  Although their situations and stories differ, there are several reoccurring themes, including abuse & neglect, but most importantly, what I would call, resilience.  These individuals have chosen to make the most of their lives and not let their experiences drag them down.  They have “managed to create a positive life from a negative environment”.  This may have taken time, intervention, assistance & love (including self-love), but it shows that the spiral can be broken.

Within the book Lisa states:

“This ‘new’ climate of knowledge around abuse and vulnerable children means that there is a very real window of opportunity for change.”

I completely agree and I hope that the British Government & its agencies realise this before that window closes and we miss the opportunity to make a difference.

In my opinion, this book should be mandatory reading for social workers, education & medical professionals and anyone else who is involved with the British Care system.

My Favourite Book of All Time

In preparation for taking my GCSEs *cough*cough* years ago, we were told that we needed to buy the set texts to study in English.  At the time it proved harder to get hold of this book than you would think.  In fact now a days I have even seen this book for sale in the local supermarket. This book that I thought that I would hate and would never read again after my exams, became my favourite book ever.  One that I have read & re-read numerous times.  So what is the book that I am talking about?  It is the famous…

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee        To Kill A Mockingbird book cover image

It tells the tale of a small southern US town, which includes some very serious & unpleasant events.  The story is told through the eyes of a little girl called Scout, who is guided by her wise father, Atticus, her brother Jem & their cook Calpurnia.  The book tackles several important issues including racism, equality, morals and ethics.

To Kill A Mockingbird quote

The book has become extremely popular and in the UK this is probably due to it being a set text for GCSEs.  I have seen the film version starring Gregory Peck & although it was a great adaptation, I was upset that the film makers had completely changed the ending.  In my opinion there was no need to do this.

What is your all time favourite book?