Sunday, 2 April 2017

Latest Listens!

I listen to a lot of audiobooks as I struggle to read so here are my three favourites I've listened too recently.

The Anxiety Solution 
Author/Narrator: C.Brotheridge

I have always suffered with anxiety, all through my life I would get very stressed and regularly get awful stomach migraines, even on the way to places I liked to go and people I liked to see. However, until a couple of years into my illness with my anxiety levels becoming worse I didn't realise I had always had it. I didn't even realise I was having panic attacks until I had a few. Over the years I have learnt techniques to try to combat and control my anxiety. I have also started many books on the subject but none of them clicked because I couldn't relate to authors as they seemed to detached from my experiences as a female 'millennial'. That was until I came across Chloe Brotheridge's book and it was available to download on audible. I knew within seconds this was a book I could connect with. The author reads it herself and explains her background on her own anxiety, life and how she came to help other people. The book is not full of theory and doesn't tell you this will solve all your problems but contains lots of exercises you can do as you go along. A lot of self-help type books don't translate well into audio but this worked really well. She is reassuring but not preachy. I particularly liked the 'friend filter' technique as it's something I do occasionally already, but somehow putting a name to this tactic has made it stick in my mind a bit better. I have a particular friend I always think of to do this as I know her so well and we are so similar. Her advice to me is always good. Although I suppose there is nothing stopping you having different 'friend filters' for different types of situations. I also found the chapter on decision making very interesting as it rang true. The biological explanations behind why too many options may cause anxiety was something I wasn't aware of. I do find too many choices cause me a lot more anxiety and if I am able to decide I then often regret the decision if it's not perfect and that adds to my anxiety. As the book explains, if I am only confronted with an 'either or' scenario my anxiety around it is much less. To be frank I loved the majority of the book and could include most of it in the review! I have already started using some of her tips and tricks to tackle areas in my life where I struggle to control my anxiety levels. It is only about five hours long and Chloe has a calm and engaging voice. I can recommend it to anyone who suffers with anxiety. 

Author/Narrator: S.Pascoe

I came across this book whilst listening to 'The Guilty Feminist' and was immediately intrigued. It is essentially a mix of the science and evolution of the female body and Sara Pascoe's experiences of growing up and developing. It's semi-autobiographical nature mixed with detailed and well researched science. Even though there are some technical terms and advanced theories, Sarah makes them accessible to people who have a limited knowledge of science, biology and human evolution. She combines information and experience with her fantastic sense of humour making the audiobook compelling to listen too. I found it fascinating and spent the next few weeks quoting the biological evolution of the female body to pretty much anyone who would listen. I must admit there were bits that were distressing and uncomfortable to listen too, for example, the parts about the abuse of the female body by both historical and modern day societies/cultures and so-called scientists. However, it didn't stop me listening and I think it added to the sheer brilliance of this book. 

The Summer Seaside Kitchen 
Author: J.Colgan
Narrator: Sarah Barron 

Ever since I listened to Jenny Colgan's 'Meet Me At The Cupcake Cafe' I have devoured every book of hers that has been available in audiobook format. I have, in fact, previously reviewed one of her books here. This book is another story uprooting a woman from her current life to start a fresh. However, Colgan always puts a new twist on her plots. I think her characters are so well crafted and intriguing that they really come to life as I listened and I want to know all of their past, presents and futures. Set on the imaginary Isle of Mure, just off the coast of Scotland, the challenges of island life are mixed with modern age issues, grief and a couple of romances. The thing I always get from these books is, that although they are firmly in the romance and easy to read genre, the female character always turns out strong and doesn't need to be rescued by her love interest and in this story, Flora very much becomes the 'rescuer' of the book. This is not something the character sets out to do, but accidentally becomes this role. Can she help everyone that needs her including her brothers, the island, the rich business man, her love interest and most, importantly, herself? A lovely listen, perfect for an evening bedtime book or afternoon with cup of tea in the sunshine. I highly recommend The Summer Seaside kitchen for a brilliant listen!

What am I listening too next/at the moment?
- My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K.Rowling (and read gloriously by Stephen Fry)

How Do I Listen?
- I have a membership with Audible that for £7.99 gives me one credit a month to buy any audiobook they have. 
- My local library have audiobooks you can download onto app for 21 days at a time*. They have a fair few books but not always the new releases. It is a completely free service, all you need to do is go to your local library to sign up and they will explain how to use the service. If you are disabled, like me, you can get your 'carer' to sign up which allows them to take out many 'physical' books for long periods of time and all you need is their library membership info to log in to the apps and you can start listening there and then! 
*Sometimes you have a wait for audiobooks to become available, particularly any of the Harry Potter books!

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