How to be successful by being yourself by David Taylor – book review

How To Be Successful By Being Yourself: The Surprising Truth About Turning Fear and Doubt into Confidence and Success
Image and Synopsis from Goodreads


Welcome to a truly unique book, an interactive experience that will change your life in whatever way you want, just by reading. No hype, jargon or hard work – simply words that will open up new possibilities around you and re-programme your mental software to remove your fears, worries and limiting beliefs. Yes, do yoga, tai chi and meditation – this book will have a bigger impact, faster and cheaper.

Overall Plot

A book about changing your life and rediscovering what you have perhaps known all along to get you where you want to be in life using very simple techniques.

Review and Conclusion

A nicely written guide to success. Many statements the author made are what a lot of us already know but don’t use to our advantage. Other intriguing topics covered in the book included the choice to be successful or not and how to stop worrying about what other people think of you. A straightforward self-help book. Would recommend.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

*Buy How To Be Successful By Being Yourself here !

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The Positive Habit by Fiona Brennan – book review

The Positive Habit: 6 Steps for Transforming Negative Thoughts to Positive Emotions
Image from Goodreads

Synopsis (from Google Books)

Love, calmness, confidence, gratitude, hope and happiness: the six emotions that tip the balance of our mindset in favor of a positive outlook rather than a negative one. Wouldn’t it be great to feel more of these positive emotions? Now you can with Fiona Brennan’s ultimate manual for the mind.

With a chapter on each emotion, and practical steps on how to cultivate them, the plan utilizes mindfulness, habit loops, positive psychology and neuroscience to help soothe anxiety and stress. It will show you how to train your brain to embrace negative thoughts with courage and love before transforming them into positive ones.

Accompanied by audio-hypnotherapy meditations that take just a few minutes a day, split between morning and evening, it will transform your mental health as you doze off peacefully to the sleep-time audio and start the day happy with the seven-minute morning ritual. Take control of your emotional health and build your ladder to happiness so that you flourish as you develop The Positive Habit.

Overall Plot

Written by clinical hypnotherapist, Fiona Brennan, this self-help book includes all the steps in the form of a ladder to change your mind to a have a positive mindset. Included are free audio-hypnotherapy meditations which you can download on her website.


While I was sceptical as I don’t usually meditate, I found both the morning and nighttime audios really good as they brought both a positive start to each day and ensured that you slept anxiety-free. This book has definitely been a major contribution in my journey of living life remaining positive, present and happy.


A practical, easy to follow self-help book from Irish author Fiona Brennan. Would recommend.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Quotes from The Positive Habit

“Catastrophising is crippling, it burns a hole deep in your sense of self and it causes continuous self-doubht”

“Without love our hearts harden to the point that we become like the living dead”

“Feeling calm is the ultimate expression of empowerment”

“Never be afraid to hope. Let love guide you not fear”

*Buy The Positive Habit here !

*The above link is an affiliate link. You can learn more about affiliate links here.

Quiet Power by Susan Cain – book review

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Susan Cain grew up thinking her quietness was a curse. She was taunted by her classmates for reading a book instead of joining in games, and constantly asked why she was so shy. Then she realized that her thoughtful, more introverted personality was really something special: it was her hidden superpower.

As a quiet person your search for a place in the world can be daunting; making your voice heard can feel impossible. But a quiet approach can be a hugely powerful force – and has been behind successes from the Apple computer to The Cat in the Hat.

Focusing on strengths and challenges of being introverted, Quiet Power is full of examples from family life, school and friendship, and personal stories from people just like you.

Overall Plot

This self-help book is for introverts like myself who feel like they never quite fit into the world but Cain shows that while being quiet can have its cons it also has many pros. She highlights this through a serious of personal stories from young introverts of all ages.


I was expecting a lot more from this book. I had read the synopsis for Cain’s previous book,*Quiet: The power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking * and it seemed quite good but I couldn’t get it in my local library so I ordered Quiet Power instead.

I am definitely an introvert which I’m sure much of the population are. We introverts like to keep to ourselves, prefer reading to socializing or going to parties, we tend to be quite shy rather than loud. However, this book didn’t really delve into the world of an introvert. A lot of the stories included seemed kind of repetitive (this girl was quiet, then made friends and then she learned how being quiet isn’t such a bad thing).

In reality, this rarely happens. Introverts sometimes may come across as rude but we don’t mean it, it’s just hard to keep up a conversation or engage in small talk. As a result, it can be hard for introverts to make genuine lasting friendships.


Cain listed some famous introverts in Quiet Power such as Albert Einstein, Mahatma Gandhi and Emma Watson who have all achieved incredible things. Cain also included some of her own personal stories about growing up as an introvert and also included valuable content such as how to make the most out of social media.

However, the rest of the book was a bit too bland for my liking.

Rating: ⭐⭐

The thrift book by India Knight – book review


Feeling poor because of the credit crunch? Feeling guilty because of global warming? Feeling like you’d quite like to tighten your belt, but aren’t quite ready to embrace DIY macramé handbags?

No need to panic. Put down the economy mince and buy this instead. It’s a blueprint for living beautifully while saving money and easing your conscience.

India Knight(no slouch when it comes to extravagance) shows you how even a dedicated consumer and child of the more – is – more 1980s can mend her ways, embrace the New Thrift and find her life – and bank balance – dramatically improved in the process.

India Knight will show you that saving money and tightening your belt isn’t a penance – it can be fun and glamorous (and a great deal more satisfying that buying the latest It – bag).

Overall Plot

India Knight gives us her tips and tricks on living your best life on a budget. Knight covers everything from dinners, clothing, holidays, crafting and managing money.


This book was published in 2008 and I can tell you from reading this alone that a lot has changed in terms of clothing and crafts. Trends have been constantly changing in the 11 years since this book was written so some of the tips are quite old-fashioned and dated. However, there is some quite useful information within this book which may come in handy.

There’s a little section called seasonal food where Knight shows all the fruits and when they are in season which I thought was quite useful. Knight also recommends shopping at farmers markets, eating locally produced honey and to be smart with sales in order to live comfortably on a budget.

India Knight encourages us to take up hobbies such as knitting, crafts and quilting to bring out our creative side which also saves money.

 Knight also touches on topics within the fashion industry such as which high street brands oppose child labour.


A nice book detailing how to save money but still manage to look good and have fun nonetheless.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

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Mentalhealth-athon review

Hello June! May really did fly. May was a very eventful month filled with everything from mental health awareness, to Eurovision and various readathons. I took part in the mentalhealth-athon for the month, a readathon dedicated to reading about characters with different mental health issues.

While I didn’t get to read all of the books as they were unfortunately unavailable in the library, I did manage to learn about a few mental health disorders. A very interesting readathon or as Josh from Clueless would say, It was a good learning experience for me –

paul rudd GIF

Those eyes though 😍 Anyway, back to the post, here are all the books I read during mentalhealth-athon and their ratings ….

Under rose-tainted skies by Louise Gornall

Prompt: Own Voices

Disorder: Agoraphobia

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Prompt: Anxiety rep

Disorder: Anxiety

Rating: ⭐

Turtles all the way down by John Green

Prompt: OCD rep

Disorder: OCD

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Marbles by Ellen Forney

Prompt: Hosts Pick

Disorder: Manic Depression/bipolar disorder

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Liar & Spy – Rebecca Stead

Prompt: Phobias rep

Disorder: Agoraphobia

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

So that’s all the books I managed to read during mentalhealth-athon. I’m currently half way through The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones and I’ll put up a review when I’m finished reading it. I hope you guys liked this post and thanks for reading x

Under rose-tainted skies by Louise Gornall – book review

Disclosure: This post contains some affiliate links which means if you purchase using the link, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.


I’m Norah and my life happens within the walls of my house, where I live with my mom, and this evil overlord called Agoraphobia.

Everything’s under control. It’s not rosy – I’m not going to win any prizes for Most Exciting Life or anything, but at least I’m safe from the outside world, right?Wrong. This new boy, Luke, just moved in next door, and suddenly staying safe isn’t enough. If I don’t take risks, how will I ever get out – or let anyone in?

Overall Plot

Nora suffers from Agoraphobia. She lives with her mom who constantly worries about her and gets regular therapy sessions from Doctor Reeves to help her cope. Then one day while hunting away a blackbird she sees the new neighbour, Luke. Luke gradually starts putting notes to Norah in the letterbox and Norah fears what Luke will think and will face some of the biggest challenges she could have ever imagined…


Under rose-tainted skies has all the feels. It made me laugh and cry. I couldn’t help smiling when reading about Norah and Luke, its just sooo cute. Norah’s mom is super supportive and the doctor helps her out a lot too. Louise Gornall does a great job of describing Agoraphobia especially for those who don’t have it as we get an insight into what it’s like to go through. Norah has many fears but despite her agoraphobia she is very brave.


A beautifully written book describing a young girl’s life with agoraphobia while also experiencing bravery and love. Would highly recommend.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

My Favourite Quotes from Under rose-tainted skies

The point is {the blackbird} can fly away whenever it wants.

“She knows I would be completely isolated without the internet. The clunky plastic box with flashing blue lights is my friend. Sad, but true. It helps me keep a toe in real life.”

“When people say “weird”, what they really mean is “different”. And difference has never been a bad thing.”

“Beauty comes from how you treat people and how you behave. But if a little lipstick makes you smile, then you should wear it and forget what anyone else thinks.”

Want to read this book? You can purchase it now on Ebay!

Paperback: €6.56

Hardback: €16.22

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Turtles all the way down by John Green – book review


Sixteen–year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Picket, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis.

Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.

Overall Plot

In the beginning of Turtles all the way down, Aza is struggling with her intrusive thoughts and OCD. When an opportunity arises for the girls to possibly become rich, Aza and her best friend Daisy decide to investigate the disappearance of a billionaire.

Aza has regular therapy sessions and tries to come to terms with her thoughts and to stop constantly cleaning the Band-Aid on her finger with the help of Dr. Karen Singh. Her friend Daisy is a massive Star Wars fan and writes on a fan site. She’s actually pretty famous. Aza also meets an old friend while investigating Pickett’s disappearance.


I absolutely loved this book! I’ve already read quite a few of John Green’s books and he has gradually become one of my favourite authors. I could relate to Aza quite a lot especially when she was talking about the thoughts in her head. “like invasive weeds, these thoughts seem to arrive at my biosphere from some faraway land, and then they spread out of control.”

Aza’s friend Daisy is a character I would love to have met in real life. She’s obsessed with Star Wars but even though she sometimes finds Aza annoying, she loves her a lot and supports her.

I like how Green talked more about the girl’s friendship and about Aza learning to deal with her OCD rather than focusing entirely on romance. I also liked Davis’s blog entries as it was an insight into Davis’s own thoughts and was a nice addition to the novel.


A really well written, enjoyable novel featuring a character whom many can relate to with OCD. Would recommend.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

This is the first book as part of the Mentalhealth-athon which covers the OCD rep.

The Greatcoat by Helen Dunmore – book review


It is the winter of 1952, and Isabel Carey is struggling to adjust to the realities of married life in Yorkshire. Isolated and lonely, she is also intensely cold. And her husband – a doctor – is rarely home.

And then one night she discovers an old RAF greatcoat in the back of the cupboard. She puts it on her bed for warmth – and is startled by a knock at her window.

Outside is a young man. A pilot. And he wants to come in…

Overall plot

Isabel is a newlywed married to a doctor who is rarely home. Since moving to Yorkshire, Isabel spends much of her time alone. The flat is very cold and her landlord upstairs keeps walking around in the middle of the night. She finds a greatcoat in the wardrobe and throws it on the bed to keep her warm. While her husband is on a night shift, Isabel is startled by a knock at her window and discovers a young pilot outside the window, mouthing her name.


Ugh this book had so much potential! I was so looking forward to reading this after reading the synopsis. It sounded like a classic ghost story to keep you on your toes. Instead, it was a great disappointment.

First of all, The Greatcoat reminds me of The Woman in Black: Angel of Death. The lonely woman, the creepy house, a ghost etc. There were various similarities between the two and I’m not surprised because the sequel to The Woman in Black was also published by Hammer.

The only way I can describe this book is this: You know when you see a video on Youtube and you click on it and then you realise it was clickbait? That’s what this book was like.

However, I was intrigued and was enjoying the storyline up until chapter 6. It was fast-paced and spooky but the book sadly turned from a ghost story into a romance novel which may I remind you is in no way mentioned in the synopsis.


I really thought this one had a lot of potential if only the plot stayed on track after chapter 6. Up until then it was quite a good novel.

Rating: ⭐⭐

The Greatcoat is the second book from my Charity Shop book haul

Educated by Tara Westover – book review


Tara Westover and her family grew up preparing for the End of Days but, according to the government, she didn’t exist. She hadn’t been registered for a birth certificate. She had no school records because she’d never set foot in a classroom, and no medical records because her father didn’t believe in hospitals.

As she grew older, her father became more radical and her brother more violent. At sixteen, Tara knew she had to leave home. In doing so she discovered both the transformative power of education, and the price she had to pay for it.

Overall Plot

Educated is broken up into three parts. Part 1 consists of Tara’s mother becoming a midwife. We are introduced to Tara’s family, her mother Faye( a herbalist), her father Gene( a devout Mormon), and her six siblings , Tony, Shawn, Tyler, Luke, Audrey and Richard.

The Westover’s didn’t use medication. When a member of the family were sick, only a mix of herbs was used to treat the illness. The women had to dress modest and most of the time everything was “God’s will” according to her father. 4/7 children ( Luke, Audrey, Richard and Tara) never attended school and had no birth certificate.

In Part two, Tara passes her exams and despite her father’s disapproval, she attends college where she finds it very difficult to fit in as a Mormon.

Part three is the final part of the book. Tara suffers from night terrors, an intervention is organised for her brother Shawn and Tara attends Trinity College.


Educated is a wonderful memoir exploring the life of a young girl growing up in a Mormon household. This memoir covers serious topics such as physical abuse and violence.

I liked reading about the Mormon lifestyle because while I’d heard of the name, I never really knew about their religion or beliefs. It is evident from this memoir that Tara had a difficult childhood surrounded by religion, physical abuse and struggling to fit in to society due to her faith and background.


The admirable part of this memoir was that despite the author having never stepped foot in a classroom or having a birth certificate early on, the author still received an education. However, some chapters were a tad bit repetitive. The chapter describing her college roommates could have been particularly shortened. Overall, an admirable memoir.

Rating : ⭐⭐⭐

This is the first book in my charity shop book haul

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald – book review


Sara has never left Sweden but at the age of 28 she decides it’s time. She cashes in her savings, packs a suitcase full of books and sets off for Broken Wheel, Iowa, a town where she knows nobody.

Sara quickly realises that Broken Wheel is in desperate need of some adventure, a dose of self-help and perhaps some romance, too. In short, this is a town in need of a bookshop.

With a little help from the locals, Sara sets up Broken Wheel’s first bookstore. The shop might be a little quirky, but then again, so is Sara. And as Broken Wheel’s story begins to take shape, there are some surprises in store for Sara too…

Overall plot

Sara Lindquist, a young Swedish woman, arrives in Broken Wheel to meet an older woman (Amy Harris) she has been exchanging books and letters with. Unfortunately, the woman she has come to meet has passed away and Sara finds herself living in the woman’s house, visited by people she has never met and gradually learns about Amy’s life.

Sara begins to get to know the people of Broken Wheel and becomes friends with Tom, John, George, Grace, Jen, Caroline, Josh, Andy and Carl – all(apart from Josh and Carl) of whom knew Amy Harris.

All of the characters may be living in or nearby Broken Wheel but each of them live completely different lives.

Characters such as recovering alcoholics, characters of different races, Christians, housewives, gay and bisexual characters and relatives of Amy Harris are all introduced to the reader.


What an amazing book! This book had all the feels. It made me laugh at times and cry towards the end of the novel. This book is a timeless read. The author focused on real-life issues which many can relate to. We got to learn more about each of the characters as the novel progressed. The characters of Broken Wheel were incredibly portrayed by the author. The writing makes you feel as if you are a resident of Broken Wheel yourself.

The relationships and romance in the book seemed real, not cliché like. Not only romantic love was mentioned but the love between family, friends, and residents of the small town and of course, couples.

The relationships endured troubles, doubts and heartaches, just like in reality, but in the end the relationships survived because of love, romantic or otherwise.


The readers of broken wheel recommend was a really enjoyable read. Every character had a story to tell and each were unique, just like all of the books in Sara’s bookstore.

A novel filled with love, friendship and how a small town come together and support one another while also following the journey of a young woman from Sweden, the readers of broken wheel recommend is a must read.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The readers of broken wheel recommend is one of the books from my charity shop mini book haul.