Joanna Cannon Recommends Her Top 5 Reads of 2019
With her unflinching medical memoir Breaking and Mending, Joanna Cannon delivered a trenchant critique of the failings of the NHS as well as a heartfelt tribute to the dedication and kindness of its frontline staff. Here, Joanna presents her favourite reads of 2019.
A beautifully illustrated journey through the year, focussing on how nature and the outdoors can help our mental well being. Written with wisdom and kindness, and centred on Emma Mitchell’s own experiences, this is for anyone who loves learning more about the world around us, and for those who seek a way to help an unquiet mind. This book is a joy to own, and I cannot think of anyone whose life would not be a better place for reading it.
Perfect for dark winter nights by the fire, The Most Difficult Thing explores how easily a life can unravel and questions how much any of us might be prepared to sacrifice for the greater good. Charlotte Philby has the perfect heritage to write a spy thriller and this dark, and twisty novel opens the door into a new generation of elegantly structured espionage.
Occasionally, writing can shift an entire perspective on a topic and The Heartland has that very ability. Exploring the subject of ‘mental illness’ through a series of personal stories, Nathan Filer combines his experience as a mental health nurse and his skill as a storyteller to challenge the very definition and architecture of mental health. An absolute must read for anyone interested in illness, wellness, and the power of words.
Christmas is traditionally a time for families, and this beautifully written novel couldn’t be more appropriate for the festive season. Navigating family dynamics, unspoken secrets, and three generations of strong women, Hannah Beckerman delivers a story which will melt even the coldest Christmas heart and a main character who will remain with you for a very long time.
When I feel stressed, I sit by my bird table because it soothes my soul. Joe Harkness took a similar stance following a breakdown in 2013 and after discovering bird watching had such a positive effect on his mental health, he decided to write about his experience to help others. With a foreword by Chris Packham, this kind and clever yellow book is filled with practical advice, as well as Joe’s own story. A perfect example of how the smallest things can make the biggest difference.
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