We found these six books, perfect for presents this Christmas
Don’t Bother – A Misguided Mindlessness Journal by Millie O’Neill is great fun … it’s for ‘people who like themselves the way they are’, and is filled with advice (how to look busy), quotes (‘I wish I could, but I don’t want to’ – Phoebe Buffay from Friends), spaces for notes and lists (List the 10 worst pieces of advice you’ve ever been given). It features an ingratitude journal (for when you just want everyone to f**k off), a procrastination planner (to help distracted people avoid anything essential), a bad habit bullet journal (for all the things you’ll never change) and so much more. It you’ve a friend who’s anti self-help books, and has a sense of humour … this is the gift.
Apparently humans were born to dance, and if we do it for just 10 minutes a day, it will provide a thorough workout for the body and brain, raising the heartbeat to cause a release of feel-good endorphins, connect us to our emotions and reduce our stress levels. If you’ve a friend who’s in a bit of slump, and who thinks they can’t dance, buy them a copy of The Dance Cure by Dr Peter Lovatt, turn up the music and let them dance themselves happy.
My Mother, My Madness is Colleen Higgs’ diary … a diary of her mum’s last 10 years – and is the perfect gift for someone who’s own mum is getting on a bit – and probably driving them a little mad, as some elderly mums tend to do. They’ll laugh out loud, sniff back a tear, nod in agreement and recognition … so a perfect three, then.
And for those who are not keen on getting old, a copy of How Not To Get Old by Jane Gordon is subtitled one woman’s quest of take control of the aging process. Journalist Jane was 60-something when a car accident left her hospitalised, immobile and unable to care for herself. Stripped of her dignity, independence, she suddenly experienced what it could one day be like to be old and infirm. Part self-help, part manifesto, the book tells of her road-tests of different ways to grow old with dignity, from ballroom dancing to brain training to taking up a musical instrument. Enjoyable, inspiring … a superb gift for a middle-aged friend.
More than half the people alive today will live to 100 or beyond (particularly if they read any of the don’t-stress, dance-your-way-to-happiness, take-up-a-new-hobby books we’ve featured in this gift list!). But can we afford to? Can we finance a 30 year retirement with a 40 year career? Michael Hook thinks not, and in 2020 – The Year That Killed Retirement he, and a number of guest contributors, talk about the need for us to reinvent ourselves in our platinum years. So for someone heading for 65 … this gift would be perfect.
Finally, for the friend who’s bored, stuck in a rut, cynical … Unf*ck Yourself. The book offers a ‘slap from the universe to wake you up to your true potential and get spectacularly into your life’. Author Gary John Bishop is life coach and he shows you how to slience your inner critic, stop wasting your time waiting for that magical solution (it’s not coming), and work your way to a more fulfilling life. ‘Unleash your greatness’, he says … couldn’t ask for a better Christmas present than that.