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A quest is never what you expect it to be.
Elizabeth Madeline Martin spends her days in a retirement home in Cape Town, watching the pigeons and squirrels on the branch of a tree outside her window. Bedridden, her memory fading, she can recall her early childhood spent in a small wood-and-iron house in Blackridge on the outskirts of Pietermaritzburg. Though she remembers the place in detail – dogs, a mango tree, a stream – she has no idea of where exactly it is. ‘My memory is full of blotches,’ she tells her daughter Julia, ‘like ink left about and knocked over.’
Julia resolves to find the Blackridge house: with her mother lonely and confused, would this, perhaps, bring some measure of closure? A journey begins that traverses family history, forgotten documents, old photographs, and the maps that stake out a country’s troubled past – maps whose boundaries nature remains determined to resist. Kind strangers, willing to assist in the search, lead to unexpected discoveries of ancestors and wars and lullabies. Folded into this quest are the tender conversations between a daughter and a mother who does not have long to live.
Taken as one, The Blackridge House is a meditation on belonging, of the stories we tell of home and family, of the precarious footprint of life.
South African born-and-raised Hollywood screenwriter Helena Kriel is researching the ancient text of the Kama Sutra for a movie she’s writing. At the same time, she is travelling to India to meet with sages and find answers to the universal challenges of sex and love. While searching for love in her doomed relationships, little does she know she will find her answers in caring for her dying brother, Evan, in South Africa.
Set in the mid-1990s, South Africa is just emerging from the darkness of apartheid and bursting with vibrant chaos. The story zooms in on an intense year in the narrator’s life. It centres around the lively and eccentric South African Kriel family: Maya, the combative but inspired mother; Lexi, the sister recently returned from living in a temple in India; Ross, the younger brother diving with sharks; and Helena, the narrator, herself on a journey to understand love and death. At the heart of the story is Evan, her terminally ill 30-year-old gay brother, who has been keeping his illness a shameful secret. Conscious, sensitive, terrified and trying to hang onto sanity as his world changes, Evan becomes paralysed then finally goes blind as death draws ever closer. But it is Evan who leads the family through the fire.
In living through her brother’s fight to stay alive, the narrator finds herself at the heart of a savage story, one she would not have chosen. How could she know when she set out to India to find ancient solutions to the modern problems of our age that her brother’s approaching death would be her greatest teacher? How could she imagine that dying brings everything to life?
The Year Of Facing Fire is an astoundingly written memoir by one of South Africa’s finest writers. It traverses universal themes including love, death and sex, and finds value in the ordinary and great beauty in the uncertain.
Die oorlewingstog van 'n dapper vrou.
“ ŉ Kale vlakte waar my regterbors eens was. Ek maak my oë toe en laat my brein toe om te proe aan hierdie monumentale ding. Kanker schmanker, besluit ek. Ek is nog net soveel vrou soos voor die operasie. My vroulikheid het toe al die tyd nie in my bors gesit nie. Dit sit in my kop, in my hart, in daardie onmeetbare, onaantasbare iets wat die gees genoem word.”
In hierdie aangrypende boek deel die bekende spanningsverhaalskrywer Madelein Rust die intiemste besonderhede van haar reis met borskanker. Dit is ŉ brutaal eerlike vertelling wat haar belewenis van die siekte met patos en humor uitbeeld. Lesers verkry ŉ eiesoortige blik op die fisieke ervarings van borskankerstryders sowel as die ewig veranderende binnewêreld van dié wat teen die siekte veg.
Kanker schmanker! rus borskankerstryders toe met inligting wat nie altyd geredelik beskikbaar is nie en help hul geliefdes om die reis met kanker beter te verstaan. Dit is ŉ boek van hoop en triomf wat die leser hardop laat huil en laat lag. Dis 'n verhaal vir elkeen van ons wat ŉ stryd van enige aard stry.
Samantha is stamped with a 'bipolar' label that becomes the trajectory for her tortured existence. For the next three decades she will wind through a maze of anguished suffering, accompanied by memory-effacing medical interventions in the form of electroconvulsive therapies, heaps of pills and repellent hallucinations. As her helpless family and loved ones watch, often in terror, Samantha yo-yos between acceptance and denial of her diagnosis. Time and again believing she is well, she plummets into the devastating chasm of her illness.
Life Interrupted is a deeply compelling memoir that brilliantly humanises the sufferer beyond the label. It is groundbreaking in the way the author shares the horrors of psychosis and unbounded mania, the fears of depression and the emergence of recovery.
This book will not only appeal to the over four million people diagnosed with bipolar in South Africa, but to the millions of people who are affected by loved ones with bipolar, as well as to everyone who reads it.
"My struggles with mental illness were in some ways like a child crying out for attention; more than that they were a cry for help from the mind I felt trapped in. There was a darkness in me that many times swallowed me whole."
This is how Keamogetswe Bopalamo introduces her account of her troubled early life. It is an intensely personal account, and yet it speaks to a reality much broader than itself. In the exciting whirl of South Africa’s post-apartheid society, there is this darker side: the confusions, the fears, the rebellions, the degradations and emotional pain.
How does a young black girl cope when her parents are taken away as political detainees, or when she is repeatedly expelled from schools and hostels, or when she ends up in a mental institution after trying once again to end her own life? What I Wore offers startling answers.
Shéri Brynard has reached many remarkable milestones, although she was born with Down Syndrome. She talks about how love and acceptance from her family and friends formed her. She tells of her adventures, her pain and the harsh realities she has to face as an adult with Down Syndrome. Her mother tells the tale of living in Shéri’s shadow, speaking without holding back about her crisis of faith when she heard that her daughter had Down Syndrome. A touching tale.
In 2011 the world was shocked when the news broke that Joost van der Westhuizen, known for years as the golden boy of South African rugby and a former Springbok captain, had been diagnosed with motor neuron disease (MND).
This rare condition attacks the central nervous system, causing progressive disability. There is no known cure. All who have seen Joost in action will know that he is not one to give up without a fight. His game-changing prowess as a brilliant scrum half is now focused on a battle for survival and, more importantly, on making a difference to the lives of others with the disease. In a race against time, Joost has a dream to fulfil. He says: “In the beginning you go through all the emotions and you ask, ‘Why me?’ It’s quite simple. ‘Why not me?’ If I have to go through this to help future generations, why not me?” His acceptance of his symptoms is equally pragmatic: “One day you can’t move your arm, another day you don’t have speech. Every day you are reborn and you take the day as it comes.”
Glory Game – The Joost van der Westhuizen Story is a compelling narrative of redemption set against the backdrop of an illustrious career in rugby. It is the story of a modern-day warrior forced to face his own human frailty. Joost shows us that beyond ambition, success and fame lies the true wealth of family and friends, and that within a ravaged body the spirit can remain invincible.
When Lauren Segal receives a call from her husband one wintry morning in 2014, the furthest thing from her mind is her biopsy results. For two years she’s been living a cancer-free existence after a double mastectomy that has put her in the clear. The call shatters the foundation of her world – the lump she thought was scar tissue is malignant. Her cancer is back.
Cancer: A Love Story is the intimately searing memoir of a four-time cancer survivor. The book magnificently tracks Lauren’s journey to come to terms with the untold challenges of facing the dreaded disease. Forced to face her needle phobia, the author leads the reader into her crumbling world as she confronts the terrors of treatment – from debilitating chemo to nuking radiation. Death is her uninvited companion.
But in the midst of her lonely horror, in a quest for deeper meaning, Lauren discovers the unexpected gift of awareness of unanticipated opportunities that cancer presents – to confront her unmasked humanity – her fears, strengths and weaknesses.
“Throughout my arduous journey into the world of cancer, I have discovered that proximity to death brings with it a new proximity to life. I have learned that luck and unluck, happiness and distress, hope and despair are tightly coiled into a life well lived.” Lauren’s story removes the enormous stigma that still surrounds breast cancer; it tackles the deep fear surrounding diagnoses and treatment and it encourages us to take control of our health. It ultimately triumphs by showing the reader how a person in any unwanted life situation can come out on the other side. The book also provides vital insights for professionals involved in the care of cancer patients and a hugely informative section on chemo tips for those undergoing treatment.
To be diagnosed with dementia is "like being blindfolded and let loose in a maze". There is no clear treatment to follow, because each case is unique. But once thickets of misunderstanding and misinformation are brushed aside, there are pathways to hope.
"Secular models of support don't adequately reflect Christian values of compassion, love and service," explains Louise Morse. "Neither do they describe the power of spiritual support. This is key to the wellbeing of the caregiver, as well as the person with dementia."
This book is packed with examples of what works, as well as practical advice and accessible medical information. Louise Morse is a cognitive behavioural therapist and works with a national charity whose clients include people with dementia. Her MA dissertation, based on hundreds of interviews, examined the effects on families of caring for a loved one with dementia.
Reverse Your Diabetes provides all the information and support you need to take control of type 2 diabetes and, potentially, to reverse it.
Based on the latest research and proven results, this clear and effective programme outlines the key steps you need to take to turn around your health: watch what you eat, get more active, monitor your progress and commit to change. Written by diabetes expert Dr David Cavan and in association, Reverse Your Diabetes also tackles the myths and misinformation about type 2 diabetes.
This is an essential book that will empower you to take control of your diabetes and maximise your health for good.
An effective, life-affirming guide to help you get through your traumatic experience
Written by an experienced psychotherapist who has helped hundreds of trauma victims in her private practice, workshops, and lectures, this unique, progressive approach to healing is designed to help you cope with the aftermath of a stressful event. An informative guide with a user-friendly format, this workbook invites you to participate in the process of your recovery, using simple anxiety-reducing exercises, revealing questions, yoga and meditation tools, art therapy, writing, and other therapeutic techniques.
Die eerste uitgawe van Die keer toe ek my naam vergeet het verskyn in 1995, vyf jaar nadat die skrywer F.A. Venter ’n beroerte gekry het. In hierdie outobiografiese vertelling dokumenteer hy die pynlike en stadige proses van herstel: hy moet weer leer loop, leer praat, leer skryf. Dit is verder ’n verhaal oor die verhouding tussen Venter en sy geliefde vrou, Stella. In Die Afrikaanse literatuur 1652–2004 beskryf J.C. Kannemeyer Die keer toe ek my naam vergeet het as een van Venter se “belangrikste bydraes tot die Afrikaanse prosa”: “Die aangrypende verhaal van ouderdom en lyding, maar ook van ’n mooi huwelik en toegewyde liefde, is terselfdertyd ’n getuienis van die onblusbare gees van die skeppende mens wat, ten spyte van alle teenspoed, kan voortgaan met die werk waarvoor hy hier op aarde geplaas is.” Op ’n eerlike en roerende wyse, en met ’n tikkie humor, raak Venter die universele, tydlose temas van siekte, oudword en die dood aan. Uiteindelik is dit ’n verhaal van aanvaarding: “Ek het baie verloor – die kosbaarste. Maar ek het ook geleer om te verduur. Te aanvaar. Tevrede te wees. Anders sou dit ondraaglik wees.”
From 2008, Charlotte Reed suffered from crippling depression. She decided not to take antidepressants and to instead fight her depression by making lifestyle changes such as exercise, diet and acupuncture. In addition, she started an online `Thought for the Day' - a positive thought she posted on Facebook each day. These daily thoughts became a massive hit among her friends and Charlotte credits them with playing a huge part in her recovery from depression two years later. She went on to publish them in a book, May The Thoughts be With You, which she has sold thousands of copies of at the world-famous Portbello Road Market in Notting Hill, London. My Path to Happy is the story of her illness and recovery. Equally moving as it is hopeful, this beautifully illustrated book will resonate with anyone who has experienced depression - either as a sufferer themselves or as a helpless bystander. Written simply and illustrated appealingly, Charlotte powerfully conveys the nature and experience of this illness and what helped her to ultimately overcome it. At a time when, as a society, we are becoming more and more open about our mental health, this book will appeal to anyone who has experienced depression either first hand or as a helpless bystander. Charlotte has a weekly 'Thought for the Day' in London's Evening Standard. Praise for My Path to Happy: 'Such a moving story! It's heartfelt, honest and incredibly inspiring.' Melissa Hemsley, author of Eat Happy 'Charlotte is so brave to share her story in such an honest and moving way. I love how openly she talks about mental health and how she found help - particularly through acupuncture, family and most of all, self acceptance and self love. A truly beautiful read.'- Vanessa Kirby, actress
'I can't remember the last book I read that I could say with absolute assurance would save lives. But this one will' Chris Packham When Joe Harkness suffered a breakdown in 2013, he tried all the things his doctor recommended: medication helped, counselling was enlightening, and mindfulness grounded him. But nothing came close to nature, particularly birds. How had he never noticed such beauty before? Soon, every avian encounter took him one step closer to accepting who he is. The positive change in Joe's wellbeing was so profound that he started a blog to record his experience. Three years later he has become a spokesperson for the benefits of birdwatching, spreading the word everywhere from Radio 4 to Downing Street. In this groundbreaking book filled with practical advice, Joe explains the impact that birdwatching had on his life, and invites the reader to discover these extraordinary effects for themselves.
'I've inherited a love of a writing and a talent for the visual arts from my mother, as well as her long and tapered fingers; I've also inherited a tendency for madness' Esme Weijun Wang was officially diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder in 2013, although the hallucinations and psychotic episodes had started years before that. In the midst of a high functioning life at Yale, Stanford and the literary world, she would find herself floored by an overwhelming terror that 'spread like blood', or convinced that she was dead, or that her friends were robots, or spiders were eating holes in her brain. What happens when your whole conception of yourself is turned upside down? When you're aware of what is occurring to you, but unable to do anything about it? Written with immediacy and unflinching honesty, this visceral and moving book is Wang's story, as she steps both inside and outside of her condition to bring it to light. Following her own diagnosis and the many manifestations of schizophrenia in her life, she ranges over everything from how we label mental illness to her own use of fashion and make-up to present herself as high-functioning, from the failures of the higher education system to how factors such as PTSD and Lyme disease compounded her experiences. Wang's analytical, intelligent eye, honed as a former lab researcher at Stanford, allows her to balance research with haunting personal narrative. The Collected Schizophrenias cuts right to the core and provides unique insight into a condition long misdiagnosed and much misunderstood.
Hoarding can make life a misery for individuals and their families, affecting health and lifestyle, and posing a significant risk of fire and other dangers. Research suggests that 25% of accidental domestic fire deaths involve hoarding. Hoarding affects the whole family, making it difficult to receive social visits and in extreme cases, affecting living space and basic freedoms such as space in which to do homework or even sleep. Other challenges in hoarded homes can include restricted entry and exit, difficulties gaining access to gas and electricity areas, water leaks, mould, and rat and other infestations. Financial implications may include not having access to paperwork, leading to unpaid bills and other complications. Previously viewed as part of obsessive-compulsive disorder, hoarding disorder was recognised as a mental health disorder in its own right within the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) in May 2013. This book aims to help those who are affected by hoarding difficulties, including friends and family. Topics include: What is Hoarding Disorder - the five diagnostic criteria What triggers hoarding - abuse, bereavement, childhood issues, and so on Who can help a hoarder and how to help How to assess clutter Why an intense clear-out doesn't work Taking steps to deal with it - an 8-step plan Where does my stuff go? Safeguarding - working with local councils and social services Therapies and resources Case histories
THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER The inspirational memoir from the founder of the You, Me and the Big C podcast, Rachael Bland. Courageous and life-affirming, this is a mother's final gift to her son. My beautiful son, I so wish that I didn't have to leave you now. But believe me, I tried EVERYTHING I could to stay around for you, and for every moment I could eke out of this life. From the outset, it was not a fair fight. My cancer was too big, and too aggressive, and we didn't start on a level playing field. You were fourteen months old and at the beginning I was so full of fierce intention that we could get past this. I would lay you in your cot each night and silently communicate from my mind to yours, `I will do this Freddie, I will gladly take whatever they throw at me if it means we can stay together'. In 2016, beloved broadcaster and journalist Rachael Bland was diagnosed with cancer. Shortly afterwards she made the brave decision to share her story, and she spoke with beautiful poignancy through her blog and podcast, You, Me and the Big C. Having been told that she only had a matter of months left to live and writing this in what were sadly her final days, Rachael brings her warmth, courage and humour to the page in this heart-warming and heart-breaking story. Part memoir, part advice, For Freddie beautifully encapsulates the grace and fearlessness in which Rachael lived her life. This is her legacy and an incredible final gift to her son. Includes moving contributions from Richard Bacon, Tony Livesey, Emma Barnett, Shelagh Fogarty, Mark Pougatch, Chris Stark and many more.
Following on from where the extraordinary international bestseller THE MIRACLE MORNING left off, THE MIRACLE EQUATION shares the secret to unlocking happiness, success, and your full potential. You Are Only Two Decisions Away from Everything You Want There is a timeless, proven formula that the world's most successful people have used for centuries to tackle their biggest dreams, but it has been overlooked. Hal Elrod, bestselling author of THE MIRACLE MORNING, used it thrive against seemingly insurmountable odds, from overcoming life-threatening health challenges to near financial collapse. The Miracle Equation is that formula, and it consists of only two decisions that guarantee astonishing levels of success and fulfillment: Unwavering Faith and Extraordinary Effort. By establishing and maintaining unwavering faith that you can achieve anything you desire, and then putting inextraordinary effort until you do, your success is inevitable. Using the same strategy as the world's top achievers, you'll create results beyond what you believe to be possible. You'll learn how to replace fear with faith and let go of your negative emotions, accessing your full potential and channeling your energy into attaining positive outcomes. With the Miracle Equation 30-Day Challenge to guide your way, you'll create a step-by-step plan to actualize your miracles and become the person you need to be in order to succeed. 'A simple, proven formula for creating extraordinary results in your life. Highly recommended' Lewis Howes, New York Times bestselling author of The School of Greatness 'If you want your biggest goals to move from possible, to probable, to inevitable, you better read The Miracle Equation' Mel Robbins, bestselling author of The 5-Second Rule
In this moving, deeply humane and surprisingly uplifting book, poet Mike Barnes shows that a side of dementia that is almost entirely missing from public discussions of their condition: `All people with dementia, and some of them strikingly, show depths of sensitive awareness, resilience rising to heroism, and a capacity for joyful relatedness.' Be With balances candour about the devastations of dementia with insights into its paradoxical and indeed often uncanny enhancements of life, the ways in which it sometimes calls forth capacities long buried by the defences of full cognition. Fiercely alive, marked by a sharp, unerring eye for detail and a wonderful way with metaphors, Be With encourages us to focus on fellowship and accurate witness: to simply be with who, and what, is actually before us.
Advances in treatment mean that increasing numbers of people now survive cancer in the long term. This book examines the sophisticated medical choices available that help to boost life expectancy and how to maximize your chances of recovery. Topics include: chemotherapy different types of radiotherapy hormone therapy surgery targeted treatments coping with side effects staying comfortable during treatment coping with nausea, pain and fatigue lifestyle and diet In this positive and comprehensive book, Mark Greener says, `Your cancer journey is deeply personal, often difficult and at times frightening, but today's cutting-edge treatments can help you to live as full a life as possible, for as long as possible.'
The ultimate resource to looking your best during and after cancer treatment, from a veteran beauty industry insider. Like many women who receive the shattering diagnosis of cancer, Caitlin Kiernan was concerned about her health and her future, but also about how the treatment would affect how she felt and looked - would she lose her hair? Would she lose her nails? How would she look after a double mastectomy? But unlike other women who battle cancer, Kiernan has spent her entire career as a beauty editor, beauty director (most recently for Life & Style Weekly), and now beauty producer. As someone who works in the public eye and in the fashion industry, Kiernan had to quickly learn how to look her best even when she was feeling her worst. So she called on her list of extensive contacts and beauty insiders - from hair professionals to top medical doctors (at institutions like Memorial Sloan Kettering and Mt Sinai Hospital) to style mavens and even celebrities (including Wendy Williams and Hoda Kotb) - to gather the best and most useful beauty tips for cancer treatment. The result is Pretty Sick: the ultimate guide to beauty during (and after) cancer treatment, covering skin care, hair care (and wig shopping), nail care, makeup, an explanation of breast cancer surgical options, style advice for life post mastectomy, and much, much more. Illustrated with charming line drawings and peppered with advice from celebrities and cancer survivors, Pretty Sick will be a welcome and trusted resource during treatment, helping women to look their best even when they don't feel their best.
Lucky Lupin is a poignant yet light-hearted story of survival against the odds, based on Charlie Mortimer's life with HIV/Aids during the early years (1984-1996), when there was neither treatment nor cure. Using a combination of good luck, gallows humour, Fray Bentos pies and copious quantities of Solpadeine, Charlie survived not only the illness but the hysteria that accompanied the so-called 'gay plague'. Anyone infected became a social pariah; had the local launderette got word of his illness they wouldn't have washed his sheets but burnt them. Whilst taking full responsibility for the consequences of his behaviour - 'The fact is you don't get AIDS from watching telly' - Charlie initially took to the sofa and prepared for death, but, in time, he found the inner strength required to confront his fatal diagnosis, becoming, among other things, an antiques dealer and contemporary art collector. With blistering and often hilarious candour Charlie also recounts his childhood where he developed a passion for cars, cultivated by his adventurous mother 'Nidnod', his dizzying array of careers and somewhat curious domestic arrangements including the 'adoption' of a bank robber for twelve years. He also confronts head on his experiences of coming to terms with confused sexuality, addiction, epilepsy and clinical depression before finding lasting contentment. Praise for Dear Lupin: 'As well as being the funniest book I've read in ages, it's also extremely touching. A delight then, on every front.' The Spectator 'Very, very funny.' Sunday Times 'Wry, trenchant, often extremely funny, but also charmingly forbearing and forgiving.' Country Life
The Sunday Times bestseller Naoki Higashida met international success with THE REASON I JUMP, a revelatory account of life as a thirteen-year-old with non-verbal autism. Now he offers an equally illuminating insight into autism from his perspective as a young adult. In concise, engaging pieces, he shares his thoughts and feelings on a broad menu of topics ranging from school experiences to family relationships, the exhilaration of travel to the difficulties of speech. Aware of how mystifying his behaviour can appear to others, Higashida describes the effect on him of such commonplace things as a sudden change of plan, or the mental steps he has to take simply to register that it's raining. Throughout, his aim is to foster a better understanding of autism and to encourage those with disabilities to be seen as people, not as problems. With an introduction by David Mitchell, Fall Down Seven Times, Get Up Eight includes a dreamlike short story Higashida wrote for this edition. Both moving and of practical use, the book opens a window into the mind of an inspiring young man who meets the challenges of autism with tenacity and good humour. However often he falls down, he always gets back up.
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