MAY Favourites @ EXCAPE Book Club!

With many people taking the time to read a little more over the past few weeks and months, we felt it would be a great opportunity to have a place where we could share what we are reading as someone else might enjoy it or find it beneficial too. Our EXCAPE Book Club has been running for over a month now and we are thrilled to share some reviews from what some people have been reading. This is free and open to everyone so if you would like to join our Excape Book Club, please click here.

MAY Favourites @ Excape Book Club

The Chimp Paradox

Author: Professor Steve Peters

Summary: This is a self-development book which was written by a Consultant Psychiatrist who specialises in optimising the functioning of the mind. Although there is a scientific aspect behind the ‘Chimp Model’ which is outlined in the book, it approaches the model in a very easy to digest way which makes the approach accessible to everyone.  ‘The Chimp Paradox’ helps you to better understand the thoughts, feelings and struggles which flood your mind on a daily basis. It provides a very useful manual to how we can better cope with, and manage the mind, in order to become a happier and more successful version of ourselves,

Why you’re recommending it? This has been one of the most insightful and beneficial self-development books I’ve read as I found myself very easily relating to it, but also being able to implement the suggestions and approaches very easily. After reading it, I felt like I had a whole new understanding of my mind and I could approach so many situations in a much more effective manner. I felt like I had the tools I needed to cope better with day to day life, and I think this is something that everyone could benefit from.

Favourite or memorable quote:  I guess there’s not really a ‘quote’ as such but one little nugget that stuck with me from the book was:

“To change or improve, you must recognize that you are not always functioning in the way that you want to because you are not always the person that you want to be, or you don’t always seem to have control over your emotions or what you think you do. You must want to do something about it and be willing to accept change.”

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Author: Gail Honeyman

Description: Fiction.

Summary: Spoiler alert – Eleanor Oliphant is not fine at all. This book centres on Eleanor who
would rather avoid social interaction of any kind and pretty much says exactly
what she’s thinking, confounding whoever happens to be in earshot. From early
on it hints at childhood trauma but overall is an extraordinary insight into
loneliness and the effect this can have on an individual. As a result of an unlikely
friendship Eleanor navigates new situations with weirdness and wit – hilarity
ensues!

Why am I recommending it? I love love LOVE this book. I have read it so many times and will likely read it again
now that I’m spending so much time at home. It is hilariously funny but equally
heart-breaking and uplifting and so well written. Definitely one to enjoy during
lockdown, it’s not overly taxing on the brain but so very enjoyable. The audiobook
version on audible is super, narrated in a lovely Scottish accent!

Memorable Quote: So many quotable lines – I need 3!

“A philosophical question: if a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it,
does it make a sound? And if a woman who’s wholly alone occasionally talks to a
pot plant, is she certifiable? I think that it is perfectly normal to talk to oneself
occasionally. It’s not as though I’m expecting a reply. I’m fully aware that Polly is
a houseplant.”

“She had tried to steer me towards vertiginous heels again – why are these people
so incredibly keen on crippling their female customers? I began to wonder if
cobblers and chiropractors had established some fiendish cartel.”

“I had to google “mofo”; and must confess to being slightly alarmed by the result.”

10% Happier by Dan Harris

Description: Non-Fiction/Memoir/Mindfulness.

Summary: This one is part memoir, part mindfulness how-to. Dan is a TV presenter on a US
morning current affairs show and a news anchor. He’s very endearing, quite a
cynical and ambitious character so a far cry from the super chilled floaty types
you would usually associate with meditation; he claims he originally wanted to
title the book “The voice in my head is an asshole”. In the book he describes how
a weekend drug habit led to a humiliating on air panic attack followed by a less
than typical journey of self-discovery. Now an advocate of daily meditation
practice, he asserts that “meditation makes you 10% happier. That’s an absurdly
unscientific estimate, of course. But still, not a bad return on investment”

Why am I recommending it? I have to admit straight away that I don’t meditate daily, my “mindfulness practice” can be described as random at best. That said, whether mindfulness interests
you or not I’d still recommend it as a great read. I found Dan’s story really intriguing and he is very witty and engaging. His tale of a 2-week mindfulness retreat which he did NOT enjoy (not to begin with anyway) is brilliantly funny. Another book I have read a few times and a great one for audible.

Memorable Quote: “Your demons may have been ejected from the building, but they’re out in the parking lot, doing push-ups.”

We hope you enjoyed these reviews and they gave you an insight into these books. If you would like to share, review, discuss, or discover a new book, pop over to our Private Excape Book Club and immerse yourself!

We will post some of our favorites here every month so stay tuned.

Happy Reading!

The Excape Team💫