New Year, New You and all that!

By now I am sure you will be sick of hearing about all that New Year, New You stuff and we are certainly not going to try to tell you how to change your life.  But, as January is typically the time when people feel like setting new goals and breaking new ground, here is a round-up of books that we have read that could set you on your way. 

They include Turning Point by Dr. Rohan Weerasinghe – A six step process for transforming your life; The Little Book of Talent with 52 tips for improving skills; How to be a Writer by Stewart Ferris; The Little Book of Anxiety by Kerri Sackville; A Little Course In  – a new series of skills and hobby guides from DK and last, but my no means least, Ausperity by Lucy Tobin that tells you how to live the life you want for less. 

Turning Point by Dr. Rohan Weerasinghe

January is a time when many of us plan to make big changes for the year ahead and, if that’s your plan, Turning Point by Dr. Rohan Weerasinghe is a very good place to start.

Rohan, a highly successful coach and motivational speaker, believes that many of us can look back and see turning points that changed the direction of our life.  Often such points are created by circumstance but the premise of Rohan’s book is that you don’t have to be hit by challenges such as health issues, divorce or redundancy to alter the direction of your life.  In Turning Point, he takes on the role of personal coach and mentor to guide the reader to make changes through their own choice.

Drawing on his own challenges and subsequent life-changing experiences, he takes you through a six-step change process that can be applied to any area of life from health to relationships and from money to career.  There are tools and exercises that will help you identify whose values you are living by, discover the blocks that are crushing positive change and to focus on your true-life purpose. 

As well as providing strategies to completely rethink your life, Rohan also offers practical blue-prints on finances, relationships and health.  Much of it is common sense and much of it you will have read before but the book is a catalyst to recognising what needs to be done to achieve more positive results.

There are also some interesting new ideas – particularly in the relationship department.  Rohan’s theory that polarity between genders is a good thing might put a different spin on the power of attraction but his argument is a persuasive one.

If you are seriously looking to change and improve your lot, Turning Point is the next best thing to a personal coach.  Rohan provides lots of exercises and strategies along the way but ultimately, of course, success is down to using the information and taking action.

Dr Rohan Weerasinghe also runs three-day life changing workshops.  For more information go to

The Little Book of Talent by Daniel Coyle

Daniel Coyle, packs some helpful and inspiring advice into The Little Book of Talent (Random House £9.99) in the form of 52 simple, practical, proven tips that will help improve any skill. Whether you want a better singing voice, a more powerful golf swing or success in the business world, this book will advise you on which method will help you realise your potential.

The Little Book of Talent includes pearls of wisdom such as: don’t fall for the prodigy myth, take off your watch, embrace struggle, take a nap and to learn it more deeply, teach it!

The book starts with ideas for igniting motivation and creating a blueprint for the skills you want to build and goes on to cover methods and techniques for making the most progress in the least time. Finally it explains strategies for sustaining progress, staying motivated and building habits for long-term success.

These 52 rules for success in every field are simultaneously witty, wise and easy to dip into and include original research and case-studies of the ways in which world-class success stories – from Albert Einstein to Roger Federer – have put these rules into practice.

The tips are brief and the whole book is based on simplicity. On a practical note it is slim enough to be tucked into a pocket, instrument case or sports bag.  There are also blank pages for notes and an excellent bibliography for further reading.  To explore Daniel Coyle’s concepts on talent further visit

How to Be a Writer by Stewart Ferris

So you want to get published?  Stewart Ferris is well placed to give you tips that will give you the best chance of seeing your work in print. Having published some 700 books and rejected 10,000 manuscripts he has written this gem of a book that will tell you how to give your manuscript the best chance of being read. 

A writer is someone who writes. It sounds obvious, but many people who call themselves writers don’t produce enough words in a year to fill a postcard. Other writers churn out thousands of words but never sell their work. How to Be a Writer tackles both problems: it gets people writing, easily and painlessly guiding them through the dreaded ‘writer’s block’, and it divulges industry secrets that will help to raise the quality of their work to a professional level. 

Stewart Ferris uses his experience of more than two decades in the publishing industry to give the tips, tricks and inside knowledge needed to become a successful writer, covering all types of writing from books to scripts and beyond. This easy to read guide is packed with advice to equip people with the skills needed to launch a writing career, including: What it means to be a writer; finding the time and place to write; making the most of new technologies; maximising your chances of selling your work and making your work stand out

Stewart also includes an easy plan for writing a non fiction book painlessly, guides on getting started in writing for many genres, plus links to free downloads for writers.  With this book you won’t be able to wait to get started.

How to be a Writer is published by Summsersdale ( on 7th January 2013 (Price £9.99)

The Little Book of Anxiety – Confessions from a worried life by Kerri Sackville

If worrying is your problem then ‘The Little Book of Anxiety’ could help in two ways.  Either you will realise that compared to Kerri Sackville you don’t have a problem with anxiety at all or you will find yourself nodding in empathy as you read of the stress that day-to-day living can generate for one woman. 

The Little Book Of Anxiety is for anyone who has experienced anxiety – which is probably most of us. It’s a funny book about a serious subject: the ways in which anxiety can impact on your life and the lives of those around you. With humour, insight and searing honesty, Kerri Sackville opens up about the trials and sheer absurdities of living a worried life. From crazed nail biting, to being hysterical in a jammed lift, to fearing her husband is dead when he’s late home from work, Kerri has done it all. 

If worrying were an Olympic sport there’s no doubt that Kerri would win gold.  She clearly has an anxiety disorder that can turn the simplest everyday tasks and pleasures into the stuff of nightmares.  However, she admits she is something of an enigma when she says “Put me in front of a camera and I’ll perform. Ask me to make a decision and I’ll do it quickly. Invite me to speak in front of five hundred people and I’ll agree in a second. 

“But book me on an overseas holiday with my husband, sit me down to talk about money, or take me out to a new and exciting part of town and I’ll be a nervous wreck. 

Although The Little Book of Anxiety will make you laugh, it’s more than just a collection of funny anecdotes.  Kerri also talks seriously about the tensions her anxiety has caused and the effectiveness of the strategies she has tried to combat it. 

If you know the agonies of sleepless nights, regularly jump to the worst-case scenario, or drive your loved ones mad with your irrational fears, then this book may very well save your sanity.

The Little Book of Anxiety is published by The Robson Press (£8.99)

A Little Course In…
Baking, Preserving, Wine Tasting, Sewing, Knitting, Growing Veg & Fruit, Yoga, Pilates

If one of your New Year’s resolutions Is to make-your-own, grow-your-own or, that perennial favourite, to get fit, where do you begin?
Britain is buzzing with a renewed love of make-your-own, grow-your-own and do-it-for-yourself. But how can you join the ‘I did that!’ revolution, if you don’t know how and you’ve no idea where to start? A Little Course In… is a brand new series of highly practical, structured learning guides from DK that provides everything you need to master new skills or take up a new hobby. 

From baking to knitting, yoga to wine-tasting, each course allows you to learn at your own pace, in your own time and in the comfort of your own home. Each A Little Course In… guide follows the same structure: start simple and learn the basics, build on what you’ve learnt and then show off your skills.

Practical lessons using annotations and step-by-steps take you through everything you need to know while inspiring practice projects explore key techniques in depth so you are always learning by doing. DK’s A Little Course In…Guides have a chatty yet incisive tone that never assumes something to be ‘common knowledge’ and explains everything, so even the most novice of novices needn’t be afraid to try something new.  The Little Course In Guides will be published on 17th January.  Price £9.99 each.

Ausperity  – Live the Life you Want for Less by Lucy Tobin 

As we are all feeling the pinch these days, spending less is bound to be top of many New Year’s Resolution Lists.  Most people’s incomes probably haven’t increased much in a long time but the cost of living certainly has.  Life costs more but, according to Lucy Tobin, that doesn’t mean it has to be rubbish.  Treats can stay on the agenda.  There’s no need for a hair shirt or to go without a holiday if you trim your costs elsewhere – and Lucy suggests that you might even enjoy doing it.  That’s ‘Ausperity’ – living a prosperous life on an austerity budget. 

This book contains so many money-saving ideas and tips that could save you a fortune.  It’s less shiver-me-timbers – I can’t afford the heating and more ten easy tips to slash your heating bill by a third.  Ausperity living is all about making your own choices, saving money where you want and making more when you can. 

Fun, free and cheap days and nights out are all covered, as are ways to raise some quick cash without a trip to the pawnshop.  She also talks about finances and budgeting in easy digestible nuggets that you can refer to in time of need. 

There are loads of ideas and advice that could start to change the state of your finances very quickly while making your lifestyle just as, and possibly even more, enjoyable. The book is all about squeezing more value out of your hard-earned cash and keeping on living the high life on a low budget. 

Ausperity is published by Quercus Books on 3rd January, Price £7.99