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Quirky new and interesting non fiction books to read.
This week’s News, Views and Useful Shenanigans is mostly views and book news, without the shenanigans.
It’s about two really interesting non fiction books which are health related, and I think will really pique your interest.
I met the authors at the Perth Writers Festival and enjoyed their sessions very much.
Of course I was also introduced to a slew of great books to add to my reading list (and now my bedside table is groaning under the strain!)
So without further ado, here’s this week’s news and views about some great books you might like to read.
Grab a coffee or glass of wine, and come along with me to the …
Perth Writers Festival.
During the Perth Writers Festival authors from around the world gather together at the beautiful University of Western Australia campus on the banks of the Swan River for a few days of shared literary delight, big ideas, and a ton of inspiration.
It’s a great time to meet up with friends, enjoy the hallowed atmosphere of UWA, and be introduced to different ways of thinking by international and local authors.
Non Fiction Books You Have to Read
Say Hello! by Carly Findlay
The most amusing session I attended this year was Carly Findlay chatting to Tess Woods – while it shouldn’t have been amusing, because Carly was essentially talking about her skin condition ichthyosis, it was however a delight due to Carly’s irrepressible humour and lust for life.
Carly Findlay is an Australian writer and speaker, who I first met at a Problogger conference on the east coast, then at the BUPA Health Influencer blogging award when we were both category winners. The category Carly won then was ‘Positive Life Change’.
Carly calls herself an ‘appearance activist’, and has been outspoken on a number of disability-related issues.
Her chat with Tess about her new memoir Say Hello was a mix of all things irreverant, funny, and small bites of wisdom.
“The book is a memoir – with anecdotes from my life to date, as well as thoughts and observations on ableism, media representation and beauty privilege. There’s advice to readers with and without ichthyosis, facial difference and disability. It encourages hope and disability pride. The book is called Say Hello because that’s what I want people to do, instead of ignoring me, looking shocked or scared, or making a rude comment about my face. If you enjoy my blog and articles, I think you’ll like my memoir.” Carly Findlay
The Happy Bowel by Michael Levitt
Do you have a happy bowel? This is the question that Michael Levitt looks at in The Happy Bowel which offers advice, solutions and case studies (in a humorous short book).
At the Perth Writers Festival Michael Levitt was chatting to Michelle Johnston and had the following things to say, some much to the mirth of the engaged audience!
He says there are 3 golden rules to improve your bowel situation.
- This is really the 11th commandment Michael suggests: Never sit on a toilet until you are busting to go. Hold on to your poo until the last minute. If you can’t go at the first urge then wait for the next urge. Your body will automatically hold onto it until it urges you again. Don’t force a poo.
- Never ever take reading material or mobile phones to the loo. Go in, poo, clean up and get out.
- A firm, formed, solid stool is the aim of a good stool. Something that looks like a banana is perfect.
4 Tenets of successful bowel action
and you should leave the toilet feeling empty.
“There is a deeply satisfying sensation of producing a bowel action. there’s the fab feeling of an empty rectum – it’s a comfy feeling when it’s empty. After a bowel action the anus snaps shut tight, and this feels good.”
Well, we larfed and larfed and larfed, didn’t we!
“We are obsessed with what we eat. But we can’t fix bowel problems with diet alone,” Michael says.
Yep, too true.
“There’s no evidence that squatting is a better position for bowel action that sitting on a toilet. There’s evidence that we’ve been sitting on toilets for 5,000 years. In Ancient Rome there were huge public toilet facilities, you sat shoulder to shoulder.”
Presumably you had a good old chat while on the throne with friends then!
Reading List inspired by Perth Writers’ Festival
Ben Okri – The Freedom Artist
Ben Okri – The Famished Road
Trent Dalton – Boy Swallows Universe
Louise Allan – Sister’s Song
Markus Zusak – Bridge of Clay
The great Moral Challenge of our Generation – Panel Discussion
This was a more sobering topic discussed by Dr Joelle Gergis, Deepak Unnikrishnan and Patrick Nunn.
They were talking about climate change with Vivienne Glance.
It was suggested that attachment to place is unhelpful in the age we live in. There are now approximately 7.6 billion people on the planet. The sea level is rising and the coastline is impermanent. Many people will have to move.
Deepak, an expat with Indian roots who has lived in several different countries explained : “I’m carrying my place with me, in my mind, in my memory – my country is me.”
This really resonated with the expat in me. What do you think?
Joelle said that season by season climate change is happening fast. We have had 9 out of 10 of the hottest years on record since 2005.
“We are witnessing large scale eco system collapse on our watch. Human interference in climate system is real. Continued climate change is with us now. We are the most vulnerable nation in the world because 70% of the nation is arid or semi-arid so water is a challenge.”
The interviewees concluded that climate change is now a moral issue, not just a scientific issue. It requires a response and will require government policy – perhaps even Draconian policy.
It was also brought to our attention that there are now a variety of what’s called, Cli-Fi novels (instead of Sci-Fi) which combine stories around climate change and science, and the imagination of new worlds.
Patrick concluded that it’s not all doom and gloom though.
“We are a species with ingenuity and we will get past this. We have been challenged throughout centuries. There is hope. This is the message we should send to younger people. Not doomsday messages. There are a few block in the road ahead but we will get over them.”
“We can stabilise earth’s warming. It is feasible within the laws of chemistry and physics but policy and action are missing.
We need to vision a future that’s more healthy, inspiring and sustainable.”
Novelist Alice Nelson (The Children’s House) chatting to Brenda Walker in another session on a different topic altogether, mentioned that, “Morality is a muscle that must be flexed.”
I love that idea.
Do you want to write a book?
Kelly Exeter has written a fabulous blog post about The Six Stages of Non-Fiction Book Writing which you might find really helpful.
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