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Showing results for tags 'non fiction'.
Jeff Jones has certainly lived enough to fill six ordinary lives. Since growing up in Wapping, East London, he’s been in trouble with the police, been sent to prison, been homeless and been sectioned under the Mental Health Act. But he has also been to university, been a manager in mental health and youth work, met Prince Charles and even passed The Knowledge, the exam for London black cab drivers. This book charts his life in a clear and very readable style, sometimes also at break-neck speed, but always it is engaging. Jones does not shy away from the racism that marked so much of his life, growing up as a black man in twentieth-century London, but neither does he preach at the reader or hit the reader over the head. He simply presents racism for what it is and in this clear manner makes it far more chilling and uncomfortable. This is a book about contemporary life in Britain but from a voice that is not often heard, a black working-class man, which can be enjoyed by all. At his heart, Jones is a storyteller and he uses that to great advantage in this book. Find it here on Amazon
Self-help books have become a modern publishing phenomenon, bookshops have whole sections dedicated to them and a large number of them are of questionable value, often being written by people who have little or no experience of the subject. Fortunately, this book doesn’t fall into that category. The authors are four clinical psychologists, all with extensive experience working with people who are HIV positive. The book has been designed as a guide for people newly diagnosed with HIV and covers what to expect and what to do following this sea-change in their life. It is divided into three sections. The first part looks at the lifestyle implications of being HIV positive; healthcare, disclosure of HIV statutes, stress, relationships and children. The second part looks at emotional strategies for coping with HIV, and the last section looks at a problem-solving approach to living with HIV. Because of the authors’ backgrounds and approach, this book may come across as “warm and fuzzy”, it certainly has a lot of emphasis on the emotional/psychological side of the experience, but for a lot of people this is what they can be swamped with when they are first diagnosed. It is refreshing, though, to have a self-help book do this. This is not a book that is based on one person’s narrow experience of HIV. Unfortunately, there is little to offer nurses and other healthcare professionals here. Much of the advice will be common knowledge to many nurses and the tone can come across as a bit simplistic, but this isn’t a book aimed at healthcare professionals, it’s aimed at the general population. The value of this book is that it can be recommended to patients or others. It could be very useful to someone newly diagnosed with HIV or someone struggling to come to terms with it. Rating: four out of five stars. (This review was originally written as a commission by the Nursing Standard magazine) Find it here on Amazon Drew Payne
“Women have more illness but men die younger,” this simplistic old saying does have a grain of truth in it. Men still have a shorter life expectancy than women, but why? Will Courtenay has twenty years’ experience in men’s health and has seen it go from an “oxymoron” to a subject that is now taken seriously. He has the expertise to write this book and the evidence is here in the book’s pages. The book takes an in-depth look at its subject. It examines the different social and environmental factors in men’s lives and their effects on health. Areas such as: risk taking, environment, masculinity, and getting health information to men. Unfortunately, this is an American book, written for American society, and the majority of research is American. Britain is still not American, there are many things here that British readers can find useful, but there are also areas of little relevance to us (the American healthcare system being so different to ours). As a resource for anyone working regularly with men (not just those specialising in men’s health) this book is useful and there is a lot that can be taken from it; but we have to remember it is an American book and should be read as such. (This review was originally written as a commission by the Nursing Standard magazine) Find it here on Amazon