TBR Pile: Food Isn’t Medicine, by Dr Joshua Wolrich

Hardcover, 288 pages
Published April 15th 2021 by Vermilion
ISBN: 1785043455 (ISBN13: 9781785043451)


Losing weight is not your life’s purpose.

Do carbs make you fat?
Could the keto diet cure mental health disorders?
Are eggs as bad for you as smoking?

No, no and absolutely not. It’s all what Dr Joshua Wolrich defines as ‘nutribollocks’ and he is on a mission to set the record straight.

As an NHS doctor with personal experience of how damaging diets can be, he believes every one of us deserves to have a happy, healthy relationship with food and with our bodies. His message is clear: we need to fight weight stigma, call out the lies of diet culture and give ourselves permission to eat all foods.

Food Isn’t Medicine wades through nutritional science (both good and bad) to demystify the common diet myths that many of us believe without questioning. If you have ever wondered whether you should stop eating sugar, try fasting, juicing or ‘alkaline water’, or struggled through diet after diet (none of which seem to work), this book will be a powerful wake-up call. Drawing on the latest research and delivered with a dose of humour, it not only liberates us from the destructive belief that weight defines health but also explains how to spot the misinformation we are bombarded with every day.

Dr Joshua Wolrich will empower you to escape the diet trap and call out the bad health advice for what it really is: complete nutribollocks.

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Pen & Sword Review: The Real World of Victorian Steampunk, by Simon Webb

Paperback, 168 pages
Published November 13th 2019 by Pen and Sword History
ISBN: 1526732858 (ISBN13: 9781526732859)

In the last few decades, steampunk has blossomed from being a rather obscure and little-known subgenre of science fiction into a striking and distinctive style of fashion, art, design and even music. It is in the written word however that steampunk has its roots and in this book Simon Webb explores and examines the real inventions which underpin the fantasy. In doing so, he reveals a world unknown to most people today.

The Real World of Victorian Steampunk shows the Victorian era to have been a surprising place; one of steam-powered airplanes, fax machines linking Moscow and St Petersburg, steam cars traveling at over 100 mph, electric taxis and wireless telephones. It is, in short, the nineteenth century as you have never before seen it; a steampunk extravaganza of anachronistic technology and unfamiliar gadgets. Imagine Europe spanned by a mechanical internet; a telecommunication system of clattering semaphore towers capable of transmitting information across the continent in a matter of minutes. Consider too, the fact that a steam plane the size of a modern airliner took off in England in 1894.

Drawing entirely on contemporary sources, we see how little-known developments in technology have been used as the basis for so many steampunk narratives. From seminal novels such as The Difference Engine, through to the steampunk fantasy of Terry Pratchett’s later works, this book shows that steampunk is at least as much solid fact as it is whimsical fiction. 

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TBR Pile Review: Bad Psychology, by Robert A. Forde

Paperback, 304 pages
Published September 1st 2017 by Jessica Kingsley Publishers
ISBN:1785922300 (ISBN13: 9781785922305)

For decades the psychological assessment and treatment of offenders has run on invalid and untested programmes. Robert A. Forde exposes the current ineffectiveness of forensic psychology that has for too long been maintained by individual and commercial vested interests, resulting in dangerous prisoners being released on parole, and low risk prisoners being denied it, wasting enormous amounts of public money. Challenging entrenched ideas about the field of psychology as a whole, and how it should be practised in the criminal justice system, the author shows how effective changes can be made for more just decisions, and the better rehabilitation of offenders into society, while significantly reducing the cost to the taxpayer.

This is a fearless account calling for a return to scientific evidence in the troubled field of forensic psychology. 

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Children’s Book Review: The Pirate and R, by Daniele Forni


The Pirate and R is a simple introduction to the statistical software R, specifically aimed at future data scientists.

Got to http://www.thelittledatascientist.co.uk for more codes to use and to stay up to date regarding future publications.

Information about the Book

Title: The Pirate and R

Author: Daniele Forni

Genre: Picture Book

Publication Date: 2nd June 2020

Page Count: 30

Publisher: Clink Street Publishing

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/53666365-the-pirate-and-r

Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Pirate-R-Daniele-Forni/dp/1913340686/

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Review: Explaining Humans, by Dr Camilla Pang

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This book is truly exceptional. Applying science to the problems of human relationships, the perils of perfectionism and the pitfalls of social etiquette, Millie has written a joyous, funny and hugely insightful text for all of us – whether neurotypical or neurodiverse. This ‘outsiders guide to the human race’ is warm, witty and a joy to read.’ Prof Gina Rippon, Cognitive neuroscientist/autism researcher and author of The Gendered Brain.

Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at the age of eight, Camilla Pang struggled to understand the world around her and the way people worked. Desperate for a solution, Camilla asked her mother if there was an instruction manual for humans that she could consult. But, without the blueprint to life she was hoping for, Camilla began to create her own. Now armed with a PhD in biochemistry, Camilla dismantles our obscure social customs and identifies what it really means to be human using her unique expertise and a language she knows best: science.

Through a set of scientific principles, this book examines life’s everyday interactions including:

– Decisions and the route we take to make them;
– Conflict and how we can avoid it;
– Relationships and how we establish them;
– Etiquette and how we conform to it.

Explaining Humans is an original and incisive exploration of human nature and the strangeness of social norms, written from the outside looking in. Camilla’s unique perspective of the world, in turn, tells us so much about ourselves – about who we are and why we do it – and is a fascinating guide on how to lead a more connected, happier life. 

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Review: Health At Every Size, by Linda Bacon Ph.D

Fat isn’t the problem. Dieting is the problem. A society that rejects anyone whose body shape or size doesn’t match an impossible ideal is the problem. A medical establishment that equates “thin” with “healthy” is the problem.
The solution?

Health at Every Size.

Tune in to your body’s expert guidance. Find the joy in movement. Eat what you want, when you want, choosing pleasurable foods that help you to feel good. You too can feel great in your body right now—and Health at Every Size will show you how.

Health at Every Size has been scientifically proven to boost health and self-esteem. The program was evaluated in a government-funded academic study, its data published in well-respected scientific journals.

Updated with the latest scientific research and even more powerful messages, Health at Every Size is not a diet book, and after reading it, you will be convinced the best way to win the war against fat is to give up the fight. 

Paperback, 374 pages
Published: March 23rd 2010 by BenBella Books
 (first published October 11th 2008)
Original Title
Health at Every Size: The Surprising Truth about Your Weight
ISBN13: 9781935618256
Edition Language: English

My Review

I bought this book out of interest, having been a fat person for most of my life and tried diets multiple times that worked temporarily. I’d lose a couple of stone then plateau before starting to increase again. And before I knew it I’d be back to my old weight. In the last year I’ve put on 10 kg. The nurse has got grumpy with me, I’ve returned to the Wellbeing Service Health Trainer I was seeing three years ago (at least), and she’s referred me to Thrive. I have to fill in a food diary and track everything. It’s already screwing with my head. I’m trying not to restrict but I’m struggling with it. I want to get fitter, my weight will do what it will.

I read this book with interest. Linda Bacon is a good writer and she makes the science understandable. The first half of the book is about the science, which shows that restrictive dieting may actually trigger the body’s anti-starvation mechanisms, making the dieter obsessed with food and binge. She discusses the social and political pressures around body size and health.

The basic idea is that rather than restricting food and exercising as punishment for eating, people should try to listen to their body, eat when they’re hungry and move in ways that feel good. The book tries to help the reader with that. It’s very easy to read, and full of information. Many will find it challenging because it questions everything we’re told about weight and health.

The book is US-centric and doesn’t discuss disability in respect to health and food. It also assumes the reader is in a stable living situation where they can afford and cook ‘real’ food. At times it comes off as a bit preachy.

If you’re struggling with your weight, sick of feeling a failure because the diets don’t work, try reading this book.

Review: ‘Charles and Ada’, by James Essinger #BlogTour #Rachel’sRandomResources #ConradPress #OneDayBlogBlitz

Charles and Ada: the computer’s most passionate partnership

The partnership of Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace was one that would change science forever.

They were an unlikely pair – one the professor son of a banker, the other the only child of an acclaimed poet and a social-reforming mathematician – but perhaps that is why their work is so revolutionary.

They were the pioneers of computer science, creating plans for what could have been the first computer. They each saw things the other did not; it may have been Charles who designed the machines, but it was Ada who could see their potential.

But what were they like? And how did they work together? Using previously unpublished correspondence between them , Charles and Ada explores the relationship between two remarkable people who shared dreams far ahead of their time.

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Charles-Ada-Computers-Passionate-Partnership/dp/0750990953

 US – https://www.amazon.com/Charles-Ada-Computers-Passionate-Partnership/dp/0750990953

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Unexpected Review: ‘Gender Identity, Sexuality and Autism’, by Eva A Mendes and Meredith R Maroney

Jessica Kingsley Publishers
21st January 2019


Bringing together a collection of narratives from those who are on the autism spectrum whilst also identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and/or asexual (LGBTQIA), this book explores the intersection of the two spectrums as well as the diverse experiences that come with it. By providing knowledge and advice based on in-depth research and personal accounts, the narratives will be immensely valuable to teenagers, adults, partners and families. The authors round these stories with a discussion of themes across narratives, and implications for the issues discussed.

In the final chapter, the authors reflect on commonly asked questions from a clinical perspective, bringing in relevant research, as well as sharing best-practice tips and considerations that may be helpful for LGBTQIA and ASD teenagers and adults. These may also be used by family members and clinicians when counselling teenagers and adults on the dual spectrum. With each chapter structured around LGBTQIA and autism spectrum identities, Gender Identity, Sexuality and Autism highlights the fluidity of gender identity, sexual orientation and neurodiversity and provides a space for people to share their individual experiences.

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Review: ‘The F#ck It Diet’, by Caroline Dooner


The anti-diet bible that calls time’s up to poisonous beliefs about food, weight and worth.
Not long term. In fact, our bodies are hardwired against it. But each time our diets fail, instead of considering that maybe our ridiculously low-carb diet is the problem, we wonder what’s wrong with us.
But it’s time we called a spade a spade: Constantly trying to eat the smallest amount possible is a miserable way to live, and it isn’t even working. So f*ck it.
Caroline Dooner tackles the inherent flaws of dieting and diet culture, and offers readers a simple path to healing their physical, emotional, and mental relationship with food. What’s the secret anti-diet? Eat. Whatever you want. Trust that your body knows what it is doing. Oh, and don’t forget to rest, breathe, and be kind to yourself.
Irreverent and empowering, The F*ck It Diet is call to arms for anyone who feels guilt or pain over food, weight, or their body. It’s time to give up the shame and start thriving. Welcome to the F*ck It Diet. Let’s Eat.

My Review

Thanks to the publisher, HQ, for sending me a copy of this book. It’s much appreciated.

We’ve been told by the media and diet industry that we need to bee skinny and not eat, and if we just follow this diet or take this supplement we’ll be thin and happy and finally worthy of love and success. *Head-desk*

You may have noticed I’m fat. and yet I’m not diabetic, don’t have high blood pressure or cholesterol, and until my accident in 2012 I could shoot a bow all day, walk or swim for miles without rest, then get up and do it again the next day. Strange that. I should be a couch potato who never leaves the house and should be dead if not severely ill from ‘weight-related conditions’. And yet, I’m not. How odd.

Well, not really. Genetics and epigenetics has a lot more to do with our weight and health than a lot of things we do. Social beliefs can affect our bodies, and their reaction to food. Restrictive eating makes us obsessed with food because the body is in famine mode – we need to eat to survive and starving ourselves makes our brains go ‘must find food, now!’ until you eat – binge – and then you feel like crap. Been there, done that.

I have a history of dieting and binging, and have tried to stop it often but I still get into restrictive, punishing habits. These aren’t good for me. Mentally, I get obsessive, and physically, as I discovered reading this book, my body goes into famine mode, and I get obsessed with food. And I was always hungry! Seriously, Weight Watchers was seriously bad for my mental health

This book is the result of a moment’s existential misery and years of self-care, writing and reading. The author strongly supports the HAES movement and science-based health, and fat activists.

Caroline Dooner has written an easy to read, entertaining and thoughtful (if sweary) book about not dieting, anti-dieting. It’s probably good for your mental health to give it a read. I found parts of the book brought up some of my own struggles and I cried now and then.

Review: ‘Cool That Volcano’, by Peter Black

Published By: CreateSpace Independent Publishing
Publication Date: 27th February 2018
Format: Paperback
I.S.B.N.: 9781986036115
Price: £6.99


Are your children difficult to control? Are you starting to worry that their constant temper tantrums and explosive anger are getting out of hand? You’re not alone. It is a fact that many children experience difficulties in managing their emotions, and can express anger in a damaging way that causes problems for them, and others around them. Which is where Cool That Volcano comes in. This book is packed full of techniques and methods that take you through a step by step approach to teaching your children how to manage their emotions, in a concise and easy to read manner. This is not a 300 page technical manual, but it is a set of practical methods which help you to help your child stay in control of, and master their emotions. This will almost certainly improve their lives, and the lives of those who care about them. In this guide you’ll learn how to: Teach your child to recognise problematic emotions:Teach your child how to calm down and manage anger: Teach your child how to talk about their feelings: Teach your child how to achieve mastery of their emotions: Think about your own approach to emotional management. What are you waiting for? Read this book, apply the methods inside, and begin to improve your child’s life today.

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