Books of 2020

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Even though this was a year filled with lots of time at home, it was not a year where I felt able to throw myself into reading (not like me!). However, I did manage to read a few books over the course of the year and I thought I would share my insights with a mini-review.

Daring Greatly by Brené Brown

I adore Brené Brown as her books are filled with open and honest insights about being human, and how we can improve our personal situation by leaning into the truth of who we are. We are flawed! And by learning to embrace our vulnerability, we grow stronger. Be inspired and dare to be who you really are and find out it makes for a happier life.

The Electricity of Every Living Thing by Katherine May

Katherine’s story of walking the South West Coast Path, sharing her experiences and insights along the way. She also is open about learning that she is autistic and her relief at finally understanding who she is. Sometimes we have to go on a journey to find ourselves.

The Bookshop on the Shore by Jenny Colgan

A perfect read for a book lover. Light and charming. It is a heartwarming adventure set in Scotland. Characters you will love and a book that will leave you feeling warm and fuzzy, just what we needed in 2020!

The Salt Path by Raynor Winn

I cried and laughed reading this book. A story of triumph over the tragedy of ending up homeless and the crazy idea of walking, and living, the South West Coast Path. Raynor tells her true tale with dignity that beautifully captures imagery to inspire. From the depths of despair to a depth of learning. Everyone needs to read this book and realise that when life turns sour, there is always HOPE when you get off your sorry ass and go grab your hiking boots.

Wintering by Katherine May

The perfect book for 2020! Katherine May could not have envisioned that her book would capture the feeling of 2020 across the globe, but she did. Wintering is about stepping away from the world and learning to slow down and go with the flow. It is about rituals and the little things that make us feel good. If you haven’t read it, you should. We all have periods of Wintering in our lives… and many of us are doing that right now.

Your Mind is Your Home by Kamran Bedi

How many of us suffer with a mind that tortures us constantly? If you do, then read this book. Kamran is a Mental Health & Wellbeing Practitioner (to the stars) and he shares his insights into how our minds can trick us. He shares some easy to follow steps to transform our minds from torturer to best friend. I love the references to social media, which makes his approach fresh and up-to-date.

A Wedding at the Beach Hut by Veronica Henry

What wrong with a bit of romance set by the sea? Absolutely nothing. This was a lovely light read, perfect for a summer’s day sitting by the sea with the backdrop of a row of brightly coloured beach huts. Enjoyable. Fun. A real treat.

The Whitstable High Tide Swimming Club by Katie May

An eclectic group of women are thrown together to form an open water swimming club. Might seems a little boring, but the relationships and the characters of the members are far from it. This books will have you laughing. You too will feel drawn in to their antics… and you never know, you too may want to jump in.

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

Would you chose to live a different life if you could? Well, that’s what happened to Nora when she ends up in the Midnight Library and gets the opportunity to try other ‘what could have been’ lives. Matt Haig is so clever – a great story to read, while being a thought provoking book about life. No wonder it is an international bestseller. Love it!

The Whitstable Pearl Mystery by Julie Wassmer

Get to know Pearl Nolan and the seaside town of Whitstable, as Pearl is embroiled in finding out why her friend was murdered. The first in the series by Julie Wassmer (former script writer on Eastenders). If you enjoy ‘cozy mysteries’ you will love these books. Even better the books are being adapted for TV (due for release 2021).

A Boy Called Christmas by Matt Haig

If you love Matt Haig’s imagination, then this children’s book does not disappoint. Parents, read this to your children and enjoy the magic. Matt Haig is the new Terry Pratchett of our times. Just announced, this book will be released as a movie in December 2021.

UPLIFT – Book 1 compiled by Janet Groom

Well, I couldn’t let this one go by… When the pandemic forced us into lockdown at the beginning of 2020, I reached out across the UK with the call for stories, art, poems and little bits of hope to share in a book. 30 incredible people took part and the UPLIFT Book was released in May. It is a colourful book infused with hope with the aim of raising spirits. It also raised money for three key organisations who supported, and continue to support, people at this time of COVID. I am truly honoured to bring this book into the world.

Stories are a bonds that unite us, bringing us together.

Words are whispers of hope in the storm, guiding us safely home.

Songs are the voices of angels, protecting us with their love.

TOGETHER WE UPLIFT THE WORLD

— Janet Groom

All books are available to purchase on Amazon

2019 in Review

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Tiny Tim: God bless Us, Every One!

— Charles Dickens, ‘A Christmas Carol’

Oh my goodness, it is hard to believe we are coming to the end of yet another year. Where does the time go? It has been a rollercoaster ride of a year for me and I wanted to share with you some of my literary highlights. And keep scrolling to the bottom where you will find a little extra Christmas story for you…

I re-publishing the first book in THE NAKED KNITTING CLUB series. I was delighted to bring the first book back out into the world under my own terms, and all is aligned for me to continue to write the follow-on books (yes, it is a series…) and publish with ALP House Publishing. This has taken the pressure off and I feel much happier to have control. Book 2 will be released in the first part of 2020 – click here to sign up to the mailing list to be kept informed.

I enjoy writing and 2019 also saw the ‘birth’ of two fiction books by Janet Groom. The first was WRITE TO HEAL, an opportunity for me to tell my own personal trauma to triumph journey (my old stories) and share 10 amazing techniques to aid healing using the power of WORDS and WRITING, from working on mindset through to forgiveness. In 2020, I am planning to set up an online course to accompany the book, and hold some ‘live’ workshops focussing on some of the key techniques and how to use them.

Then I has the privilege to work with ELLIE J. HART to assist her to produce her beautiful book of 52 quotes on the topic of ‘I CHOOSE…’. I adore this book and love that you can flick through and use the quote as a positive prompt for your day ahead. Ellie was inspired to write her book after reading the amazing story of Holocaust survivor Dr Edith Eger’s book ‘The Choice’, as it helped her transform her own life from victim to winner.

Then I discover an ebook I had written a few years ago LIVE THE RAINBOW, and decided to update it and re-release it. It is a bright book about using the power of colours to influence our lives in a positive and uplifting way. It includes a basic introduction to CHAKRA, CRYSTALS, and even rainbow-coloured FOODS.

Finally, the year ended on a high note as I was honoured to be part of an anthology book ‘VOICES OF HOPE’ compiled by Brenda Dempsey. It felt good to share my own personal journey from victim to finding my way to a happier life through books, words and writing. You can read my story, along with 30 other stories, in the book and be inspired that even when life throws you a curveball there is still HOPE to shift things around and create a life you enjoy. Oh, I am a now an Amazon Bestselling author!!

So, I am excited to get going with 2020, book 2 in The Naked Knitting Series is underway, and I have ideas for a few more books – some fiction and a few more non-fiction. Additionally, watch out for Creative Writing workshops and Retreats happening in the UK next year, and get started with writing your own books. If you are interested in writing your book or joining a workshop/retreat, please contact me – click here

HAPPY CHRISTMAS
HAPPY WRITING IN 2020

With Love & Blessings

Janet

Janet Groom
Author, Writer, Book Coach & Transformational Life Coach
www.janetgroom.com


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The Power of Storybooks

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I love storybooks.

‘What? Are you for real? No way!’ I hear you say, a child loves storybooks, not a grown woman in her 50s… this one does, and here’s why.

As children, many of us adored books. We loved being tucked up in bed listening to our favourite storybook. Perhaps you see this with your own children. They know the story inside-out, and yet they keep asking for the same one again and again. You see their little eyes light up in glee and the joy it brings them. Eventually, they fall asleep in the warm glow from a good story with a happy ending.

We also have a child within us, and that child still loves a ‘feel good’ story. It adores a story that ends in a positive way — the downtrodden underdog wins through and becomes a hero; the good fairy beats the evil witch; and a kind-hearted soul saves the poor injured creature from a fate worse than death.

The fundamental outcome is that ‘good’ vanquishes the ‘bad’; the story many of us wish to buy into. We believe, that even though we don’t feel like a hero today in the throes of our ordinary mundane lives, we will, when the Universe conspires, don our superhero cape and stand up for what is right and good. The world loves a hero, the world will love us.

Think about it — we, as human beings, love success stories. It is part of our DNA. It is the yearning of our unconscious mind. It is our desire to see ‘good’ become victorious, at the end of the day. We connect with the ‘hero’s journey’, and this is the plot structure used in many of great fiction novels of all time, to the latest blockbuster movies on our screens.

Studying NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) a few years ago, I learned about the power of the unconscious mind in many aspects of our lives. I also learned that it is the ‘control system’ for our fears, our thoughts, our emotions and our behaviours. But the good news is that our unconscious mind may be re-programmed, facilitating change. And one unexpected but powerful tool to aid this transformation is a STORY.

Like our inner child, our unconscious mind loves to listen to a tale. It will tune in and pays attention, enthralled, drinking in the adventure, the challenges and the final win — just like the child listening to the bedtime story.

Perhaps this is a key reason why hypnosis often proves to be a successful modality to shift behaviour. Hypnosis allows the client to enter a relaxed state (by the way the client is always in control). They allow their mind and body to relax, opening the gateway for the therapist to suggest the positive message to the unconscious mind. A seed is planted in the guise of a story, and the unconscious mind takes it in. Then with the right nurturing, like any seed, it will take root and begin to grow. With continued care, it will grow stronger, and the desired change will take effect. As long as the message within the story is consistent, and the unconscious mind is kept interested, the change will occur.

Stories are so important.

We tell ourselves stories about ourselves and who we are most, if not all, of the time. Now, most of us, particularly women, are good at putting ourselves down. We can so quickly identify ourselves as not good enough, not slim enough, not pretty enough. Guess what? Behind the scenes, your unconscious mind is taking this on board.

Isn’t it time to change your story?

Are you aware that some of the stories you tell yourself are disempowering?

Stop! Change your mind talk, as unfortunately your unconscious mind is listening and it is keeping you small and unable to reach your potential.

Perhaps it is time to make changes. Perhaps it is time to change your stories and change your life for the better.

A tip from me: ‘I choose to read stories and books that resonant with me and have the positive outcome I am seeking. They may be non-fiction or fiction. It really doesn’t matter, as long as I, and my unconscious mind, are engaged and the underlying message matches the shift I wish to effect.

Books are stories, and the right stories are inspirational, motivational and encouraging.

They share a message of hope, they inspire courage; they build dreams — and may create amazing people and great leaders along the way. (Some leadership books written in the early 1900s are still influential and positive game-changers today because their underlying story still has validity even in today’s modern world.)

Now you know why storybooks are so crucial in my life?

Are you ready to dive in and use the power of storybooks to change your mind stories?