Image of How to Make a Decision book

When Tanya Barad contacted me regarding her debut book How to Make a Decision asking me to review it, I was intrigued. My family could tell you growing up I was horrendous at making decisions. I could not make one and when I did I would change my mind all the time. It was getting to the point where I was seriously down as I could not trust myself to make the right decision. I have gotten a lot better now that I am older but I love a good self help book (read my review on The Defining Decade) so I decided to give it a shot.

Aim of How to Make a Decision

The aim of the book is to help you understand the theory and the science behind making a decision and how to apply this. Chapters 1-3 deal with the science of making a decision whilst chapters 4-17 is about how to come to a decision. Chapter 18 deals with helping someone make a decision and chapter 19 explores if you feel you have or have made the wrong decision. At the end of each chapter there is a section called Decision Time which allows you to apply what you have read with help worksheets. Worksheets include deciding if you are an audio, visual or kinaesthetic learner, seeing which bias’ you feel come naturally to you, allowing to think which environment to you make your decisions and the Johari Window to name a few.

What I learnt

  • There are two popular decision making techniques called Gofer and the aptly named Decide.
  • You can strengthen your decision making by planning for all possible scenarios.
  • Split the negatives out to fully understand why they are negatives and how to turn the into positives or reduce the severity of the negativity.
  • Talking through your decisions before making a decision is ideal.

Final thoughts

The book contained a mixture of her own personal experiences and you can tell it was very well researched. My only criticism is that in one of the sentences it was talking about flipping a coin to make a decision and saying that is good in scenarios which have two answers and a lot of moral importance, and the example she used was deciding to have an abortion. That to me is poor taste. Other than that and a few spelling mistakes this it is a very good book to read if you struggle to make a decision.

How to Make a Decision is out now.


Image of the book The Defining Decade

Hello, today I am writing about a book I brought recently in my haul called: The Defining Decade Why your Twenties Matter and How to Make the Most of them Now by Meg Jay. Meg Jay is a clinical psychologist who specialises in adult development. I don’t have any issues myself but I do love a good self-help book and the advice in them is a good reminder about how to make the most of the opportunities. This book interested me because it is specifically aimed for those in their twenties and for me heading into my late twenties. In this book she is bundles the most common issues that her clients have spoken about to help you make your descions more informed.

The book is split into three sections: Work, Love and The Brain and Body.  The work section I found to be the most interesting. Since I have left University I have started a career in Marketing and am in and have had very good jobs in marketing, but I know this isn’t the case for everybody and some people reading this are lost and not sure what they want from there life, especially after University.

Meg talks about how those that came into her clinic were putting off getting a career because they wanted there own ‘Eat, Prey, Love’ moment but it doesn’t happen like that. Whilst they are waiting for this moment they are underemployed and the result is taking longer and getting harder to climb on the career ladder. She gave one example of a man who spent his twenties doing ‘dumb shit’ and now in his thirties with a child he is finding it is so much harder to get where he wants to be as he lacks the experience, which he wish he spent his twenties collecting.

Planning is another skill that Meg is keen to get across. An example she gives is of a woman who wants to have a career in law and go to University to study law and wants at thirty to have a family. However she needed to started studying as soon as possible otherwise she wouldn’t hit her timeline. By planning a bit more Meg shows that it can be possible to hit your goals.

I think with work, it became evident that you need to have confidence. I have always believed myself that you have to be ‘in it to win it’ and at the end of the day if you send that email or apply for that job and get nothing back or a rejection at least I tried. Meg empathises this in her book that it is worth trying and she cites examples of her clients that have taken the plunge and are reaping the rewards now.

The section on love, for me, I just skipped over as I didn’t find it relevant to me and the last section on The Brain and Body was not that interesting to me. I do think, if you are in your twenties and feeling a bit lost or just want a read then give it a go!

Have you read any twenty something self help books? Do you recommend any books?

Image of Miss Peregrine's home for Peculiar Children

Hello, hello! Today I am going to be chatting about Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. This Young Adult book I found on my sister’s shelf when I went home for the weekend and the images inside was what intrigued me to have a read. I had heard of the film of the same name directed by Tim Burton, but we all know books are better!

The book is about Jacob who has grown up hearing his stories about his Grandad in World War Two and living in a children’s home on an island. Years later when Jacob is at High School and working at a pharmacy store from which his parents own the overall company and he presumes he will one day inherit. He paints himself as quiet a loner as he mentions he only has one friend. His Grandad is older and relies on him and Jacob gets disillusioned with his stories. One day Jacob gets a phone call from his Grandad, going to check on him he finds his Grandad dying. His Grandad says to Jacob “… find the bird in the loop on the other side of the old man’s grave on September 3, 1940, and tell them what happened.”  what is further odd is the fact that Jacob spots a monster. Seeing this monster scares Jacob and he ends up in therapy due to this. The therapist suggests visiting the island where his Grandad’s children’s home was for closure.

Jacob arrives on the island where it is freezing and wet with not a lot to do, he goes off to find the home and that is where the adventures begin…

The book although takes a little while to get going is really good. The plot gets confusing when Jacob gets to Wales and you understand what the loops are and Jacob as a character can be quite unlikeable (I really hate the fact that he doesn’t care about his summer job, when so many teens would love a job and the fact that he will take over the company one day).  I thought I wasn’t going to like it at first as it is aimed for children (although it is one of those books that you can easily get away reading as an adult on the train without people looking at you weird). The story makes the characters come to life by adding in the images (most times a character was described, there would be an photo of the character).

If you enjoy fantasy or Young Adult books or want something a bit different to read, it is worth giving this a go.

Image of the book Mad Girl by Bryony Gordon

As mental health is quite rightly getting the air time it deserves, Bryony Gordon a journalist with The Telegraph and mental health campaigner tells us her story with Mad Girl with candid honesty about mental illness from when she was thirteen the day after going to a Smash Hits Polls Winner Party to the present day and how she has deals with alopecia, bulimia and drug dependency.

I feel that so many people will be able to relate to Bryony’s experiences from dropping out of university to not understanding why she is feeling the way she is when nothing has happened at home. I remember clearly when Bryony talked about the first time she went to the Doctor to get help and the Doctor telling her to book another appointment when it gets worse, her Mum and Bryony get into the car talk about it and go back in that day and book an appointment. Her astonishing accounts of OCD, (I remember reading that she brought her iron into work as she couldn’t convince herself that it was switched off), are really interesting. Bryony goes into great depth about her OCD and recalls some experiences that I could imagine other suffers wouldn’t want people (especially in a book that anyone could read!) to know.

Mad Girl isn’t preachy and Bryony doesn’t write in a way which she wants sympathy from the reader, it is just true honesty. From the back of this Bryony hosts a podcast called Mad World with The Telegraph and also created Mental Health Mates which a regular meet-up in parks for those with mental health issues.

According to Mind every year 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem. This means where ever you are in the workplace or classroom it is very likely that there will be someone you know has a mental health problem. If you want to understand more about mental health issues Mad Girl is a great starter.




Image of the book

Recently I brought a load of books to keep me occupied over the Christmas period. One of them was this beauty of a book by Adelle Stripe. Black Teeth and a Brilliant Smile tells the story of Bradford playwright Andrea Dunbar. Andrea Dunbar grew up in extreme poverty on the Buttershaw Estate an estate in Bradford, Yorkshire. The book is interesting because it is a fictional story based on Andrea’s life events. I had to admit after reading the book I googled to find out more information as it wasn’t clear to me if Andrea had been a real writer or not. Looking back at the book for writing this review it does say that it is a work of fiction and ‘an alternative version of historic events’.

The story is gritty, Andrea had gone through some real hardship, falling pregnant young and then miscarrying, living with an abusive partner and then moving to a safe house, her unhealthy relationship with alcohol and poverty. her playwriting comes in when her teacher at school picks up the fact that she has a talent for writing. This leads to her writing The Arbor which was performed at the Royal Court Theatre in London in 1980. Rita, Sue and Bob too is the play which is she is well known for, debuted in 1982 tells the story of two women who have an affair with a married man. Her final play Shirley is about Shirley and her family and friends in an working class estate in Bradford in the 1980’s.

The book keeps you gripped throughout, at times the book makes you want to throttle Andrea as it seems that she is passing over opportunities at almost an act of self-sabotage.

I hadn’t heard of Andrea Dunbar before the book and I hadn’t heard of her screenplays before (it was in the 1980’s so before my time!) but I certainly want to read them. An extraordinary story about an extraordinary woman who managed to achieve her dream against every worse scenario possible.