By Katja Pantzar
Finnish-born writer Katja Pantzar was raised and educated in Canada, where the consumerist and materially obsessed culture left her feeling empty and unhappy. When she received treatment for depression in her mid-20s, the doctor treating her simply prescribed medication and sleeping pills, no thought given to her lifestyle.After moving to Finland, Katja discovered sisu: the Finnish approach to well being defined by a special kind of resilience, grit and courage. She embraced this way of living and experienced a dramatic turnaround in her health and happiness. Simple, functional exercise (as simple as riding her bike to work), the Nordic diet,spending time in nature and water together with a more courageous outlook, all served to transform Pantzar's life: her anxieties, fatigue and pain left behind in the sea. In Finding Sisu, Pantzar offers an honest (no place is perfect - Finland is not an exception) and uplifting account of her physical and psychological health transformation from a slightly lethargic depressive into an energetic optimist. She examines the link between sisu and the Nordic reputation for excellent wellbeing and overall life satisfaction, and looks at the ways in which we, too, can apply sisu to our lives - wherever we may be. Finding Sisu is a personal but also practical approach to the power of this 500-year-old philosophy and how it can help us all to lead healthier, happier - and braver lives.
From Cradle to Stage
By Virginia Hanlon Grohl
Virginia Grohl, mother of Dave Grohl, had not seen any of it coming. Not the arenas of screaming fans, not Nirvana or the Foo Fighters, not the induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and certainly not her son, Dave, performing with Sir Paul McCartney at The White House. Theirs had always been a life full of music - the Grohl family sang together on long car trips, harmonising to Motown and David Bowie - yet Virginia never expected her son to become a musician. But when Virginia saw Nirvana play for the first time to crazed applause from thousands of screaming fans, she knew nothing would ever be the same. She was the mother of a rock star.And as Virginia watched her son's star rise, she often wondered about the other mothers who raised sons and daughters who became rock stars. Were they as surprised as she was about their children's fame? Virginia often wondered about the mystical force that urges some of us to listen, to play, to surround ourselves with music. She wanted to talk about it with the other mothers whose sons and daughters were sharing stages with Dave, and she decided to seek them out wherever they were. So began a two-year odyssey, where she had conversations with such women from all over the world as Verna Griffin, Dr Dre's mother, Carolyn Williams, Pharell William's mother, Janis Winehouse, Amy Winehouse's mother, Patsy Noah, Adam Levine's mother, Donna Haim, mother to the Haim sisters and Hester Diamond, Mike D of The Beastie Boys' mother, to name just a few. From Cradle to Stage will appeal to mothers everywhere, but particularly to those with children who march (or play) to the beat of their own drum; and it's for those children who have their mothers to thank for everything. For music lovers and rock fans, it's the ultimate backstage pass-for anyone who has wondered what it's like to be on the inside...looking out at a packed arena. Featuring a foreword by Dave Grohl and exclusive family photographs, interviews are interwoven with the Grohl family story and the resultant book is a very intimate portrait of what makes a rock star.
'A brilliant read, raw in its emotions and a real eye-opener.'Martina ColeMy name is Chyna. When I was thirteen years old I became part of a girl gang. This is my story.Chyna was born in the middle of gangland UK. From a young age she saw people all around her in gangs. They had the status, the ghetto-fabulous look and the money. So when girls from a rival school started picking on Chyna and her friends, they decided to take control of their lives and form their own gang. They called it Nothing 2 Lose. Soon Chyna was caught up in a world of thiefing phones, shoplifting and shanks. She rolled tight with her fam. The risk of arrest and beatings was always present, but so were the rewards: fast p's, bare liquor and draw, and the thrill of being above the law. Then boys came into their lives, and Chyna and her friends were attracted to some of gangland's most notorious boys. Now Chyna had found herself in a very glamorous world with VIP tables at the most exclusive clubs, big p's lavished on bling and champagne. She was living the highlife as the girlfriend of one of London's most feared gangstas.The deeper she got into this world, the more she discovered the dark side. The guns, the vicious drug dealers, the constant threat of prison: Chyna knew she had to find a way out. But it would take a devastating tragedy - one that ripped apart her world - before Chyna found the courage to leave gangland behind once and for all. 'Rich and dazzling.'The Sunday Times'This emotional story of a girl born on a tough London estate provides a shocking eye-opener on gang culture . . . gritty and hard-hitting . . . Written in London slang, the story has a real spirit which really shines through.'New of the World'A scary insight into the lives of youngsters born into poverty in Britain.'Sun'This isn't an expose to ease middle-class guilt. We're not asked to pity Chyna. Nor does FAM seek to glamourise the horrors of gang life. It is, simply, crudely, an account of a side of London you probably know absolutely nothing about and about which very little is written (aside from social care reports). These are the intimidating girls at the back of the bus, the kids storming through shopping centres, the ones who mug you for your phone and purse, the names in the newspaper your eyes sip over following yet another stabbing on a council estate.'Time Out