De-stressed by The Teenage Guide to Stress

A new book coming through the post is always a reason to celebrate. But when it’s on your mat when you get home from an unexpected and rather stressful stint at work, it’s even better. And when it’s a book you’ve wonand it’s a good’un! – what could be better?

Not a lot (yes, that’s the right answer. You can put your hand down at the back). Coming home to a signed copy of Nicola Morgan’s The Teenage Guide to Stress on Monday was a great start to a busy week, and as you’ll see…

Teenage Stress

… Nicola sent three lovely signed postcards too, featuring her book covers; one for me and one each for ArtyDaughter and ConstructoBoy. I asked for the book to be signed to them because, well, they’re teenagers. I thought it might be very useful for them. ConstructoBoy was alerted to the book’s presence by TechieHusband muttering approvingly about it as he turned it over in his hands.

ConstructoBoy (glaring, jaw twitching, fingers drumming an irregular beat on the table): What? Why have you got us a book on teenage stress, hmm? So what are you saying? That I’m STRESSED?

Walks off stage, grinding teeth.

I jest. That’s artistic licence gone mad. He did make a fake unimpressed noise, though, and asked why I thought he needed it.

Of course, nobody needs a book on stress solely because they’re a teenager – and it’s not only teenagers that may need a book on stress, either! But I’ve already had a dip into several sections and read enough to know that firstly, it’s really good and full of sound, non-judgemental advice – I found myself nodding a lot – and that secondly, I wished I’d had a book like it when I was a teenager. When I was a teen, I didn’t know that I was stressed, but looking back, I’m not sure how I survived with my marbles intact (always open to debate, that one).

I do remember saying once that I wanted to go to the doctors because I thought I might be suffering from depression. I was asked what on earth I had to be depressed about. I didn’t mention it again.

Hopefully any teens out there experiencing similar problems to those I had (problems that unfortunately I can’t really go into here) will borrow, buy or download this book and not only be reassured, but steered towards getting the right information and help too.

The Teenage Guide to Stress is my favourite kind of non-fiction – the kind that genuinely helps, informs and makes the world a teensy bit better. If you want to scoop up a copy for yourself, try your local bookseller, or WHSmith, Waterstones,, the Hut… or those other South American river people if you must. You know who I mean.

If you’re in the Peak District, you could pop into the lovely Scarthin Books, which I wrote about here, to buy a copy. In the Marches/Herefordshire? Then pootle along to Aardvark Books instead (recommended here). You’ll get a warm welcome at both places and delicious food, too (plus, probably, several other books you didn’t budget for). What more could you ask for?


On Holiday in a Bookshop – Part 3: We Go West!

Before I wind my way west to Shropshire (where we stayed in week 2), just a quick mention for the Titles Bookshops. There’s a few dotted around the Peak District, but the one we visited was in North Parade in Matlock Bath. I picked up Christopher Somerville’s intriguing Never Eat Shredded Wheat in paperback for a bargain price (highly recommended if you want a light-hearted informative romp around the UK. I guarantee there will be stuff in there you didn’t know).Never Eat Shredded Wheat

ConstructoBoy, who likes to follow up his fiction interests with non-fiction, bought a book on handguns (because certain types are mentioned in Indiana Jones stories and he wanted to know about them. That’s what got him into tanks, too).

The Titles Bookshop there wasn’t huge but there was a good smattering of bargain and local interest books, together with helpful cheery staff. What more could you ask for?

For the second week of our holiday we abandoned the Peaks, collected my Mum then headed for Shropshire – swapping one set of hills for another (we obviously had a desire for hills – that’s what happens when you’ve moved to somewhere flat, y’know!) One of the bookshops we found there was Aardvark Books in the tiny village of Brampton Bryan, just off the A4113 Leintwardine-Lingen road.


Once again, a huuuge selection of books in a converted barn – and a place to enjoy some refreshments – and Arty Daughter was delighted because they had a graphic novels section. And yes, she had bought some the week before (in Scarthin Books – see On Holiday in a Bookshop Part One) but she reads them very, very quickly….sigh. And once again, helpful staff. Is it just running a bookshop that does that, d’you think, or is it the fact that they’re not preoccupied with trying to sell you lottery scratchcards and giant bars of chocolate at bargain prices…?
Next time we venture to Hay-on-Wye 😉