Memoirs to Read When You Feel Blue

Memoirs to Read When You Feel Blue, Books to motivate and inspire you to take another step and push through one day at a time. Never give up! Biljana Hutchinson #books #memoirs #motivation #inspiration #personaldevelopment

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What do you do when it’s all going down? In times when it seems as if nothing’s ever gonna get better. When it appears that whatever you do is taking you deeper into the dungeon of despair? 

I’ve been there. Trust me. I tried and used different methods to get myself out of the darkness, and many of them helped me tremendously in getting back to normal, functional daily life. From simple everyday walks in early mornings through therapy and intensive physical training with a personal trainer to expanding my knowledge with new hobbies, then a new career and yoga. There was one constant that was part of all the methods that I used and the one that I enjoyed the most, reading. 

Memoirs to Read When You Feel Blue, Books to motivate and inspire you to take another step and push through one day at a time. Never give up! Biljana Hutchinson #books #memoirs #motivation #inspiration #personaldevelopment

Reading for me is a go-to activity through thick and thin. If I’m down, I will look for an escape in books, either by exploring a new subject to give my mind a different focus or just by diving into a new world opposite of mine. If I’m happy, I’ll expand my TBR list with new purchases and pick a new read in excitement. 

I used to read fiction exclusively in my spare time, but in the past few years, I discovered a whole new world of non-fiction and developed a tremendous love for memoirs and autobiographies in particular. Many of them picked me rather than the other way around, I dare to say. Somehow, the timing appeared to be just right to come across a book that described what I was going through but also showed me that there is that famous light at the end of a tunnel. A book that soothes the scars and lifts up in times of blues. 

I picked out my favourite 10 that inspired me, carried me into the next day and pushed me to take another step. Here they are in no particular order. 

Memoirs to Read When You Feel Blue, Books to motivate and inspire you to take another step and push through one day at a time. Never give up! Biljana Hutchinson #books #memoirs #motivation #inspiration #personaldevelopment

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi. A mind-blowing account of facing death and becoming a father at the same time. It’s a beautifully written memoir that combines science, language and literature. Inspirational and heartbreaking.

I am, I am, I am by Maggie O’Farrell. The subtitle of the memoir is Seventeen Brushes with Death, and it’s a collection of seventeen near-death experiences in an extraordinary life of the author. 

The Diving Bell and The Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby. Before he had a stroke, Bauby was editor-in-chief of French Elle magazine and a father of two children. After the stoke, he ended up in a 20-day long coma and woke up with a lock-in syndrome able to blink his left eye only. That is how he dictated this book.  

Living With the Dead Language by Ann Patty. If you are like me, a lover of Latin language and literature and memoirs then this is a perfect book for you. The story of self-discovering and redefining life purpose combined with good humour, honesty and beautiful writing will teach and entertain you. 

Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi. A memoir in books of a teacher and her seven dedicated students that tells a story of the power of literature and resilience in the times of revolution, censorship and denying freedom in Iran. 

Memoirs to Read When You Feel Blue, Books to motivate and inspire you to take another step and push through one day at a time. Never give up! Biljana Hutchinson #books #memoirs #motivation #inspiration #personaldevelopment

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi. Together with Reading Lolita in Tehran, this memoir is on my list not only because I am fascinated with that part of the world but because, although different, both are testimonies to resilience, wisdom and strength in difficult times. Persepolis is a graphic memoir with a tremendous amount of humour and heartbreak. 

Reach for the Sky by Paul Brickhill. Published in 1954, this story of Douglas Bader is an inspirational account about an RAF pilot who had it all in 1931. Then, one December morning after an air crash, Bader lost both of his legs but and had to learn to walk again. He served as a fighter pilot in the Second World War.

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion. A memoir that is trying to make sense of a time when one faces an unexplained illness of a child and a sudden death of partner after 40 years of life together, all at the same time. Honest and powerful. 

H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald. A multilayered and innovative memoir about taming Mabel, a goshawk and liberating self in the times of grief after the author lost her father. 

Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris. Insightful and hilarious, this is a collection of essays about moving to France, learning the language, eating in restaurants and many more. 

So, there! I gave you some ideas and added more to your to-be-read list. If you’re anything like me, it’s probably a neverending one.

Have you read any of the books on my list? If not, what one would you pick?

What do you do in the times of blues? What is the one thing that makes you feel better instantly? 

Let me know in the comments box or get in touch with me.

Memoirs to Read When You Feel Blue, Books to motivate and inspire you to take another step and push through one day at a time. Never give up! Biljana Hutchinson #books #memoirs #motivation #inspiration #personaldevelopment
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Health Tips, Myths and Tricks by Morton E. Tavel, MD Review

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Health Tips, Myths and Tricks by Morton E. Tavel MD. Find some of the most searched answers about health, wellness and nutrition in one place. Ever wandered should you eat breakfast or if chocolate is good for you? Want to find out the truth about artificial sweeteners? And more? Read this book and my review, while you're at it.

Health Tips, Myths and Tricks, A Physician’s Advice by Morton E. Tavel, MD is a book that answers the most popular questions about food, health and fitness at this age of the internet. We all googled at least one of the issues explained in this book at least once in our adult life.

The book is user-friendly mainly in two ways. First, Dr Tavel writes in an easily readable, so-called plain English for all with no medical background to understand and absorb. Second, it is written to be read either from cover to cover or, more likely, in small chunks as a lexicon. A reader can scroll down the well structured laid out table of content, find a question of interest and read only the required chapter.

Dr Tavel’s guide consists of 62 chapter divided into three parts. The first part is packed with Tips on health and wellness that readers can learn and then apply to their daily life not only to improve wellbeing and, say, lose weight but also to save money. One can read what a good breakfast is and what are the benefits of it; are the coffee and chocolate good or bad; or what is the truth about olive oil and artificial sweeteners.

In the second part of the book, Dr Tavel debunks the Myths, so the reader can finally find out the facts about energy drinks or fortified food; or should we buy organic food and who should follow the gluten-free diet.

The third part is about the Tricks used in marketing to extract the money from the consumer in exchange for a questionable product that is, in many cases, useless and in some cases could be even dangerous. The Tricks cover the examples of dietary supplements, alkaline water, body detoxification methods, and much more.

The most compelling part for me was the third part that explains and teaches us how the scams are done but also how to search for information, critically question the presented ‘facts’ and how and where to verify these ’facts’.

Health Tips, Myths and Tricks contains a tremendous amount of research data presented in a conversational but methodical way that is easy to adapt and digest. It is a practical read with concise chapters and actionable advice.

I give Health Tips, Myths and Tricks 3 out of 4 stars because some of the examples contained unnecessary details but I do recommend this book to everyone who wants necessary information on some of the most searched questions of modern-day health, wellness and nutrition. In the end, I will mention the unfortunate cover too. I would strongly revise the book cover in case of the next edition.


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5 Nonfiction Must Reads for Self-Improvement

Five Nonfiction Must-Reads for Self-Development Biljana Hutchinson #personaldevelopment #entrepreneur #nonfiction #selflove #business

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If you have been in a bookstore lately, then you probably saw how big the self-improvement section is. There are more self-help related titles than we could ever read and counting. Although reading is easy, simple and cheap, it can still pose a challenge in a busy world such as ours. Nevertheless, with the recent popularisation of audiobooks reading became even easier.

Books have helped me on many occasions in my life. I love books in all shapes and forms. I love reading them, collecting them, giving books as gifts, reading and writing about them. To share some of my book love, I will give you five titles that are my favourite must-reads in self-improvement department. The ones that have had an everlasting impact on my personal life, professional or both.

A small part of 'What to Read for Self-Improvement' Biljana Hutchinson #personaldevelopment #nonfiction #entrepreneur #business

Here we go.

  • The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. If you struggle with procrastination, then this book is for you to procrastinate a little longer until you read it. It is a humorous and insightful read about why we procrastinate and how to stop doing it.
  • The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tole. If you are willing to learn how to live your life in the present moment and control your own happiness, this book is perfect for you.
  • The New One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard & Spencer Johnson. A beautiful story that reveals 3 one-minute secrets on how to lead and manage. These secrets helped me not only in the way I run my business but in the way I parent too.
  • 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey. A life-changing read on effective personal management. It had a significant impact on my life when I first read it, and I keep it as one of my favourite reminders.
  • Purple Cow by Seth Godin. How to use creative marketing to avoid being invisible and transform your business by being remarkable. The principles can be translated into our private life too.

What are your favourite titles? Have you read any of the books on my list? If not, what will be the first one you will reach for? Share your thoughts, comments or just love in the comments box below. Sharing is caring.

Don’t forget, Be kind to yourself.

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And Then I Met Margaret by Rob White Book Review

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Rob White’s book was the first book I reviewed in it’s-going-public way, and I was soooo excited to post it. It’s not perfect, you’ll see, but I will be kind to myself and say that all I wanted to do is get it out there. It was a way for me to pass the threshold between talking about doing something and doing it.

And Then I Met Margaret Book Review Biljana Hutchinson #personaldevelopment #nonfiction #bookreview #personaltransformation #mindset

And Then I Met Margaret is a quick and entertaining read that will make you reflect on the lessons we learn on our path of life and people that teach us those lessons. It got me thinking about unexpected gurus in my life and in what light I see people around me.

You can check out my full review at Online Book Club website.

If you like quick, motivational read with a self-help tone, where you can relate to myths Rob believed in and lessons he learnt, you can check it out here.

If you already read it, please share your thoughts with me.



Book Update


For those of you who follow, you know that the working title of the book was In Extremis. A close friend of mine who worked with me on it from the beginning which was almost three years ago came up with the title, I loved it, and we were even contemplating on keeping it for publishing.

Then, I stopped writing for different reasons for about two years. Earlier this year, in March, when I decided to finish the book and thus wrap up the last six years of my life, I googled the title and a list of eight (?!), not one, not two but eight different books with the same title opened up before me.

At the time, Ivana was already working on the book cover, and she came up with that beautiful first one, that is still my favourite, the white one with poppies that resemble blood stains around the gunshot wounds.


About Page, Book cover and what else can you expect from my blog, Biljana Hutchinson
Book cover. Still working on the book…


‘I have to change the title’, I said to Ivana and so the email exchange started. Ivana understood and was able to quickly translate everything that I gave her into that beautiful cover that you can see now with the new title.

At the moment, there are 30 000 words in the manuscript, and there will be about or up to 20 000 more. Updates on the writing to continue as writing continues…

How do you like the cover?