‘But I can’t sleep, I shrieked. What if this is a horrible mistake? What if I can’t think of any times I’ve been anxious? What if I haven’t been anxious enough to write a book about anxiety?'<br>T propped himself up on one elbow, rolled his eyes and gave me a pitying smile. ‘Kerri, if there is one thing I know for certain, you are anxious enough to write a book about anxiety. Now go to sleep!'<br>I didn’t sleep, of course.
Kerrie Sackville is a mother, wife, successful author, columnist and blogger. And she suffers anxiety. She doesn’t get just a little bit anxious – she suffers crippling anxiety, which hampers her daily life severely, even though she manages to hide it from many people. Her fingernails are well bitten, her husband dies on an almost daily basis (in her fretful imagination) and she becomes hysterical in lifts – among other places.
In The Little Book of Anxiety: Confessions from a Worried Life Sackville shares her experiences with a highly readable blend of honesty, humour and practical information. A wonderful help for anyone who has suffered anxiety, and a tool for anyone who wants to understand the condition, The Little Book of Anxiety: Confessions from a Worried Life is also simply an entertaining, highly accessible read.
The Little Book of Anxiety: Confessions from a Worried Life, by Kerri Sackville
Ebury Press, 2012
This book is available from good bookstores or online from Fishpond.
Geoff Huegill is one of Australia’s best known and best loved swimmers. From the age of four until he was 26, Huegill lived and breathed swimming, training daily and winning an impressive array of medals including Olympic silver and bronze, five world champion titles, eight world records and five Commonwealth Games gold medals. But in 2005, exhausted from the years of training…
What I was attempting was nothing less than rebuilding my credibility, and the only way I was going to succeed was with a mammoth effort.
Geoff Huegill (widely nicknamed Skippy by friends and fans) is one of Australia’s best known and best loved swimmers. From the age of four until he was 26, Huegill lived and breathed swimming, training daily and winning an impressive array of medals including Olympic silver and bronze, five world champion titles, eight world records and five Commonwealth Games gold medals. But in 2005, exhausted from the years of training, and suffering depression, he quit. Two years later, having gained 45 kilos in weight and hit rock bottom, Huegill returned to swimming, determined to regain his fitness and get his life back on track. In 2010 he returned to Commonwealth Games glory, with two golds and a silver. More importantly, though, he had turned his life around – proving to himself and the world that he could follow his dreams.
Be Your Best is Huegill’s story. Starting with his childhood and early involvement in swimming , through to the sudden death of his father when Huegill was 12, and he highs of his swimming career, the book then examines what went wrong before moving on to how he managed to get his life back on track. A special section in the middle of the book also details Huegill’s Be Your Best principles, which he promotes with his business partner Keith Staggers.
The text is written in Huegill’s honest, straightforward voice. He admits his failings and is honest but not boastful about his strengths. Coloured photography throughout the book also charts his story.
Fans will love this offering.
Be Your Best, by Geoff Huegill
Ebury Press, 2011
This book can be purchased in good bookstores, or online from Fishpond. Buying through this link supports Aussiereviews.
Neil Beachley was in New Zealand on business when he received the phone call from his wife, Val, at home in Balgowlah Height, Sydney. ‘I’ve got to go and pick up my baby tomorrow,’ she informed him, her tone matter-of-fact. ‘Two things: what are we going to call it and how do I get there?’ It had been just ten months since the couple had applied to the child welfare authorities in New South Wales to adopt a baby girl, and both were pleasantly surprised, but unfazed, by the simplicity and speed of the process.,br> ‘Buggered if I know,’ came Neil’s characteristic response to the question of the child’s name. ‘You think of something.’
Layne Beachley: Beneath the Waves is a biography of one of the biggest names in women’s surfing. It documents her story from birth through to the present, acknowledging that there will be more to come. Layne Beachley was born in 1972, six weeks early, and relinquished by her seventeen year-old birth mother after being told by her father that unless she did so she would be cast out of the family. She was adopted by Neil and Val Beachley. She began surfing at age four and according to all who knew her was characterised by her determination and will to win. Her journey to become a world champion is a long one, and full of twists and turns in both her professional and private life. Along the way, she attracted her share of detractors with her outspoken enthusiasm and self-promotion. There were also many, many and supporters as she competed her way into the record books and fought for recognition of the sport she loved.
Everyone has a story and how that story is told is dependent on who tells it and why. Michael Gordon interviewed extensively for this biography and often uses direct quotes from sources in building a picture of the life of champion surfer. There are accounts from Beachley’s family, friends and supporters but also from competitors, sponsors and commentators.
Elite athletes are viewed as public figures, in much the way that movie stars are. It’s difficult for them to maintain a private life or to control how they are perceived in the media. Their training for this public life is seldom as complete as the training for their sport. For example, the meeting of 26 year-old Layne Beachley with her birth mother was coloured by the media as well as by the personalities involved. Beachley’s diary entries bring the reader close to her emotions as she travels the professional surfing circuit, while others give perspective to her sometimes harsh self-assessments. There is much here for the aspiring professional surfer, or any other athlete, as well as for the reader wanting to understand more about one of Australia’s best known surfers.
Layne Beachley: Beneath the Waves, Michael Gordon
Ebury Press 2008