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Great Reads

Be Kind to Yourself

Best-selling author of The Happiness Code, Domonique Bertolucci, is also trying to get us to be kinder to ourselves in her newly released book, The Kindness Pact. It is an insightful guide about how to be kinder to, and about, oneself. The aim of the book is to foster greater confidence by changing people’s natural tendency to be selfcritical whilst being very caring to others. Readers are invited to be as kind to themselves as they are to others.

Domonique, who lives in Battersea, is a mother of two, a life strategist and happiness coach. More than ten million people have seen, read or heard her advice. ‘I regularly receive letters from readers that highlight how easy it really is to make the changes you need to, once you decide to make them. It is the simple lessons that often have the most powerful effect.One reader recently wrote, “I can’t believe that I never knew how many choices I actually have control over – like simply deciding to be happy or choosing to not let things that are completely out of your control affect your day”,’Domonique told T&L.

The Kindness Pact, £7.99, Hardie Grant Books, available @ Waterstones, Foyles, Amazon.co.uk. The Happiness Code, £7.99, Hardie Grant Books, available @ Waterstones, Foyles, Amazon.co.uk.

Stealing Ships the Size of Skyscrapers

Manila Harbour is the new novel by Wimbledon-based author and documentary film-maker, Martin Granger, about the perilous world of piracy. With more than three decades and 100 international film awards to his name, Martin’s novels, although fiction, are based on his experiences in the film industry. Manila Harbour is the fictionalised story of a film that Martin was unable to produce. ‘We were about to film a notorious pirate in a Far Eastern jail when we were told that he was shot “trying to escape”. I had my doubts. The man had been stealing ships the size of skyscrapers for a decade. My theory was that he was hired by the authorities that held him. They didn’t want him to talk so I wrote his story as fiction in my new thriller,’ Martin told T&L.

It’s a gripping read about a huge cargo ship that is hijacked in the Far East. A young TV journalist is sent to investigate and she joins forces with a local coastguard official and they are plunged into a treacherous journey that will bring them face-to-face with murderous pirates.

Martin Grainger will be in conversation with K.T. Medina at Wimbledon BookFest on Saturday 10 October at 12.15pm. For tickets and more information www.wimbledonbookfest.org

Manila Harbour, £7.99, Red Door Publishing, www.martingrangerbooks.com

A Passage to the Riviera

Wimbledon author, Ben Chatfield has produced a great read that can only be described as A Year in Provencemeets The Beachmeets The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole. The year is 1994 and longtime Francophile, undergraduate and hapless romantic Ben spends a year split between teaching English to rowdy teenagers in Cannes and taking orders from their topless mums on a beach in Saint-Tropez.

Mediterranean Homesick Blues is The Catcher in The Rye set on the Côte d’Azur and follows the adventures of a repressed and charmingly naive Englishman as he navigates the rites of passage amid the glamour and grime of the French Riviera. It chronicles one man’s attempts to love and understand the French, acts of serial romanticism and the quest to find the ultimate sandwich.

Together with Enzo Cilenti, Ben Chatfield has created an honest, original and disarmingly funny tale of a year-long odyssey into manhood and the French way of life, offering up a different and rarely seen perspective of the glitzy hotspots of Cannes and Saint-Tropez. It flies in the face of traditional guidebooks and foreign memoirs; you won’t find a top ten list of restaurants but you will find a list of the most boring French literary classics.

The book has featured in national media and was serialised on French Radio London. Former Labour party Director of Communications, Alastair Campbell, is also a fan. ‘My year abroad was one of the happiest and most formative of my life and Ben Chatfield’s witty and insightful book brought those memories flooding back.’

Mediterranean Homesick Blues, £9.99, LYC Publishing, Amazon.co.uk

Domonique Bertolucci