Katie Piper on the things she’d tell her children, just in time for Mother’s Day!

Katie Piper on the things she’d tell her children, just in time for Mother’s Day!

Mother’s Day is around the corner, and we’re thinking about all the wonderful things our mums have done for us over the years. The lovely Katie Piper and her mum Diane have written Things I’d Tell My Child – a delightful rumination on motherhood and the perfect gift for Mother’s Day. Here’s Katie’s own personal introduction…

Becoming a mother has been the most amazing journey for me.

From the moment I knew my first baby was a girl I started to plan, and to hope and dream. I wanted so much for her – health, friendships, love, work she enjoys – in other words a meaningful and fulfilling life. And, of course, it was just the same the second time around, all those dreams still firmly in place, despite the extra circles under my eyes from lack of sleep, the battered toes from falling over stray toys and the soundtrack from Frozen stuck on a loop in my head.

Near the top of my list of hopes and dreams for my girls, Belle and Penelope, is the wish for us to enjoy the same great relationship I had with my mum, Diane. The mother–daughter bond is something special, and I couldn’t wait to experience it with my own daughters. But I also knew that the world had changed so much since I was growing up. What would I need to know, to learn, to understand in order to give my daughters the strength to cope with everything that might come their way?

I want my daughters to be strong, brave women who can speak up for themselves and navigate life’s ups and downs with confidence. The world can be a tough place, and something unexpected can come along and change everything, so I want them to be able to take life in their stride, the good and the bad, and still keep their centre of gravity – the calm place inside that knows ‘I am me, whatever happens’.

Of course, like almost every parent, I feel protective. I don’t want anyone to hurt my daughters, ever. But the truth is they will get hurt. I can’t protect them from a mean comment, a job that doesn’t work out, a failed relationship. All I can do is teach them how to deal with those things when they happen. The way you manage adversity is the best measure of anyone, because if you can come through the toughest of times in one piece, you can cope with anything.

I know that the example I set my girls, in all things, will be vital. But what do I teach them about friendships, relationships and a woman’s role? And how do I help them navigate a world that is changing so fast?

Before writing this book I did a lot of exploring, talking and looking around. I talked to friends, to experts and to mothers – young and older. And I’ve included some of their stories in the book, because there’s nothing like someone else’s insight to help you see what’s happening in your own life. Many of us are single parents, caring for children alone and that’s a tough call. There are times when I find it hard even with the support of a loving, involved partner, so I have enormous respect for the mums, and the dads, who do it alone.

Some of the most valuable insight and advice came from psychologist Kairen Cullen, who has vast experience of working with mothers and daughters of all ages. Her quiet wisdom and spot-on observations have been a huge help.

I also talked to my mum, Diane. Who better to turn to for mother–daughter advice? We talked about our own relationship and Mum’s relationship with her own mother. It’s fascinating to follow a line of women, from my grandmother, to my mother, to me, and then my daughters. Each one of those relationships is different to the others, and yet they are all built around the unique mother–daughter dynamic. Loving together, sharing, talking, laughing – infuriating each other at times – but such an important relationship for both of us, and at the heart of the way we see ourselves and the world. I talked to Mum about how she did things when she was a young mother, and how she feels now, looking back on bringing up me, my brother and my sister? She’s been amazing, always there for me through everything, steadily by my side. I hope I can do that for my own two girls.

I’ve asked Mum to contribute her thoughts to the book, adding her own special angle on subjects that are close to her heart. We’ve added a chapter on coping with trauma, as many of us find ourselves having to do, and Mum will have a lot to say there. We’ve included extracts from the diary she kept after my acid attack, which I hope will help others going through unexpected tragedy. She’ll also share what it was like when I left home twice – the first time as an excited teenager, the second time putting a foot tentatively back out in the world, two years after the attack. I think Mum felt a lot of concern then, about how tough life might be for me as I rebuilt my life.

Mum is also a doting grandmother to Belle and Penelope and she has given me so much good advice – I couldn’t have done it without her. But they’re still very young and I’m still in the early stages of the motherhood journey, whereas Mum is a few steps ahead of me and can talk about what it’s like having adult daughters.

I think Mum would agree that bringing up happy, healthy daughters has become more challenging. Girls today have more opportunities than those in any previous generation. But they also face unprecedented pressures. They’re expected to become top executives, surgeons and judges, and at the same time to be slim and attractive and to know how to navigate the world of online communications.

That’s why I want to look at what it means to raise a daughter in the modern world, what we learn as mothers and the incredible power of mother–daughter relationships.

I’ve looked at many of the issues we mums face in raising our daughters; issues such as body image, the pressures of social media, role models, dating, sex and safety, and mental health. I’ve also looked at the power of the internet (and how to use it wisely), the work/parenting balance and how to teach girls to speak out and to be part of the big conversations in life about the things that matter.

Although my focus is on daughters in this book, I should mention that much of the information, insight and advice I’ve discovered and brought together is equally true for sons. Boys also face a tough world and many challenges as they grow, and parents have just as many concerns for their sons as they do for their daughters.

We all know there’s no such thing as the perfect mother–daughter relationship; each one is unique and that’s what makes them special. Some mums and daughters have such an intense relationship that they seem to live in one another’s pockets. Others have so much space that they can go for weeks or months without seeing one another. But the bond is there, no matter what, and none of us would be without it.

Things I’d Tell My Child is out now in paperback – nab a copy for your mum this Mother’s Day!

Our best Kindle bargains for March!

Our best Kindle bargains for March!

There’s nothing quite like snapping up your next read for less than your morning coffee… here’s our pick of the best deals this March.

Get Your Sh*t Together by Sarah Knight

Ever find yourself snowed under at the office – or even just glued to the sofa – when you really want to get out (for once), get to the gym (at last), and get started on that daunting dream project you’re always putting off? Then it’s time to get your sh*t together. This New York Times bestseller from the author of The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k is the no-f**ks-given, no-holds-barred guide to living your best life.

The Rival by Charlotte Duckworth

An addictive psychological suspense about ambition, female rivalry, and how far you’d go to get what you want.

‘A Chilling read with a killer twist’ 
The Sun

No Angel by Penny Vincenzi

From the Sunday Times bestselling author Penny Vincenzi, NO ANGEL is the first novel in the acclaimed Spoils of Time trilogy.

‘Penny Vincenzi dazzlingly combines the old-fashioned virtues of gripping storytelling with the up-to-the-minute contemporary feel for emotional depth and insight into the lives of the characters. She is a supreme stylist and clever writer. Reading her is an addictive experience’ Elizabeth Buchan.

The Story Keeper by Anna Mazzola

From the author of THE UNSEEING comes a sizzling, period novel of folk tales, disappearances and injustice set on the Isle of Skye, sure to appeal to readers of Hannah Kent’s BURIAL RITES or Beth Underdown’s THE WITCH FINDER’S SISTER.

Take Me In by Sabine Durrant

He saved your son’s life. Now he wants yours…

Tessa and Marcus went on holiday to save their marriage.
Instead they nearly lost their son. From the bestselling author of Lie With Me comes a new unputdownable twisty thriller.

The House Between Tides by Sarah Maine

Waterstones Scottish Book of the Year in 2018, The House Between Tides is a captivating story of a crumbling estate in the wilds of Scotland, its century-old secret and an enduring mystery…

Our Pick of the Best Bookish Gifts for Mother’s Day.

Our Pick of the Best Bookish Gifts for Mother’s Day.

With Mother’s Day just around the corner (31st March, in case you’ve forgotten!) we’ve pulled together the perfect list of bookish gifts for the lovely ladies in your life. From inspirational advice from our beloved Katie Piper to a laugh-out-loud lesson in ‘the rules of parenting’ in The Mummy Diaries, there’s a little something for all the mums on your list! Here’s what to buy this Mother’s Day…

Things I’d Tell My Child by Katie Piper and Diane Piper

We rooted for her on Strictly last year, we feel inspired every time she’s on our TVs, and now we weep when we hear all about the things Katie Piper will tell her children…

From the moment I knew my first baby was a girl I started to plan, hope and dream. I couldn’t wait to experience that special bond, but I wondered how I’d feel about being a working mum, how I’d hold on to the person I am. I also knew that the world has changed so much since I was growing up. What advice, values and role models would help give my daughter the confidence and strength to cope with all that might come her way – and to give her an open mind and warm heart?

This is my journey in motherhood: my experiences, hopes and fears – with my mum’s stories of raising me, a parenting expert’s advice and empowering exercises – to guide you from those first wobbly moments to being a happy, healthy mum and raising children who aren’t afraid to be themselves – and to go for the life they want. 

The Lemon Tree Hotel by Rosanna Ley

A story about love, family secrets, and a little piece of heaven…

In the beautiful village of Vernazza, the Mazzone family have transformed an old convent overlooking the glamorous Italian Riviera into the elegant Lemon Tree Hotel. For Chiara, her daughter Elene and her granddaughter Isabella, the running of their hotel is the driving force in their lives.

One day, two unexpected guests check in. The first, Dante, is a face from Chiara’s past, but what exactly happened between them all those years ago, Elene wonders. Meanwhile, Isabella is preoccupied with the second guest, a mysterious young man who seems to know a lot about the history of the old convent and the people who live there. Isabella is determined to find out his true intentions and discover the secret past of the Lemon Tree Hotel.

the key

The Key by Kathryn Hughes

A hidden note. A lost love. A second chance…

‘A wonderful, enthralling story; one that I didn’t want to end’ Lesley Pearse

‘A heartbreakingly powerful read’ The Sun

From the #1 bestselling author of The Letter, Kathryn Hughes, comes The Key, an unforgettable story of a heartbreaking secret that will stay with you for ever.

1956

It’s Ellen Crosby’s first day as a student nurse at Ambergate Hospital. When she meets a young woman admitted by her father, little does Ellen know that a choice she will make is to change both their lives for ever…

2006

Sarah is drawn to the now abandoned Ambergate. Whilst exploring the old corridors she discovers a suitcase belonging to a female patient who entered Ambergate fifty years earlier. The shocking contents, untouched for half a century, will lead Sarah to unravel a forgotten story of tragedy and lost love, and the chance to make an old wrong right . . .

The Hideaway

The Hideaway by Sheila O’Flanagan

The breathtaking novel from Sunday Times bestselling Sheila O’Flanagan, author of THE MISSING WIFE and WHAT HAPPENED THAT NIGHT. Perfect for readers of Catherine Alliott and Marian Keyes.

What would you do if you discovered you were living a lie?

When a shocking news report shatters Juno Ryan’s world, she suddenly finds herself without the man she loves – and with no way of getting the answers she needs.

Juno flees to the enchanting Villa Naranja in Spain. The blue skies and orange groves – along with Pep, the local winemaker’s handsome son – begin to soothe her broken heart. But just when she begins to feel whole again, another bombshell drops.

Juno might have run away from her secrets, but the past isn’t finished with her…

M for Mammy By Eleanor O’Reilly

‘M is for Mammy. It’s also for Marvellous! What a wonderful story – in turns heart-breaking, heartwarming, and hilarious. Granny Mae-Anne is a FABULOUS creation.’ – Ruth Hogan

A heart-warming debut about love and language and the power of a family to heal itself

M for Mammy is a gloriously funny, bittersweet debut novel, reminiscent of the work of Roddy Doyle. It follows the fortunes of the Augustt family as they struggle to cope when Annette, the mother, suffers a stroke and is sent away to Dublin for rehabilitation.

Inimitable matriarch Granny Mae-Anne is enlisted to help and sweeps in with her cleaning products and her pictures of the pope. She doesn’t have much time for her feckless son in law Kevin, but would do anything for her grandchildren, Jacob who is five and has been diagnosed with autism, and Jenny, ten, who is besotted with books and stories and knows more about what is going on than anyone gives her credit for. Everyone is worried about how Jacob is coping, but no one seems to notice Jenny spinning off the rails. Will Mae-Anne be able to hold everything together until Annette comes home? Can they ever be a proper family again, when so much has changed?

The Mummy Lessons by Helen Wallen

Parenting: The Rules

1) Try to sleep when the baby sleeps (SO NEVER. EVER. UNTIL YOU ARE AN EMPTY WINE-SOAKED HUSK AND FALL DOWN DEAD IN THE BABY AISLE AT TESCO.)

2) Eat when the baby sleeps (SEE POINT ABOVE.)

3) Remember to take time to pause and cherish these special days (HAHAHA . . .  YOU’RE KIDDING, RIGHT?)

After a tough pregnancy, Emily is determined to tackle motherhood like a pro. But she quickly learns that Insta-Perfect-Parenting (and sleep) is hard to come by, no matter how much money you spend in Mothercare.

Irritatingly, her friend Molly seems to be breezing it. But with a business venture as well as a baby, is she taking on too much?

Liz looks as though she might have it all worked out. But when a tragedy derails her relationship, she has some serious decisions to make. From rhyme time to wine time, THE MUMMY LESSONS follows a year of highs and lows for Emily, Molly and Liz as they learn the hardest lesson of all: that life doesn’t always follow the rules . . .

Things I’d Tell My Child by Katie Piper

Things I’d Tell My Child by Katie Piper

An inspiring and empowering book on raising a daughter in the modern world 

Whether you’re becoming a mum for the first time or you have children who are growing up faster than you could have ever imagined, motherhood can feel like the most joyful and yet the most daunting of times. But you’re not alone. 

From the moment I knew my first baby was a girl I started to plan, hope and dream. I couldn’t wait to experience that special bond, but I wondered how I’d feel about being a working mum, how I’d hold on to the person I am. I also knew that the world has changed so much since I was growing up. What advice, values and role models would help give my daughter the confidence and strength to cope with all that might come her way – and to give her an open mind and warm heart?

This is my journey in motherhood: my experiences, hopes and fears – with my mum’s stories of raising me, a parenting expert’s advice and empowering exercises – to guide you from those first wobbly moments to being a happy, healthy mum and raising children who aren’t afraid to be themselves – and to go for the life they want.  

KATIE PIPER

Things I’d Tell My Child is about motherhood,  what you learn as a mother, the things you would tell your daughter and most of all it’s Katie and Diane Piper’s celebration of the incredible power of mother-daughter relationships.

Things I’d Tell My Child is available now!

Lightly: How to live a simple, serene and stress-free life by Francine Jay

Lightly: How to live a simple, serene and stress-free life by Francine Jay

The minimalist manual that will help you to live lightly, and give you a new sense of purpose and fulfilment.

Do you ever feel like everything is weighing you down? Make ‘lightly’ your new mantra, and transform your life.

There’s no shortage of decluttering books on the market, but Lightly is different. It goes beyond decluttering – far beyond – to uplift your thoughts, your actions, every moment and aspect of your life. When you declutter and call it a day, it’s easy to backslide. But when your entire life is aligned to a guiding principle – to live lightly– you’ll find a new sense of purpose and fulfilment. 

This book is a minimalist manual for everyone – whether you want to strip down your stuff to the essentials or simply free some space in your coat closet. Whether you want to overhaul your schedule or just gain an hour or two in the evening. Whether you want to change your entire outlook on life or just get rid of a nagging guilt.

You will learn to: 

lighten your stuff: declutter what’s weighing you down
lighten your spirit: release your worries and emotional baggage 
lighten your stress: reclaim your time and strive not to get more done, but to have less to do
lighten your step: reduce your consumption and make the planet as beautiful and clutter-free as your home

A concise and coherent philosophy of life, Lightly gives you all the techniques to start small and work your way up to bigger challenges. Crucially, it helps you decide what to keep, rather than what to get rid of. The end result is a well-edited collection of your favourite things, carefully curated items that make your everyday easier or happier. 

A powerful conduit for self-reflection, Lightly ensures that you end up with things and a frame of mind that tell the story of the life you want to live.

Lightly is available now!

Wise Words From Our Favourite Female Heroines for IWD 2019!

Wise Words From Our Favourite Female Heroines for IWD 2019!

International Women’s Day is almost here, so we’re deep in thought at Bookends HQ about the female heroines that we most look up to. Here is just a taster so that we can all channel these fiesty female characters this IWD!

Image result for i am no bird no net ensnares me

Ellie

“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.” – Jane Eyre, Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre is my all-time favourite book. This line from Jane sums up the main reasons why I will always re-read this treasure of a book at least once a year: Jane is fiercely independent and won’t let anyone put her down. She is essentially a badass!

Image result for little women book

Amy

“I want to do something splendid before I go into my castle, something heroic or wonderful that won’t be forgotten after I’m dead. I don’t know what, but I’m on the watch for it, and mean to astonish you all some day.” – Jo March, Little Women

Headstrong, independent and fiercely clever, Jo March is one of the most brilliant book characters of all time. Her role in Little Women defied conventional representations of women when it was published, and remains inspiring to this day!  

Image result for the handmaid's tale book

Hannah

“A rat in a maze is free to go anywhere, as long as it stays inside the maze” – Offred, The Handmaid’s Tale

Every time I re-read (or re-watch) The Handmaid’s Tale I am blown away by some of the incredibly profound remarks made by Offred. I always consider if I was in her situation and my mind boggles at the fact that she can come out with some of these lines. Her strength and resistance are so powerful, and this quote in particular is one of many cases when Offred challenges the reader to consider their world – to think about freedom and what it means to them. I think we should all channel a bit of Offred this IWD!

Image result for wizard of oz book

Vicky

“You had the power all along my dear.” —Glinda the Good Witch, The Wizard of Oz

I have always loved this quote from the legendary book and film, The Wizard of Oz. It reminds me that we all have the power and capability to do anything we put our mind to, all it takes is self-belief and faith.

Ben Brooks shares his favourite childhood book for World Book Day!

Ben Brooks shares his favourite childhood book for World Book Day!

To celebrate World Book Day, who better than Ben Brooks, author of No.1 bestselling Stories For Boys Who Dare to be Different, to pick out his favourite childhood book?

The Flying Classroom by Erich Kästner 

One book that I loved as a child was The Flying Classroom by Erich Kästner. It is the story of two warring schools, a production that must go on, and a kind man who lives in a railway carriage.

The Flying Classroom Erich Kastner

At the beginning of the book, Kästner tells you that he was an adult trying to write a story for children, and that he has gone up to the mountains to do it. There was something incredibly exciting about this for me. It felt like being invited backstage to meet the actors after a play and having those actors speak to you as an equal.

I also liked how real the world of the book felt, how there was no obvious message being thrown at you, and how normal all the kids seemed compared to some of the other stories that were around.

World Book Day

Reading him again, it strikes me that the adults in his books are as real as the children too, something which can sometimes be rare in children’s books, where the grown-ups are either horrifically evil or unbelievably good-hearted.

The Flying Classroom was the last book published by Erich Kästner before the Nazis took control of Germany. Under their regime, his books were banned and destroyed during mass book-burnings held throughout the country.

Ben Brooks is the author of Stories For Boys Who Dare to be Different 2, which tells the stories of 100 famous and not-so-famous men and boys who broke the mould and changed the world without slaying any dragons or rescuing any princesses.

Buy now!

Read an extract of Almost Love by Louise O’Neill before International Women’s Day!

Read an extract of Almost Love by Louise O’Neill before International Women’s Day!

The 8th of March is fast approaching, we’ve rallied our feminist spirit and, you guessed it, we’ve got a stack of books to get through to get us prepared for the big day! And top of that list is Almost Love by feminist powerhouse Louise O’Neill. Here’s Louise talking about what motivated her to write the book…

So get stuck in to Almost Love now, with this super exclusive extract.

Click here to read!

Keep Your Kids Busy With This Half Term Activity Pack!

Keep Your Kids Busy With This Half Term Activity Pack!

Half term is here, and although we’re so pleased to have the kids around, there’s nothing we need more right now than activities to keep them quiet. Enter Ben Brooks and Quinton Winter, the duo behind Stories for Boys  Who Dare to be Different and Stories for Kids Who Dare to be Different! These books each feature 100 figures, every one of them an inspiring pioneer and creative genius in their own way. They all broke the mould and made their dreams come true. The books encourage kids to challenge the status quo and be unashamedly themselves. And the great news is, there’s a new one! Back due to popular demand is Stories for Boys Who Dare to be Different 2

As long as depression, mental health issues and suicide continue to plague young men, there will always be a need for stories for boys that show it’s ok to be different. Snap up the new book in the series on 7th March.

Download your very own ‘Kids Who Dare’ activity pack…

http://bit.ly/StoriesActivityPack

Join in with our buddy read #NightTigerTogether!

Join in with our buddy read #NightTigerTogether!

We’ve been thinking about what makes the ultimate February read… lushly written escapism? Check. A captivating adventure? Check. A touch of magic? Absolutely. It just so happens that our February Book of the Month The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo ticks all of these boxes!

So to celebrate its publication, we’re organising a huge international online buddy read! All you have to do is tune in every Monday at 8pm as we discuss sections of the book using #NightTigerTogether. It’s kicking off on Monday 18th February with chapters 1-10, and here’s a super exclusive extract to whet your appetite: http://bit.ly/NightTigerExtract

And if you fancy a real treat, here’s chapters 1-10 of the audiobook, read by Yangsze Choo herself: http://bit.ly/2S4Kulq