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Book giveaway: Calm by Michael Acton Smith. Post your feedback by 30 May for chance to win £100 Love2Shop Voucher!

(33 Posts)
SorchaMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 11-Apr-16 10:27:19

As part of our ongoing campaign with Penguin Life to bring you books to inspire healthy living, this month we bring you Calm- Michael Acton Smith’s guide to finding calmness in the face of hectic modern life.

This handbook features activities, inspiration as well as research from neurological and mindfulness experts. It can be read in any order you like, encouraging every reader to find their own path to calmness.

We've got 50 copies of Calm to give away to Mumsnetters who want to read and share their thoughts about it on this discussion thread. Go to the giveaway page to find out more about the book and apply for a free copy.

You don't have to win a free copy to take part in the discussion. Anyone who has read Calm can post their feedback on the thread. If you miss out on a free copy, you can always buy a paperback. All who post feedback before 30 May will be entered into a prize draw to win a £100 Love2shop voucher.

This giveaway is sponsored by Penguin Life

JadeHub Fri 29-Apr-16 12:41:50

Brilliant book! Loads of ideas to change your life. Thank you! X

MrsRedWhite214 Sat 30-Apr-16 17:47:18

Calm is a collection of short exercises for you to complete, quotes for you to contemplate and ideas to help you take a step back from a busy life.

It is easy to pick up and put down at any time. You can start with any part of the book and just pick a page at random, or read through one of the eight themed sections to find more direction. This is a much better approach as you can skip the bits that don't appeal, and it doesn't feel so much like a self help book. It's a collection of ideas, quotes, exercises and activities to encourage a sense of calm.

Just flicking through the book sold it for me. Each page is set out in a different way, with interesting pictures and short, easy to read paragraphs.

The book can be used on its own, or with the Calm app. I used it without the app for this review. It encourages regular meditation and journal writing in the search for a more mindful approach to life.

Poetry, cooking, colouring, drawing, walking....there is something for everyone in this book.

jammy388 Sat 30-Apr-16 18:18:59

This is a very appealingly designed book, perfect for keeping by you to dip into when you have a moment and want to use it mindfully. It includes a section on children, looking at what we can learn from them and also suggesting some calming activities to share with them.
I couldn't find any page numbers although they were referred to in the text, but it was quite easy to find the meditations I was being directed to just by leafing through the book.

Rajie Sun 01-May-16 17:12:42

Thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Lots of aspects can be applied to our daily lives.

Mindfulofmuddle Tue 03-May-16 14:08:45

I received my complimentary copy today - what a beautiful book! Thank you, I can't wait to have a proper read and come back with my thoughts.

riverwell Tue 03-May-16 15:39:53

I haven't finished reading it yet but so far I have found it contents really useful and made me view things with a different perspective. It's one of those books that you will keep looking back at.

lottietiger Tue 03-May-16 15:52:07

Really like this book. I generally struggle with self help style books but Calm is really appealing. I like the illustrations and the little exercises to do like thinking of three hi lights every day. A really lovely book one which I think would make a nice gift. I definitely would not have tried this without mumsnet so thank you! smile

Seashellseashells Tue 03-May-16 15:58:27

Brilliant book which is beautiful. I'm 6 months pregnant so keeping calm will be useful! I love Calm

riyak Tue 03-May-16 16:58:40

Thank you for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest book smile

I turn to this book almost daily now. The colourful images and quotes put a smile on my face. I enjoy interactive calm maze. Very helpful sections especially children one since their are lots of techniques that may even be useful at school's or nurseries. My favourite page was Magic story. I love Rhondha, so it was nice to see that appear. Will be purchasing for friends.

midi1975 Tue 03-May-16 17:39:10

An excellent book. It is attractive and well-designed. It is full of practical ideas on how to live a calmer life. It just takes a few minutes to read through one idea, you don't HAVE to read great chunks at one time. It would make a great gift for any age.

kate234 Tue 03-May-16 17:51:33

As soon as I got this book out the envelope I rubbed it on my face and let out a sigh. I instantly like the look of it, the feel of it and the layout. It's not a book to be read from beginning to end. Would also make a good gift.

debjani Tue 03-May-16 21:28:45

the cover of this book is beautifully designed and the visuals inside are uplifting. A lot of thought has gone into creating a feeling of calm even before the brain is engaged in reading and processing. The origami page is brilliantly original. I have only flipped through quickly so far but this feels like sunshine in a book.

nushcar Wed 04-May-16 12:31:34

I received this book via Mumsnet to review as I am curious about this Mindfulness phenomenon that seems to be bandied about recently. I don't mind admitting that I was dreading the book being full of meditation theory and something I just didn't have time to read and get to grips with in my busy day. I was pleasantly surprised by it being a quick read with helpful and easily digestible tips and exercises to bring some calm and balance to your day. The book itself has been crafted as a meditative tool with relaxing pictures and colours and items to focus on (people who make you happy, the parts of day where you felt most calm and happy) and, just by reading it, changed your outlook to a more positive one where you gain a sense of proportionality over whatever your stresses are. I literally read it 10-15 minutes flicking through and is something you can quickly dip into whenever you need to remind yourself of 'the bigger picture'! I liked the tip for kids about explaining how to control anger using a glitter jar. Unfortunately, it was a bit lost on my 3 year old, who was transfixed on violently shaking the glitter in coloured water up and down in bottle. I guess that in itself demonstrated how kids can naturally control their own stress by living in the moment and easily forgetting whatever upset them a second ago and concentrating on the task at hand!

Givemecoffeeplease Wed 04-May-16 15:14:24

Such a gorgeous book. Love the look, good enough for the coffee table. Don't really want to write in it....;)

Booklover123 Wed 04-May-16 19:45:20

Thankyou for this book, I was so impressed by the overall presentation and content of Calm, not at all preachy, and has made me feel very positive! I really did enjoy it and has made me ponder just a little more in this hectic world that we live in.

BearAusten Thu 05-May-16 14:01:26

It is a good book to dip in and out of, with its useful ribbon book mark. Some of it does not work for me i.e. I’m allergic to lavender, attempting to slow down my breath by holding it for one or two and then exhaling slowly for four increases my anxiety when I am in a state (just can't do it properly). I don't find it calming to watch someone play with lego (playing with lego on my own different matter.) Some of it is common sense which we just need a gentle reminder of....thinking in particular about the rules of sleep.

However, I liked such activities as the calming winding down stretches, word games, mazes and the creative exercises. Moreover, the origami idea to make the word 'calm' at the end of book was excellent.

A fun, creative and interesting way to calm oneself.

queenoftheschoolrun Fri 06-May-16 13:14:31

Thanks for my copy. I'll be honest and say that ironically life has been too manic for me to get round to reading it yet! I will do so at the weekend and report back! I had a very quick flick through when I got it though and thought it looked great. I've a friend who's struggling a bit at the moment and I thought I may buy them a copy if I enjoyed it as it looked like a great gift.

paluya Fri 06-May-16 16:04:48

Thanks for my copy. Every page was full of good tips and quotes to keep the spirit of the book up. Calm is a manual about Mindfulness. I really enjoyed reading it and filling up the pages doodling and writing. I have also successfully put in place some of the exercises. I loved the eye on the detail of the design of the book. The material the cover is made of and its colour. the ribbon for marking the pages. the spaces between chapters and the pages for purring out yourself. Lovely!
My only criticism could be, that some of the pages had pictures of really handsome and young people...hmmm! I would prefer to have more artist illustrating the pages to give it a different dimension without falling on a stereotype.
Equally thanks for this copy. It has introduced me to a discipline I wasn't expected to encounter.

Janhans Sat 07-May-16 16:24:06

A really positive book on being calm through simple ideas and notes to write. I am bi-polar and as a dip-in book I would advise for anyone and everyone. Stress is a terrible thing we have to live with and as this book advises, tecc=hnology should not govern our lives and we should have meaningful time for ourselves. In the section on Children it suggests you make a simple MIND JAR which I have done for myself- avery positive and simple idea which I shall make with my Grand-Daughters! yes, a book well worth buying and keeping at hand.

searchingforcalm Mon 09-May-16 10:04:44

I have been intrigued by "mindfulness" for a while and recently bought a different book on the concept. Whilst I found that book interesting it didn't really inspire me and ended up languishing on my shelf. For this reason, I was not sure whether to enter the giveaway or not but something about the book appealed and I am so thankful to Mumsnet that I received a copy! The book itself is a work of art, with its tactile smooth cover, the title an island of calm in a sea of blue and the graphics inside beautiful and uplifting. It is so much more than a collection of inspiring quotes and ideas for meditation, it has lots of fun things to try. I am particularly looking forward to making a Mind Jar with my daughter and re-starting my journal (I did start a gratitude journal a while ago but haven't written in it for a while). This time I am inspired not only to write in my journal but to make it beautiful so it doesn't feel like homework! ;) I can't quite bring myself to write in the book itself! Another practical feature and well worth getting is the Calm app which can be used alongside the book. I only have the basic (free) program but since I have downloaded it have been meditating everyday. I did try a meditation after reading the other mindfulness book but wasn't successful at keeping it going. What helps with the app is that there are guided meditations and this really works for me. There are other nice ideas to try in the book and I like the idea that you can transform the book into a work of art through origami though I won't actually be doing that as I want to continue to dip into the book for inspiration! I highly recommend this book (and app) to anyone searching for calm in their lives. smile

Goonergirl1 Tue 10-May-16 07:07:29

It's a beautiful book with a calming and tactile cover. I felt this book was written for me.
I don't have time to look into 'mindfulness' or attempt long meditation and am not interested in anything hippyish but this book is a simple, easy way to step back, relax, banish the daily stress of life and technology (even only for a few minutes).
It contains a variety of easily-digestible and beautifully presented ideas, there will be something that appeals to everyone. I already feel that I am sleeping better and am able to put some of my daily chaos and anger into context and try to stay calm.
Thank you, exactly what I need.

queenoftheschoolrun Wed 11-May-16 18:56:39

This is a lovely book which would make a great gift. It's a coffee table book really, designed to flick through and dip into - more like a magazine than a self-help book. Just reading it makes you feel calmer. Thanks for my free copy, much enjoyed.

paulasmith Wed 11-May-16 20:04:51

As many have already stated, this is a beautifully crafted book with bright and attractive images interspersing text which is insightful and useful. I am new to mindfulness and this book is a lovely introduction which is not at all overwhelming. I think I will enjoy leafing through this book for many years to come.

boo2410 Thu 12-May-16 16:47:14

Many thanks for my copy of the book which came just at the right time. I've just been told I have secondary progressive MS and am never goi. ng to walk again, which at 51 is a bitter pill to swallow, especially as I have a 12 year old.,. I am finding it very hard to accept this so the book has been a godsend. I am incredibly stressed at the moment and flicking through that shows me that life will go on and I'm not useless.

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