Nikki Weston, author of Safe Hands: Recover Your Well-being Through Creativity and Play was very kind this week to answer my questions and give us her book recommendations! Before jumping into the interview, please check out Nikki's book Safe Hands: Recover Your Well-being Through Creativity and Play:
Q. Do you have a favourite smart thinking book (and why that book)?
Relating to writing or anything that involves pushing yourself (ergo, life), Steven Pressfield's The War of Art introduces Resistance (capital R) and explains that the hurdles we come across improving ourselves and our lives are not a personal reflection of what crap people we make (hallelujah!); instead he claims it's a real force that exists. But turn up every day, do the work day after day after day, try not to throw your toys out of the pram TOO often, and you're jumping the hurdles. Don't worry about the finish line, just keep running. In other words, do the work and don't take the sh!t personally. It's short, digestible, with zero pretence and even fewer excuses, written by a person who's succeeded plenty, failed often, and worked his behind off every single day. A short lesson to writers like me to turn up, do the work, repeat. Ignore the criticism as well as the praise, all that matters is the work.
Q. What's the most recent smart thinking book you've read (and how would you rate it)?
Marianne Power's Help Me! cuts a fresh swathe through the self-help bull that is peddled by one section of society and devoured by another. It's that old 'get X quick' promise: a mentality that hurts many. Power's quest to closely 'live by' one self-help book a month for a whole year quickly turns unhelpful, unhealthy, and near-dangerous. I enjoyed Power's guileless narrative, her indisputable need for answers, something that we all feel at one time or another, and her battle to really and truly mind herself, in her own way, working from the bottom all the way back up.
Q. Do you have a favourite childhood book?
Walter Macken's Flight of The Doves. Gripping and honest, Finn and Derval were children I could see, feel, and touch.
Q. Do you prefer reading on paper, Kindle or listening to an audiobook?
Paper, but I use all three.
Q. Do you have a favourite bookshop (and why that shop)?
A romantic weekend in Wexford had me falling hard for Reader's Paradise bookshop in Selskar; its huge range of pre-loved novels and non-fictions had me hauling 20+ quality and well-priced books back home. A close second is the basement in The Book Haven in Swords' River Mall. Grá mór!
Many thanks to Nikki for answering my questions and for her interesting book recommendations!
Please don't forget to check out her book Safe Hands: Recover Your Well-being Through Creativity and Play.
Image Copyrights: Nicola McKenna (Safe Hands), Black Irish Entertainment LLC (The War Of Art), Pan Macmillan (Help Me!, Flight Of The Doves)