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Cover July 2018The June/ July edition of The Green Parent magazine includes the latest in my series of interviews with parenting authors and experts.

I spoke to doula and home birth expert Natalie Meddings about why choosing a home birth can be a “common sense” decision for many women.

You can read the feature here (PDF).

Don’t forget, you can get £5 off a subscription to The Green Parent when you use my code HHILES. More details here.

 

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Green Parent june july 2018.jpg

The June/ July edition of The Green Parent magazine includes the latest in my series of interviews with parenting authors and experts.

This time I had the enormous privilege of interviewing one of my heroes, the one and only Gretchen Rubin!

We talked about ways to be increase a family’s happiness levels, how to understand your children and yourself and why getting more sleep can make life much easier.

I really had to remember that I was doing an interview and not just having a chat with someone that I have been a fan of for years. Fortunately Gretchen was just as delightful and interesting as I expected her to be – and I just about managed to contain my excitement…

I feel so fortunate to be in a position to get to speak to people I admire, and never take it for granted – even if does sometimes make for a more difficult interview!!

You can read the feature here (PDF).

Don’t forget, you can get £5 off a subscription to The Green Parent when you use my code HHILES. More details here.

staffordshire_guide

I recently had the great pleasure of writing about one of my specialist subjects – my home county of Staffordshire!

“Welcome to Staffordshire” is published by Kingfisher Visitor Guides and can be found in leading hotels across the county. I was excited to find one in my room during a recent stay at Swinfen Hall Hotel (yes, I did tell them that I’d written it when we checked out, and no, I didn’t sign it!).

It’s an absolutely beautiful guide with gorgeous photography and I’m so proud to have been involved in it. It covers everything from days out to nightlife, history to shopping, eating out to sport, and much more in between.

Have a look at it on the Kingfisher website (link).

The April / May edition of The Green Parent magazine includes the latest in my series of interviews with parenting authors and experts.

I spoke to Rebecca Eanes, who has more than 1million fans on her Facebook page, about her latest release The Positive Parenting Workbook and how moving away from traditional discipline can strengthen and improve family relationships.

We can begin the process of real change rather than staying stuck in old patterns that are limiting us or causing our families to suffer. I know of no better starting point than a mirror.

You can read the feature here (PDF).

Don’t forget, you can get £5 off a subscription to The Green Parent when you use my code HHILES. More details here.

The Hazel Wood – Melissa Albert

I can honestly say that I haven’t read anything like this book before. I’ve seen a lot of commentary online saying that it’s just a retelling of Alice in Wonderland but as far as I can see the similarities don’t go much beyond a girl called Alice finding herself in a form of fairyland.
If it’s important to you to like the protagonists in books you read you might struggle with this one, because Alice is quite hard to warm to – but you do find out why during the course of the book. It’s really a book of two halves, split into before and after Alice (and the reader) find out the truth about the bad luck that has dogged her and her mother Ella for her whole life. At around the halfway point I wasn’t sure if I was enjoying it anymore, but I’m glad I pressed on, because it’s a memorable read which raises a lot of interesting questions about fate, predestination and free will. (Thanks to NetGalley for the free copy)

31 Songs – Nick Hornby

A re-read of a much-loved book by the author of my all-time favourite book, High Fidelity (which I’m currently listening to as an audiobook). My affection for the book 31 Songs – Hornby’s meditative musings on meaningful songs for him – actually comes second to my love of the album that goes along with it, which is a great compilation of familiar and more obscure tracks. It not only includes Bruce Springsteen (LOVE Bruce!) but also introduced me to the gorgeous Late for the Sky by Jackson Browne and Hey Self-Defeater by Mark Mulcahy, which would probably be one of my Desert Island Discs. So yes, I enjoyed reading the book again but revisiting the soundtrack CD (which I bought way back in 2004) was even better.

The Griffins of Castle Cary – Heather Shumaker

Can’t say too much as it’s not published until next year, but I had the enormous honour of being a test reader for this one! It’s the first fiction book for one of my favourite parenting authors Heather Shumaker, who I interviewed for The Green Parent a couple of years ago. Here’s her blog post where she talks about her new book, and here’s my interview with her about her book It’s OK Not To Share.

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