book reviews · Bookish

You Are What You Read by Jodie Jackson (Review)

Happy Humpday! Today I am on the Random Things tour for You Are What You Read by Jodie Jackson and bringing you a review. I received a copy of this book for free as part of the tour. Please check out the other tour stops too!

You Are What You Read isn’t the usual type of book I’d reach for, but when I was presented with what it was about, I decided I had to try it – and I am really glad that I did.

We are regularly bombarded by news on a day to day basis; glaring, negative headlines in our faces and this has led to a skewed perception of the world and current affairs. Before that news reaches us, the initial person who witnessed it has their perception of it, then it’s passed on to the gatekeepers, moulded in to something to “grab” the reader/viewer before it reaches us. The news that eventually reaches us can be incredibly biased or misleading. Jodie Jackson really dives in to the process of how the news reaches us and our perception of it.

The author covers a lot with thought-provoking detail and always cites her sources to back them up (they’re numbered and can be located in detail in the back of the book). While I have always understood that the media has bias, that many people don’t read beyond a headline (and find out the topic isn’t as bad as it seems/that the headline is actually misleading) and that things are framed to generate clicks, I never realised quite how much goes in to how the news is presented to us and how beyond those initial things, how much of an impact the news has. Not just some bad news articles, but the way we are bombarded with it and the way we consume our media.

I found this book incredibly interesting and I would highly recommend it to literally anyone and everyone. We are all affected by the news. Even if we avoid watching or reading the news, someone will relay news events to us and their perception of the already biased and crafted stories can then influence us. Our perception of reality is affected by the news, no matter what. The media need to be held accountable for what they present to the people. Incredibly thought provoking and enlightening.

I really enjoyed how Jodie broke it all down and pulled apart just how the news is manufactured for our consumption and the consequences of that, the balance of it all and how we can improve our media diets. Knowing there is a problem, understanding the problem and then solutions to the problem, she covers it all.

About The Book

Do you ever feel overwhelmed and powerless after watching the news? Does it make you feel sad about the world, without much hope for its future? Take a breath – the world is not as bad as the headlines would have you believe.

In You Are What You Read, campaigner and researcher Jodie Jackson helps us understand how our current twenty-four-hour news cycle is produced, who decides what stories are selected, why the news is mostly negative and what effect this has on us as individuals and as a society.

Combining the latest research from psychology, sociology and the media, she builds a powerful case for including solutions into our news narrative as an antidote to the negativity bias.

You Are What You Read is not just a book, it is a manifesto for a movement: it is not a call for us to ignore the negative but rather a call to not ignore the positive. It asks us to change the way we consume the news and shows us how, through our choices, we have the power to improve our media diet, our mental health and just possibly the world

About the Author

Jodie Jackson is an author, researcher and campaigner.

She holds a Master’s Degree in Applied Positive Psychology from the University of East London (UK) where she investigated the psychological impact of the news.

As she discovered evidence of the beneficial effects of solutions focused news on our wellbeing, she grew convinced of the need to spread consumer awareness. She is a regular speaker at media conferences and universities.

Jodie is also a qualified yoga teacher and life coach.

book reviews · Bookish · Uncategorized

Black Moss by David Nolan (Review)

I’m pleased to be kicking off the tour for David Nolan’s novel, Black Moss! Available now in both Paperback and Kindle formats, published by Fahrenheit Press and available now. Be sure to check out the other tour stops to find out more.

Black Moss is a story about “Danny Something” and his journey to discover the truth about a poor boy, murdered and left on the county border, only for nobody to really even care because the fame was elsewhere – the riot at Strangeways.
The story switches between 1990 and 2016, from the perspective of Danny, determined to get to the bottom of the child’s murder whilst working with a local officer named John and his daughter, Kate and then revisiting it again a quarter of a century later; where alcoholism takes it’s toll and his life becomes a literal car crash.

Gritty and gripping, I absolutely loved this book. The entire thing felt authentic. I have never been to Manchester, but I feel like the book was very immersive in that respect. The way the characters are written is fantastic, so much depth. They were affected by the things that occurred and I found them to be very convincing. I especially enjoyed the relationship between Danny and a police officer named John who seemed to be the only other person invested in the case. The way Nolan touches upon such substantial incidents such as murder, alcoholism and children in the care system were so well written, I’d never have guessed this was his debut novel and could have easily been led to believe this to be a true tale.

Nolan is a crime reporter and TV producer and he really seems to utilise his expertise to help bring this story to life and provides an interesting insight to 90’s journalism. I felt almost as if I were there, watching it unfold. Crime fiction is my go-to genre, but I still managed to find some surprises in this book, especially toward the final third – you’ll have to read it yourself to see what I mean. 😉

Compelling, convincing and utterly gripping. A must-read for anyone who enjoys crime-fiction and a read they can’t put down.

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Blurb

In April 1990, as rioters took over Strangeways prison in Manchester, someone killed a little boy at Black Moss.

And no one cared.

No one except Danny Johnston, an inexperienced radio reporter trying to make a name for himself.

More than a quarter of a century later, Danny returns to his home city to revisit the murder that’s always haunted him.

If Danny can find out what really happened to the boy, maybe he can cure the emptiness he’s felt inside since he too was a child.

But finding out the truth might just be the worst idea Danny Johnston has ever had.

NgJgWTON_400x400 (1) Author Bio

David is a multi-award-winning author, television producer and crime reporter. He has written a dozen books including Tell the Truth and Shame the Devil, the true story of the largest historic abuse case ever mounted by Greater Manchester Police. He presented a BBC Radio 4 documentary based on the book called The Abuse Trial. It won both the Rose D’Or and the New York International radio awards in 2016. Officers involved in the case helped David with the police procedures featured in Black Moss, particularly the way the system deals with missing children.