The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down – Haemin Sunim (Author) Chi-Young Kim (Translator)

The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down - Haemin Sunim (Author) Chi-Young Kim (Translator)Synopsis: The world moves fast, but that doesn’t mean we have to. In this timely guide to mindfulness, Haemin Sunim, a Buddhist monk born in Korea and educated in the United States, offers advice on everything from handling setbacks to dealing with rest and relationships, in a beautiful book combining his teachings with calming full-colour illustrations. Haemin Sunim’s simple messages – which he first wrote when he responded to requests for advice on social media – speak directly to the anxieties that have become part of modern life and remind us of the strength and joy that come from slowing down.

Hugely popular in Korea, Haemin Sunim is a Zen meditation teacher whose teachings transcend religions and borders and resonate with people of all ages. With insight and compassion drawn from a life full of change, the ‘mega-monk’ succeeds at encouraging all of us to notice that when you slow down, the world slows down with you.

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Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict
The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down is a delightful book, with beautiful and tranquil illustrations. There are eight chapters, addressing various aspects of life, from love and friendships to work and aspirations, and how mindfulness can help us in each. Reading Haemin Sunim’s wise words is like visiting an oasis of calm in a busy day. Highly Recommended!

Hello, is this planet Earth? by Tim Peake

Hello,is this planet Earth? by Tim PeakeSynopsis: Hello, is this planet Earth? takes readers on a mesmerizing tour of astronaut Tim Peake’s historic and inspirational six-month Principia mission. Based on over 150 of Tim’s stunning photographs that he took on board the International Space Station, many of which have not been seen before, this lavish collection showcases the beauty of Earth from above, and is the perfect visual time capsule of Tim’s remarkable trip, which captured the imaginations of millions of children and adults across the world.

The book can be enjoyed by readers of all ages, and comes with a personal commentary from Tim, full of his characteristic warmth and charm. The book includes breath-taking aerial photos of cities illuminated at night, the northern lights and unforgettable vistas of oceans, mountains and deserts. The title of the book is inspired by Tim’s famous ‘wrong number’ dialed from space, when he accidentally misdialed a woman from the Space Station and inquired, ‘Hello, is this planet Earth?’

During his mission, Tim conducted numerous ground-breaking science experiments and engaged the British public in ingenious ways. Tim became the first British astronaut to complete a spacewalk and the first person to run the London marathon in space. He spoke to hundreds of thousands of school children back on Earth via events such as the Cosmic Classroom live from the ISS, engaging over 1 million children during the whole mission. He was also involved in other memorable events, such as presenting the BRIT Awards live from space in a dinner jacket. 24 million people watched Tim blast off and over 2 million fans continue to follow his updates across social media. In the Queen’s Birthday Honours, Tim was made a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George, an award given to those who have given distinguished service overseas, or, in Tim’s case, in space.

Tim is delighted to announce that all of his proceeds received from the book will be donated to The Prince’s Trust.

Tim Peake said, ‘It’s impossible to look down on Earth from space and not be mesmerised by the fragile beauty of our planet. During my mission I became determined to share this unique perspective of the one place we all call ‘home’. This book captures a journey of discovery, not just the discovery of planet Earth – a stunning oasis of life in the vastness of space – but also the discovery of a newfound passion for photography, which has had a major impact on me. I hope readers enjoy leafing through these pages as much as I enjoyed taking these pictures.’

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Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict
‘Hello, is this planet Earth?’ is a wonderfully unique book. Tim’s very personal commentary and the absolutely stunning photographs give readers a once in a lifetime opportunity to see our planet in a totally different way. We loved the view of the UK and Europe at night with the cities illuminated, the mesmerising sunrises and sunsets, the impossibly blue oceans. This is a book to treasure, a perfect Christmas gift for all generations. Highly Recommended! We are delighted that Hello, is this planet Earth? is our Book of the Month.

Planet Earth II by Stephen Moss

Planet Earth II by Stephen MossSynopsis: On the 10th anniversary of the BBC’s genre-defining Planet Earth, this brilliant new book is an all-new look at our astonishing Planet Earth – from a completely new perspective.

10 years on from the first, groundbreaking, Planet Earth, we use the most incredible advances in technology and scientific discovery to bring you the most exciting and immersive picture of our world’s wildlife yet.

With over 200 breathtaking photographs and stills from the BBC Natural History Unit’s spectacular footage, this is an extraordinary new look at the complex life of some of the most amazing places on Planet Earth.

Each chapter reveals an environment – some never-before-seen, some astonishingly familiar – defined by a unique set of rules required for survival. From the most desolate desert to the depths of the jungle, from blistering heat and freezing cold to perpetual darkness and deadly UV, discover how a whole host of creatures have adapted to life in the most extreme conditions. And how they compete with one another to become the largest, the fastest, the most poisonous, or most devious – all in a bid to survive.

Planet Earth II includes the first in-depth look at the urban environment, and the surprising range of behaviours occurring right under our noses, as well as some previously untouched island worlds. Filmed with the latest  infra-red technology, these are the challenges, the confrontations, and the triumphs of some of the most extraordinary creatures in the natural world, told from their perspective.

This is our planet, as you have never seen it before

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Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict
The photography in Planet Earth II is absolutely stunning; the book focuses on six very different environments, with fascinating new stories and characters, including the desert-dwelling blind ‘dune sharks’ and the pygmy sloths unique to one island, crab-killing crazy ants and pigeon- catching fish. From the most unlikely urban dwellers to mountain top survivors. This is a view of the world we are rarely able to see.

With a foreword by Sir David Attenborough, ‘Planet Earth II  gives us a greater understanding of the natural world, the way it works and what it needs if it is to continue to survive.’ This book is a fabulous companion to Planet Earth II,  a six-part series just started on BBC One. Highly Recommended!

V&A Twelve Days of Christmas

V&A Twelve Days of ChristmasSynopsis: Combining handpicked patterns from the V&A’s William Morris archive with stunning new illustrations in keeping with the timeless designs, this beautiful book brings the words of the classic Twelve Days of Christmas song to life. With a gilded fabric cover, thick matte pages full of gorgeous finishes and brilliantly bold end papers, this edition is made to be treasured by children, parents, teenagers and adults of all ages.

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Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict
This is a very beautiful book, an absolutely delightful gift for all the family and an inspiration for all fans of art and design. We love the gorgeous illustrations and the production makes it a book that will become a special part of Christmas for years to come. Highly Recommended!

The Official Strictly Come Dancing Annual 2017

The Official Strictly Come Dancing Annual 2017Synopsis: Don your finest feather boa and be prepared to shimmy under the glitterball as series 14 of Strictly Come Dancing is back and more glamorous than ever…

Will Young, Daisy Lowe, Ed Balls and Laura Whitmore are amongst the all-star cast of celebrities this year. This annual is your perfect partner for the glittering world of Strictly with exclusive interviews and behind-the-scenes exclusives.

Get a behind-the-scenes guided tour of the legendary Blackpool Tower, learn how to decorate your own ballroom shoes and get the lowdown on all of the celebs and dancers. The Official Strictly Come Dancing Annual 2017 is simply fabulous.

Let yourself be twirled around the dance floor by the 2017 annual, your perfect guide to drama and dancing.

Official Strictly Come Dancing Annual 2017 (BBC Books, £12.99)

Buy Official Strictly Come Dancing Annual 2017: The Official Companion to the Hit BBC Series now from

Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict
If you love Strictly Come Dancing you will love this book! Packed full with details on all the celebrities and their professional partners, plus special Strictly features including, past winners, Strictly rituals, creating your own ballroom shoes, behind-the-scenes at Blackpool, ten years of the Strictly tour, and much much more! A perfect gift for all fans of Strictly Come Dancing!

How to Series by Thich Nhat Hanh

How to BooksFive pocket sized essential guides to Life

How to RelaxHow to Relax is part of a new series of books from Zen Master, Thich Nhat Hanh, exploring the essential foundations of mindful meditation and practice.

This book guides us in achieving deep relaxation, controlling stress, and renewing mental clarity. With sections on healing, relief from non-stop thinking, transforming unpleasant sounds, solitude, and more, How to Relax will help you achieve the benefits of relaxation no matter where you are.

How to SitHow to Sit
How to Sit provides explicit, simple directions on the mechanics of posture and breathing, along with instructions for how best to achieve an awakened, relaxed state of clarity to cultivate concentration and compassion.


How to EatHow to Eat
How to Eat explains what it means to eat as a meditative practice and that the results of mindful eating are both global and personal. Eating a meal can help develop compassion and understanding, reminding practitioners that there are things they can do to help nourish people who are hungry and lonely. It can however also encourages moderation and will aid readers to achieve an optimum health and body weight.

How to LoveHow to Love
How to Love shows that when we feel closer to our loved ones, we are also more connected to the world as a whole. Nhat Hanh brings his signature clarity, compassion and humour to the thorny question of how to love and distils one of our strongest emotions down to four essentials: you can only love another when you feel true love for yourself; love is understanding; understanding brings compassion; and deep listening and loving speech are key ways of showing our love.

How to WalkHow to Walk
How to Walk focuses on mindful walking, and explains how this technique can diminish depression, recapture wonder and help express sincere gratitude.

Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict
This delightful set of books from Thich Nhat Hanh, are pocket sized and easy to carry with you, and packed full of helpful advice and wisdom. Whether travelling, reading at home, or in the office, they can help you escape from the world and bring peace and relaxation. A perfect gift, or for your own use, one of our favourite collections this year! Highly Recommended!

The Great British Sewing Bee: From Stitch to Style by Wendy Gardiner

The Great British Sewing Bee: From Stitch to Style by Wendy GardinerSynopsis: For those inspired by what they see on screen, From Stitch to Style accompanies all levels of sewers on their creative journeys, from tentative first stitches to confident dress making, including 25 garments to sew for women, men and children, of which many appear in challenges on the show. Starting with the Foundation chapter, sewers can choose from a collection of garments that will ease them into the world of sewing. Moving on to the Inspiration chapter, sewers are encouraged to look around them and seek inspiration from alternative sources beyond the high street and look at ways of incorporating that inspiration in their fabrics choices and garment silhouettes. Finally, the Experimentation chapter brings everything previously learnt together and challenges the sewer to explore working with different fabrics, non-conventional sewing methods and tricky techniques.

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Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict
We love The Great British Sewing Bee series and the books that accompany the series.

The Great British Sewing Bee: From Stitch to Style is another fabulous example of how aspiring designers can take inspiration from the show to create their own masterpieces.

With over 25 garment designs for women, men and children, plus a wealth of sewing techniques, tips and tricks from the expert seamstresses and tailors that contribute to the series, The Great British Sewing Bee: From Stitch to Style is more than a project book; it is also an indispensable reference that will elevate your sewing to a professional level. We loved it! Highly Recommended!

Penguins and other Sea Birds by Matt Sewell

Penguins  and other Sea Birds – Matt SewellSynopsis: Did you know…

The Galápagos Penguin’s speckled markings make each of them as unique as a snowflake?

The Emperor Penguin weighs the same as a Labrador retriever?

The Adélie Penguin takes its name from the sweetheart of a Napoleonic naval captain turned explorer?

From tiny fairy penguins to the regal emperor penguin, street artist and ornithologist, Matt Sewell, illustrates one of the world’s favourite birds in this charming follow-up to Owls, Our Garden Birds, Our Songbirds and Our Woodland Birds. Matt captures the famously quirky characters of penguins through his unique and much-loved watercolours accompanied by whimsical descriptions. You’ll discover everything you’ve ever wondered about this enigmatic bird and his feathered friends from across the globe.

 Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict

We love Matt Sewell’s books, and Penguins and other Sea Birds is another example of what he does best, introducing us to a wide variety of sea birds together with his delightful descriptions and his very beautiful illustrations, There is also a Spotting and Jotting section at the back and while you may have to look further afield for some of the examples this delightful book can stimulate the interest about birds in general with your little ones this Easter Holiday. Highly Recommended!

Unforgettable Walks – Julia Bradbury

Unforgettable Walks - Julia BradburySynopsis: Ties into the major new primetime 8-part ITV1 series Best Walks With a View

Julia Bradbury takes us on eight of the UK’s best-loved walks, show casing the beauty of Britain. As she navigates the reader through the sights and sounds, the flora and fauna and the past and present of eight fascinating and relaxing paths, Julia reveals there are still discoveries to be made, even on some of on the more well-trodden paths, including some excellent pubs.

Both a practical guide and a love letter to walking and walkers, this book explores who walkers are and how walking across a landscape brings its people together, and show even those who don’t live in the countryside are never more than a train ride away from stunning natural beauty. Drawing on the great British nature writing tradition and accompanied with maps and illustrations, this beautiful book will fit as well on a bookshelf as in a rucksack.

Each of the walks featured in the book is under 10 miles. Collectively they cover the whole range of Britain’s diverse and beautiful landscapes, from the Jurassic coast of Dorset and the rich history of the South Downs to the breathtaking home-grown scenery of the Peak District and the Yorkshire Dales

The Walks
1 Dorset: The Golden Cap Walk
2 The Cotswolds: The Cleeve Hill Walk
3 Anglesey: The Snowdon View Walk
4 The Dales: The Malham Cove Walk
5 The Lakes: The Borrowdale Valley Walk
6 Cumbria: The High Cup Nick Walk
7 The South Downs: The Birling Gap Walk
8 The Peak District: The Kinder Scout Walk

Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict
Julia has a wonderful reassuring voice, which comes through this book full of anecdotes and describing the beautiful countryside and the people she meets on the way. Encouraging us to go and start discovering the magical walks that she describes. This delightful book is a perfect companion to the upcoming ITV1 series Best Walks With a View. We loved it! Highly Recommended!

The Simple Art of Origami – Mari Ono

The Simple Art of OrigamiThe Simple Art of Origami reveals the best of true Japanese design, focusing on understanding and using paper in a modern and authentic style to make beautiful gifts, decorations, and more. Tokyo-born graphic designer Mari Ono reveals the top Japanese origami techniques in a range of projects, each with clear step-by-step images and easy-to-follow instructions. Also included are 50 pieces of gorgeous origami paper to help you get started.

The projects range from traditional ideas to more contemporary designs. Give a card embellished with Oriental symbols of love and luck on a special occasion or fill a vase with pretty paper irises to decorate your home. Why not present some roses in your own handmade flower box, or if you are an animal lover, bring paper to life by folding a rabbit or a crane?

With tips and variations throughout, this is the book that will show you how to create truly authentic Japanese papercrafts using the best papers from the modern East.

The Simple Art of Origami ExampleHot Brands Cool Places Verdict

Take one 12 year old, one stunning book, beautiful paper, result – half-term creative activity sorted! The Simple Art of Origami is a delightful collection of very pretty and useful Origami creations. The designs are graded for levels of difficulty and the step-by-step photographs really help with the creation. Our young reviewer absolutely loved it.

With clear instructions, inspiring photographs, and gorgeous paper this book is a joy for all ages. Highly Recommended!

Accidentally Overweight by Dr. Libby Weaver

Accidentally Overweight - Dr. Libby WeaverSynopsis:
In a dynamic, fresh approach to weight loss, acclaimed nutritional biochemist Dr Libby Weaver shows that the ‘calorie equation’ – how much you eat versus how much you move – is not the only determinant of our body shape and size.
Drawing on her 17 years of clinical practice, her strong scientific background in both nutrition and dietics and her PhD in biochemistry, Dr Libby discusses the real factors that cause us either to lose or gain weight. These nine factors are calories, stress hormones, sex hormones, liver function, thyroid function, gut bacteria, insulin, the nervous system and emotions.

Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict
This is a thought provoking book, Dr Libby Weaver emphasizes the importance of reading this book all the way through rather than dipping into it, as there is a sequence to the way the book is presented. Looking first at Digestion she then describes the weight loss puzzle as having 9 elements including the following: Calories, Stress Hormones, Sex Hormones, The Liver, Gut Bacteria, The Thyroid, Insulin, The Nervous System, Emotions, which she examines in turn. Together with case studies this is a useful and helpful book in identifying a new and interesting approach to how our bodies work.

Stuffocation by James Wallman 

Stuffocation - James Wallman

In this brilliant and original book, James Wallman explains and analyses why Stuffocation is the most pressing problem of our time – and then goes in search of its solution. On the way, he goes down the halls of the Élysée Palace with Nicolas Sarkozy, up in a helicopter above Barbra Streisand’s house on the California coast, and into the world of the original Mad Men.Through fascinating characters and brilliantly told stories, Wallman introduces the innovators whose lifestyles provide clues to how we will all be living tomorrow, and he makes some of the world’s most counter-intuitive, radical, and world changing ideas feel inspiring – and possible for us all."%20target="_blank&quot

Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict
In Stuffocation James Wallman encourages the reader to focus less on possessions and more on experiences. Wallman suggests that rather than buying a new watch or another pair of shoes, we should invest in shared experiences like holidays and time with friends. It is an intriguing read with insights on psychology, economics and culture. Fascinating and thought provoking, full of questions and debate, perfect for a weekend read!

The Art of Typewriting Marvin Sackner – Ruth Sackner

The Art of TypewritingSynopsis:

The beloved typewriter – its utilitarian beauty, the pleasing percussive action of striking its keys, the singularity of the impressed page – is enjoying a renaissance across the creative industries.

In this authoritative book, the authors apply their experience to mine the collection they have created over four decades to present over 550 examples produced by more than sixty of the world’s finest contributors to the genre.

From the early ornamental works produced by secretaries in the late nineteenth century to more recent works that consider the uniqueness of the typewritten document in the digital age, there is an astonishing – and delightful – range of creativity in every artwork. The book features three main sections: an introduction to the history of the typewriter and its art; an expansive plate section showing key works, rendered in exquisite detail; and a reference section featuring biographies of the most influential artists and writers.

Designed by top graphic design studio and typewriter aficionados Graphic Thought Facility, this is a once-in-a-generation publication, carefully curated through decades of first-hand experience to inspire a new wave of designers and artists for the future. An authoritative and ambitious overview of the graphic art produced by artists and writers who have used the typewriter as a tool and a medium.

Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict

We loved the creativity in this beautiful book, it is an absolutely stunning collection of over 570 illustrations in colour and black and white. A very special book to inspire and treasure!

In an original approach to cover design each copy of the book is designed with its own unique cover. Highly Recommended!


Official Strictly Come Dancing Annual 2016

Strictly Annual 2016Synopsis: Dust off your sequins as series 13 of Strictly Come Dancing is back on our screens. Put your best foot forward with the 2016 annual, the perfect partner. 

Take a sneak peak into Craig’s dressing room as he discusses his Strictly Saturday, eat like a dancer with our tasty recipes and take a tan-tastic tour of the tanning booths. The Official Strictly Come Dancing Annual 2016 is as lively as a foxtrot! 

Featuring a dazzling new cast of celebrities, exclusive interviews and behind-the-scenes stories this annual is a glittering companion to everything Strictly.

Hot Brands Cool Places Verdict
If you love Strictly Come Dancing you will love this book, packed full with entertaining facts and behind-the-scenes information including profiles of all the celebrities and their professional partners. This is the perfect companion to your weekend viewing.

A delightful gift for any Strictly fans! Highly Recommended!