Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

You Review: I Forgot To Remember: A Memoir of Amnesia – Su Meck with Daniel de Vise

Friday, April 4th, 2014

Reviewed by Alba León

For Su Meck, life as she knew it ended with a ceiling fan crashing on her head. After her traumatic brain injury she had to piece her life back from second- and third-hand stories. Her very identity vanished, taking with it her knowledge about the most basic things in life, like the function of a tin opener.

Her candid account of how she managed to raise a family and move across the world and back is simply incredible. Hindsight makes her very aware that her memoir could have been so much more tragic. That her husband, her parents, even her doctors, refused to acknowledge that her brain was damaged in ways that could not be understood. That all the frustration of her very young partner, who found himself charged with a woman who could not recognise him, could be explained but not justified. And it is terrifying because she was not aware of it herself.

I Forgot to Remember is enthralling because it shows the daily struggles of a woman who did not know that her behaviour was not normal. It is scary because it very openly narrates how well she could pass off as a quirky person, rather than as a seriously ill individual, and how her behavior got explained away and rationalised. It is heartbreaking to read how she dealt with intimacy, her children and their sense of responsibility, and how terrified she was about being made out for the fake she felt she was.

I read this memoir in one sitting.  It had me wincing at times, sharing the Meck’s family’s pain, but thanks to it I also became more aware of traumatic brain injury and its consequences.

You Review: The latest releases, reviewed by ABC customers.

Visit Alba’s website at to read her stories.

ABC’s Gift Ideas: Gardening, Graphic Novels/Comics, Health

Friday, November 8th, 2013

The gift-giving season is upon us – hooray!

The ABC Staff has rummaged through their sections and order lists, and come up with another year’s worth of wonderful gift ideas for you: from fiction to history to cookbooks to children’s books to travel to non-books and onwards.

In a series of blog posts and recommendation lists throughout the coming month, you will find what we think will make great gifts, whether you celebrate Sinterklaas, Christmas or just like giving books to people. And since we’re a bookstore, these posts will be alphabetical by subject. :-)

Today you’ll find gift ideas for Gardening, Graphic Novels/Comics and Health as picked out by section buyers Ester, Sigrid, JeroenW and Agnes. Bear in mind that this is just the tip of the iceberg – come to either one of our stores to browse many, many more titles in any of these subjects.

We are ready as ever to be your personal shoppers again this year, and hope you will find our selections useful and inspiring!

You can find our gift ideas from previous years here (scroll down a bit pas 2013), and be sure to have a look at our ABC Favorites, too.


Spotlight on: Health and Wellness

Friday, July 5th, 2013

Dear customer,

We want to let you know about a new section we have in the White Room of our Amsterdam store: Healing of Body, Mind & Spirit.

Books from different disciplines and ways of thinking come together here to create a cross-section offering a holistic view on health and healing. It’s not just our bodies we need to heal with food and exercise, we also need to change our minds with new paradigms and different ways of thinking, to connect with our Source, our soul, through meditation, kundalini yoga or prayer. What we offer here are ‘books we think you should know about’ as we like to call them, books that have made an impact on our lives as buyers for the spirituality, health, nutrition, and body work sections.

But that is only half of what we want. We don’t just want to tell you about our books, we also want to hear about your books, about your experiences, so we can expand the section and make it even more comprehensive. Our society faces not only a health crisis but also a lack of spirituality, and we want to offer an alternative, a place where you can come to as a source of information about how to heal on all levels in life. We know, BIG intentions for such a small new section, but lives can be saved with just one book, happiness can be gained through just one chapter, and the purpose of a bookstore can be altered by just one section. When you visit us, have a look to see what we have to offer, or check out our monthly booktip on Facebook. And when you have something to share with us, write to us at

Wishing you health and happiness.

- Jilles, Marieke and Sigrid, ABC Amsterdam’s Holistic Health Buyers

Spotlight on: the Brain/Gut connection

Friday, June 7th, 2013

Our Sigrid at ABC Amsterdam noticed that a few new titles have come out recently about the brain/gut connection.

“The what?” I hear you think, much like I did when she mailed me about them.  I’ll let Michael Pollan enlighten you with his NY Times article on the subject, published last month.  Fascinating, right?  And slightly nauseating, too, perhaps.  ;-)

Sigrid has grouped the new titles on this subject together with the classics in the Health section at ABC Amsterdam.  At ABC The Hague you can  find them in the Health or Science section.  Please be sure to contact your ABC of choice for an exact stock check.


Staff Review: Overcoming Insomnia and Other Sleep Problems by Colin A. Espie

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

Reviewed by Jilles

There are many reasons why people have problems with sleep. A few books have been written about it, but none are as empathic and as effective as Overcoming Insomnia and Sleep Problems. It is almost as if Colin A. Espie has insomnia himself and knows exactly what it is like to struggle with this issue. And that is one of the problems with this problem, people around you don’t really know what it is like to have a problem with this, because it is such a natural thing you don’t have to do anything for. Just sleep. If only…

It is a known fact that approximately 5 % of the population has trouble sleeping and about 25 % is sleep-deprived. This is the cause of many other health risk factors, amongst them cancer.

The good thing about this book is that it doe not just dish out facts.  It is written as an eight-week course in creating a better sleep pattern and sleep behavior through Cognitive Behavioral Techniques. Every chapter tackles a certain part of the problem and then gives you one week to make a change in your behavior or your sleeping conditions. By keeping a sleeping journal you keep track of everything that you are doing and changing; you keep track of the hours you sleep, and lo and behold, improvement is on the way. Sometimes it is only your perception about your sleep that is part of the solution. Even if you are on medication, this book can still help you improve your sleep.

So if you are one of the many who tosses and turns every night, know that there is improvement to be found in this book that does more than tell you what you already know.  It helps you change what needs to be changed. Sweet dreams.