What’s New In Self-Development

Maria Vassilopoulos, Business Development Manager at The Bookseller magazine, reviews three of our recent releases on self-development.

Sometimes it’s good in our busy lives to stop, contemplate and think about the good things.  It’s proven that the human brain is far better at remembering the negative occurrences in life – something to do with our primitive brain. I won’t pretend to be an expert of the science behind this statement but I do know that my own head remembers the bad stuff more than the good.  I also run ‘Jobs in Books’ for The Bookseller and often get asked advice on how to keep positive when job hunting. With this in mind and a busy few weeks coming up over London Book Fair, I knew exactly what I wanted to choose from the Watkins Publishing list!

I Am, You Are by Rosemary Gallagher


I Am, You Are, Rosemary Gallagher, £4.99

An excellent price point (there is an ex-bookseller in me) book, and one that you could certainly find room for in a handbag, ready to whip out when having a moment of self-doubt.  I like the fact I feel like I have two books for the price of one and find it childishly entertaining to flip-change the front cover myself.  It’s like a two-sided flat die. The content has pretty, illustrated fonts and inspiring words jumping off the pages – whether it’s “I am” for the pep talk times or “You are” for the ‘needing someone else to clap’ times. It made me feel empowered and lovely inside.



Dani DiPirro, Living in The Moment, £5.99

Living in The Moment by Dani DiPirro

Another great price point and a book that would make a good gift for anyone interested in mindfulness or the basics of Buddhism. Or anyone that struggles to live in the moment (me).  The book is full of quotes, shades of calming green and lots of circles – no edges.  There are quotes from inspiring well-known people such as poet Emily Dickinson, Simone de Beauvoir and Eleanor Roosevelt interspersed with words of wisdom from the author.  At the end are some handy top 10’s for home and work and a nice bio on Dani DiPirro and her great website www.positivelyPresent.com, which you should check out!

Colouring for Contemplation by Amber Hatch & Alex Ogg


Amber Hatch, Colouring for Contemplation, £6.99

I have to admit – the colouring book craze reached me, but after completing few pictures they ended up being given to a friend. This one is different because each picture is accompanied by a quote from a famous poet like Coleridge, novelist like Proust and even an Indian spiritual leader from long ago. There is also a section on mindfulness and reflection exercises to try. The pictures are not random but linked to the individual quotes. I felt that I had a lot more than just a standard colouring book and my favourite picture was the snail accompanied by some Japanese Haiku. It’s also still on my bookshelf.

I enjoyed all three of these books and found them thoughtful and inspiring for anyone and everyone.


Maria Vassilopoulos spent the past decade in the book trade as a bookseller, events manager, in sales, marketing, editorial Mariaand publicity departments in publishing and now works for The Bookseller magazine where she manages careers and jobs content, runs @Jobsinbooks and works closely with universities that offer publishing MAs. She is currently doing a PhD on Publishing History at UCL and also programmed and guest lectured their MA Publishing Skills module in 2015. Find her on the web and follow her on twitter.

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Vicky Hartley is the Marketing Director and Head of Digital for Watkins Publishing Limited (including Duncan Baird Publishers)