BOOKS - June Thompson is a Part-time health visitor and medical journalist

As Good as Your Word: a guide to community interpreting and translation in public services By Marsha Saunders Publisher: The Maternity Alliance.121 pages.£25 statutory bodies,£16.50 others

I have never received advice or seen information on using interpreters effectively, so I opened this book, an expanded version of the 1994 publication Issues and Practice of Interpreting: guidance notes, with interest.

The chapter 'guidelines for working with interpreters', contains many practical tips and the appendices, which contain a 'rough guide to languages by country' and a 'language ID card', are also very helpful. But the rest of the book is irrelevant for individual service users, unless they intend to set up their own interpreting service. It would have been helpful to split the content into two books.

There is also a gap between the reality of using the interpreting service and the information given. For example, users I spoke to agreed that the most difficult part of the process is actually booking an interpreter. And no one had been asked to evaluate the service, though the book emphasises this point.

Alive and Kicking: carer's guide to exercises for older people By Julie Sobczak and Susie Dinan Publisher: Age Concern.144 pages. ISBN:0-86242-289-2.£11.99

Research shows that regular exercise can help to enhance older people's lives, but most exercise programmes cater for young people.

This book aims to redress the balance by providing care home managers, health professionals and other carers with ideas for exercises that even very elderly and chairbound people can tackle.

All the exercises are illustrated by black and white pictures (unfortunately, rather smudgy) that use older people as models. They are also backed up by safety tips and sample exercise plans.