The Books I Read In January & February

A bookish blog post.

Posted on 7 min read

Seeing as today is World Book Day, I thought I’d do something a little bit different by sharing what I’ve been reading lately! As I mentioned in this post, I’ve been reading one book a week so far this year, so I’ve got plenty to tell you about.

The Guilty Feminist by Debra Frances-White

I sailed through this book in the first week of the year and loved it. It’s one of those books that I think that we should all read at some point, regardless of our gender – it’s that important.

There is a lot about encouraging us all to check our own privileges, and as a young, able-bodied, white cis-woman, it’s something that I’m aware I need to do more of. If you haven’t read this already, give it a read!

5/5

Sorry I’m Late, I Didn’t Want To Come by Jessica Pan

As a fellow introvert, I loved Jessica Pan’s book about her year of trying to live as an extrovert. (Rather her than me, seriously.) She really puts herself out of her comfort zone by travelling alone, doing improv classes, and even trying stand-up comedy!

It was a fun book to read, although I imagine that extroverts might get a little irritated by it, maybe? It’s definitely relatable if you’re an introvert too. If you’re the life and soul of the party, or you actually enjoy parties without hiding in the kitchen or avoiding humans altogether and making friends with any animals in the vicinity, you might not quite understand it.

4/5

The Actual One by Isy Suttie

I loved this book! It’s probably not for everyone, but it really resonated with me, particularly because I’m at the stage of my life where Isy was in the book.

Firstly, Isy’s from Matlock in Derbyshire. I’m a fellow Derbyshire lass, who’s from just down the road. It was nice to see my hometown get a mention in a book, to be honest. (In fact, I got really excited, took a picture of the page on my Kindle and emailed it to my parents so that they could see it too…) I really loved reading her stories of growing up in Derbyshire, because, same.

We follow her in her mid to late twenties. Same. After splitting up with her boyfriend, her mum challenges her to find a new boyfriend. The one her friend, Amy, tells her will be ‘The Actual One’, instead of one that seems like ‘The One’ but actually isn’t. The book follows her over a year when her friends are settling down, buying houses, and having babies, while she’s not quite there herself. Isy’s the one friend in her friendship group who isn’t quite ready to grow up yet, and again, same.

4.5/5

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

At 52 pages, this book is quite short. Regardless of length, I loved this book so much that I read it in one sitting. All the way through, I kept nodding in agreement.

Everyone should read this book, honestly.

4.5/5

I’ll Be There For You: The One About Friends by Kelsey Miller

When I started reading this book, I loved it to begin with, but as I went along, I found my enthusiasm seriously waning.

Being British, there are certain aspects of the book that I just didn’t understand – nor did this book even try and attempt to explain them for the international audience it mentioned the show had – just assuming that we all knew about the different American TV networks, big TV executives, and the syndication system. It was all stuff the book got bogged down in, I feel. I wanted to know more about the filming of the show, the writing team, the crew, the cast, and other little gems of information that aren’t out there for everyone to see. This book didn’t really fulfil that, I’m afraid.

While the stuff I mentioned above is relevant to the history of Friends, I didn’t think it was that necessary for me to know it all. I thought that this book was going to be loads of tidbits of information I didn’t know about the juicy parts of making the programme, and it was, initially, but it gradually turned into a social commentary.

And while there is plenty to be said about how Friends wouldn’t, and shouldn’t, be made today in the way it was back then – with accusations of homophobia, sexism, fatphobia, transphobia and many more things that rightly aren’t acceptable today – it did make up a big chunk of the book. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it isn’t what I thought the book would be about. It took a turn for the serious after a few chapters that I just wasn’t expecting.

3/5

Off: Your Digital Detox for a Better Life by Tanya Goodin

This is a short and sweet book full of tips on having a digital detox. (You know me, I love a good break from tech.) I guess that some people would see it as a bit cheesy with some pages that have an image and quote on them, but I did pick up some useful tips from this book.

If you’re like me and you find yourself feeling like a slave to your phone, it might be worth giving this (or How To Break Up With Your Phone by Catherine Price) a go!

RELATED POST: Why I’m Shunning My Smartphone

4/5

Why I’ve Stopped Talking To White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge

I know, I know, I’m really late to the party on this one, but better late than never. I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that this book is incredibly important.

Once I picked this book up, I found it hard to put it down. It’s made me, a young white woman, even more aware of the privileges I have purely because of my race. If you haven’t read this book already, pick a copy up now.

5/5

Open Up: The Power of Talking About Money by Alex Holder

This is another book that I genuinely sailed through. I picked it up for Β£2 (two quid!) and it was worth every single penny. It’s made me feel a lot better about my relationship with money, to be honest. As somebody who’s considered themselves ‘bad with money’ for the last few years, it’s informed me that I’m far from alone.

Alex Holder’s been a high earner, and struggled for money too, so she can really talk about finances from several different perspectives. This book is a goldmine for tips about being open with money (the clue’s in the title and all that!) and also how to be better with money as well.

If you think that you’re ‘bad with money’ too, firstly know that you’re not the only one, and secondly, get yourself a copy of this book!

4.5/5

How To Break Up With Fast Fashion by Lauren Bravo

I’ve actually written a post about my feelings towards fast fashion, inspired by this book. I’m sitting on it for now, because there are a few loose ends that I want to tie up before I publish it.

Even though I’m not the biggest purveyor of fast fashion, I still play a part because I’m a human being in the First World who does (occasionally) need to buy new clothes. The book was really enlightening, but there’s a lot that I felt didn’t apply to me specifically. I felt that this book, while great, wasn’t quite aimed at me. It’s aimed at the ‘influencers’ who post near-daily ASOS hauls and those who splurge on masses of new clothing every payday.

I learned some valuable facts and figures, and it really made me think about my habits. I’d definitely recommend this book if you’re the kind of person who gets palpitations if they don’t browse the Topshop website daily. If you’re like me, and you only buy new clothes when you genuinely need them, it might not be of as much help to you.

4/5

Open by Frankie Bridge

I devoured this book in two days. I’m not going to lie, it’s pretty heavy-going, but I think it’s the most important book about mental health to come along since Reasons To Stay Alive by Matt Haig.

Frankie (of The Saturdays fame) talks about her experience of anxiety, depression, a breakdown, OCD, and an eating disorder. She’s been through an awful lot, and she’s brutally honest in this raw account of her experiences. The book has pretty illustrations throughout, and the chapters are broken down into easily digestible parts.

There are chapters about childhood anxiety, her breakdown whilst in the band, being hospitalised for a month, how her mental health impacted relationships plus pregnancy and motherhood, what treatments she’s had, and how she deals with her conditions now.

It isn’t an easy book to read, but it’s an incredibly important one.

5/5

No One Is Too Small To Make A Difference by Greta Thunberg

This book is only 72 pages, so I managed to finish it in a day. Greta Thunberg is an incredible inspiration, and while this book is important, it’s worthwhile remembering that it’s a collection of her speeches.

My main criticism of it is that it can be a little repetitive at times, exacerbated by the fact that it’s easy to read in one sitting. So, one speech will mention the arctic permafrost melting, and it’s also mentioned in several other speeches – and so you end up reading the same fact about four times repeatedly.

It’s definitely food for thought, though.

4/5


What books have you read lately?

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The Books I Read In January & February