A Handful of | Brilliant books I read in my absence.

HAPPY APRIL FOOL’S DAY!

I have once again graced your wordpress readers. After having a bit of a blog crisis, I am back with a blog makeover! I was super ill after my Impractical Jokers weekend (which you can hear all about on my instagram!), I decided to take the month off to think about what I want to do with my blog.

I’m going to try and post a lot more and post more about films/theatre/feminism but still have posts on books, too. And I have some fun events coming up so I’ll possibly write about those too! I also now have a ‘reading list’ page which contains my TBR! I’m crossing off the books I read this year to then reset at the beginning of next year.

I still continued to read during my blogging absence and here are four that I really, really enjoyed.

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How Hard Can Love Be? – Holly Bourne.

This is the second book in Holly’s ‘Normal’ series. I absolutely LOVED the first book Am I Normal Yet? which you can read about HERE. While the first book follows Evie, this book follows Amber’s story as she goes to work at a summer camp in America while trying to patch up her relationship with her mum who suffers from alcoholism.

Now, I adore all of Holly’s previous books but this one didn’t grasp me as much as her other books have done so. I really liked the scenes with Amber & her mum. I haven’t read many books that have a focus on relationships between girls and their mums. And I loved the appearances from Evie & Lottie as well. Both of these plot lines and that it is a genuinely well written book is why I gave it 3 stars.

But this book series prides itself on being centered on feminism yet with Amber I couldn’t see that at all. Unless they mentioned it I couldn’t see this as a feminist book. She could be really immature to the point where she came across as a total bitch. She threw a tantrum whenever her mum’s new partner was in the room. She was very slut sham-y too. & Her relationship with Kyle was SO insta-lovey and so predictable. I’m not necessarily big on romance so this book is more suited for those for are, in my opinion.

I am glad I read it. And it was super great to get back into the world of the Spinster Club again and I really cannot wait for Lottie’s book when it is released in August.

Reasons To Stay Alive – Matt Haig.

Reasons To Stay Alive is a non-fiction book. Matt Haig recounts his experiences of depression and anxiety in this wonderful and uplifting book. It really opened my eyes. I know a lot of people who suffer from really bad depression & anxiety and it helped me understand the illness. It’s a really quick and accessible read. I finished it on my train back from Manchester at the end of February. I highly recommend this and I hope a lot of people can learn from it.

To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee.

After buying this book months and months ago and not too long after the death of Harper Lee, I decided to pick up To Kill A Mockingbird. If you haven’t heard about this book, it is set in the 1930s and told through the eyes of Scout whose father Atticus is assigned a case to defend a black man accused of raping a white girl.

The scenes set during the trial were amazing and so interesting to read about. Even more so when they’re told by a seven/eight year old girl. For me, this was when the book and writing really picked up. The rest of it though, it took a while to get going and also took a while to end too.

I can see why it’s beloved and is taught in schools. I remember reading on the internet somewhere that Harper Lee’s father found himself in a situation similar to Atticus’ which made the book all the more interesting for me.

Also, I watched the film on Netflix after finishing the book and if you’ve read the book, I highly recommend the film, also.

I Call Myself A Feminist.

This is a collection of articles/stories/anecdotes from a variety of women aged under 30 discussing why they call themselves feminists. This is marketed as an essay collection but I wouldn’t necessarily call it that, as the pieces didn’t seem long enough. I think the longest piece was about 5 pages long?

I really liked the pieces by Sofie Hagen, Louise O’Neill, Laura Bates & Laura Pankhurst. But my favourite one was written by Jade Anouka who recounted her experience performing in an all female cast of Henry IV at the Donmar Warehouse, which I found really intriguing.

I read this as part of the Feminist Orchestra book club on Goodreads which I highly recommend checking out if you are looking to expand your feminist horizons.

See you next time!

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