Last year I did so well with reading books, going through 2-3 a month, albeit mainly through my excessive travelling, but sadly 2017 hasn’t been anywhere near as good, especially to begin with. Here’s a rundown of the few bits I did read over the year.
How To Be A Woman by Caitlin Moran
This book actually took me about three months’ to read, not because I couldn’t get into it but because I was fitting in chapters on train journeys to the minimal gigs I was going to, and I rarely had time to read at home. Getting that aside this was a fantastic book about being a woman – the positives and negatives – and about feminism. I’ve tried a lot of books similar in ideality to this but I feel Caitlin’s book is incredible, it’s funny, it’s relatable and provides great insight into her life.
How Not To Travel The World by Lauren Juliff
This was a book which had been on my radar for a while and just before heading to Hawaii I thought I’d give it a read, especially incase it gave me any traveling tips. Lauren had been planning to travel with her long-term boyfriend but when they split up she decided to go anyway despite being disaster-prone with no common sense. During her time abroad she managed to survive a tsunami, was scammed and assaulted, lost teeth and ate a cockroach to name just a few things. Lauren blogs at Never Ending Footsteps so the book reads very much like a blog and therefore is such an easy read and I absolutely loved reading about the vast change in Lauren’s life.
Mad Girl by Bryony Gordon
Another non-fiction book which I tackled was Mad Girl by journalist Bryony Gordon who on the surface looks like she has a perfect life. In her previous book she spoke about all the crazy antics she got up to in her 20’s and 30’s but she failed to mention how she’d been suffering from mental health issues since she was a teenager which then resulted in an eating disorder and drug/ alcohol problems. Mad Girl is when Bryony comes clean and talks about her mental health issues in such a stark way. The book was such an interesting read and it really goes to show that you can never judge a book by it’s cover as sometimes you never truly know what’s going on in people’s minds.
It’s On The Meter by Paul Archer & Johno Ellison
Another travel inspired book from Paul Archer and Johno Ellison who tell the story of when they and their friend Leigh bought an old London black cab and set about driving it from London to Sydney not only for a fun travel but also to break a world record. The book was written by both Paul and Johno moving between both of their viewpoints which was great as it gave you an even better feel about their trip and what a trip it was. They didn’t talk much about the actual sights but more about the feel of the country and the experiences which was great because anyone can go online and find out what the Eiffel Tower of the Sydney Opera House is like.
New York, Actually by Sarah Morgan
When I went to Crete I took this book as an easy beach read and I actually read it in just over 24 hours. It was your typical piece of chick lit which was light and a little predictable but it was exactly what I wanted it to be. The story follows Molly a dating advice columnist who moved to New York to escape her old life in London, and Daniel a divorce lawyer who claims to never fall in love. The story follows the pair from their initial meeting right through and follows the path of two people who feel they have a good hold on their emotions and know everything about dating who actually know nothing.
The Wrong Knickers By Bryony Gordon
This is, in fact, the book which came before Mad Girl so I totally read these the wrong way around. The book is an autobiographical run through of Bryony’s life up until her early thirties when she got married and had a kid. It was funny and a really good read but there were quite a lot of scenario’s and anecdotes which I knew already from reading her second book. I would say personally the books are pretty similar but I got more from reading about Bryony’s mental health issues than I did just reading about her partying so personally I’d vote with reading Mad Girl out of the two.
Paris For One and Other Stories by JoJo Moyles
I love Jojo’s writing style so when I spotted this book of short stories I knew it would be a good read. There’s one longer story which is ‘Paris For One’ accompanied by a number of other stories ranging from just a few pages to about 30 in length. They’re all really easy reads and follow some interesting stories around the French capital and it’s great to be able to sit down and read one complete story and come back to the book whenever you’re free to read another.
Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick
I think Anna is such a funny person and I love her in Pitch Perfect among other things so reading her autobiography seemed like an obvious step. The whole book was a great insight into how she got into the movie/ theatre world and it was inspiring to read about someone in the industry who isn’t confident and thinks of themselves as a bit kooky without a huge range of friends. I did think the book would be a bit funnier seeing as how funny she is on social media but I guess they didn’t want to cheapen the book.
Sweet Temptation by Lucy Diamond
I love the easy to read mindless chick lit and ‘Sweet Temptation’ was just that, so much so that I finished it within 24 hours. It’s an easy read story of three women who all end up becoming friends after joining their local ‘Fatbusters’ class and it’s about friendship, temptation and thinking about what you deserve as a person.
Barefoot in the Dark by Lynne Barrett-Lee
This was one of those books I’ve had on my bookshelf for more years than I can count on one hand so I thought it was about time to give it a read. The story revolves around Hope Shepherd who loses her trainer while boarding a train and it’s found by Radio Wales DJ Jack Valentine. Jack launches a campaign to find the trainers owner and when Hope steps up the pair become good friends. Much like predictable chick lit books the pair end up slowly falling for each other, pushing each other away and then ending up together. It was nothing groundbreaking but it was a good easy read for travelling and holidays.
One Plus One by JoJo Moyles
Ever since first reading Me Before You I’ve been a huge fan of JoJo Moyles and her style of writing so I knew pretty much from the off that I’d love One Plus One. The story is based around Jess whose husband has disappeared, her teenage stepson is being bullied and her math whizz daughter has the chance for a partial scholarship at a private school which she can’t pay for. It turns out her knight in shining armor is Ed a tech millionaire whose vacation home she cleans. It’s not overly predictable but is a nice easy read to wind down at night.
My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella
This book focuses on Katie Brenner who works in branding in London spending hours commuting to a job she isn’t appreciated in from her tiny cramped flat. Originally she’s from Somerset but always dreamt of living and working in London but then her dreams are dashed as she’s sacked from her role only to end up back in Somerset helping her dad set up a glamping business. The thing with this book is that it perfectly shows how hard life in London (and anywhere else) can be from job rejections to the price of going out for lunch, and how many people’s Instagram images are not showing the full picture.