Don’t lie: in the back of your mind, you’re already thinking about New Year’s resolutions 😜🗓 Most of us decide to Get Healthy 🍏 or Read More 📖 or Learn An Instrument 🎻 and then promptly forget all about it by the mid-January. . Some people, though, go the whole hog and decide to overhaul their lives completely for twelve months. A select few go even further and write a book about what they’ve done, why they’ve done it, and what they’ve learned 😳 I’ve put together a list of “year of” books (it’s up on the blog now, link in bio ⤴️ and some of my favourites are pictured here), these uniquely committed individuals’ memoirs about actually living their lives differently for one whole year. . What do you want to commit to in 2022? 🤓 . #WeekendReading #UpLit #ReadingList
I’m not ashamed to admit that, prior to reading Year Of Yes, all of my Shonda Rhimes knowledge was Grey’s Anatomy-related 👩⚕️ In fact, prior to Year Of Yes, Rhimes herself really preferred it that way. All her life, she had been a self-confessed introvert; she once hired a publicist for the express purpose of keeping her from actually having to *do* any publicity for her ground-breaking television 😅 . That’s not why I picked it up, though – just a happy coincidence. Mostly I was curious about Year Of Yes as a fascinating counterpoint to all of the calls for busy women to say “no” 🙅♀️ more often. When Rhimes starts saying yes, she finds that facing her fears actually pays off. The more she says yes, and follows through, the easier (and better) it gets. My full review is up on the blog now (link in bio ⤴️) – 👍👍👍👍👍/5, a great uplifting read! . What was the last thing you said YES to? . #YearOfYes #ShondaRhimes #5StarRead
Check this out 👉👉👉 over on @TheUncorkedLibrarian RIGHT NOW, a list of the best dark academia books… by yours truly! 😍 . Dark academia is all elite schools, secret societies, murders, mysteries, and mentors with sinister motivations 🎓🧛♂️✨ I had a LOT of fun putting this reading list together for Uncorked Readers! It’s up on the site now, and some of my favourites are pictured here. . What are YOUR favourite dark academia books? . #DarkAcademia #ReadingList #TheUncorkedLibrarian
Katherine Ryan is a comedian, writer, podcaster, and apparently a regular across the BBC panel shows… but I rarely watch them, so The Audacity was my first real introduction to her work. In this memoir, she describes her small-town Canadian childhood, her on-a-whim decision to move to the UK, and her various misadventures in building a career and a life for herself and her daughter. My friends at @BlinkPublishing (via @AllenAndUnwin) were kind enough to send me a copy for review. . I think maybe The Audacity suffered from the fact that I’ve read so many truly brilliant memoirs lately; by comparison, it fell flat for me 😣 Something about Ryan’s voice and approach just felt… off. She has a very matter-of-fact tone, which I’d normally like, except it was coupled with 20/20 hindsight; she doesn’t really bring the reader along with her. I appreciate Ryan’s schtick of audacious self-confidence, but that alone doesn’t make for a good memoir. (And TW: violent crime, coercive control, pregnancy/loss) 💁♀️💁♀️/5 . Are there any BBC panel show-regular memoirs you WOULD recommend? . #TheAudacity #KatherineRyan #NonFictionNovember
I *hate* the gendering of consumer goods 😡 It never ceases to amaze me when I see a book store’s catalogue arranged into “for men” and “for women” sections, as though (firstly) that neat binary actually exists and (secondly) literature can be divided by it. . … so, why on earth did I make a list of books to buy for men? 🤔 (I really did, it’s up on the blog now, link in bio ⤴️, and some of them are pictured here.) Well, I’ve noticed that people do actually pay attention to these recommendations, and the “books to buy for men” pages are almost always almost exclusively populated with books written by cis-men. What about the books by women and NB folk that would actually *really benefit* cis-male readers? Consider this list my attempt to change the system from within: a list of “books to buy for men” that will actually constitute one small step towards dismantling the patriarchy and saving the world 🌏💪 . Which books by women and/or writers of other underrepresented genders do you think we should all buy for the cis-men in our lives this holidays? 🎁 . #BooksForMen #GiftsForHim #BooksToRead
“He was the one who lost everything. I was just the nobody it had happened to.” . In January 2015, Chanel Miller was a 22-year-old graduate living in Palo Alto. One night, on a whim she decided to attend a Stanford campus party with her sister and friends. Within hours, Brock Turner had assaulted her, and she had become the “unconscious intoxicated woman” – Emily Doe. In Know My Name, Miller doesn’t ease you into this harrowing story with any meandering anecdotes about her upbringing. She’s setting this scene for her assault by page 2. . Know My Name is an incredible read, on every level: as a tool for dismantling the patriarchy, as a masterfully-crafted narrative, as an account of crime and justice, and as a radical testament to the costs of survival. It’s a harrowing read, but an essential one. My full review is up on the blog now (link in bio). ⚖️⚖️⚖️⚖️⚖️/5 . #KnowMyName #ChanelMiller #ReadThisBook
When I heard that a new short story collection would be “inverting and queering the gothic and romantic traditions”, my ears pricked up 👂 Then I saw it compared to Carmen Maria Machado’s Her Body And Other Parties – yes, please! 🙏 Permafrost is a collection of seven short stories by SJ Norman, and I was lucky enough to receive a copy from @UQPBooks for review. . The stories in this collection are chilling at times, erotic at times, and there’s a lot of “young Aussie abroad” content (young restless people being angsty in various parts of Europe). The stories are all well written, but otherwise not much particularly sets them apart. They feel familiar, rather than brave or piercing. Permafrost is stable foundation from which Norman will hopefully grow and explore in their work. ❄️❄️❄️/5 . Which comparison title makes you sit up and pay attention to a new book? . #Permafrost #SJNorman #UQPBooks
Sometimes, fiction books with lots of exciting plot twists can seem like the best (i.e., easiest) choice for book clubs. Add in a morally-grey character or two, and you’ve got a guaranteed spicy conversation to have over wine and snacks each month 🍷🧀📖 Non-fiction books are less often picked, which is a shame, because they can offer just as much fodder for debate (sometimes more)… . Memoirs and exposés interrogate real-world issues that can evoke strong opinions; you might find you don’t know your book club pals as well as you thought 🙊 Pictured here are a few of my favourite non-fiction book club picks, and a longer list is up now on the blog (link in bio ⬆️). . What is your book club reading at the moment? . #BookClubs #BookStack #NonFictionNovember
When it comes to writing memoirs, you’ve either got to have talent for storytelling or a life so fascinating that talent (or lack thereof) doesn’t matter 🤷♀️ Luckily, Tara Westover has both. Even in the hands of a real bore, Educated – a memoir about shame, understanding, and the transformative power of education – would be an interesting read. In Westover’s voice, it’s downright enthralling 😳 . The dangers and horrors of Westover’s childhood had my heart in my throat – but the moments of love and compassion shared within this bizarre family did, too. I was captivated by the way Westover was able to relate her story, with frankness and fairness that any memoir writer should envy. My full review is up on the blog now (link in bio ⬆️) – 🎓🎓🎓🎓🎓/5 . #Educated #TaraWestover #NonFictionNovember
Keeping Up With The Penguins operates on the lands of the Gadigal people, of the Eora nation. This land was never ceded or sold. Our First Nations communities have the oldest continuing storytelling tradition in the world, and custodianship of the land always was, always will be, theirs.
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