Today I’m going to talk about something I feel very strongly about, reading. Reading used to be a huge passion of mine, I would stay up past my bedtime huddled under the covers with my reading light desperate to finish the chapter, then the next! From Harry Potter to Jacqueline Wilson, I bloody loved it.
Then secondary school, sixth form and uni hit you like a ton of bricks. When you have to read books that you don’t choose to, it becomes hard to enjoy reading anything anymore, well it did for me. Other than the standard holiday book for the pool, I completely lost my passion.
I turned to a dark world of online articles full of boob jobs, Bentley’s and best dressed lists. My mind was slowly turning to a plastic TOWIE filled mush. Not that there’s anything wrong with this, I still spend a stupendous amount of time reading about Kylie Jenner. However, it really was about time that I turned the pages of something a little more meaningful, not that I completely neglect a full feature on lip liners.
Over the last year (and predominantly lockdowns) I’ve picked up a few fantastic books that have reignited my passion for reading. It’s truly been lovely getting that feeling once more of staying up late reading a book with tired eyes, promising yourself just one more chapter then bed …
Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys. by Viv Albertine
Loved this and completley flew through it. Admittedly, I did not know of Viv Albertine before reading this memoir of the punk trailblazer, writer and all round legendary woman of band ‘The Slits’. Nonetheless, a few pages in and I was obsessed. I particularly enjoyed her depictions of 70s London and envisioning her stumbling into Vivienne Westwood’s shop SEX then gathering at squat parties on an evening or seeing Britain’s biggest bands just before they hit the big time. The story of Vivienne’s battle to get pregnant and experience with illness is incredibly poignant; it’s both devastating and beautifully well written. She really has led a colourful life and this book is a truly heroic tale of a hugely interesting woman. For fans of: Rock biopics and being a bad ass.
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
This novel is so unique, with each chapter depicting the tale of a different protagonist in a family line. It starts back in 18th century Ghana, then ends in modern day. The book journeys through colonialism, slavery, the civil rights movement and more. I can’t believe its the first book I’ve read set in those spaces that is not non-fiction, and it led me to purchase more. However, they will have a hard job matching up to Gyasi’s piercing visuals and gripping narrative. I could’ve read a whole book on each character that receives a chapter. Basically, it was bloody brilliant, read it now.
Women Don’t Owe You Pretty by Florence Given
Every one needs to read this book. I WISH with every inch of my being that it was around when I was a young teenager. I got so much from it now, but there’s a lot of lessons and advice in there that would’ve helped me make better decisions for me and been a lot happier had it appeared in my life age 16. You’ll cry, cry laughing and learn a 1000 new things about yourself. A must-read. Also, if you aren’t following Florence on Insta, get on it.
I’m currently reading ‘Half of a Yellow Sun‘ by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, I’m really enjoying that so will update you on my progress! I’m also reading ‘How to Break Up With Your Phone’ by Catherine Price alongside it. I don’t normally read two books at once but the latter works as a 30 day plan 70 or so pages in, which I just check in with each day.
I was inspired to read this book after watching Harmony Nice’s video on giving up her smartphone. I’m not going to go full Nokia brick as I don’t think I’m ready for that, but I do want to transform my relationship with my phone. With the events of this year I’ve spent more time on my phone than ever and my disassociation has returned. I want to reconnect with my surroundings and feel present.
What are you reading atm? Let me know in the comments and I’ll add to my list!
The next few I have lined up include ‘The Artist’s Way’ ‘The Courage to be Disliked’ and Dolly Alderton’s debut novel ‘Ghosts’
Have an amazing weekend and speak soon 💗