Social commentary and think pieces

16 March 2019

Book review: the last 4 books I read

My one and only New Years resolution this year was to read more. Initially, I was certain that I would purchase on book in January, read a chapter and then leave it on my bedside table to gather dust whilst I simply forgot about it.
Thankfully that hasn't happened yet and I've managed to stick to my resolution well into March. The reason being is that I've made a conscious effort to only buy and read books that I know I'll truly enjoy.

In the past I've been largely guilty of buying coffee table books exclusively, purely because "look how pretty it is" and never actually taking the time to read them. For a long time I treated book like I would treat a vase of flowers, their purpose being to sit on my shelf and look pretty.

But, in buying the genuinely good books that I previously wouldn't have batted an eyelid at, I've managed to surprise myself and rekindle my love for reading. Here are the last four book I read...

Feminists don't wear pink and other lies - Curated by Scarlett Curtis

Feminists don't wear pink and other lies was a book I was very much driven to buy by the hype surrounding it towards the end of last year and early this year.
The book is a selection of essays from a range of women (Grace Campbell, Lolly Adefope, Saoirse Ronan, Dolly Alderton and many others) about what feminism means to them. Each essay was incredibly unique and personal, most sharing their own experience of when they realised they were feminists and what prompted them to come to that realisation. Some were funny, some were relatable and some were downright heartbreaking. I gasped on multiple occasions whist reading this, purely because of the brutal truths that were bought into the light throughout the book.

My only criticism would be that some of the essays seemed to drag on a little, some not really getting to much of a conclusion. But, asides from that it was an excellent read and one I would recommend to anyone starting to take an interest in the movement, as its a great introduction into the world of feminism.

The book perfectly summed up my own feelings about feminism and being female, that I otherwise wouldn't have been able to articulate. Its also given me the vocabulary to be able to articulate my feelings to others, meaning that I am no longer in any situations where I'm thinking; "I know the way this person is treating me is wrong, but I can't put my finger on exactly why its wrong."

Life Honestly - The Pool

Life Honestly is a compilation of essays from a range of opinionated female journalists (Bryony Gordon, Sali Hughes, Zoe Beaty, Caroline O'Donoghue and many more). The book touches on all sorts of topics from friendships, love and relations, parenting, mental health all the way to feminism.

One essay that really struck a chord with me was "The Sad Inevitability Of The Grown Man And The Teenage Girl" by Caroline O'Donoghue in which Caroline spoke candidly about her own experience being pursued by an older man and the mentality of the men who choose to go after underage girls.
She made some excellent points, suggesting the attraction is as much due to the man's feelings about himself as it is about the school uniform, which seemed obvious to me after reading, but wasn't necessarily something I would have initially have though of upon seeing the multiple news stories of male celebrities taking advantage of underage girls.

In general the book very much has women at the heart of it and its no-holds-barred approach to discussing the issues women face in their day to day live (most of which are deemed too 'taboo' by mainstream media) was very refreshing.

"The man who seduced me as a teenager wasn't talented or intelligent, or even a capable adult. He had dropped out of several degree programmes, lost several girlfriends and had alienated various batches of friends before he met me. A grown man doesn't usually have a teenage girlfriend unless he needs to feel good about himself, unless he is fresh out of people to be impressed by him."

 - Caroline O'Donoghue

This is going to hurt - Adam Kay

This is going to hurt is a collection of Adam Kay's diary entries, documenting his time working for the NHS as a junior doctor. The book was both hilarious and heartbreaking in equal measure, and I was very much surprised by Kay's ability to give such a witty commentary on his often horrifying experiences.
The book highlights the harsh realities of life as a junior doctor. Not only the realities of working on the the wards but also the impact such experiences have on their personal lives (or lack of them).

As someone who has spent large chunks of time in hospital, and under the care of the NHS, this book not only shocked me, but it fed my infinite amount of respect for the doctors working for the NHS.

The book provided witty anecdotes, making me snort with laughter on multiple occasions, graphic but hilarious descriptions of the patient's state (with a de-gloved penis being described as "spaghetti stuck to the bottom of the bowl by a smear of tomato sauce"), but also many heartbreaking stories. Particularly the ending, which had me in floods of tears.

On the front line with the women fighting back - Stacey Dooley

On the front line with the women fighting back was a book I was very much inclined to read due to my love for Stacey Dooley's documentaries.
Throughout the book Stacey tells the stories of each of the women she's met whilst making her documentaries, sharing their experiences and how each of them have overcome their struggles in their own way.

The book was informative of the struggles women face globally, from the Yazidi girls fighting ISIS in Iraq, to child sexualisation in Japan, whilst also having an incredibly personal touch as it was written from Stacey's perspective.

It was an easy read, although I found that certain sentences were phrased oddly, meaning I had to go over them a couple of times in order to totally understand what was being said. But, Stacey isn't a writer, she's a broadcaster and the purpose of the book was to give an insight into the lives of women globally, which it very much did.



  1. This is Going to Hurt sounds like a fascinating book, I haven't seen that one before so I'm definitely adding it to my list! Thanks for sharing :)

    Anika |

    1. I can't believe you haven't heard of it! You should definitely read it though, its my absolute favourite book xx

  2. sounds like a book i would read amazing post


  3. Great post - I haven't heard of any of these books but I need to add them to my to-do read list (especially the first one). I have been reading a lot recently and am currently almost done with "Overdressed" which is a super interesting book on fast fashion... Thanks for sharing!
    -Jenna ♥
    Stay in touch? The Chic Cupcake

  4. What a collection! I like these four books. I want to read these immediately.
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  5. These books look awesome, thanks for sharing

  6. I've not read any of these but still really enjoyed reading this post and finding some new reccomendations to check out! I usually tend to stick to the same genre of books but the range of books you have mentioned are the kind of books that make me want to explore further genres xx

    Lauren |

  7. All of these books sounds very good and I love reading books. Thanks for sharing.
    xo Corina

  8. I've been wanting to read more, so thank you for these introductions. I haven't heard of any of these books before, so I will def have to check them out!

  9. I love reading and these books seem empowering and lovely to hear about!

  10. Awesome photos of the books! I need Life Honestly in my collection! Thanks for sharing :)

  11. I always love reading these kind of posts. This is going to hurt made me laugh and cry in all sorts of ways <3 I might give feminists don't wear pink a read next.



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