Book Club for One

I've been largely off-grid owing to the fairly large life changes afoot: starting a new job and buying a new house. I don't recommend it. Why is it that these monumental shifts have been coming in twos recently? Get married + move country. New job + sell house. I keep wondering when a "quiet year" is around the corner. Bring on a fixed-term mortgage dictating we keep those moving boxes away! In a bid to not combust, have a breakdown or burst into tears in public, I've had to cut myself some slack on what I'm managing to do in a day. Taking on a new job is no easy feat, getting to know new names, new processes whilst simultaneously making that great first 90-day impression. Throw in some estate agents, solicitors and mortgage advisers and that's my capacity shot to pieces. Something had to give. Bye bye posting on Instagram. Adios scheduling posts. Adieu writing them too *sad face*. But one thing that is keeping me sane(ish) and entertained in my cherished down-time is my ready supply of reading material. One of my highlights of last weekend was browsing for over an hour in an Oxfam charity bookshop (Yes, I came away with 4 new additions to my bookshelf... not ideal for the impending packing up task to come I agree!) Everyday, without fail, I tune in to an Audible story, a Kindle page-turner and, on special occasions, actually pull out a hard-back (yup, Easter is deemed 'special occasion').

These are the five books I've finished most recently and, incidentally, recommend them all!

The Wrong Knickers - A Decade of Chaos
Bryony Gordon
If you loved Dolly Alderton's Everything I Know About Love then this is for you! Written a few years earlier, London-based journalist Bryony Gordon manages to capture the grittiness of living in London fresh after uni with that inner party-girl instinct living off a tiny graduate salary with the encounters and stories worth dining out on! The name of the book is the situation Bryony finds herself in the opening chapters. A hilarious read that is scarily familiar but at the same time makes you appreciate not being that age anymore!

Bryony Gordon survived her adolescence by dreaming about the life she'd have in her twenties: the perfect job; the lovely flat; the amazing boyfriend. The reality was something of a shock. Here in the Sunday Times bestselling THE WRONG KNICKERS Bryony busts open the glamorised myth of what it means to be a young (perpetually) single girl about London town, and shares the horrible and hilarious truth. The truth about picking up a colleague at the STI clinic; sinking into debt to fund a varied diet of wine, crisps and vodka; and how it feels when your dream man turns out to be a one night stand who hands you someone else's knickers in the morning.
Hinch Yourself Happy - All The Best Cleaning Tips To Shine Your Sink And Soothe Your Soul
Sophie Hinchliffe 
What I'm about to say will be, to many, controversial: I hadn't heard of Mrs Hinch until the eve of my 30th birthday. However, if ever there's a time to get to know this cleaning guru, it's the milestone of "proper" adulthood. I must have been living under an Instagram algorithm rock! And I can confidently say that as when I started reading the her book she had 1.4m followers, by the time I finished it five days later she had 1.9m and now, at the time of writing, over 2.4m followers. Sophie Hinchliffe is literally wonder woman! 'Hinchers' - a fond term for her followers - have adopted her passion for cleaning, hoovered up her tips better than a Dyson and introduced 'freshnup Fridays'! I am now a resolute fan of her Insta stories and on the hunt for my very own Minky... you have to know to know!

Cleaning - aka hinching - doesn't have to be that job you dread, not when Mrs Hinch is here to show you her sparkly ways. She has taken the nation by storm with her infectiously addictive charm, clever tidying tips and passionate belief in cleaning. Mrs Hinch invites you into her home and while inside you'll discover how a spot of cleaning is the perfect way to cleanse the soul. She'll even share the story of Mr and Mrs Hinch and their 'dorgeous' boy, Henry.

Vinegar Girl - The Taming of The Shrew Retold
Anne Tyler
This recommendation is courtesy of Coco's Tea Party Book Club which I highly recommend signing up to for a monthly newsletter that will have your Amazon or Goodreads accounts getting a lot of action! I had totally forgotten the storyline of The Taming of The Shrew so I enjoyed this modern-day adaption.

Kate Battista is stuck. How did she end up running house and home for her eccentric scientist father and infuriating younger sister Bunny? Dr Battista has other problems. His brilliant young lab assistant, Pyotr, is about to be deported. And without Pyotr, his new scientific breakthrough will fall through… When Dr Battista cooks up an outrageous plan that will enable Pyotr to stay in the country, he’s relying – as usual – on Kate to help him. Will Kate be able to resist the two men’s touchingly ludicrous campaign to win her round?
Feminists Don't Wear Pink (And Other Lies)
Scarlett Curtis
This has been on my reading list for AGES and I'm so grateful for the Easter weekend to enable me to get stuck in. I call myself a feminist but the F-word does get a lot of bad press. This book is an incredible library of essays from inspirational women including Keira Knightly, Jameela Jamil, Bridget Jones (written by Helen Fielding), Lolly Adefope and so many more, which articulates what being a feminist means it its many guises (and yes, men can be feminists too... I'm married to one!)

This is the must-read book that every woman needs. We asked 52 women: what does the F word mean to you? The result is extraordinary.
"Brilliant, hysterical, truthful and real. These essays illuminate the path for our future female leaders." - Reese Witherspoon
Candice Carty-Williams
Hot off the recommendation of the Queens themselves - Dolly Alderton and Pandora Sykes - this is an incredible story of a 26-year old British woman of Caribbean descent living in London as she battles mental health issues, relationship woes, race and gender discrimination. You'll find yourself wishing this book never ends whilst simultaneously rooting for Queenie as she braces herself through denial to self-destruction and out the other side.
Queenie Jenkins can't cut a break. Well, apart from the one from her long term boyfriend, Tom. That's definitely just a break though. Definitely not a break up. Then there's her boss who doesn't seem to see her and her Caribbean family who don't seem to listen (if it's not Jesus or water rates, they're not interested). She's trying to fit in two worlds that don't really understand her. It's no wonder she's struggling. She was named to be queen of everything. So why is she finding it so hard to rule her own life?

What's in your Kindle wishlist, bookshelf or Audible reading list? I might make this a monthly thing (if I don't make anymore drastic life decisions that is... what do you think?)
Photo by Aung Soe Min on Unsplash


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