One of the biggest changes I’ve made recently is making reading a priority again. I can get overwhelmed being on social media or youtube so much, so have swapped out my pre-bed scrolling time with 20mins of reading, and tried to spend my tube commute reading or listening to an audiobook.
And you know what, I am happier!
Ok so technically I didn’t read this one but listened to it on audiobook and LOVED it. I laughed out loud, I cried on the tube, I couldn’t wait to listen to it. I actually think hearing it straight from Dolly’s mouth makes it more emotive.
It helps that I am the same age as her, so remember the fads and trends that she discusses with fond (and some not-so-fond) memories. Plus a school friend of mine was at Exeter with her so some of the names and lots of the places, are quite familiar.
The book is raw. It’s hilarious. It’s sad. It’s real.
Dolly goes in to her own heartache and that of others around you that had me considering whether any of my friends would ever give me permission to share as much of their stories within my writing. Probably not. But it adds so much to the book, and without them, I think it may have been a bit narcissistic.
At points, this book struck a little too close for comfort for me. It was like a self-help fiction.
We go through the ups and downs of relationships, other people’s weddings, friends having children (and baby showers!), and the realities of working and traveling so much. The feelings that you can have aged 30+ when you don’t want anything to change, but everything is changing. Showing one thing on social media, but feeling another in real life. Opening up about your darkest secrets in a comedic manner when you’re totally not ok with the reality of these secrets (in this book, it’s the rubber ring around her stomach)…
It had me thinking more about what I share on social, how I think about my friendships and relationships and reassess some choices. And it’s a bloody fiction novel!
To summarise – I think you’ll either love it like I did, or put it down after one chapter and add it to the Charity Shop pile.
I’m also so excited for her next book, Girl, Stop Apologising, to come out. I’ve been picked for early review of it! EEK!
Is this even classed as a proper book? It’s more like an inspiration quote book…nonetheless I enjoyed it. In particular, Bethan’s blog post about Maranoia had me thinking about how relevant this book is for all of us training towards big goals. Whether that’s marathons, Boston Qualifiers, Half marathons or Ironman triathlons. We can question our talent, our training, our readiness but this book forces you to sit and write down what went well with each workout. What we’re good at. The perfect memory jog for when we need a confidence boost. Because when you believe you can, you’re halfway there.
Sidenote: Stronger was going to be my October full book review but personally I don’t think it’s long enough (or, deep enough) for a dedicated blog (Kara Goucher superfans, I’m sorry!). So next’ month’s full blog book review will be on Legacy by James Kerr.