Sunday, 7 August 2016

Good Reads: August Edition

is there any better feeling than finishing a book, closing it and feeling completely and utterly detached from the real world? like you've been so absorbed in this fictional story that reality no longer exists, and everything around you can only be related to the words you've just drank in?

maybe eating a great macaroni cheese, but that's about it. 

reading is as natural to me as breathing, and recently the bookworm bug has well and truly bitten me. my money goes on books books books, and my modest bedroom in my shared house is struggling to keep up with my addiction. i tell anyone and everyone who will listen this book will change your life, and i feel a duty of care to you all to share some of my latest favourite reads - to inspire new waves of creativity and inspiration amongst you all, or at least, the opportunity for you to escape for a few hours from brexit madness, shootings, and z list celebrities having well choreographed 'melt downs' on the mail online.

behold - my august reads.

1 - 'the girls', emma cline
this novel from emma cline had been branded around a lot of influential websites, ones that hold a level of influence over my mind, so i purchased immediately. i was instantly transported to the seedy, smoggy, hot summer of California in the 1970's, and a world of teenage confusion and an attractive group of seemingly cool girls, which later turned out to be a cult. spoiler alert, soz. the book is written in such a captivating way, that really takes you the heart of the protagonist, and the confusion around how she felt so attracted to the girls who turned her life around. it's the kind of book that you completely consume in one afternoon if you allow yourself, and one you can't wait to pick back up. definitely worth the hype. 

2 - 'becoming', laura jane williams
firstly, this is the book of instagram dreams - that pink cover tho. anyway, onto the good stuff. laura is @superlativelyLJ on twitter, and her personable, honest 140 character tweets completely transfer into her first novel. in a nutshell, 'becoming' details laura's heartbreak as the man she thought she'd spend her life with breaks up with her...for her best friend. becoming details how laura picked up the pieces of her life, and turned the fork in the road into her becoming. it's a memoir for twenty somethings everywhere, showing us all that the glitches that occur in life are sometimes the making of you. i would recommend consuming this read by a pool, with your phone off, emails off, ready to completely feel free from any choices you've already made in life, ready to accept new ones. after all, laura did...and look where she is now. 

3 - 'the versions of us', laura barnett 
full disclosure: i haven't cried at a book since 'noughts and crosses' when i was 11. that changed when i read the versions of us. the premise of this novel is what if, what if the charming girl on the bike hadn't been helped by the handsome student that day? what if he'd simply walked past? each chapter follows a version of eva and jim's reality, if their paths hadn't have crossed, what happened when they did... and it turns out, true love will always find a way. the novel is written so beautifully, capturing life at every stage perfectly, and you get so emotionally attached to the characters you can't help but shed a tear. a holiday read without the crass, loose plot lines. 

4 - 'girl up', laura bates
after i recently attended the 'vogue festival', i got the chance to hear laura bates talk about social media, sexism and how it affects young girls. i was so inspired by her confident approach to sexism and the modern world, that i had to buy her recent book 'girl up'. laura is the creator of the brilliant #everydaysexism, and 'girl up' is a no nonsense shout out to all the, to put it frankly, shit women put up with, and how we are all fab. laura's opening chapter unapologetically tells us all the lies we are told, to be quiet, not too bolshy, that we are no good at sports... and spins it all on its head, with empowering messages throughout that will leave you wanting to scream i am woman from the rooftops. i honestly believe this book is so important to share, and one that should be given to 12 year old girls at school to install a confident message in them from the get go. thank you laura bates for this fine piece of writing. 

5 - 'ctrl, alt, delete', emma gannon 
so it's no surprise ms. gannon's debut book makes an appearance in my list, as everyone who knows me could vouch for the fact i'm completely inspired by everything emma does. this novel follows emma's life growing up online, from internet trolls, awkward msn romances, and the changing, crazy world of social media. i found myself nodding, taking photos of quotes to send to my friends, laughing, and saying 'yes' (not in a weird way. promise) out loud as i read this book, and at times almost felt like this could have been my own book, i related so much to its words. as a young woman working in social media, i can't tell you how good it feels to have a book that completely represents what it's like to be in your twenty's and in this weird, digital world, whilst still trying to maintain a grip on reality. emma, i would love to have a coffee with you one day and digest more of your brilliant mind. 

6 - 'reasons to stay alive', matt haig 
this last one is a tough one, but a novel that i believe will change, and save, lives. mental health is the biggest killer of men in the UK, and a disease that is completely intoxicating to those suffering with it, and also their family members. i have personally seen how mental health can affect men, and how it eats them away inside as they feel it's a shameful secret, demeaning to the idea of masculinity that's been enforced in their psyche since they were little. matt haig's memoir of his struggle with depression, anxiety and panic attacks is brutally honest, funny in places, and completely gut wrenching in others. written in chapters, lists, quotes, this little book is one that should be shared and shared. i'm serious. it's important.

let's see what i read in september, let me know what you're reading!

until next time xo 

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