What I've Been Reading Recently
Fallout by Sadie Jones
Following the (love) lives of a handful of young playwrights, actors, producers and stage managers in the 1970s, this was more nakedly sentimental than I would usually opt for. In a more cynical mood, I might have rolled my eyes at all the angst and the unavoidable outcomes, but on a cold, wet, autumnal week when both Steve and I were rundown and tucked under blankets, it was exactly right.
A Field Guide To Getting Lost by Rebecca Solnit
A gorgeous collection of essays based loosely on the theme of loss - in all senses of the word. There are essays about the importance of exploring the wilderness, about the loss of loved ones, about relationships and some of the lesser known aspects of American history. I took my time reading this because I didn't want to rush from essay to essay without pausing to consider each; I also found the writing was so dreamy that I kept losing the thread of what was being said and having to go back over great chunks of writing! It's not often non-fiction holds my interest all the way through but this book absolutely did.
Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh
Half blog posts and half new material, this is a collection of writings-with-cartoons exploring Brosh's childhood, depression and life with two not very bright dogs. She's a bit hard on herself but very tolerant of the dogs. Sometimes moving and often very, very funny - I read this in about two hours and enjoyed it a lot.
The Generation Game by Sophie Duffy
This is the story of Philippa - born to a young, unmarried mother; having her own child just as her husband leaves her. Big plot points are hurried through; emotions are explained in emotionless tones; whoever proofread it has no idea how to use apostrophes. Sadly, not one I'm going to recommend.
Yes Please by Amy Poehler
I loved this book. It's a big mixture of essays and lists and pictures covering loads of topics important to Amy Poehler: friends; family; career; strength; shame. Her writings about her first pregnancy and children in particular made me feel teary. What shines through this is great kindness - she never attacks the other people in her life (mostly she gushes with love for them); even when mentioning her divorce, she points no fingers and talks about the marriage with affection. She writes at one point that she doesn't like humour which relies on humiliating others and the same seems to have held true when writing this book. I can see myself going back and reading this one again. (Oh, and the cover's kind of velvety and pleasant to hold.)
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Hi! I'm a 30-something stay-at-home feminist mother-of-one. I live in Aberdeen, Scotland with my toddler, boyfriend and two black cats. I talk a lot about this stuff: