When I was younger I used to read loads. Anything I could get my hands on I would read. When I grew up a bit something changed (probs my newly acquired smartphone tbf). I stopped reading and spent more time writing statuses on Facebook, which I’m now slowly erasing from the internet (thank you ‘see your memories’ feature for a) bringing them to my attention & b) simultaneously making me wanna punch my former self.)
TL;DR: Last year I started reading again. I do it because I stare at a screen all day – so for the good of my sanity & eyeballs I try not to do it all night too.
As we’ve hurtled past the mid-way point of 2k18 I thought I’d round up some stuff I’ve read thus far (good and bad.)
Make no bones about it – I’m a Maccabees super fan. Me and my friend Cullen went to the farewell tour and just stood welling up into our plastic pints. Music isn’t just Orlando’s thing – art is too, and his debut children’s book is a testament to just how multi talented he is.
I got this book for Christmas but didn’t actually sit down to read it until January, after all the festive chaos wound down. It’s a touching story about a working class man – who is being forced by the council to leave his job. It’s also a moving exploration of ageing and loneliness – and has a beautiful accompanying soundtrack which you can listen to via his website.
The sober Diaries is an account of Clare Pooley’s journey from functioning alcoholic to completely sobriety in one year.
Where to begin?
You know when you were a kid and you went round to your friend’s house and their bouji, judgey mum would give you organic oat bites as a TREAT and they would watch Countdown as a family for FUN? Anyone spring to mind?
This is Clare Pooley.
I’d been boozing a bit too much a few months back, and one particular Sunday the hangxiety was at large. I walked past this book in the shop and my arm kind of voluntarily extended and put it on the till. Was it an example of my incessant money spending? Yes. Was it a cry for help? Who knows? All I do know is that the people in this book are the ‘overheard in Waitrose’ Twitter accout personified and I just couldn’t relate.
Although I didn’t love this one, it did make me consider how much I drink units wise, and made me question how hard it might be to maintain a thriving social life without actively drinking alcohol.
Dolly’s memoir, written in her late twenties is a wild look into her life growing up as a British millennial. Lots of notable experiences and emotions Dolly has encountered, I have also encountered in one-way or another (and I’m sure you will have too). I found myself nodding along with the ups and downs, and found the familiarity of all the cultural references hilarious and even touching at times. She’s fantastically witty and has the ability to write in a way that’s down to earth but also sexy, resulting in an honest account of life for young women in the 21st century.
Also – love any 5ft 10 + woman who has the courage to wear a heel with pride (we’re a minority – slay from above my gal.)
I’ve started living vicariously through adventure/nature books. I’m reading stuff that I once thought only appealed to people who own a Craghoppers fleece, and I gotta tell ya – it’s the best form of escapism.
It all started when I came across Vivienne Rickman Poole – a Snowdonia based outdoor swimmer, and my dad gave me a book following a discussion about her called ‘Outdoor Clues and Signs’. I enjoyed it so much I bought the follow up (this book). It is quite dense in parts and not as whimsical or charming as his other works, but it’s full to the brim with well-researched facts and perfect for someone like me; who fancies an adventure, from the sofa, with a gin.
I’m conscious this post is going to be too lengthy for the average concentration span if you’ve made it this far – well done hombre.
As I’ve only touched upon 4 reads…
…here’s some other shit I’ve also read this year quickly summarised to wrap this up.
Nick Cave – Sickbag song: Insightful and wise tour journey. I love Nick Cave but reading it was confusing at times. The same kind of confused as when you’re at a high art gallery and everyone is nodding silently in unison at a wall, but you can just see phallic ink splodges ? That kinda vibe ?
Charles Saatchi – Known Unkowns: Loved it. 100 individual essays, illustrated with 198 arresting photographs, tackling extraordinary historical events. Good for before bedtime, or for your dad’s next birthday present.
Matt Haig – How to stop time: Enjoyed this one – read it on a sun lounger, whilst drinking an Aperol Spritz. The story’s central protagonist is a 432 year old dude trying to find his way in the world. Lots of dreamy references to history, bit of a literary hug.