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Reviews in Retrospect: All About Love by bell hooks

“Without justice there can be no love.” There’s something incredibly special about a book that is both politically powerful yet therapeutic, both critical and healing. bell hooks’ 1999 book All About Love: New Visions is one of these. Exploring the psychological and social complexities of love in the modern world, bell hooks offers “a hopeful, joyous vision of love’s transformative power.” She shares incredible critical insight about a wide range of topics: the patriarchal values that shape relationships, the harmful connotations of the ideal family, and how male-written self-help books often feed into women’s insecurities, rather than boosting their confidence. All About Love is a genuinely helpful read — one that can revolutionise your thinking about the wider world and give realistic advice about caring for yourself and others in everyday life. Continue reading Reviews in Retrospect: All About Love by bell hooks

Pride Culture Comforts: Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo

Girl, Woman, Other has already seen immense amounts of success for Bernardine Evaristo as the winner of The Booker Prize 2019 and the first female writer of colour to top the UK fiction paperback chart. As people work towards diversifying and decolonising their bookshelves, this seems to be a frequent favourite to start that journey. An aspect that I haven’t seen addressed as much though … Continue reading Pride Culture Comforts: Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo

Books to Pre-Order in Lockdown

For many of us, reading has become a source of hope, providing a space for both refuge and clarity to help us navigate our present climate. As well as having new texts to look forward to, pre-ordering books also offers an opportunity to support authors and publishers alike during the uncertainty of lockdown. Dynamic, ambitious and uplifting, these are some of the most exciting and important titles to look out for in 2020! Continue reading Books to Pre-Order in Lockdown

Pride Culture Comforts: A Song for You: My Life with Whitney Houston by Robyn Crawford

My friend Sophie gave me A Song for You: My Life with Whitney Houston as a gift so that I could further indulge in my love for Whitney Houston. It’s the memoir of Robyn Crawford, Whitney’s childhood friend, business partner, and lover. Their sexual relationship only lasted a short while while they were young adults, but they remained an intimate part of each other’s lives … Continue reading Pride Culture Comforts: A Song for You: My Life with Whitney Houston by Robyn Crawford

Reading Corner: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Recently, I read, and loved, Gail Honeyman’s Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. It’s uplifting, heartbreaking and downright genius. Eleanor Oliphant’s mind is complex and contradictory: simultaneously full of confusion and certainty, denial and acceptance, darkness and light. She evolves as the novel progresses, and it’s encouraging to see a character with such a distorted view of both life and of herself change in a positive way and confront her past and her fears. Continue reading Reading Corner: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Reading Corner: Bitter Lemons by Lawrence Durrell

One benefit to lockdown (for me especially as I am alone in my student house still) is having time to read undistracted meaning I can enjoy reading more leisurely. It is especially useful for starting books that are written almost like filigree lace and take time to unpick. Lawrence Durrell’s work is perfect for this – I can think of few other writers that cause me to check a dictionary in delight at seeing words new to me. His close focus on style requires the reader to self-indulgently luxuriate their way through his books – and now stuck inside we can. In this way, something like the Alexandria Quartet could keep me occupied for most of lockdown in blissful escapism, yet it lacks the pertinence of Bitter Lemons. Continue reading Reading Corner: Bitter Lemons by Lawrence Durrell

My Culture Comforts: Life of the Party by Olivia Gatwood

Poetry has the power to put indescribable feelings into words. At the moment, many of us are uncertain, stressed and lost, but I’ve found it really helpful to retreat to the familiar. In this case, Olivia Gatwood’s 2019 collection, Life of the Party. Life of the Party is an intense, candid reflection on the poet’s relationship with girlhood and womanhood. Many of the pieces started … Continue reading My Culture Comforts: Life of the Party by Olivia Gatwood

Reading Corner: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

We all have those books that have sat on our shelves for the longest time, telling ourselves that “I just don’t have time to read it” or “I wouldn’t be able to give it all my attention.” However, now that most of us are facing a lot of time indoors, there is the perfect excuse to finally get to those books that we’ve been putting off. Continue reading Reading Corner: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Reading Corner: Sweet Sorrow by David Nicholls (audiobook)

Having tried audiobooks in the past, I have never actually been able to finish one – always getting bored or losing concentration for too long so the storyline no longer makes any sense. Something about listening to a thirteen-hour audio seems more daunting and time consuming that just simply reading the book. Now, however, since time is not an issue, and distractions from the outside world are near-impossible, I decided it was a perfect time to give them another try. Using yet another fake email (I know, I’m a cheapskate), I signed up for my third free audible trial, browsing the listings for a book that I both wanted to read and did not yet have a physical copy of. I’m a huge David Nicholls fan, having read all four of his other novels, and his latest release Sweet Sorrow has been on my to-read list since it came out last summer. Continue reading Reading Corner: Sweet Sorrow by David Nicholls (audiobook)