October was the month of my 24 hour readathon for charity, so a few of these were read as a part of that. I read others during that time but didn’t finish them so it would be outrageous to allow them in my covetted October book reviews! Here’s what I read this month and what I thought about them:
- What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton
- The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
- Swing Time by Zadie Smith
- How to be Champion by Sarah Millican
“I do not wish women to have power over men, but over themselves.”
The world came crashing down around me on election night in 2017. I’m not even American but the result zapped most of my faith in people completely away. It was crushing for all those who’ve fought for love, tolerance and the advancement of women.
I was lucky enough to volunteer at one of Clinton’s rallies in New Hampshire in the summer of 2016 while I was in Boston. It was incredible to be a part of the movement behind her and I got quite emotional. So you can imagine how I was when reading her book.
The shining light of this book was her resilience. I’ve lost a crappy little student election before and it was super painful, to go through what she has and still stand strong at the end is utterly awe-inspiring. There are moments of sadness and moments of hope in this book, and if you want a very personal account of the election, then here it is.
“It is such a secret place, the land of tears.”
I read this book in one sitting during my attempt at a 24-hour readathon. I needed something to dull my brain a little but that also had a little bit of magic to it. This was just the ticket.
I’m ashamed to say that it’s the first time I’ve read it. It’s a very lovely tale and something I will for sure read to my kids when the day comes. Simply put, there are lines in this like the one quoted above which move me.
“Yes, sometimes it’s the strangers that sustain you.”
I also read this during my readathon and I was pleasantly surprised. I bought this because it was in Waterstones’ buy-one-get-one-half-price, an offer I know well, and it was all the rage. I’m always a little skeptical about books which live on their own bookshop table for so long because expectation rockets to levels almost unreachable. But I went in knowing nothing about this book except that people seemed to like it.
And I now belong to that very group. It’s lingered in my mind since, too. One of those books that grows on you even after you’ve stopped reading it. I’ll happily confess that it’s a book worthy of its praise.
I only have one main downside, and that’s that none of the characters are 100% likable. However, saying that, when do people fulfill that criteria in real life?
“There’s no social mobility at school; if you’re a dowdy nerd, you’re a dowdy nerd for five years. But the minute you leave, you can be a funny girl with nine GCSEs and the whole world ahead of her.”
I have to confess that the quote above wasn’t selected for any reason other than it was the only one I could find. I listened to this on audiobook and I forgot to make notes on good quotes I liked!
Overall, this was a good book. I like her no-shame approach to life and all the shit bits, it’s refreshing and empowering. Plus, she’s really frank about her experiences and feelings which is great to hear from a working-class woman comic. There’s a fair amount of amusing stories in the book which put a smile on my face while I was walking to work.
I’m not exactly a diehard Sarah Millican fan, but you don’t have to be to enjoy this autobiography.
Another month, another set of book reviews! Tune in next month for the same again! In the meantime, keep up to date with where I’m escaping to on my Goodreads profile, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook Page.
Happy reading. 💕📚