The month of November

Welcome to the November round-up! I am in a constant state of December-disbelief. How is it December? Where did 2017 go? But also… Oh my god, it’s nearly Christmas! Honestly, I don’t feel super Christmassy yet, although all the lights in Bath and Christmas songs on the radio make me very happy. It even snowed today, so I’m not sure where my festive spirit got to, but I’m sure it’ll be in full swing soon. As for November, like 2017 I’m not sure where that went. Seems like a blur of working and sitting on buses commuting. But somewhere tucked in there was the majority of my trip to Manchester, going to Liverpool at the end of the month and turning 23 right at the end there. So here’s that and some bookish things!

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‘How Do You Like Me Now?’ by Holly Bourne

/5 stars

Published by Hodder & Stoughton!

Toris has everything. A successful career with her best-selling self-help book, ‘Who The F*** Am I?’, a fantastic London lifestyle and a boyfriend she found whilst back-packing, right in the middle of her ‘find yourself’ moment. What she doesn’t have is everything else you’re apparently meant to have when you hit the thirty mark — an extortionate, extremely romantic wedding day, with babies following swiftly after. Influenced by the pressures of the superficially flawless lives captured on social media by her friends and family, and torn in half by her strong stance on feminism, everything Tori thought she wanted starts to crumble down. And, with that, it begins to dawn on her that her seemingly perfect life isn’t so perfect after all.

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23 things in 23 years

Turning 23 has been the first real time I’ve had to take a second and question where all the time has gone. Gone are the days of lying in bed, pressing my palms together and praying I’d never grow up and that, if I really had to, could I survive on beans on toast for the rest of my life because trying new foods was scary and I lived in fear of throwing anything I didn’t like up. A valid fear, one I have outgrown (mostly). And now I’m 23. Twenty-three. And I know that isn’t old per se and saying anything about ‘feeling old’ makes anyone genuinely older than me groan. I know it’s not actually old, but I guess what I mean is it feels adult and I’m far enough out the other side of university that I feel that intense pressure to gradually have more to show for my life as the years add up.

I’m learning to take things in my stride though, and not listen to the taunting voices in my head that never fail to remind me ‘this sister had done that at this point in her life, this sister had a ring on her finger, this sister had a baby, this sister was earning so and so a year’. It’s hard not to compare and let that fester into my insecurities, but I’m learning and I’m living. Perhaps down a different path, but living none the less. And with an added years experience comes another hoard of sometimes tough-to-take life lessons. So, for the first time on my little nook of the internet, I thought I’d rein in my 24th year with some of my sacred (and silly) life hacks, tips and lessons.

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‘Goodbye, Perfect’ by Sara Barnard

/5 stars

Published by Macmillan!

Eden and Bonnie balance each other out. Eden is wild, whilst Bonnie is sensible. Bonnie exceeds at school, whilst Eden… barely scrapes by. It is perhaps the reason these polar opposites become best friends in the first place. But then Bonnie does something entirely unexpected, breaking the mould they so meticulously squeezed themselves into, and Eden is left to pick up the pieces, to decide her own right from wrong. When Bonnie runs away to be with their music teacher, Mr Cohn, Eden questions just about everything; the authenticity of her friendship when a secret so monumental goes unshared, her relationship with her adoptive family, boyfriend and teachers. Most important of all, Eden has to decide where she fits in all of the chaos and decide, when push comes to shove, if she wants to live up to the stereotypes she has forced upon herself for so long.

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