I’ve always loved reading and become completely hooked once I get into the swing of things. As part of my New Year’s resolution I set myself the challenge of reading 50 books in a year having fallen off the bandwagon in 2015. With exams and A level stress over the first half of this year I haven’t read as many as I would’ve liked but thought I’d share four good’uns with you now.The first book, ‘We Should All Be Feminists’ by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, I was given for Christmas and actually read it on Christmas day before re-reading in the New Year. It’s an extremely short read (so no excuses!) and is an essay adapted from the author’s Tedx talk. It’s not a ‘preachy’ read – it’s simple, to the point and logical. Adichie touches on many aspects of feminism including the everyday invisibility of women and assumptions and stereotypes of both genders as she engages the reader with anecdotes from American friends and her own stories from Nigeria.Another book I read at the start of the year and was also given to me as a Christmas present was ‘Asking For It’ by Louise O’Neill. Essentially this is a fictional book about sexual consent and victim blaming. The protagonist, Emma, is 18 when she attends a party, ending the next day with her waking up on her porch in pain and with no memory as to what happened. The book covered lots of relevant topics, even pulling on the ‘age of the internet’ as photos of what happened to Emma are spread online. In all honesty I think I would’ve loved this book at about 15 and felt slightly too old for it, wanting it to go more in depth than it did. However, it is an upsetting read so do be wary of that before reading. It’s a great book and it’s amazing to see authors tackle 21st century problems in an accessible way for an older teen audience.A more recent read for me was ‘Reasons to stay alive’by Matt Haig. I picked this up on a slight whim although I had seen a few bloggers and Caroline Flack raving about it on social media. I had no idea what to expect but was blown away by the powerfulness of this book. To try and sum it up, it’s about the author, Haig’s, experience with mental illness which almost drove him to suicide. There’s no pretending, this book is a heavy read, however as well as making me cry, it did make me laugh. Honestly, this is such an essential read. I can’t believe how much of a ‘taboo’ mental illness still is and it’ll only be overcome if we talk about it. For those who experience it or those who simply want to be more aware this book is not only eye opening but uplifting – a book which above all reiterates that you’re not on your own.And lastly, of course I had to mention ‘Girl Up’ by Laura Bates. I’ll undoubtedly do another dedicated blog post to this book or perhaps a video, but I couldn’t miss the chance to speak about it here too. The more I read this book the more anger it rallied within me. I’m generally pretty good at spotting sexist b.s. when I see it so it’s honestly extremely sad realising how much is normalised within our lives and has to be put in front of you with stats and anecdotes to realise the scale of the problem. I really urge you to read this -both men and women of any age-, get aware and help make a difference.
I’m super interested to hear what you think about the books I’ve mentioned! If you have any book reccomendations then feel free to leave them in the comments!
If you’re looking for more reccomendations of what to read over summer then check out the video I did with my friend Georgia over on my youtube channel!