What would life be without books? Boring probably. What would an eight hour flight be without books? Unbearable! My Kindle is the only travel partner I need and my number one backpacking essential. Here are six inspiring books I read this year that you should definitely download…
This book is like the anti-Sex and The City, it’s gritty (ish) realness appealed massively to me as did the fact it’s set in Manchester and not London. It follows two twenty-something girls who are best friends and housemates. Despite being highly educated and savvy the two are still pretty juvenile and working dead-end jobs whilst navigating unfulfilling relationships. I like it for the fact it’s a truer depiction of twenty-something life than anything I’ve ever read and that the girl’s friendship, not the men in their lives is the strongest theme.
How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran
If you’re anything like me then columnist, feminist and all-round super hero Caitlin Moran’s first book How to be a Woman is your modern-day feminist bible. If not, then you probably haven’t read it… go read it. This book is her first work of fiction although based heavily on Moran’s formative years as a fat kid growing up on a council estate whose mega-brains see her winning a job as a teen at a nationwide music magazine. You will relate to so many of the feelings of inadequacy, not fitting in and bodily self-hatred all teen girls feel and it will make you look hard at where some of your adult neuroses came from.
This is a fascinating triple biography about darlings of the 90s Kate Moss, Marc Jacobs and the late Alexander McQueen. Three individuals who shaped the landscape of fashion and pop culture forever. It’s their vastly different backgrounds, Marc is from a wealthy Upper East Side New York Family, Kate a middle class suburban life and McQueen from more turbulent beginnings but their lives all intertwined and the parallels of success and personal demons that make this such an interesting read. The excess, the drugs and the parties also make for a riotous read that will make you question how fun your own life is. They knew how to party.
DVF is a wonderful role model and poster ‘girl’ for empowerment and strong business women everywhere. Aside from the savvy business acumen that birthed a multi million pound company, it’s her attitude to life that’s an inspiration. Dianne has been a princess (yes and actual princess), partied with Warhol at Studio 54 and continues to be glamorous well into her 70s. Every ambitious girl can take something away from this autobiography.
Girls addicts rejoiced when we heard Lena ‘voice of my generation’ Dunham was releasing a series of essays, rather prodigiously, at the age of 27 (queue feeling like a massive failure). While her upbringing is so extraordinary that it’s nigh on completely un-relatable – she grew up in New York, daughter to very successful artist parents and has had a therapist since childhood – there are issues in the book that all young women have had to deal with. When Dunham talks about her issues with food and body image it’s particularly compelling, however her romantic anecdotes I found weird. I think she’s just bad with men. It’s laugh out loud funny from start to finish, though, so read it.
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
This is a book that just stayed with me, it stayed with me and I still get a chill when I think about it. Not to give the story away but it’s a tale of a young man which spans most of his life and although some of the subject matter and settings are quite mundane and domestic Tartt paints them so richly, it’s like you’re there. The characters are so rounded and full and the tale so heartbreaking but exciting – it’s just f*cking fantastic. I’m going to re-read it, many times.