All posts tagged: book club

#50booksin2018 August & September

This year I set myself a challenge to read 50 books, and I though it would be a breeze and I’d read way more. But it hasn’t been. Keeping a diary of my reads has been great as I can see how my reading peaks and troughs over the year. Some months I’m a real book worm, others, life takes over or I simply don’t feel like it. This month is actually two combined as I’ve had a busy one. Anyway, here’s what I’ve read in August and September… Valley of The Dolls This was a Ladies Lit Squad read and it was unanimously well received – this never happens. I loved this fast-paced Hollywood tale, and while I laughed at some of the seriously dated references (a ‘sleeping cure’ for weight loss? Please.), the characters did resonate with me. This is a classic for a reason. Bitter Orange by Claire Fuller I was really looking forward to reading this tale of a historian staying in an old country pile with only a bohemian couple …

Every Book Ladies lit Squad Have Read So Far!

Here is a list of every book my book club Ladies lit Squad have read so far! So if you want to read along with us you can get going. All books are written by women (of course). How to Murder Your Life by Cat Marnell Living The Dream by Lauren Berry The Upstairs Room by Kate Murray Browne The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood A Little Life by Hanya Yanigahara Dead Girls by Abigail Tarttelin Riders by Jilly Cooper Circe by Madeline Miller Valley of The Dolls by Jacqueline Susann How to Murder Your Life Cat Marnell is a polarising character, by that I don’t mean your either love her or you hate her. I mean she changes your own mind about her several times in one paragraph. To give this context, Cat, is a drug addict. Her memoir How to Murder Your Life was written, we presume, under the influence so it’s raw, erratic and sometimes hard to read (she’s a fan of a !!!!!!!!!!!). On the flipside it’s this honesty and vulnerability that …

#50booksin2018 March & April

Full disclosure, I’ve done hardly any reading recently! Life gets in the way of even the most avid reader. In fact all the books I have read I’ve done so in a couple of days, rather than reading every day. In June I go on holiday to Italy though, so I already have the Kindle loaded and know I’ll make up for lost time. Here’s what I read in March and April… Red Clocks by Leni Zumas Red Clocks tells the story of a not too far-fetched America where abortion is once again illegal, as is IVF and single parent families. It follows five women with different issues around motherhood, pregnancy and abortion. I was really looking forward to reading this as I’m, you know, hashtag woke and all for women’s reproductive rights. However, I found the book really, really hard to get into at first. The plot is actually very interesting but I don’t feel I got to know any of the characters in any depth – it was like I was floating above …

#50booksin2018 February

One of my resolutions, or new year challenges for 2018 was to read 50 books. Here are the titles I read in January (it was a lot as I spent most of that month on a beach in Goa). This month has been super busy so I’ve only managed a bit of reading – BUT some absolutely excellent books. Here are the novels I enjoyed in February… The Most Dangerous Place on Earth by Lindsey Lee Johnson This is probably aimed at the YA audience, but it’s a laser-sharp look at life in a suburban high school. In a series of interconnected stories from the point of view of multiple characters, a picture of teenage life is drawn accurately and thoughtfully. We meet typical teenage stereotypes that are then torn apart when you scratch the surface. Each narrative feels like a thread that stops suddenly then gets picked up, which makes for an interesting reading experience. BUY Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine I loved this book. It definitely lives up to the hype and I …

3 Books With a Strong Female Lead

Regular readers of this blog will know that I love a good book, in fact I have a book club Ladies Lit Squad and I do try and read a book a week (I’m fast and usually do it in one day at the weekend) unless life gets in the way. Anyway this crappy winter weather is probably a very good impetus for us all to get snuggled up with a good page-turner and here are three written by women and with a truly compelling female lead,enjoy! The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot In this super-interesting book, science writer Rebecca Skloot looks at the life and afterlife of Henrietta Lacks, the African-American woman whose cancer cells were harvested and used to create an immortal cell line for scientific experimentation. You could say that Henrietta is the most important woman in medical history as her cells, taken from a cervical-cancer biopsy, became the first immortal human cell line and have helped scientists to research and find cures for literally hundreds of diseases. So …

3 Books You Need To Read This Winter

As you may or may not know, this year I started a girls-only book club called Ladies Lit Squad. Since founding LLS in the summer, we’ve had three amazing meetings at The Hoxton Hotel, with sponsors like Urban Decay, Penguin Books and Pukka Herbs and we’ve read a lot of books. Follow LLS on Instagram to read along with us. Oh, and here are just three of the amazing books I’ve read recently that I think you should too… after all it’s hibernation season now. The ideal time to snuggle up with a good book. Living The Dream by Lauren Berry This was the book we read for our second Ladies Lit Squad book club and we were also lucky enough to have the author come and talk about the book. Living The Dream is a tongue in cheek title that will be a familiar refrain to those of us who headed to the bright lights of London for a career in fashion, media or, like the lead character in this novel, work in advertising. …

4 Books Recommended by Ladies Lit Squad

As you may or may not know, I recently started a kick-ass, all-female book club called Ladies Lit Squad – so I have a lot of books to read of late. Having a book club is a bibliophile’s dream as I get sent new books every week. Here are four I really enjoyed and which will be in the goodie bags for the next book club if you’re going! THE ROANOKE GIRLS The Roanoke Girls tells the story of Lane Roanoke, her cousin Allegra and a rather dysfunctional family tree. The beautiful girls in the Roanoke family all share a dark secret, and that’s what the book is about – I don’t want to give too much away. I read this in a couple of days as I just couldn’t put it down. This book reveals some killer plot twists within the first few pages, hooking you instantly… and it continues to deliver to the very end. Buy The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel GATHER THE DAUGHTERS Set in a dystopian future (or maybe it’s …

Book Review: How to Murder Your Life by Cat Marnell

Cat Marnell is a polarising character, by that I don’t mean your either love her or you hate her. I mean she changes your own mind about her several times in one paragraph. To give this context, Cat, is a drug addict. Her memoir How to Murder Your Life was written, we presume, under the influence so it’s raw, erratic and sometimes hard to read (she’s a fan of a !!!!!!!!!!!). On the flipside it’s this honesty and vulnerability that makes her so likeable. Cat takes us through her very privileged upbringing, boarding school and then to the hallowed halls of Conde Nast where she was a beauty editor at Lucky magazine. So far, so good – but her parents are distant, damaged phycologists who put her on Adderall as a kid (to which she soon becomes addicted), at boarding school she’s high, has a failed relationship and traumatic abortion, and her years in New York are a crack-fest of mishaps, loneliness and tragedy. As enviable as her life from the outside is, Cat is …

Ladies Lit Squad: How to Start a Book Club

A book club was always something I’d wanted to join, I’ve been talking about it for years… but like many things I talk about doing, I never actually did it. I love to read, and I must say, I do read a lot. I have so many friends who say “I never have any time to read” or “I haven’t read a book in ages”. Well, I have, but I have no one to talk with about the books I read. So one day last month, for some reason, I finally put my money where my mouth is and started a book club. I contacted my coolest girlfriends, did a survey to decide what to call ourselves. Our name Ladies Lit Squad is a play on the title of THIS Skepta song. Literature and Grime, a match made in heaven. Then I asked around at a few hotels in central London to see if they would host us, The Hoxton in Shoreditch obliged. I created a Facebook group. Chose the book (How to Murder Your …