Title: Back to Amy

Author: Charles Moriarty

Pages: 224 Pages

Publisher: Cassell

The Blurb

Breathtaking photographs of Amy Winehouse on the cusp of fame, including many never-before-seen images

Rare, open and honest, this collection of nearly100 photographs by Charles Moriarty shows Amy Winehouse as you’ve never seen her before.

Consisting of two shoots spread across London and New York in the lead-up to the release of her debut album Frank, these beautiful images capture a sense of fun, mischief and style, giving an early glimpse of a star in the making. The collection includes many photographs that have never been seen before.

With a foreword by Asif Kapadia, Academy Award-winning director of the documentary Amy, and containing contributions from people close to Amy during her career, this book is a celebration of the enduring spirit of a truly special artist.

The Review

The story of Amy Winehouse’s meteoric rise to fame and indeed the crash and burn that led to the death of on of the most talented singer/songwriters of my generation. 

What is beautiful about Back to Amy is that we get to see Amy before she was ravaged by her demons. You get the impression that Moriarty struggled with releasing this book. He seemed torn between showing Amy at her cleanest and how he wants her to be remembered against selling his memories. Personally, I am glad that we got to see these pictures and got to hear about Amy from people in her life who got to see the best side of her.

Back to Amy is a beautiful book and a lovely celebration of her short life. 

Back to Amy by Charles Moriarty is available now.

For more information regarding Charles Moriarty (@charlesmoriarty) please visit his Twitter page.

Title: More than a Woman

Author: Caitlin Moran

Pages: 277 Pages

Publisher: Ebury Press

The Blurb

The author of the international bestseller How to Be a Woman returns with another “hilarious neo-feminist manifesto” (NPR) in which she reflects on parenting, middle-age, marriage, existential crises—and, of course, feminism.

A decade ago, Caitlin Moran burst onto the scene with her instant bestseller, How to Be a Woman, a hilarious and resonant take on feminism, the patriarchy, and all things womanhood. Moran’s seminal book followed her from her terrible 13th birthday through adolescence, the workplace, strip-clubs, love, and beyond—and is considered the inaugural work of the irreverent confessional feminist memoir genre that continues to occupy a major place in the cultural landscape.

Since that publication, it’s been a glorious ten years for young women: Barack Obama loves Fleabag, and Dior make “FEMINIST” t-shirts. However, middle-aged women still have some nagging, unanswered questions: Can feminists have Botox? Why isn’t there such a thing as “Mum Bod”? Why do hangovers suddenly hurt so much? Is the camel-toe the new erogenous zone? Why do all your clothes suddenly hate you? Has feminism gone too far? Will your To Do List ever end? And WHO’S LOOKING AFTER THE CHILDREN?

As timely as it is hysterically funny, this memoir/manifesto will have readers laughing out loud, blinking back tears, and redefining their views on feminism and the patriarchy. More Than a Woman is a brutally honest, scathingly funny, and absolutely necessary take on the life of the modern woman—and one that only Caitlin Moran can provide. 

The Review

I am a little bit in love with Caitlin Moran. Okay, this is an understatement. I love her that much that I know the my gentleman friend would understand if I left him for her (please don’t ask me to). I truly believe that she is my patronus and that one day if evil should befall me and I should call on her that she would be by my side, fag in hand, sarcastic comment at the ready. That is just how much I love her. In my eyes, she can do no wrong. For that reason alone I knew I would love More than a Woman. Fortunately for Caitlin Moran, her writing warrants that love.

In More than a Woman we see the more grown up Caitlin Moran. She has changed in the past 10 years since How to be a Woman was released. Her opinions have changed, her lifestyle has changed, many things are different now but what is great about Caitlin Moran is that she is willing to accept change, admit that she has changed her mind and still own it. She is an example to us all.

Some of the later chapters did leave me feeling broken and there is a sadness that maybe isn’t seen as much in her earlier works. It makes you want to wrap her up in a great big hug and tell her that it will all be okay. 

I really loved More than a Woman and I think Caitlin Moran is consistently brave with her writing. It is for that reason that I believe people love and believe in her.

More than a Woman by Caitlin Moran is available now.

For more information regarding Caitlin Moran (@caitlinmoran) please visit www.caitlinmoran.co.uk.

For more information regarding Ebury Press (@EburyPublishing) please visit their Twitter page.

Title: Ghosts

Author: Dolly Alderton

Pages: 336 Pages

Publisher: Penguin

The Blurb

Nina Dean has arrived at her early thirties as a successful food writer with loving friends and family, plus a new home and neighbourhood. When she meets Max, a beguiling romantic hero who tells her on date one that he’s going to marry her, it feels like all is going to plan.

A new relationship couldn’t have come at a better time – her thirties have not been the liberating, uncomplicated experience she was sold. Everywhere she turns, she is reminded of time passing and opportunities dwindling. Friendships are fading, ex-boyfriends are moving on and, worse, everyone’s moving to the suburbs. There’s no solace to be found in her family, with a mum who’s caught in a baffling mid-life makeover and a beloved dad who is vanishing in slow-motion into dementia.

Dolly Alderton’s debut novel is funny and tender, filled with whip-smart observations about relationships, family, memory, and how we live now.

The Review

I’m just going to say it. I LOVED GHOSTS.

Now with that out of the way let me tell you why. Ghosts by Dolly Alderton is a story of modern dating. The trials and tribulations, the changes that have taken place over the past few years, the advancement of online dating. But it is also much more than that. It is a story of changing relationships – how life can come between even the best friends. It is the developing and every changing story of family dynamics. But, again, it is much more than that. It is a story of independence.

It was so multilayered and all in 336 pages.

The novel went from happy to sad back to happy in warp speed. You are really taken on a journey with protagonist Nina Dean. For me, the most heartwarming and heartbreaking moments were the scenes with her father. The love and respect that she has for him seemed to be paralleled in the desire to find a partner who lived up to his standard.

Ghosts by Dolly Alderton was such a joy to read. It is one of my favourite reads of 2020 and I cannot wait to see what Alderton produces next.

Ghosts by Dolly Alderton is available now.

For more information regarding Dolly Alderton (@dollyalderton) please visit linkt.ree/dollyalderton.

For more information regarding Penguin (@PenguinUKBooks) please visit www.penguin.co.uk.

Title: Life in Pieces

Author: Dawn O’Porter

Pages: 352 Pages

Publisher: Harper Collins UK

The Blurb

Dear 2020 – can we just start over?

Dawn O’Porter has been thinking about life. In lockdown. Mostly from a cupboard.

From reflections on grief and identity, bad hair and parenting, sleep and spirituality, to the things we can control and the things we cannot, Dawn’s daily diaries track the journey – for a hilarious, heartbreaking and highly entertaining glimpse into the new normal.

LIFE IN PIECES is a book for anyone who’s been thrown into a life they didn’t plan, or who just wants to stick it to 2020. When it looks like everything’s falling apart, we’ll piece it back together.

Love Dawn x

The Review

One of the things that I wish I had done was to have made a record of all the weird things that happened during lockdown. Like when I lost my sense of taste and smell or how we had a mouse and it terrorised us so much that we were held hostage by it, or how we would watch the daily briefings with shock, despair and anger at our governments handling of the whole ordeal. Alas, I did not. But Dawn O’Porter did.

In her latest release, Life in Pieces, Dawn O’Porter tells us about her lockdown and how she handles things such as the isolation, Covid-19, home schooling etc. It was such a tonic reading it and knowing that you weren’t alone in the weird lockdown feelings. 

Some of the more poignant parts of Life in Pieces came when O’Porter talked about the death of her friend Caroline Flack. Her moments of stillness allowed you to take a moment yourself and realise that in times as strange as these have been to take note of the people around you that you love.

Another wonderful piece by O’Porter.

Life in Pieces by Dawn O’Porter is available now.

For more information regarding Dawn O’Porter please visit her Instagram page.

For more information regarding Harper Collins UK (@HarperCollinsUK) please visit the Twitter page.

Title: I’ll Be Gone in the Dark – One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer

Author: Michelle McNamara

Pages: 352 Pages

Publisher: Harper

The Blurb

A masterful true crime account of the Golden State Killer—the elusive serial rapist turned murderer who terrorized California for over a decade—from Michelle McNamara, the gifted journalist who died tragically while investigating the case.

“You’ll be silent forever, and I’ll be gone in the dark.”

For more than ten years, a mysterious and violent predator committed fifty sexual assaults in Northern California before moving south, where he perpetrated ten sadistic murders. Then he disappeared, eluding capture by multiple police forces and some of the best detectives in the area.

Three decades later, Michelle McNamara, a true crime journalist who created the popular website TrueCrimeDiary.com, was determined to find the violent psychopath she called “the Golden State Killer.” Michelle pored over police reports, interviewed victims, and embedded herself in the online communities that were as obsessed with the case as she was.

At the time of the crimes, the Golden State Killer was between the ages of eighteen and thirty, Caucasian, and athletic—capable of vaulting tall fences. He always wore a mask. After choosing a victim—he favored suburban couples—he often entered their home when no one was there, studying family pictures, mastering the layout. He attacked while they slept, using a flashlight to awaken and blind them. Though they could not recognize him, his victims recalled his voice: a guttural whisper through clenched teeth, abrupt and threatening.

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark—the masterpiece McNamara was writing at the time of her sudden death—offers an atmospheric snapshot of a moment in American history and a chilling account of a criminal mastermind and the wreckage he left behind. It is also a portrait of a woman’s obsession and her unflagging pursuit of the truth. Framed by an introduction by Gillian Flynn and an afterword by her husband, Patton Oswalt, the book was completed by Michelle’s lead researcher and a close colleague. Utterly original and compelling, it is destined to become a true crime classic—and may at last unmask the Golden State Killer.

The Review

True crime fascinates me. Not to the extent that is fascinated Michelle McNamara. She became obsessed with the Golden State Killer and made it her mission to find out as much as she could. Sadly, she did not live long enough to see him incarcerated. 

The book I’ll Be Gone in the Dark is a thorough account of criminal activity that took place across America. The crimes were heinous and led to the infamy of the killer. After reading the book, you get the sense that Michelle McNamara missed her calling in life and that she should have been a police officer in charge of homicide. Her dogged determination would have been an asset to any police force.

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark is a brilliant read if True Crime is your genre. 

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark – One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara is available now.

For more information regarding Harper (@HarperCollinsUK) please visit their Twitter page.