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: The Book of Gutsy Women – Favourite Stories of Courage and Resilience

Author: Chelsea Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton

Pages: 464 Pages

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

The Blurb

She couldn’t have been more than seven or eight years old. “Go ahead, ask your question,” her father urged, nudging her forward. She smiled shyly and said, “You’re my hero. Who’s yours?”
Many people—especially girls—have asked us that same question over the years. It’s one of our favourite topics.

HILLARY: Growing up, I knew hardly any women who worked outside the home. So I looked to my mother, my teachers, and the pages of Life magazine for inspiration. After learning that Amelia Earhart kept a scrapbook with newspaper articles about successful women in male-dominated jobs, I started a scrapbook of my own. Long after I stopped clipping articles, I continued to seek out stories of women who seemed to be redefining what was possible.

CHELSEA: This book is the continuation of a conversation the two of us have been having since I was little. For me, too, my mom was a hero; so were my grandmothers. My early teachers were also women. But I grew up in a world very different from theirs. My paediatrician was a woman, and so was the first mayor of Little Rock who I remember from my childhood. Most of my close friends’ moms worked outside the home as nurses, doctors, teachers, professors, and in business. And women were going into space and breaking records here on Earth.

Ensuring the rights and opportunities of women and girls remains a big piece of the unfinished business of the twenty-first century. While there’s a lot of work to do, we know that throughout history and around the globe women have overcome the toughest resistance imaginable to win victories that have made progress possible for all of us. That is the achievement of each of the women in this book.

So how did they do it? The answers are as unique as the women themselves. Civil rights activist Dorothy Height, LGBTQ trailblazer Edie Windsor, and swimmer Diana Nyad kept pushing forward, no matter what. Writers like Rachel Carson and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie named something no one had dared talk about before. Historian Mary Beard used wit to open doors that were once closed, and Wangari Maathai, who sparked a movement to plant trees, understood the power of role modeling. Harriet Tubman and Malala Yousafzai looked fear in the face and persevered. Nearly every single one of these women was fiercely optimistic—they had faith that their actions could make a difference. And they were right.

To us, they are all gutsy women—leaders with the courage to stand up to the status quo, ask hard questions, and get the job done. So in the moments when the long haul seems awfully long, we hope you will draw strength from these stories. We do. Because if history shows one thing, it’s that the world needs gutsy women.

(AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

I love hearing about amazing women throughout history. More and more books are being released celebrating the lives and achievements of women from the past…and about time too!

For me, the brilliant thing about Gusty Women is the diversity of the women being celebrated. I had only heard of a few of them but even with those that I did know I still managed to learn things about them that I was unaware of.

What was equally enjoyable was the candid style in which the book has been written. Both Chelsea Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton have equal time to speak and extol the virtues of the women celebrated. They make no bones about voicing a controversial opinion such as disagreeing with the current government and also governments of the past.

I really enjoyed this Gutsy Women. It is definitely a palette cleanser of a book. I wouldn’t advise reading it all in one sitting. Cherish it and learn more about the fabulous women inside the pages.

The Book of Gutsy Women – Favourite Stories of Courage and Resilience by Chelsea Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton is available now.

For more information regarding Hilary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) please visit www.onwardstogether.org.

For more information regarding Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) please visit www.facebook.com/chelseaclinton.

For more information regarding Simon & Schuster (@SimonSchusterUK) please visit www.simonandschuster.co.uk.

Title: She is Fierce – Brave, Bold and Beautiful Poems by Women

Author: Ana Sampson

Pages: 304 Pages

Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books

The Blurb

A stunning gift book containing 150 bold, brave and beautiful poems by women – from classic, well loved poets to innovative and bold modern voices. From suffragettes to school girls, from spoken word superstars to civil rights activists, from aristocratic ladies to kitchen maids, these are voices that deserve to be heard.

Collected by anthologist Ana Sampson She is Fierce: Brave, Bold and Beautiful Poems by Women contains an inclusive array of voices, from modern and contemporary poets. Immerse yourself in poems from Maya Angelou, Nikita Gill, Wendy Cope, Ysra Daley-Ward, Emily Bronte, Carol Ann Duffy, Fleur Adcock, Liz Berry, Jackie Kay, Hollie McNish, Imtiaz Dharker, Helen Dunmore, Emily Dickinson, Mary Oliver, Christina Rossetti, Margaret Atwood and Dorothy Parker, to name but a few! Featuring short biographies of each poet, She is Fierce is a stunning collection and an essential addition to any bookshelf.

The anthology is divided into the following sections: Roots and Growing Up Friendship Love Nature Freedom, Mindfulness and Joy Fashion, society and body image Protest, courage and resistance Endings

(AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

As I have gotten older I have come to appreciate poetry more than I did as a child. However, my love isn’t for the written word it is for the chosen nuances. I like studying the poem, looking at the writer and discovering why it was written. What is great about the She is Fierce collection is that some of the work is already done for you. You have the poem, you have it categorised into what type of poem it is and then you have a breakdown of the writer. Brilliant.

She is Fierce is a wonderful collection that is compromised of fantastic female voices. Some poems are familiar but the majority are ones that I certainly hadn’t come across before. It was wonderful to find some new and interesting voices.

This is a perfect collection for the feminist poetry lover in your life.

She is Fierce – Brave, Bold and Beautiful Poems by Women by Ana Sampson is available now.

For more information regarding Ana Sampson (@AnaBooks) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Macmillan Children’s Books (@MacmillanKidsUK) please visit www.panmacmillan.com.

Title: Staunch

Author: Eleanor Wood

Pages: 297 Pages

Publisher: HQ

The Blurb

A late 30s The Wrong Knickers meets Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Eleanor finds herself in her late 30s on a beach in India with three old ladies, trying to ‘find herself’ and ‘discover her family history’ like some sad middle-class crisis cliché. How did she get here?

Truthfully, it could be for any one of the below reasons, if not all combined:

  • Stepmum dying/Stepdad leaving – family falling apart, subsequent psychotic break; both parents now on third marriage
    • Breaking up with J after 12 years – breaking up a whole life, a whole fucking universe – for reasons that may have been… misguided?
    • New boyfriend moving in immediately, me insisting ‘it’s not a rebound!’ even after everyone has stopped listening, being cited in his messy divorce, him being sectioned, then breaking up with me
    • Going into therapy after dating a potentially violent, certainly threatening, narcissist (the most pertinent point of which should be noted: I did not break up with him – he ghosted me)

How to address this situation? Take a trip to India with your octogenarian nan and two great aunts of course. The perfect, if somewhat unusual, distraction from Eleanor’s ongoing crisis.

But the trip offers so much more than Eleanor could ever have hoped for.

Through the vivid and worldly older women in her life, she learns what it means to be staunch in the face of true adversity.

The Review

I have a new goal in life. I want to be staunch.

Let me explain.

I like to think that I am not a person driven by fear. I don’t worry unnecessarily. I respond to things rather than over-thinking. However, for the past seven days (at the time of writing) I have been holed up in one room fearing the world. A virus is ripping through the country and because of my weakened immune system and the medication that I take to control my immune system I am not embarrassed to say that I am scared. Terrified, even.

So when I read something as uplifting, as courageous and as heart-warming as Staunch by Eleanor Wood I am genuinely given hope. This story of one woman’s admiration for the brave women in her family made me stop and pause, to reassess. I travelled with these ladies to their mother country. I shared their experiences – both good and bad. I revelled in their victories and had my heart squeezed by their failures. In truth, I lived their stories as I read the page.

It reminded me that whilst things are pretty crappy at the moment (and believe me, they are) that things will get better and easier and there will be things to look forward to eventually. It was the first fluttering in my belly of maybe one day being staunch.

Staunch by Eleanor Wood is available now.

For more information regarding Eleanor Wood (@eleanor_wood) please visit her twitter page.

For more information regarding HQ (@HQstories) please visit www.hqstories.co.uk.

Title: Vox

Author: Christina Dalcher

Pages: 400 Pages

Publisher: HQ

The Blurb

Silence can be deafening.

Jean McClellan spends her time in almost complete silence, limited to just one hundred words a day. Any more, and a thousand volts of electricity will course through her veins.

Now the new government is in power, everything has changed. But only if you’re a woman.

Almost overnight, bank accounts are frozen, passports are taken away and seventy million women lose their jobs. Even more terrifyingly, young girls are no longer taught to read or write.

For herself, her daughter, and for every woman silenced, Jean will reclaim her voice. This is only the beginning…

[100 WORD LIMIT REACHED]

 (AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

There is one topic that comes in books that I have a physical reaction to. It is a topic that makes my chest tighten and can often lead me to getting a headache out of anger. That topic is the repression of women.

When I read Vox by Christina Dalcher I had this very visceral reaction.

It is a world where women are only allowed to speak 100 words a day otherwise they experience intense pain. What made this book all the more scary is that I can see the potential in this repression happening in modern society.

Vox is a fascinating story and one that you should read if you enjoyed The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood.

Vox by Christina Dalcher is available now.

For more information regarding HQ (@HQstories) please visit www.hqstories.co.uk.