Title: All the Lives I Want – Essays About My Best Friends Who Happen to be Famous Strangers

Author: Alana Massey

Pages: 257 Pages

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

The Blurb

Mixing Didion’s affected cool with moments of giddy celebrity worship, Massey examines the lives of the women who reflect our greatest aspirations and darkest fears back onto us. These essays are personal without being confessional and clever in a way that invites readers into the joke. A cultural critique and a finely wrought fan letter, interwoven with stories that are achingly personal, ALL THE LIVES I WANT is also an exploration of mental illness, the sex industry, and the dangers of loving too hard. But it is, above all, a paean to the celebrities who have shaped a generation of women–from Scarlett Johansson to Amber Rose, Lil’ Kim, Anjelica Huston, Lana Del Rey, Anna Nicole Smith and many more. These reflections aim to reimagine these women’s legacies, and in the process, teach us new ways of forgiving ourselves.

The Review

All the Lives I Want is a collection of essays that celebrates women. It holds a mirror up to society and shows how women are not so subtly pitted against one another or how they are sexualised or how they are forced into submissive roles. It truly is a book to put fire in your belly.

Part memoir/part journalism, Massey’s penned thoughts percolate in the brain giving you food for thought long after you have finished reading.

All the Lives I Want – Essays About My Best Friends Who Happen to be Famous Strangers by Alana Massey is available now.

For more information regarding Alana Massey (@AlanaMassey) please visit www.alanakm.com/books/

For more information regarding Grand Central Publishing (@GrandCentralPub) please visit www.grandcentralpublishing.com.

Title: The Sisterhood – A Love Letter to the Women Who Have Shaped Me

Author: Daisy Buchanan

Pages: 320 Pages

Publisher: Headline

The Blurb

‘My five sisters are the only women I would ever kill for. And they are the only women I have ever wanted to kill.’

Imagine living between the pages of Pride And Prejudice, in the Bennett household. Now, imagine how the Bennett girls as they’d be in the 21st century – looking like the Kardashian sisters, but behaving like the Simpsons. This is the house Daisy Buchanan grew up in,

Daisy’s memoir The Sisterhood explores what it’s like to live as a modern woman by examining some examples close to home – her adored and infuriating sisters. There’s Beth, the rebellious contrarian; Grace, the overachiever with a dark sense of humour; Livvy, the tough girl who secretly cries during adverts; Maddy, essentially Descartes with a beehive; and Dotty, the joker obsessed with RuPaul’s Drag Race and bears.

In this tender, funny and unflinchingly honest account Daisy examines her relationship with her sisters and what it’s made up of – friendship, insecurity jokes, jealousy and above all, love – while celebrating the ways in which women connect with each other and finding the ways in which we’re all sisters under the skin.

 (AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

I was about 17 when my sister asked me if I would be a surrogate for her. Not right now. This was a hypothetical situation. My sister knew then (and she still knows) that I have no desire to give birth – it looks painful and messy and I have heard that sometimes you poop. Carla is my sister and I would do anything for her and so I agreed. Fortunately for me my sister didn’t need to call on me and my uterus and gave birth to my gorgeous niece in 2015. However, this story was mentioned because if you have sisters you know what you would do for them. Daisy Buchanan just gets it.

The Sisterhood is a celebration of the sisters we have in life. Buchanan mentions friends that become sisters and she talks in depth about real life siblings. She celebrates each of them for their individuality, she shares stories of their shared past and she shows that sometimes being a sister can be hard.

What is wonderful about this collection of essays is that Daisy Buchanan doesn’t hide behind her words. She shows aspects of her own personality that aren’t always the most desirable qualities but she needs to do that  to help you understand how much you can love your sister but want to thump them in the arm until they squeal too.

It is an amazing celebration of sisterhood that can be found within these pages. Read it, love it, and then buy it for your sister for Christmas.

The Sisterhood – A Love Letter to the Women Who Have Shaped Me by Daisy Buchanan is available now.

For more information regarding Daisy Buchanan (@NotRollerGirl) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Headline (@headlinepg) please visit www.headline.co.uk.

Title: The Hormone Diaries – The Bloody Truth About Our Periods

Author: Hannah Witton

Pages: 256 Pages

Publisher: Wren & Rook

The Blurb

An honest, funny and feminist take on living with your period (and hormones!), by the award-winning sex education and body positivity vlogger, and author of Doing It!, Hannah Witton.

When it comes to periods, we’re often expected to cope with it quietly. But our periods and our hormones affect every area of our lives – so I am done with scuttling to the toilet with a tampon up my sleeve.

I vlog about periods and hormonal contraception, and it’s clear that I’m not the only one aching to be more open about this. When I reached out to my online community, I received an outpouring of raw, real and hilarious stories about what we through simply for having a uterus.

From first periods to first coils, pimples to hot-water bottles and PCOS to endometriosis, The Hormone Diaries is your essential companion on the hormone rollercoaster. Filled with Hannah’s insights, fascinating research and those priceless crowdsourced stories, it’s the reassuring hug we all need.

At least 50 per cent of the world has to deal with this stuff – it’s time we started talking about it.

 (AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

I love Hannah Witton. She is my Stoma Hero – I should preface this by saying that I am currently considering getting a stoma fitted because of the symptoms of my Ulcerative Colitis being so horrid. However, before I knew Hannah Witton had UC, I read her book Doing It! and thus started my affection for her as a writer.

The Hormone Diaries is a brilliant book. It is so body positive about a subject that is often hidden away. The only book I ever remember reading about periods was Are you There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Bloom and even then the information was very basic.

What Witton has done has created a comprehensive guide that girls and women of any age will find informative and helpful. I, myself, found out that someone I know had been fobbed off by their doctors when they were diagnosed with Endometriosis. They were told that the only options were a total hysterectomy or to deal with it. Witton looks at why this is and explored how it is in part due to the patriarchal society we live in.

As an activist for the end of Period Poverty, I believe that along with sufficient sanitary products given to all young girls that every school should be given a copy of The Hormone Diaries. It is informative and entertaining.

The Hormone Diaries – The Bloody Truth About Our Periods by Hannah Witton is available now.

For more information regarding Hannah Witton (@hannahwitton) please visit www.youtube.com/hannahwitton.

For more information regarding Wren & Rook (@wrenandrookbook) please visit their Twitter page.

Title: “I’m Fine?!” – Navigating Chronic and Mental Illness; without Faking ‘Fine’

Author: Kathleen Nicholls

Pages: 157 Pages

Publisher: Independently Published

The Blurb

Let’s face it, living with chronic illness is hard enough. Throw in mental health issues and that’s a whole other ball game most of us are too exhausted to play. I want to shed light on the often unspoken correlation between poor mental health and chronic illness. I aim to show you there is life after a diagnosis or either (or both), and how to adapt and thrive despite it all.

(AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

Having IBD is hard. It is damn hard. What is even harder is all the additional crap (pun intended) that comes along with it.

For some (and most definitely me) is the stress, anxiety, and emotional distress that can also come with having an IBD.

Kathleen Nicholls is the perfect person to talk about this topic because she has IBD and has suffered because of it.

I found I’m Fine comforting because someone else gets it on the same level as I do. Anxiety is different for everyone but knowing that someone else has similar symptoms due to the same underlying problem makes me feel less alone.

“I’m Fine?!” – Navigating Chronic and Mental Illness; without Faking ‘Fine’ by Kathleen Nicholls is available now.

For more information regarding Kathleen Nicholls (@kathfantastic) please visit www.kathfantastic.com.

Title: Clothes, Clothes, Clothes, Music, Music, Music, Boys, Boys, Boys

Author: Viv Albertine

Pages: 432 Pages

Publisher: St Martin’s Press

The Blurb

Viv Albertine is a pioneer. As lead guitarist and songwriter for the seminal band The Slits, she influenced a future generation of artists including Kurt Cobain and Carrie Brownstein. She formed a band with Sid Vicious and was there the night he met Nancy Spungeon. She tempted Johnny Thunders…toured America with the Clash…dated Mick Jones…and inspired the classic Clash anthem “Train in Vain.” But Albertine was no mere muse. In Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys., Albertine delivers a unique and unfiltered look at a traditionally male-dominated scene.

Her story is so much more than a music memoir. Albertine’s narrative is nothing less than a fierce correspondence from a life on the fringes of culture. The author recalls rebelling from conformity and patriarchal society ever since her days as an adolescent girl in the same London suburb of Muswell Hill where the Kinks formed. With brash honesty—and an unforgiving memory—Albertine writes of immersing herself into punk culture among the likes of the Sex Pistols and the Buzzcocks. Of her devastation when the Slits broke up and her reinvention as a director and screenwriter. Or abortion, marriage, motherhood, and surviving cancer. Navigating infidelity and negotiating divorce. And launching her recent comeback as a solo artist with her debut album, The Vermilion Border.

Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys. is a raw chronicle of music, fashion, love, sex, feminism, and more that connects the early days of punk to the Riot Grrl movement and beyond. But even more profoundly, Viv Albertine’s remarkable memoir is the story of an empowered woman staying true to herself and making it on her own in the modern world.

The Review

I would be lying if I said that I knew who Viv Albertine was before I read Clothes, Clothes, Clothes, Music, Music, Music, Boys, Boys, Boys. Don’t get me wrong, I had heard of The Slits but I didn’t know who the individual members were.

I bought Clothes, Clothes, Clothes, Music, Music, Music, Boys, Boys, Boys based on the cover and fell into this amazing no-holds-barred autobiography that was flush with life experience and honesty that it made me want to know more.

Albertine does not obscure her life experiences. She bears all her scars to the world and it gives the reader an insight into what happens when the music stops.

Clothes, Clothes, Clothes, Music, Music, Music, Boys, Boys, Boys is one of the most honest, endearing works of autobiography that I have ever read and I implore you to pick up a copy whether you are a music fan or not.

Clothes, Clothes, Clothes, Music, Music, Music, Boys, Boys, Boys by Viv Albertine is available now.

For more information regarding Viv Albertine (@viv_albertine) please visit www.vivalbertine.com.

For more information regarding St Martin’s Press (@StMartinsPress) please visit us.macmillan.com.