The Books I read in March


Notes to Self: Essays by Emeline Pine

This is a beautiful collection of essays in which the author reflects on key moments throughout her life; her relationship with her alcoholic father, her experience trying for a baby, her relationship with her body, her wild child days, and her experiences with womanhood and feminism. A fine writer, Emilie gives an honest and raw account of these key moments which many women will relate to.
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Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

I littered my copy with Post-it markers because there are so many sections I intend to go back and re-read when I'm in need of a motivational kick up the bum. I found this book (or rather this book found me) at exactly the right time. Liz's message is to stop thinking you're not good enough and just start creating. As someone who struggles to write because of the far too common fear, this book has inspired me to just get on with it. I also really liked her outlook on the magic of creativity and ideas. If you are a writer, artist, or have any kind of creative flare, read this book.
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Where Am I Now? True Stories of Girlhood and Accidental Fame by Mara Wilson

I highly recommend this book if you were a fan of Mara in her child acting days. She relives it all: going to auditions; being on the sets of Matilda, Mrs Doubtfire and Miracle on 34th Street; working with the likes of Robin Williams and Danny DeVito; her OCD diagnosis; losing her mum to cancer; and her relationship with storytelling. Read if only for the open letters to Robin Williams (which you'll need tissues nearby for) and Matilda. Like Mara, I've always felt like Matilda belongs to me. Roald Dahl's book was my favourite growing up; I read it so much the pages all curled in at the edges. I'm also a big fan of the movie adaptation and I've seen the West End musical three times! This chapter reminded me why I, and many others, have such a strong connection with this character. 
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You Are a Bad Ass by Jen sincero

I have mixed feelings about this one. There were sections I really enjoyed which were motivational and filled with advice to help us change our outlook and achieve our goals. But honestly, I'm just far too cynical for self helpery. I also feel these kinds of books are very much for the privileged who can: a) afford to buy these books, b) have the time to read them and c) be in a position to try to put these methods into practice and change their lives. That said, taken with a few pinches of salt I think there is a fair bit that can be taken away from this book, especially the idea of not wasting your time or energy on things and people that don't bring you pure joy. At a time when general anxiety is so common, there is a space for books that encourage self care and a positive attitude.
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