Book Review

“These days, loneliness is the new cancer—a shameful, embarrassing thing, brought upon yourself in some obscure way. A fearful, incurable thing, so horrifying that you dare not mention it; other people don’t want to hear the word spoken aloud for fear that they might too be afflicted, or that it might tempt fate into visiting a similar horror upon them.” Eleanor Oliphant.

I recently wrote that I had joined Dawn O’Porters Instagram Book Club and that the first book on our list was ‘Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine’. Well… I finished it and my goodness was it a great read.

I’m not in any way shape or form a professional book critic/ reviewer blah blah blah, but I can at least share my thoughts from a book-lovers perspective.

I know that for the most part, books are considered abstract in that the reader takes from it what they want. For me, the central theme, and the most important aspect was loneliness and how to firstly, survive it and secondly, overcome it.

I don’t want to give anything away for those of you who might read it, but in all the books I’ve read over the years, I’ve never before encountered a character quite like Eleanor. She was the the quintessential modern day heroine, who had to overcome almost so many obstacles to find herself and ultimately save herself. She was brilliant.

It’s based in Glasgow, which is where I’m from so it was nice being able to identify with what the writer was trying to convey with words about the places, the people and the accent. Without giving away too much, it was really funny hearing in my head the thick Glaswegian accent and colloquial slang Eleanor’s mum spoke on the phone to her at one point. I actually laughed out loud at that part.

I don’t know about other people, but when I find myself lost in the fictitious literary world, I often feel disappointed at having to return to real life. That for me, is the measure of a good book, and this did not disappoint.

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Let me know in the comments if you’ve read it and what you thought.

Take care,

D x

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Joining A Book Club

I’ve always been a big fan of reading. I have no particular preference for what type of books I’ll give my attention to, but generally it seems to fall into the self-help/ non-fiction genre that I get through quickest.

Since having my little boy, I’ve found little to no time at all to dive into a good read, and so I’ve decided that I’m adding the very ambitious (and probably completely unachievable) goal of getting through at least 1 book every month.

I have a few that I float in and out of from time to time, depending on what I’m needing from them at that particular moment, but this is a dead set cover to cover commitment.

On that basis, I figured I’d do better having a a support system in place for such a mammoth task, and so I’ve decided to partake in Dawn O’Porters @the_cold_water_book_club on Instagram. Our first book is ‘Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine’ by Gail Honeyman.

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Goodreads shares the following synopsis for the book:

No one’s ever told Eleanor that life should be better than fine.

Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy.

But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kinds of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living. And it is Raymond’s big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one.

Feel free to join in with the book club if it takes your fancy lovelies. I started reading the other night and before I realised it I had reached Chapter 7. It’s fab so far and I’m really excited to delve even deeper into the world of Eleanor Oliphant (the next time my toddler lets me of course).

If you’ve already finished it or you’re in the process of reading it, please leave a comment letting me know what you thought.

Take care lovelies,

D x


My Current Favourite Books

As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I am a big fan of books. Unfortunately since having my little boy I’ve found I no longer have the time to pick up a book and get lost inside the pages like I used to. 

However… I do try to as often as I can, having even resorted to audio-books in bed once my little person is tucked up in his.

The majority of the books I’m reading at the minute are all based around parenting and motherhood in particular. I am not ashamed to say that I am that person that upon finding out I was expecting, bought all the cliché pregnancy books.

“What To Expect When You’re Expecting” was obviously my first purchase! 

So it was only logical that once said baby arrived, that I would continue on my journey through those unending pages offering the A to Z’s in parenting advice. However I’m not too into those books that are quite judgey (if that’s a word) and so my selections were based on reality and full disclosure, which is where Sarah Turner and Giovanna Fletcher come in. These books are filled with humour and wit, tears and tantrums and I’ve loved every last word!!! 

That being said, baby books are not the only thing I’m interested in. I am of course human… and in being human I share a common love and admiration of certain celebrities. In other words, like many of the millions of people around the world I love Beyoncé… Probably too much if I’m honest! Nonetheless I am currently indulging in the story of her life and I’m relishing it.

As well as those selections I am also making my way through Fearne Cottons “Happy”! 

After the birth of my son, both my body and my mind went through an unexpected and quite dramatic transformation. I found that my already crazy emotions were heightened and there were days where I just didn’t know how I would be able to function. This book has been an  amazing tool for reminding me that these feelings are ok and it provides me with a point of reference for when I’m needing a pick-me-up. 

Finally I have included Sarah Knights “The Life-Changing Magic Of Not Giving A F**k”. It was part of my New Years resolution this year to stop being a ‘Yes Man’ or woman as it were, and this book has gone a long way in giving me the balls to do just that. It’s funny and life altering all in one. Just brilliant really!  

I honestly can’t recommend these books enough. I pretty much have them all on audio-book as well so there’s no excuses really for not being able to give them a go!


Matthews Favourite Books – Toddler Edition

So it may have something to do with the fact that I am a lover of books myself, but my boy, even at such a young age, has really been enjoying his introduction into the vast and exciting world of children’s literature . 

I make a conscientious effort to read to him most nights and we have made our way through an abunadance of beautiful books he has been gifted or had passed down to him. However, he has had the best reaction so far to this collection of books in particular. 

1. Always There Bear – Its a story depicting the special relationship between a child and their favourite teddy bear. It’s heartwarming and beautifully illustrated, and takes only a few minutes to read. I find this is the perfect book for Matthew when he’s on the edge of falling asleep. 

2. Harry Potter and The Philosophers Stone – I have to confess. This was actually a purchase I made for myself. I am a self-proclaimed “Potterhead” in all its glory, and I fully intend on turning my tiny human into one too… Hence the introduction to not only JK Rowlings wonderful stories but the most beautifully illustrated books I think I’ve ever laid my Muggle eyes on. This is a working progress which we are taking our time to get through. There’s never a rush with Harry Potter, after all, this is a marathon, not a sprint.

3. The Gruffalos Wean – This humorous and downright lovely book was gifted to Matthew by our NICU friends, who know how much I want books to be a big part of his life. This book is a translation of “The Gruffalos Child” into Scots. It is one of the classic children’s books with a Scottish twist, and being Scottish ourselves we love it!

4. The Very Hungry Caterpillar – Again this book was gifted to us by Our NICU friends. It’s a finger puppet book, one of many in Matthews collection, and to say he loves it is an understatement. It’s definitely not a book we read when it’s time to settle down. He loves the animation of the finger puppet and gets excited by the mere sight of the book. It’s beautifully colourful and vibrant, and just the perfect little story illustrating the transition of a caterpillar to a butterfly. It just never gets old!

5. If You’re Happy & You Know It – This is a musical book which plays the title tune, as you follow along with the words and pictures on the pages. Again, Matthew has several of these books in his collection and this so happens to be the one he’s enjoying most just now as it’s one of the songs he has been hearing most in Toddlers group. They are fun little hardbacks that bring an immense amount of joy to any child exploring them. 

So there we have it. This list will most likely change within a week, as it has done previously. Just means more fun adventures to journey on, and more beautiful illustrations to admire with my boy… And there’s nothing to complain about there. 

…We lose ourselves in books… We find ourselves there too…