Book Review: Let Her Fly: A Father’s Journey – Ziauddin Yousafzai

After Malala Yousafzai was shot by the Taliban as a teenager, the world has watched as she has continued to stand up for the right to girls education. By her side has been her father, Ziauddin and now, it is time to tell his story and the fight for equality he has been working on for more than 20 years.

Malala has made no secret of the love and admiration she holds for her father and in this book it is clear to see that the love goes both ways. There were points where I felt that it was so focused on Malala, I wondered about her younger brothers. This is rectified in the book as Ziauddin talks about his sons and, equally, the struggles he has had parenting two boys in a world so different to his own.

One of the things I loved most, was the dedication to his wife. This felt so pure and wonderful that he truly believes that she is his equal and his love. It was important to see that this was so deep routed in wanting equality for his family from within his home, before extending it to the wider world.

I gave this 4 stars, I really enjoyed reading more about Ziauddin, his life and beliefs. The fact that this looked at him as a whole person, rather than just as Malala’s father. This is an intriguing look at what is an extraordinary man.

A huge thank you to Netgalley, the publisher and author for this copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Top 10 Books I Read in Winter

Top 10 Books I Read in Winter

It’s not a secret that Winter isn’t my fave, once Christmas is done I’m pretty much over it. BUT I did get through some cracking books in the dark winter months and I thought I’d share with you my personal top 10 from the previous season and hopefully give you some inspiration!

 

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The Exact Opposite of Okay – Laura Steven

A sneak peek of an upcoming review but I LOVED this novel so much. The main character made me laugh so much, I thought she was incredible and what we need more of in YA. This surrounds a young woman and a sex scandal. It’s not been out long but you’re going to want to pick this up.

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This is Going to Hurt – Adam Kay

I feel like this should be required reading for anyone who wants to make cuts to the NHS. Adams account had me both laughing and crying because it was a whirlwind. This is incredibly honest and so well written. Amazing.

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Misogynation – Laura Bates 

It’s no secret that I think Laura is an excellent writer and fierce female. This is her latest collection and I absolutely LOVED it. Every time I read one of these I just feel better?

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Only Child – Rhiannon Navin 

This novel will break your heart. I was lucky enough to get an early copy and be a part of the blog tour after talking about how much I loved it! My review is here, this was a stunning debut.

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A Court of Thorns and Roses – Sarah J Maas

This series has been all over the book blogs and Booktube for ages and I finally picked it up…and then it sat on my TBR pile for 2 months. Why didn’t I start this magnificent series earlier! I am in love with Maas’s writing and my review of the first novel here.

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Love, Hate & Other Filters – Samira Ahmed 

This is one of the first books I read in 2018 and I’m so glad I did! This is a novel about growing up, facing racism and following your passion. I absolutely loved it and if it doesn’t win prizes in YA something is wrong with the world. You can read my full review here.

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Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls 2

If you’re a regular reader, you’ll know I loved the first Goodnight Stories book (review here) and then there was a second and it was as equally badass as the first. You’re not going to want to miss it.

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Nobody Told Me – Hollie McNish 

I’m not a parent but that didn’t stop me falling in love with Hollie’s collection of diary entries and poetry as a first time Mum. We’re taken from Hollie finding out she’s pregnant (on the way to Glastonbury no less) to her daughter at 3 years old. A wonderful and unique book.

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Brave – Rose McGowan 

 Rose was the first to blow the Weinstein scandal wide open with her accusation of rape. I hate writing that because I 100% believe her. This chronicles Rose’s turbulent life and the movement that she started. She’s one to watch.

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Everything I Know About Love – Dolly Alderton

Dolly tells it how it is, your twenties are confusing and this is a great insight. It certainly made me feel less anxious. You can read my review here.

 

What have your top reads been this Winter and what are you looking forward to in the Spring? Let me know in the comments below!

Blogmas Day 10: Books to Give This Christmas

Giving books is one of the best things about Christmas for me. If I can find a book for someone, I will. So how about some ideas that I can personally recommend to you all? These are all books that I’ve read this year and should be available in all good bookshops.

 

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Poetry

This is Rupi Kaur’s second collection and was even better than the first, which I didn’t think was possible. The collection can also work as a stand-alone collection if the person your buying for hasn’t read the first. You can read my review here.

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Young Adult 

One of the biggest superstars came back after 6 years away with a cracker. Turtles deals with the complexities of living with OCD as well as a missing mystery billionaire. You can read my review here.

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Autobiography 

This isn’t something that I would have just picked up off of the shelf, it was only after hearing an interview I decided to give it a go. This goes far beyond an autobiography it talks about gender, sexuality, loss and depression. It was really eye-opening. Review here.

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Historical Fiction

It has been a long time since I’ve read a good Historical Fiction novel. Set in the 1930s and featuring an LGBTQ protagonist this is a must-read. Review here.

Memoir 

I couldn’t just pick one these were both amazing. My Lovely Wife is about a families struggle with Bipolar Disorder through the eyes of a partner. My Shitty Twenties is the memoir of Emily who unexpectedly fell pregnant in her early 20s and what it was like to have her life change so unexpectedly, review here.

 

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Contemporary Fiction

This is super weird but really enjoyable. Told from the perspective of an unborn foetus this looks at the world in a truly unique way. I absolutely loved it and would read it again and again.

 

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If you have someone in your life who loves Game of Thrones and is having withdrawal symptoms this is perfect. This is set before A Song of Ice and Fire but it’s just as engaging and a lot shorter than the songs in the series.

 

Have I missed any great reads? Let me know in the comments below!

 

 

This post is not sponsored in any way.

Book Review: How Not To Be A Boy – Robert Webb

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I’d heard Robert speaking on the radio about his new book, mentioning gender, depression and coping with loss, something I didn’t expect. I’d watched him in various TV shows and not really thought about Robert the man, rather than the actor.

The autobiography covers a large span of Webb’s life in detail and has the wit and humor that he brings to the television that he creates so well. I would thoroughly recommend getting the audiobook as possible as it makes the whole book come alive, particularly with the impressions of Webb’s family and friend.

This is a man who readily opens up about his faults. He candidly talks about failing his exams at 18, about how he felt he mistreated women in his youth and the fear of turning into his father. This brutal honesty is what makes Webb’s book. There’s no hiding, no excuses from him. That said, we know that there is a lot going on for him as a late teen, such as losing his mother.

Most interestingly, the book focuses heavily on gender expectations, something that Webb didn’t feel he could fit into. While his brothers were loud and boisterous, he preferred to be quiet and play. He found himself lost in what he ‘should’ be, rather than what he was, a sensitive young man who felt a little lost. He speaks candidly about how he didn’t feel he could show emotion openly he was on the cusp of being a man and men didn’t share feelings and talk. Something that lead Webb to a deep depression and almost cost him his place at Cambridge.

In this Webb lays out the ways in which these gender expectations affect both men and women and how toxic they can be to all of us. It was absolutely fascinating to read. Webb talks about his own experiences of having feelings for another boy at a young age and struggling with this and wondering what it meant. Again speaking about what it meant to be a boy, and later a man, and in his background that did not mean falling in love with another boy.

To put it simply this is a story that will promote change. Of course, it’s a very entertaining read, I laughed so much while getting through it but at the same time Webb has managed to bring in big questions about society, while making you feel like you’re having a conversation with a friend. From sexuality, gender norms and mental illness to falling in love, Webb has put his signature twist on the world and made it into, hopefully, an easier conversation to have.

I adored this book and gave it 4.5 stars! If I could change anything I’d want to know a little bit more about his relationship with David Mitchell as we all usually think of Mitchell and Webb together! That said it’s an inspiring and thought provoking read, I’d recommend it to anyone!