Book Review: Eat, Drink, Run How I Got Fit Without Going Too Mad – Bryony Gordon

Bryony Gordon was not a runner. A loafer, a dawdler, a drinker, a smoker, yes. A runner, no. In April 2017, less than a year after she had weighed herself at over 16 stone but stepped off the scales and started training anyway, Bryony Gordon ran all 26 and 3/4 miles of the London Marathon.

If you’re friends with me on Goodreads you’ll know that I’ve adored every book I have read by Bryony Gordon – she’s funny, intelligent and just gets it. Although, this is the one I took longest to pick up. It was about running, something I can’t stand at all – would I really enjoy it? Read on friend, but I think you’ll work out pretty early on what the answer is.

One of the things I like most about Bryony is that she doesn’t take herself too seriously. She knows how to laugh at herself and it’s a relief, you feel like you can laugh along too. Calling Prince Harry Hazza? Classic Bryony. Signing up the London Marathon without knowing how long it was? I laughed a lot while reading this and I think most people will.

This is more than a story of just running a marathon, it’s about battling your mental health, finding comfort in others and not giving up. Bryony started something called Mental Health Mates (more about it here) where a bunch of ‘mad’ people could have a get together and walk which is a bloody brilliant idea.

Again, Bryony covers another section of her life and health with unflinching honesty. She talks about the toll that writing Mad Girl had on her mental health and how walking and running gave her a little bit of sanity. Also, if you’re a fan of her other books, there are plenty of Harry’s brilliant reactions to Bryony’s shenanigans too.

If you’re worried this will be a prechy and self righteous book about the power of exercise, don’t be. Yes, Bryony found a love for running but she doesn’t try and force it on the reader at all, she simply writes about the joy and the many challenges she faced.

I found this to be funny, relatable and because of that I gave it 5 stars. Another excellent and honest book by Bryony – she truly is a wonderful human and I can’t wait to see what she gets up to next. Also, I listened to this as an audiobook and can highly recommend!

My YALC 2019 Haul – Part 1

Another year, another amazing time at YALC. If you’re not part of the bookish community in the UK you might not have heard about the Young Adult Literature Convention. Let me tell you it is a treat! A big hall full of panels, authors, publishers, freebies, giveaways and Jason Mamoa sightings. The event is part of London Film and Comic Con and probably my favourite weekend of the year.

This year I decided my posts we going to be all about the books, partly because I came home with 25 new additions (hey! they do great deals) and partly because I was a terrible blogger and took hardly any pictures at all. Not only did I come home with a stack of books but I also met the amazing V.E Scwab (she signed for over 400 people, I was number 362), finally met the lovely Lucy Powrie who wrote The Paper and Hearts Society and Laura Bates a badass feminist who wrote Everyday Sexism, Girl Up and Mysogynation.

It was an absolute dream but let’s get down to what you’re really here for – the books.

I hit up the Barrington Stoke stand and picked up these books. You’ll be hearing a lot more from me about Barrington Stoke – they produce books for young adults with Dyslexia that are actually for young adults.

I picked up The Disconnected by Keren David which is about winning a large sum of money if you can stay disconnected from your phone – perfect for a social media obsessed person! Next up I picked up The Last Days of Archie Maxwell by Annabel Pitcher, which is family centred and gritty from what I’ve been told. And I was also gifted a copy of Firebird by Elizabeth Wein which is set in Russia during WW2. All of these are shorter reads and I’m looking forward to getting through them

Let’s just put it out there, I’ve never read an Adam Silvera book. So of course I bought 3 – What If It’s Us with Becky Albertalli, They Both Die At The End and History Is All You Left Me. I’ve heard really good and emotional things about all of these books so hoping I love them all! I am ready to cry a lot.

I’d not heard of Can Everyone Please Calm Down: A Guide To 21st Century Sexuality before this weekend but it looks like an interesting read. I’m always keen to read more books about sexuality and learn. Next up is The Black Coats by Colleen Oakes a story about a group of women who go after men who hurt women. I’ve wanted to get my hands on this for a little while so it’ll be interesting.

I also picked up another book by Moxie author Jennifer Mathieu – The Truth About Alice. This is a novel about rumours and thinking about what we really know about what we hear? I’m really looking forward to this one.

I also picked up Apple and Rain by Sarah Crossan after buying Moonrise at YALC last year and absolutely loving it – the blurb says it has the power to make me ‘laugh and cry’, I’m here for that. Next up is The Stolen Ones, set after WW2 with a mystery element – is Inge who she really thinks she is? And I also picked up You Got This by Bryony Gordon, I love Bryony’s other books (The Wrong Knickers and Mad Girl are the two I’ve read) and this is all about positivity.

And that’s not all! Make sure to come back tomorrow to see the second half of my YALC book haul!

My Top 10 Mental Health Reads

MHAW18 – My Top 10 Mental Health Reads

 

Seeing as it’s Thursday I decided that instead of my usual review, I would share with you my current top 10 books about or featuring mental health. I was really hard to decide on the final 10 but I think I have a pretty good selection.

The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
This is one of my favourites books of all time. I read this when I was a student and it just connected on a level I haven’t before with any other book. The plot focuses on Esther a young woman in her early 20s and her descent into mental ill health.

Am I Normal Yet – Holly Bourne
I love Holly Bourne’s YA work and Am I Normal Yet was a great start to her spinster trilogy. Looking at OCD, how to open up to the people around you and the process of recovery. Full review right here.

Reasons to Stay Alive – Matt Haig
Matt Haig was on the verge of committing suicide, now he’s a best selling author. To get from one to the other he needed reasons to stay alive. This is a beautiful and brilliant book which changes lives. I wrote all about it here.

My Lovely Wife – Mark Luckach
There are very few books I’ve read from the perspective of a partner who has to watch their loved ones go through mental illness. A truly lovely and honest book. You can read my review here.

How Not To Be A Boy – Robert Webb
I’m so in love with this autobiography. This isn’t just about Webb’s life, it looks at death, gender stereotypes, sexuality and toxic masculinity. I raved about it here.

Mad Girl – Bryony Gordon
I listened to this as an audiobook and fell in love. Not only does Bryony talk about serious topics such as depression, alopecia and OCD but she also makes you laugh. I’m a huge believer in laughter being a great healer. You can read my full thoughts here.
Nina is Not Ok – Shappi Khorsandi
This is the first YA novel I’ve read looking at alcoholism in a young person. I went through so many emotions reading it. A tough but important read.

Ariel – Sylvia Plath
I know, I know Plath again BUT her poetry is incredible. This is a beautiful collection and Plath’s last before her suicide. The imagery, the emotion. I can’t get enough.
It’s All in Your Head – Rae Earl
Confession, I’d never read anything by Rae Earl before and this was a great place to start. This is part manual, part memoir and wholly excellent. I loved this and it would benefit anyone and I highly recommend it.

When We Collided – Emery Lord
This is a wonderful YA novel which isn’t obvious it is about mental illness at the beginning. This is mostly about friendship, love and healing. Two teenagers, a summer and a beautiful novel. Full review here.

 

What would you add? Let me know in the comments below!