Books

How Not To Be A Boy by Robert Webb

At the moment I’m writing a novel. The protagonist is a teenage boy. His name is Anthony and he’s dealing with a lot of things in his life, one of which is the underlying current of societal expectations of masculinity. This isn’t exactly a huge theme in the book, but I think it’s probably an important part of any boy’s upbringing, so I want to get it right. I decided therefore to read some things about what it’s like to grow up male.

I am not, and nor have I ever been, male. However I have always empathised with expectations of masculinity. I’ve been the breadwinner in every household I’ve lived in since a young age, and I’ve been surrounded by people and situations that made showing any kind of emotion discouraged. Growing up, I felt pressured to swallow whatever I might have been feeling and essentially ‘man up and get on with it.’ Despite not knowing what it’s like to be a boy, therefore, I have perhaps an above-average level of empathy for the challenges brought on by society’s expectations of masculinity.

Enter Webb’s autobiography.

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Books

Weekly Reading List #4: Artistry, Masculinity, Lisbeth, And House Of Leaves

I knew there would eventually be a post in which this gif would be sadly relevant.

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Books

Weekly Reading List #2 – Wine, Weather And Whodunnits

I read quite a lot of books last week, but several of them were very short. Most of them were novels – I seem to be on a fiction drive at the moment.

There were a few that were disappointing, which was a shame, and one or two surprises. So without further ado, here are this week’s reviews.

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Books

Weekly Reading List #1 – Brain Surgery, Demons, And Poems

Previously I’ve been mini-reviewing books in the reading list section at the end of my weekly round-ups, but they’ve been getting a bit long and unwieldy of late so I thought I’d move them to their own separate post.

Sometimes a book will merit a post all of its own, or I’ll be given a book by a publisher in exchange for a full review, in which case they’ll be reviewed separately. But I do like to keep track of the books I’ve read and what I liked / disliked about them, and I read so much that I don’t have time to write full reviews of everything. So here we go: the first of the weekly book review lists.

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Books

Silence Is Goldfish by Annabel Pitcher

I really didn’t mean to buy a novel I really didn’t mean to and yes I know I get them in the post for free anyway so why would I bother buying one it’s just that it had a pretty cover and an intriguing blurb and so whoops it jumped off the shelf into my hand and then my bag and then came home (via the till, obviously, I’m not some kind of book thief).

Anyway, I’m glad I bought it, because it was good. And kind of intriguing.

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Books

A Hope More Powerful Than The Sea by Melissa Fleming

This is not a novel. I had to keep reminding myself of that all the way through.

This is not a novel. This is real life. These things happened, and are still happening, and sadly will probably continue to happen for a while yet.

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Books

Turning: A Swimming Memoir by Jessica J. Lee

I love swimming. I also love books. So when I was asked whether I wanted a review copy of Turning, Jessica J. Lee’s memoir of a year swimming in lakes around Germany, I of course said yes.

It’s always a bit weird reviewing a memoir. How do you review someone’s feelings?

You don’t, of course. You review how they presented them to you.

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