6 books that changed my life
Caitlin Moran is widely regarded as one of the smartest and funniest writers today, her relentless optimism proving a refreshing alternative to the cynicism embraced by many mainstream headlines. She has always been a keen bookworm and has long championed novels written by women. From an early age, these stories and voices gave her self-confidence, shaping who she was to become. “A good book is kind of like a mother – a cross between an instruction manual for life, a good friend, and a lovely world to spend time in,” she says.
The author has teamed up with the new book subscription service LoveMyRead to, as she puts it, prevent her from “running around to strangers on the street and squeezing books in their hand screaming YOU MUST READ THIS ! ” She’s curated six books that have inspired her the most, all written by women, ready to read and enjoy below.
The Caitlin Moran Box is available throughout March at lovemyread.com
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Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
“Hair. Hair is the first thing that attracts you Americanah – the loving descriptions of the pain and joy of the salon if you have afro hair, and regularly spend entire days combing, braiding, braiding and teasing in order to achieve your ideal hair. But what is Ideal Hair if you are black, living in a predominantly white country? When Ifemelu returns to Nigeria, after studying in America, she begins to see her race in a whole new light. Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche writes fiction and non-fiction like an angel – alternately light and furiously funny, then suddenly WHAM with an observation that leaves you breathless – but there is a special magic to Americanah it makes you a little different in the end. ”
Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez
“If you want to read a book that explains why it is often so inexplicably difficult to be a woman, this book is for you. Then give it to your daughters, so you can just marvel at how slow the world is to notice that 52% of the population is female. iPhones too big for women’s hands; seat belts that cut our breasts; heart attack diagnoses that only record male symptoms, resulting in thousands of deaths – this book has been extensively researched over five years, collating previously ignored data, but wearing its intelligence lightly, with a dusting occasional fury fun. Perhaps one of the most important books of the last ten years.
Love, Nina by Nina Stibbe
“This is one of those books that you can confidently give to anyone – knowing that you have just given them a warm bath of joy which they in turn will give to others. A somewhat dazzled autobiography, Love, Nina covers the years Stibbe – a cultivated working-class girl from the Midlands – worked as an au pair for a descendant of London literature, who lived next door to Alan Bennett. He always jumps up with a rice pudding and a painful quote, as teenage Nina tries to figure out how to hang out with smart people, what to think of wooden earrings, and who to kiss. Imagine if Adrian Mole had taken care of Edina Monsoon’s children. That’s it. But better. ”
Chandelier by Raven Leilani
“One of those new written voices that call to you from the first page, saying, ‘I’ve been looking at the world and myself for a long time, and I want to tell truths about both that no one else has ever noticed before. At the start gloomy and dirty on the realities of the lives of millennial women, Chandelier then pivot in a series of sharp observations of long-term relationships, lust, and race that play out like a movie in your head. And, like all the best truthful books, it’s funny.
Nancy Mitford’s pursuit of love
“Nancy Mitford’s Pursuit of love is as intense a pleasure as inheriting the perfect pearl necklace, or finding a silk dress in a vintage boutique that fits her like a glove. Mitford’s semi-autobiographical book chronicles a pre-war world crammed with wildly eccentric family members, twisty loves, fur coats, balls, and sparkling chatter that glide as easily as a glass of champagne . I don’t really know anyone who doesn’t like him.
Bridget Jones Diary by Helen Fielding
“I would boldly claim that reading Bridget Jones Diary It’s as much a part of being a modern woman as it is having her first period, or buying her first hold-up stockings – before you realize that “hold-up low” is a lie, and they always fall. If you’ve only seen the movies, you’ll be amazed at how smarter and nuanced Bridget is on the page – she’s constantly aware of the ridiculousness and compromise of her feminism. I’ve been rereading this for about three years, and I bark and laugh. Finding “being a difficult modern woman” never dates. Only the sheer number of cigarettes smoked – my god we were like beagles in the 90s – seem weird now.
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