Books I’ve Been Reading #2

I have recently re-discovered my inner bookworm, someone I haven’t seen a very long time since kickstarting my marketing career and continuing to beaver away on this little corner of the internet. It’s terrible to say, but for the longest time I simply couldn’t find the time or the right mindset to settle down with a book.

As a total work-a-holic I find it super hard to wind down and switch off but I recently decided that enough was enough, I wanted to enjoy a story again and as i’ve done quite a bit of travelling here, there and everywhere recently, there was no better time to get immersed in a new read…or three.

Revolutionary Road – Richard Yates

Revolutionary Road is the story of Frank and April Wheeler, a bright young couple who are bored by the banalities of suburban life and long to be extraordinary. With heartbreaking compassion and clarity, Richard Yates shows how Frank and April’s decision to change their lives for the better leads to betrayal and tragedy.

I have to admit, I watched the film adaptation before I read this early 1960s classic simply because it saw Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio join forces again for the first time since Titanic. The film prompted me to pick up the book as the storyline is just so unique and scarily relatable, I simply needed to see how the stagnation and mania that consumed the protagonists Frank and April Wheeler could be portrayed on paper. This book depicts the dark side of the American dream and I will be honest, it isn’t a beautiful love story. Author Richard Yates told the Boston Review…

If my work has a theme, I suspect it is a simple one: that most human beings are inescapably alone, and therein lies their tragedy.” 

Shop Girl – Mary Portas

Whenever I am asked who my role model is…I always reply with the same person and that is retail strategist Mary Portas. Whilst I was away in America, I took her memoir ‘Shop Girl’ away with me and it was so nice to discover Mary’s beginnings from a cheeky school girl to a window dresser at Harrods.

My only qualm with this book is that the last few chapters feel a bit rushed, i’d loved to have learned more about her kickstarting her creative agency Yellow Door (Now the Portas Agency) and discover more about her time as a window dresser. Instead, the book is more focused on her childhood and family life. Weirdly, there is SO much of Mary’s story that resonates with me. I just really hope Mary brings out a more detailed memoir on her journey into becoming the UK’s best loved retail consultant.

Not That Kind Of Girl – Lena Dunham

I currently have this book on the go and I have to say as a 22 year old woman growing up in the digital age of social media and blogging… I totally get it.

I haven’t finished it yet so I can’t comment wholly but whilst this book is funny and I love ‘Girls’ Lena does come across a little bit self indulgent and at times I cringed with just how far she goes (the bed sharing situation anyone?) but overall I have been enjoying it, it’s honest and witty and a great accompaniment to the HBO series. If you’ve read this one, i’d like to know your thoughts because I don’t think i’d be mates with Lena but I like hearing her reflections.

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