All posts tagged: nonfiction

Review: Brave by Rose McGowan

I’ve always enjoyed Rose McGowan for the fiery individual she appeared to be on screen. Even though she states in her memoir, “for those who knew me as an actress, I must inform you I was never that person”, she’s still a damn queen, I know it. Her fire comes across from the very first page. Her words are fierce, they demand attention, and damn right. For a survivor of abuse to come forward and tell her story, I would expect nothing less. “I was told I had to have long hair, otherwise the men doing the hiring in Hollywood wouldn’t want to fuck me, and if they didn’t want to fuck me, they wouldn’t hire me. I was told this by my female agent, which is tragic on so many levels.” Brave is less of a memoir, more of a social commentary with McGowan’s own experiences as the starting point. It’s a story about women and the abuse of women; it’s a painful and, yes, fairly triggering account, but it’s the kind of book …

Review: The Stranger in the Woods by Michael Finkel

Once upon a time, a man called Christopher Knight got into his car and drove. He drove although he didn’t know where he was going, and he didn’t stop until he reached the woods. He abandoned his car, never to see it again, and there he lived for nearly 30 years, away from everything he ever knew. In this true story, Michael Finkel explores the life of “the last true hermit”. And though I didn’t love it, the book certainly gave me a lot to think about. I picked this book because I have a slightly unhealthy obsession with survivalist literature, and a tentative curiosity about hermits. I mean, who hasn’t contemplated giving it all up and becoming a social outcast? We’ve all had that kind of day where we’ve just felt so fed up with the world – and with people ugh – that we feel so monumentally tempted to just sell our shit and fuck off to Tibet forever. It sounds so fun for a while, so freeing. But then of course the …

Review: I Am Not Myself These Days by Josh Kilmer-Purcell

I’ve read some fabulous books in my time, but I’ve never before had to answer the “what are you currently reading?” question with: oh, it’s the memoir of a retired alcoholic drag queen who ignores the warning signs and falls in love with a crack-addicted male escort. What the hell, I fancied a glamorous read. As far as autobiographies go, I don’t just pick up books written by or about celebrities I like. Rather, I tend to go for stories by authors who have led very interesting lives; the further away from my own the better. I’d say Josh Kilmer-Purcell’s life definitely qualifies. “The hardest part about cooking the perfect Thanksgiving dinner is avoiding the splinters of broken crack pipes that collect in the crevices of the kitchen floor.” Josh is an instantly likable guy. He writes humorously and honestly about his time with his alter ego Aqua, who favours leopard-print catsuits and clear plastic bras with live goldfish inside. Josh’s life is far from glamorous: he lives what some would call a depraved existence …

Review: The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer

Mental Health Awareness Week takes place from May 16th to May 22nd with this year’s theme being relationships. Mental Health is a very important topic on this blog and I hope you’ll join me throughout this week where I’ll be posting every day for Mental Health Awareness Week. Have you ever had a book on your to-read shelf for absolute yonks, and you’ve really been wanting to read it but just never got round to it? And then one day you finally decide today’s the day and pick it up, only to realize it had been fate calling you this particular day, because you were meant to read this now. At this particular time of your life, on this exact Sunday when you’ve actually got the time to devour at least half of it on your day off. That’s how I felt about The Art of Asking, and what I think that people of my generation or in similar circumstances to mine will also feel if they were to pick it up.