For years, I always swore that I'd never be converted to audiobooks. "I love reading, it's just not the same. Listening just feels lazy and I know that I won't pay attention." Well let me tell you, I was very wrong. While podcasts are a long-term love of mine, this current lockdown has converted me to audiobooks and there's seriously no looking back. 

Although I still pick up physical books every single day (I'm in the final term of my English literature degree so reading takes up a large portion of my life), the effortless ability to immerse yourself in an audiobook is my new favourite method of relaxing. So my new evening ritual, after an intense day of university, is to pop on an audiobook and unwind. 

Since the Audible account that I share with my mum recently amassed quite a few credits, I gained her permission to go crazy and stock up on audiobooks for my evening relaxation sessions. Was this haul almost entirely influenced by my friend and fellow blogger, Erin? Yes. Am I secretly pleased about that since she has a great taste in books? Yes.

Since this seemingly never-ending lockdown period is the perfect time to delve into a new book (or five - I couldn't resist), I thought I'd share the ones that I downloaded and hopefully inspire you to give this relaxing method of reading a try.

Ghosts by Dolly Alderton

32-year-old Nina Dean is a successful food writer with a loyal online following, but a life that is falling apart. When she uses dating apps for the first time, she becomes a victim of ghosting, and by the most beguiling of men. Her beloved dad is vanishing in slow motion into dementia, and she's starting to think about ageing and the gendered double-standard of the biological clock. On top of this, she has to deal with her mother's desire for a mid-life makeover and the fact that all her friends seem to be slipping away from her...

I was obsessed with Dolly Alderton's debut, Everything I Know About Love, after it was published a few years ago. When I recently heard about Ghosts, this time fiction rather than memoirs, I was instantly sold. As an author, she is incredible at creating relatable storylines filled with emotion, whether they've got you reaching for tissues or laughing uncontrollably. I'm sure that this book will be just as eye-opening as her last, and I'm eager to start reading it soon.

Us Three by Ruth Jones

Meet Lana, Judith and Catrin. Best friends since primary school when they swore an oath on a Curly Wurly wrapper that they would always be there for each other, come what may. After the trip of a lifetime, the three girls are closer than ever. But an unexpected turn of events shakes the foundation of their friendship to its core, leaving their future in doubt – there’s simply too much to forgive, let alone forget. An innocent childhood promise they once made now seems impossible to keep ...

Maybe it's the loneliness of lockdown talking but a novel about friendships is exactly what I need right now. Ruth Jones is another author whose work I've previously enjoyed, and the summary of her newest novel instantly drew me in. From what I've heard in reviews, you're bound to feel like you've known these characters for your whole life when reading this novel, so I'm definitely excited to get stuck into it.

Women Don't Owe You Pretty by Florence Given

Florence's debut book will explore all progressive corners of the feminist conversation; from insecurity projection and refusing to find comfort in other women's flaws, to deciding whether to date or dump them, all the way through to unpacking the male gaze and how it shapes our identity.

While feminism is something that I'm definitely aware of and align myself with, I want to engage in these discussions more and develop my understanding of feminist thinking this year. When doing some research, this book seemed like the perfect place to start. Not only is it accessible for someone like me who identifies as a feminist yet admittedly doesn't have tons of knowledge about it, but it also seems to prompt some important and critical discussions that I'm eager to delve into.

How to Fail by Elizabeth Day

This is a book for anyone who has ever failed. Which means it's a book for everyone. If I have learned one thing from this shockingly beautiful venture called life, it is this: failure has taught me lessons I would never otherwise have understood. I have evolved more as a result of things going wrong than when everything seemed to be going right. Out of crisis has come clarity, and sometimes even catharsis.

I haven't read many self-help books, simply because I've never been able to find one that fits me perfectly. That was until I heard countless reviews of this book and instantly knew that I'd find it helpful. It's no secret that I'm a perfectionist and put immense amounts of pressure on myself to succeed in everything I do, so failure is something that honestly terrifies me. Hopefully, with the assistance of this book, I'll be able to realise that making mistakes isn't entirely a bad thing, and I'm looking forward to developing as a person and changing my sometimes toxic view of 'failure'.

Clothes... and Other Things That Matter by Alexandra Shulman

In Clothes... and other things that matter, Alexandra Shulman delves into her own life to look at the emotions, ambitions, expectations and meanings behind the way we dress. From the bra to the bikini, the trench coat to trainers, the slip dress to the suit, she explores their meaning in women's lives and how our wardrobes intersect with the larger world - the career ladder, motherhood, romance, sexual identity, ambition, failure, body image and celebrity.

As an aspiring journalist who currently writes a lot of fashion content, reading a novel like this feels like a rite of passage as well as important research. This memoir is from the ex-Editor of British Vogue and I'm confident that it'll provide some interesting insights into the fashion industry and how clothing determines our life. I'm definitely excited to start reading (or should I say listening) to this one, and I'm sure it'll help to increase my already existing passion for fashion.

Have you been converted to audiobooks yet? I'd love to hear your recommendations and any titles that you think I'd enjoy!

Hello everyone and happy belated new year! You may have noticed that I have been inactive on my blog lately - in all honesty, life just completely took over and I didn't have time to upload. But don't worry because I'm back and as excited as ever to create some content for you guys! Before I do so, I thought it was only right to give you a little life update of everything that has happened over the past couple of months, as well as my goals and vision for By Daisy Bradbury in 2021. Without further ado, let's get into it!

I was incredibly fortunate that my home was in tier 2 during December, meaning I was able to have a bit more leniency in going out for a meal or visiting the shops. Although I only did this a couple of times, it made a massive difference to my mental health after the November lockdown and intense university term. To add to the lovely build-up to Christmas, my parents also got married on 22nd December, which was an incredibly special and memorable day. Despite having a pandemic wedding, we seriously made it the best day just as a family!

Fast forward to January, and a few days after moving back to Manchester for university, I tested positive for coronavirus! After being known as the cautious one in my friendship group and really trying hard to avoid it, this wasn't the result that I wanted. Although I'm incredibly grateful that it was a mild case and none of my family back home got it, it was still an exhausting and generally low period. This was also right before my university's exam season started, so you can imagine how stressed I was! Thankfully, I made a speedy recovery and I managed to meet all of my deadlines, although the two-week isolation and essay writing stress definitely weren't enjoyable.

The other major thing that has happened since my last blog post is that I celebrated my 21st birthday! Due to my essay deadlines and my boyfriend's exams, I extended the celebrations throughout the week, which I'm really not complaining about! I honestly had the best time and felt incredibly special, even if a lockdown birthday wasn't how I envisioned my 21st. My housemates and I spent the weekend playing drinking games, battling it out on the Nintendo Switch and having a few too many takeaways, and I honestly enjoyed it so much!

Fast forward to now and I'm in a kind of strange, in-between state - my deadlines and birthday celebrations are over but I have another week until the university term begins. I was also supposed to be in Windemere with my family right now but that was obviously cancelled. If I'm completely honest, the lockdown blues have started to hit knowing that I don't really have anything upcoming to look forward to and that my time at university is coming to a close without fully being able to experience it. This term is my final one before graduation, yet it has been almost a year since online teaching started and I feel a bit robbed of my university experience. That aside, right now I'm just taking each day as it comes with lots of reading, Youtube and working my way through Super Mario Odyssey.

Despite these lockdown apprehensions, one major benefit is that I have a lot more time to create blog and Instagram content. I'm really excited to keep blogging this year (in fact, it'll be my 7th blog anniversary in a few weeks - how crazy!) and I have lots of ideas that I can't wait to create! As my love of journalism has blossomed, I'm definitely eager to create more article-style content for here as well as my personal, chatty blog posts, so make sure you stay tuned for that! I don't want to set an upload schedule as I know that my final term of university will be intense and I don't want to add extra pressures, but you can definitely expect to see a lot more from me on here!

I hope you are all coping during this difficult winter lockdown and hopefully, my upcoming blog posts will be able to inject a bit of entertainment or enjoyment into your day!