My Audible Obsession and Lockdown Reading Haul

Sunday, February 21, 2021

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!

1 comment

  1. I am so honoured that I have provided some recommendations for your haul, and I really hope you enjoy them! I read Ghosts earlier this year and absolutely loved it, while I just finished Us Three this evening and I definitely agree, reading about a group of friends while in lockdown feels really comforting! I have never actually listened to an audiobook - I tend to use the same excuses that you used to, but since I have started getting into podcasts over the past few months, maybe I should give them a go! Please make sure to update us about how you get on with these - especially Women Don't Owe You Pretty, I really need to pick that one up next - you're giving me some reading inspo too! x

    Erin / Everything Erin