The Accidental Life of Greg Millar by Aimee Alexander

I read The Accidental Life of Greg Millar by Aimee Alexander (the pen name of bestselling author Denise Deegan) last year when it was on special offer on Kindle, but it’s released in paperback on April 26th so now seems like the perfect time to review it.

The Accidental Life of Greg Millar by Aimee Alexander

Lucy Arigho is not the kind of person to be swept off her feet, but that all changes when she meets Greg Millar. She is drawn to him in a way she didn’t expect, especially after the death of her fiancé Brendan. But when Greg talks about getting married, Lucy doesn’t immediately say no but she does want to take things a bit slower.

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This week I’ve been reading #72

It’s time for another round up of articles, blog posts and stuff from the internet that caught my attention this week.

This Week I've Been Reading
Original photo: kaboompics.com

How to buy the perfect book for someone else

But buying books for people you love is, I think, a sacred act. It’s a way of saying “We understand each other. We are complex and curious, in the same way. We share a facet of weirdness, or funniness, or just a perspective that we could spend the rest of our lives discussing and never get to the bottom of. But this book is about both of us.” – How to buy the perfect book for someone else

Daisy Buchanan on the art of buying books for other people.

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March Reads

Some Advance Reader Copies (eARCs and ARCs), via BookbridgrNetgalley and publishers, included. They will be marked with an *

March was a month of ups and downs, among the four and five star books were some one and two star reads.

There is still a theme or two running through my March reads, feminist non-fiction and mystery/thrillers continue to draw my attention.

March Reads

Queer Wars by Dennis Altman and Jonathan Symons*

With a specific focus on America and Australia, Queer Wars* provides an overview of how far LGBTQ rights have come and how much is still left to achieve.

This wasn’t as in-depth as I thought it would be. If you’re anyway interested in the LGBTQ community this is probably stuff you already know, especially in relation to America, Australia and Europe. I understand why the focus was placed there, but I would have liked to hear about the difficulties faced by LGBTQ people in African countries, Russia, the Middle East, India and Pakistan. When they were mentioned it felt rushed.

That said Queer Wars* is a good primer on LGBTQ* politics worldwide for those who are just starting out, wherever they fall on the sexuality spectrum.

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This week I’ve been reading #71

It’s time for another round up of articles, blog posts and stuff from the internet that caught my attention this week.

This Week I've Been Reading
Original photo: kaboompics.com

Monica Lewinsky: ‘The shame sticks to you like tar’

Back then, the world basically saw Lewinsky as the predator. Late-night talkshow hosts routinely made misogynistic jokes, with Jay Leno among the cruellest: “Monica Lewinsky has gained back all the weight she lost last year. [She’s] considering having her jaw wired shut but then, nah, she didn’t want to give up her sex life.” And so on.

In February 1998, the feminist writer Nancy Friday was asked by the New York Observer to speculate on Lewinsky’s future. “She can rent out her mouth,” she replied.

I hope those mainstream voices wouldn’t treat Lewinsky quite this badly if the scandal broke today. Nowadays most people understand those jokes to be slut-shaming, punching down, don’t they?

“I hope so,” Lewinsky says. “I don’t know.” – Monica Lewinsky: ‘The shame sticks to you like tar’

Monica Lewinsky talks to Jon Ronson about public shaming, bullying, misogyny and how feminists failed her.

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This week I’ve been reading #70

A belated round up of articles, blog posts and stuff from the internet that caught my attention in the last week.

This Week I've Been Reading
Original photo: kaboompics.com

The Unbearable Innateness of Being

My gender identity was, and is, a core part of who I am. I have fought against it for most of my life. I did what society expected me to do. I pushed it aside and lived my life in the role society, and my genitals, had carved out for me. I settled down, got married, had kids. And yet, no matter how much I tried to push my gender identity aside, it was always there, in the back of my mind. No matter how good I was at playing the male role, I just could not suppress that voice that told me I was only pretending. That I wasn’t being true to myself. – The Unbearable Innateness of Being

This beautifully written blog post about being a trans* woman is powerful, raw and full of strength. Take the time to read it, you’ll be all the better for it.

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This week I’ve been reading #69

It’s time for another round up of articles, blog posts and stuff from the internet that caught my attention this week.

This Week I've Been Reading
Original photo: kaboompics.com

When Your Rapist Is a Woman

These gender norms can directly contribute to distrust of a victim’s claims, says Lisa Langenderfer-Magruder, co-author of a recent study of LGBTQ intimate partner violence in Colorado. “When someone is confronted with a situation that doesn’t quite fit that major narrative, they may question its validity,” she says. All of this amounts to a culture in which most research on partner violence focuses on heterosexual relationships. “So, in some ways, we’re playing catch up.”

Survivors are trapped in a cycle that delegitimizes their experience: first by downplaying the likelihood that it could happen at all, then by not validating it once it happens, and finally by not analyzing the data—and therefore creating awareness—after it does. – When Your Rapist Is a Woman

This is an important read about woman-on-woman rape and sexual assault within the LGBTQ* community.

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Lush Cosmetic Warrior Review

Lush Cosmetic Warrior Fresh Face Mask (75g), €9.50. No press samples included.

I bought Cosmetic Warrior during a recent trip to Lush. I usually use Catastrophe Cosmetic but (a) it was out of stock and (b) my hormonal acne was flaring up big time so I decided to give Cosmetic Warrior a try.

Lush Cosmetic Warrior

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The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell

The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell. Advance Reader Copy (eARC) via Netgalley included. 

The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell

Samantha Whipple is the last remaining descendent of the Brontë family, a connection she isn’t exactly thrilled about. Following the death of her father, it falls on Samantha to protect the Brontë legacy. A legacy the world assumes includes a grand inheritance, an abundance of diaries, paintings, letters, and early novel drafts passed down from the Brontë family. Samantha has never seen this alleged estate; to her it is as fictional as the Brontë novels themselves.

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This week I’ve been reading #68

It’s time for another round up of articles, blog posts and stuff from the internet that caught my attention this week.

This Week I've Been Reading
Original photo: kaboompics.com

Shout, shout, let it all out

As someone who talks feminism on the internet a lot, this is a point that gets put to me on average a couple of times a day. That we’d advance our cause a lot faster if we were… well… just a little bit nicer about it. And in general, I think being nice is great. It’s very nice to be very nice.

But when we’re talking about women taking up space and making their voices heard, we have to be pretty careful about what behaviour we reward. Because when people say women talking about feminism should be “nicer”, what they often actually mean is “gentler”, “softer”, “quieter”, “smaller”.

When people ask feminists to be nice, they’re more often telling us to take up less space, to be less disruptive with our disruptions. We need feminism because women are constantly punished for acting unladylike, so much so that our discussions of women’s rights are punished for it too. – Shout, shout, let it all out

Fiona Longmuir’s article, in defence of shouty feminism, had me nodding along and shouting “This. This. So much this.” to an empty room. Read, enjoy and be proud of your shouty feminism.

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This week I’ve been reading #67

It’s time for another round up of articles, blog posts and stuff from the internet that caught my attention this week.

This Week I've Been Reading
Original photo: kaboompics.com

Eight Things Nine Years of Chronic Illness Has Taught Me

Mindfulness meditation is about acknowledging what’s happening, from your breath to sensations in your body to the sounds around you, while never judging them and never letting “self” be swept along with them. It’s been a huge help to me.

But sometimes I’ve used mindfulness as a way to control my experience and separate myself from the ways things are, telling myself that the things I’m observing are all good in themselves as long as I don’t have to experience them directly or fully.

Not only is using mindfulness to control experience a dumb-ass thing to do, but it’s damaging like putting a kitten in a blender.

I’ve learned that even though it’s messier, acceptance and integration is beautiful. – Eight Things Nine Years of Chronic Illness Has Taught Me

One of the hardest things about having a chronic illness, for me, is striking the balance between being able to live my life and not overdo things to the extent that I’m wiped out for days, weeks and even months after. This is an article I can see myself returning to again and again when I need a reminder that while I may have a chronic illness (or two) those illnesses don’t have to define me.

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