Bonus Book Review – Saving the World

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And I interrupt the scheduled programming with a little book review for you. The book is the following:

Bonus Book Review - Saving the World
Bonus Book Review – Saving the World

As you all know I am kind of on a non-fiction thing this year and as such am reading a whole bunch of books that have never really been on my radar before. It also means that I am constantly challenging my own thoughts and ideas and trying to learn and understand things better as I get more information.

This book did just that on some levels.

First of all it’s primary focus is on feminism in Italy and the importance that the equality of the sexes would have, across the board, but the main focus is on what it would mean for Italy. I quite liked getting a fresh perspective on it as usually the work that I read that centres on feminism and equality tends to be in either the UK or the US, but obviously it would differ from country to country.

This book is stacked full of information and statistics, which isn’t a bad thing. Sometimes it can take seeing everything really laid down in front of you and are kind of forced to confront it for you to really see the true nature of the problem. I found this particularly enlightening in that respect, even though sometimes it felt like a bit much when you were just reading stat after stat and they were sometimes just being presented without their relevance being made known. An example of when it made sense and it really enriched the argument was when Diana was going through the ways in which women still face oppression in regards to their bodies, there were some included that I did know about and there were some that were completely unknown to me and they were awful to learn about.

I also enjoyed the way it was written. The writing style was great. Like I mentioned, it was informative and it flowed really easily meaning that it was quite an easy read, which I always like.

Unfortunately though, for the most part, this book and I just didn’t fully mesh. I think for the most part it was to do with the perspective that I was looking at it from. I didn’t really feel like this book connected with me in a lot of ways. There were elements that did connect with me, but they were few and far between for me. It didn’t feel all that inclusive of the struggles that were faced by people of colour on a more nuanced level then just the doom and gloom of it.

It didn’t really feel like it was very open to the nuance of certain issues. It felt very black and white, with very little grey. And this whole topic is just full of grey areas. It is full of issues that you have to constantly re-evaluate things as you learn more information. And there were elements of this book that did do that for me, getting a better understanding of a wider variety of issues happening in other countries, did really make me take stock of my own privilege. Again. Because I am always very aware of the fact that I am very lucky to be born in London and all the advantages that gives me, it’s hard not to be.

But I found the whole section about ‘Women in England’ a little bit frustrating. It was somehow specific about London but for the most part didn’t talk about anyone that wasn’t white, which felt a bit odd. And I know that for the most part the only stories that are more well known are the stories that are told about white women, if they are told at all, but I guess if you’re gonna talk about the importance of women then it feels like there should be more inclusion of people of colour that made an importance. And there was some, but the balance just felt a bit off. And I think that was one of the reasons that it didn’t quite click with me.

I liked where this book was coming from, and it did inspire me in some ways. It made me more aware of some things that I had not really thought about. It reminded me check my privilege and remember how fortunate I am in this battle. But then there were parts of it that felt too black and white, too idealistic, too cut and dry and that made it harder to connect with. It was a mixed bag of feelings. However, I do feel like it’s a book that should be read if you’re looking to expand your literature based on feminism, it gives a different perspective from outside the UK/US bubble and those are important to get in every now and then.

3/5 stars

This review was written as part of a blog tour for Paola Diana’s book. If you wanna check out the other blogs written about the book over the next few days then have a look at the below and go and give them some love!

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Doodle

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I used to be a huge doodler.

Whenever I found my mind wandering or I was bored on the phone I would find a pen and a scrap piece of paper and I would end up doodling. My doodles always looked the same. They were always rather randomly some variation of a cube.

I could monitor my boredom through them though. The more effort that I put into them the more complicated the cube looked. There would be shading involved, the size of them would differ greatly. There was a whole collection of them.

I was on Timehop the other day and I had taken a picture of a page that was just full of my random doodles and I realised something. I haven’t done that for ages. I fully cannot remember the last time I found my pen just etching out a cube of some description onto a piece of paper. Because I haven’t done it months.

I don’t know quite when I stopped. To be honest, I didn’t even realise I had stopped. I do know that I had been doing it for as long as I could remember whenever I found my mind wandering, so did my pen. But it’s a habit I unintentionally broke.

There are so many other habits that I could have broken, but for some reason that is the one that went. Or at least it’s the one that I know for sure has just gone somewhere.

So, yeah I’m not much of a doodler these days. It’s not my creative outlet anymore. Or in the main area where I found myself doodling I just don’t have the time anymore…

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Animals

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I have a dog.

He’s a total fluffball. He’s 12 (I think…I can never quite remember the year) but he still has all the energy of a puppy. He insists on getting treats the moment that I walk through the door and every time I dare to walk into the kitchen.

He spends so much time sleeping by my side on the sofa but also hates when I acknowledge it. He does this thing most mornings where he nudges my bedroom door open while I sleeping to see if I’m there, sometimes he then lies on the floor, most of the time he’s just doing it for the bants.

I can usually place my money on the fact that when we are the only two in the house he will wait a bit until he knows that no one is going to come through the front door and then he just slinks on upstairs where he stays until someone else does actually return. If I leave him while he is upstairs I am usually surprised to see him come back downstairs to greet me.

I am usually the first person he trots up to when he wants his dinner or to be let outside. I can always rely on him to occasionally show me some love at a time when it turns out that I need it most.

He hates me any time that I point a camera in his direction but that does stop me doing that. I have dog fur on literally everything that I own no matter how new that piece of clothing is.

He’s a stress reliever that I don’t even know that I really need at the times when I really need it.

Every time he follows me upstairs and then just sits there while I stroke his ears and feel his head get heavy in my hand. Every time he lies on the floor beneath my feet and just lets me stroke him and then paws at my hand again when I stop so that I can continue. Every time he follows me into the kitchen and pulls out all the tricks he knows for some food. Every time he jumps up and down and gets excited when I go to do something for him.

It’s in the little things that have become so much a part of my life over his time in our house that provide some kind of stress relief on a daily basis.

He’s my bubba and I love him.

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Encourage

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This word stumped me. In a big way. I don’t really know how to approach it.

Encouragement is not necessarily something that I seek in life. I tend to just kind of keep my head down and go about my business. That may not be the best thing to do, but for whatever reason it is the thing that I do.

I mean I’m fairly decent at encouraging other people to do shit.

I am very good at not doing that whole practice what you preach thing. I spew a lot of shit but then promptly tend to ignore my own advice.

It doesn’t really take a genius to figure out why I do that.

I get way too far into my own head and convince myself that I’m not good enough no matter what people around me may think. I’ve basically convinced myself that all of those people are liars and that they should really be more careful with their advice because they shouldn’t tell lies.

I guess therein lies the problem.

I need to start working on that whole self belief thing a bit more. I need to start actually listening to people when they say things that could actually be considered words of encouragement and not just dismiss them and file them away in the back of my mind pretending that they never happened and in turn fuel that voice that spews all the bad shit.

That’s my takeaway from this actually now that I sit and think about it. I need to be better at listening to encouragement, because I dish it out just fine but can never seem to take it…

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Laugh

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I tend to find that whenever I am feeling really low I actually find it almost impossible to find joy in anything. It’s just one of those things that doesn’t even cross my mind to attempt to even try to laugh.

And it’s in those moments where I feel that shitty that I basically try and force myself to watch something that I know will make me laugh. Which sounds a little bit counter productive because the use of the word ‘force’ but I just basically need to do something that will make me laugh.

Sometimes it’s something that I’ve already seen and I know will make laugh. Sometimes it’s something new that I don’t know how I will react to. But it’s that very fact that means that I have to pay attention and engage in it. It means that I have to disconnect from whatever the hell is going in my head and get lost in the world that I have chosen to get involved in.

That in turn means that whether I mean to or not I am engaging with something else and if I’ve picked correctly then I will find myself laughing. Or cringing. Or getting way too into the show.

Jut having that level of disconnect from something means that I’m out of my own head and then I just feel a lot better.

Laughter really is the best medicine a lot of the time, but somehow it also feels like the hardest because if you’re faking it then it just feels sad.

So thank you Netflix for being a great source of laughter when I need it most.

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Lemons

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I’m guessing this is to do with the whole idea of making lemons out of lemonade?

I’m not very good at that right now.

I probably need to be a lot better.

And by probably, I mean I definitely need to be better at it.

I just kind of ignore them. Or get angry at them. But I mostly ignore them.

I don’t even know why.

For some reason it feels like too much work and they always seem to come at a time when I don’t want to do that amount of work and so I then just let them pass me by or let them sour things up further. Which is probably not the best thing to do.

And by that I mean, it’s definitely not the best thing to do. It means that I ruminate in my problem and end up in a worse mood then when I got handed whatever the damn lemon was on this occasion. It’s not the smartest thing to do.

The smart thing to do would be to try and make lemonade out of them.

Which is something that I am still trying to do with them. It’s a process that is moving really slowly for me, but it is one that I am trying to do the most because I know it will be beneficial to me in the long run.

I just need to figure out to be better at it. It’s one of my weak spots.

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Re-Charge

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Re-charging is important.

It is the most important element of helping me at least deal with my mental health. It’s what my weekends are for. It’s what my evenings are for. It’s the one thing that kind of remains non-negotiable for me now.

It didn’t use to be.

But that way lay madness and burn outs and they made everything all the worse and they felt more draining then anything else. For a long period of time it felt like I was just running on empty and somehow making it through life. I really do not know how I did it, but I did and that in some kind of sick way feels like a win for me.

It was a win though.

It was really damn depressing.

And it was that very long period of time (like at least 2 years of it being really bad and then about year of it being pretty shitty but less soul destroying than before) that really highlighted to me just how important re-charging was.

It used to be just having super lazy days where I would spend all morning in bed and then would roll out, shower, put on super comfy clothes and then just lay about on the sofa passing the time. That used to work for me. Switching off completely from the world and then going back into it on Monday.

Yeah, that is no longer the case.

Don’t get me wrong, re-charging is still sometimes just binge watching a whole TV show in a weekend (hello Queer Eye, which I actually did in a Sunday afternoon…) but that usually only comes after I’ve got a proper sweat on in the morning. It comes after I’ve gotten lost in the world of the book I am reading on my way to and from the gym. It happens after I’ve had a proper refuel on some really good food and a coffee. It happens after I’ve got some writing done.

It sets up the day differently for me in my head when the days that I have to myself are also productive as well as being kinda lazy. It’s not that I feel like I need to ‘earn’ being lazy, but it just means that I don’t finish the weekend feeling like I just wasted it. I was outside, I got a workout in. I did all that stuff and filled my time with other things except just learning what it truly feels like to be only horizontal.

It weirdly doesn’t always feel like I could use another weekend when I get to work on Monday (I mean there is a part of me that does feel like that, but really who doesn’t sometimes?). I do feel like I got to reset a little and it also means that I can make my weekend sound a bit more exciting then just saying that I slept and watched Netflix.

Bonus.

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