Monthly Wrap Up

February Wrap-Up

Hi there, remember me? I decided to take a break from blogging to focus on my coaching course, which has proven to be more work than originally anticipated. 🙂

I tend to suffer from the endlessly optimistic ‘how hard can it be’ attitude and it tends to get me into trouble on a regular basis. For example I was seriously toying with an idea of entering an ultra-marathon this summer. Background info: I have never ran anything longer than 10km! 😉

The same attitude was used when I applied for my course. Once I fully grasped the amount of work that needs to be invested into my three essays, I threw myself a pity-party that lasted a while, and which involved some lots of chocolate and turned into an even darker party after my ankle was diagnosed as possibly ‘damaged’ and running has been out of question.

Also, remember that slow-reading experiment I talked about here? Well, it’s going so well that I haven’t finished a book in more than a month… actually, that’s a lie. I have finished a few psychology / coaching non-fiction books but the fiction reading is somehow on hold these days.

And, so you don’t think I’m not complaining enough… I need reading glasses. Yes, that age has come my friends… 😉

OK, now the what is bugging me is out of the way, let’s take a look at what I have been enjoying lately.

Despite moaning about the amount of work required for my coaching postgrad certificate, I have been loving every minute of it. I enjoy both the academic side as well as the practical applications of it. I developed a special place in my heart for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, which can be rather neatly applied into coaching, and am toying with an idea of signing up for a formal course on it once the coaching qualification is out of the way… because ‘how hard can it be, eh?’. 😉

Book-wise, I have read quite a few non-fiction books (course related) as well as finished Brené Brown’s Dare to Lead book. 

‘One of the most important findings of my career is that courage can be taught, developed and measured. Courage is a collection of four skill sets supported by twenty-eight behaviours. All it requires is a commitment to doing bold work, having tough conversations and showing up with our whole hearts. Easy? No. Choosing courage over comfort is not easy. Worth it? Always. We want to be brave with our lives and work. It’s why we’re here.’

~Dare to Lead, Brené Brown

I have noticed that I have slowed the non-fiction reading process significantly – I take many notes, highlight and write into text as well. I have a legit excuse to wonder around stationary stores to get the right highlighters, notepads and everything else, that may be needed. Heaven! 🙂

I haven’t read any fiction recently but have watched some TV to unwind. I am seriously hooked on two shows at the moment: The Handmaid’s Tale and Dietland.

You can probably sense a theme here – both of these shows have strong feminist vibes and do make me think a lot.

I am completely blown away by how bleak and brutal the The Handmaid’s Tale is. Margaret Atwood wrote the book, the series is based on, back in 1985 and I need to read it ASAP. I am seriously disturbed by Atwood’s dystopian future and I want to scream every time I entertain some of those possibilities. I also think Elisabeth Moss is completely mesmerising (I was her big fan in Mad Men). She pulled me in convincingly and I have been living her nightmare with her ever since. I really recommend the show and hopefully, will feel the same way about the original story behind it as well. Disclaimer: if you get triggered easily, proceed with care – it’s completely messed up, the story cuts very deep.

I appreciate how Dietland  looks at the ‘ beauty ideals’ and how it questions what it means to be a woman. Its humour is very dark and there have been times when I honestly didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Its messaging hit me pretty hard and I am planning on reading the original book, Dietland by Sarai Walker shortly as well.

That’s it for now my friends. I am likely to carry on working on my University essays but you can catch me at the Space Fleet and I will be writing reviews again once my workload eases off a bit.

Thanks for reading and being here, I really appreciate you all. Till next time! ❤️

Bookish

Yes Please & No Thanks Books of 2018

As 2018 is coming to an end, I’ve decided to look back to reflect on what I read this year. I read many excellent books and am extremely grateful to all those wonderful authors for writing such great stories. I know how hard writing can be so thank you for creating and keeping us entertained.

What a privilege is to be able to read all those books.

There were a few books that were not meant to be but that’s OK. Just because a book didn’t work for me doesn’t mean it won’t work for someone else. Edmund Wilson once wisely said:  “No two persons ever read the same book.”.

Let’s take a look at books I absolutely loved and can not stop talking about:

Eleanor Oliphant is Perfectly Fine by Gail Honeyman. I loved everything about this book. How darkly twisted it was, how that conscious stream of Eleanor’s thoughts made me both cry and smile and how she didn’t get saved by love. Because she didn’t need saving. I wrote a rather long review about it here. Big thumbs up for consistent pacing, vivid characters and that perfect bittersweetness.

Circe by Madeline Miller– if I framed every quote I loved in this book, our entire house would be covered by frames. It’s a slow but extremely philosophical read. It questions what it truly means to be alive and what a gift our mortality, in a way, is. There are so many messages there, its language is exquisite and I still think about it to date. Of course the fact that Greek mythology is ever present was a big bonus for me. Review can be found here.

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng– it took me a little while to get into this book as its writing style is quite unusual. It has a sort of journalistic feel to it as it is describing what happened and why. Once I got used to the style, I could not put this book down. Again, there are many messages there and it will make you think. About privilege, how a perception of who we are, can be derived from where we come from, about friendships and life in general.

Winternight Trilogy by Katherine Arden: The Girl in the Tower / The Winter of the Witch – do you remember how much I loved The Bear and the Nightingale? Well the series gets better from there on. Book 2 – The Girl in the Tower – takes us to medieval Moscow and everything starts turning darker. It’s still atmospheric but that innocence of youth is long gone, book 3 – The Winter of the Witch – goes even darker. It’s brutal at times but there is hope. To me, this series is an utter perfection. Everything I ever wanted from fantasy. Its language is lyrical and creates powerful atmosphere, the world is craftily built, characters aren’t perfect and have many flaws, and its love story doesn’t distract us from the main plot.

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty- another “I can’t put it down” book. All about shame, in particular parenting and appearance based shame. All these little lies we tell ourselves to keep going, all that hurt that’s buried inside of us. All those secrets we hope nobody will find about us. It’s an excellent character driven mystery, that really dives deep into what makes us tick and how we can overcome shame and heal. Full review can be found here.

If I had to pick a favourite memoir of this year, it would be a tie between Born a Crime and Educated, but if you twisted my arm really hard to make me choose, I would scream out Born a Crime.

Born a Crime by Trevor NoahNoah is a very political, intelligent and highly opinionated stand up comedian. His comedy will make you think. I watched a lot of his shows on Netflix and am his big fan. His collection of essays is the best audio book I have ever listened to, and in my opinion, one of the best memoirs I have read. It’s both funny and sad, there are many strong messages and I will be re-listening to it again next year. Full review here.

We Should All be Feminists by Chimamanda Adichie – in my opinion a must read for everyone. Not to create hate or division, but to connect us and to realise we are in this together. It’s not driven by judgement or fear, but by love. I recommend this as an audio book as the Adichie‘s voice is utterly mesmerising and I could listen to her for hours. A perfect length for a walk or a commute to work. Full review here.

Books I enjoyed a lot and that I think are worth mentioning:

Books that were not meant to be during the time I read them:

Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones (review) – The biggest disappointment of the year as it started off so well. I’m forcing myself not to go on a rant here, but this book made me really angry and I tend not to feel that way when I read books. I usually just lose interest and move on, but as we are friends here, this book really made me mad. The language was haunting and beautiful but I had many issues with both its messaging and the lack of growth of the main character. I still see red whenever I think how sex was implied to be “a rite of passage to an adulthood” and how it glamorised dangerous “monsters”.

To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo (review) – This may be quite a controversial choice given how many people loved this book. By the way I hope we can still be friends if you loved this book. No hard feelings please. 🙂 I loved the messaging of this book – i.e. the questioning of if evil is born or rather made make me really happy… but… it could be that mermaids are just not my thing or that I found both narratives quite indistinguishable and the version I read didn’t have any captures of who was speaking when – either way, it somehow didn’t work for me. I still think it was a strong debut but sadly, not my thing.

Find your Why by Simon Sinek – Gosh, this was so boring. It again started off so well and then turned into such a drag. I DNF in the end, maybe I will revisit it but will need to forget it first before my next attempt.. I still shudder whenever I think of it… sorry!

Linchpin by Seth Godin – I respect Godin a lot. I generally feel aligned with his messaging and think he’s a very interesting person. However I was not impressed with this book. It just went on and on, repeating, admittedly a great idea, that could have been summarised by a few chapters, if even. I do have a short deficit spam but even I didn’t need that constant repetition… I gave up on it in the end, another DNF for me.


There you have it my friends, I wish you all a wonderful end of 2018, full of laughter and fun.

Thank you for reading, commenting and being here. Your time, love and support means a wold to me. ❤️

I look forward to seeing you all in the new year. Šťastný Nový Rok (Happy New Year).💕

Fiction

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

To All the Boys I've Loved Before BookSeptember was full of contemporary YA novels. I found myself craving something to read that would relax me, bring me a bit of romance and take my mind away from work and doctor appointments.

Jenny Han’s books were a perfect fit. Side note: I read six of them in September. Clearly I was on a roll! 😊

I watched the movie version of ‘To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before’ on Netflix in August (I talked about it a bit here) and become interested to learn more about Lara Jean.

What it this book about? According to Goodreads:

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed. But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, even her sister’s ex-boyfriend, Josh. As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.

The book version of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before did not disappoint. Despite thinking the movie was super cute, I preferred the book to its movie version as there is more of Lara Jean in it.

“Love is scary: it changes; it can go away. That’s the part of the risk. I don’t want to be scared anymore.”

There is something about this book that made me happy. It might have been that that bittersweet struggle of being a teenager again, that uncertainty of who I was becoming, that obsession about certain boys and worrying about them not finding about my secret crushes… and that horror that my secret letters may have been posted to certain someone… it was a perfect emotional read.

What I liked:

Emotions!!!  Dear emotions, you are cordially invited to come to this party. 😊😊😊 There are plenty of those in this book. They range from laughter, joy, love, embarrassment, anxiety, sadness… it’s all there.

John Lennon once famously sang: “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one”. Lara Jean’s dreaming nature is something I definitely related to. I am a dreamer. I enjoy day dreaming, visualising, pretending.. you name it. And I really appreciated that side of Lara Jean’s character.😊

What I wasn’t so sure about:

There was a certain character maturity flag that I just cannot shake off. I felt Lara Jean’s character didn’t grow as much as I would have liked her to. That especially started irritating me during the second book and completely annoyed me by the end of the third book. I think this book would have been probably the best suited for a standalone book as somehow, those two follow up books didn’t resonate with me – mind you that’s my opinion only, others may wholeheartedly disagree! 😊

I also felt there was a certain lack of female friendships – I know that Lara Jean has an extremely close relationship with her sisters and has a female best friend called Chris but somehow, that relationship felt a bit off.

Overall, it was a fun and quick read and I would recommend it.

I enjoyed the emotional aspect of it and despite Lara Jean something acting quite childish for her age; I could relate to her and ended up reading the entire trilogy. 😊


Now over to you!

Have you read this book?

  • If so, what do you think?
  • If not, do you want to read it?
About Me, Bookish

Sunshine Blogger

I’ll start with a quick shout out to Inge from The Belgian Reviewer, that had me over at her super cool blog the other day. Inge writes stellar reviews that cover thrillers, crime fiction and much more. If you don’t know her blog yet, please go over to check it out. I wholeheartedly recommend it. 🙂

Inge, it was an honour to answer your questions, thanks so much for having me at your blog.  If you would like read my answers to Inge’s questions, you can do so over here.


Now let’s dive into today’s topic.

Lovely Azu @ BookOrbit tagged me a while ago for the Sunshine Blogger Award. Azu likes YA fiction, has an extremely pretty blog and is a very sweet person, with whom I enjoy connecting. Thanks Azu for thinking of me. 

The rules are:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you by linking their blog
  • Answer their questions
  • Nominate 11 blogs with 11 questions

Without further ado, here are my answers to Azu’s questions. 🙂


  1. What’s the best book you’ve ever read?

Just one? That’s impossible!

I love Tolkien’s Hobbit from fantasy, King’s The Shining from horror, Coelho’s The Alchemist from fiction, Brown’s Daring Greatly from non-fiction, Exupery’s The Little Prince from children’s fiction despite it being really meant for adults…

  1. What’s the worst book you’ve ever read?

I like to look at books as not meant for me, rather than them being bad.

With that said, any insta-love romance type of book usually gets me bored. Add a moody / arrogant / ‘misunderstood’ object of affection to it and I am struggling to finish it… Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Lux series being one of them. Sorry, just not my thing…

  1. If you could be any fictional character for real. Whom would you be?

Jo Little Women

I would quite like to be Jo from Little Women.

  1. What’s your biggest pet peeve?

Insta-love because it usually gives an author a pass to skip a relationship building phase, which I personally find so interesting.

  1. What’s your hobby?

Rock-climbing, yoga, hiking, staring into nothingness… and people. I honestly love people watching and it does get me into trouble sometimes… 😉

  1. What’s your dream job?

I don’t think there is a dream job per se. I think any job has a dream job potential if we start perceiving it that way and start finding aspects in it that are aligned with our values. 😊 To me, as long as I am helping others and contributing to this world, I am happy and content. 🙂

  1. Who is your favourite author?

Again, just one??? If I stick to only one, I’ll go with Brene Brown. I adore her story telling ability and well as her courage to explore some difficult topics such as shame, vulnerability and belonging.

Honorary mentions go to J.R.R Tolkien, Katherine Arden, Tamora Pierce and Leigh Bardugo.

  1. What’s your favourite genre?

The problem with me is that you can not ‘box’ me. I am so whimsical and my taste changes on a regular basis. I suppose having a consistent genre would probably help with my blog’s theme… but hey, it is what it is.

I love all sorts of genres. Non-fiction, especially psychology, philosophy, memoirs and mythologies; from fiction, it would be fantasy, psychological thrillers and psychological / character driven stories in general. Sprinkled with some horror, sci-fi and crime as well from time to time. 😊

  1. How was your day today on the scale of 10?

I did wake up, so 10 it is. 😊

  1. What got you into reading?

I think it was my family upbringing. My parents are both keen readers and our family ‘quality time together’ sometimes meant all of us reading at the same time… our own books… together…. 😊

As a child, my dad would take me for walks and let me run around a forest whilst he was reading his books. I would always enquire what he was reading, and he would start telling me stories about old Greeks, religion and science (side note: I share with him my love for non-fiction as you can tell!).

I always wanted to know more. He helped me to learn how to read before I started school and we would read together Greek myths or old Slavic folk stories.

I have always been a reader. I cannot remember not reading to be honest. Reading takes me to different worlds, honours my love of creativity as I can imagine creatures that no one has seen before. It also makes me think and helps me with my staring into nothingness hobby as well… 😉

11. What is your all time favourite TV Show?

I guess it would have to be Friends for their humour, friendship and struggles of early adulthood. But it’s on par with Gilmore Girls as I just love that mother / daughter aspect of it. Both of these shows are something I could re-watch over and over again because of that humour, human connection and feel good factor.

Honorary mentions go to Game of Thrones, Stranger Things, Black Mirror and then Lost, Homeland and Game of Cards when they were at their best..


Alrighty, because I had fun answering these questions and I am quite lazy, I’ll re-use Azu‘s question for those of you, who would like to take part. 😀

If you are reading it, consider yourself tagged!

If you don’t feel answering the entire list, would you mind sharing with me:

what got you into reading?

I’d love to know! 🙂

Fiction

Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn HugoI have to admit that I do not love the cover of this book and had it not been for all those excellent reviews, I would have probably not picked it up. I am so glad I gave this book a chance despite of that cover… 🙂

So what is this book all about?

There are two fictional story-lines. One is told by Evelyn, a famous Hollywood actress that takes us back to the 50’s Hollywood and tells us her story about her husbands. Another is told by Monique, who is writing Evelyn’s memoir. Monique is a reporter, who is hoping to make a name for herself one day and is eagerly awaiting her lucky break. As Evelyn shares more of her past with her, we start seeing Monique‘s growth, something I always appreciate when reading about a character.

What are the book’s main themes?

I saw behind it a manifesto of how important is to have courage to be true to who we are. To have courage to be judged, ridiculed, outcast even, and to still stand holding our heads high despite all of that.

I also saw there a question about what a true freedom actually really is.

We are never truly free until we can admit, in front of everyone, who we are. When we stop playing it safe and let others see the real us.

“People think that intimacy is about sex. But intimacy is about truth. When you realize you can tell someone your truth, when you can show yourself to them, when you stand in front of them bare and their response is ‘you’re safe with me’- that’s intimacy.” 

Then there is a feminist theme present throughout the entire book. Evelyn belongs to her husbands before she can belong to herself. She gets abused by men, has to behave certain way, must ask for permissions.

We know from the book’s title that Evelyn has had seven husbands. The story explores, who was the love of her life. We get to hear the answer quite early on in the book but still, I don’t want to spoil it for anyone, who hasn’t read it yet so I will not talk too much about it.

The revelation is then, what the entire story centres around.

Imagine you found the love of your life. Imagine your perception of being with that person was skewed by how the society would perceive you, should you decide to follow your heart. Would you follow your heart?

“Sometimes reality comes crashing down on you. Other times reality simply waits, patiently, for you to run out of the energy it takes to deny it.”

There are many moral dilemmas and many philosophical questions presented. Something I immensely appreciated.

This book made me think. And I loved it.

Evelyn is a very complex character. She sometimes uses people; she takes her chances whenever she can. And she is utterly unapologetic about it, saying she would happily do it again. She accepts herself for who she is…. yet.. there are subtle regrets. Regrets about wasted years, regrets about certain decisions.

“If I want things to change, I have to change how I do things. And probably drastically.” 

I saw a woman, who grew up poor, who was abused and who was highly driven to succeed. And sometimes she would walk over whoever would stand in her way. I disliked her for that, but her ability to admit it and to own it, made me interested in her. She is not likeable but that’s what I actually liked about her.

I also saw a lot of irony behind some of Evelyn‘s decisions. She was driven to succeed but her definition of success may have not necessarily made her happy. She later on admitted that her regrets were not related to money but rather to people.

Another message that resonated with me as I think it’s really important to define what our own definitions of success are.

Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is a highly atmospheric read. We are thrown into the lush and vibrant world of glamorous Hollywood during 50’s. There is also a lot of diversity involved, its pace is quick and it is a character driven story that reads fairly easily and could still be a great summer read.

Recommended: YES! This book will make you think. 🙂

Trigger warnings: domestic abuse, child abuse


  • Have you read Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo?
  • What is your favourite summer 2018 read so far? Fancy sharing that with me? 🙂
Fantasy, Fiction

Circe by Madeline Miller

I discovered the magical world of Greek mythology during my childhood. I talked about it a little bit here.  I must admit that the Norse myths have always been my favourite ones but the Greek ones have followed very closely behind. Stories featuring Athena, Heracles, Prometheus, Minotaur and others are something I could re-read on a regular basis.

Reading Circe was like re-discovering my favourite soft and cosy blanket. Its story soothed my soul and brought me lots of nostalgia.

Side note: you don’t have to be familiar with Greek myths to enjoy this story by the way. It’s written in a way that no prior knowledge is required whatsoever.

I saw behind Circe a search for belonging.

The wise and wonderful Maya Angelou once famously said: “You only are free when you realize you belong no place — you belong every place — no place at all. The price is high, the reward is great. I belong to Maya.” And to me, that’s Circe’s story in a nutshell.

“When I was born, the word for what I was did not exist.” 

I also sensed a very strong feminist undercurrent. The main protagonist faces a lot of discrimination because of her gender and I thought the book managed to address gender issues quite well.

But it’s the writing that really stood out for me. It is truly exquisite. It’s lyrical, extremely quotable and brought me so much joy. The pace is slow. I enjoy gently-paced stories but even I found this a tad too slow at times. If you prefer action, bear that in mind as this book may not be for everyone.

The story follows a nymph called Circe throughout her journey of solitude, explores her dysfunctional family dynamics, and shows her immortal imperfections. All sprinkled with a dash of a romance on the top.

“But in a solitary life, there are rare moments when another soul dips near yours, as stars once a year brush the earth. Such a constellation was he to me.” 

Ever since Circe was born, she hasn’t fitted in. Her voice is weak and her appearance is strange. Everyone from her family makes fun out of her and doesn’t take her seriously. She is not perfect despite being an immortal goddess. I think it’s her flaws and complexity that make her so relatable. She craves to be loved and accepted. As we all do. And she also wants to belong.

Circe, very early on in the book, falls in love and commits an offence, which gets her sentenced into living on her own on an isolated island. There, she starts her journey of healing and self-discovery.

There was definitely lots of loneliness involved but I also saw that Circe, despite being alone didn’t always feel lonely. You see we could be surrounded by people and still feel lonely at times. That’s something I quite appreciated about her story. How she embraces her newly discovered power and decides to follow her own dreams despite her solitude, or maybe because of it.

What’s really wonderful about this story is also how it explores mother / child relationship. How do we let go and let our children roam free? How do we accept that they may get hurt? How do we give them freedom they need, without the ability to shield them from the evil in this world? I thought that was explored beautifully via exposing mother’s fears and seeing her inner torment.

“But perhaps no parent can truly see their child. When we look we see only the mirror of our own faults.” 

There is also a little bit of romance involved. It’s not the book’s main focus but it is there.

“He showed me his scars, and in return he let me pretend that I had none.” 

The philosophical questions such as ‘what does it mean to be alive’ and ‘what can we ask for in a relationship’ are imposed and Circe ponders about them a lot. She is an immortal with the strength to stay vulnerable. She is scared because the outcome of her actions is uncertain yet she follows through with them anyway.

She gets laughed at, ridiculed, is told she is an abomination… yet she remains gentle, kind and her spine doesn’t bend. She is a goddess with a very mortal heart.

I could go on, Circe definitely captured my heart and her ability to stand her ground, despite knowing nobody else will be standing there with her, truly impressed me.

Recommended? Yes. The ending is likely to melt your heart.

Possible triggers: Rape, domestic violence

Fiction

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

eleanor

Today was meant to be my next Chitter-Chatter day. Today, I wanted to talk about books’ re-ratings.

Then I read Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine and changed my mind. I must tell you about this book. I just have to get it out of my system before I forget… 🙂

I started reading it on Monday’s night this week and had it not been for that pesky thing called work, I would have read it till early hours of Tuesday morning.

I told you Educated was my book of 2018. Well, I’m not sure if it still holds. I really, really fell in love with Eleanor, who is completely fine by the way, thanks for asking.


I’ll start with a warning.

This book deals with some tough issues such as loneliness, social isolation, child abuse, shame as well as death. I will include trigger warnings at the end of my post but if you are sensitive to any of these, please proceed with care, it is a sad book.

Meet Eleanor Oliphant (Ms.). Our main protagonist. She is of course, as the title suggests, completely fine.

Or is she?

“If someone asks you how you are, you are meant to say FINE. You are not meant to say that you cried yourself to sleep last night because you hadn’t spoken to another person for two consecutive days. FINE is what you say.” 

Eleanor is someone, you just cannot help falling in love with. She has no social skills, doesn’t understand emotions or relationships and likes to say it as it is. Whilst thinking she is doing everyone a favour of course.

She is a breath of fresh air. She doesn’t want to purposely hurt anyone but can not keep her mouth shut at times. She can be judgemental and even arrogant at times but as the story starts unfolding, we start glimpses of where that thinking is coming from. And she is willing to grow. Something I find fundamental when deciding whether to like a character or not. Her highly articulate and brilliantly descriptive thoughts made me laugh out loud so many times. This book strikes a lovely balance in bittersweetness. There are many extremely sad parts but there is also this warm undercurrent of human goodness.

“There are days when I feel so lightly connected to the earth that the threads that tether me to the planet are gossamer thin, spun sugar. A strong gust of wind could dislodge me completely, and I’d lift off and blow away, like one of those seeds in a dandelion clock. The threads tighten slightly from Monday to Friday.” 

Eleanor likes her routine, which is an admin work from 9 to 5, combined with a meal-deal lunch and a crossword puzzle. She also enjoys a few bottles of vodka on weekends, which help her with her sleeping habits. Then there are those regular Wednesdays’ calls with Mummy… but Mummy is someone we don’t like to talk about a lot. And then there’s the man of her dreams. She finally found him. He doesn’t know it yet but it’s only a matter of time…

Eleanor is an extremely intelligent person. She likes order and logic. Here’s an example of what she thought of some of those warning signs we like to put onto everything these days. This is her first McDonalds’ coffee experience:

“There was nothing to tempt me from the choice of desserts, so I opted instead for a coffee, which was bitter and lukewarm. Naturally, I had been about to pour it all over myself but, just in time, had read the warning printed on the paper cup, alerting me to the fact that hot liquids can cause injury. A lucky escape, Eleanor! I said to myself, laughing quietly. I began to suspect that Mr. McDonald was a very foolish man indeed, although, judging from the undiminished queue, a wealthy one.”

There is something raw and vulnerable about Eleanor. She never belonged anywhere. She had a challenging upbringing and also happens to suffer with acute shame, which makes her shy away from a human interaction. She is lonely and withdrawn. There is also that numbing part thanks to those bottles of vodka. I talked about numbing in this post. When we numb difficult emotions, we also numb those lovely emotions such as happiness and joy. They don’t stand a chance. And you can feel that in this book. You definitely can.

I loved everything about Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine. Its witty writing, consistent pacing and all those wonderful characters. Eleanor is the main protagonist but there are many supporting personalities that I enjoyed reading about as well. They are really what this book is all about. They are vivid, charming and you just want to know a little bit more of them and have to keep on reading.

Trigger warnings: child abuse, emotional and physical abuse, sexual assault, self-harm, suicide, depression and addiction. As said, it is not a light-hearted fun book, please take care if you are sensitive to these. ❤️

Recommended? Yes! Yes! Yes! Especially if you enjoy character driven books. It’s an utterly mesmerising book that will make you laugh whilst having tears in your eyes.


Over to you:

  • Have you read this book? If so, what did you think?
  • If you haven’t read this book, what do you think? Fancy reading it?