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International Women’s Day

Today we celebrate International Women’s Day – American Express celebrated this year’s theme, #BalanceforBetter, company wide yesterday. I feel SO privileged to work at for a company really determined to drive gender equality and have already proved themselves with increase of female leaders in senior positions this year. I’ve had an utter blast at work the last few weeks preparing for the UK events this week, and it’s been very inspirational hearing from both male and women colleagues on their pledges on how they will #BalanceforBetter in 2019 and beyond. One word – powerful. 

The future is exciting. Let’s build a gender-balanced world.
Everyone has a part to play – all the time, everywhere.
From grassroots activism to worldwide action, we are entering an exciting period of history where the world expects balance. We notice its absence and celebrate its presence.
Balance drives a better working world. Let’s all help create a #BalanceforBetter.

Coming back to all things bookish … I’ve selected my Top 6 Reads for International Women’s Day this year:

Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton

Plot: When it comes to the trials and triumphs of becoming a grown up, journalist Dolly Alderton has seen and tried it all. She vividly recounts falling in love, wrestling with self-sabotage, finding a job, throwing a socially disastrous Rod-Stewart themed house party, getting drunk, getting dumped, realising that Ivan from the corner shop is the only man you’ve ever been able to rely on, and finding that that your mates are always there at the end of every messy night out. It’s a book about bad dates, good friends and – above all else – about recognising that you and you alone are enough.

What’s to love: Relatable, Courageous and Honest. 

Highlights also the importance of female friendships, and how women need to build each other up together – perfect fitting for International Women’s Day, driving change together. 

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Plot: Offred is a Handmaid in The Republic of Gilead, a religious totalitarian state in what was formerly known as the United States. She is placed in the household of The Commander, Fred Waterford – her assigned name, Offred, means ‘of Fred’. She has only one function: to breed. If Offred refuses to enter into sexual servitude to repopulate a devastated world, she will be hanged. Yet even a repressive state cannot eradicate hope and desire. As she recalls her pre-revolution life in flashbacks, Offred must navigate through the terrifying landscape of torture and persecution in the present day, and between two men upon which her future hangs.

What’s to love: Scarily Plausible, Terrifying and Thought provoking.

Centred around a frightening dystopian society – highlighting corruption, oppression and the role of women. This book actually fits in perfectly in the age of the #MeToo Movement!

She: A Celebration of Renegade Women by Harriet Hall

Plot: SHE is a love letter to all the women who have thrown out the rulebook and threatened the status quo. It’s a toast to the brave, bold and brilliant women who make us proud to be ladies.

From fashion icon Coco Chanel to Queen Cleopatra, from literary legend Jane Austen to trailblazer Michelle Obama and from kick-ass activist Malala Yousafzai to the one-and-only Beyoncé, SHE honours 100 truly renegade women, from history through to present day.

What’s to love: Bitesize, Powerful and Inspiring.

From Mathematician Ada Lovelace to Beyoncé and Michelle Obama, this book honours 100 female heroes throughout history (some forgotten) who have paved the way for women and  gender driven equality. 

Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong – and the New Research That’s Rewriting the Story by Angela Saini

Plot: Are women more nurturing than men? Are men more promiscuous than women? Are males the naturally dominant sex? And can science give us an impartial answer to these questions?

Taking us on an eye-opening journey through science, Inferior challenges our preconceptions about men and women, investigating the ferocious gender wars that burn in biology, psychology and anthropology. Angela Saini revisits the landmark experiments that have informed our understanding, lays bare the problem of bias in research, and speaks to the scientists finally exploring the truth about the female sex.

The result is an enlightening and deeply empowering account of women’s minds, bodies and evolutionary history. Interrogating what these revelations mean for us as individuals and as a society, Inferior unveils a fresh view of science in which women are included, rather than excluded.

What’s to love: Informative, Fascinating and Challenging.

Full of scientific research, it challenges deeply rooted preconceptions on gender/sex. Blows gender stereotypes out of the water!

Feminists Don’t Wear Pink (and other lies) by Scarlett Curtis

Plot: An urgent and inspirational collection of essays by a diverse group of celebrities, activists, and artists about what feminism means to them. Every woman has a different route to their personal understanding of feminism. This empowering collection shows how a diverse group of women found their voice, and it will inspire others to do the same.

What’s to love: Everything – Motivating, Powerful and Inspiring

You can see my ‘At a Glance’ Review that went up earlier in the week here.

Feminism through a variety of perspectives from a wide range of smart, brave and strong women.

The War on Women and the brave ones who fight back by Sue Lloyd – Roberts and Sarah Morris

Plot: In 1973, Sue Lloyd-Roberts joined ITN as a news trainee and went on to be one of the UK’s first video-journalists to report from the bleak outposts of the Soviet Union. Travelling as a tourist, she also gained access to some of the world’s most impenetrable places like China, Tibet and Burma. During her 40-year-long career she witnessed the worst atrocities inflicted on women across the world. But in observing first-hand the war on the female race she also documented their incredibl determination to fight back.

The War on Women brings to life the inconceivable and dangerous life Sue led. It tells the story of orphan Mary Merritt who, age sixteen, instead of being released from the care of nuns was interned by them in a Magdalen Laundry and forced to work twelve hours a day six days a week, without pay, for over a decade. She gives voice to Maimouna, the woman responsible for taking over her mother’s role as the village female circumciser in The Gambia and provides a platform for the 11-year-old Manemma, who was married off in Jaipur at the age of six. From the gender pay gap in Britain to forced marriage in Kashmir and from rape as a weapon of war to honour killings, Sue has examined humankind’s history and takes us on a journey to analyse the state of women’s lives today. Most importantly she acts as a mouthpiece for the brave ones; the ones who challenge wrongdoing; the ones who show courage no matter how afraid they are; the ones who are combatting violence across the globe; the ones who are fighting back.

What’s to love: Emotional, extraordinary and brutally honest.

Disturbing read, this goes much further than just women’s rights but human rights; horrifying atrocities committed told by women across the globe. It really highlights the ongoing importance of feminism, courage and compassion.

If you haven’t yet read these – go out and get copies now. They are all perfect reads, not just for IWD but beyond.




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I’ve hardly moved from this spot today, although most of it has been #netflixnchill and catching up on shows such as The Enemy within and the new season of Good Girls 🙌🏻🙌🏻
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🎯 Tomorrow I plan to be (a bit 🤪) more productive with body pump and a few reviews to type up - but for tonight ... the rest of my evening looks pretty much like this I’m about 100 pages into MJ Arlidge’s new book A Gift For Dying and I’m totally absorbed!
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Synopsis:
Adam Brandt is a forensic psychologist, well used to dealing with the most damaged members of society. But he's never met anyone like Kassie.The teenager claims to have a terrible gift - with one look into your eyes, she can see when and how you will die.Obviously, Adam knows Kassie must be insane.
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🔮 Or maybe she’s not??? I am really loving this book so far, Kassie’s character is awesome... as is Adam’s! Hoping to finish in a couple of days ... so stay tuned for the full review 🤓
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💭 Anyone else spending their weekend in chill mode? 🙋🏻‍♀️🙋🏻‍♀️
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    • Was actually meant to go up yesterday - Thanks Instagram for being down 😣
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Made it through Wednesday 🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻 Happy Hump Day 🐫🥳
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🏃🏻‍♀️ Literally feel I have stopped in the last 3 weeks but tonight I’m making time for ME 👉🏻 Epsom salts, spearmint & rosemary bubbles, sparkling berry water 🥰
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📖 Currently nearly half way through the advanced reader copy (available from Arrow Publishing @penguinbooks 4th April) of All We Ever Wanted by @emilygiffinauthor and so far I’m really enjoying it. A bit different from my usual reads.
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📸 The story centres around the consequences of a very bad decision made by a privileged (and recently accepted to Princeton!) teenage boy; who took a compromising photo, with a racist caption, of a girl from his school at a party where she was passed out drunk. From there, lives change and interwind as the scandal unfolds 😬😬😬
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🌟 The characters are great. I am really connecting with them and love the past and present passages that help you understand the person each of them are today. 🖤’ing it!
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    • Finally getting the chance to post my review of The Woman at 46 Heath Street by @lesleysandersonauthor that I finished last weekend! I received an advanced reader copy courtesy of @bookouture @netgalley 😘😘 (review link in bio)
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I was totally caught off guard by this book - it wasn’t at all what I thought it would be, but I LOVED it.
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Lesley’s writing was exciting 😬 and captivating. I was hungry for more. I loved what this book was really all about, for me, it’s about love, a man’s obsession to keep his wife all to himself, it’s about domestic abuse, both mental and physical, and it’s about secrets … dark secrets that take place behind closed doors. If you want an utterly gripping, haunting and riveting read,  you will not be disappointed, this book is for you!
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Booked up Girl rating: ★★★★ Full review on the blog
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💭 Any one else read this? Thoughts 👇🏻👇🏻
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    • Today we celebrate International Women’s Day – American Express celebrated this year’s theme, #BalanceforBetter, company wide yesterday. I feel SO privileged to work at a company really determined to drive gender equality and have already proved themselves with increase of female leaders in senior positions this year. I’ve had an utter blast at work the last few weeks preparing for the UK events, and it’s been very inspirational hearing from both male and women colleagues on their pledges on how they will BalanceforBetter in 2019+ #teamamex  @americanexpressuk .
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Back to Books: To mark IWD I’ve selected my Top 6 Reads (link in bio)
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Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton: Highlights also the importance of female friendships, and how women need to build each other up together.
•
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood: Centred around a frightening dystopian society – highlighting corruption, oppression and the role of women. This book actually fits in perfectly in the age of the #MeToo Movement!
•
She: A Celebration of Renegade Women by Harriet Hall: From Mathematician Ada Lovelace to Beyoncé and Michelle Obama, this book honours 100 female heroes throughout history (some forgotten) who have paved the way for women and  gender driven equality.
•
Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong – and the New Research That’s Rewriting the Story by Angela Saini: Full of scientific research, it challenges deeply rooted preconceptions on gender/sex. Blows gender stereotypes out of the water!
•
Feminists Don’t Wear Pink (and other lies) by Scarlett Curtis: Feminism through a variety of perspectives from a wide range of smart, brave and strong women.
•
The War on Women and the brave ones who fight back by Sue Lloyd – Roberts and Sarah Morris: Disturbing read, this goes much further than just women’s rights but human rights.It really highlights the ongoing importance of feminism, courage and compassion.
•
If you haven’t yet read these – go out and get copies now. They are all perfect reads, and not just for IWD.
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 #booklover #bookaddict #bookcommunity #bookworm #internationalwomensday #goodreads #bibliophile #bookedupgirl #bookstagram #bookrecommendations #bookrec
    • Today marks the 22nd World Book Day 🥳 – recognised in over 100 countries and designed to celebrate authors, illustrators, books and of course, most importantly, reading itself.
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I 🖤 the theme this year, and it’s something I committed to doing with my children from a very young age - the theme is ‘Share a Story’, which encourages adults to spend 10 minutes a day reading and sharing stories with children. This can make a real difference and positive impact on the child’s development. 💫
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📖 For me, World Book Day is all about inspiring our young, future readers to pick up a book and fall in love with reading. 
My full article is up on the blog now - with my family’s top 5 Children’s Reads from 2018. Link in bio - Clue: David Walliams & Julia Donaldson are at the top 🌟
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💭What are your thoughts on World Book Day? Do you have children who love to read? 🖤
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#worldbookday #booklover #bookaddict #bookcommunity #bookworm #goodreads #childrensbooks #bookedupgirl #bookstagram #bookreviews #bookblogger #booklife #bookcollection #instaread #booksofinstagram #currentread #bookaesthetic #bookblog #vscobooks #igreads #readstagram #shareastory #bookblog #readeveryday #alwaysreading #bookrecommendation #booknerdigans #bookphotography #currentmood #allthebooks
    • As we approach International Women’s Day, to celebrate in #bookish style, I interviewed author Graham Smith on why he chose a (freakin’ awesome) female lead for his novels and his thoughts on IWD #BalanceForBetter theme.
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🔎 Check out the Fast Five interview on my blog - Link in bio!
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Graham’s new book A Body in the Lakes is also out next week, you can pre order now on Amazon (and check out my review on the blog!)
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 #booklover #bookcommunity #bookworm #unitedbookstagram #bibliophile #bookedupgirl #bookstagram #bookrecommendations #bookreviews #bookblogger #crimefiction #crimethriller #amreading #tbr #bookcollection #booksofig #instaread #booksofinstagram #currentread #readstagram #readcrimefiction #alwaysreading #bookstagramfeature #bookporn #bookrec #vscoreads #booknerdigans #authorinterview
    • It’s International Women’s Day this Friday, to mark the occasion, I have a few bookish posts coming up 🎉, including this new At a Glance mini review on Feminists Don’t Wear Pink (and other lies) curated by Scarlett Curtis.
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💫 An inspirational and powerful book surrounding gender equality. Personal and unique essays from a range of women, in different industries, from different backgrounds. The essays explore what feminism means to each of the women and highlights that feminism doesn’t mean one thing but many and we all have our own definition. 🙌🏻 One of my favourites,  The Weaker Sex by Kiera Knightley.
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Booked up Girl rating: ★★★★ Full review on the blog - Link in bio!
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 #booklover #bookaddict #bookcommunity #bookworm #unitedbookstagram #bookedupgirl #bookstagram #bookrecommendations #bookreviews #bookblogger #amreading #tbr #booksofig #instaread #booksofinstagram #currentread #scarlettcurtis #bookaesthetic #bookblog #vscobooks #igreads #readstagram #bookblog #alwaysreading #bookstagramfeatures #bookrec #booknerdigans #internationalwomensday #iwd2019 #inspirationalwomen
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Fast Five with Angela Marsons focuses on ‘Characters’ 🕵🏻‍♀️… so if you are dying to know more about Kim Stone, Dr. Alex Thorpe, and beloved Bryant, and how Angela feels about the controversial subject of killing off characters 😭 … head over to the blog now to read more! (link in bio)
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 #booklover #bookaddict #bookcommunity #bookworm #unitedbookstagram #goodreads #bibliophile #bookedupgirl #bookstagram #bookreviews #bookblogger #booklife #crimefiction #crimethriller #serialkiller #amreading #tbr #booksofig #instaread #booksofinstagram #thriller #bookblog #vscobooks #igreads #readstagram #readcrimefiction #alwaysreading #booknerdigans #angelamarsons #authorinterview
    • My 🌟 Top Pick for February 🌟 was Last Lullaby by @carolwyer - review now up, link in bio!
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Carol Wyer is now firmly on my favourite author list, thanks to another epic read! 💎
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I could not put this down! DI Natalie Ward and team are assigned to a really gruesome case with a smart complex villain, all of which will literally have you on the edge of your seat. 👀The writing is terrific – perfectly crafting nightmarish and heartbreaking scenes at the same time, literally taking us on the ride of our lives! 🎢
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💭 Anyone else loving the DI Natalie Ward series at the moment? The Dare is book 3 and set to hit the shelves next month - I will be starting my advance reader copy this weekend, hopefully 🤞🏻
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.  #booklover #bookaddict #bookcommunity #bookworm #unitedbookstagram #goodreads #bibliophile #bookedupgirl #bookstagram #bookrecommendations #bookreviews #bookblogger #booklife #crimefiction #crimethriller #amreading #tbr #booksofig #instaread #booksofinstagram #currentread #bookblog #vscobooks #igreads #readstagram #readcrimefiction #bookblog #carolwyer #vscoreads #booksandcoffee
    • February WRAP UP 🎀
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I’ve had a blast of a time this month, with some really epic reads! A huge thank you to @netgalley @bookouture for the many ARCs I’ve got through!
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I was however, aiming for 10 but fell short ... work was just crazy busy so it didn’t happen 😔 All reviews are up on the blog 💻 (link in bio).
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Recap below 🖤
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1. Graham Smith - A Body in the Lakes (4.5/5)
2. @robertbryndza - Deadly Secrets (5/5)
3. Caroline Kepnes- Hidden Bodies (3.5/5)
4. Kerry Watts - Heartlands (4.5/5)
5. @carolwyer - The Birthday (5/5)
6. Sarah Denzil - Only Daughter (4.5/5)
7. @carlvonderau - Murderabilia (4/5)
8. @carolwyer - Last Lullaby (5/5) - I have a few chapters left but I WILL finish it by the end of the night, review will be up at the weekend🌟Top Pick🌟
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💭 Have you folks read any of these? Your thoughts? 👇🏻👇🏻
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 #booklover #bookaddict #bookcommunity #bookworm #unitedbookstagram #booksofig #goodreads #bookstagram #bibliophile #bookfeature #bookedupgirl #bookrecommendations #bookreviews #bookblogger #booklife #crimefiction #crimethriller #detectiveseries #procedural #tbr #bookcollection #carolwyer #amreading #booksofinstagram #readcrimefiction #bookstagrammer #februarywrapup #instaread #vscobooks

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