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Archive for August 20th, 2008

Am off on holidays and desperately looking for book recommendations to bring with me. Now, here’s the caveat: I’m a ridiculously fussy when it comes to books. Someone bought me – actually bought me (I don’t know which word to italicise for best effect there) – a Claudia Carroll book a while ago. Friend, do you know me at all? I’m anti chick-lit in a way that most people are anti-racism, but am prone to the odd biography, occasionally like crime fiction but can’t abide sci-fi. Recent book purchases, gifts and borrowings have all been fairly old titles, but the following which might give you an idea of what floats my literary boat.

Tove Jansson – Fair Play (thanks Penny!)

F. Scott Fitzgerald – The Rich Boy (had never heard of this one until I saw it in a nice edition recently)

Claudia Carroll – Do you Want To Know a Secret? Hmmm.

Carson McCullers – The Member of the Wedding (read an interesting article about this book a while back and mentioned it to a friend who loaned me her copy)

Jack London – The Call of the Wild (have never read anything by him, but another writer I like swore that he was the bee’s knees)

So please hit me with your favourite books, summer reads or anything else that might help me as I lie basking in sunshine next week.

Speaking of bewks, regular commenter Women Rule Writer posted about a new blog, the tongue-twistery Women Writers: Writing Women – Rooms of Our Own, that’s looking for some support and will be looking at writing from women. In her first post, Nessa lists “Louise Gluck, Anne Stevenson, Eavan Boland, Paula Meehan, Virginia Woolf and Elizabeth Barrett Browning” who have influenced her as a writer.

Stop by and check it out.

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Gok knows how to be kind about body image

Gok knows how to be kind about body image

I’m a relative newcomer to the joys of Gok Wan. Previously, I had only seen him as a panelist on quiz shows or a judge on reality shows and never quite knew who he was or what he did. Last week I read an interview with him, watched How To Look Good Naked and his other programme, the fashion fix one, and have come to the conclusion that he’s great! When I watched his show, what struck me was how nice Gok is to the ladies he features, telling them their good points, explaining why certain clothes make them look bad, and the whole ‘body dysmorphia line-up’ is amazing. Basically, a woman will say ‘I hate my bum, it’s huge’ and Gok then gets a line-up of ten women ranging ten inches in bum size from the lady in question. He’ll then say, ‘which bum is the same size as yours?’ and the woman will invariably pick one that’s four inches bigger than hers. He then points out the one that is the same size as the woman’s and the look on her face when she realises, ‘hey, that bum’s not bad’ is so wonderful. I guess Gok has known what it’s like to be have a body that’s not so perfect – he weighed 21 stone when he was just 20. He also uses non-skinny minnies in his campaign for his underwear.

Anyway, all this was brought on by reading today that Trinny & Susannah have lost, like 4.5m viewers. No surprise, I thought to myself, when you compare their ‘Your tits are so saggy, hee hee!’ approach to Gok’s ‘actually, you’ve got really good legs, let’s focus on those’ approach. (Having said that, I did watch their show and enjoy it, although my favourite show was the one where they got couples to strip naked and talk to each other behind a screen. There was even an episode where they had to blur out the guy’s erection. Lord, I was mortified for him.) Anyway, I guess what I’m trying to say is, all hail Gok and his crusade to make women love themselves just that little bit more.

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