9 Of The Best Books By Female Journalists
I Can't Believe It's Not Better: A Woman's Guide to Coping with Life by Monica Heisey
This charming memoir by former Broadly editor Monica Heisey is the antidote all millennials need. A collection of essays, lists and quizzes, all accompanied by cute drawing by Heisey herself, hold this dear during your next mid-life crisis. This book offers tips on everything from workplace politics to sexting to where to cry in public – all useful things. And if you think that someone under 30 has nothing to offer in terms of writing a memoir, then we defy you to read her guide, ‘How to Watch Literally Hours of TV At A Time’ and see if you feel the same. Heisey is funny and smart and will make you interested in subjects that you’d never knew you’d care about (see: ‘Pizzas I Have Loved’).
Lost Dog by Kate Spicer
Anyone who devours the Sunday supplements will be familiar with Kate Spicer. A lifestyle journalist who has written for the Sunday Times, The Times, the Daily Mail, the Evening Standard, Vogue and GQ, Spicer’s had an interesting life to say the least, whether it’s writing features on having a walk-in part on a porn film to discovering ‘cocaine yogis’. But here, Spicer has turned her wit to something closer to home – the disappearance of her dog, Wolfy. Spicer hits the streets of London for nine days looking for her pooch, convinced she’s lost everything. As she ploughs on endlessly calling his name, she stumbles upon others’ lives, finding friends among fortune tellers, bloggers and midnight joggers. Trying to find her dog tests her relationship to its very limits, and gets her thinking about life, and why things have turned out the way they have for her. It’s a really touching read. (And you can read our interview with Kate here.)
Fleishman Is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner
Anyone who has followed Akner’s illustrious career – from her hilarious and biting celebrity profiles with the likes of Bradley Cooper and Tom Hiddleston (at the height of Hiddleswift), to her deep dives into curious cultural phenomena like the rise of sugar daddies – will know she was destined to write a good book one day. Well, that day has arrived, and it’s just as blisteringly funny as you’d expect it to be – not to mention heartbreaking. In this exploration of marriage and divorce, Fleishman Is in Trouble follows Toby Fleishman, recently separated from his wife and enjoying his single life. In the middle of his summer of sexual emancipation, finds himself looking after his two children full-time after his ex-wife Rachel drops their children off at his place and simply never returns. Now Toby must try and figure out where Rachel went, whilst learning to balance his patients at the hospital, his parental responsibilities and his burgeoning sex life. Whilst he plays the spurned husband, it might be time for Toby to face up to what really happened in his marriage…
What Would The Spice Girls Do? by Lauren Bravo
Freelancer journalist Lauren Bravo has worked for the likes of The Pool, Grazia, Refinery29, Cosmopolitan, Stylist and The Guardian – so you could say she knows what she’s talking about when it comes to knowing what women want. Her book What Would The Spice Girls Do?: How The Girl Power Generation Grew Up is a celebration of womanhood, female friendship and pop culture, all through the medium of our favourite 90s girl band. Apart from giving us some great songs that we still love to this day, the Spice Girls helped launch the girl power generation, which kick-started an important conversation about gender equality. Bravo explores how the Spice Girls’ brand of feminism is still as relevant as it was 20 years ago – we still need equality, as well as maintaining that fun and fearlessness.
Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton
A firm favourite among millennials, Dolly Alderton’s autobiography is on the shelves of any self-respecting twentysomething woman. In her debut book, Alderton gives an unflinching account of all the bad dates and even worse flat shares, heartbreaks and humiliations (we’ve all been there), and, of course, the female friendships that got her through it all. There’s something about her relatability and her humour that makes this book so easy to devour. But before she became a celebrated first-time author, Alderton wrote a dating column for the Sunday Times for two years, and a co-presenter of the ever-popular High-Low podcast.
Everybody Died So I Got A Dog, by Emily Dean
We’re a big fan of journalist and radio presenter Emily Dean and her heartbreakingly funny autobiography in the SL office. In her book, she talks about what it was like to grow up in the lively Dean household with their family dog Giggle. But after the sudden death of her 43-year-old sister, followed swiftly by her parents, who passed just three years later, Dean was alone. She talks about the healing powers of her dog, a little shih-tzu called Raymond, as she tried to overcome the worst life can throw at you, eventually finding a way out of her grief with little Raymond in tow.
Jog On by Bella Mackie
Guardian journalist Bella Mackie is hot property right now, after her bestselling debut Jog On: How Running Saved My Life came out late last year. In it, she has a crucial conversation about how running helped her mental health. Divorced and struggling with mental health issues, Mackie left her twenties completely unhappy. But one day she decided to do something about it – she put on a pair of trainers and went for a run. She began to set herself goals and soon she was feeling better than she’d felt in years. This is an unflinching look at mental health and, with the help of doctors and psychologists, how you can use exercise to help manage it. A really funny and moving book that’ll encourage you to get your trainers on.
In Extremis: The Life of War Correspondent Marie Colvin by Lindsey Hilsum
Marie Colvin was an infamous war correspondent; glamorous, hard-drinking and braver than the boys, reporting from the most dangerous places in the world and staying longer than anyone else to reveal the truths about war. She reported from Israel, Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka – the latter of which was where she was hit by a grenade and lost the sight in her left eye, resulting in her trademark eyepatch. But still she carried on, going to wild parties and encountering the world’s worst dictators, including Colonel Gaddafi. She was smuggled into Syria in 2012, where she was killed after being bombed by terrorists. Fellow foreign correspondent Lindsey Hilsum authored this biography, drawing on Colvin’s unpublished diaries and interviews with her friends and family, paying homage to one of the fiercest women of modern times.
How To Fail by Elizabeth Day
Elizabeth Day has had a long and illustrious career in journalism, working for the like of the Evening Standard, The Sunday Telegraph, Elle and The Observer, the latter of which she worked for nearly ten years. During that time, she has written four novels, but it’s her memoir, How To Fail: Everything I’ve Ever Learned From Things Going Wrong, that we love the most. Part memoir, part manifesto, Day talks about how important it is for us to fail, as it teaches us lessons that we wouldn’t have otherwise understood. From dating to friendships, babies to work, and even being Gwyneth Paltrow, Day shows us why it’s ok to fail miserably at all these things, because it shaped who we are as people. Essentially, don’t be afraid, but embrace failure, and all it brings.
DISCLAIMER: We endeavour to always credit the correct original source of every image we use. If you think a credit may be incorrect, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.