Originally published: 4 July 2019
Author: Amy Jones
Published by: EBury
Genre: Non Fiction
Length: 336 pages
Reading dates: 1-4 July 2019
In The To-Do List and Other Debacles, video producer and acclaimed writer Amy Jones lifts the lid on what like is really like for 20- and 30-something women today covering everything from work to friendship to love to body image.
I must admit, I signed up for this blog tour purely based on the title and the cover of this book and until I sat down to read it, I didn’t really know what to expect. I think I thought it might be something to do with using the art of list writing to help get my act together! It isn’t about this, although Amy does use lists a lot in her life to help manage things. It becomes clear by the end of the book that perhaps they aren’t the best thing for her…
This a memoir of a short period of her life and my goodness it is funny! She is a fantastic writer who draws you into her confidence and makes you want to become her best friend (or maybe I just wanted to mother her!) But there is a very serious side to this book: Amy has for some years suffered with her mental health. She has a lovely husband and a cat, some great friends and is successful in her job but in her head she just doesn’t feel she is as good as everyone else.
What I realised as I was reading it, was that many things I thought were only in my head, were perhaps being thought of by other women as well. I’m 46, so a bit older than maybe the target audience of this book, but I found it immensely eye opening. I think some of Amy’s issues also apply to me but as I’ve got older I care a little less about them!
The first half of the book, is like a diary of Amy’s life. She talks about her struggles with her weight including body envy and the “right” food choices. She talks about always striving for the perfect Instagram moment and how annoyed she feels when a weekend with her husband isn’t as picture perfect as she hoped. She talks about feeling unappreciated in her job but having no confidence in applying for anything else. Then after a hen weekend, which is about as far out of her comfort zone as she can get, she has a breakdown. When she gets home, she realises she needs help. She starts seeing a councellor and we hear about these sessions and how they help her, and although she isn’t completely “recovered” by the end of the book she starts to get a better idea of how to cope with her feelings.
A bold, brave and honest memoir that is laugh out loud funny while being deeply moving. A great read, especially for those of the millennial generation who may be struggling but will hopefully realise they are certainly not alone!
Many thanks to Chloe at EBury for sending me a advanced copy and to Anne Cater for inviting me on the blog tour. Be sure to checkout the other stops below…
About the author:
Amy Jones was born in Wales in 1990, moved to Warwickshire when she was seven, and now lives in North London with her husband and her cat.
She has been writing since she was old enough to hold a pen – everything from fantasy stories about mermaid-fairy hybrids who live in her curtain rail, short horror stories described by one teacher as “really creepy”, or a 70,000 word Harry Potter fanfiction describing a torrid relationship between Ginny Weasley and Draco Malfoy.
Most recently she worked as AV Producer for The Pool where, alongside making the site’s videos and podcasts, she was known for her articles on feminism, body positivity, and 18th century cartoons about the devil being scared of a woman’s hairy vulva.