Book review: An Edited Life by Anna Newton

Why we should all be reading this book

I’ve been meaning to review this book for sometime and as always, work and life have gotten in the way! I was initially introduced to the author via the lifestyle editor, Erica Davies. She hosted an event with the author that I attended.

Anna Newton
Anna Newton is a life-style You Tuber

The book’s sub-title “Simple Steps to Streamlining Your Life, at Work and at Home’ really does explain the book. There is no stone that is left un-turned, not only does it feel like a conversation with a close friend but it actually gives you the tools to actually follow what she is saying.

Broken down into chapters with clear headings and illustrations, you can dip in and dip out of this book when the need arises. I found the diary, budgeting and planning your working day sections really helpful. I’ve implemented a few of the suggestions and they have made a massive difference. Anna uses her own working life as the example to which you can apply to your schedule. She, like me, works from home and is self-employed. She needs to plan, remain motivated but also accepts that from time to time, she’s going to want to read a book all morning instead of answering emails. Her honesty is refreshing and reassuring at the sametime.

I am defiantly applying some of her rules to help me become more disciplined with this blog. I feel that in my working life, I do plan and schedule for work projects but with this blog, it gets a little…hazy. She’s also a big fan of bullet journals, something I’m considering but one baby step at a time.

An Edited Life by Anna Newton
This book needs to be read!

Lastly, the book is truly about the process of editing – editing your day, your home and your work life – choosing the elements that make you happy, keep you less stressed (there is a big chapter on financial planning) and also removing any of the ‘stuff’ that doesn’t add to your situation.

I found it really helpful and I can often be found heading back into it on certain subjects. I’ve subscribed to Anna’s You Tube channel and love her honest approach. She’s somebody that we can all learn from.

Inside pages of An Edited Life by Anna Newton
The inside pages are beautifully designed and clear to read

You can read Anna’s blog here: www.theannaedit.com . Subscribe to her You Tube or follow her Instagram: @theannaedit

An Edited Life by Anna Newton is published by Quadrille £16.99

Other recommended reads:

*This post is my opinion only. I bought the book as part of an event I attended to hear the author speak. *

World Book Day – why reading is my joy

Why I love to read…plus a book review or two…

I thought that as it is World Book Day I would pop down a few thoughts about why I love to read and also share my latest reviews on a couple of books that I’ve read. I should also point out that I work as a freelance book publicist – I work with books on a daily basis! I’ve worked with fiction and non-fiction authors and I’m in awe of anyone that can write a book. I struggle with writing a blog post, let alone an 80,000 word manuscript!

Books on the windowsill
Nothing beats a good read…

My favourite reads have changed as I have got older and I’m noticing that I’m really enjoying autobiographies at the moment (Michelle Obama’s Becoming and Craig Brown’s Ma’am Darling are two of my recent favourites) because I think I’m a) really nosy and love hearing about other people and their lives b) looking for inspiration within my own life – who can I learn from and where will that take me. One of my reasons for loving to read is that you never know where you’ll end up. I like to read for inspiration and motivation.

However I will always love Jane Austen (Persuasion is my favourite) as I can remember reading her books as a teenager and wondering when my Captain Wentworth or Mr Darcy will arrive. I’d literally go walking round the fields near our home hoping to bump into a wonderful man! (it never happened…) Her books are definitely the ones that I reach for when I’m seeking comfort.

There really is something amazing about starting a book and then not wanting to stop reading it. It is really magical and doesn’t happen all the time. It happened for me with Harry Potter, His Dark Materials and a lot of the JoJo Moyes and Maeve Binchy books. I’m a huge chick lit fan – nothing wrong with an Aga saga from Joanna Trollope either! Or those one tales that take you to a different era like William Boyd’s Any Human Heart (I also really enjoyed Restless) or allow you to walk the streets of Edinburgh in Ian Rankin’s detective novels.

I really enjoyed Still Me - a triumphant return since the disappointment of After You
I really enjoyed Still Me – a triumphant return since the disappointment of After You

Which nicely segues into my first review: Still Me by Jojo Moyes (Penguin Books)! This is the last of the Lou Clark trilogy (the first was Me After You followed by After You) and I have to admit that I was so disappointed with After You that I wasn’t interested in reading this book. However I kept hearing people around me discussing it and when I saw a copy in my local library I decided to give it a go. I’m so pleased that I did.

The book starts with its heroine Lou Clark embarking on a new career in New York as a personal assistant to the new wife of a very wealthy man. Here Moyes really excels with a glimpse into the super rich life and I’m a sucker for anything based in New York. As a reader you get to attend these affluent and over the top galas/events alongside the characters and learn about working as a companion where you have to wear a uniform! I loved these bits, especially the complicated wife, Agnes. As always nothing is what it seems and Lou is struggling: finding her feet, juggling a long distance relationship and the continual grieving she feels for Will Traynor – her first real love. (see Me After You) I really enjoyed the book, in fact I’d recommend that you skip After You and go from the first book to the third. You could also happily read this without reading the other two. As you would expect with a classy writer like Moyes, there are moments of hilarity, heartbreak and escape. I loved it.

This is a brilliant concept novel.

The next book I wanted to mention was Vox by Christina Dalcher (HQ Publishing). This isn’t a novel that I would normally read but my husband gave it to me as he had heard good things. He was right. It is really good and very addictive. It is written in present day America except that women are only allowed to speak 100 words a day. That applies to girls too. (Yup, even 5 year olds) They wear a bracelet/counter that gives them an electric shock every time they go over the limit. The shocks get more painful with every utterance. Women are no longer allowed a passport, a job and must learn to obey their husbands. Homosexuality and infidelity is a sin, as is sex outside of marriage. Punishments involve televised public shaming and labour camps/prison. The idea being that society was happier when women ‘knew their place’. It is completely fascinating because there are times when I thought that it could happen today. Scary!

I would recommend both books

As a concept, the book is brilliant and very well written. You are on the edge of your seat the entire time however I was really disappointed in the ending – it felt rushed as if the author had run out of steam or had reached their word limit.

Other books that may be of interest:

Lastly, for me World Book Day is about celebrating books and encouraging people to read more. It doesn’t have to be about the costumes or who reads the most but instead about starting the conversation. I love asking people what they are currently reading – the answer is always surprising! So…what are YOU reading at the moment?

World Book Day is about celebrating books!

My Friday Favourites (02/11/18)

Hello! It has been awhile since I last posted one of these style of posts so I

Early morning walk with Maggie
Early morning walk with Maggie. Cold but beautiful!

thought that I would today! Happy November! I do love the crisp mornings we are getting at the moment but hate the darker evenings. I’ll get used to it by getting my ‘hygge’ on – lots of throws, cosy jumpers (I’m scouring our local charity shop), hot chocolate and candles.

My first favourite is the book “10 Things Girls Need Most to Grow Up Strong and Free” by Steve Biddulph. I came across this author after reading an interview with him in The Sunday Times a year or so ago. I’ve had the book awhile and find it really useful to

10 Things Girls Need Most by Steve Biddulph
I really recommend this book to ease any concerns and give sensible guidance.

dip in and out of. There are lots of thought provoking chapters and inspirational quotes to cling onto. If I’m having a wobble about my parenting style then I normally head back to this book. It really does help!

 

On a more trivial but gladdening to the

Who doesn't love cyclamens? Great for adding instant colour!
Who doesn’t love cyclamens? Great for adding instant colour!

heart note is the beauty of the winter flower. I absolutely love cyclamens and have them pottered around our driveway in pots. They are brilliant at adding extra colour. When they are looking a bit tired, I then plant them in the garden and they appear each year. It is really quite beautiful. My dried hydrangeas

Love my dried flowers for the kitchen!

are also bringing me joy in our kitchen!

Lastly, I am a huge fan of the clothes from Hush. They can be a little expensive but I’m obsessed with their dresses at the moment. With my work, I find dresses are the best solution as I can dress

Soleste dress from Hush
Just look at that trim!!!

them up and also down. The Soleste dress is a particular favourite which I’d wear with a red mid-length coat for work meetings and then a biker jacket for a night out. I love the trim!

Have a great weekend everyone! We are busy busy with family coming to stay, dance competitions, litter picking with the Beavers (Amy) and finally I am going to see The Greatest Showman! A bit late to the party with this one but I’m really excited!