I’m Absolutely Fine! A Manual For Imperfect Women by Annabel Rivkin and Emily McMeekan #londonsbigread

Today I’m sharing my review of one of the short list for London’s Big Read 2019. If you haven’t heard of this before then let me tell you more!


Londoners are being called to action to vote for London’s BIG READ of 2019 at www.londonsbigread.com. Organised by Heironmind Limited, and now in its second year, 14 books have been selected across fiction and non-fiction under a theme of ‘female empowerment’. 

Londoners will be able to vote for their favourite book online at http://www.londonsbigread.com from World Book Day through to 30June. The winner, to be crowned ‘London’s BIG READ 2019,’ will be announced at a gala fundraising dinner and celebration in September 2019. 

The aim of London’s BIG READ is to bring the Capital together through reading books that expand our understanding of our community and express the diversity of this great city. 

A range of titles including poetry, middle grade and YA, have been selected to be part of London’s BIG READ 2019.

The organisers behind London’s BIG READ have teamed up with Transport For London (TFL), the Booksellers Association to work with bricks and mortar bookshops across London and in the surrounding regions, the London Book Fair (12-14 March 2019), and some of the leading London universities, to raise awareness about the Finalists and the wider London’s BIG READ campaign. 

London’s BIG READ 2019 is partnered with the Children’s Literary Charity and Ndoro Children’s Charity to raise money through myriad fundraising activities, culminating in a gala ceremony and charity auction in September 2019, at which the winner will be officially announced. The shortlisted books are all available to buy from LIBRARY members club, with  £1 from each sale going to the Children’s Literacy Charity and a further £1 going to the Ndoro Children’s Charity. 

Make sure you check out the whole list of all those nominated and cast your vote by visiting London’s Big Read

About this book…

‘I’m absolutely fine but I slightly need to pee, I followed the road less travelled and now I don’t know where the hell I am, I may bleed to death shaving my legs, my soul aches, another week has ended without me becoming accidentally rich, I just put my keys in the fridge, unexpected object in the bagging area, I’ll have a café mocha vodka Valium latte to go please, where’s my phone? My anxieties have anxieties, no… not like that – here, I’ll do it, do I have to do everything? WTF?’

Is it just me? We gnaw on that, don’t we? Is it just me? Well, look around. Look at the rage, the resolution, the ‘hear me roar’, the panic, the power, the chin hairs, the shame, the empathy, the conversation, the sheer potential.

Welcome to Midulthood. A place where we recognise that we are all more alike than we are unalike. Of course it’s not just you. If we’re not in it together, we’re not in it at all…

From sex (What Could Possibly Go Wrong) to self-image (Does This Straightjacket Make Me Look Fat?), I’m Absolutely Fine is a wry look at real life, real wisdom and real information framed in fun.

My review…

This is one of the nominees for London’s Big Read 2019 and fits the “female empowerment” theme for this year perfectly! As a woman supposedly within the midulthood, it was an intriguing book for me so I was very keen to read it! Whilst I read it from cover to cover, the brilliant thing about this book is that you’re able to dip in and out of it. It’s not a self help book, it’s a “what the hell is going on with me and is it happening to anyone else?” look at women in a certain time of their lives. It’s funny, wickedly insightful and intelligently written…I loved it!

Some of the topics covered were probably written for women a few years younger than me but most of the tips and observations were spot on…

“Grey hair is beautiful, grey roots make you look deranged”

And my all time favourite that I don’t think you fully understand until you get to a certain age…

“Time flies”

The section about where you think everything is cancer was just so true to life. With an increase in the ageing population in the UK and the fact that’s it’s more difficult to see a GP than ever nowadays, we are all turning to “Doctor Google” to self diagnose and this usually brings up our worst fears!! Having had a cancer scare myself, I know how easy it is to find out information that would previously have only been available in a more professional setting! So I understood totally what the authors were talking about here!

Other topics explored with a dark humour included: those hairs that start sprouting in unexpected places, how adults seem determined to compete in an “I’m more tired than you” competition, how to get a good nights sleep and how to make the most of nana naps. I thoroughly enjoyed the style and presentation of these vignettes which I was able to relate to. The Lies We Tell Every Day especially could have been written for anyone of us so each and every one had me nodding along and chuckling to myself!

A very funny collection of topics relevant to women between 35-55. Enjoy!

Meet the authors…

Annabel Rivkin and Emilie McMeekan founded The Midult in 2016. They are journalists, worriers and incredibly good friends. Annabel has written for everybody from The Times to Vogue, while Emilie has been Features Editor of the Evening Standard and Deputy Editor of Tatler. Together they write a Midult column in the Saturday Telegraph Magazine and Annabel has a column in the Evening Standard’s ES Magazine. Emilie is sunshine, Annabel is brimstone and together they wrote this book, lying on the floor a lot and stroking their beards.


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I am a Norfolk girl living in leafy Cheshire with my grumpy Scotsman. A mum and nana who lives for my family but who is also addicted to reading (and Marmite!) I will read almost anything but my preferred genres to review are psychological thrillers, crime procedural novels or women's fiction. My kindle is my life but I also have a substantial bookshelf in my cosy reading room where I can go to escape the stresses of family life with plenty of tea and chocolate. I am a member of netgalley and bookbridg. I review on Amazon, where I'm a Top 500 reviewer, and Goodreads. You can always find me over on Twitter @jocatrobertson for any review requests.

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