Caitlin Moran: How to Be a Woman

This, now famous, title by the award-winning Times journalist, Caitlin Moran, chided me somewhat in its presumption when I first heard it. It appeared to be saying: “Do you want to be a woman? Yes? Well, then read this book, because if you don’t read it, you can’t become a woman.” Yet, in a sense, I think it is not a case of presumption. If you are a young woman (or man) who still thinks that feminism consists of a bunch of 'man-hating lesbians', you need to read this book.

Book Review: Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus

My first surprise on picking up a copy of Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus is that it is written by a man. For one reason or another, it seems automatic to assume that the ‘relationship bible’, described as the best selling book of the 1990s, is a mouthpiece for female psycho-babble. The kind of book Bridget Jones would buy and read, whilst sobbing into yet another pint of Ben & Jerry’s. In fact, it is written by relationship counselor, John Gray Ph.D. (note: the pre-nominal letters after his name), whose masculine perspective not only altered my original perception of the book, but made me pick it up and actually read it.

Reading List: Countryside Literature

If you’ve ever pictured yourself living a life out of Country Living magazine, then this reading list is for you. Country-lit is the literary equivalent of a cup of tea and a hot buttered crumpet on a cold autumnal day. Unlike chick-lit, it is funnier, better written and doesn’t leave you feeling embarrassed when you’re intellectually-smug friend comes over and says, “You’re not actually reading this… are you?” Here are Owl Eyes’ hand-picked selection of our favourite country-lit books…

Book Review: The Great Railway Bazaar

“I have seldom heard a train go by and not wished I was on it”, writes Paul Theroux in the opening of his travel book, The Great Railway Bazaar. This would initially seem strange to the modern 21st century passenger, in a time when train travel no longer holds the glamour it once did, of crisp tablecloths in dining cars and white-gloved stewards. Today, associations with delays, crowds and the smell of egg sandwiches spring to mind. For Theroux, however, writing in the early 1970s, the world was a different place. An era when distant lands still held the mystery of exotic adventures, undiscovered cities, untrammeled by rampant tourism.